I have a large counter space in my kitchen where it's a perfect spot for some TV viewing and internet surfing. So I embarked on my first PC build in 6 years and tried to assemble as quiet of a rig as possible. I ran into some difficulties along the way
, but thanks to the SPCR community, I was able to overcome my own stupidity, which included the ruining of a perfectly good Ninja Mini.
After experimenting with a few fan controllers and different fan set-ups, I've finally decided on a set-up I can live with. Here's the set-up:
case: Nexus Psile w/ slim dvd burner
mobo: J&W 780G MINIX
CPU: AMD 5050e
Ram: 4Gb Kingston 667Mhz SODIMM
HD: WD Caviar SE16 7200rpm 640GB
PS: 120W PicoPSU w/ external brick
CPU HSF: Scythe Ninja Mini w/ 80mm fan (end caps removed)
Case Fans: 92mm Nexus and two 60mm Papst fans
It's not going to win any prizes for being a silent PC. As MikeC has put it in another thread, the Nexus Psile is a thermal nightmare. As you can see from the photos above, I have 4 fans in this case! I tried to get away with just the two 60mm fans in exhaust and the 92mm Nexus fan blowing across the Ninja Mini. However, the System and CPU temps got into the mid-50's according to SpeedFan, so I reluctantly added the Scythe 80mm fan to the Ninja Mini, although I'm using one of those ultra-low noise connectors so that the fan is running at half the maximum rpm's. With 4 fans, I'm getting System and CPU temps in the mid to high 30's under load and about 5 degrees lower at idle.
Member GTGUAN, who posted a build that I copied almost identically, has found that using a video card in the PCIe slot instead of using the internal IGP does lower the temps, so that is something I will try in the future.
One issue I've come across is that the picoPSU might not be up to the task, or at least the external power brick isn't. I find that the fan inside the power brick turns on (and it's unacceptably loud!) more often than I would like. I believe the SPCR review states that this fan turns on when the power draw exceeds 90W? Now, I'm running this on a 27" Dell LCD at 1920x1200 and I also have a USB wireless network adaptor as well as a bluetooth adaptor for my keyboard. Is my power supply insufficient to handle the power demands of this system?
I had actually hoped to add a Hauppauge HD-PVR to the mix as well, but I had it connected for about 10 mins and the fan inside the power brick came on instantly and would not turn off. Perhaps I'm expecting too much for this HTPC?
Finally, I'd love to silence the system even more, but I just couldn't get away with fewer than 4 fans. Actually, if I use the stock AMD HSF, the temps stay nice and low and I could get away with just using the two exhaust fans, but the noise of the stock fan is just too loud.
Thanks for reading and your help/comments!