fuminos mini p180
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Author:  fumino [ Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:10 am ]
Post subject:  fuminos mini p180

The Back Story [tl;dr-scroll to next post for pics]
I first started getting interested in silent computing a few years back. i was running a cooler master 341 and a generic psu. cheap flimsy panels, noisy fans, no space for extra hard drives... it was a terrible mess that rattled away for a long time before i finally got sick of it. at the end of '09 i saw a deal for a mini p180 and a corsair 400cx for $125 shipped. i had been researching cases and other parts for a long time while living with the noise of my pc, and decided that it was finally time to say goodbye. the quality was excellent, certainly living up to the hype of the p1 series cases.

The change in noise from just a case swap and a new psu held me over for most of last year. it couldnt end there though. i had caught... the silencing bug. i tried to deal with it at first by running the case without the 200m fan. however, the gaping hole that it left open still let noise escape; the lone tricool fan on low wasnt quiet enough for me either. the low noise areas that i inhabit tend to make any noise noticeable, and im close to the point where any noise is too much noise. something had to be done, and thats what im sharing with you today...

Main Specs
    Antec Mini P180 - mods shown later
    Corsair 400CX - fan swapped with scythe s-flex sff21f; soft mounted
    3x Hitachi 7k1000.c 1TB
    1x Hitachi 5k3000 2TB
    1x Samsung F4EG 2TB
    1x OCZ Vertex 30GB
    ASRock 880GM-LE
    Muskin Silverline 2x4GB (stock: 1.5v; 1333mhz; 9-9-9-24) (running at: 1.48v; 1310hmz; 8-8-8-22)
    AMD Sempron 140 (stock: 1.35v; 2.7ghz; single core) (running at: 1.425v; 3.32ghz; dual core)
    Scythe Mugen 2 rev. b
    Thermalright HR-05

you probably look at the 8GBs of ram and a single core cpu and end up with a confused look on your face, but i assure you, there is a purpose. i have one piece of software that loves memory, but is still single threaded. very frustrating, but ive never found a piece of software thats better.

i went with sempron and a cheap motherboard since im still waiting for bulldozer, so i didnt feel like wasting cash on anything that'd be replaced before long anyways. the power consumption of the sempron is decent, so this system will probably be relegated to a server/ media streamer down the road. for now though, its just a snappy little web browsing machine, as ive moved my x4 and its video processing tasks into a different build, in a different part of the house.

Author:  fumino [ Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: fuminos mini p180 rehash

On To The Pics!

first up is a look at the psu. soft mounted s-flex 1600rpm, rpm readout intact. normally between 400 and 550 rpm depending on load, and how many drives im spinning up (i have a few more 7200rpm drives that i plug in from time to time.)

next we have a comparison shot of the stock sempron heatsink, and the behemoth mugen.

i didnt think to take a picture of the two until the hr-05 was all mounted up unfortunately, but a better comparison would have been the hr-05 and the sempron heatsink, the fin stack of the hr-05 is very close to the same dimensions. here it is freshly unboxed.

my slightly beat up mini-p180. top panel damage is from one ride in my subaru without the protection of the retail box. the top panel flexes a bit without the fan installed. that issue is settled later. the hard drive flip is kind of a shout out to all the hdd flips done in the antec 1200s and 900s. i havent seen anyone else with all 5 flipped in a mini p180(certainly not many people do it in other p180 variants). the bottom two you just mount it on the tray backwards and its done. the top caddy needed to have a few holes drilled for everything to line up properly. i love the look, and thats what case modding is all about right?

the "big boy" top panel fan. it lost a blade somewhere along the line... i think it was from something dropping through the grill on top. probably a drywall screw or a nail or something. anyways, i still wanted to have the frame mounted in the case for structural reasons, and i couldnt think of a better way to block off the massive hole...

i think i used 7 layers of cardboard...

and from the other side...

mounted in the case, covered in some akasa paxmate.

and the view from the top. its nice to be able to toss stuff on there and not worry about it falling through. (the flash makes it look different, but its definitely all black on black up there.)

more of the paxmate treatment. i went with the akasa stuff because i knew i didnt need much help, and it was about a quarter of the cost of covering my whole case with acoustipac ultimate sheets. if i had a lighter case like my old cm341, i'd definitely spring for the better materials, but with this setup i was mostly addressing airborne noises floating around inside the case. down the line i might go with something more wavy, but for now, it works fine.

a closeup of how i routed my front panel connections through the motherboard tray. i know a lot of people have just covered their wires with their foam in the past, but i wanted to be different.

underside of the divider. there because of the psu fan, and i might still suspend a pair of drives in the bottom two bays...

i run without fan grills, filters, or little doors on the front; so i tossed a double layer of foam on the door. this would be a place where i'd start off by putting a double layer of vinyl tile on first, then some foam. i didnt have one though, and didnt think about it until later. down the line, future upgrades, blah blah blah.

Author:  fumino [ Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: fuminos mini p180 rehash

Pictures Of It All Assembled!

fully assembled. mounting the mugen was easy as it always is on amd. mounting the hr-05 was simple too. putting it all in the case? yeah, that was easy too. rub magnet on screwdriver, put screws into hard to reach places. no fuss at all. you can really see why i bought this motherboard in this shot...

anybody who has built in the mini p180 can tell you that things can get tight around the hard drive area, since it overlaps a full matx motherboard. the asrock board, however, is only 198mm wide, 46 less than matx spec! that left me room for some ladder clamps and let me do a bit more cable mangling.

the final location of the slipstream. padded with some paxmate around the frame, then zip tie mounted to the rear panel. i had tried a number of different configurations with and without my 7v wired tricool(still has the h-m-l switch). the 7v tricool on low was decent on the mugen, since it was kinda buried in the case. i decided to go without though. speedfan keeps it around 420rpm under normal use, but i crank it up to 800 if im doing something cpu intensive, 1000 if im running intel burn test. that pwm cable is bugging me while im looking at the pics... but im not pulling my system apart right now to run it under the motherboard.

last shot: cables fully routed. ladder clamps used on the sata bundles, they come out of the system sometimes, so i wanted that flexibility. the psu fan rpm sensor passes through an unused standoff hole. the 24pin cable looks like its wavy, and thats because the cable tie mounts arent aligned. not a big concern. all the extra psu cables are strapped up right there; they all stay up in the first bay, so theres no interference when tossing an optical drive in there. so many people leave their back panel a mess. (im looking at you, corsair case owners) i didnt need to do this to close the case, but at least i can say its done up properly.

Author:  fumino [ Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: fuminos mini p180 rehash

Post Script
so then. it's very quiet. very quiet. i dont use automatic control in speedfan, as i dont like the curve. asrock does have a utility that i havent tried... but i'll stick with just leaving it 25%. the hard drive situation is... a situation. most of the time, i only need access to my hitachi 2TB, since i keep my music and download folders on that. i let windows spin down my other drives most of the time. i do have one 7k100c that vibrates a fair bit more than the others(its the only drive i hear when its spun up) so use a program called HotSwap! to spin it down and dismount it. that stops it from being accessed when i open up a utility that reads smart data, or if indexing or a search would wake it up. i do that to all my 7k drives. the issue with them being fully dismounted though, it that when you scan the ports to remount them, they all come back.

overclocking on the sempron was a bit disappointing (unlike the muskin ram, which was awesome-had it at 1600mhz with 1.53v and stock timings.) push pull on a mugen with both fans on max (ic diamond tim) got me to an overclock that people were hitting on that puny stock cooler. i guess its not all bad though, as im running that same overclock with one fan for the upper chamber at ~420rpm and still getting temps that im comfortable with. cool and quiet still undervolts well, i might take it further with k10stat later on. most of the time im sitting at 32c-37c, and generally like 5c-7c cooler on the chipset (unless im watching hd vids, then it goes to ~32c). under intel burn test(linpack i think?), i set the fan to 50% when the cpu hits 50c, then it hangs out around 47c-50c. hard drive temps are sitting around 33c for the 2TB drives in the bottom caddy, the 1TB drives up top generally run around 30c since they get more direct airflow, and have 1 less platter. i made the mistake(?) of using some 3m 4010 tape(look it up) to mount my ssd to one of the drive trays. its there for good. definitely nice when youre plugging in cables though, it doesnt move at all, lol.

so there it is. i realize now that i dont have pictures of the side panels (theres just foam with a strip cut out for the divider), or what the situation behind the door is like (its behind the door, swept under the rug so to speak)... and i know that the lighting is terrible(i get 90% of my light from my skylights ... but they're covered in snow)... and the resolution leaves something to be desired(i didnt feel like uploading the 12MP originals)... if any of that bothers any of you, please just make the request(you may or may not be ignored.)

comments, questions, criticism?

Author:  fumino [ Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: fuminos mini p180

a little update.
decided to suspend my hitachi 2TB. its the only drive thats always in use, as it holds my music, current downloads, and documents. since i spin down and unplug the rest of my drives, i decided that i could give it some special treatment. this all came about when i was putting my hair up a little while ago. it occurred to me that my headband was a very nice stretchy fabric, and that it'd be good for suspending a hard drive. im pretty sure ive seen people use scrunchies before, so i went ahead and tried it. i was going to use two headbands, but one seemed to work fine, and i didnt want to waste the second.

also: i grabbed some quick power numbers since i failed to before:
Startup(all drives active):152
Startup(1hdd, ssd):90.1
Intel Burn Test(all drives): 122
Intel Burn Test(1hdd, ssd): 102

finished look, with the extra psu cables strapped up and out of the way.

initial fitting, better view of the right side:

a close up of the how the left side is mounted:

and finally the full view of the front panel:

it looks like a mess, and it certainly isnt that well done visually... however, its meant to be more functional than pretty; probably the only area i can say that about my setup. all the cables are strapped up and out of the way for unimpeded airflow. none of the cables touch the door, and theres only a little space where you can see them from the side vents, so airflow isnt bothered there either.

i had to move four of the six sata power plugs so they'd work in this configuration. i left a little slack between the plugs so i can slip my finger under and unplug them individually with ease. with a few more T-shaped sata power connectors i could add three more drives in this case... and with the quick access to the power plugs, im looking forward to turning this into a htpc/fserve. it's awfully difficult to fry a hard drive when its not plugged in ;D

Author:  mb2 [ Thu May 19, 2011 8:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: fuminos mini p180

Perhaps it doesn't interest you.. or the HDDs are the bigger problem.. but i can't help thinking this really should be able to run fanless.

My 0 fan semrpon 3000+ doesn't go over 60*C when stress testing.. and that is a) 90nm b) with a Freezer 7- which is at most half the volume of your cooler. c) overclocked (at 2ghz). The chipset has only stock cooling, too.

It seems to me a halving of the process (90nm-> 45nm) should comfortably allow an increase of 700mhz / 35%.. have you tried anything along these lines?? or considered it? I guess you would want to take out the foam on the top panel. Perhaps you could put the HDDs in enclosures. If you have staggered spin up i bet you could use an 150W picopsu + brick and be no-moving-parts when the HDDs are spun down.

Let me know if you have any experiements along these lines, even if it is not for you as a permanent solution, as i am considering a sempron 1XX system.. but i was hoping it would go 0 fans. I would be particularly interested in seeing a speedfan graph of how the CPU heats up with a stress test with 0 fans with an open case.. if /how long it takes to get to an excessive temperature.

Having said that.. i am suprised it gets >100W @load with 1HDD+SSD. what are the idle numbers like?

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