Systems for All Budgets (Part 3) - WS 1000, Silent 1000

11/14/2012 5:45:21 PM

Workstation PCs are designed to be good all-rounders, and the WS 1000 is exactly that. At $1005, the price isn't outrageous, but it's still powerful enough that you won't find yourself collapsing in a rage because you're spending more time waiting for it to open an application than you planned to spend using it.

Of particular interest is the RAM capacity. 8GB of DDR3 is a substantial amount for a mid-range system, which reflects the generalized nature of the PC. This isn't designed to run large, single instance-applications (like games) - rather, it's aimed at the sort of user who wants to multi-task and multi-manage.

It may not be aimed at gamers, but it's still fairly formidable in that regard. The Intel Core i5 2500 CPU is a quad core Sandy Bridge design that runs at 3.3GHz. The chip's multiplier is locked, but let's face the facts - if you're planning to overclock, you'd be looking at a more powerful system anyway. A Core i5 2500 is exactly the kind of mid-price chip you'd expect to find in a good workstation PC.

Description: Workstation PC: WS 1000

Workstation PC: WS 1000

The 1TB hard disk is more than big enough for the sort of general use this system is designed for, giving enough space to store media and applications in a long-term manner, and the SATA-III connection means access will always be speedy.

We do, however, debate the inclusion of a NVidia Quadro 600 graphics card, which has a fairly hefty price tag. If you're planning to use this PC to run technical applications, such as AutoCAD, fair enough - you need a graphics card with a reasonable amount of clout. However, if you're going to stick to general office use, there's no reason the Core i5's on-board graphics couldn't do the job just as well. The Gigabyte B75 board included in the price does, after all, include the necessary support for the chip's on-board GPU, so if you want to save money by jettisoning a dedicated graphics card, we wouldn't blame you.

That aside, the specs are more than up to scratch. Be careful of the lack of a monitor. Gamers obviously want the best out of their system, but when assembling a workstation PCs it isn't unlikely that you'd want one with it. If you use the system builder on Computer Planet's website, we recommend adding the 24' Asus VS247H at a cost of $198.



CPU: Intel i5 2500 (4 x 3.3GHz)

RAM: 8GB DDR3 1333MHz


Case: Cooler Master Elite 330 ATX

Graphics Card: NVidia Quadro 600 1GB

Optical Drive: 22x dual-layer DVD/CD rewriter

Power Supply: 350W PSU

CPU Cooling: Arctic Freezer 7

Motherboard: Gigabyte B75

Sound: 7.1 HD sound

USB Ports: 6 x USB 2.0 and 2 x USB 3.0


Silent PC: Silent 1000 ($666)

If you're after a silent PC, it's fair to say that you're probably not as concerned about power as peace and quiet. Most silent PCs tend to be aimed at people who want to build media centers or basic work PCs that won't disturb those around them, so that's how we're judging these systems. Of the three silent PCs that Computer Planet offers, the Silent 1000 is the one that we liked the best.

For a start, it makes sense to have an AMD FX 4100 chip in it. Although AMD's chips are in a bad place at the moment, out-powered and out-priced by Intel, there is one area where they're indisputably better, and that's in running cooler. If the processor runs at a lower temperature, you can get away with slower, smaller fans, and that means less noise overall.

Indeed, the processor cooling option you do get is the Zalman CNPS8000B - a low-profile cooling system which combines a high-quality heatsink and heatpipe system with a refreshingly compact 92mm fan. In silent mode, it's fully noiseless and free from irritating vibrations that might alert you to its activity. You won't be able to get away with running anything too taxing and keep it discreet, but if your system is doing little more than idling, it'll be as quiet as you like.

Description: Silent PC: Silent 1000

Silent PC: Silent 1000

Something that allows you to enjoy the silence even more is the lack of any separate graphics card. Relying purely on on-board graphics means you won't be doing much more than running Windows and watching movies through this system, but then there's a good reason that you've never heard of a 'silent gaming PC. The graphics card is a major source of noise in any system, and if you can get away without one, do so.

One less good idea is the 60GB solid-state drive. While we appreciate that SSDs are completely silent and mechanical hard drives aren't, 60GB isn't realistically enough space for the kind of things you want a silent PC to do. 60GB isn't an appropriate amount of space for a desktop machine - it's barely an appropriate amount of space for an MP3 player. There's no easy way out of the bind, because adding a larger SSD could quite easily double the price of the system, but we'd be inclined to go for a slower (and thus lower-noise) hard drive.

Still, we appreciate the commitment to making a PC that won't speak unless spoken to. If a machine with this little space is suitable for the things you want it for, there's nothing else to complain about, and if not, a slightly bigger SSD would be worth the extra cost.



CPU: AMD FX 4100 (4 x 3.6 GHZ)

RAM: Corsair 4GB DDR3 1333MHz

Hard Drive: 60GB OCZ SATA-III SSD - silent

Case: Cooler Master Sileo 500

Graphics Card: ATI HD 3000 1GB (on board)

Optical Drive: 22x dual-layer DVD/CD rewriter

Power Supply: Corsair 430W - low noise

CPU Cooling: Zalman (CNPS8000B) - ultra quiet

Motherboard: Asus

Sound: 7.1 HD sound

USB Ports: 6 x USB 2.0 and 2 x USB 3.0


  •  Graphics Cards for All Budgets (Part 3) - Radeon HD 7950, GeForce GTX 580, GeForce GTX670
  •  Graphics Cards for All Budgets (Part 2) - Radeon HD 7770, GeForce GTX 560, Radeon HD 7850, GeForce GTX 660
  •  Graphics Cards for All Budgets (Part 1) - Radeon HD 6670, GeForce GTS 450, Radeon HD 7750
  •  Motherboards for All Budgets (Part 2) - Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD7, Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H-WB, Asus Rampage IV Extreme
  •  Motherboards for All Budgets (Part 1) - Asus M5A97 PRO, Gigabyte GA-Z68AP-D3, Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3, Asus P8Z68-V Pro
  •  OWC Mercury Accelsior 480GB
  •  Polywell H7700i-400B - Desktop Power In A Tiny Box
  •  Windows Vista : Build Your Network (part 7) - Troubleshoot Network Connections, Test an IP Address
  •  Windows Vista : Build Your Network (part 6) - Add Wireless Support to Any Device, Get Bluetooth to Work
  •  Windows Vista : Build Your Network (part 5) - Lock Out Unauthorized PCs, Connect to a Public Wireless Network
    Top 10
    Review : Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
    Review : Canon EF11-24mm f/4L USM
    Review : Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2
    Review : Philips Fidelio M2L
    Review : Alienware 17 - Dell's Alienware laptops
    Review Smartwatch : Wellograph
    Review : Xiaomi Redmi 2
    Extending LINQ to Objects : Writing a Single Element Operator (part 2) - Building the RandomElement Operator
    Extending LINQ to Objects : Writing a Single Element Operator (part 1) - Building Our Own Last Operator
    3 Tips for Maintaining Your Cell Phone Battery (part 2) - Discharge Smart, Use Smart
    - First look: Apple Watch

    - 3 Tips for Maintaining Your Cell Phone Battery (part 1)

    - 3 Tips for Maintaining Your Cell Phone Battery (part 2)
    - How to create your first Swimlane Diagram or Cross-Functional Flowchart Diagram by using Microsoft Visio 2010 (Part 1)

    - How to create your first Swimlane Diagram or Cross-Functional Flowchart Diagram by using Microsoft Visio 2010 (Part 2)

    - How to create your first Swimlane Diagram or Cross-Functional Flowchart Diagram by using Microsoft Visio 2010 (Part 3)
    Popular Tags
    Video Tutorail Microsoft Access Microsoft Excel Microsoft OneNote Microsoft PowerPoint Microsoft Project Microsoft Visio Microsoft Word Active Directory Exchange Server Sharepoint Sql Server Windows Server 2008 Windows Server 2012 Windows 7 Windows 8 Adobe Flash Professional Dreamweaver Adobe Illustrator Adobe Photoshop CorelDRAW X5 CorelDraw 10 windows Phone 7 windows Phone 8 Iphone