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 Post subject: HFX Classic build
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 1:37 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2012 12:49 pm
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At a glance:

HFX Classic
Seasonic X-460
Asus p8z68-v pro
Intel i7 2600S
16 gb 1333 MHz DDR3 CL9
Samsung 830 Series SSD + WD 2 TB Caviar Green
SAPPHIRE Ultimate Radeon HD 6670 1 GB
Bluray

THE HARDWARE

Case.

I used HFX Classic as the case. I wanted to go fully passive and this was the way to do it.
HFX Classic is a really nice case that can fit in a full ATX motherboard but it doesn't come without some serious design flaws. The system was an absolute nightmare to build with the choises I made but it was also much fun – and a lot of work.

If the already huge HFX Classic were only a one or two centimeters larger much of the troubles could have been avoided but in the end it all worked out all right.

Image
I regret that I did not document all the building phases but here is the – nearly – complete system.

Powersource

Seasonic X-460, ATX power source. 460 Watts of 100% passively cooled power with a 80+ gold rating. Doesnt' give out much heat at all. Had to do a bit customising though to get it fit in the case. Excellent power source. I was rather impressed with it.

Image

Motherboard

After some deliberation I went with the Sandy Bridge Asus P8Z68-V PRO motherboard. At first I was going to use the deluxe model but as it didn't have integrated graphics so I chose the pro instead.

Processor

Intel i7 2600S for a bit lower TDP (65W) and that little extra punch but I suppose 2600K (95W) would have also worked fine without having to worry about overheating. But the I7 2600S has a plenty of processing power and I find it hard to think of a situation where I would need a faster processor. At first I thinking about installing one of those i5 processors but I decided to go with the i7 2600S instead.

Memory

I went with 4x4 gb = 16 gb 1333 MHz DDR3 CL9 sticks of ram since 8 gb sticks were hard to come by and rather expensive.

Storage

Samsung 830 Series SSD for OS and 2 tb caviar green HDD (in HFX vertical silence enclosure) as a storage space. Plus some cheap bluray drive.

The HFX vertical silence HDD enclosure looks as if it's made out of old car tires or some other cheap ass rubber but I suppose it does it's job. I can still hear the HDD a bit in the otherwise silent room but it's tolerable. Perhaps I would consider trying some other enclosure if it didn't mean dismantling the WHOLE computer including the motherboard to get to the HDD. But really, it's not very noticable.

Image
Can't see much through that jumble of wire.

Graphics

At first I wasn't going to get a discreet graphics card but the integrated HD 2000 was giving me some amount of trouble with Fedora Linux as my OS so I installed SAPPHIRE Ultimate Radeon HD 6670 1 GB card (TDP 66W) – which gave me some more trouble. More about that later on.

Image

Other

I also bought from HFX the BorgFX bridge heatpipe kit (which turned out be useless with this build except for the extra heat pipes), 2x BorgFX extension kits, BorgFX CPU (deluxe of course) and a BorgFX VGA kit just in case I wanted to get a discreet graphics card later on – which I did.

THE BUILD

The drives

With some trial and error I found out that the drives were the first thing to install. Otherwise things would get very complicated later on due to the limited space. Not much suprises here otherwise except that I had to order some custom SATA3 left angle cables because of the placement of the SATA ports on the p8z68-v pro motherboard. It was a tight fit and I was able to use only 4 of the 8 SATA ports. I also had to cut a bit of plastic off from the heads of the SATA connectors in order to make it all fit. There is absolutely no extra space between the powersource and the (custom left angle) SATA cables. Half a millimeter longer case and it would have been a breeze to make it all fit.

Image

This gave me SO much trouble that I almost thought about returning the motherboard. But in the end it fit and don't need more then 3 SATA connectors so I have an extra one. Besides – the 5”25 slot over the power source, as you can see, is completely unusable with the Seasonic power source installed – unless you want to fry your power source from the lack of ventilation. So you won't be installing any extra HDDs there with this setup.

Power source

It became quickly apparent that the powersource which was passively cooled - mainly from the top - could not be installed with the aluminium rack in one piece. So I had to cut a hole in the rack with what poor tools I had at hand. With pliers and side cutters I made this piece of art you see here. It might not be as pretty as it could have been given the proper tools. Nobody is going to see it when the lid is closed so it's all right.

It was not possible to make use of the aluminium heat sink next to the power source either with the Seasonic – but it was not needed anyway since the Seasonic X-460 does not produce much heat at all. The slight warmth from the seasonic was no problem.

I didn't manage to get a good picture of it but the cable management was rather difficult but doable with some effort. I had to cut off the plastic locking clamp from the motherboards' power cable from the end that goes to the power source since the case' power button would have otherwise prevented the proper installation of the Seasonic. The clamp was useless. In order to unplug the power cable you had to use extreme force. Absolutely no chance of it ever falling off my accident. Even with the locking clamp cut off it was a tight fit. Little bit of gentle bending and pushing and the power source was installed. Good planning was essential.

Image

And of course the power cable that connects to the power source had a right angle. Left angle would have been so much nicer but instead of trying to find one that fits I just decided to cut off a few of the protective rubber rings from the power cable so that it was able to bend more sharply and fit.

Image

Motherboard

In order to install the motherboard the drives and the power source had to be installed. Which in turn after installing the motherboard became impossible to remove. Also the SATA connectors had to be plugged in the motherboard before attempting to install it which also become impossible to unplug after the motherboard is installed.

It was a challenge to fit it in but no major suprises here.

Processor

I used 8 short heatpipes to take care of the cooling of the i7 2600S processor and the pipes were connected to both heatsinks. Perhaps a bit of an overkill with the capacity of each heat pipe to carry away 33W x 8 = theoretical 264 Watts of heat and with the theoretical heat output of 65W from the i7 2600S. Then again perhaps not.

Image

Bluray

The bluray player fit fine even with the double stack of heatpipes. But I bought the shortest drive I could find, so.

Graphics card

The integrated HD 2000 that the i7 2600S processor has had some trouble with screen tearing when displaying 23 fps movies and some of the usual opengl problems related to intel processor graphics on Linux. So I got the Sapphire 6670 Ultimate which is a passively cooled card. I threw away the standard heat sink that was installed on the card and installed some heat sinks on the rams and installed 4 heat pipes. I had to bend one of them ramsinks so it would fit under the heat pipes. At first I thought about using two sets of heat pipes connected with a block in the middle for easy installation but that just seemed wasteful and inefficient so I figured out a best way to bend the long pipes so they could reach and fit. Again, it's a very tight fit. I had to twist the block that attaches to the heatsink a bit otherwise the power cord would have been in the way.

Image

It took a long time to plan and bend the pipes in their places (gently, very gently and slowly) but it was much easier than with the CPU cooler.

Image

The card works fine now except that there seems to be current leaking somewhere to the frame or some magnetic disturbance – every time something happens on the screen my stereo makes a buzzing sound. Rather annoying actually. Since I was not able to find out the cause of this I decided to work around it by buying an amplifier that can use the optical S/PDIF TOSLINK connection that the Asus p8z68-v pro motherboard has. It should stop the interference from reaching the speakers. We shall see how that works out when the amplifier arrives.

Image

Temperatures

The processor cooling seems to work very efficiently. Idle temperature is around 38 degrees C. Under load it can climb up to 45 degrees C (playing Fallout 3 or something) but hardly ever goes over 50 degrees. Under extreme load the temperature shoots up quickly and when the load stops temperature drops ~10-15 degrees in one second. A few seconds more and it's back to comfortable ~41-43 degrees.

System temperature stays around 40 degrees C.

The graphics card idles around 43 degrees and under load (games) gets up to ~50-65 degrees.

Final words

The performance is fine for casual gaming and other things and temperatures are not a problem.

I suppose in the end the system was a bit more expensive than what I had originally planned. I don't know exactly how much it has cost to this day but I suppose it's already over 2000 euros.

Image

I didn't see much point including a picture of the computer with the lid on.

Thanks for reading. Hope you got new ideas.

Pilv


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 Post subject: Re: HFX Classic build
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 4:39 pm 
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I just did a build using the 2600S, and I find it to run at similar temps as my Q9400 with similar cooling. The 2600S runs probably 5-6C warmer, but overall, not otherworldly different.

The GPU cooling is quite interesting, I thought I had a problem putting a High Current Gamer PSU into a 3480, that heatpipe mess looks even more tedious! Did the heatpipes not fit going in the other direction, away from the power supply instead of right against it (basically)? I know there are special heatpipe bending tools out there, and they're well worth the investment if you're working with something like this, rather than risking bending a pipe too far (which is incredibly easy).

I guess just in looking at your pictures, I'm surprised that you weren't able to route 4 heatpipes off the CPU in one direction, and the other four in the other direction for better transfer of heat. With all 8 in the same place, I'd be curious as to whether there's much of a difference if any by taking the top 4 off.

I'm also rather curious about what the machine was built for, being lower power components, is it just a HTPC? If so, I'm wondering why not just an i3 + 4GB of RAM, as it would run much cooler, use even less energy, and get the same job done.

The computer does look good overall, I'm just wondering why so high end.

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 Post subject: Re: HFX Classic build
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 8:18 pm 
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2000 euro? On what exactly?

I'd save the money and put some fans in.

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 Post subject: Re: HFX Classic build
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 4:10 am 
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Quote:
I'd save the money and put some fans in.

It`s true that in most cases a few slow moving fans can be inaudible making passive cooling redundant. I doubt this project was purely about silence though, it`s likely that he also did it for fun and I can certainly relate.

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 Post subject: Re: HFX Classic build
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 5:40 am 
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ntavlas wrote:
Quote:
I'd save the money and put some fans in.

It`s true that in most cases a few slow moving fans can be inaudible making passive cooling redundant. I doubt this project was purely about silence though, it`s likely that he also did it for fun and I can certainly relate.


Good point, I have. heh.

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 Post subject: Re: HFX Classic build
PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:20 am 
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Had I installed the GPU heatpipes the other way around they would have blocked PCIe slots making any future upgrades impossible. Though I have none planned I like to keep my options open.

I actually went shopping for a pipe bending tool but I couldn't find one small enough so I just bent the pipes by hand. But you are absolutely right, you have to be extra careful not to put a crimp on those pipes since they are made out of copper. They bend really easily.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by routing the CPU heat pipes to different directions. They are actually connected to both heatsinks on the left side. Connecting the heat pipes from the CPU to the heat sink on the side of the power supply would be impossible or at least extremely inconvenient.

The heat sinks on the CPU side are two separate heat sinks. And so are the heat sinks on the PSU side. So there are actually 4 heat sinks. It was possible to use only 3 of those because the power supply blocks one.

The heat sinks feel lukewarm to touch at all times. They never get hot which tells us that their cooling capacity is sufficient.

And yes, using only 4 heat pipes for the CPU would have been enough. But on higher loads -> higher temperatures 8 pipes are able to cool the CPU more efficiently. There is no difference in cooling on normal loads. I had the extra pipes and I wanted to do it. But they are not strictly necessary since the CPU load hardly ever goes above 20% in normal use.

The first heat sink takes on most of the heat from the CPU. When stressed the second heat sink behind the first one starts to get warm but it's usually cool to the touch.

I built the PC for normal desktop use. Movies, music, web browsing, photo editing, some coding and casual gaming (Fallout 3, Oblivion, Starcraft 2, Civilization 5 etc). I got fed up with my old PC making noise. At first I tried to make it more quiet - and I did succeed making it better. But even small noises annoy me so I wanted to build a completely noiseless pc. I've wanted to do that for quite some years but only recently the hardware has gotten to a point where you can actually have a decently powerful system and have it passively cooled without any problems.

And it worked out quite well.

Why so high end? Because I could.

-pilv

bonestonne wrote:
I just did a build using the 2600S, and I find it to run at similar temps as my Q9400 with similar cooling. The 2600S runs probably 5-6C warmer, but overall, not otherworldly different.

The GPU cooling is quite interesting, I thought I had a problem putting a High Current Gamer PSU into a 3480, that heatpipe mess looks even more tedious! Did the heatpipes not fit going in the other direction, away from the power supply instead of right against it (basically)? I know there are special heatpipe bending tools out there, and they're well worth the investment if you're working with something like this, rather than risking bending a pipe too far (which is incredibly easy).

I guess just in looking at your pictures, I'm surprised that you weren't able to route 4 heatpipes off the CPU in one direction, and the other four in the other direction for better transfer of heat. With all 8 in the same place, I'd be curious as to whether there's much of a difference if any by taking the top 4 off.

I'm also rather curious about what the machine was built for, being lower power components, is it just a HTPC? If so, I'm wondering why not just an i3 + 4GB of RAM, as it would run much cooler, use even less energy, and get the same job done.

The computer does look good overall, I'm just wondering why so high end.


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 Post subject: Re: HFX Classic build
PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:33 am 
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Systems with fans are Inaudible when there is some background noise and when the system is just idling. But come midnight and silence and you will hear even slow moving fans when the computer - 1 meter from your ears - starts to heat up. Anyway, I like the concept of passive cooling very much. That should be the way to do things by default in my oppinion.

And it was great fun to build it.

Didn't really see the point in saving some money (for what?) and getting a system that's not quite what I wanted. If I want something I don't usually make compromises about it. It's better to pay a bit extra and be completely happy with it than pay a bit less and always have this nagging feeling that it's not quite right.

-pilv

ntavlas wrote:
Quote:
I'd save the money and put some fans in.

It`s true that in most cases a few slow moving fans can be inaudible making passive cooling redundant. I doubt this project was purely about silence though, it`s likely that he also did it for fun and I can certainly relate.


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 Post subject: Re: HFX Classic build
PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:08 pm 
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Very nice challenge !

Quote:
Systems with fans are Inaudible when there is some background noise and when the system is just idling. But come midnight and silence and you will hear even slow moving fans when the computer - 1 meter from your ears - starts to heat up.
Absolutely not agree with that.

I'm not able to ear a BeQuiet USC 120 or a Noiseblocker M12-PS at very low speed (400-450RPM), even at a few centimeters from the case, by night in a bunker, I mean in a well insulated and isolated house (french countryside).
It's very easy to verify if a moving part is audible : just turn off all the fans...wait...meditate...turn on !

I'll try to post a few pics of my rig* with english subtitles next WE.


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:shock: A 3,5” even 5400RPM is much more audible than a good 120mm at low speed ! Why don't you try a 2,5” in a QuietDrive and a NAS for the 2To ?



*I5 760 OC, 560Ti OC


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 Post subject: Re: HFX Classic build
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 8:43 pm 
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About your CPU cooling, you have all 8 going in the same direction, my comment before was more out of the curiosity of sending 4 heatpipes up towards the DVD drive, and 4 towards the rear of the case, to disperse the heat across a wider surface area than just that one spot, but I didn't build the case, I'm not sure if the case even supports something like that (I would hope it did).

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 Post subject: Re: HFX Classic build
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:10 am 
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pilv, I am also a hfx classic user and am happy with the case too.
i am also using the vertical silence but am finding it sounds abit like a fan. i guess that's the sound of the platters spinning. ;)

anyway, i have a similar issue with the seasonic PSU.
could you elaborate in more detail how you managed to get it in?

i could never get it to fit with the motherboard (i use an asus p8p67 m pro) in the default position as there just wasn't enough space.
i was about 1-2cm short, and it overlaps with the motherboard space.
you look like you managed to fit it in JUST right though!

what I did to solve this was to 'raise' the PSU higher, above the motherboard height.
the added benefit was that my sata cables can go under the PSU instead of your 90 degree turn.
the only thing is my PSU is not secured so best not to move around my PC.


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 Post subject: Re: HFX Classic build
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:30 am 
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First of all I had to bend all the power cables that are attached to the Seasonic PSU in such a manner that they would be as flat as possible. Do it one wire at a time to bend them as much as possible. If you try to bend all the wires in the thick cable at once it won't bend that much. Take care that the cables don't go in between the PSU and the metal frame for the LCD display (those 4 "spikes" for screws) otherwise the PSU won't be able to get as far as it needs to go.

Also, like I said: I had to cut off that piece of plastic that attaches securely the power cable for motherboard. The main power cable for the motherboard otherwise hits the back side of the power button. That metal thing with wires coming out, you know what I mean. Even with the (very useless) piece of plastic cut off you have to make sure by pressing gently with your finger that the power cable slides underneath the power button.

That way you should be able to make it fit just fine.

Of course it goes without saying that you can't do this with the motherboard installed. You have to remove everything.

And then there is the problem with the SATA cables.

But it sounds to me that your solution works just fine. Maybe you could build a custom aluminium cage to make it more secure if you're into a bit of tinkering.




Quest wrote:
pilv, I am also a hfx classic user and am happy with the case too.
i am also using the vertical silence but am finding it sounds abit like a fan. i guess that's the sound of the platters spinning. ;)

anyway, i have a similar issue with the seasonic PSU.
could you elaborate in more detail how you managed to get it in?

i could never get it to fit with the motherboard (i use an asus p8p67 m pro) in the default position as there just wasn't enough space.
i was about 1-2cm short, and it overlaps with the motherboard space.
you look like you managed to fit it in JUST right though!

what I did to solve this was to 'raise' the PSU higher, above the motherboard height.
the added benefit was that my sata cables can go under the PSU instead of your 90 degree turn.
the only thing is my PSU is not secured so best not to move around my PC.


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 Post subject: Re: HFX Classic build
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:56 am 
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Sweet build, I like the massive overkill of everything :)

But defeating the strain relief on the power supply cable scares me. Strain relief is there for a reason and that's so the strands inside don't break. I've had to debug issues at work where a wiring harness works intermittently -- usually the issue is a kinked wire that has broken strands internally.

Could you not have found a lead that's straight or angled the other way?

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 Post subject: Re: HFX Classic build
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:54 pm 
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Terrific report pilv - thanks.

I'm considering the HFX case myself.

One question ... apart from the hard drive noise, is it silent?

I'll be all SSD so don't have that worry but am afraid even after all the trouble I'll still have some odd electric buzz/hum from the PSU, MB, or something.

How did it all end up?


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 Post subject: Re: HFX Classic build
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:32 pm 
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Quote:
I'm not able to ear a BeQuiet USC 120 or a Noiseblocker M12-PS at very low speed (400-450RPM), even at a few centimeters from the case, by night in a bunker, I mean in a well insulated and isolated house (french countryside).
It's very easy to verify if a moving part is audible : just turn off all the fans...wait...meditate...turn on !


From his description it sounds like he had his fans on some type of temp ramp up which is the wrong way to go for silence. Anyway, I agree with you - fanmate some Nexus or similar fans in a big enough case with a properly thought out system and they are essentially inaudible in the middle of the night.

Quote:
:shock: A 3,5” even 5400RPM is much more audible than a good 120mm at low speed ! Why don't you try a 2,5” in a QuietDrive and a NAS for the 2To ?


Also agree with this; I can't understand how the system can be silent with that Greenpower drive in such a tight enclosure with hard mounting (the description of the enclosure seems to conflict, claiming that the enclosure acts as one big heatsink but then that it is insulating against noise - in order to act as one big heatsink I would assume that it has to have direct contact with the drive). If you are going to use anything other than an SSD in that type of case, there will be noise.

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 Post subject: Re: HFX Classic build
PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 1:47 am 
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This build is a bit crap isn't it? I mean, you got the wrong motherboard - you obviously need one with vertical sata ports and with a pci express slot near the right heatsink for the graphics card if you want to add a hot one that needs cooling with the case heatsink.

And the bending of the heapipes is original to say the least. :)

I have one of these too, I'll build my system and take some pictures ...

And it is possible to run a 3.5" HDD just not with the vertical silence, with a Scythe QuietDrive and some foam isolation for that, and set to wake up only when you need it, the rest of the time being spinned down. Obviously you need a 256GB SSD for that to work, but hey, you wanted total silence, you have to pay for it.

If you want a HDD that spins all the time, you have to get a laptop HDD with a 2.5" QuietDrive and stick it inside a 3.5" QuietDrive ... :)


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 Post subject: Re: HFX Classic build
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:13 pm 
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Hey Im seeing your build right now. One thing though.

How exactly did you get a 'stacked' BorgFX CPU cooler like that,... the heatsink comes with 'only' four heatpipes, no? You seem to have eight!


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 Post subject: Re: HFX Classic build
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:33 am 
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hi pilv nice build. i have the hfx classic too.i havent gone as high spec as you as i dont need to.i have the asus p8z77-m which has the vertical sata ports i chose this model as a direct result of reading about yours and other hfx owners problems. processor is i3-3225 ivybridge samsung 64gb ssd 8gb of low profile green 1600mhz samsung memory. running win7 pro and storage is wd red 3 tb which i am very impressed with . cant run passively cooled at the moment because having owned this case for years its seen a few upgrades and have broken a heatpipe trying to change shape . now could you tell me if your pipes were 150mmx6mm which is all they seem to have advertised on mcubed site. reason i ask is having successfully straightened one of my pipes it measures 300mm in length .before anyone asks no i havent stretched it lol. just eyeballing it in my case it looks like it needs at least200mm length but you have been there and done this so if you could confirm 150mm is ok i would be grateful. then i can order the parts in complete confidence.many thanks neil


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 Post subject: Re: HFX Classic build
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:07 am 
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Hi Pilv, congrats on your nice build! I am a big believer in heatpipe/heatsink cases and think the HFX classic may be the best cooling heatsink case there is. It is a bit heavy but have room for a ATX motherboard, can store the PSU internaly and have the best cooling capacity of any heatsink case I have seen.

I actually believe the case can cool down a GTX 670. For example: If only the front heatsink cool down the CPU, wich should be enough, there could go four heatpipes from the GPU and over to the other heatsink in the back (extension heatpipeset + a new hole in the heatsink). This togheter with both heatsinks on the PSUside I believe could cool down the GPU. 3 of these big heatsinks should be enough for the GTX 670 and maybe only 2 of them would be sufficient. 8-12 heatpipes from the GPU processor itself and 4 heatpipes from the GPU VRM (a plate or block (of copper or aluminium) on the VRM + bridge or VGA heatpipeset). In my classic I managed to fit mountingplates also on the heatsink by the PSU, but I have the Silverstone ST30NF and this is a bit smaller. Impressive to see how you fit in an ordinary size PSU in the classic. With the Seasonic P-520FL coming up this case can then house eaven more power.

I see several others also have the HFX classic, so just a tip if anyone considers an upgrade... I am selling my classic to a friend of mine so maybe he will try it out. It would be great to see a GTX 670 in a 100% passively cooled PC :D and I am confident it can be done!

Neil, I have ordered several heatpipe sets from HFX and all the heatpipes are 6mm in diameter. For length see the BorgFX extension set: the small heatpipes are 90x150mm and the big heatpipes are 140x190mm. As far I can see it looks like Pilv has used 8 of the small heatpipes on the CPU and 4 of the big heatpipes on the GPU (BorgFX: 1 CPU, 1 VGA and 1 Extension). The exact position of the CPU varies a bit between different motherboards, but the small ones are long enough for my MB aswell. Hope this helps...


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 Post subject: Re: HFX Classic build
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:08 am 
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Hello Highfi i have been in contact with support at mcubed and they have been more than helpful. they are sending me 4 of the 300mm ones and the price is 8 euro,s each. thats incredibly good value. here in the uk i,ve been quoted £32.00 each from one firm and £16.00 each from another and thats only for 200mm length as its the largest they stock.as to your hypothetical cooling of graphics card you would need to be very carefull.according to the data sheet from farnell one of the suppliers i contacted every 50mm extra over 150mm degrades performance by 12%. plus adding more than one 90 degree bend can degrade performance by up to 50%. the important distance is between both the cpu heatsink and the case heatsink which looks to be 200mm on my set up so i will lose 12% plus the one 90 degree bend. this is why mcubed quote 33watts for each heatpipe. the actual capacity of a straight 150mm straight 6mm diameter grooved plus cintered composite is about 65 watts according to farnells data sheet . of course if your brave enough to go upto 8mm the capacity is much higher but they would be difficult to bend and you would need custom adapters. luckily i have a proper plumbers pipebender for microbore pipes which does make the job much neater and easier.i love this case mine is the first model i think some of the others shown here maybe revision B wich is 1cm longer internally to fit the silverstone 400nf. i have same psu as you 300nf.also the revision B has the frontpanel for usb sockets etc which until recently you could buy as an upgrade.ive just managed to source some sata data cables only 10cm long so that should help some what with cable management which is a nightmare in this case . if anyone is interested i could post the link cheers neil


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 Post subject: Re: HFX Classic build
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:52 am 
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to highfi, I've been playing around with the idea of sticking a gpu to the heatsink as well, ill try to do that with my next build. However, the gtx has a tdp of 170W, while, say, a ivy brdige 3750k just has the cpu 'just' 77W. So, while the latter can be apropriately cooled with a good conenction between cpu and heatsink like we see in fanless systems, the gpu need to have a better solution. cooling a gtx 680 is even more difficult, seeing that is has a tdp of 195W, that is almost three times as much as the current mid rated cpus. I would be very careful trying to play around with these gpus. I would like to know how this works out for your friend though. Maybe you can date me up when its time?

Regards!


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 Post subject: Re: HFX Classic build
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:01 am 
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170W is a lot more than 77W, yes, but not all of that 170W is from the GPU, that is the rating for the whole card. Also the case is rated for a lot more than a 77W CPU. Plus GPU power consumption fluctuates much more than CPU power consumption. If it goes up to 170W for 0.1 seconds, it really doesn't matter when the thing is mostly running at 120W. Now you're back into similar numbers to a high power CPU. Having said that I'd still use a bit of moderation and make it a 660Ti instead.

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 Post subject: Re: HFX Classic build
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:00 pm 
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Hello Neil, nice price on the heatpipes! I have also good experience with Mcubed, they deliver and have always answered my questions truthfully. You have good data on the heatpipes. I can only speak from my own testing and on my Streacom FC5 I tried to cool down the i7 3770K with just 3 heatpipes. For my use this worked ok, the CPU was under 80 C, but I felt there was no headroom if the CPU should work on heavyer load. I think 4 heatpipes would work fine, but like Pilv says 8 heatpipes are able to cool down more efficiently. Cool down faster and be more responsive. With the Mcubed heatpipe system you can always put on an extra plate with 4 more heatpipes, so I think the challenge with transfering the heat through the heatpipes will always have a solution with this system.

I still think the heatsinks are the bottleneck and this is the HFX classic strong side compared to other cases. Each heatsink is 22x13x5 cm. One side of the Streacom FC5 evo is 32,5x6x4 cm and has a recommended TDP of 65W and up to 95W in good conditions. When you compare these heatsinks and look at the massive size of the classic heatsink I feel secure that this one will have better cooling. And I therefore feel convinsed that 1 of the 4 heatsinks of the classic can cool down a i7 3770K (77W TDP). When you use a dedicated graphic card the ivy bridge CPU do not use it's internal graphics either so the estimated TDP will be eaven lower. Would be interesting if someone have the TDP for i7 3770K without internal graphics? If we use the data for FC5 also on the classic heatsinks, a conservative estimate would give 65Wx3=195W for 3 heatsinks (good conditions: 95Wx3=285W) and for 2 heatsinks 130W/190W. I really think these are conservative estimates for the classic case.

Vatan007, I agree that powerfull GPU's needs alot better cooling than CPU's, but as Edh says GPU fluctuates alot more in powerconsumption. I was a bit supprised though how mutch hotter the Streacom FC5 case became from the GPU than from the CPU. But I managed to cool down about 80% of the GTX 660ti in the Streacom FC5 case with a extra cooling tower in the back (and this extra cooling tower doesn't help that much because it is made for better airflow). I know that is pushing it hard, but I think the classic case probably has over double the cooling capacity of the Strecom FC5. Streacom says says their FC10 case has no problem cooling down CPU's with 120W TDP (just one side) and this case is also smaller than the classic.

I think my classic case is the first model, and Neil explaines this one is 1 cm shorter than the case Pilv has. Then it will be harder to fit in an ordinary PSU, like the new Seasonic P-520FL, and the 660/670 need a solid PSU. Maybe the PSU can be placed over the motherboard like one above in this thread did. I don't know if the new owner of my classic case plan to upgrade soon, but when he want to I will sertainly help him build it. I would have done it myself but when I planned a new PC I also wanted to try out a new case. So I went for the Streacom FC5 to get the case as small as possible. But then I had to compromise on the GPU.

I still believe the GTX 670 can be cooled down fine in the classic, or like Edh suggests go for the GTX 660ti, this is still a very good card for gaming.


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 Post subject: Re: HFX Classic build
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 6:21 am 
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Interesting stuff you guys are posting about gpu power consumption fluctuating. I would really like to know more about this, but I'm having a hard time finding good info.

Lets take the gtx 270 as an example. The gtx 270 has a TDP of 170W. In idle it uses like 93W. Under heavy usage, it has shown to use something like 315W. You guys are saying that it just uses that in like, bursts or something? Maybe you could explain. Cause I always thought that this is what they would to use on a constant basis to be able to deliver the image quality to the screen.

Even if those bursts you talk about last for a very short time (how long?), then still it is a challenge to cool down passively.

@idle this means we would have to dissipate ~93W passively. OK, the heatpipe assembly on the card itself gets rid of some of the heat, (but this is dissipated in the pc case, which is not a good thing for life expectancy of other motherboard components and higher temperature in the case which will cause the temperature of the cpu to rise as well) but it would still be a big problem to try to cool the extra heat with heatsinks on the side of case.

While gaming, the card will use anywhere in between 93W - 315W. Even if you could dissipate the wattage used in idle, which is 93W, you would still have to cool up to 222W, PASSIVELY. That is just insane and will not work.

Also, you should consider that the card has onboard components which need to be cooled as well... simply using convection as a means to cool, wont help a lot here to cool them and keep them healthy for a long time.


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 Post subject: Re: HFX Classic build
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:13 am 
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vatan007 wrote:
Lets take the gtx 270 as an example. The gtx 270 has a TDP of 170W. In idle it uses like 93W. Under heavy usage, it has shown to use something like 315W.


Where are you getting those power usage numbers from? I would think they will be for a whole system given how no card will use 93W at idle! 315W is a big amount of power for a system to be using so I would guess that is what the numbers are.

The 170W TDP is part of its engineering specification. The theoretical maximum on the standard speeds and voltages will be a little less than this number. It might be 150W, it might be 160W, somewhere in that order but it would be dependant upon the other components on the board as well and might vary between different board makers and models but they need to be conservative with the spec and overestimate as they need to overengineer a little.

The next part is that no graphics card will be running at 100% GPU utilisation all of the time. There will be elements in a game which are more graphics memory intensive, elements which are more CPU intensive, elements which may be hard disk intensive. If one component acts as a bottleneck, the rest of the system isn't going to be working at 100% utilisation. Therefore in a game you will not have the GTX270 using close to 170W very much of the time at all. Play a game and monitor the temps and you'll see it going up and down a few degrees in different scenes. At some points it might be 100W, at others approaching 170W, 95% of the time in between, but never 170W and never at one power consistently.

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 Post subject: Re: HFX Classic build
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:42 am 
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About how the graphic cards work internaly, or a CPU, I have no technical insight. I can only tell about my experiance and what I have read on the net. When I study the monitoring of the temp on my pc (with Realtemp or CPUID) the temp of the CPU fluctuates a bit to, but not so much. The GPU seem to have a bigger span in variaton as a result of more or less demanding pictures in games (but under lighter use like surfing the net or streaming movies the GPU doesn't fluctuate much either). The pictures change faster so maybe that is the reason. But if you have big and fast variation in the load of the CPU I guess that would also lead to more fluctuation, in my case I don't use my PC for such tasks so I don't know.

My experience with the Streacom FC5 is shown in this thread: http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=65463 I think the system can take away about 80% of the load of the GTX 660ti and be stable over time on a temperature under 97 C (case open). The GTX 660ti has a TDP of 150W, so I guess the cooling system on my FC5 has a TDP of about 120W. How temperatures over 90 C will result in the lifespan of the card I will only know over time, but mostly the card is around 70 C and that should be fairly safe. When you look at the Streacom FC5 (+ the cooling tower in the back and that I have thermal paste between the heatsinks and the front plate) and compare this case with the Streacom FC10 and the HFX classic, I don't think it's far stretched to claim that these cases can cool down 50W TDP (170-120) more than the FC5. At least not the HFX classic, with those massive heatsinks I think I would be supprised if it couldn't take away double the heat of the FC5.

On this side you can read about Streacom that tells about the FC10 and in a comment further down where they say that up to 120W processors had no problem getting cooled down by one side of the FC10: http://www.anandtech.com/show/5858/streacom-fc9-fc10 If you take 1,5 side (the Streacom heatsinks are also in two parts on each side) this would then give 180W. Also compared with the FC10 I think the HFX classic will give better cooling.

I can also mention that I have had the HFX classic for over 5 years with a HD3870 (105W TDP) mounted with 4 heatpipes to the closest two heatsinks (one of these heatsinks also cools down the ST30NF. The new Seasonic PSU's are more effective and wont give away so much heat to the heatsink). The card, the VRM and northbridge gets hotter than in my new FC5, but the classic still works fine.

I think the TDP would be the most accurate measure to use, since it's the thermal design power of the components.

Since I have no technical insight I can only give this logical explanation based on comparison between different cases.


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 Post subject: Re: HFX Classic build
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:22 am 
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Highfi wrote:
stable over time on a temperature under 97 C (case open). The GTX 660ti has a TDP of 150W, so I guess the cooling system on my FC5 has a TDP of about 120W. How temperatures over 90 C will result in the lifespan of the card I will only know over time


The GPU itself will take quite a temperature. Highest I've ever had was 120C (loose shim but held it there for hours sometimes) and that card has worked fine for 8 years although with the shim issue solved. There's not much difference between different processors in terms of materials and there are certainly Via chips which are rated for 150C. As long as the GPU remains stable, you should have no problems. What I would be concerned about though is the ancillary components on the board. These don't have thermal shutdown or throttling, are not monitored and may not take the same temps. Make sure you have heatsinks on RAM, VRMs and other chips. An easy way to do this is take a hacksaw to the standard heatsink giving you a skeleton to cover these parts whilst the GPU itself is covered by your new heatsink.

Energy emitted per unit area in black body radition is proportional to T^4 so it only takes a small temperature rise to add a massive amount to the heat that can be radiated. This also means that if you wanted to target even 80C as a GPU temp, the heatsinks would have to be far bigger than you have them currently.

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