I should probably really just wait until I have pictures to share. But things are going so well, that I just needed to share with some people who would appreciate.
Here are my specs:
AMD Athlon XP1600+ (Undervolted from 1.75 to 1.65V)
Maxtor 40GB 5400rpm
16X Artec DVD
24x10x40x Artec CD/RW (although I think it's dying on me)
100MB Iomega Zip Drive
Sound Blaster Live Platinum
ATI All-in-Wonder Rage 128 Pro with 32MB RAM
ThermalTake Volcano 9 (replaced SmartFan2 with Panaflo L1)
Zalman Chipset cooler
I do have a few pictures of the original case.
This case sucked! First of all, there was no place in the front of the case for air to get in. It looked like there was a hole on the bottom, but it was covered up by the front access ports. So I drilled some holes along the bottom to let air in. But even so, my temps dropped dramatically if I just took the front cover off. So it still wasn't getting much air in the front. Next I drilled a 2" diameter hole in the front and used some speaker grill material to cover it. That helped but I still needed to crack the fans up to keep things cool. I never got to decouple the fans. I dont' think it would have helped enough anyways.
So then they were giving away a bunch of old PCs at my workplace. Pentium 266s were the best I could get. I was able to put together a few dual processor PCs from them that I'm using for servers now. But with them were some Citus Pentium Pro 200s. Nothing fancy, but the cases that they were in looked very nice. The same height as most, but slightly wider. I decided to grab one and see what I could do. I pulled everything out and started preparing it.
First thing I did was put in an intake and exhaust fan. Both Panalfo 80mm L1s. I remove the stamped grills in the front and back for the fans. Then I put in some rubber grommets. I then held the fans in place with some hair bands. I have a ponny tail so I have plently of these around. They work great! I also use them to suspend my hard drive.
I used the PSU from my old case. I could probably use a better one, but this one does do pretty well. It's not too loud. When I have more money then maybe I'll get a Seasonic or something.
I put the rest of the components from my old PC into my new one. This case also has a removable motherboard tray which was nice. The results were okay. It was defintly cooler and the noise was better. But I knew I could do more.
Unlike my old PC where I had my hard drive suspended in an extra 5.25" bay, I only had one extra 3.5" bay. So what I did was suspend the hard drive below the 3.5" bays with the hair bands again and put a piece of foam between the drive and the metal. It holds in in place pretty tight so it won't fall if I tip the case while moving it.
The noisest part now seemed to be the SmartFan2 on the Volcano. Even turned down to it's lowest setting, it has an annoying hum to it. I wasn't sure if a Panaflo L1 would move enough air. Boy was I wrong. It seemed to cool the CPU just as well as the SmartFan2 @2500 rpms. I've read some things on here about reversing the air flow. I thought I would give it a try. That worked even better. Now my CPU was running cool and was much more quiet.
This left me with 4 fans. Intake, exhaust, CPU and PSU. I thought it seemed rather redundant to be pulling the heat away from the CPU and then using another fan to pull it out the back. So I removed the exhaust fan and ducted the CPU fan out the back. 1 less fan and I think it runs even cooler now. It's kind of a ghetto job. Just carbord. But I'm not putting any windows in this thing so what do I care?
Currently my ambient temperature runs about 75F. My CPU idles at 102F and after running CPUBurn it maxes out at 113F. It use to idle at about 115F and was much louder. Great improvement.
The loudest part now is the hard drive. At first I thought this drive was quiet. Now I realize I was just mistaken where the noise was coming from. I had thought it was from the PSU. The hard drive is quiet in that I can't hear any seek noise. I can't tell if it's accessing the drive or not. But it does have a constant whine to it. Not as bad as some of my big 'ol SCSI drives I've got. But still noticable. So I would like to upgrade this to a Seagate IV. I have Nero Drive Speed set the max speed on the CD and DVD to 20x. But for some reason it forgets this setting and every time I reboot it sets it back to max. I replaced my old Panasonic Zip drive with this Iomega one that I picked up. The panasonic one had really slow access and bogged down the system while in use. This one is better but also constantly spins when a disk is in and has an annoying hum.
That's about it. Wow, I didn't think I was going to say so much about it. I will hopefully have some pictures soon. I'll post them as soon as I can. Thanks for reading.
More info about my PCs and stuff at: www.billybuerger.com