It is currently Mon Sep 15, 2014 5:38 pm

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Review AMS g-Tower with 2x120mm blowout fans (watercooled)
PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2003 4:59 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2002 1:27 pm
Posts: 341
Location: Sweden
A hastily written, biased, unprofessional review of the g-Tower from AMS electronics with water cooling:

My g-Tower comes modified with top blow-hole from http://www.cooltechnica.com/, where I bought the case.
The modifications by cooltechnica are well made. I use it for my Innovatec and DIY water-cooled system.

This case has some nice features:

Wide enough to fit a pump next to the hard disks, a very convenient spot
Easy to cut and alter an aluminium case (like cutting up stamped grill)
Place to fit TWO radiators (with 120 mm fans), one @ back, one @ top (cooltechnica modification)
More sturdy than the Lian-Li´s I´ve encountered
Damped with rubber feet
No front door to mess with
No retractable motherboard tray or stuff like that (rattles)
Excellent quality; very well made with folded edges and all, you won´t get a nick
Very stylish
Cooltechnica´s top blowhole helps self-ventilation as hot air rises

Some drawbacks also:

Not enough air intakes, especially the poor front intake
Side panels need dampening or they easily start to resonate
No front door to cover noisy cd-roms
Top blow-hole makes any attempt to dampen the whole case with
sound-eating material much harder, sound coming out at top
Also, the top blowhole drilled by cooltechnica is right in the center of the case roof, too close to that part of the internal chassi that runs through it (like in most cases) so only some radiators fit. This makes it trickier to thouroughly isolate the radiator from the rest of the chassis. Better do it yourself and place the hole just a bit off center.
If using a radiator at top hole then there´s not room enough for cd-roms at the top two 5.25 bays. Still space enough for stuff like rheobuses.
The fans that comes with the case are very noisy, including the one that
cooltechnica throws in for the top blowhole. Money for nothing.


I never did understand why all cases come with fans blowing both in and out of them. What blows out comes in at the other end anyway. I got a rather silly but fun DigitalDoc5 coming with my case, measuring temperatures at 8 places. Running the 2 Papst 4412 radiator fans @ about 5V and one Papst 8412 in PSU (controlled by PSU) provides sufficient cooling for the whole case. (Extra fan in the dual fan PSU seldom needs to turn on. Controlled manually and by the DD5 because the PSU sensor sucks.) Water temperatures never above 40 degrees C. My system is ASUS A7N8X, 2600+ 333fsb, Radeon 9700 (water cooled), Barracuda SATA. Radiators are a Black Ice Extreme at top, an Innovatec at back. If I had to do it all again I´d go for cheap car radiators instead if I could fit them inside.

However, the northbridge got rather warm since no cpu fan helped cool it. Therefore I built an air duct so that the fan/radiator at the back draws some of its air through the northbridge heatsink. Now it stays below 50 C.

I think the main reason manufacturers fit their cases with intake AND blowout fans are that they thus can insure a good air circulation in the whole case. But if paying some attention to the airflow is all it takes to cut back on the number of fans needed then the only remaining problem is that the case will have negative pressure, attracting some dust. I put thin sheets of vacuum-cleaner filter at all intakes to get rid of most of it, works like a charm. (Going for all blow-in fans instead seldom doable due to PSU fan always drawing air out and fans at the front is evil.)

The g-Tower got rather smothered with this setup. I had to drill some extra air intake holes along the bottom sides. The tiny holes in the front are by no means adequate. But that redirected some of the airflow needed to cool the harddisk so I gave up and eventually fitted a fan in the front intake after all, just to cool it.

Side panels had to be damped. Foamy material along contacts with the rest of the case and heavy rubber sheets near the pump to get rid of all vibrations. Probably easier without that Eheim pump which had to be very thouroughly dampened from the rest of the case.
All fans and radiators are now painstakingly isolated from the case with foamy materials and silicone. This is all the more important when using a lighter aluminium case than with a big heavy Chieftec.
Although the whole harddisk mounting section is hanging in elastic cords still the barracuda clearly makes the most annoying sound in this system. Not easily dampened within such a case, full of holes.
Maybe better wrap it up in sound dampening materials and water cool it.

All in all the main appeal with this case are the 120 mm fan holes. At least that´s why I bought it. Don´t know of any other midi tower that fits all this stuff that easy.
Aluminium cases are lighter and look better. Harddisks are better cooled too if dispensed with aluminium along the sides where heat is released.
Still, cases made of steel are cheaper and often vibrates less, probably a smarter choice.

Btw, to have the fans go at minimum speed I modified my other case toy, the Innovatec fan controller, to work together with the DD5. Now I can control all the fans myself but the DD5 steps in and feeds a full 12V if ever anything gets too hot. Foolproof and quiet, but not exactly cheap.


This was supposed to be short. Thanks for reading anyway :-)
EDITED


Last edited by snutten on Tue May 06, 2003 4:09 am, edited 13 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2003 5:17 am 
Offline
*Lifetime Patron*

Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2003 2:19 pm
Posts: 5316
Location: St Louis (county) Missouri USA
Apparently you're using a DD5 similar to my own setup....turning on extra fans when temps get too high. I am wondering why the water cooling is necessary? With the number of fans you have going, I would think air cooling would be sufficient.

One other question...why would you want a radiator inside the case? Even if you blew a fan through the thing to the outside, just having the radiator inside would make the whole case warmer....


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2003 3:01 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2002 1:27 pm
Posts: 341
Location: Sweden
About the DD5: Of course if the corresponding fan is all off, the DD5 turns it on. But in my box it isn´t there only to turn on any extra fans, but to turn the fan speed up if needed. This way I can push the undervolting limits with no worries. Further, the system can´t get caught in the on-off behaviour that the DD5 can create because all I need to do if a fan starts to spin faster now and then is to adjust the fan controller a bit.

The thing with watercooling is that the same fans used for cooling the CPU and GPU also works as case coolers. Thus fewer fans.

I fitted the radiators inside purely for estetic and practical (when moving) reasons. Compromising with the heat/sound setup in SPCR - guilty. But I believe almost all the heat is transfered to the air blowing out; and the inside of the case is always very cool anyway.

If I tried to cool the whole thing with just air I would have to fit two fans extra (cpu&gpu) and those fans would spill ALL the heat inside the case, right?
That means more work for the case fans. Running perhaps just one Papst 4412 @ 5V to do that work might be considered as pushing the limits.

The only ways I can think of to achieve adequate, air-only cooling, this silent, would be:
First, the standard way with a heavily isolated case. I didn´t know of SPCR when I bought my case so doing this had become a rather troublesome solution for me. Not to mention it often requires the case to be big and ugly with mad-scientist-silencer ducts sticking out of it to get rid of the hot air while trapping the noise.
Second, some sort of elaborate air-duct system. Maybe it could be designed so that the big fan at the back also cooled the cpu heatsink in some clever way. Alas, I´m not willing to risk my new cpu trying such a system out and maybe I´m not clever enought either. It can´t be bought as far as I know.
Third, a heat-pipe solution, like in the Shuttle. Can this be bought for a better price / capability ratio than the water solution?

Finally, no heat-sink I´ve heard of comes close to the heat dissipation of a good radiator.

So, if you have any better ideas how to cool a computer like mine with the total noise made by two 4412 at 5V, and one thermostatically controlled 8412 in PSU, please give me suggestions. Because basically I agree with you. Watercooling a computer should not be needed to make it quiet. It should have been designed quiet right from the start.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2003 4:06 am 
Offline
*Lifetime Patron*

Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2003 2:19 pm
Posts: 5316
Location: St Louis (county) Missouri USA
I'm cooling my Celeron 2.0 @2100 with a duct, using the one rear case fan hole in an Antec 2600. There's a variable speed 80mm fan blowing directly on an Alpha heatsink. Normally this is the only fan blowing into the case. The DD5 turns on the front case fan(blowing in), and another small fan on the cpu, if the system gets over 39C(which is rare).

I want to avoid water-cooling due to cost, maintenance, aesthetics...other reasons. I'm convinced ductwork, mostly DIY, is the answer. And the DD5 comes in handy to turn on more fans when needed, so under normal usage your setup can run on one or two small fans.

http://photos.yahoo.com/bc/bluefront100/lst?.dir=/Zalman+Duct&.src=ph&.order=&.view=t&.done=http%3a//photos.yahoo.com/


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Review of AMS g-Tower with 2x120mm fans (watercooled)
PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2003 11:52 am 
Offline
Patron of SPCR

Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2002 1:01 am
Posts: 543
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
snutten wrote:
Btw, to have the fans go at minimum speed I modified my other case toy, the Innovatec fan controller, to work together with the DD5. Now I can control all the fans myself but the DD5 steps in and feeds a full 12V if ever anything gets too hot. Foolproof and quiet, but not exactly cheap.


I'm interested to learn more about the Innovatec. Couldn't find it on google. Do you have a link?

_________________
FS: SX1040, PSU duct, TigerMP, 2x1.4GHz, 'Cuda7 120GB, dcupld L1As (6V) (link)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2003 4:03 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2002 1:27 pm
Posts: 341
Location: Sweden
Ooops it seems it should be spelled Innovatek, sorry about that. Their english site is to be found here:
http://www.innovatek.de/e-sites/index2.html
A nice (swedish, but mostly in english) place were one can check up and compare most of these kind of nifty-feature-gadgets is: http://kylning.com/info.php?cPath=77_95&products_id=278

A warning: It doesn´t work together with a DD5 without modification. I can write a short report on my solution if you are interested. Don´t start like I did:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/vi ... php?t=2781 (bottom of page)



Bluefront, you have probably solved your cooling in a smarter way than me. I´m to build a new computer for my friend and shall try something similar. Water cooling is just too expensive. (Still, I think it is the most silent solution around if done the right way. Definitely the geekiest with biggest show-off potential) :-)
If you have the possibility to set up your DD5 with some sort of adjustable fan controoler I must recommend you do so. Allows for all fans to run really slow and just turned up by the DD5, instead of having one fan running and more turning on, full speed. This way you can fine-tune the fan speeds so the DD5 rarely needs to step in, and the on-off behaviour sometimes experienced is solved. Not to mention that more fans on low speed makes less noise for more cfm than fewer fans on high speed.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2003 5:31 pm 
Offline
*Lifetime Patron*

Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2003 2:19 pm
Posts: 5316
Location: St Louis (county) Missouri USA
snutten.....The DD5 has proven invaluable to my (relatively) quiet setup.
I set an upper limit on cpu temperature which I do not want to exceed. In my case that limit is 42C. The DD5 turns on more fans as the temps rise, but I am controlling the fan speed by Zalman speed controllers, so the extra fans are running about 1/2 speed or less, and reasonably quiet.

With warmer summer temps coming, I may have to turn up the fan speeds slightly...we'll see.

I'm working on a quieter, more efficient cpu duct...might be finished this week-end. I would like to eliminate all the fans, and vents on the front of the case. Those front openings are always the most noisy. With no fans or vents in front, and a padded door covering the drives, you are well on the way to a really quiet setup.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2003 5:20 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2002 1:27 pm
Posts: 341
Location: Sweden
Got rid of the Barracuda SATA, replacing with PATA version. No acoustic management for newer Seagates, yuck.
System HD now a Raptor, enclosed in excesses of dampening materials and watercooled. (Very fast HD for money btw.)
Whole case dampened with industrial (cheap & very good) acoustic panels, side panel holes elaborately covered to shield from noise but still allowing good air path. Air sucked through (sort of) S-shaped dampened ducts.


Now, I think I have a COOL thing going?:

I´m currently making a couple of (4 actually) aluminium plates with pipes along them that fits the tubes of my water cool system. These are be mounted flat against the case walls wherever there´s a free spot left - in between the dampening material fastened with thermal glue - at top, bottom and back of my alu case. Side panels not an option or I won´t be able to open it anymore. This way the water can heat up the outer aluminium structure having the whole case act as a heatsink, helping my radiators.
No fans, big surface area, isolated from inside so heat should dissipate on outside only, sort of geeky and absolutely not worthwhile by any other standards than those prevalent here at SPCR = must must must try it

Any suggestions?


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group