I thought I'd share my first PC build result, here in the gallery.
The NSK3480 as many will know, is a petite mATX tower. I felt this would place well with the accompanying AV equipment.
Here it is fully deployed:-
It has taken a few knocks along the way
It is connected via HDMI to a Onkyo TX-SR507 AV receiver, then onto a Samsung 6 series 46" panel.
Nvidia GT250 And Accelero S2 VGA Cooler
At the expense of optimal cooling, the fan was placed forward to allow use of the PCI slot (e.g. tuner card). See below.
A Scythe 'Kaze Maru' 140mm fan is used to gently pull air through the VGA cooler and exit the bottom of the PC case. The fan is rubber mounted to reduce transmitted noise.
The manual fan speed controller (top right) is used for both the VGA cooler fan and the side panel mounted CPU fan (also 140mm). The fan controller is a Zalman Fan Mate 2.
Extended rubber feet ensure better airflow from HTPC without cooking the floor!
Here is the side panel mounted CPU fan (rubber coupled then bolted). It makes use of the existing vent holes (created by Antec) to pull air in from the outside.
The airflow is directed onto the all copper Nexus XIR-3500 CPU cooler (minus original tiny fan). In hindsight a cooler with fitted 120mm fan would have been easier.
The airflow is then pulled through the PSU and exits out the back.
The rectangle hole had to be cut out of the NSK3480 to allow for this.
Why do it this way? Well okay, the PSU cooling is less efficient due to CPU warmed air entering it instead of cooler clean air, but I didn't want to risk the noise of airflow being sucked through the vents at the top of the NSK3480 which is more 'line of sight' to my seating position. Also, the push/pull effect of airflow across the CPU cooler seemed like a good idea!
In the left hand side of the picture you will see the unconventionally mounted 2.5" 250Gb hard drive (main library storage). This is actually the back of the NSK3480 case.
The 'Acoustically Clamped' HDD
Foam backed sanding pads were used to further reduce the rotation noise of the 2.5" drive (WD2500BEVT). The HDD mounting plates from the NSK3480 case were used for this purpose.
With the DVD drive removed, the solid state drive (SSD) can be seen.
It is a Samsung 64Gb and is used for the Ubuntu operating system.
The PSU: Fun And Games
Having decided that the Antec supplied PSU was too noisy for my requirements, I settled for a Nexus *ahem* 'Real Silent' NX-8050 replacement.
Sure it was quieter, but not silent or quiet enough for me (seating @ ~ 2m distance). **I took radical action, not to be recommended. Very dangerous DC voltages exist!**
I removed the fan from the PSU and used the NSK3480 TriCool 3-speed fan, rubber mounted, in it's place.
This gives me additional manual fan speed control on the PSU. Much monitoring of heat dissipation followed, around the PSU and NSK3480 case.
As I had arguably void my VGA card warranty, I though one more wouldn't hurt!
One year or so later, all is still well.
Unfortunately, I didn't allow for the extra 10mm depth of the NX-8050 PSU. It was now impossible to connect the power connector to the DVD drive, as this caused the drive to stick out at the front! Doh.
The cheapest and most convenient solution was to snip a power connector off a spare unused PSU and solder it to the DVD drive.
This meant that I could now 'fold' the connection underneath the DVD drive, allowing the PSU and drive to fit back to back unhindered. Phew..
That pretty much covers the mess I got my self into.
I have certainly learned a lot about resourcefulness and expectation, not to mention my eager impatience to get the job done.
Was it worth it? Absolutely, you bet! I've now got one superbly quiet system.
I have also learned to never underestimate HD video playback requirements again. Even my choice of Core2Duo E8400 CPU with Nvidia GTS250 (think 9800 GTX+) just about scrapes it in my opinion.
For instance, I can watch BBC HD shows on iPlayer and for the best part it is very watchable, but I might upgrade parts again in a year or so's time all the same...