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 Post subject: Ahanix MCE701 HTPC Case - Noise & Heat Mod.
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 3:24 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 2:22 pm
Posts: 24
Location: Canada
I bought this Ahanix MCE701 Home Theatre PC case in the fall of 2006 and I was never very happy with the heat and noise issues that seemed to plague this machine. After several problems over several months (years?) I decided to get medieval on it and change the case design to make it quieter and cooler.

Ahanix if you are watching/reading, please consider a better design for this case.

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Davideo2006


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 10:04 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2008 5:49 am
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Location: Israel
Great mod! and very clean work!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 1:16 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 4:53 am
Posts: 1313
Location: CT
Very nice mod !!!! Excellent looking end result !!! Looks just like new 8) !!
You should send those pics to Ahanix :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 1:52 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 2:56 am
Posts: 222
Location: The Netherlands
Really nice mod! It looks really good and neat.

There's a couple things you could still improve if you want to. To start off I'm not sure about how quiet that SilenX fan actually is. In general it's a bad idea to trust the manufacturer's word for how much noise a fan makes.

Also, the hard drives are completely hard-mounted. In SPCR land that's kind of a no-no. Hard-mounted drives pass on their vibrations to the case causing the entire case to vibrate along with it, and vibration = noise. By the looks of it it shouldn't be too hard to suspend the hard drives on elastics or grommets.

It looks like you could learn a lot from SPCR to make your HTPC even more quiet. Don't get me wrong, I think it's a really great build, but it looks like you have relatively little experience in the PC silencing world.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 4:04 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2006 5:09 am
Posts: 38
Location: Athens, Greece
Very nice Davideo...

When searching for HTPC Case the cooling fan size was my main criteria...That's why i chose Antec Fusion (12cm fans)...

In your case, you overrided the cooling sufficiency problem in the best way i think...
You can improve further your case, just by helping the CPU-genereted Heat to route easily to output-fan, by installing a horizontal-flow heatsink, like the Scythe Ninja Mini...
And you can also remove 2 pci-slot-plates between VGA and TV-tuner in order to free the air trapped there...Always with a custom air-filter, right?:D

Keep improvising...For companies to take feedback and improve design of products...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 1:12 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 2:22 pm
Posts: 24
Location: Canada
Sylph DS:
Thanks for your praise and suggestions. You are right about the Silenx. I am thinking of disconnecting it and see if it improves the noise. I suspect it has little impact on reducing the temperature.
That's cool about suspending the drives I have never heard of that. I will look for some good posts on this forum for tips and tricks. Do you have to use a special elastic (like a women's hair band elastic) or something? I am thinking elastics that won't get brittle and decay over time.
You are right, this is my first PC silencing attempt, I am excited to learn more from all the experienced folks out there.

Felix W:
Good point about using a CPU heatsink with horizontal heatsinks. It would indeed improve the airflow in the case. I will measure it up and see if my case can fit the Scythe Ninja Mini's height.
I also agree about improving the airflow by cleaning up the case internals. I will remove the unused PCI slot backets and see if I can clean up the wiring as well. Good suggestions; thanks a bunch!

Davideo


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 4:36 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 11:37 am
Posts: 871
Location: North Carolina
Davideo2006 wrote:
Do you have to use a special elastic (like a women's hair band elastic) or something? I am thinking elastics that won't get brittle and decay over time.

Yes, you do. Many people (myself included) use Stretch Magic, which IIRC is synthetic. It won't break or decay over time. This can usually be found at an arts and crafts store. (eg Michel's here in NC)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 6:01 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 21, 2006 9:09 am
Posts: 1822
Location: Northern California.
Sweet case!

Did you ever entrain the thought of removing the rear fans and spare pci brackets and using the two side fans as intakes? I would think it would remain dust free.
- the rear fan is going to be hard to vacuum and I think the video card would see more airflow.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 8:04 pm 
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Location: Canada
Angelkiller:
Thanks for the tip on the elastic. We have Michel's up here in Canada too. I will pick some up and build me a nice anti vibration mount.

Xan_user:
That would be an interesting setup, have everything exhaust out the back, that would be a good test to see how it performs noise and heat wise for sure. Thanks for the creative suggestion.

Davideo


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 11:08 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 2:56 am
Posts: 222
Location: The Netherlands
Davideo2006 wrote:
That's cool about suspending the drives I have never heard of that. I will look for some good posts on this forum for tips and tricks. Do you have to use a special elastic (like a women's hair band elastic) or something? I am thinking elastics that won't get brittle and decay over time.


Rubber does indeed decay. Personally I use regular clothing elastic of about half a cm wide. It's cheap, and it's worked for me so far. Stretch magic will do fine as well, I guess.

As far as topic with tips and tricks goes. There's this topic with a lot of pictures. That's all the explanation you need really.

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Now, where did I leave my motivation?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 2:41 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2007 5:34 pm
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Location: Denmark
Very nice and creative build, congrats.

I would like to suggest to you, an alternative to suspending the harddrives with rubber bands or stretch magic.
The reason for this, is that i believe that the harddrive benefit from contact with the metal in the drive cage which acts as a heatsink for the drive.
What i did in my old build was to use the drive cage to mount the drives and then i suspended that drive cage on a "rubberfoam" substance. I don't know what that material is called in english speaking countries, or if i do, i have forgotten it atm. :)

http://s182.photobucket.com/albums/x200 ... bad336.jpg

http://s182.photobucket.com/albums/x200 ... ede335.jpg

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 3:32 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 2:56 am
Posts: 222
Location: The Netherlands
Faster_Madman wrote:
Very nice and creative build, congrats.

I would like to suggest to you, an alternative to suspending the harddrives with rubber bands or stretch magic.
The reason for this, is that i believe that the harddrive benefit from contact with the metal in the drive cage which acts as a heatsink for the drive.
What i did in my old build was to use the drive cage to mount the drives and then i suspended that drive cage on a "rubberfoam" substance. I don't know what that material is called in english speaking countries, or if i do, i have forgotten it atm. :)

http://s182.photobucket.com/albums/x200 ... bad336.jpg

http://s182.photobucket.com/albums/x200 ... ede335.jpg


Although you make a good point in general (temperatures do go up when you suspend the drives), I don't think it will matter much here since there's a fan right next to the hard drives.

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Idiot. Geek. Sylph.
Now, where did I leave my motivation?


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 Post subject: UPDATE: Ahanix MCE701 HTPC Case - Noise & Heat Mod.
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 8:56 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 2:22 pm
Posts: 24
Location: Canada
Thanks again for all the great suggestions. I implemented a few of them and the results were fantastic!!!

Xan_user I implemented your suggestion to change the air flow front (sides) to back. I was able to elimate the 80mm Silenx fan as per Sylph-DS's suggestion. It worked AWESOME!
Sylph-DS the elastic tip was also AWESOME! it took away all that HD grinding noise, which would have been even more noticable with the reduced fan noise.
Faster_Madman you were right, no increase in temp with the suspension. See the results on the last image.

All in all, the suggestions amounted to a very significant reduction in noise (sorry I have no dB meter, but trust me, it's amazingly quiet.)

At this time I was not able to implement Felix_w's suggestion to change the CPU heatsink and fan, but the Scythe Ninja Mini will fit.

ok, have a look...

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Davideo 2006


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 11:06 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 2:56 am
Posts: 222
Location: The Netherlands
Good to see the success, and glad to be of help. You definitely used it well ;)

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Idiot. Geek. Sylph.
Now, where did I leave my motivation?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2008 7:03 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 11:51 am
Posts: 183
Location: Seattle, WA
It looks fantastic, I'm impressed by how you got the airflow working in that case. Where did you get the fan filter covers?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2008 8:48 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 2:22 pm
Posts: 24
Location: Canada
They are from Startech. I love that they are a fine metal mesh, they trap a surprising amount of dust, and they are so easy to clean.

http://www.startech.com/item/FANFILTER12M-High-Flow-Mesh-Air-Filter-for-12cm-Fans.aspx

I hope there is a local retailer in Seattle for you.

Davideo


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