(UPDATE 7/2/2007 - click here)
thanks to everyone who offered advice in my previous thread: micro-ATX build: P5B-VM + NSK-3300 + which CPU cooler?
here are my components:
case/PS - antec NSK-3300
fans - 2 x Scythe 92mm 3610KL-04W-B19-FB1
MB - asus P5B-VM micro-ATX
CPU - intel core2duo E6400 (2.13GHz, 1066FSB, 2MB Cache, power: 65W)
mem - mushkin 996527 (2 GB kit, DDR2-800, PC2-6400, 5-5-5-12, 1.8V)
gfx - PNY Quadro FX 560 PCIe 128MB (power: 30W)
OS - Win XP Pro
HD - Western Digital WD5000AAKS 500 GB SATA
DVD - Samsung SH-S183L (SATA)
CPU cooler - Scythe SCNJ-1100P Ninja Plus Rev. B 120mm
VGA cooler - Thermalright HR-03 Rev A VGA Cooler (added after initial build)
before assembly, i test-fit the MB and ninja into the case and found that the ninja comes right up against the top edge of the case's main compartment, completely blocking the hole thru which cables are routed between the main compartment and the upper compartment. (you can see this if you scroll down to the last picture in this post).
i solved this problem by enlarging the hole, enabling the cables to pass around the narrower bottom part of the ninja, in stead of hitting it at its widest part. i used a sheet metal nibbler. this is a simple tool that costs about $12 and is carried by many hardware stores. if you can't find one locally, go to radioshack.com and search for "nibbler." here's a photo of my nibbler:
here's a photo of the enlarged hole (seen from the main compartment, looking up toward the power supply compartment):
here's the same view with the plastic cover installed:
here's a view of the enlarged hole, seen from above the top compartment, looking down:
here's a view of cables routed through the newly-enlarged slot:
and here's a view of the system fully built. after making the mod, it went together very easily and neatly. note that i'm using the stock 120mm fan on the left and two added 92mm fans on the right. there is enough room to tuck cables out of the way, so that air flow is completely unobstructed within the main compartment.
here's a view of the upper compartment, looking down from above. the power supply is the stock supply that comes with the NSK-3300. the samsung SATA optical drive is short enough to accommodate a full-size power supply (additional mods would be required) and its sata cable is much easier to manage in these tight quarters than an IDE cable would be. note the 3.5" hard disk drive underneath the optical drive. if you wanted to use a full-size power supply, you wouldn't be able to fit a 3.5" drive in the upper compartment.
finally, here is another look at the main compartment, looking straight-on:
there is a mounting bracket for another hard disk drive at the very bottom of the main compartment, and i did actually install a second hard disk drive there, although i don't have any photos of it.HEAT AND NOISE
the NSK-3300 comes with just one 120mm fan, at the rear, with a 3-position slide switch to adjust its speed.
the NSK-3300 has spaces to mount up to two 92mm fans at the front. i mounted Scythe 92mm fans (model 3610KL-04W-B19-FB1) in these two positions. i plugged these fans directly into the motherboard, the top fan into the "CPU fan" connector and the bottom fan into the "chassis fan" connector.
i set the 120mm fan to its slowest setting, and i set the 92mm fans to the "performance" setting in the ASUS probe software that came with the motherboard. the end result is a very quiet system. placed under a desk, i never notice it.
for testing, i used cpuburn and prime95 to load the cpu, rthdribl to load the graphics card, and copied large files around to load the disk drives. to observe temps, i used CoreTemp for the cpu, the nvidia quadro forceware driver for the graphics card, and DTemp for the disk drives. with ambient temps around 75F (24C), i get the following results:
cpu - idle 32C, max 60C
gpu - idle 53C, max 71C
hd in lower compartment - max 39
hd in upper compartment - max 48
so there you have it: a great little box: powerful, quiet, and cool enough. straightforward build, with the one exception of the required case mod. its most demanding use will be video editing and 3D-based special effects. with its core 2 duo cpu, OpenGL-optimized graphics card, and terabyte of hard disk space, it should perform wonderfully.