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 Post subject: Inside My Case, Would Like Your Input!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 7:38 am 
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Image

What do you guys think? Airflow? Cable arrangement? Modding options? Any input at all, positive and negative criticism welcome!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 8:27 am 
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Looks great- what is it :?:

Obviously it's a P180, with 2HDDs, what looks like a 420W(?) OCZ psu with far too many cables, and an Arctic Cooling something-or-other on a (probably) NVidia card. You also have a sound card of unknown origin (stickers look like Creative or Philips), and either a TV card of Wifi module in between.

What sticks out as being prime for 'careful alterations' are the CPU HS (looks to be stock, I'm guessing AMD s939 from the motherboard), and the NForce4 chipset fan. It's well hidden, but I can see the cable and the edge of what has got to be a tiny-whiny underneath.

The arrangement of airflow through your case looks nice and open, and thecables are kept tidy which helps a lot. If they're the stock Tri-Cools on the case, you may want to look at swapping them and soft-mounting them if they're not already. You may also want to look into removing the fan grills, unless they're particularly open (seasonic honey-comb stylee).

After that, depending on what processor you've got (my eyes aren't that good 8) ) you may be able to go passive for a mid to low-end Athlon,or at least fairly quiet for a higher-end (think Scythe Ninja, Thermalright Ultra120, something like that).

Whatever you do, you MUST get rid of that fan on the chipset! The position limits your choices a little, but the Thermalright HR05-SLI will fit. I would also expect Noctua to come up with a similar arrangement any day, although they haven't actually mentioned anything about it. :wink:

That should be enough to be getting on with... Hope this helps! :D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 8:27 am 
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Location: Essex, England
I have one very important "suggestion". Turn the front fan around - it's blowing the wrong way.


Andy

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Main PC, P180, CM Silent Pro 500M, i5 3570k @ 4.2Ghz, 8-GB @ 2,000MHz, 256 GB Samsung 830, 500-GB 7K500, MSI 660Ti Twin Frozr, PC is super quiet :o
Server, 6-TB RAID-5 array, + 2 x 2-TB backup drives, 380W Enermax Pro82+, 4x very quiet fans, positive pressure only, no exhaust fans
Living Room PC, 3500+, 2-GB RAM, HD501LJ


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 8:49 am 
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Location: Suomi Finland Perkele
The chipset heatsink is not stock, that one can be pretty quiet actually when its controlled by the mobo. I also noticed the front fan pointing the wrong way, turn that around or try removing it completely.

If i remember correctly you should also run the memory in the orange slots. Mine didn't work in th eyellow slot when the CPU is oveclocked, works fine in the orange slots.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 8:52 am 
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Location: San Jose, California
andyb wrote:
I have one very important "suggestion". Turn the front fan around - it's blowing the wrong way.


Andy


I have a better suggestion. Take it out. It is not needed. Front fans add little benefit and one blowing the wrong way is even worse.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 9:34 am 
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Location: NY
All are exhaust. Not good.

Plus what a mess! If you don't have a window then fine but still too messy.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 10:26 am 
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Bobfantastic wrote:
Looks great- what is it :?:


I do apologize for not initially providing my system specs. They are as follows:

Antec P180 w/ 3x120mm stock fans
OCZ PowerStream 520W
DFI LanParty NF4 Ultra-D w/ Vantec Iceberg Chipset Fan
AMD 64 3700+ w/ Stock
2GB OCZ PC3200 DC (2.5-3-2-5)
2x160GB Seagate SATA2 NCQ 8MB
GeForce 6800GS w/ Arctic Cooling NV Silencer 5 Rev. 3
Sound Blaster Live! 5.1

Bobfantastic wrote:
What sticks out as being prime for 'careful alterations' are the CPU HS...


I intend to replace it as soon as the Arctic Cooling Freezer is available at my local computer retailer (www.mysterybyte.com).

Bobfantastic wrote:
...and the NForce4 chipset fan. It's well hidden, but I can see the cable and the edge of what has got to be a tiny-whiny underneath.
Bobfantastic wrote:
Whatever you do, you MUST get rid of that fan on the chipset! The position limits your choices a little, but the Thermalright HR05-SLI will fit.


I just replaced the chipset fan with the Iceberg a few days ago and it has taken my temperatures down several degrees. I was going to get a Thermalright HR05-SLI to go passive, however it is only available at one online store in Canada that I have found (www.ncix.com) and isn't in stock. I can no longer return the chipset fan for a refund as I have taken the cover off of it and chucked it. I don't see a problem with it and am very happy with it.

Bobfantastic wrote:
The arrangement of airflow through your case looks nice and open, and the cables are kept tidy which helps a lot. If they're the stock Tri-Cools on the case, you may want to look at swapping them and soft-mounting them if they're not already. You may also want to look into removing the fan grills, unless they're particularly open (seasonic honey-comb style).


Tri-Cools? Soft-mounting? I do intend on removing the fan grills, despite the fact that they are indeed the "honeycomb" style ones.

Bobfantastic wrote:
...you may be able to go passive for a mid to low-end Athlon,or at least fairly quiet for a higher-end (think Scythe Ninja, Thermalright Ultra120, something like that).

I wouldn't consider low or even mid-end heatsinks/coolers to be sufficient enough for my CPU since I do a lot of CPU intensive things. With high end, I prefer not too bulky.

andyb wrote:
I have one very important "suggestion". Turn the front fan around - it's blowing the wrong way.
autoboy wrote:
I have a better suggestion. Take it out. It is not needed. Front fans add little benefit...

Wow, thanks for making me aware of that! I will switch it around immediately! Thanks!
I will not remove it because it does put through a decent amount of air and I believe this does assist with proper ventilation.

nici wrote:
...you should also run the memory in the orange slots. Mine didn't work in the yellow slot when the CPU is oveclocked, works fine in the orange slots.
I don't overclock at all, but thanks! I like my Dual Channelness. :)

MC FLMJIG wrote:
Plus what a mess! If you don't have a window then fine but still too messy.

I don't believe it is a mess. Maybe you are used to going to extremities and even modding to ensure you get every last inch of every last cable out of the way, but as I am a begineer and all my hardware is within acceptable temperatures (especially after upgrading the VGA and chipset cooler), this isn't that bad. I've seen case arrangements multiple times worse than mine.
I feel a window would be cool to do, but in my case is rather pointless as my PC sits between my desk and the wall. I only go to look inside it when I am actually doing work on the inside so I would obviously just remove the side panel.

Thank you very much for your input, any further input is again welcome!

Cheers,
Jeremy


Last edited by jeremy on Tue Jan 30, 2007 7:32 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 10:44 am 
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Posts: 148
Scythe Ninja is not bulky,and does allow better cooling even at stock speeds.The Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 has had good reviews on other sites(not sure how quiet the fan on it is).

If you plan to softmount fans have look at these.
http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/vi ... mount+fans
http://jab-tech.com/4-Pack-Anti-Vibrati ... -3269.html

Also I would go with the flat ribbon ide cables over the round ones this will allow you better wire management,


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 10:52 am 
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Posts: 38
SD-Plissken wrote:
Scythe Ninja is not bulky,and does allow better cooling even at stock speeds.The Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 has had good reviews on other sites(not sure how quiet the fan on it is).

If you plan to softmount fans have look at these.
http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/vi ... mount+fans
http://jab-tech.com/4-Pack-Anti-Vibrati ... -3269.html

Also I would go with the flat ribbon ide cables over the round ones this will allow you better wire management,

Yes, I've seen the Scythe Ninja on NCIX.com, however, I'm not certain the difference in price between it and the Freezer would be worth it. If you're going to spend $25-30 more for a mere 3-5C, that's not great to me.
I do intend on going with flat ribbon cables as I totally agree with the benefit of better cable arrangement. One thing at a time though, please! I have trouble multi-tasking sometimes. :lol:
Fans held in place by elastic, genius! Thanks for the links! I'm beginning to dislike screws in some places. It took about 15 screws to take off my stock VGA cooler! Insane! 4 to put the Silencer on. ;)

Since many comments regarded my chipset, I have some additional images from my blog:
http://jeremy.zxian.org/Screenshots/FanCooler/Old%20And%20New%20Chipset%20Fan.jpg
http://jeremy.zxian.org/Screenshots/FanCooler/Iceberg%20Undressed.jpg
http://jeremy.zxian.org/Screenshots/FanCooler/New%20Chipset%20Fan%20Installed%202.jpg
http://jeremy.zxian.org/Screenshots/FanCooler/Chipset.Fan.Sitting.Comfortable3.jpg


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 1:31 pm 
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Posts: 1008
Location: San Jose, California
Quote:
for a mere 3-5C, that's not great to me.


If you are not overclocking than 10-15C should not be that great. As long as your computer is running stable that is fine. One of my systems is perfectly happy running at 55C all day long. Lowering the temperatures, contrary to all the overclocking websites out there, does not help with anything except extreme overclocking.

The ninja might allow you to run passive but if you are willing to leave in the front fan than you don't care that much about noise. You just want a semi-quiet computer. I am the same way. My gaming computer is actually pretty loud for this website but I really don't care because it is quiet enough for me. However, the HTPC in my bedroom is inaudible except at 3AM. In your case, a Ninja is probably not needed and the AC Freezer will suit you just fine. I use an AC Alpine64 on my gaming rig to good effect on my S745 3400+ which is the same chip as yours except with single channel memory and it is quiet enough. The AC freezer should perform better.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 1:31 pm 
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MC FLMJIG wrote:
Plus what a mess!

A friend is going to give me some 80-wire IDE cables tomorrow. :) I'll have fun experimenting with cablegami. :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 1:42 pm 
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autoboy wrote:
Lowering the temperatures, contrary to all the overclocking websites out there, does not help with anything except extreme overclocking.

Oh, I didn't know that. Thank you. You learn something new everyday, or every other day, or... :P

autoboy wrote:
The ninja might allow you to run passive but if you are willing to leave in the front fan than you don't care that much about noise.

I do care about noise to an extent. The fans aren't that loud. I could record the sound with my microphone and Audacity and provide a link for all to listen to. But they are a bit loud on low so on loud they sound like aircraft carriers. I do want to replace them. I'll be removing the front one, monitoring temps, and the same for the top fan. If I maintain the same temperates, I will remove whichever, if not both. That will determine how many I have to replace. I'm strongly considering the Nexus ones as Nicky G (lol) recommends them and you guys use them a lot here. I like the color, too.
autoboy wrote:
In your case, a Ninja is probably not needed and the AC Freezer will suit you just fine. I use an AC Alpine64 on my gaming rig to good effect on my S745 3400+ which is the same chip as yours except with single channel memory and it is quiet enough. The AC freezer should perform better.

You mean S754. ;) Our CPUs aren't quite as similar as you think.
I appreciate you seeing things from my point of view. I totally agree and am looking forward to the Freezer becoming available.

Cheers,
Jeremy


Last edited by jeremy on Tue Jan 30, 2007 7:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 7:28 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 30, 2006 8:22 pm
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Location: Vancouver, BC
Hey now... nobody calls me Nicky.... :evil:

And Nexus or Scythe fans are both far better than TriCools (when you get down to the nitty gritty). I've just swapped out the TriCool that I had in my workstation for a Nexus running at about 7V, and there *is* a difference. I've also got two Scythe S-Flex SFF21E running in my server at 6V, and I can't hear them over the sound of the 4 hard drives in there.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 8:05 pm 
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Location: San Jose, California
Quote:
I do care about noise to an extent.


Yeah, or you wouldn't be here. What I ment was that you aren't crazy like us regulars. At least not crazy yet. :lol:

Quote:
Our CPUs aren't quite as similar as you think


You are right. my memory failed me there. My cpu runs at 2.4Ghz vs 2.2, I only have 512K cache vs your 1MB, and I have single channel memory. Still, the heat is probably pretty damn close.

Check out the Noctua fans as well, they have a great reputation.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 8:56 pm 
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autoboy wrote:
Quote:
I do care about noise to an extent.
Yeah, or you wouldn't be here. What I ment was that you aren't crazy like us regulars. At least not crazy yet. :lol:

Actually, I'm here for a lot more reasons besides learning how to reduce noise. ;)

Quote:
Our CPUs aren't quite as similar as you think
autoboy wrote:
You are right. my memory failed me there. My cpu runs at 2.4Ghz vs 2.2, I only have 512K cache vs your 1MB, and I have single channel memory. Still, the heat is probably pretty damn close.

Right now, Everest Ultimate Edition reports it as being 35-36C. My CPU usage is 2-5% with Skype running an active call right now.

autoboy wrote:
Check out the Noctua fans as well, they have a great reputation.

As I said before, I'm planning on getting an Arctic Cooling Freezer, and I don't like massive/bulky heatsinks. I've seen the Noctua's on Guru3D.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 10:58 pm 
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I've removed the front and top fan. My CPU and GPU temps went up 2C. I opened the window (a real window) and:
CPU = -5C
GPU = -12C
HDD1 = -10C
HDD2 = -8C
...in the past 20 minutes.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 3:23 am 
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Location: NY
:shock:

Where do you live Alaska! :lol:

If the 2 top fans are slow and NOT noisy just turn the front and make intake. Should help a lot.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 5:34 am 
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Location: Suomi Finland Perkele
Not surprising really.. If i opened my window the room temp would drop from 22 to something like 5c probably.. It's about -10°c outside.

Try blocking the top hole with a book or something, and leave the front intake wihtout a fan and see how that works. If it works nicely you can block the top hole with something nicer than a book.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 7:07 am 
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MC FLMJIG wrote:
:shock:

Where do you live Alaska! :lol:

If the 2 top fans are slow and NOT noisy just turn the front and make intake. Should help a lot.

I live in Nova Scotia, Canada. They were not noisy and I did turn the front fan around. It didn't make much difference in the temperature. The window is almost directly above my case, I had it open for about 30 minutes before I got too cold and had to close it. I ran <a href="http://www.daionet.gr.jp/~masa/rthdribl">this</a> overnight and my GPU's load temperature was 62C. The GPU cooler was whiny after running that application on the highest settings the card could handle for about 7 hours straight. I also notice that the IceBerg chipset fan is now already make a slight bit of noise that I hear when the side panel is on. I really want to get that Thermalright High Riser now for passive cooling. It has heatpipes.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 5:24 pm 
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Quote:
As I said before, I'm planning on getting an Arctic Cooling Freezer, and I don't like massive/bulky heatsinks. I've seen the Noctua's on Guru3D.


I said check out the Noctua fans. I never said anything about the heatsink.

We have reviews of them here


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 5:46 pm 
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autoboy wrote:
I said check out the Noctua fans. I never said anything about the heatsink.

My apologies.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 7:58 pm 
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I've redone my cables and taken two new pictures:
Image
Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 9:07 pm 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
Looks WAAAAAAY better man! Good work!! 8)

A few small recommendations:
-that rear 120mm fan has a pesky power wire that cannot be tied back due to its length. Here's what you can do; unscrew the fan and rotate it 90* counter-clockwise to give the power cable some extra length. Then you should be able to tape it or you a cable tie and secure it to the rear of the case and out of sight!


Second, those white bands holding your big cables should be replaced with thick black cable ties. The white kind of stands out, if it was black it would blend in and be next to invisible. What you can also do if you don't have cable ties is use a twist ties like the ones that wrap up your new PSU cords or VGA cables when you first open the boxes. If you cut them to the right length they are very handy when it comes to wire management.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 5:03 am 
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AMDforlife wrote:
that rear 120mm fan has a pesky power wire that cannot be tied back due to its length. Here's what you can do; unscrew the fan and rotate it 90* counter-clockwise to give the power cable some extra length. Then you should be able to tape it or you a cable tie and secure it to the rear of the case and out of sight!

I intend on replacing the fan with one that uses a 3-pin connector so I can plug it into a spare one on my motherboard instead of the PSU.

AMDforlife wrote:
Second, those white bands holding your big cables should be replaced with thick black cable ties. The white kind of stands out, if it was black it would blend in and be next to invisible. What you can also do if you don't have cable ties is use a twist ties like the ones that wrap up your new PSU cords or VGA cables when you first open the boxes. If you cut them to the right length they are very handy when it comes to wire management.

Yes, I'll be going to the mall on Saturday to pick up a package of the zip ties. :)

Cheers,
Jeremy


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 8:29 pm 
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I got some metal cutters, foam and elastics tonight. I suspended my HDDs and cut out the rear and front fan grill. I've realized my case no longer suits me. It is overkill. I'm seriously considering and after a recommendation from Nick to get an Antec P150 and a Seasonic PSU. The case and PSU I have now are overkill for my needs. I need to sand down the metal edges now that the grills are removed.
No new pics yet. Very tired.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 11:34 pm 
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I got some supplies at Walmart today and as my first attempt at some real case modding, I landed myself with the following results, some of which I'm not particularly happy with.

Image

The only thing I don't like about this that is permanent is that I cut away the spots where the air filter snapped into place, so now I need to find alternate means of covering it up but letting air pass through. Any suggestions?

Image

This is fine, I just need something to sand down the edges to make it fine and circular again.

Image
Image

I think I did any OK job on suspending them. Only the way the elastic is over the drive bay slider it makes it difficult to slide it back into the case.

Image

Now the real problem I have with my attempt. I noticed that the way I suspended them, they pushed up against the front bottom of the case when initially being slid back in, then I noticed that when they were in all the way, they went back that beam and had more room... but that wasn't until after I did some hardcore cutting and bending. I bent it back as best as I could.

So what do you guys (and possibly girls) think about it?
If the images are too large, let me know!

Cheers,
Jeremy


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 6:52 am 
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I guess the question is, what do YOU think about it?

If it's quiet enough for you and you're not going to be showing the inside to anyone, then what we think hardly matters. If you're asking for specific hints on how to make things quieter, then just ask, cause I'm not sure what you want us to comment on. The CPU HSF needs to be replaced, the cable management needs to be redone to allow better airflow, and then the fans can probably be switched out with Nexus or YateLoon low speed fans. But you've said you intend to do this already, so you know what you have to do...

Respectfully, I would say that you need to really work on your metal-working skills. And invest in a dremel. It looks like you cut out the fan grills with tin-snips and a pair of pliers. Obviously this works, sort of, but it leave those really sharp bits of metal there (a file or a dremel with a grinding bit would work on those). The best approach would have been buy a cheap rotary tool and some cutting disks and use that to do the cutting (it cuts and smooths edges at the same time if you use the right disk).

Also, I really would have spent more time looking into others' suspension methods in P180 before hacking the crap out of that front HDD bay. It's seems like a horrible waste of money. You mentioned getting a P150 instead, but now you're stuck with the P180 or just throwing away what you spend on it.

I will say that I've used the waistband material you're working with in a VERY similar way and while it's better than hard-mounting them you'd be better off using a smaller cord-like elastic (stretch magic, etc) and drilling a few holes in the drive cage and suspending them with that. Be sure to drill the holes in the correct positions so that the drives will sit close to where the normally would (front to back), so you won't have to bend or cut away at the case to fit them in.

Please don't feel like I'm berating you, just trying to offer some helpful criticism. I'm hardly a metalworking stud, but I know that and stay away from it because of that fact. I will however make changes that need to be made one at a time to see how they work. IMO, fan grills are the least of your problems and I would have waited until all other options were exhausted before cutting up that beautiful case.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 8:52 am 
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I do need to work on my metal cutting skills. I have a rotary tool and cutting disks but I don't know how to use them really. I mean physically attached the disk to the tool.
I've already redone the cables as you can see from previous posts I don't see how the cabling could be improved further. I can't anything thick behind the motherboard or even betwene the other side of the case and side panel.
The CPU fan does need replacing. My Antec rear fan is actually silent. I cannot hear it at all unless I put my ear up to it, but then I just hear the air going into my ear, not the fan. :P
I can live with the mangled part of the case. I think I will remove it. Seriously, it doesn't add any structural support, its purpose is to allow the drive holder to be screwed in. I don't need mine screwed in. Cordlike (StretchMagic) seems like a better idea. I will get some and drill some holes (carefully).
jhhoffma, thank you for the criticism. Further criticism in the future is appreciated. :)


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 9:24 am 
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AMDforlife wrote:
Looks WAAAAAAY better man! Good work!! 8)

No doubt. Much better.
AMDforlife wrote:
A few small recommendations:
-that rear 120mm fan has a pesky power wire that cannot be tied back due to its length. Here's what you can do; unscrew the fan and rotate it 90* counter-clockwise to give the power cable some extra length. Then you should be able to tape it or you a cable tie and secure it to the rear of the case and out of sight!

Or rotate it 180 and tuck it under the MOBO. :) Of course, then the speed switch is unavailable.

Please note that this is NOT a criticism of your build: I find it interesting that you're even using a P180. Seems like with your particular components--a lightly modded Solo (PSU isolation) would have been sufficient from a space and airflow perspective and easier to use for your build.

EDIT: I should have read further. You came to the same conclusion. :)

-Patrick "I don't 'get' the P180 for a 2-disk, 1 DVD box..."

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 9:30 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2004 8:49 am
Posts: 3011
Location: Suomi Finland Perkele
Why not? Once you rip out the HDD mounts, the extra 5,25" slot, the bottom fan holder, the divider between the compartments and a few other bits and pieces you have a very nice case :wink:


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