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 Post subject: Quiet "Bleeding Edge" PC? Need Advice on Cooling
PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2007 4:44 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2005 9:46 pm
Posts: 289
Location: Bloomington, MN
I'm about to begin building a new PC and would much appreciate ideas/help/advice...already have most components, so what would be most helpful is response that is based on the assumption of working within the parameters that are given.

Here are the GIVENS:

C2D x6800 extreme
EVGA 680i Motherboard
4 GB Corsair Dominator DDR2 1142Mhz PC2 9136C5D
EVGA 8800GTX w/ Thermalright HR-03 Plus(?)
4 WD 150GB Raptors w/ SmartDrive 2002cu Quiet Enclosures
Areca ARC 1210 RAID Host Controller PCI-E (connections for 4 HDDs)
RAID 0 Array w/ external backup
2 Plextor DVDR
MountainMods U2-UFO Horizon w/ Original Top http://www.mountainmods.com/product_info.php?cPath=21_70&products_id=350
Backview:
Acoustifan 120mm gaskets

Still deciding btw:
Cooler Master Real Power Pro 850W or Corsair HX520W PSU w/ option for 2 Corsairs

Need to select:
best quiet air cooling option for CPU
120mm case fans, Scythe S-Flex or Noctua

Backview of case: http://www.mountainmods.com/popup_image.php?pID=361&pic=6&type=jpg


Last edited by christopher3393 on Thu Mar 15, 2007 6:29 pm, edited 8 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 2:09 am 
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Bleeding edge isn't dual-core, it's quad-core. Get a QX6700 instead if you can.

Corsair's memory cooling fans are 3x40mm, which would be a good source of noise. A Zalman fan bracket with a quiet 92mm or 120mm fan would be much better.

No system with a 150GB Raptor can be defined as quiet, and Seagate's 7200.10 series is not the most quiet choice either. Try three Samsung or Western Digital 500GB SATA drives in RAID5 instead.

A Corsair HX620 should be able to handle the power load.

Tuniq Tower for the CPU cooler.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 3:37 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2005 9:46 pm
Posts: 289
Location: Bloomington, MN
Thanks for the response. I'm "stuck" w/ dual-core. I was hoping I could swap out the 40mm fans in the Corsair fan module. Review on the ones in there say they're not noisy, rated at 34Db top, but I don't trust this and may not need this fan at all.Thanks for alternative memory cooling suggestion.

You're advice on Hdds is very sensible.But I'm going to go ahead and try the Raptors inside the SmartDrive enclosures. Techs at EndPCNoise and PugetPC swear by them and have used them for years. I also intend to try some additional ducting and muffling. The hdd cage can be positioned on the bottom of the case near the 2 rear 120mm fanholes, but I'll probably have to consruct the cage--the SmartDrives are 5.25 and there needs to be space in between them for adequate cooling.

The Corsair HX620 does provide that extra power but it does it at 43dB.

The Tuniq tower suggestion is a really good one if I swap the stock fan for a quieter one.

Thanks again.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 2:03 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2002 12:34 pm
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Location: Southampton, UK
Christopher,

There is a review here at SPCR on the Raptor drives, and they reviewed (I though) quite favourably. I think you should stick with them.

Are you overclocking? If not, do you really need extra cooling on the memory? You're never going to be happy with a 40mm fan as far as noise goes.

On the other hand, if you do use a 40mm fan, the seek noise from the Raptors won't be a problem. :)

Cheers.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 7:41 am 
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Posts: 289
Location: Bloomington, MN
Hi Wussboy,

Thanks. I've edited the memory fans out. After a close inspection of the Dominator memory module, I dicovered that swapping fans would be more work than it is worth. I also do not plan to overclock this memory because it is already so fast and its rated speed is close to being its best stable running speed.

With the 5 year warranty on the Raptors, and the quieting from the Smart Drive enclosures (should bring seek noise down to the low 30s at least) I'm ready to give them a try. BTW, the SmartDrive 2002 was reviewed on this site several years ago. I still have to work out some custom mounting so that there'll be an empty 5.25 slot between each of them and at least 1 fan, possibly 2, exhausting their heat. Still working on this concept but the large Mountain Mods case leaves room for such things. I may try some additional dampening as well to get hdd noise down further w/out raising temps.

I'm adding the Noctua NC-U6 Northbridge passive tower cooler, as the 680i chipset has a reputation for heat and I don't want to use the noisy stock Northbridge fan. Also, the Raid card will mean less work and a little less heat for mobo.

I would like to do moderate overclocking of the cpu.I'm interested in the idea of using a Thermalright SI-128 on the horizontally positioned MB with a 120 Noctua 1200rpm exhausting upward through a duct or shroud directly through a top 120mm hole. This would prevent cpu heat from escaping into the case. If I could construct the duct out of sound dampening material that might help a little noisewise, although this fan tops at around 25dB.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 3:49 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 12:47 am
Posts: 93
Location: Arizona
I tried something similar with a Raptor in a Nexus Drive-a-way, and I wasn't at all happy with the result. I switched over to a NoVibes III and it worked like a charm. It's still loud, being a 3.5" 10k drive, but suspension is definitely the way to go. It makes for better airflow around the drive, too.

Also, the Areca cards generally have active cooling solutions. The 3ware cards use an in-house designed chip which tends to be faster, and only requires passive cooling. Don't use a level 5 array, you won't be happy with the performance. And don't opt for a level 0 array, there's way too much risk. A level 10 array is the way to go, but you'll only get 300GB out of the thing. Honestly, just get a single Raptor and grab a few quiet Samsung disks for a level 5 array.

Dual core is not overrated. For years enthusiasts who've tried SMP systems have known that it does wonders for system responsivity, especially when multitasking. It's the kind of thing which doesn't generally benchmark well since you're right, most applications aren't well multithreaded, if at all. But what's more important, benchmarks or feel of the interfaces? I don't know anyone who only uses one program at a time, and that's not even accounting for the countless operating system processes.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 5:31 pm 
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Location: Bloomington, MN
Ethyriel:

Thanks. Very much appreciated.

Since I already have a large investment in the SmartDrive 2002, I'm going to try them out and post the results. My contacts at a company that sells both the Nxus Drive-a-Way and the SmartDrive has told me that he would never use a Drive-a-Way, but regularly uses the SmartDrives with good noise results and with minimal increase in heat. I'm staking a lot on this advice but the source has an excellent reputation for building quiet PCs and has worked closely with SPCR on a couple of projects. I think suspension is a much more economically sound way to go, but the SmartDrive is suppose to suspend the hd to a great degree.

You're definitely right about excercizing caution in using active cooling for the Areca card. But I will not use the fan and will experiment with passive cooling options. i already own the Areca card so I'm going to give it a try. Your suggestion about getting a single raptor and just getting some quiet drives for a stable storage array is eminently wise. But again, I have the raptors and I want to follow through with an experiment that pushes the envelope. I have an external drive and software for automatic backup, so I think I'm going to go the risky route of RAID 0 if the performance hit with Raid 5 is that significant. As mentioned previously, there will also be further efforts to dampen hd noise, but it will take some creative design effort.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 5:57 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 12:47 am
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Location: Arizona
Understood :)
I'm doing similar experiments, for the sake of some local musicians who need audio workstations and are fully fed up with Apple (though I don't really understand why, all because one of them got a G5 with heat issues). I'm going to try out the Savvio route, once the new generation is released, and setup a level 5 with Samsung drives on the same LSI controller. I figure even if it's not quiet enough for them, I'll have some fun with my new rig :twisted:

And of course pushing the envelope is the best way to learn about limitations in designs, like I recently did in an SG-01. Working through that one has really been very fun, and it's going to make a good donation now that everything is figured out.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 8:58 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2005 9:26 pm
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Location: Finland
There's a typo in the name of this thread. It says "bleeding edge", when there should be "crying wallet".

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 7:14 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2005 9:46 pm
Posts: 289
Location: Bloomington, MN
Erssa,

LOL. Could also be called Operation Overkill. But the question still stands once one accepts the component list. How do you make this system as quiet as possible, preferably on air cooling?

Will ducting the exhausted heat from the cpu directly out of the case lower case temp at all? If ducting is done with sound dampening material, will it make any difference? Is a Thermalright SI-128 with a Noctua 120mm 1200rpm fan the best choice for this approach? Would there need to be a muffler attached to the exhaust hole at the top of the case to help reduce noise coning from the cpu exhaust fan? What design and structure for the muffler would interfere least with airflow while still providing some sound dampening?

Some of the ideas I'd like to try are from a quiet DAW case called the PaQ Case: http://www.paq.ltd.uk/content_about.htm You'll notice from the pictures that ther are 3 120mm fans that have been moved to the inside of the case to reduce noise and optimize direct airflow to where it's needed. I'd like to try something similar with the 3 120mm fans on the front of the Mountain Mods case. Will 1 front air intake ducted out to 3 interior fans provide sufficient airflow? If so, I can cover 2 front fanholes, which should reduce noise.

These are just 2 examples of approaches I'd like to try and would appreciate input on.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 4:18 pm 
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Location: Finland
I suggest Chris Thompson approach.

http://www.silentpcreview.com/article672-page1.html

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 6:38 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2005 9:46 pm
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Location: Bloomington, MN
Thanks for the link---haven't seen this before and is certainly relevant.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:16 pm 
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Just keep in mind, ducting makes it easy to introduce hot spots by overlooking things like motherboard components around the duct. You probably won't have too many issues considering all the fan mounts in your case, but remember that there are a lot more considerable heat producing components than are monitored normally.

If you configure your fan to pull through the duct you can make a few strategic holes in the duct to help reduce this. Of course the duct won't be as effective, and you won't have the noise reducing benefit of bringing the fan further into the case.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 8:12 pm 
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Location: Bloomington, MN
I'm hoping that by moving the 3 front 120mm fans about 5" inside the case that this direct airflow will help cool the MB, along with a 120mm exhaust at the back of the case. I will use aftermarket heatsinks wherever they might help to draw heat off the components. If this doesn't do the trick, I'll consider a larger duct. Clearly I have work do do in figuring this all out.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 6:42 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2005 2:46 am
Posts: 137
Location: Central London, England
Hi,


I'm in no doubt that ducting the hot air out of the case helps. In every heat calculation I have done for a machine that does not have a mobster graphic card the CPU cooling requirement dominates the overall cooling solution.

Every 1C you knock off the internal case temp reduces the average temperature of the air in the CPU cooler by around 0.5C, which means you can reduce teh airflow through the cooler for the same cooling.

In the PaQ case, with the intrenal fan directing air over the surface of the motherbaord, and the hot air not being alowed to recircualte, I see no risk of ending up witjh hot spots because the CPU fan isn't pushing air over them. In general, however, that is a risk, and you have to design the airflow through the case to deal with it.


Peter


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 4:50 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2007 12:39 pm
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I'll have a question regarding the duct made by Chris Thompson.

When building the duct, would it do any good/bad if he had closed the top of the heatsink? (Practically covering the whole heatsink?)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 5:06 am 
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Location: Plymouth, MI
Isn't that MM case set up for water cooling? It says the 3 intakes align with the radiators.


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