Fanless Ultra Powerhouse PC by EndPCNoise

Complete|Mobile Systems
Viewing page 3 of 4 pages. Previous 1 2 3 4 Next

VISUAL TOUR, Continued

The rugged, industrial look continues on the back panel. Unusually, the I/O connections for the motherboard-integrated audio are on the bottom PCI slot cover. Note the 120mm diameter pattern of holes: It's for an optional fan. Two more similar grills can be seen beneath the handles on the panel, again without fans mounted. The vent holes allow convection to exhaust heat from the case.

There's a sturdy, lockable latch, but several bolts on the left side must also be undone to gain access to the interior.

The castors seem unchanged from the last time we look at this case. It is an ingenious combination of a swiveling wheel, and height adjustable foot. Lowering the latter plants the case and keeps it from moving.

Undoing the latch and several hefty bolts allows the side panel to swing out to reveal the impeccably tidy interior.
EPCN has done a superb job of cable management!
(Click on the photo for a larger view.)

Before examining the details further, it's time to itemize the components used in this system. As mentioned earlier, aside from the TNN-500AF and the Smart Drive 2002, it's nothing too out of the ordinary.

EndPCNoise Fanless Ultra, Totally Noiseless P4-775 System
Intel 630 3GHz EMT64 2MB cache LGA775
Case / Cooling / Power
Zalman TNN-500AF System - Includes full ATX case, fanless heatpipe/conduction cooling systems for CPU, motherboard, and GPU, and a fanless 400W ATX12V Power supply.
Gigabyte GVNX66T128VP 6600GT 128BM PCIe
Hard Drive
Seagate 7200.9 80GB SATA2
HDD Enclosure
Smart Drive 2002
Optical Drive
Plextor PX-716SA 16X DVD-RW SATA
2x512 MB DDR2 PC2-4200 w/ Nexus heatspreaders

One question we had was why an Intel Prescott was used for this system. In a fanless system, one would think all the components should be chosen on the basis of low thermals. It's well known that the Intel Prescott core P4s are quite power hungry. The Intel 630 in this system is rated for 89W TDP. A comparable performance AMD Athlon 64-3000+ with the latest E6 stepping core has a TDP of just 51W.

The answer to this question is that EPCN wanted to showcase the powerful cooling capability they've achieved with the TNN case, the Abit AW8-Max board, and their own expertise and know-how in assembly. If it can handle a Prescott, the system should be able to handle just about any Athlon. Another simple fact is that EPCN's system sales are evenly split between Intel and AMD processors. There are many processor options; check the details on their web site.

Very tidy and organized. Note bottom intake vent holes.
The blue rectangular blocks are the clamps for the condenser end of the heatpipes.

The completely passive heatpipe-heatsink cooled ABIT motherboard is definitely worth a closer look, as we're always interested in cooling schemes that involve no noise. You get a pretty good view of it in the photo above. A heatpipe leads from the Northebridge heatsink to the top left corner of the board, where an extensive package of thin copper fins is used to dissipate the heat. These fins cover above half of the I/O panel. The reasons for this is to allow the fins access to the outside air, to allow the heat to be evacuated. The photo below shows this vent from the outside.

A metal mesh over the motherboard heatsink vent, presumably to ensure it does not get blocked.
The audio i/o connectors are displaced by the vent, which is why they are on a PCI cover plate.

Previous 1 2 3 4 Next

Complete|Mobile Systems - Article Index
Help support this site, buy from one of our affiliate retailers!