Hey guys, my friend wants me to help him build an audio workstation.

It needs to:

- Drive 2 monitors
- Be as quiet as possible
- Have a fast hard drive

A few things that aren't needed but we would be an added bonus are:

- Texas Instruments Firewire capability
- Low power consumption

He just wants me to give him a quote on how much he would need to spend to achieve this. There is no budget as such, he just wants to know how much he will need to save.

It doesn't need to be a very high spec because even a Core 2 Duo and 2GB of RAM would probably work.

I was thinking:

Intel i3-2100T - 35W version for low power consumption because that also equals less heat which then means less noise.

8GB Corsair Vengeance LP White 1.35v - Again, low power consumption and 8GB of RAM will be useful.

MSI H61M-E33 - Cheap and has lots of video outputs (meaning i can run 2 monitors from it?)

Crucial M4 64GB - Quiet and fast, don't need much space for a boot drive.

WD Green 1TB - Quiet and cool because it will be idle most of the time, has plenty of space. Low power consumption too.

Fractal Design Define Mini - Looks nice and has the noise dampening.

Scythe Shuriken LP Cooler - Small enough to fit in that case?

430W Be Quiet! PSU - This PC should only use 200W at full load so this PSU won't break a sweat, hopefully that translates into quietness.
Antec Phantom 350 - Fanless but expensive, worth it?

The plan then was to remove all the fans including the one on the cooler and get 2 Scythe Slipstream 500rpm fans, one for the CPU cooler and one as a rear exhaust.

Including the fans and a DVD burner, that would come to £500. Opinions? Can anyone improve on that?


I wouldn't bother with the 1.35v ram. It's not worth the price premium over normal ram. And being .15-.3v lower won't equal much in power savings/cooling.

Not all boards support multiple outputs. I don't know how many that board does support. You might want to grab an Nvidia video card if any of his programs support CUDA as they will run faster. GT240 minimum, GTS450 is a better idea.

As for PSU if you get any of the newest ones they should be rather quiet. I wouldn't bother with a fanless one, but an 80+ gold might be a good idea. I don't know how bad the prices are different however on the other side of the pond.
Thanks for the tips guys. 1.35v RAM is like ~£55 over ~£49, doesn't really cost much more.

I don't think CUDA is going to be much use in audio software, i may be wrong though. Will a GT 520 such as this manage 2 outputs? 1 HDMI and 1 DVI preferably. 1 DVI and 1 VGA would work though.


Only £15 more for the equivalent 80+ gold PSU, that's probably a good idea.