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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2004 5:38 pm 
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is the zalman fanmate really better and/or cheaper than a radioshack rheostat? I am considering getting a panaflo L1a or similar which runs at about 1900rpm and i would like to be able to use it safely with my new shuttle. I like how the radioshack rheostat can be mounted externally to the case for easier adjustment, which is why I am considering it over the fanmate. Thanks.

P.S. Any updates on your fanless shuttle project? I was considering making my 200watt shuttle psu fanless, and was looking for ideas.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2004 5:44 pm 
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spazmo wrote:
is the zalman fanmate really better and/or cheaper than a radioshack rheostat? I am considering getting a panaflo L1a or similar which runs at about 1900rpm and i would like to be able to use it safely with my new shuttle. I like how the radioshack rheostat can be mounted externally to the case for easier adjustment, which is why I am considering it over the fanmate. Thanks.


Well, here the the US, a Fanmate goes for about $5-7 from CompUSSR or Fry's. I don't have any idea how much a RatShack reostat goes for, price one out and see.

"Better" I don't know, but all the Fanmates I've ever used 9a bunch) work great and I've never had one break. That's a pretty good track record to me.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2004 5:05 am 
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spazmo wrote:
is the zalman fanmate really better and/or cheaper than a radioshack rheostat? I am considering getting a panaflo L1a or similar which runs at about 1900rpm and i would like to be able to use it safely with my new shuttle. I like how the radioshack rheostat can be mounted externally to the case for easier adjustment, which is why I am considering it over the fanmate. Thanks.


It was convenient having the rheostat knob on the outside of the case where it could be easily adjusted. The rheostat is a little more work setting up though. Plus you need to splice wires and put connectors on them.

Quote:
P.S. Any updates on your fanless shuttle project? I was considering making my 200watt shuttle psu fanless, and was looking for ideas.


The fanless system can be found here:

http://forums.silentpcreview.com/viewtopic.php?t=11052

Everything is today the same as it was in the pictures. I haven't needed to change anything. The only difference being that I now have the SmartDrive enclosure inside the Zen for a less cluttered look. The drive runs a little warmer but all is well.

The Zen came with a fanless PSU so my system unfortunately wont give you any ideas on how to safely make your power supply fanless, something I know nothing about. :(


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2004 1:52 pm 
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Hello! I have a Zen with 2.8C underclocked to 2.33GHz and undervolted, 2.5" 4200rpm hard drive. I've read this thread now a few times but not sure what the conclusion was. Is it possible with my setup to go fanless? If not, what's the next best option? Thanks in advance for your help.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2004 5:47 pm 
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hyslopc wrote:
Hello! I have a Zen with 2.8C underclocked to 2.33GHz and undervolted, 2.5" 4200rpm hard drive. I've read this thread now a few times but not sure what the conclusion was. Is it possible with my setup to go fanless?


No way, not even close. What Vcore are you running at?

hyslopc wrote:
If not, what's the next best option? Thanks in advance for your help.


Swap out the stock ICE fan for a quieter one, since you probably don't need all the airflow of the stock fan anymore. You have to be careful though because there's no way to know what temps you're dealing with.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2004 4:03 am 
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Quote:
What Vcore are you running at?


I was running it at 1.125v, and it ran reliably like that for weeks, but last night it froze up completely. The weather has gotten a lot warmer here the past few days - maybe it has something to do with that? I don't know. Anyway now I bumped it up to 1.1375v to see if that helps.

Quote:
Swap out the stock ICE fan for a quieter one


Yeah that's what I want to do - I just can't understand why the fan never goes lower than 1600rpm! What's up with that? I would be happy enough with the stock fan if the "smart" setting was smart enough to ramp the fan down to zero when the PC is running at room temperature. Any way to do that, or just to slow it down overall? If not, which fan should I buy? Thanks a lot for your help - I'm a bit of a newbie with silent PCs.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2004 5:34 am 
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hyslopc wrote:
Quote:
What Vcore are you running at?


I was running it at 1.125v, and it ran reliably like that for weeks, but last night it froze up completely. The weather has gotten a lot warmer here the past few days - maybe it has something to do with that? I don't know. Anyway now I bumped it up to 1.1375v to see if that helps.


You can't just arbitrarily drop your Vcore and hope you'll be OK. You need to check the stability of your system using Prime95 just like if you were overclocking it.

hyslopc wrote:
Quote:
Swap out the stock ICE fan for a quieter one


Yeah that's what I want to do - I just can't understand why the fan never goes lower than 1600rpm! What's up with that? I would be happy enough with the stock fan if the "smart" setting was smart enough to ramp the fan down to zero when the PC is running at room temperature. Any way to do that, or just to slow it down overall? If not, which fan should I buy? Thanks a lot for your help - I'm a bit of a newbie with silent PCs.


I'd look at either the Panaflo M1A or an L1A. If I was forced to choose just one I'd probably pick the M1A.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2004 6:08 am 
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Quote:
You need to check the stability of your system using Prime95

Of course you're right - lazy (and stupid) of me. Running it now. Feels good knowing that eventually I will "know" whether the system is stable or not, although it would feel a lot better if I could see the temps while it was running!

Quote:
If I was forced to choose just one I'd probably pick the M1A.

Darn those Panaflo fans are hard to find here in Sweden! After a long search, I finally found an M1A at http://www.overclockers.se. Before I order it, though - will this fan be a simple click-in replacement for the stock Shuttle fan, or will I have to do something special to get it working?


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2004 7:43 am 
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hyslopc --

The stock fan is 80x20mm; standard ones like the Panaflo are 80X25mm. You can make it fit with a little hacking -- just bend the fan screw mounts so it will go it -- and friction fit the fan into place using a bit of rubber or foam or whatever.

Actually, I think an 80L would work OK -- the BIOS does have the smart fan setting which you can tie to a max CPU temp for ramp up point. That's as good an indicator as any for what temp your CPU is running at. If you set it to 64C, for example, and the fan does ramp up, then you know it's hitting that temp; then move the trigger to 68C and see what happens, etc...

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2004 9:51 am 
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Quote:
I think an 80L would work OK

I think so too, and I would go for that if I could find one! The quietest Panaflo fan I could find here in Sweden is the M1A. I will do another search to see if I can dig up an L.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2004 8:23 pm 
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The L1A will be quieter overall, but it's going to spin just as fast because the Zen is adjusting fan speed by adjusting power fed to the fan. It's not checking fan RPM. The LIA is going to get fed a enough voltage until it spins fast enough to produce enough resistance to consume a predetermined amount of power. This is exactly what I observed when I switched to a low speed fan. You can even put a volt meter on one of the fan leads and then stick your finger in the fan to slow it and create a little more resistance. When you do, you'll notice the voltage being fed to the fan drops. I agree with Ralf and Mike, replacing the fan is a good option, but consider a Fanmate as well. The Fanmate is a rheostat that will add variable resistance to the circut and slow the fan. The motherboard by itself is going to spin the fan way faster than you need at your current clock and Vcore settings. You'll need little more than a butterfly flapin it's wings on the ICE radiator to keep that CPU cool.

Like Ralf indicates, the clock and Vcore you are using will not run fanless. I had my 3.0C down to 1.5 @ .8375 Vcore and it ran at about 54C fanless. Those temps rise dramatically, though, when you raise Vcore and you're running without a fan. Much more than what I used will not run fanless, it'll overheat in minutes under a full CPU load.

Sisoft Sandra will read and report accurate temps and voltages on the Zen. You'll need to refresh it when you want the readings because it doesn't work like a monitor that constantly updates itself with new readings, but it works. The only erroneous reading that Sandra reports is the "-5volt". The sensor it is reporting is actually the VDIMM, and the value it reports is faulty. You can, however, get good CPU temps which is probably the only one of any import.

Good luck, and I'll be glad to answer any questions I can. I don't have much general experience, but I've spent many an hour tinkering with what has become three Zens that I now own. And I apologize that the topic is now missing it's pics. I lost my original ISP unexpectedly, along with everything that was hosted with them. I unfortunately didn't keep local copies of what was hosted there.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2004 8:46 pm 
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Copper --

Funny your comment about the voltage to the fan. I swapped the nasty fan on the other ATI9100 chipset Shuttle -- ST91G4 -- with a Nexus fan, and with the BIOS set to Ultra Low, it stayed at 1500RPM. I did not measure the voltage, but now I wonder if it was higher than with the stock fan. The stock fan, BTW, ran at 2200rpm with the same settings, and its max at 12V is 3000rpm......

......Just checked the Nexus specs: 1500rpm at 12V!! :!:

You're right Copper. Very interesting

EDIT corrected typo -- stock fan max is 3000, not 4000.

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Last edited by MikeC on Sat Jul 24, 2004 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2004 8:55 pm 
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Ya, I covered it here in this topic on page one. But my posts got a bit long winded, not to mention I'm not much of a writer. :)

PS, As you may well have deduced, your Nexus is running at 1500 RPM as apposed to the 2200 RPM of the stock fan only because the max volt the board can send to the fan is 12 volt. If it could send more, the Nexus would likely be spinning very close to 2200 RPM, sharing a simular resistance as the stock fan.

It's a clever "safe" approach to fan speed adjustment. Given that the main factor to a properly functioning fan's resistance is it's blades moving through the air, shuttle has produced a means of insuring the cooling they want even if the end user changes to an aftermarket fan.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2004 12:31 am 
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I have what I believe is a Zalman fanmate, but I tried it, and the fan didn't spin at all with it connected - it let out a quiet, high-pitched whine which slowly lowered in pitch until it stopped completely. The whole time, the fan didn't spin at all. I'm not 100% sure it's a fanmate, but it looks just like one, and it came from Zalman. I think it came bundled with a Zalman CPU fan I bought a long time ago. Maybe I have to increase the fan speed in the BIOS to compensate for the fanmate? Or maybe what I have is some sort of predecessor to the fanmate of today?

After running prime95, I discovered that my Vcore was indeed too low, but rather than increasing it, I opted to lower the FSB from 166MHz to 133MHz. This lowered my CPU speed to 1.8GHz, which is plenty for my needs. I then ran prime95 successfully for 24 hours at 1V, but 0.9V failed fairly quickly. Now I have to decide whether to decrease the CPU speed and go fanless, or to increase it and look at how to slow the fan down to a whisper. To be honest, I don't really need to go fanless, since this is a server PC that will sit in a cupboard. But the cupboard is right next to our kitchen table, and I want it to be quiet enough that you can't hear it whirring away in there.

So probably it makes most sense to increase the VCore a bit (maybe 0.95V) and buy a "real" fanmate to slow the stock fan way down?


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2004 4:38 am 
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I fetched my Fanmate now, and it definitely says "Zalman" one one side and "CNPS FAN MATE1" on the other. The little knob has "UP" written on it. Is there a FanMate2, or do I have the real deal? If so, does anyone have any ideas as to why doesn't it work with my Zen stock fan? I'm running Prime95 at 0.95V now. As soon as that fails (or runs OK for 24 hours), I will go into the BIOS, re-install the FanMate, and adjust the fan settings to see if I can get the fan to turn very slowly and quietly.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2004 4:41 am 
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Quote:
Shuttle has produced a means of insuring the cooling they want even if the end user changes to an aftermarket fan.

I agree, although I just wish they would add a BIOS setting "minimum fan speed", and let us set it right down to 0 if we want. That would mean I could go "fanless" when the weather is cool and the PC isn't working too hard, but be secure in the knowledge that if things warm up for whatever reason, the fan will start spinning.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2004 5:36 am 
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I'd like that feature too.

Have you tried turning the knob on the fanmate all the way in the other direction? If it's turned down and the BIOS is set to it's lowest setting the fan won't get enough voltage to start, it may not even if the fanmate is turned all the way up because even all the way up the fanmate still cuts the volts a little. Fans usually take more voltage to start than they do to run. When the Zen boots, however, it breifly sends full power to the fan, kick starting it, then lowers the power to whatever you have it set at.

Try setting the FSB to 100mhz and lowering the Vcore to .8250. It's a crap shoot whether or not it'll post set this low, but it doesn't cost anything to try. My 3.0C would post when set this low but my 3.0E required a 105mhz bus before it would post at any Vcore. You'll need to leave the Zen's cover off completely in order to try to run fanless. At 1.4 ghz and .8250 Vcore it'll run fanless under even dual instances of CPUburn. You could try it and see if it still performs at a level you like or not. Once again it doesn't cost anything to try it.

If you decide to stay fanless you'll find a picture of the fan grills I put in the Zens cover over in the Gallery forum, right near the top. Just look for my topic. The fan grills are permanant, however, so I'd leave the cover off and spend some time with it underclocked before I went about cutting holes in the cover. :)


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2004 6:51 am 
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PS, you'll also find that if you go fanless you'll have no choice but to put the harddrive in the 5.25" bay. Any lower and it'll get cooked by the RAM and the north & south brigde heatsinks. This is a big drawback to running fanless in the Zen, unless you have a USB optical. Even with the cover completely off the drive will still get cooked if not put in the 5.25" bay.

The most practical approach really is doing what you've done so far, a little underclock, a little undervolt, and slow the fan. But if you want trully silent, the fan has to go. Not only that, but you'll also discover just how loud your hard drive really is when there isn't a fan running. So then you buy a notebook drive, and a Smartdirve encloser, and on and on and on......... But it'll be silent when you're done. :)

I guess I just wanted to alert you that going any farther than a little is a lot. I told you to try fanless because it doesn't cost anything, but in reality if you try to keep it fanless it will cost you. :shock:


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2004 9:06 am 
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Yeah I hear you! Thanks heaps for all your help. I already have a 4200rpm notebook drive, having checked out SPCR before buying the system :D ! I would have never come up with that on my own.

You were right about the FanMate! It has to be connected while the PC boots - otherwise the fan won't start. I was foolishly trying to swap it in while the PC was running. So now the FanMate's in there, although I found it really doesn't help much - in fact it does exactly the opposite of what I want. When set to the lowest setting, it makes a huge difference to the "full" fan setting (roughly halving the RPM), but makes almost no difference at all to the "ultra low" setting. It maybe knocks off 80rpm or so, no more. What I'm looking for is a linear effect: something that will just knock, say, 1200rpm regardless of the fan speed.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2004 2:48 pm 
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I have read somewhere on this forum about someone who had two zalman fanmates in series. This gave unpredictable results. The conclusion was that the fanmate isn't a real reostat, but something a little more complex.

If you use a real reostat or just a resistor you should get better results. Noiseblocker in Germany has these. (Look at the bottom four items on the page.)

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