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 Post subject: A-Open tower, Asus P5S800-VM (µATX), Celeron 330 (Prescott)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 6:41 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 11:48 pm
Posts: 575
Location: Finland
Computer portayed is not silent, not even quiet. I will try to make it one, though...

My quieter (and way better in every other aspect as well) build is here:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/vi ... hp?t=43624

Well, now some pictures of this piece o' poo. Close your yes, it's not a pretty sight.

Before:
ImageImage

Since PSU has a 80mm fan and most of the intake openings to PSU are on the back instead of on the bottom, and all exhaust fans (2x 80mm Jamicon) are above PSU, all air passing through the case will have to pass through that opening. There was no way to route the cables behind motherboard tray... that is, without drilling holes. What substance was the engineer high on when this was designed?

That huge hole on the floor was made by me. Otherwise there would be some other major sources of airflow resistance than just that one opening: intake fan and exhaust fan openings were ridiculously restrictive... around 20% hole-to-steel ratio. I also cut a big hole to where the exhaust fans are.

Here's the exhaust:
Image
(note that after taking that picture, I've swapped the PSU to one which has one 80mm fan and those two 80mm above it now have finger guards)

Exhaust fans are attached to the outside because that gives a couple of cm extra space on the inside where theres additional HDD tray (currently unused, though). Extra space allows more room for cabling on the cramped space between secondary HDD tray and 5.25" bay with CD drive and Bigfoots... and one Miniscribe too. Fans are undervolted (5V or 7V depending on my mood).

After my latest changes:
ImageImage

I removed HDD cage and with some violence directed towards the case, I managed to make one of the holes on bottom of 5.25" bay big enough to barely pass motherboard ATX connector through it. That hole was part of HDD tray mounting mechanism but it's used more beneficially this way. That same HDD tray is now suspended with clothing type rubber/fabric band. I suspended it as close to floor level as possible to minimize the amount of damage in case it fails. Those yellow parts are EARs... regular earplugs made out of foam. I cut two plugs into two pieces each and glue them in strategic locations on the HDD tray to prevent it from touching steel-to-steel.

I placed Noctua 120mm fan with ULNA adapter on top of the HDD tray. It's suspended between the same rubber band so it doesn't touch the tray or anything hard.

I also replaced stock Intel HSF with... another stock Intel HSF. I had one lying around since I got one with Q6600 I ordered for That Other Build. This replacement has a copper core and while the fan spins in the same direction, the fins circle in different direction than the original. Fan blade geometry appears to be optimized for higher pressure instead of airflow. Less blades but more surface area per blade. Angle of attack lower.

Results from HSF swap: little less rattle, especially when using motherboards Q-Fan option to PWM control it. Not good but better.

Now after the HSF swap I seem to obtain notieably lower noise by undervolting exhaust fans from 7V to 5V, so that means my system must be quite a bit quieter than it was before. Less rattling, less woosh, and no pulsating humm from the HDDs.

There's still some wooshing and rattling from the CPU fan and there's hissing and even a tad of electronic squeal from from the HDDs. Having seen the system, what changes/additions would you do to make it better with a low or ridiculously low budget? (This latest mod cost 0 eur and was done with leftover parts I had lying around.)

Possible future mods:
good CPU cooler, ducting, soft padding to absorb higher frequency noise...

What is tricky is how to cool that CPU efficiently without airflow created by exhaust or PSU fan. CPU just sit there, completely out of airflow path, in it's own pocket of still air. There's two slots for 50mm or 60mm fans but I don't care about them. All small fans are too noisy and I would have to drill more holes (again 20% hole-to-steel ratio would make too much resistance). Maybe I need something exotic for CPU cooling? I have a few plans and I will upload some sketches soon...

I'm not actually sure under which category this post belongs to but since it has pictures System Advice isn't probably appropriate. It's not quite quiet (yet) but I at least try to make it such, so I don't think it's Off Topic either.


Last edited by whiic on Thu Sep 27, 2007 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 8:42 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 11:48 pm
Posts: 575
Location: Finland
There's one plan:
Image

That plan makes use this as a cooler: http://www.akasa.com.tw/akasa_english/s ... _920-2.htm
I'm a bit worried about whether it could be fit the "wrong" way without heatpipes touching RAM sticks.

Alternative could be this: http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cooler ... tor_4.html
That one is "el cheapo" copy of Scythe Ninja Rev.B. It inherits Rev.B's weakness: poor mounting on LGA775 and because fins are more tightly spaced (same amount of fins on shorter length) it's less capable for being run passively than original Ninja. But NOTHING can run passively in that pocket of still air so it doesn't matter a bit as I'd have to use a fan anyway.
Also, if I would use OCZ Vindicator instead of Akasa, I'd still make it blow the "wrong" to prevent recirculation of the same air over and over again. (Question is merely whether I should make the fan suck or blow if I use "wrong" direction.)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2007 11:20 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 8:15 pm
Posts: 436
Location: Michigan
...why the heck are you using two of what may possibly be the loudest hard drives ever made???

Seriously, that's a horrible build. You're trying to keep new, hot components cool in a case from 1997 with horrible airflow. You're not going to be able to do that without further modding:
: Swap the positions of the top 80mm fans and the power supply to get at least some useful exhaust near the motherboard chamber.
: Don't bother with suspending your three 3.5" HDDs; they're nowhere near your biggest noise source. The loudest components in your system are the two hard-mounted Bigfoots. Which brings me to my next point:
: Throw the Bigfoots away. They are horribly loud hard drives from what, 1994-5? And they probably only hold 1-2GB each, a quantity that can be easily incorporated into your current hard drives.
: Still on the subject of hard drives, that noctua on top of them is doing absolutely nothing. Jettison it.

Realistically, though, just get a new case like the Antec Solo. Your case (Aopen HX08?) was designed in the mid-1990s and is worthless for cooling a 100 watt Prescott CPU and five hard drives. The most that case would cool is maybe a Coppermine core P3.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2007 12:33 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 2:10 pm
Posts: 1832
Location: Northern New Jersey
the drive suspension isn't looking to hot to me, maybe its just the angle, but i'd totally prefer having 4 points of attachment. just a personal issue i've had, just like i'll take a car over a motorcycle, 4 wheels on the ground.

i have a personal vendetta against celerons, so thats another i just personally don't like, but past that the system looks ok.

i'd rather cool the HDDs by blowing across them front to back, not mounting a fan on top. that fan wont cool the other two drives at all. but mounting the drives upside-down is a plus, cools the warmer parts.

just looking at the image of your plan i have to wonder, why create the dead spot above the HDD tray? mount the Evo 120 180 degrees from the image, and have it blow out. it will pull all the heat away from that dead corner of the case. also, the lower chamber doesn't appear to have an exit for air, while the top chamber is fully from to back airflow.

you could run out and get a $40 case and be that much better off with the whole build.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2007 2:44 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 11:48 pm
Posts: 575
Location: Finland
"...why the heck are you using two of what may possibly be the loudest hard drives ever made???"

1) Who said I'm using them? They are for... "decoration". Offline back-up to be honest. So, technically I still use them at least twice a year: power them up and run a CRC checksum verification os OS images stored to those drives and then again disconnect the power and data cables.
2) Loudest drives ever made my ***. Some old ball-bearing SCSI drives that have been up and running for more than 5-years straight are much worse and can cause permanent hearing disability. Bigfoots are just 3600rpm.

"Swap the positions of the top 80mm fans and the power supply to get at least some useful exhaust near the motherboard chamber."

Hmmm... that might be worthwile to try. I need just to drill some holes to mount it. I just hope I didn't make the exhaust opening too big so that I have cut away the locations where the screw-holes would be. At least worth taking some measurements and seeing whether it's viable.

Would ATX cable reach mobo is a good question.

"Don't bother with suspending your three 3.5" HDD; they're nowhere near your biggest noise source. The loudest components in your system are the two hard-mounted Bigfoots."

1) But they are already suspended. Should I go for extra trouble to unsuspend them and why would it be beneficial?
2) Maybe it's just me but I can't heat those Bigfoot at all when they are powered off.

"Throw the Bigfoots away. They are horribly loud hard drives from what, 1994-5? And they probably only hold 1-2GB each, a quantity that can be easily incorporated into your current hard drives."

2.5GB and 4.3GB. Don't know the year. They are quite huge in capacity compared to that Miniscribe hard-mounted right above them: 42MB and manufactured 30 June 1989.

"Still on the subject of hard drives, that noctua on top of them is doing absolutely nothing. Jettison it."

While I appreciate your idea of mounting PSU higher (while it might not be possible, it is worth checking still) I have to completely disagree with some of your suggestions. I know it does something since before-and-after comparison produced more than 5 deg C drop in temperature (different drives cooled by different amount so I can't give you a single number). And that's with ULNA adapter so it's noise is completely masked by other noise sources.

"Realistically, though, just get a new case like the Antec Solo."

**** no. :) My crappy Celeron doesn't deserve a good case. That's why I've been ghettomodding a case worthy of a Celeron.

_________________
Antec 1200 | HX520W | Commando | Q6600 G0 @ 3.15GHz | Noctua NH-U12F | 8GB of RAM | HD 4670 (passive)
7 TB of storage: 1x 1st gen GreenPower (1TB), 1x 2nd gen GreenPower (1TB), 1x 3rd gen GreenPower (2TB), 1x 7200rpm F1, 2x 5400rpm F2 EcoGreen


Last edited by whiic on Sat Sep 29, 2007 3:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2007 3:24 pm 
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"the drive suspension isn't looking to hot to me, maybe its just the angle, but i'd totally prefer having 4 points of attachment."

Three point to be exact. But two is them are pressing the cage against front wall and one pulling it away from it. This also cause it it hang in there in an angle. To have proper four (symmetric) mounting points, I'd have to drill holes... and take mobo out in order to prevent metal flakes from shortcircuiting it when powered up the next time.

Too much trouble for cosmetic surgery. I could try to change the third mounting point a bit. That's under one of the motherboard screws so if I choose another screw, I might be able to pull it further away from front wall or correct the angle.

"i have a personal vendetta against celerons"

I don't love that Prescott either but I hate that motherboard even more. One reason why I want to keep a tight budget. If I buy components for it, they have to be reusable in my future builds so that money wouldn't go to waste. But even CPU coolers keep getting better so fast it still might be waste.

I have pretty much given up on idea of using Akasa. It's reuse value might not be good in later builds (such as a wooder computer build I've been toying with in my imagination). OCZ Vindicator might be reusable even fanless on some later build. I might build that wooden computer out of Duron 1.8GHz because I wouldn't want to junk it and because it's nearly as good performing as 2.66GHz Celeron (according to BOINC benchmark). Underclocked to 1.4GHz it should be cool enough to run passively even with minimal case airflow (such as single PSU with fan swapped to Noctua with ULNA to reduce rpm). Ah... such a spontaneous surge of inspiration. Too bad it went off-topic to a future build. Better shrick the text...

"i'd rather cool the HDDs by blowing across them front to back, not mounting a fan on top."

I though of it but didn't come up with easy mounting. I could just keep it standing on the floor but if I did that, it might fall down if I moved the case. Or alternatively it might move horizontally and motor hub or fan blades would hit the graphics card and jam or damage it (or at least create the most annoying rattle). And at least it might vibrate against the floor if not suspended. There has to be mounting points for suspension so I'll try to come up with something when I open the case up next time. (Back then I just wanted to get the job done quickly so that I can test-run the system after CPU HSF swap and other alterations.)

"that fan wont cool the other two drives at all."

Topmost is the hottest (7K400), followed by 7K250 and then 80GB DM+9. Some heat will transfer via the tray but not without thermal resistance. Having the hottest on top minimizes the harm, though. Touching them, they all feel the same.

"just looking at the image of your plan i have to wonder, why create the dead spot above the HDD tray?"

Why not have a dead spot there? There's nothing there so why cool it. What I'm worried is the other dead spot where CPU is. That's b-b-b-baaad (to the bone).

"mount the Evo 120 180 degrees from the image, and have it blow out."

Blow out? You mean toward back? There's no exhaust fan there. Or did you mean mount the heatsink facing to the back but fan facing to the front? That's not a bad idea.

Alternatively I could use OCZ Vindicator in the same configuration: fan on the backside and pushing air to the front.

"you could run out and get a $40 case and be that much better off with the whole build."

I could, or I could just move the motherboard back to the CompuCase microATX case it all came from. But it's a matter of principle and WTF. I like case-modding (and ghetto-modding in particular: I had cardboard ducting even in that microATX case). CompuCase was way too boring and actually starting to reuse it might be a little difficult since I removed non-removable motherboard tray from it already. I'll use it in wooden computer project later.

EDIT: OCZ Vindicator can't be mounted on Socket A so I'll forget using that old Duron in any future passively cooled build. Socket A Durons are notoriously easily cracking too, according to wiki, so it'd be be better not to try anything oversized for it. Some low-end Duo would perform much better as well. 50 eur for mobo, 50 eur for low-end Duo, 40 eur for Vindicator and I could already build a quiet wooden computer. I have the PSU and I have a Noctua for fan swap. But I'll wait a year or two. I'm in no hurry.

_________________
Antec 1200 | HX520W | Commando | Q6600 G0 @ 3.15GHz | Noctua NH-U12F | 8GB of RAM | HD 4670 (passive)
7 TB of storage: 1x 1st gen GreenPower (1TB), 1x 2nd gen GreenPower (1TB), 1x 3rd gen GreenPower (2TB), 1x 7200rpm F1, 2x 5400rpm F2 EcoGreen


Last edited by whiic on Sun Sep 30, 2007 3:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2007 8:28 pm 
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Location: Michigan
Hah, thanks for refuting my argument about hard drives. I didn't realize that the Bigfoots weren't on all the time. And I had forgot about SCSI drives; I used to have a server with them and it was murder.

If the Bigfoots aren't on all the time (which wasnt in your original post), then by all means keep the drives suspended. And I can't see how the noctua can work to cool all the hard drives, but if itdoes, more power to you. But some of my propositions stand:

Your main problem is exhaust airflow, or at least having it where it makes sense and needs to be. This is the basis of my suggestion of moving the exhaust fans where the power supply is now. This would give you meaningful exhaust airflow near the biggest heat source.

Failing that, I don't think that you can mount an 80mm on the backplane near the CPU cooler, but it's worth a ghetto modding try. That's more useful exhaust than the two 80mms at the top of the case, since there's nothing in the top of the case that needs much cooling (except twice a year). Also, the current exhaust fans need to pull the air around from under the power supply. That being a high-resistance air path, I'd guess that most of the air actually comes from the front and is wasted since it doesn't pass over anything needing cooling.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2007 5:23 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 11:48 pm
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OK... I'm ditching this case after all. Couldn't fit an OCZ Vindicator (that Ninja clone) inside it. Despite being a huge case, the internals are just way too cramped for... everything: HDDs, cables, tower heatsinks.

I have already started to build a "wooden computer". The idea of building it inside a locker of my computer desk is not just because wood would dampen noise but also because it'd be the perfect getthehellouttamysight-mod. Even though the locker is small, meaning I can only use uATX type motherboard and cannot utilize full-height PCI cards due to room required by PSU, I can (and will) use Vindicator in it. I just gotta come up with a plan to silence that PSU. Maybe with Noctua or maybe with the fan that came with Vindicator. (Because I'll probably use a smaller 92mm fan on Vindicator.)

I might put that old Duron system inside this crappy A-Open. It doesn't have (or need) a huge tower heatsink so it shouldn't be a problem.

I will add a new thread for the computer desk build, after it's assembled. It might take a week as I'm moving to another apartment and I want to transport the computer desk without motherboard bolted inside (mainly because vibration during transport could cause damage due to overweighted (according to Intel's specs) CPU cooler).

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Antec 1200 | HX520W | Commando | Q6600 G0 @ 3.15GHz | Noctua NH-U12F | 8GB of RAM | HD 4670 (passive)
7 TB of storage: 1x 1st gen GreenPower (1TB), 1x 2nd gen GreenPower (1TB), 1x 3rd gen GreenPower (2TB), 1x 7200rpm F1, 2x 5400rpm F2 EcoGreen


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