After some searching, I stumpled upon a page that showed cost/performance ratios of CPUs. As the CPU will be the most expensive part of my new PC, I decided for the Intel Core 2 Duo E7300, the successor of the winner (E7200). Their price difference is only marginal, but the E7300 is a little faster. Afterwards, I started looking for a compatible mainboard and memory. The Asrock 4Core1333-FullHD was the cheapest mainboard which supported FullHD natively and had both DVI-D output and Gigabit NIC onboard. Because the board supports DDR2 Dual-Channel, I started looking for some fast and cheap memory and found the G.Skill DDR2-800 CL4 2x 2GB Dual-Channel-Kit. Next was the power supply. As everything was onboard, a 200W supply would be more than enough, but because usually 350W are the minimum, I looked for a silent one with 80+ efficiency. The cheapest here was the be-quiet! Pure Power 350W. The only thing left is the CPU cooler. I chose the Arctic Freezer 7 Pro PWM (up to 130W), which is a little overdimensioned for the 65W E7300, but this will let it run at inaudible 0% (900 RPM) with the CPU temperature never exceeding 35°C. With the onboard RAID controller, I setup a RAID 1 (mirroring) with my 2 “left-over” 80 GB Western Digital hard disks.
Windows Vista is running extremly fast now. I can’t believe that such a computer, which is a complete overkill for an average user would be this cheap. Here are the prices (December 2008) for the parts of my new PC.
- Intel Core 2 Duo E7300 (€ 100)
- AsRock 4Core1333-FullHD (€ 70)
- be-quiet Pure Power 350W (€ 35)
- G.Skill 2x 2GB DDR2-800 CL4 Dual Channel Kit (€ 45)
- Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro PWM (€ 15)
- Case (left from my old desktop PC)
- Hard disk (left from my old desktop PC)
That’s only € 265 for a high end super silent computer!
UPDATE: I measured the power comsumption: Idle (<10% CPU usage) < 60W, 80W with 100% CPU usage.