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 Post subject: schnee's quiet Coolermaster
PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2004 10:58 pm 
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Time to show off the rig. I've put a lot of work into making this a quiet machine... and SPCR's articles and recommendations have been essential.

First, the specs:

Coolermaster 110 (drool)
P4 2.4c w/ Zalman 7000Cu heatsink
Gigabyte 8knxp w/ Zalman passive northbridge heatsink
1gb PC 3200
ATI Sapphire 9600 (passively cooled)
DVD burner
2 x 120gb Seagate Barracuda HDs in Smart Drive enclosures
IDE cartridge drive

The case:
I love the Coolermaster 110 case - it's so classy and minimalist. The pictures really don't do it justice; the goreous brushed aluminum is reflecting the colors of the crappy white desk and ugly carpet protector.
Image

The drives:
DVD burner, IDE cartridge drive, and two Smart Drive aluminum enclosures for the Barracudas. The enclosures act like heatsinks, so the drives stay cool, and are absolutely silent. I really should wipe off those fingerprints.
Image

The inside:
The colorful mobo, un-sheathed power supply wires and extra USB/Firewire header wires make it seem a lot more cluttered than it really is.
Image

Close up:
Zalman whoring - 7000Cu heatsink & fan-mate, passive northbridge heatsink, and 400w power supply. Gigabyte make fantastic motherboards, but whoever picked the acid-trip happy fun colors should be shot.
Image

I've done a few other things beyond buying good hardware:
  • All four 80mm case fans run at 7v. I'm lucky, my Papsts don't click.
  • Dremeled out the restrictive grill behind the rear 80mm fan.
  • The inside is covered with acoustic foam. I forget who makes it - it's 2 years old or so, better than PaxMate, not nearly as good as AcoustiPak. It did a lot to reduce vibration in the thin aluminum sides. Thump it and it sounds solid.
  • The front case fans are on rubber fan isolators.
  • The rear case fan is on rubber grommets (soon to be isolators).
  • The wiring is routed out of the way of airflow.
  • The case fan wires route to a single 'fanbus', which really cleaned up the wiring. I took out seven Molex connections that way.
I'm pretty happy with it. It's not a 'window' case IMO. I could go a lot further to make it pretty but the bang-for-buck just isn't there. Maybe on my next rig. :D

During the day, when there's a bit of ambient noise, I can't hear it. At night, there's a soft whoosh, but the whole thing - all 6 fans - is quieter than a single Panaflo L1A at 12v or a rev1 Arctic Cooling Silencer. It also stays cool - during a Prime95 torture test it gets to ~43c/30c CPU/case (ambient ~20c). I really can't think of any way to make it quieter without replacing major amounts of hardware.

Thanks SPCR!


Last edited by schnee on Sat Oct 02, 2004 10:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2004 9:05 am 
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Posts: 189
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
An ecstacy box for sure. :P

Weren't Silent Drives bad for HDs at 7200 rpm and above? Or was it Smart Drives? Pray tell, what are your HD temps?

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2004 10:10 am 
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Location: Fort Worth, Texas
nice clean system. i have never seen a motherboard that was not extended atx that has 6 ram slots. what is the max you can put in there. nice wiring to. great job

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2004 10:15 am 
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Likif wrote:
Weren't Silent Drives bad for HDs at 7200 rpm and above? Or was it Smart Drives?

You're right, I have Smart Drive enclosures. I fixed my post to have the correct info.

I tested one WD with S.M.A.R.T. hooked up to the regular IDE port when I first got the enclosures, and the temps are 2-3c above what they were sitting behind the 7v Papsts in the front. I can't test them now, since I'm running RAID 1 and the controller doesn't handle S.M.A.R.T. data, but they should be fine. The Seagates I have now run a smidge cooler than my old WD did, so if anything, they should be coooler.


Last edited by schnee on Sat Oct 02, 2004 10:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2004 10:32 am 
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TheDarkHacker wrote:
i have never seen a motherboard that was not extended atx that has 6 ram slots. what is the max you can put in there.

It's capable of running in dual-channel mode with four slots of double-sided DDR. If you want to fill all six slots then only two banks can be double-sided, and the other four have to be single-sided; anything more and it runs in single-channel mode.

It's a Canterwood (i875) server board, and I got it specifically because it's got good RAM support. I've heard of folks running 2gb (four 512mb PC3200 double-sided sticks) overclocked. I've also seen posts of people running 3gb and up...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2004 3:18 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2003 4:37 am
Posts: 1310
Location: Finland
Your Zalman is dusty! :lol:

Mind showing one pic from the cable area?

Cheers,

Jan

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2004 10:34 pm 
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Quote:
Your Zalman is dusty! :lol:

:P

Quote:
Mind showing one pic from the cable area?

Sure, but I have to show you a few pictures for it to make sense... IMO it looks like a mess until you see it from a few angles.

Side view. All I really did was tuck the PS wires up and velcro bundles of them together. I also used fairly long, flexible rounded cables for all the IDE drives. The gray and beige wires on the bottom are from extra USB and Firewire headers on the mobo.
Image

A low angle facing towards the front. The IDE cables are tucked behind the drive cage, so the flow is really open. Only the front USB/Firewire port wires are really in the way.
Image

Here's the right side panel off. You can see where I've tucked a bunch of wires to get them out of the way. Basically, if I had extra slack in anything (IDE, power supply, mobo header wires, whatever) I pulled it behind here. And look in the middle of the left side for one really cool thing...
Image

The micro fanbus. This thing basically takes eight screw leads and sends them to one Molex. So, I stripped off the wires of the case fans, set up one pass-through connector to use this handy 7-v trick and now all the fans are 7v without needing a baybus. Best ten bucks I've spent on this rig.
Image

After seeing the photos, it looks grungier than I first thought... It's nothing really custom... just some effort to tuck things out of sight. If I had to do it over I'd spend some more time in prep. Black sleeving for the PS wires, black molex connectors, black vinyl die for the USB/Firewire cables, etc....


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