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 Post subject: Concept Computer....Start to Finish. 50kb pics.
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2007 7:42 am 
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I'm building another computer, and I thought I'd try something slightly different. In this thread I'll try to explain how I go about building a "Concept Computer", as I'm calling it. When finished, I'll give it another name.

I start out with a number of things that I'll fit into the concept. Size is first....this computer will sit under a desk, in front of a cabinet, so I'm limited by the height/width/depth of this space. Luckily I have several new Gateway cases that I think will fit into the space, and will have the potential to be modded into the concept.

I'll use a P4-3.4 NW, because I have one and like it's performance potential, and have already had experience dealing with the heat. The MB is optional...I have several that I could use, but I'm trying out a new Biostar. This is subject to change, if I'm not satisfied with the initial testing.

This will be a positive pressure case, with the intake/s filtered. Since the space at the rear of the computer is limited, the filter/s cannot be at the rear......just not enough space for a big enough filter. I have several new ideas I will work on for this problem.....not there yet. There will be no openings at the front of the computer.....period.

For a PSU I'll use a Fortron Zen......totally noiseless, with enough power (300w). Since this PSU has no fan of it's own, I must design the airflow of the case to help cool the Zen, which will be at the top of the case.

First thing to do....mod a Zalman 7700 with a Yate Loon 120mm fan. I think this heatsink will work great with the concept. Here's a few photos.

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The round aluminum disk is epoxied to the stock Zalman bracket.....the cut-up Yate Loon is attached to the disk by 3M double-sided foam tape, about 1mm thick. This effectively de-couples the fan from the heatsink....works very well. Now is the time to test out this new board, and the HSF. And I do it on a desk.....no sense wasting time with the case right now. If the board performs to my liking, then I'll install it in the case. I also do temperature testing at this time.....

Image

I'm also trying out a new HD cooler....A SYBA model, with heatpipes and a heatsink on the top-side. The bottom is open. For testing I'm using an older Samsung drive.....will be changed later.

Image

At this point I'll run the thing as you see it, install some programs, maybe try a video card, do temp benchmarking, try out a fan control system....no hurry here. I want to be certain this board will be satisfactory. More to come......

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"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child - miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill disciplined, despotic, and useless. Liberalism is the philosophy of sniveling brats." - P.J. O'Rourke


Last edited by Bluefront on Sun Feb 18, 2007 1:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Concept Computer....Start to Finish.
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2007 11:39 am 
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I think the SYBA HDD cooler suffers big time from the fact that the heat sink does not make that good contact with the HDD because most of its contact is with the paper label on the HDD. Still, I found it to be identically good as the Zalman ZM-2HC2 in my system (on bottom front of TJ08). I was tempted to remove the label and put AC5 between the HDD and the SYBA but instead I put a Noctua fan on the Zalman.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2007 12:37 pm 
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I don't know about that......The finned plate does contact the top of the HD over a relatively large area, label or no label. When I measure temperatures of the HD using that meter in the picture, that top plate runs the same temperature as the side plates, which do make good contact, metal to metal. As long as the heatsinks get warm, the heat transfer is working.

I like that SYBA....it's only slightly bigger than the HD, seems to be doing it's job. Of course it's not inside a case yet..... :)

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"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child - miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill disciplined, despotic, and useless. Liberalism is the philosophy of sniveling brats." - P.J. O'Rourke


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2007 12:42 pm 
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I'm confused about the heatpipe arrangement on that Syba drive cooler. What's the point running pipes from the right side of the drive to the left side of the drive? Am I missing something obvious, or just seeing the picture wrong?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2007 1:11 pm 
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It might help to even the temp of the heatsink, but i am pretty sure it would just the same without them. It looks like it would work well as a cooler. I have never seen any point with the zalman product, the heatpipes sonät magically make heat disappear, and they dont have that much surface area either. With no airflow a heatsink will improve cooling, but with some airflow the benefit of the cooler decreses. I found that using enclosures, with no airflow the drive run cooler inside an enclosure, but once inside a system with moderate airflow the drives run a bit cooler when they are bare. The fact that this thing is so open is a good thing if the case is well damped, which it will be no doubt :)


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2007 1:38 pm 
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Am I missing something? What is the actual 'concept'? Looks like a normal Bluefront build at the moment. :)


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2007 2:46 pm 
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Like a concept car which you only see at car shows, this will be a computer design I've been thinking about building for some time. Now I'm finally starting the construction. The design uses a wide, relatively shallow heatsink.......with the air blown straight at the heatsink from the side, using a large fan. I bought two 140mm Yate Loons.....one will be enough. :lol:

The unique part of this construction.....no openings on the side panel. If it works out, this will be a one-of-a-kind airflow, with the single intake fan totally internal, far from the opening, hopefully very quiet. (secret construction technique till it's finished). The fan on the 7700 will be off most of the time, serving as a secondary backup fan for high temps. I've already tried this out.....seems to be a sound technique. I'll know more when the whole setup is in a case.

Those heatpipes do equalize the temperature across the whole drive. If one side was running hotter due to less airflow, the heat would tend to transfer to the cooler areas. That's the theory anyway......and it seems to be working. I still haven't figured out where this drive will be located. It depends on the intake housing location and size. The HD mounting will come later.

I never do designs on paper......the concept is in my head, and only starting to take shape. That 7700 HSF works much better than I expected. It just barely fits this MATX case. I'll have to mount the PSU partially outside the case, similar to my last project. :)

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"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child - miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill disciplined, despotic, and useless. Liberalism is the philosophy of sniveling brats." - P.J. O'Rourke


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2007 4:11 am 
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More testing......Here I'm testing the positive pressure aspects of this setup. I wanted to test the 140mm Yate Loon fan, the cooling of the fanless Zen PSU, the ability of the HD cooler in a low/no airflow location, the location of a side fan blowing at a 90 degree angle to the Zalman 7700, etc.

Conclusions....my original intake fan idea probably won't work well in this case (too narrow), the 140mm Yate Loon is quiet, blows a lot of air at low voltages, but won't start at 5v. The Zen is cooled very well setup like the photos. The HD stays amazingly cool like this...the only airflow is from the Zalman HSF. The CPU (a Celeron 2.4 for testing) stays cool maxed out, with the two fans about 5v (around 41c). All-in-all a successful test.

The final design won't have a side fan like the photos.....but this setup works very well.

More to come.....

Image

Image

_________________
"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child - miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill disciplined, despotic, and useless. Liberalism is the philosophy of sniveling brats." - P.J. O'Rourke


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2007 10:04 am 
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Here's my second, maybe final intake setup for this project.....it doubles as a HD cooler. The top of the intake chamber is open and the HD sits over the opening. So all the intake air passes over the bottom of the drive. It runs cool, about 6C over ambient. The Syba heatsink must also help fairly well....the drive measures about the same temp all over.

The only intake fan is now a 120mm Scythe 1600rpm S-Flex. Ambient is about 22C today...with both fans at 700rpm, the Celeron 2.4 idles at 28C, and maxes about 40C. The temp sensor is located so the CPU fan runs at the Minimum speed till about 44C....then the rpms will rise. To check this I had to run CPUBurn, and block off part of the intake. I think this setup is ready for my P4-3.4.

I have yet to add the filter housing to the case......a project for next week-end. I want to see how this intake works with a relatively hot video card first. The intake is arranged to partially blow at a card's heatsink. I've used a similar intake before, and it works well.

This intake is far superior to the first setup with the side fan. It runs cooler and quieter, and it hasn't been tweaked yet. Frankly I cannot see how anyone can stand an open intake fan on the side panel. The noise from such a setup cannot be hidden.

More to come.....

Image

Image

_________________
"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child - miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill disciplined, despotic, and useless. Liberalism is the philosophy of sniveling brats." - P.J. O'Rourke


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2007 11:42 am 
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That's fantastic so far! I definitely like the slanted front intake fan, I've used that in 2 similar builds now (one for my mom and one for my wife) to get some airflow over passive video card cooling.

I actually have an idea for a positive pressure case (to be honest, inspired by a lot of your work and few others on here also), but being in an apartment with limited workspace and not many tools hurts. So does the wife ;)

Maybe I'll get a chance this summer to work on it.

Edit: and the hole in the bottom is great :D


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2007 1:51 pm 
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Thanks.....I installed an AIW 2006. This next photo shows the setup with the card. I estimate maybe 20% of the intake goes under the card. With some deflectors more airflow could be diverted if necessary.

Image

_________________
"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child - miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill disciplined, despotic, and useless. Liberalism is the philosophy of sniveling brats." - P.J. O'Rourke


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2007 12:52 pm 
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The initial testing went ok....I upgraded to a WD 320gb pata drive. It's a ton quieter than the old Samsung I was using. I'm now starting the final assembly. This involves removing the MB and PSU, and cutting some more holes. The MB tray is vented to allow some airflow behind the board. There is another hole on the side matching up to the Zen vent holes. I cut some holes in the top of the frame....this allows exhaust to enter an upper chamber, and vent out the top/rear.

Image

And I found a K&N filter that is exactly the right size.....I'm not sure yet if it is too restrictive. I think it will work. What is unusual about this filter is the length-wise pleats. (most filters this size have pleats running across). What this does is allow airflow through the entire filter, rather than just the size of the intake hole. The air can travel along the pleats before entering the case. This filter is about 3/4" deep. There is another 3/4" between the filter and the floor. I could adjust this dimension slightly if need be.

When I install this filter, the fan rpm (fixed at 6v) does not change. This indicates enough airflow. And the temps using the test Celeron did not change. When I get the P4-3.4 installed, this might change. I might have to redesign the filter setup. But it looks like it will work. That filter is from a Nissan.....there's a model # on it if anyone is interested.

More to come....

Image

Image

_________________
"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child - miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill disciplined, despotic, and useless. Liberalism is the philosophy of sniveling brats." - P.J. O'Rourke


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2007 1:52 pm 
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Well ill be damned... I never thought about mounting a filter on the outside of the case :lol: That makes it much easier. I've been trying to get my filter working in the same position as you have, just inside the case.

I think most cotton filters are pleated that way.

At 6v your s-flex is running about 800rpm, right? That filter has to be pretty unrestrictive then if it doesn't significantly affect airflow at those speeds. Im using two 120x38mm Panaflos in parallel, they should be pretty much the best fans available for filter use. They start at under 5v and run 1700rpm on 12V, though i would never run them that fast for any length of time. They dont have rpm monitoring though.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2007 1:58 pm 
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I'm guessing the plastic duct below the PSU is intended to funnel air through the Zen?


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2007 2:47 pm 
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Yeah...the S-Flex is running at about 800rpms, and I thought sure the rpms would drop with the filter installed. Didn't happen. Those K&N filters are a cotton washable material, and meant to be oiled slightly when used in a car. I'm running it dry however. When you look through it with a light behind it, it appears to be about the same restriction as the other filters I use. That's a guess though. Hope It works out.....

And yes,,,,,the blue plastic deflector diverts case exhaust upward through the vent holes of the Zen. The temp of the exhaust at that point is only slightly above ambient, and helps with the cooling of the Zen. In this setup the Zen has never measured over 36C however hard the system is working. This new CPU I'm installing right now might change things.

FWIW....the deflector came off a Zalman 5700. Horrible HSF, but a nice deflector. :lol:

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"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child - miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill disciplined, despotic, and useless. Liberalism is the philosophy of sniveling brats." - P.J. O'Rourke


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 11:57 am 
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I'm testing the P4-3.4 now.....good so far. While I had the case apart I opened up the intake hole in the case bottom. This slight mod allows somewhat better airflow through the filter. If you put your hand under the filter while the computer is running, you can feel much better airflow through the far end of the filter.

And here's another airflow mod.....a deflector that diverts some intake air backwards over the top of the HD. It's made from a thin aluminum panel, attached to the top two fan mount holes with zip-ties. Works pretty well. I imagine this sort of mod could be used with one of those 250mm fan cases, helping direct air toward the HD.

More to come.....

Image

Image

Image

Image

_________________
"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child - miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill disciplined, despotic, and useless. Liberalism is the philosophy of sniveling brats." - P.J. O'Rourke


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 3:38 pm 
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Nice work :) The layout and airflow in my system will be very similar, but the case is slightly larger being a hacked up P180.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 4:27 pm 
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I love the yate loon fan swap.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2007 3:41 am 
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Well the computer is up and running now....and I've been spending time tweaking the fan-speed relationship. Each of the two fans is connected to it's own controller (NoiseMagic NTM3). I extended the sensors on these devices, so they can be speed controlled by the temperature of the CPU. The sensors are placed directly under the Y/L fan (between the aluminum disk and the Zalman mount).

I am trying to get the best temp results with the least rpms (obviously). Thus far it seems that running the Zalman/YL slightly faster than the Scythe intake fan, gives the best results. By adjusting the position of the two sensors, I can change this speed relationship. Both fans speed up when the CPU temp rises, and each fan has a different rpm curve, so it gets somewhat complicated trying to get an optimal setup.

Here's what I'm looking at this morning.....ambient of 23C

Idle speeds....CPU fan @ 880rpms, Intake fan @750rpms....CPU@33C

As the CPU is stressed, the rpms become equal, and at max CPU usage, the Scythe intake fan is running about 150 rpms faster than the CPU fan. I'm still tweaking this setup, so nothing is final yet. I'm also tweaking the exhaust setup. I can adjust the exhaust airflow relationship also (more complication).

There are three places for the exhaust to leave the case....through the rear case vent hole, through the Zen PSU vent holes, and out the vented top of the case. Here's what the top looks like right now. The front door flips over the top front, and the exhaust can exit the case around the edges of the top (hard to see). I'll put up more photos when the design is finalized.

More to come,,,

Image

_________________
"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child - miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill disciplined, despotic, and useless. Liberalism is the philosophy of sniveling brats." - P.J. O'Rourke


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 8:57 am 
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I've been doing experiments with different tops....the photo in the last post was changed to reflect the final (I guess) version. There is a 92mm hole mostly covering the PSU. It allows the heat off the PSU top, to go straight up and out, assisted by the positive pressure case airflow.

This setup is so quiet, I cannot tell any sound difference with this new vent opening. Here's a picture with the right side open. There is passive airflow upward over the MB, by means of an open slot on the bottom of the case. You can see the vent to the PSU also. This airflow goes out the top through the upper openings.

Image

Link to entire album

I'm close to being finished. More to come.....

_________________
"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child - miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill disciplined, despotic, and useless. Liberalism is the philosophy of sniveling brats." - P.J. O'Rourke


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