I've been out of the hardware scene for some time now but I'm looking at upgrading my ageing hardware and I have a few things in mind that I'd like:
Fast - Quiet - Cheap
I KNOW, I know - you're all going to say "pick two", or even "pick one"! I'm flexible on each of those things and I'm fully aware I need to sacrifice at some point - most likely I'll end up sacrificing "cheap", as the other two are more important to me.
- I'm mostly interested in opinions about the mobo, CPU, PSU, case & cooling - total budget for these: around $1500, but I can be a little flexible if required.
- I'm not much of a gamer - onboard gfx is fine for now.
- I'll need a moderately (but not super-high) powered, quiet PSU as I may have a number of add-in cards and up to 4 HDD's eventually (I'll tackle the "quiet" part of 4 HDD's when I get to it)
- Quad core, 64-bit required (do quads even come in 32-bit versions?), I'm fine with underclocking a little if I need to do it to keep things cooler, quieter and still within budget
- Most of the grunt will be used for transcoding video and virtualisation (not at the same time, mostly), so high CPU/bus speeds are reasonably important
- I'm happy to go water-cooled if that will help the noise aspect (but are water pumps noisey?)
- FWIW I'll be running Ubuntu as the host OS with at least one OS (windows 7) virtualised, possibly up to 3, but none of the guests need much grunt behind them, I'll reserve that for the host.
I know I can go and buy the bits or get a pre-built PC on the cheap ($600-800) that will do what I need - but I'm concerned about noise because I have to work next to this thing most days and I have no idea where to start - am I asking too much? If I could up my budget slightly, what would you recommend? All suggestions greatly appreciated.