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April 30th, 2012, 02:54
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
The Asrock is from Gorath's link, but I am irritated because it seems it has onboard Gfx. Isn't that a waste? Any other recommendations here?
No, it's the CPU that has integrated graphics . Remember that all modern i5/i7 CPUs come with Intel HD graphics built in. That's why nearly all modern boards with a P67/Z68/Z77 chipset carry the corresponding back I/O ports (usually HDMI and/or DVI).
If I were you I think I'd go for a Z77 mainboard for a new system since Z77 is all new and Z68 is fading out.
My personal favorite has always been ASUS. Never had a problem with any of their boards. The ASUS P8Z77-V has everything on board that you should need (plus a few useless extras as usual nowadays ).
You can stick with the Sandy Bridge i5-2500K or get a brand new Ivy Bridge i5-3570K. Doesn't really matter. The performance difference is +10% in favor of Ivy Bridge at the very most. In games there will not be a noticeable difference at all.

The GPU. From the pricepoint it seems I am looking at a GFX 560 / 560TI as a logical choice, but I have no idea how to identify a relatively quiet card among the many choices. The Asus at least mentioned "quiet cooler" in the description, but if anybody can point out a decent relatively quiet card that would be suitable (above or below the 560 is fine, as long as it can run the native resolution of the monitor for current games), please let me know.
The ASUS DC are supposed to be really good and quiet so that would be a decent choice. Other good choices include: Gainward Phantom, Gigabyte WindForce or MSI TwinFrozr.
I personally favor Gainward and -thanks to a generous tax refund- just replaced my GTX 570 Phantom with a shiny new GTX 680 Phantom . Awesome card once again. The Phantom cooling works very well and is silent out of the box.

All of these cards can be made even more silent if you create your own fan profile in MSI Afterburner (there are other apps to achieve the same I believe but I haven't tried anything else but MSI AB).
It takes just a few mouse clicks to create a profile so e.g. you can tell your fan to stay at 30% fan speed (usually the lowest setting) all the way until the card reaches 70C, then you allow it to speed up to 35% until it reaches 80C, then 40% when it gets to 85C and finally 45% at 90C and if it goes beyond that you just allow it to go wild. Those are just example settings but it should give you a general idea of what can be done.
Of course, with cooling on the level of ASUS DC/Phantom/TwinFrozr/WindForce you'll never get to 90C in the first place. You'll most likely linger around ~70C - 75C under heavy load with a 560Ti at normal room temperature so the fan will always rotate at the lowest speeds if you tell it to via a profile.
The default fan control of most cards is way too aggressive. They'll speed up to 50% when the card temp is still relatively low which is completely unnecessary. Anything sub 90C is more than fine so there is no need for aggressive cooling below that. A gentle increase in fan speeds will keep the temps in check.

RAID - is it worth looking into, if I already go for the SSD?
In a word: No. The garbage collection or TRIM function does usually not work in RAID so unless there is a very special and specific reason to run your SSDs in a RAID it's just not a good idea to go for SSD RAID.

I'm within budget, but I also wouldn't mind lowering the price to ca. 1500,- if it can be done without big losses. Any ideas?
Well, the case is pretty expensive because it is a case that comes with preinstalled noise insulation. Not totally necessary if the components are already silent. So you could go for a cheaper case (like Coolermaster HAF which I can recommend from personal experience) and if against all expectations the noise does still pose an issue then you could buy dampening material and just insulate the case do-it-yourself style.
Also do you really need a new screen and a mouse? Note that the listing contains a LCD and a mouse.
You could also scratch the sound card and buy that later if the onboard audio bothers you. Thanks to the sound implementation in DirectSound since Vista it doesn't really matter all that much anymore what DSP you're using for games so you don't really need a Creative sound card.

Other than that I'd like to suggest two alternative components just so you have something else to consider, not because the options in the listing are inferior.
1) For the CPU heatsink I'd recommend to check out Thermalright's lineup. They got excellent silent coolers which are kinda huge though so the case needs to be big enough. The nice thing is you can usually choose the fan you want to pair with the heatsink so it's ultimately up to you how silent the system is or how good the cooling is. The bequiet! DarkRock does come with preinstalled fans that can not be so easily removed (at least the one in the middle, right?). This could pose an issue if the fan is not as silent as you would like it to be.
2) As for the power supply, I've always been a very happy camper with Thermaltake (the Toughpower Grand line). Reliable. Silent (thanks to a big 140mm fan). Good modular cabling. Those are the keywords for Toughpower Grand.
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