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josephclemente's Lian Li PC-A05NB + Blow hole-cooled HD5850
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Author:  josephclemente [ Sat Aug 28, 2010 4:03 pm ]
Post subject:  josephclemente's Lian Li PC-A05NB + Blow hole-cooled HD5850

Case: Lian Li PC-A05NB
Fans: Scythe KAMA-FLEX PWM SA1225FDB12H-P (3), Rosewill PWM splitter cable RCW-FPS-401
PSU: Seasonic X-460 Fanless
Motherboard: Gigabyte EP45-UD3P
CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550S
CPU cooler: Prolimatech Megahalems
RAM: A-DATA 8GB PC2-6400
RAM coolers: Thermaltake Spirit RS Heatpipe
GPU: XFX HD5850 HD-585X-ZNFC
GPU cooler: Arctic Cooling Accelero S1
Hard Drives: Intel 160GB & 120GB G2 SSD
Blu-ray Burner: LG GGW-H20L
Trayless drive bay: Antec Easy SATA
Damping material: Stinger Expert RoadKill RKX4

Image

The video card is cooled by an Arctic Cooling Accelero S1, mounted only millimeters below two 120mm blow hole exhaust fans.

To the right of the PCI vent slot covers, there used to be a vent. I blocked this vent with a sheet of aluminum, riveted to the case.

A 120mm fan is mounted on the CPU cooler. Airflow points toward the Prolimatech Megahalems.

Memory is cooled with Thermaltake Spirit RS Heatpipe RAM Coolers. They work very well and the heatpipes can be rotated if needed.

Image

The case panels are dampened with Stinger Expert RoadKill. This helps when I use the optical drive or when I plug a bare drive into the Antec Easy SATA.

Image

Air doesn't leave the case unless it passes through the Arctic Cooling Accelero S1.

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This shot shows the smoothly cut blow holes.

I used Radiator Templates from http://www.mnpctech.com for 15mm Fan Spacing. I just printed the template onto self-adhesive printer paper and stuck it onto the case panel.

These holes were cut with a simple nonpowered hand tool: a Nibbler from Radio Shack. Once the holes were nibbled, I sanded the edges with 400-grit sandpaper. To make sanding faster, I wrapped the sandpaper around a large-diameter hole-saw, spinning on a drill. Blue painters' tape was used on the entire case panel during all cutting and sanding - failure to do this would result in horrible marks.

Author:  ntavlas [ Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:03 pm ]
Post subject: 

I`ve seen some excellent A05 builds over here but I think this one is my favorite. Well sorted and good job evacuating the heat produced by the 5850 before it has a chance to warm the rest of the case.

I`ve used the sanding paper wrapped around the drill bit trick myself and it`s very handy. I`m also curious what the too you used to do the holes looks like. I`ve only used powered tools so far but with my skills there`s a high risk of damaging the case.

Author:  BlackWhizz [ Sun Aug 29, 2010 2:19 am ]
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Looks extremely good.

Hows the temp of the 5850? Especially the VRM's?

Author:  frenchie [ Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:10 am ]
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Looks quite nice !!
Do you run the fans at full speed all the time ?

Author:  speedkar9 [ Sun Aug 29, 2010 6:41 am ]
Post subject: 

Nice build, and nice cuts for a nibbler!

I'd bet you could probably run the accelero passive given that hot air rises straight up.

I wouldn't like the idea of having open holes at the top of the case for *stuff* to fall through onto the graphics card though. Maybe if you added a spoiler, baffle or some unobstructive fan guards.

Author:  josephclemente [ Sun Aug 29, 2010 4:42 pm ]
Post subject: 

Thanks for all of the comments!

ntavlas wrote:
I`m also curious what the too you used to do the holes looks like.


Image

BlackWhizz wrote:
Hows the temp of the 5850? Especially the VRM's?


Image

Idle GPU-Z 0.4.5
GPU Core Clock: 157.0 MHz
GPU Memory Clock: 300.0 MHz
GPU Temperature: 30.0 C
Fan Speed: 21%
GPU Load: 0%
Fan Speed: -- RPM
GPU Temp. #1: 30.5 C
GPU Temp. #2: 37.0 C
GPU Temp. #3: 34.5 C
VDDC: 0.950 V
VDDC Current % OCP: 0.0%

Load GPU-Z 0.4.5
GPU Core Clock: 725.0 MHz
GPU Memory Clock: 1000.0 MHz
GPU Temperature: 64.0 C
Fan Speed: 27%
GPU Load: 99%
Fan Speed: -- RPM
GPU Temp. #1: 64.5 C
GPU Temp. #2: 77.0 C
GPU Temp. #3: 69.0 C
VDDC: 1.090 V
VDDC Current % OCP: 0.0%

Ambient temperature of objects near the case is 27C according to my Raytek MiniTemp MT6 Infrared Thermometer.

Load is after 20 minutes of FurMark 1.8.2 with mode set to Stability Text with Xtreme Burning Mode. Fullscreen, 1920x1200. MSAA Samples is set to NONE since the current ATI drivers seem to have disabled that.

My HD5850 is XFX's non-reference model. It came with their "Egg" type cooler. I guess this is why I don't see any VRM temperatures in GPU-Z. I scanned the VRM heatsink area with my infrared thermometer and saw temperatures in the low 50's.

The original cooler used to reach a GPU temperature of 92C and pretty much stay there due to throttling.

frenchie wrote:
Do you run the fans at full speed all the time ?


I am still experimenting with fan speeds. Right now all of them are running at a constant 800 RPM. I might raise the blow hole fan speeds depending on CPU+GPU load tests. If I find CPU+GPU load tests require no additional cooling, I'll just replace my blow hole fans with the 800 RPM versions.

speedkar9 wrote:
I'd bet you could probably run the accelero passive given that hot air rises straight up.


That's an interesting idea. Maybe one of these days I'll try that. If I did that test, I'd make sure to try with the top fans removed so airflow isn't blocked by them.

speedkar9 wrote:
I wouldn't like the idea of having open holes at the top of the case for *stuff* to fall through onto the graphics card though. Maybe if you added a spoiler, baffle or some unobstructive fan guards.


I was thinking about maybe a sheet of plexiglass mounted parallel over the blow hole area. I'd want it to be high enough so airflow is not restricted at all.

At the moment I'm just keeping my desk clear on the side the computer stays.

Author:  Jipa [ Mon Aug 30, 2010 12:22 am ]
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So clean. And a nice sneaky move with the graphic card! That's an excellent idea in a case like this. I would never have thought of moving the card to the bottom/top slot as I just always stick it to the first PCI-e.

Author:  kater [ Mon Aug 30, 2010 1:16 am ]
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Good, clean build. Naff said :)

And that's what bottom PCI-E 16x slots are for! SLI/CF being pointless, I can never understand why so many boards, be it hi, mid or low end, feature multiple full PCI-E slots. But this shows how to put them to good use.

Author:  Parappaman [ Mon Aug 30, 2010 1:27 am ]
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This is so great, congratulations on brilliantly overcoming the biggest design flaw this case has: video card cooling. :wink:
Don't even think about running that card passively, GPU temperatures will be OK but the VRMs will overheat.

However, I can't stop thinking about how much dust will be in there in a few months! You should try attaching fan filters on the top fans and turning them as intakes. As a side effect, I think this will also improve even more video card temps (allowing you, if you feel the need, to surpass 5870 clocks safely), and reduce cavity resonance. For a further improvement, attach a filter to the back hole and move the CPU fan to the chassis. Positive pressure FTW, and the Megahalems will have no trouble with the heat.

Author:  mentawl [ Mon Aug 30, 2010 2:50 am ]
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Hey, nice build :). Just curious - is the PSU still setup to exhaust out the front of the case, or did you flip the fan so it's actually an intake into the case?

Author:  BlackWhizz [ Mon Aug 30, 2010 12:01 pm ]
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I was thinking. A radgrill would look great on that system.

Image

I dont think it will block the airflow that much. Especially with those temps you can have some restriction.

Author:  josephclemente [ Mon Aug 30, 2010 9:35 pm ]
Post subject: 

I plugged my computer into my Kill A Watt this evening and took some measurements:

Idle: 62W
Prime95: 125W
FurMark: 224W
Prime95 + FurMark: 271W

These measurements are taken after each test has run for about an hour so all surrounding component temperatures can balance out. When I first start FurMark (without Prime95), I'm looking at around 208W before it slowly climbs to 224W.

If I increase the top fans from 800 RPM to full speed (around 1680 RPM), my Prime95 + FurMark test goes down from 271W to 263W. These fans are way too loud at that speed, however.

Prime95 settings: In-place large FFTs, 4 threads
FurMark 1.8.2 settings: Stability, Xtreme Burning Mode, Fullscreen 1920x1200, MSAA Samples NONE.

I'm thinking I'll just swap my top 1600 RPM SFF21F fans for 800 RPM SFF21D fans (which I already have) and just run at a fixed speed.

SpeedFan doesn't read ATI GPU temperatures anyway. Is it hard to do? GPU-Z and Furmark seem to have no problems getting the temperature.

If Speedfan could read the GPU temperature, I'd be running my blow hole fans at an even lower RPM for normal usage.

Parappaman wrote:
However, I can't stop thinking about how much dust will be in there in a few months! You should try attaching fan filters on the top fans and turning them as intakes. As a side effect, I think this will also improve even more video card temps (allowing you, if you feel the need, to surpass 5870 clocks safely), and reduce cavity resonance. For a further improvement, attach a filter to the back hole and move the CPU fan to the chassis. Positive pressure FTW, and the Megahalems will have no trouble with the heat.


Originally I planned on using the top fans as intakes. I even bought two FilterRight filters for this purpose. Unfortunately, everything else in the case started to get really hot during full load tests. :(

mentawl wrote:
Hey, nice build :). Just curious - is the PSU still setup to exhaust out the front of the case, or did you flip the fan so it's actually an intake into the case?


The PSU fan is in it's default position. It would probably be worth doing if my components drew more power.

Author:  RoGuE [ Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:33 am ]
Post subject: 

this thing's gonna get dusty, fast. ;)

but it's nice in the pictures at least!

Author:  josephclemente [ Tue Aug 31, 2010 9:59 pm ]
Post subject: 

RoGuE wrote:
this thing's gonna get dusty, fast. ;)

but it's nice in the pictures at least!


I won't let that happen :D

Actually, I haven't had any issues with dust in my house. None of my computers are filtered. I'm not sure if it is because I keep each machine's airflow pretty low or if I'm lucky or what...

Author:  alecmg [ Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:13 am ]
Post subject: 

Very neat and compact setup, my respect to you

Author:  julien-1993 [ Thu Sep 02, 2010 11:52 am ]
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Wow !! Very nice PC-A05N build. Actually I think it's the best I have seen yet. I do check those on a lots of sites since I own this case too. I'm also curious on what you did with the fan that is used to cool the hardrives in the front. Did you removed that one too ?

I'm certainly getting a lot of inspiration from your setup for the next iteration of mine. Awesome job.

Author:  tay [ Thu Sep 02, 2010 12:51 pm ]
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A+ job. Thanks for the pics and ideas.

Author:  josephclemente [ Thu Sep 02, 2010 6:03 pm ]
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julien-1993 wrote:
I'm also curious on what you did with the fan that is used to cool the hardrives in the front. Did you removed that one too ?


Yes, I have removed the front fan. The 120mm hole is currently open - I need to experiment to see if it should be left open, closed or partially closed.

I also have a Seasonic Fanless X-460 arriving tomorrow. I will move the X-650 to my HTPC.

Author:  Rekonn [ Sun Sep 12, 2010 8:00 pm ]
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I'm planning to build an A05NB pc soon, and I'll definitely be copying some ideas from here. Great setup, any updates?

Author:  josephclemente [ Sun Sep 12, 2010 8:33 pm ]
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Rekonn wrote:
I'm planning to build an A05NB pc soon, and I'll definitely be copying some ideas from here. Great setup, any updates?


So far not too many updates.

I have been running with the new Seasonic X-460 power supply and have been very pleased with it. I cleaned up the wiring a little more in the process.

Also, I made a custom mounting bracket for my SSD. This allows the external 3.5" drive bay to be used for something else (not sure yet).

Author:  BlackWhizz [ Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:35 am ]
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Are you gonna cover those blowholes with somekind of grill?

Author:  flemeister [ Fri Sep 24, 2010 2:00 am ]
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Even just a basic one such as this:

Image

If those silicon mounts are the good gooey Nexus ones, they'll have no problem accommodating them. :)

EDIT: oh wow, just did a quick hand test to feel the difference between grill and no grill. It actually impedes airflow a fair bit. :( Not sure if it's just dispersing the air, but I can definitely feel less airflow when the grill is held over the back of the fan. Damn. This is with a Nexus-120 @ 5v (490RPM) btw. Doesn't feel too restrictive when it's spinning at 12v (1080RPM).

Author:  josephclemente [ Sun Oct 10, 2010 9:00 pm ]
Post subject: 

I have updated the pictures to show the current configuration with the fanless Seasonic X-460 PSU, custom-made SSD bracket and the fan hubs are now covered with extra Lian Li case metal I had from the blow hole cutouts.

Author:  Anatorax [ Sun Oct 17, 2010 5:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: josephclemente's Lian Li PC-A05NB + Blow hole-cooled HD5

Awesome, awesome build. Probably, the only one I truly envy after I did mine with FT02. Now I want to make the next build with this case. Just need to come up with an idea how to make those holes in the top panel without injuring myself or demolishing the case.

Author:  Potenza [ Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: josephclemente's Lian Li PC-A05NB + Blow hole-cooled HD5

Amazing, I'm deeply impressed with this one. I have a PC-A05N myself and although I'm still very satisfied with the case and my setup, I've always been annoyed with the cable management. How did you get your cables so nice and tidy? I'd love to do that to my case as well!

On a sidenote; can I do something wrong by disconnecting cables, just to resort the cable management? Someone told me that he was playing with the cables and afterwards he couldn't boot his system (although everything was properly attached again and the PC did not receive power during the works).

Author:  josephclemente [ Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Cable Management

I have the cables managed as follows:

Power for SATA and PCI-E devices (except SSD drive) is routed next to the motherboard, straight up to the top. As the cables come down from the top, they plug into the devices. I have these cables together in expandable sleeving. Cable ties would work also.

Motherboard power cables are routed below the power supply towards the front of the case, then back to the motherboard.

The SATA data cables I used have very tiny connector plugs. Also, the cable itself is very thin. I am able to route all cables straight up behind the video card, even if all six of the Intel-controlled ports were in use. I got these cables from Newegg:
Nippon Labs Ultra Thin Premium 0.5M (1.64 ft.) Mini SATA II Cable With Locking Latch

The Antec Easy SATA drive bay has a long SATA cable for the eSata port. I was able to "shorten" the cable by opening the Antec device and simply stuff the majority of the cable within it.

Potenza wrote:
On a sidenote; can I do something wrong by disconnecting cables, just to resort the cable management? Someone told me that he was playing with the cables and afterwards he couldn't boot his system (although everything was properly attached again and the PC did not receive power during the works).


As long as you follow anti-static precuations and nothing is receiving power, simply organizing cables shouldn't do anything. There are all sorts of user-error situations, such as pinching power cables between case panels when you close it back up or plugging things in reversed or misaligned.

Author:  Lyonall [ Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: josephclemente's Lian Li PC-A05NB + Blow hole-cooled HD5

What I find most interesting here is the displaced PSU. Any idea where I can find, separately of course, these cords that extend the power connection from the PSU?

Also regarding your trayless bay; you say you suffer from its vibrations. Here you can find a similar one that actually decouples the hard-drive from the bay. You can find a review here

Kind Regards,

Lyonall

Author:  judge56988 [ Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: josephclemente's Lian Li PC-A05NB + Blow hole-cooled HD5

Lyonall wrote:
What I find most interesting here is the displaced PSU. Any idea where I can find, separately of course, these cords that extend the power connection from the PSU?


Well, you could make your own easily enough with an old lead and one of these and a bit of modding to the back of your case.

Author:  Lyonall [ Sun Oct 31, 2010 1:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: josephclemente's Lian Li PC-A05NB + Blow hole-cooled HD5

judge56988 wrote:
Lyonall wrote:
What I find most interesting here is the displaced PSU. Any idea where I can find, separately of course, these cords that extend the power connection from the PSU?


Well, you could make your own easily enough with an old lead and one of these and a bit of modding to the back of your case.


By doing that I may even have a cleaner result, because I can choose the exact length of the cable.

Author:  MikeK [ Mon Dec 06, 2010 7:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: josephclemente's Lian Li PC-A05NB + Blow hole-cooled HD5

I just stumbled on this and have to say well done. That's a fine looking case. Hehe, sweet fan hub covers. Also nice to see a video card facing the right way finally :)

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