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 Post subject: Silent modded GTX 680 in an ITX Fractal Design Node 304
PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2014 4:17 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 3:32 pm
Posts: 4
Hi Guys!

I've managed to quieten my EVGA GTX 680 inside an ITX Node 304 case. Well... perhaps "inside" is the wrong word.

Image

Aside from the fact that I can't get my case hood on any more, I've very happy. By far and away the loudest component is the HDD. The GPU cooler is a CPU cooler, an Arctic Freezer 13 pro that a friend gave me for free. So far temperatures are fantastic. At stock the temperature did not exceed 50C on furmark with the fan on the lowest setting the GPU could run it (700 RPM I think). I was able to overclock the GTX 680 to 130% TDP without making the fans spin faster than 800 RPM without going above 60C. Almost inaudible too.
CPU cooler is a ThermalRight True Spirit 14 which I did some careful measuring to make sure it could fit in the Node 304.

It does. Just.

With the HDD spun down the main source of noise is some hissing from the VRMs (?) in the GPU. Curiously before the mod the sounded like high pitched whining from the GPU, and now they sound more like clicking.

Before this I tried doing some digging to see if any others put CPU coolers on their GPUs. Not many it turns out since people are limited my slot width most of the time. But since most CPU coolers have a much larger surface area than what's available compared to what you can cram into two slots, it seems a lot more effective if you have the space

Here's some more pictures

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I like how my computer now contains a more heatsink than computer. And damn do I love heat pipes.


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 Post subject: Re: Silent modded GTX 680 in an ITX Fractal Design Node 304
PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 4:29 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2014 2:17 am
Posts: 6
love those looks! very nice feat indeed!

Not that i am in the running to duplicate a system like that, but just out of interest, care to elaborate on how you got the cpu cooler mounted on the graphics card? or was it a matter of being lucky the holes aligned and a free backside of the PCB?


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 Post subject: Re: Silent modded GTX 680 in an ITX Fractal Design Node 304
PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 5:42 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 1987
Location: Guatemala
Nice adaptation, btw you should list the rest of the hardware, like PSU and motherboard you using, there are some that look for PSU for that case that can fit, or motherboards that have an optimal cpu socket placement.

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Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


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 Post subject: Re: Silent modded GTX 680 in an ITX Fractal Design Node 304
PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 5:56 am 
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Love it. now you just need a case about half the height, so the other heatsinks are exposed too!

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 Post subject: Re: Silent modded GTX 680 in an ITX Fractal Design Node 304
PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 7:02 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 3:32 pm
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Thanks for the comments guys! The GPU bracket was taken from a Thermalright HR-03. The bracket fitted fine for a HD 6850 but required some drilling to allow for the wider hole spacing of the GTX 680. It's attached using long M3 screws and nuts through the plate. I also drilled out some standard aluminium sheet until I realised that I had a pre-made part that could be easily adapted. I got the dimensions for the hole spacing from here:

http://koolance.com/help-gpu-hole-spacing

I'll list all the specifications in list form for easy reading. The whole computer was build last year. I spent a fair amount of time researching dimensions and motherboards to make sure I could get the CPU heatsink near the exit port. Most ITX motherboards put the CPU socket very close the the PCI-E header, limiting heatsink size.

Case: Fractal Design Node 304
Motherboard: ASRock B85M-ITX
CPU: Haswell i5 4570
CPU Heatsink: Thermalright True Spirit 14
GPU: EVGA GTX 680
GPU Heatsink: Arctic Cooling 13 Pro with drilled 58.4 x 58.4 mm M3 holes and some long screws
PSU: Fractal Design Integra 500W, fan replaced with a Scythe Gentle Typhoon
Memory: Generic 8GB (no tall heatsinks!)
SSD: Samsung 840 128 GB
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 500 GB

Before the GPU mod I could get everything in the case, and the CPU and PSU fans were silent. However all the noise came from the GPU, which while not bad was noticeable under load. I'd still like to find a way to get the cover back on. At the moment I'm considering either:

(a) drilling out the side panel so the heat sink pokes out of the case
or
(b) using a PCI-E riser to suspend the GPU flush against the case (or even fully outside...)

But in the meantime I'm pretty happy running it as a skeleton chassis :)

Note, there's just enough clearance for the then-CPU-now-GPU heatsink to be used in a full ATX computer, it will just block all the PCI-E slots. Similar mods should work, so if you have a spare CPU cooler around, give it a go.


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 Post subject: Re: Silent modded GTX 680 in an ITX Fractal Design Node 304
PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 7:07 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 1987
Location: Guatemala
duncanmcbryde wrote:
Case: Fractal Design Node 304
Motherboard: ASRock B85M-ITX
CPU: Haswell i5 4570
CPU Heatsink: Thermalright True Spirit 14
GPU: EVGA GTX 680
GPU Heatsink: Arctic Cooling 13 Pro with drilled 58.4 x 58.4 mm M3 holes and some long screws
PSU: Fractal Design Integra 500W, fan replaced with a Scythe Gentle Typhoon
Memory: Generic 8GB (no tall heatsinks!)
SSD: Samsung 840 128 GB
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 500 GB
Thanks for posting the specs, nice setup you have there. Btw what fan did you use on the PSU fan swap? the GT 1850rpm?

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GameMi >> MSI Z87-GD65 | Intel Core i7-4790K | Thermalright Silver Arrow IBE + 3x Noctua NF-A15 PWM @500rpms| Crucial Ballistix Sport 32GB DDR3 1600 | nVidia GTX780 + ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme IV | Samsung SA850 27'' 2560x1440 | Samsung 840pro 512GB | Hitachi 7K1000 1TB | Fractal Design Define R4 + 4x Noctua NF-A14 PWM @450rpm | SeaSonic SS-860XP2
Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


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 Post subject: Re: Silent modded GTX 680 in an ITX Fractal Design Node 304
PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 7:23 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 3:32 pm
Posts: 4
Abula wrote:
Thanks for posting the specs, nice setup you have there. Btw what fan did you use on the PSU fan swap? the GT 1850rpm?


I... honestly can't remember. It's probably the 1850 RPM. I bought it off ebay used with the specs unlisted for £3 since I'm super cheap. Took the original PSU fan out, hooked both up to +12V, confirmed that the new fan provided more airflow and stuck it in as a replacement. Worked well!


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