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 Post subject: i5-750 with HD5770 - Airline carry-on sized!
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 11:36 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 9:39 pm
Posts: 109
Location: The insane State of California
My son wanted a gaming computer but is in school on the other side of the US. So I was looking for a way to build a capable little machine that would be small enough to pass the stringent carry-on requirements for air travel. I also wanted it to be silent. :D

I stumbled across the Cooler Master Elite 360 case because Fry's was blowing them out for only $25. This is a very clever design that manages to pack a mini-ATX motherboard into a very small case. The obvious trade-off is assembly complexity, but here is a comparison with the Antec Solo:
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Here are the left and right sides:
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The Thermalright AXP-140 and 140mm SilentX fan handle most of the cooling, with help from a simple foam duct made from the AXP-140 packaging and toothpicks. :D
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Overall this works *extremely* well. The only problem I initially had was that I let the motherboard throttle the CPU fan, which then did not pump enough air to the rest of the case. But at a steady 900 RPM, the CPU & GPU temps stay well below stock, even with OCCT &/or FurMark test runs.

The main HDD is a WD640 Blue, but I also included two small laptop drives for built-in backup targets, in combination with SyncBack SE. This seems prudent for a case that is going to get moved a fair bit.

Getting the cooler on the HD5770 was actually the hardest part. See this thread:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=489435#489435


Last edited by cb95014 on Sat Nov 28, 2009 2:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 1:01 am 
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Looks good :) .. and im a tad envious of that rig, so small, yet more powerful than my P182 rig..

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 5:42 am 
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Nice rig dude! Congrats.

Have you made any temp. measures?
I'm planning to buy that same case for my new htpc, but my PSU has back fan. I wonder how hot does it gets inside.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 11:31 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 9:39 pm
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Location: The insane State of California
Thank you! :D

CPU temps are ridiculously low. The AXP-140 is an excellent cooler (except for the PITA installation). OCCT maximum is never more than 53C:

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To reliably keep the GPU temps under 80C after long hours of heavy gaming we needed to ramp the small Arctic Cooling fans to 12V. This was definitely not silent... :cry:
So I changed the GPU fan configuration to replace the Arctic Cooling fans/shroud with an 800 RPM S-Flex, zip-tied to the heat-pipes at the bottom of the cooler:

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Now the S-Flex GPU temps never exceed 72C, even with FurMark in Xtreme Burning Mode. :D
The 800 RPM fan is obviously very quiet, and if I had used a standard S1 and bent the extra fins over the S-Flex, the temps would be even lower.
Modding the cooler would also have been much easier without trying to retain the Arctic Cooling shroud.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 1:07 pm 
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Location: USA (Phoenix, AZ)
This is an awesome case. Very little is posted about it on SPCR.

So far I've built two machines with this case.

I moved a home machine from an Antec Solo to this. The motherboard is an ATX GA-P35-DS3R. It is so nice to fit a full ATX sized board in such a small case!

I was able to fit an ATI 3850 video card as long as I plugged the PCI Express power cable into the card first. PSU power cabling was in the way at first - the PCI-E slot was lined up with the PSU cables, but I was able to route the cables better. It fit perfectly - video cards any longer will not fit.

Storage is handled with an SSD - a Kingston 64GB (a jMicron drive but with much improved firmware). It boots Windows 7 really fast and never stutters.

I am tempted to move my gear from my huge P182 case to one of these. I'd only have to reduce the number of optical drives and change to a different CPU cooler...

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 2:48 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 9:39 pm
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Location: The insane State of California
Yes, the space between the video card and power supply is quite small! :D

While Fry's was blowing them out I bought an extra one of the CM Elite 360 cases to eventually make a smaller HTPC. The NSK2480 is easy to work with, but it takes so much room in our TV cabinet that I have a hard time managing the various cables. :-(

OTOH, if space wasn't a premium, I don't think I would use the CM Elite 360. The cooling runs every direction, there is no easy way to soft-mount a HDD (though obviously an SSD makes this moot), and making changes is a bit of a jigsaw puzzle. I *definitely* would not use it without a modular power supply. Next time I will use one of the new Seasonic designs.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 7:09 am 
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What I like is it is different, and a lot of creative thought went into getting it right. Its nice that it enables a ducted PSU simply by choosing one with a 120 mm fan.


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 Post subject: Postscript
PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 11:01 pm 
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Location: The insane State of California
If anyone is considering the airline transport angle, this build survived the cross-country connecting flights with no hassles from the TSA. Security just ran it through the X-Ray like any other piece of luggage, and it fit easily in JetBlue's overhead bins.


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 Post subject: Re: i5-750 with HD5770 - Airline carry-on sized!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 7:18 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 6:47 pm
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There is appropriate luggage for you CPU. You can find them by searching in the net or your online store. If you find a good luggage for your CPU, you must compare the size before going to purchase it.


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 Post subject: Re: i5-750 with HD5770 - Airline carry-on sized!
PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:21 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 2:21 pm
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Location: Norway
Assuming you mean appropriate luggage for sending a complete PC in checked-in luggage, I am afraid I refuse to believe there is any luggage available that will reliably let a PC survive being thrown 10-15 feet to land smack on tarmac.


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 Post subject: Re: i5-750 with HD5770 - Airline carry-on sized!
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 7:50 am 
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Location: UK
dam, i like this case, full atx case + a proper psu in a case this size is amazing!!

now i need to find and excuse to build a pc using this case, maybe i can talk my sister in to getting a new pc that i can build for her :)

Nice job :)

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