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 Post subject: silent gaming system build with Lancool K7
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 6:13 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2007 11:08 am
Posts: 46
Location: The Netherlands
As far as I know I'm the first one here in the General Gallery subforum who's assembled a system with this enclosure. A topic about this enclosure was started on the Cases & Damping subforum in January 2008. The enclosure has been reviewed here, here and here. Like many of you I considered a build with the Antec Solo or the P182. I think the Solo has a cheap, ugly front panel with silver gray plastic, the P182 is too expensive, has a door at the front panel, places the PSU at the bottom. So I thought the Lancool K7 was a great deal. This enclosure doesn't contain any cheap plastic at all, it's aluminum and steel, has a removable motherboard tray, and you can get it at the same price as the Antec Solo.

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The system is accompanied by a Logitech Z-5500 speakerset, a Logitech UtraX premium keyboard, a Logitech G5 mouse and a Dell 2007WFP monitor. All the black and silver gray fits very nicely together.

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Hardware is as follows:
    GigaByte GA-EP43-DS3L motherboard
    Kingston KVR800D2N5K2/4G (2 x 2048 MB PC-6400 DDR2 modules) memory
    Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 OEM processor
    Arctic Silver 5 thermal grease
    Thermalright HR-01 Plus processor heatsink
    PowerColor Radeon HD4850 512 MB video card
    Arctic Accelero S1 Rev. 2 video card heatsink
    EnerMax PRO82+ 425 Watt power supply
    Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB hard disk drive
    LG GH20NS10 DVD rewriter
    Scythe Slip Stream SY1225SL12L 800 rpm 120 mm fans
    AC Ryan eSATA kit
It's a pity I had to buy the eSATA kit, it's lame that GigaByte didn't equip their P43 motherboards with an eSATA connection at the backplate. Cheaper GigaByte motherboards for AMD processors do have eSATA. Wouldn't have been a problem if the enclosure would have had eSATA at the front, but it doesn't. I don't really like the placement of the front panel connections with the cover and the power and reset buttons on the top panel of the enclosure. In my opinion the best placement would have been at the top of the front panel without any cover, like the Antec Three Hundred. I should also mention that the power LED of the K7 is awfully bright. The system is standing in my bedroom, and if I leave my system turned on to download or upload stuff while I'm sleeping I have to cover the power LED with clothes to stop it from illuminating my room.

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The Lancool K7 comes with two 120 mm fans in the front and one 120 mm fan at the back. It's good that dust filters are placed for the two 120 mm fans at the front. According to the specifications on the Lancool website they spin at a rate of 1000 rpm, but as soon as I received the enclosure I removed the two fans at the front, replaced the one on the back with a Scythe Slip Stream and placed the remaining Scythe Slip Stream on the Thermalright HR-01 heatsink. My hardware isn't extreme so I thought that I didn't need the two fans at the front. To remove the two fans at the front I had to remove the hard disk drive cage, which is secured to the bottom om the enclosure with four screws. I'm happy with the hard disk drive mounting, you have to insert four screws in the hard drive, then place rubber rings around the screw heads. Then you can slide the hard disk drive in the rail of the cage.

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Here you can see the Accelero S1 rev. 2, I removed the ugly plastic from the top and bottom of the heatsink.

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I'm not really a star at camouflaging the cabling, but the K7 doesn't offer much assistance to achieve that either.

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The PSU cage is the single serious design flaw in this enclosure. Why they decided to give the cage a closed bottom with some holes is beyond me. I'm not happy with the Thermalright HR-01 either. I think the mounting system sucks, because of it's nature it's possible to rotate the heatsink even if it's secured tightly. Don't get me started on the fan clips, it took me quite a while to secure the fan, I think they're extremely user unfriendly. The thin anti-vibration strips which you are supposed to stick on the heatsink where the fan will make contact are useless, because the edges of the Slip Stream fan are so thin. The strips don't stick very well, I had to throw them away because they didn't work.

In retrospect, I should have bought the Xigmatek HDT-S1283, even though the consensus is that push pins suck, it can't be worse than the HR-01's mounting, and it has a better method to mount the fan than the HR-01.

A minor annoyance is the connecter for the front panel audio, which is located to the left of the northbridge heatsink. The grey cable has to reach around the heatsink to the connector there. It would have been better if the connector would located somewhere near the edges of the motherboard.



The cooling performance is excellent. The HR-01 keeps the E8400 at a temperature of 23 ℃ idle. The Accelero keeps the HD4850 at 41 ℃ idle, if I remember correctly the stock cooler kept it at 60 ℃ idle.

I'd say my system is quite silent, but I'm still not completely okay with it. I've only got three 120 mm fans now. My Enermax PRO 82+ 425 Watt fortunately doesn't have any problems, the BIOS reports 500 rpm. It's great that Scythe designed low rpm variants of the Slip Stream fan, so I don have to mess around with undervolting. The Slip Stream fans are closer to 900 rpm than the rated 800 rpm though according to the BIOS. SPCR's review of the Scythe Slip Stream gave me high expectations, which haven't been met entirely. It's not inaudible in my system as is suggested by SPCR. If I sit in front of my desk I barely hear them, but if I stand half a meter behind the enclosure I can hear them. I think I can characterize the noise as moving air, but maybe also some mechanical noise.

Most of the time I don't hear the hard disk drive, but when it's active I do. I'm considering buying a Scythe Quiet Drive, if I'd do that I could also remove the entire hard disk drive cage because I only use one hard disk drive anyway. The LG GH20NS10 is downright a noisy bastard. Most of the time I don't hear it because I don't use optical disks often, but it also likes to rattle a bit for a second or two after I've turned on my system. I would definitely be looking for a silent DVD rewriter when I would be assembling a new system.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 10:34 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 12:53 pm
Posts: 315
Location: EU, USA
I love the Lancool K7, I agree about the PSU cage, I think they're using it as a brace to lend strength to the case, instead of a full-length horizontal bar. Otherwise it's very similar to my A17, and I think you have room to route PSU cables behind the mobo tray.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 9:10 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 23, 2006 7:09 pm
Posts: 536
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
Nice build. I wanted to build my new workstation using one of these but I couln't find anyone in Canada that carried them and the cost to bring one in was too expensive.

_________________
Obsolesence is just a lack of imagination!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 6:39 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2008 6:23 pm
Posts: 3
Location: UK
I've not heard of this case, It looks really nice :)

great job and nice office too!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 8:37 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2008 4:39 pm
Posts: 15
Location: Bordeaux (France)
Nice Office (z-5500 :D ), if i was you, i make a better cable organisation for better airflow. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 11:16 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2008 4:29 pm
Posts: 71
Location: -97,14
nice build! i am really envious of ur temps too... 21 degrees for cpu @ idle... in my thread i have the same exact cpu with the same exact hr-01 heatsink and i get 39 idle! :\ i don't understand... the only difference is that i have a noctuna fan @ 800rpm instead of the scythe u have.

Also I have a 4870 atm and it's at 50 degrees with 29% cooling using ati overdrive but you can still hear it :\ the 4850 is very similar to the vid card i have and i was trying to decide between an accelero vs trad2 vs hr-03gt. Pretty sure I'll be going with the accelero now from looking at ur temps.

EDIT: also about the hard drive noise, u have the WD Cavier so it should be pretty quiet, but what i would recommend u try before u buy the scythe box is installing QuietHDD program (or any other software based hard drive silencer) and testing it out for a while and if you're using Vista, maybe you could disable a bunch of the useless services which made up for a lot of HDD noise in my case.


Last edited by ddrj on Mon Dec 15, 2008 10:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 4:53 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:01 am
Posts: 443
Location: Foster City, CA
That's a really nice case. Nice build!

If I ever need a mid-tower again, this will be the case for me. I like this case fo all the same reasons you mentioned against the Solo and 182. I personally cannot use another PC with a door. :)


http://www.lancoolpc.com/en/product/pro ... s_index=62


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:35 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2007 5:36 am
Posts: 35
Nice Job. I was planning a build with such a case. Like you I don't need perfect silence. Just kinda cool and kinda quiet. The P182 has a door and I just don't like the look of the Solo (though its a very nice case).


What about the Noctua recommended heat sink? Also how are those side panels? They are Alu right? I have an old P160 and I had to put dynamat on them to stop the rattling.. It works but its not that pretty. I believe the K10 gets foam (which is just like your case but with a door).

I have also heard that you can swap alot of parts with Lian Li PC-7 cases like top panels and side panels (which can be useful if you want more ventaliation.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2008 2:20 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2007 11:08 am
Posts: 46
Location: The Netherlands
Thanks for your comments everybody. The system isn't located in an office, it's my bedroom.

ddrj wrote:
also about the hard drive noise, u have the WD Cavier so it should be pretty quiet, but what i would recommend u try before u buy the scythe box is installing QuietHDD program (or any other software based hard drive silencer) and testing it out for a while and if you're using Vista, maybe you could disable a bunch of the useless services which made up for a lot of HDD noise in my case.


Besides Windows Vista I'm using Ubuntu on my system as well, so any software based solution wouldn't be sufficient. But now that I've been using the system for a longer period of time I've decided against buying a Scythe Quiet Drive, in case I do hear some HDD noise it isn't really a problem for me.

GuyClinch wrote:
What about the Noctua recommended heat sink? Also how are those side panels? They are Alu right? I have an old P160 and I had to put dynamat on them to stop the rattling.. It works but its not that pretty. I believe the K10 gets foam (which is just like your case but with a door).


Noctua products are a no-go for me because they are so expensive. The side panels and front panel are all aluminum.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 5:45 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 4:48 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Zurich
Nice build. Inspired me to pick one up yesterday.

So I've finally got around to getting rid of the old chieftec case that used to hum away in my bedroom. It really was a noisy old beast that used to get to me late at night. Used to be water cooled with my old AMD system (ie quiet) but since going Intel has been on air.

I'm running the following:

MSI P35 Neo2-FR motherboard
Core 2 Duo E2180 processor @ 2GHz
ZEROtherm NV-120 CPU heatsink
Arctic Silver 5 thermal grease
Mushkin 2 x 1GB PC-6400 DDR2 memory modules
HIS HD3750 IceQ3 512 MB video card
Corsair 520HX power supply
Samsung 250 GB 7200 rpm HD
Samsung 1 TB F1 7200 rpm HD
ESI Juli@ sound card
ZyXel G-302 wireless PCI network card
Sony DVD (old IDE one)
Stock case fans

Out of the box, the K7 is "reasonably not loud" but there is room for improvement.

I disconnected the top supply fan and installed a FanMate that I had set it to about 50% on the bottom fan.

The extract fan is running at 60% (750 rpm) at the moment using FanSpeed but I think I will put another FanMate on it.

CPU fan is running at about 1150 rpm.

Made thing much better but there is still noise from the side panels. If I gently touch the side panels I can feel they are vibrating.

Using some double sided tape, I place small pieces of thin foam along the side of the case were the side panels sit on both sides. This helped.

I also felt that the motherboard tray was also vibrating a bit so I stuck a piece of soft packing foam (2x2x2 cm or so) in the middle that pushed against the side panel. This improved it so I did something similar on the left side by sticking a long piece of foam on the side of the 5.25" bays that pushes against the side panel. Yep, the difference is really noticeable.

There is still some fan noise but now I hear the HD's seek. Not silent by a long way but very acceptable.

And at 2 in the morning I can not complain.

Temps are OK:
Cores at 28°C idle - were at 22°C with all the fans running 100%
Cores at 42°C load
HD's at 25°C
GPU at 50°C - normal with no load

Ambient is about 21.5°C.

Is a few things that could be better like the power supply cage (maybe I will get the dremel out one day).

Will keep playing around and think I will swap out the stock fans for something else and also put in a fan controller.

I really like this case, it is good value. Just don't expect something dead quiet but with some mods is OK.


Botch...


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 Post subject: Re: silent gaming system build with Lancool K7
PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 1:00 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2005 1:21 pm
Posts: 412
Location: UK
F for Fragging wrote:
The cooling performance is excellent. The HR-01 keeps the E8400 at a temperature of 23 ℃ idle.


What program are you using to measure the CPU temperatures? You get different results depending which program you look at. For the 45nm Core 2 processors Real Temp 2.90 is quite a good one to use. :)

http://www.techpowerup.com/realtemp/

To increase the pressure of the clamp holding the Thermalright HR-01 Plus onto the CPU you need to put some metal washers underneath the spring loaded screws. That will increase spring tension, making the cooler a lot more secure and a tighter fit. :)


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 12:51 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2007 11:08 am
Posts: 46
Location: The Netherlands
Interesting to read that your K7 had vibrations, botch. Mine doesn't vibrate, what caused it? WR304, I just looked up the temperature in the BIOS. I read about the tricks to increase the pressure of HR-01, but I'm satisfied already so I didn't bother.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 3:44 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2005 1:21 pm
Posts: 412
Location: UK
There can sometimes be quite big differences between the CPU temperature in the BIOS and what's reported by the different software temperature monitoring programs. Gigabyte motherboards don't display the individual CPU core temperatures in the BIOS either.

Temperatures only really matter if the computer is unstable. If it works ok then that's the main thing. :)


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:45 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 4:48 pm
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Location: Zurich
The vibration are just from slightly loose fitting side panels (and their light weight). It was audible and at higher frequency than the rest of the system. The frequency made it much more noticeable. Double sided tape and some foam fixed it in a few minutes. Is an easy fix and just puts a bit of pressure on them.

Did you run the case with the standard extract fan before you swapped it out for the Slip Stream? Still thinking about changing out the fans but undecided on what speed. Interesting on any opinions.


Botch.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 2:04 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2007 11:08 am
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Location: The Netherlands
No, as soon as I got the enclosure I removed all the standard fans and placed a Slip Stream. So I haven't compared them.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 2:42 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2008 5:42 am
Posts: 8
Location: Netherlands
Very nice build!
And it made me choose the Lancool K7 over the antec 300.
Still waiting for the package...but I can't wait it looks so damn good!
My setup is almost the same http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=50698 (final setup at the end of post)

I've read a dutch test review from tweakers.net that for silencing the HD the Nexus Disktwin is the best cheap option and the Silentmaxx HD Silencer 2.0 the best
Here are the links for the test graphs:
http://tweakers.net/reviews/545/8/zes-harde-schijfkoelers-geluidsdempers-getest-pagina-8.html
http://tweakers.net/reviews/588/5/meer-hardeschijfkoelers-geluidsdempers-getest-pagina-5.html

@Botch: I'm going to test the fans the way I mentioned in my system advice post (link above in this post). I will post my findings in the Gallery in a couple of weeks when all the stuff has arrived.


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