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 Post subject: [UPDATED] Successful build - NSK-3300 + P5B-VM + Ninja (mod)
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2007 3:59 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2004 12:21 pm
Posts: 108
Location: USA
(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:

Image

here's a photo of the enlarged hole (seen from the main compartment, looking up toward the power supply compartment):

Image

here's the same view with the plastic cover installed:

Image

here's a view of the enlarged hole, seen from above the top compartment, looking down:

Image

here's a view of cables routed through the newly-enlarged slot:

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

finally, here is another look at the main compartment, looking straight-on:

Image

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.


Last edited by AlpineCarver on Mon Jul 02, 2007 4:06 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2007 4:50 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2005 9:26 pm
Posts: 1421
Location: Finland
Great pictures, I like it! Neat and simple. The mod seemed to work great.

_________________
Antec Solo case /w Seasonic S-12 430W, Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-SH2, X2 4850e /w Scythe Ninja, 2x2Gb DDR2800, WD Raptor 150GB, 500GB WD GP in Antec MX-1, BenQ G2400W, Logitech diNovo Laser, Logitech z-680


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2007 5:39 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2004 12:21 pm
Posts: 108
Location: USA
i forgot to mention that an additional benefit of the mod is that it gives the notoriously-short power supply cables a much more direct path to the motherboard, so they now fit easily with plenty of slack.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2007 5:49 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 11:37 am
Posts: 871
Location: North Carolina
I agree. That mod greatly appeals to me. The cable opening at the top of the case is [b]NOT[/i] ideal, and definitely limits the choice of a HSF. I ended up using an Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 in my NSK3300. It's decently quiet. I just might try that mod soon.

What? SATA Optical Drive? That's cheating! You didn't get the experience of routing an ribbon IDE cable! That's the best part! (kidding) Seriously, a Sata Optical drive would have bee alot easier to manage than a Ribbon cable.

I like this. I'm sure it's quiet and powerful. Good Work. Two questions. How is the stock cooler on your graphics card? Looks whiny. And did you move the HDD to the Lower chamber? I was afraid to leave mine in the upper chamber because of heat. Thanks


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2007 9:28 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2004 12:21 pm
Posts: 108
Location: USA
angelkiller wrote:
What? SATA Optical Drive? That's cheating! You didn't get the experience of routing an ribbon IDE cable! That's the best part! (kidding).

i don't even want to think about it... :D

Quote:
How is the stock cooler on your graphics card? Looks whiny.

very quiet. i've never listened to it in isolation from the other components in the system, but i can tell you that there just isn't anything whiny or tonal in this build. i'm amazed... including graphics card and power supply, there are 6 fans and 2 hard drives in the case, and all i hear is a gentle "whoosh", even up close.

Quote:
And did you move the HDD to the Lower chamber? I was afraid to leave mine in the upper chamber because of heat.

actually, i have 2 drives, one in each chamber. as i reported above, there is a 9C difference between the two. i still can't get over the fact that $250 buys you a terabyte of storage nowadays!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2007 9:37 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2004 12:21 pm
Posts: 108
Location: USA
another thing i forgot to mention: with the motherboard setting ram timings automatically, the system is rock-solid, even under load, for hours. however the timings it chooses are 5-6-6-15-6 (if i recall correctly).

i tried setting the first 4 parameters to 5-5-5-12 and 5-5-5-15, and it wouldn't boot in either case. based on the specs i can find, i think at least 5-5-5-15 should work.

is there something i'm missing? i don't have much experience tweaking ram timings.

keep in mind that i'm not interested in overclocking. i'd like to stay within the rated speeds of all my components.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 12:48 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 7:28 pm
Posts: 1406
Location: USA
angelkiller wrote:
What? SATA Optical Drive? That's cheating! You didn't get the experience of routing an ribbon IDE cable! That's the best part! (kidding) Seriously, a Sata Optical drive would have bee alot easier to manage than a Ribbon cable.

That's what rounded IDE cables are for! When I built my NSK3300 I started with a ribbon and quickly realized that was not the right way to go. Happily, a rounded IDE cable will only set you back $2-3 and you can keep that optical drive you bought way back when.


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 Post subject: UPDATE - new video board cooler
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 12:03 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2004 12:21 pm
Posts: 108
Location: USA
initially, i was happy with my video board. unfortunately, after a couple of months, its fan developed a very loud and unpleasant whine. tonight, i replaced the fan with a Thermalright HR-03 Rev A VGA Cooler, which is a fanless, passive unit:

Image

this cooler is amazing! tonight, my gpu idled at 42C and maxed out at 51C. ambient temp was a couple of degrees cooler than the last time i measured my system. full results tonight, using the same loading and measurement software as detailed in my original post:

cpu max 57C
gpu max 51C
upper hard drive max 46C
lower hard drive max 42C

so with the HR-03, my video board is now completely silent and about 18C cooler than stock!

the lower hard drive's temp did increase several degrees. the HR-03 probably restricts air flow around that drive a little, and the mini fan that i removed may have been causing some turbulent air flow around the hard drive.

anyway, on balance, the HR-03 was a great addition!

btw, the original fan/heatsink had a sticky heatsink compound, which i removed using "Arctic Silver ACN-60ML Thermal material Remover & Surface Purifier". i then used Arctic Silver 5 while attaching the HR-03. i wouldn't be surprised if this accounted for some of the improvement.

also btw, based on what my nose tells me, i think "Arctic Silver ACN-60ML Thermal material Remover & Surface Purifier" is just a little bottle of "goo gone" or "goof off" plus alittle bottle of alcohol, so you could save yourself a few bucks, if you already have these items.


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