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Small media/file server, enough cooling?
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Author:  phanmc [ Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Small media/file server, enough cooling?

Hi all,

Newbie here, I'm planning on building a small media streamer/file server with the following components:

Antec P180 mini
Sandy Bridge 2100T
ASUS P8H67-M LE
Cooler Master Hyper 212+
6 2TB WD Caviar Greens
Seasonic X-650 PSU
A couple of Scythe Slipstream 1200rpm fans

I plan on removing the top fan and plugging up the hole while using a scythe for the rear exhaust. I initially wanted to use another scythe for an intake fan but didn't realize the P180 mini, unlike its bigger brother, doesn't have space for an intake fan if I use the drive cages. So here's where the questions come in.

1. Would 1 undervolted exhaust fan and CPU fan be sufficient to cool the system? Heck, with the 2100T's incredibly low power usage, would 1 exhaust fan work? My concern is with the 6 HD drives overheating.

2. I could remove one of the drive bays but i would have to move 2 of the HDs to the lower 5.25 bays, which is an isolated chamber with the PSU. Since the X-650's fan only spins when it heats up, is this a bad idea for the HDs?

Thanks in advance.

Author:  ces [ Sun May 08, 2011 6:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Small media/file server, enough cooling?

I think your selection of components is good. It seems like it should work with the configuration you plan. Even if it doesn't, there is some configuration of our components that will work... in my opinion.

You can only know for certain by trying it and experimenting.

Author:  Jim G [ Sun May 08, 2011 7:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Small media/file server, enough cooling?

phanmc wrote:
Hi all,

Newbie here, I'm planning on building a small media streamer/file server with the following components:

Antec P180 mini
Sandy Bridge 2100T
ASUS P8H67-M LE
Cooler Master Hyper 212+
6 2TB WD Caviar Greens
Seasonic X-650 PSU
A couple of Scythe Slipstream 1200rpm fans

I plan on removing the top fan and plugging up the hole while using a scythe for the rear exhaust. I initially wanted to use another scythe for an intake fan but didn't realize the P180 mini, unlike its bigger brother, doesn't have space for an intake fan if I use the drive cages. So here's where the questions come in.

1. Would 1 undervolted exhaust fan and CPU fan be sufficient to cool the system? Heck, with the 2100T's incredibly low power usage, would 1 exhaust fan work? My concern is with the 6 HD drives overheating.

2. I could remove one of the drive bays but i would have to move 2 of the HDs to the lower 5.25 bays, which is an isolated chamber with the PSU. Since the X-650's fan only spins when it heats up, is this a bad idea for the HDs?

Thanks in advance.


The x-650 is overkill here... go the (also probably overkill, heh) 560 and save some cash!

What sort of ambient temps will the system be seeing?

Author:  ces [ Sun May 08, 2011 9:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Small media/file server, enough cooling?

Jim G wrote:
The x-650 is overkill here... go the (also probably overkill, heh) 560 and save some cash!
I agree that the 560 is newer and theoretically better. But I think the 650 can be bought for less. I would get whichever is least expensive. Either has more than enough power so that neither will need to spin up their fans to cool the PSU... even under full load.

Author:  phanmc [ Mon May 09, 2011 8:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Small media/file server, enough cooling?

So I've finally put everything together with the 2 fan setup (1 exhaust, 1 cpu) and have been very happy with the results. After running the system for a few hours streaming HD quality videos my cpu temps are hovering around the mid 30s C with the highest peak at 38C. The HDD temps are low 30s C or below, measurements taken with speedfan. Average room temperature is around 24-26C and the system have plenty of ventilation around it, we'll see how it holds up as summer approaches.

The system is very quiet, the cable box next to it makes more noise. The only time I hear it is if there is no ambient noise or I bring my head within a ft or 2 .

The performance of the iCore 3-2100T is a little slower than I'd like but it can handle HD quality video with no problems. I'm outputting blu-ray quality video to a 1080p TV and everything runs smoothly and looks great.

I know the X650 is overkill but it was actually cheaper than the X560 by about $15 on Amazon.com at the time. Probably could have gone with a cheaper brand but I've been wanting a Seasonic PS for awhile now and I plan to keep this system for a very long time.

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