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 Post subject: New build:3200+, Gigabyte 6600GT silentpipe, A8N Sli premium
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2005 1:14 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2005 10:05 am
Posts: 11
Location: Göteborg, Sweden
Finally I have found the spare time and over the next few weeks I’m planning to build a new system using the following components,

Case: Acousticase C6607B
PSU: Elan Vital Greenerger 5007, 500W
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 3200+, Venice
Heatsink: Thermaltake Sonic Tower
Case fans: Nexus, 120mm (2x)
Graphics Card: Gigabyte Fanless 6600GT
Hard Drive: Samsung SpinPoint P120S 200GB
Memory: 2x512MB TwinMOS PC3200
Motherboard: ASUS A8N-SLI Premium
Optical Drive: NEC 3540A IDE

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But to make the fun last a bit longer I was planning to do some empirical testing of fan configurations. Using the two fan brackets that come with the Acousticase swapping the direction of the fans is very easily done. It is not a very good solution noice-wise and I will use another mounting solution when testing is concluded.

I will write if any configuration subjectively produces less/more noice. Beside that I will follow Edward Ng’s nice and informative example and report the power usage and temperatures for idle and load (probably CPUBurn and RTHDRIBL).
Two fan positions and two possible directions give me eight different configurations (nine if you try with both fans off as well). Some of these might seem like a waste of time to try but I’ll try them all for the sake of the comparison.
Further details about the exact configuration of testing software, voltage of fans, Cn’Q/CrystalCPUID etc, will be included in later updates.

So far I have removed the rear fan grill, the front grill is much better and will be left intact. The front has also been sealed up with tape to better control the airflow.
Regarding the PSU it will be used in “passive mode”, i.e. the fan will only spin up when deemed necessary by thermal control inside the PSU.

Image

Here is the inside of the Elan Vital Greenerger 5007 (sorry for the bad quality of the pictures). The fan is an Everflow R121225BU. The specifications from the manufacturer can be found here.

So what has this to do with quiet computing? Well, hopefully I will have a very quiet and reasonably cool system in the end. And it might provide some information about the parts that I’ll use and the effect of airflow on the new NB cooling.
I guess that is all for now. Hopefully there will be an update before the weekend with more details and pictures of the assembled system.

/Jaer


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2005 2:02 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2005 10:05 am
Posts: 11
Location: Göteborg, Sweden
Work has been keeping me very busy so I haven't had much spare time but here is my progress so far.

The assembled system.

Image

Overall I am pleased with the case, it is very easy to work.
As I said earlier the front fan grill is left intact and the front is sealed up with tape.
All contacts on the MB is located in position that allow most of the cables to be out of the main air flow. Although I still have a mess of cables at the top and bottom of the case...
What is negative with the Asus board is that I can't go below 1.1V with CrystalCPUID, as have been reported by others with Asus MB in combination with Venice CPU's earlier. I can choose down to 0.8V in the bios but then the computer will not POST, even with a multiplier of 5x200. With 0.95V set in bios the computer will boot up, but in Windows the reported voltage with CPU-Z is 1.1V... And the total power draw of the computer is the identical as with the bios set to 1.1V.

And the Elan Vital PSU has been running in SSM and not activated the fan once so far even though it has been quite warm here, ambient around 26C and the case around 30C.

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The heatpipe cooling of the NB seem to work nicely. Temperatures as measured in Speedfan during installation and initial testing has been between 35-40C.

Image

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The position of the end of the heatpipe is not optimal with a passive CPU cooler though. It is located "inside" the case fan so I don't know how much of the direct air flow that passes through the fins. It would definitely benefit from a heatsink/fan CPU cooler that creates air flow around the CPU on the motherboard. But it seems to cool the NB sufficiently well without that airflow.

What has given me some trouble is the Gigabyte 6600GT "Silentpipe". I suspect that the card was "bumped" when I got it making the contact between the heatsink and the GPU less than optimal. After installation the idle temperatures as read with the monitor in the driver was 75C. I decided to have a closer look at the solution chosen by Gigabyte and I did not really like what I saw.
The whole assembly is unstable and it is very easy to dislodge the thermal pad between the GPU and heatsink. And since the card comes laying loosely in a large box I think quite a few people will get "bumped" cards. And the heatpipe is connected to a small copper plate sligthly bigger than the GPU. The heatpipe then goes around the card as can be seen in the picture and is connected to the heatsink on the upper side of the card. The heatsink on the bottom side of the card is loose and placed on top of the heatpipe without any thermal compound to facilitate heat transfer.
After removing the thermal pad I applied some Zalman thermal grease and refitted the heatsink on the graphics card. This lowered the idle temperatures to around 62-64C. A bit high for my liking even if the throttling temperature is set to 145C. Right now I'm considering to replace the whole solution with something else, haven't decided on what though.
Sorry for the rambling...

Now I will begin setting up CrystalCPUID and Speedfan and then start testing the different fan directions.

/Jaer


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2005 2:10 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2005 1:18 pm
Posts: 467
Location: Umea, Sweden.
That looks great. I'm considering a very similar setup.

Perhaps you could attatch the front fan to the CPU HS instead.

Also. Is the PSU hot to the touch? And if you set it to non-SSM and turn it down to lowest, is it quiet then?

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2005 7:45 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2005 8:01 pm
Posts: 116
Hi Jaer.
Keep rambling, it is interesting, and I bet there are a lot of people curious about exactly those parts in combination.

My guess is that you gotta have some more airflow washing over the video card. If you mount a fan on the back side of that particular Sonic Tower (on the memory side), apparently, according to one review (do a search of my posts to find it), turbulance is created that causes the graphics card to get cooled. If you sandwich a fan in between the towers, it does not wash the graphics card as well, according to that review. In any position, I wonder if the memory is getting a good draft? What do you think?

I think if you built a duct from your front fan to the graphics card/memory area that could be maybe helpful.

By the way, have you plugged a CRT monitor into your passive Gigabyte card there. How would you characterize the 2d graphics while driving a good CRT? Is it really crisp letters, images? If you have, what resolution are you judging at? Have you tried the video out yet. If so how sharp is that? How well has the video in performed?

How hot is the card get during games?]

Thanks..


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2005 10:14 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2005 10:05 am
Posts: 11
Location: Göteborg, Sweden
Ackelind: I ran the case open for a few hours yesterday browsing, installing etc. Nothing too heavy and the power draw was rougly around 90-95W. Putting my hand on the PSU it feels warm but far from hot. In a closed case there is a slight flow of air coming out from the back of the PSU that is warm. But the back of the PSU or the top of the case is just above ambient. If I turn the fan on and keep it on the lowest speed I can't hear it over the 2x120mm Nexus's on 12V when sitting in front of the computer. But it is not silent, if I stick my head down towards the back of the case I can hear the fan. I 'll say more when I've adjusted the case fans to their appropriate voltages. I am very pleased so far with the PSU.

Oliver: I've been thinking about some kind of air guide from the front fan but haven't really found a good solution yet.
The card gives a 2d image on my 19´ CRT that is subjectively a notch better than the old 9600XT that I had. I am using 1280x960 at 85Hz and I find the image very comfortable to look at. I have not and probably will not test the video out in the near future.
Regarding the memory I don't think it is especially windy around them and it doesn't bother me much. I'm not in to overclocking and standard voltage memory that is not overclocked normally does not have any problem with heat dissipation in a case that is never above 35C so far.
And finally some words about the temperature on the 6600GT during load. I have not installed any games besides Neverwinter Nights yet and it is not very demanding but at least the video card goes to 500MHz. Logging the core temp with Rivatuner gave a max temp of 89C during 45 min of game play. I also tried rthdribl briefly and in about 5 minutes the core temperature was just above 100C where it seemed to settle. Not very nice...

/Jaer


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