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Here's an illustration of the target airflow in the case. The different colors represent roughly separate zones.
The blue arrows represent airflow for CPU/motherboard cooling. The yellow arrows show airflow from the from 80mm intake fan going to the PCI / VGA card area, from which it mostly rises. There is also a fairly open vent beside the peripheral slots on the back panel, and some heat must exhaust there. The green arrows represent airflow through the HDD bays, the front drive bays (at least the unpopulated ones) and the power supply. Given the fact that the PSU is the only exhaust port at the top of the case, the use of a bottom mounted fan PSU is probably mandatory.
View from below of HDD cage and PSU area.
All the drives are mounted with snap-on screwless rails made of steel. They work positively and smoothly. The cables for the HDDs have to run on the other side of the drive bay. While this is not a problem with a couple of drives, filling all six drive bays would be quite a challenge because of the cabling. On the other hand, if you were trying to fit six drives, you wouldn't be thinking about quiet at all. The PSU intake would be rather blocked, and reduced intakje airflow into the PSU would likely cause an increase in its fan speed. Six drives, even quiet ones, would make enough of a racket to push the PC well out of the quiet zone.
Several different types of snap-on rails for HDD, optical and floppy drives.
The clear plastic ones are for floppy drives.
We also received a SilverStone NT01 CPU heatsink sample which appears to have been designed specifically for this case. It was used for the test system installed in the TJ06.
It is a simple device: A copper base to which the ends of three copper heatpipes are clamped and soldered. The heatpipes extend up into a system of lateral copper fins. An aluminum frame surrounds the fins and provides mounting points for two 60mm fans. The base is well polished but not flawless. The main advantage of this socket 478 cooler is that it allows the heated air from the CPU / heatsink to be blown directly out the back exhaust vent or up through the PSU fan. The direction depends on the juxtaposition of the retention frame on the motherboard.
The case fans are all mounted within plastic holders, an arrangement we've often decried in the past. Most plastic frames provide a sloppy fit, have a nasty airflow impeding grill, and serve no function other than mere convenience in mounting the fan. Driving in four screws to mount the fan conventionally hardly qualifies as a hardship that must be made more convenient.
The 120mm fan plastic holders in the TJ06 are not typical. They don't have any grill, they are firmly secured to the case with four screws, and they hold the fans quite securely. Also, they serve as mounting blocks for the wind tunnel. They probably have little or no effect on either acoustics or airflow.
120mm fan holder. The grill is part of steel chassis.
Note the tool-free easy to use tension mount for the PCI slots on the left.
The 80mm fan plastic holder is more typical. It is clipped quite tightly to the chassis, adds about a 1.5" distance between the fan and the front panel, and it does impose some impedance to airflow. The airflow-impeding bits of plastic were easily removed with a hacksaw, as shown in the before and after shots below.
80mm fan holder, modified on right.
The fans themselves have SilverStone's logo and name, but are also identified as Everflow models. Both the 120mm and 80mm fans have 4-pin Molex connectors with pass-through feed. Only the 120mm fans have a single wire motherboard fan header for RPM monitoring.
- 120mm Everflow R121225SL - 12VDC - 0.2A. Interestingly, it has 9 blades instead of the more usual 7.
- 80mm Everflow R128025SL - 12VDC - 0.09A.
- The SL code at the end of the model number designates Sleeve bearing and Low speed.
The fans were tested individually for acoustics at various airflow levels. More on that later.
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