Author Topic: Home office Build questions  (Read 61 times)

Zman

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Home office Build questions
« on: May 17, 2017, 08:24:58 AM »
Hi Ari,

I have a few questions regarding the home office build using the Zalman T4 case. I'm considering doing two separate builds (not sure yet) for the office and another for our son. 

How is this build on the sound levels? I realize there's a case fan, and whatever fan for the CPU and separate Graphics.  Is it pretty quiet, whooshing air sound?  The side panel is open on the case so was thinking it may be louder.  Do you have suggestions for better fans to add to this build or do you think the standard would suffice? I remember way back in 2003 I had a gaming machine with the Intel processor fan and it sounded like a machine noise instead of just air.

Most likely going to do the Pentium build and possibly one with the graphics card for a little gaming.  If I go with the I5 on one of them are the standard fans still a good option or would it need something a bit better?

Thanks!
Z (joe)

Ari Altman

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Re: Home office Build questions
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2017, 10:14:08 AM »
Zman,

I have a number of thoughts for you, but will need to put together some part lists. The Zalman stock fan unfortunately is a bit loud, not surprising given the low price of this case. I'll post back with some thoughts later today. A different case may be the best bet.

Ari Altman

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Re: Home office Build questions
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2017, 01:52:34 PM »
All right, so here's the full picture. The Zalman T4 is a fantastic case for around $35. But to hit that pricepoint, Zalman goes with a single 92mm exhaust fan. It is not quiet, based on my hands-on testing, and in my own personal build using this case, I removed it and installed a 120mm top-mounted exhaust fan.

Since silence is an important criteria for you, I strongly suggest you step up to the SilverStone PS12. For about $6 more, you get a similarly-sized case, but one that uses a 120mm intake fan rather than a 92mm exhaust fan. This minor change makes it a whole lot quieter, and provides overall better performance as well, especially in the video card area. Basically, that $6 extra is buying you a better fan, and because this case, like the T4, does not have space for a 120mm rear fan, SilverStone puts it in front, which is fine from my perspective. If you'd like to improve its performance even more, you can mount the excellent Arctic F12 fan to the top of the chassis and get excellent whole-system airflow. You will not need anything better than the stock Intel fan for a Pentium processor. For a Core i5, you could move up to the SilverStone AR08, an excellent mini-tower cooler that will just fit in this case (134mm tall, with a total of 140mm of clearance).

By the way, your choice of video cards in this case, or any microATX case, will be critical, as some will be too large to install. When you have a sense of your budget, you can post that here and I can come up with some video card options for you.

Zman

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Re: Home office Build questions
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2017, 09:02:41 AM »
Bummer. I like the look of the Zalman case.

I don't necessarily require silence. If it's the sound of air that's not a problem.  If it's a machine/high pitched sound then that's another story. The Silverstone looks to be a bit of challenge to build if it's anything like the PS08 where you have to have the hard drive in before the motherboard. Wouldn't be fun if you had to go back in actually remove a system board to get at other parts.

As for the video card I was going to use video card that you mention in your office build.

Joe (Zman)

Ari Altman

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Re: Home office Build questions
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2017, 10:08:34 AM »
Bummer. I like the look of the Zalman case.

I don't necessarily require silence. If it's the sound of air that's not a problem.  If it's a machine/high pitched sound then that's another story. The Silverstone looks to be a bit of challenge to build if it's anything like the PS08 where you have to have the hard drive in before the motherboard. Wouldn't be fun if you had to go back in actually remove a system board to get at other parts.

As for the video card I was going to use video card that you mention in your office build.

Joe (Zman)

Joe,

There's an easy solution to all this - go with the Zalman case, but remove the 92mm fan just like I did in my personal build. Then add the Arctic F12 PWM fan to the top of the case. It's very easy to install, and will do a lot more for cooling than the 92mm fan, while being virtually silent.

And yes, I agree, the Zalman T4 is easier to work with than the SilverStone PS series, but that's in part because it has fewer hard drive slots (it can hold only two 3.5" drives). Some would consider that a limitation, others would view it as a forward-looking design, as 3.5" drives become a thing of the past.

Zman

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Re: Home office Build questions
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2017, 10:50:59 AM »
Excellent..thank you! Definitely an option if I find the supplied fan not to my liking.

Another case I'm looking at is the Thermaltake Versa H15 which "seems" like it could also be a good alternative.
https://www.amazon.com/Thermaltake-VERSA-Micro-Gaming-Computer/dp/B01CLIZ698

What are your thoughts on the Thermaltake? It's a few dollars more than the Zalman.
It already has the 120mm fan included.

Joe
« Last Edit: May 18, 2017, 11:09:39 AM by Ari Altman »

Ari Altman

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Re: Home office Build questions
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2017, 11:14:36 AM »
Excellent..thank you! Definitely an option if I find the supplied fan not to my liking.

Another case I'm looking at is the Thermaltake Versa H15 which "seems" like it could also be a good alternative.
https://www.amazon.com/Thermaltake-VERSA-Micro-Gaming-Computer/dp/B01CLIZ698

What are your thoughts on the Thermaltake? It's a few dollars more than the Zalman.
It already has the 120mm fan included.

Joe

Thermaltake makes great cost-effective cases, and the Versa H15 is a perfect example of that. If you like its style, go for it! The one thing I'd note about it versus the Zalman is that despite being just 5% bigger in volume, it has a far larger footprint. The cool thing about the Zalman (and the reason it must use a small rear fan), is that it's ultra-narrow. This is great for tight spaces where you have plenty of height clearance, but very little floor space, like under a desk.

Zman

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Re: Home office Build questions
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2017, 11:25:36 AM »
Thanks Ari!
I actually like the Thermaltake better. If the components from the office build drop into that case with no issue  I'll most likely end up going that route. I'm sure I'll be back with more questions  :)

Joe