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 Post subject: Ideas on efficient and QUIET cooling?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 8:47 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2004 8:27 pm
Posts: 31
Location: Virginia
Hello,
First I'll lay the groundwork and tell you all what I have and what's cooling it.
AMD 2500+ Barton 333Mhz
1GIG Mushkin PC2700 (with stock ramsinks, like it matters)
Shuttle FN45 Motherboard (I have a Shuttle SN45G Case)
nVidia Geforce 5900Ultra 256mb (Leadtek Ultra TDH350)
120gig WD 1200JB Special 7200RPM

All in all, a nice system, enough for what I need.
For those not familiar with shuttle systems, they run heat pipes up from the CPU and cool it through fins, which a fan blows over, they call it ICE.
Now for my video card, the cooling was poor, the entire card was encased in aluminum w/ two 40mm fans, one blowing in and the other out.
When I played farcry, things got HOT. Talking 80c here, hot.

I had a Vantec Stealth on the CPU and was running stock video cooling, was running too hot.
I took the stealth off and mounted a Tornado in it's place, well the tornado is 38mm wide, not the standard 25mm, so I actually mounted it on the outside of my case, blowing in. The slot to the inside of my video card is not used, so I took the backplane plate off and ran the wires through that opening.
I took the encasing off of my videocard, it had a nice heatsink, but it was only held on by the case. I got some brass nuts and bolts, used plastic insulators against the boad, held the heatsink on.
So, I cut a hole in the side of my case, directly next to my video card, so whatever I mounted there, would blow on my video card. Again, because of the size of my case (read: small) I mounted the fan on the outside.
Can you guess, that fan is a tornado too.
So I have 2 80mm Tornados and a small 250watt PSU with 2x40mm fans.(small form factor PSU, yet they fit two fans in, pretty neat)
Think a matchbox for the PSU, with a fan on each short edge, lemme get a picture.
http://www.us.shuttle.com/images/productimages/pc40.jpg
(there is a fan on the other end, thus dual fans)

Ok, there's the book that outlines my current setup.
I am over FPS games, I've just moved on, I have an appreciate for the less-graphic intensive, but more gameplay games. I play Everquest more than anything, some Diablo II after that, etc. I still want to be able to play my copies of UT2004, Doom III, HL2(soon).
I have a temptation to under-clock my PC and Video card and replace my two fans with Stealths.

I'm kinda proud of myself, I've lasted over a month with my computer being as loud as it is. Not being able to talk on the phone, or to other people for that fact, is somewhat...disturbing.
When I play Everquest, I use headphones, so it's not to bad. I had to box up my surround sound, cause I couldn't turn it up enough to drown out my pc, well without also annoying the neighbors.
I am ready for a quiet computer again, if I have to underclock it to be quiet and then clock it back up for the rare FPS splurge, I will do.
This system is small, so no internal water cooling and IIRC the external water cooling systems don't work too well.
What alternatives do I have to making my computer quiet again?
HHEEAALLPPP!!!!
-Jason

P.S. I did not proof-read this for grammer or cohesivness (sp?)
Also, I posted this on ocforums, but after learning of this website, decided it might do better to be here. TIA


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 8:55 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2004 8:27 pm
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Location: Virginia
After learning of this site, I'm thinking of just moving to a full size case.
I would have to purchase cooling for my CPU and GPU, a case, PSU, and mobo.
I think I could do that for a few hundred bucks.

For a case, I like the Antec Sonata, $99 and includes a low-noise, single fan PSU.
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article60-page1.html
Cons: The Door and it's not silver (optical drive is silver, I can always stealth tho)

I had a motherboard picked out before I went SFF, I'll try to remember and post it here, will do some more research on that.

For the video card, I'm thinking one of thermal take's passive (or active) heatsinks.
If you've read the review of the case, it has a mount for a second 120mm fan, it might be too far away from the video card to make any difference, it's just an idea that popped up.

About the CPU cooler, the 120mm exhaust fan would be right over the CPU, so I could do a passive heatsink on the CPU and duct the 120mm down to the CPU. Any thoughts?

I don't mind spending a little money, I've survived long enough with a loud computer, I want something quiet.
-Jason

P.S. I don't want to upgrade my entire system, I don't need to, just the stuff I cannot move over from my SFF system


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 Post subject: Giant III
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 9:10 pm 
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Location: Virginia
Looks like the Thermaltake Giant III can cool my 5900 Ultra 256mb.
I was reading about some of the other GPU coolers and they weren't meant for the high end and hot cards like mine.
Here is a link:
http://www.thermaltake.com/coolers/chipset/a1919.htm

-Jason


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 9:11 pm 
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Did you remove the grill 'protecting' the fins of the ICE cooler? It supposedly blocks >50% of the airflow. Cut that out, remove the shroud and replace both fans with panaflos and noise should go down alot. Temps should be fine. Make sure the rear fan is sucking out and not blowing in.

I'm about to buy the same shuttle and have a few ideas for silencing the PSU. I'll post when its done.

Good luck.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 9:19 pm 
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I still have the heat issue with the video card, with a decent fan on it, it still ran up to 80c on load.
The upgrading to the full size case is a want and a need at this point.
I'm going to look at how much it would cost and then determine which way I want to go.
I'm still looking for feedback on alternatives, this is just one.
-Jason

Also, I have both tornado's acting as intake and then I can literally feel air blowing out all of the openings, I can go back to stock cooling on my CPU, should be no problem, but it'll still be loud w/ 1 tornado.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 9:30 pm 
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Jason, first of all Welcome to SPCR!

Some of your ideas are on the right track but some need a bit of work. Your case choice is a good one, and you're right about going to a larger case giving you more potential for silencing, especially if space is not an issue. A general rule of thumb is to have no fans smaller than 80mm, and that PSU you link to is a classic noise maker with tiny whiny fans.

As for the GPU cooler it would be better to go for the Arctic Cooling VGA Silencer, or a Zalman passive heatpipe cooler. I don't know about the ones you mention, but Thermaltake products are not highly regarded ( 8) ) around here for quietness.

As for the CPU cooler, I would not bother with trying to go passive at this stage. It is difficult to achieve and a decent heatsink (read: ThermalRIGHT or Zalman) with an undervolted fan would not likely be the loudest component in your system anyway.

Check out the recommended sections on the main website for components, and look at overall airflow in your case once you've got all your bits. It's amazing how much difference things like low restriction case intakes/exhausts and a bit of cablegami can make. Also undervolting fans or using fan controllers is one of the best ways to silence, but you have to have an efficient set up first!

But be warned: silencing your PC is addictive! Once you think you've got it quiet enough (and you'll be amazed at the difference from your old rig) you'll start hearing noise you didn't know you had before, such as the NB fan or hard drives. You've just got to know when to stop! (myself and plenty others here don't! :lol: :lol: )

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Pangit's PC silencing project "on the (not so) cheap"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 12:29 pm 
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Location: Virginia
Haven't looked at motherboards much, but here's what I have so far.
Video Cooler:
ZM80D-HP (with quiet fan) I have a 5900, so it requires a fan

Case:
Antec Sonata

Will the included PSU do the trick, or should I get a fanless one?
There was a seperate review done of the PSU the results were "reccomended".
Part of the airflow has already been figured out, the explanation I read is that the PSU pulls air in through the vents at the top, a fanless PSU may kill this "feature". Not sure which to do, how well do the fanless PSUs perform?
I will NOT be overclocking, I just want my pc to be cool AND quiet.

I would alos like to look at a fan controller, the ones I've seen have lights, flames, and all sorts of crazy stuff.
The one thing I do NOT like about the case is the Door, but I guess I could get used to it.
Any recommendations for a fan controller, that maybe has a built in temp sensor.
Last time I looked and it's been a while, the Digidoc 5 was a nice temp sensor, but it doesn't include a fan controller.
Also, with the door, I'd need a fan controller that would fit and not stick out too far and prevent the door from closing.
I'm also not a big fan out the chrome USB door, I may take that off and make it black too, it looks nice when not in use, but when in use it doesn't look as nice.
The case is perfect(are there any), there are more Pros than Cons, so it's a definate for me, so far.
Any thoughts?
-Jason


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 2:07 pm 
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I remembered the motherboard that I looked at before.
Leadtek has a way of making their product names soo long you have to gasp for air after saying them.
For instance my video card's name is, "Leadtek Winfast A350 Ultra TDH mvViVO".
The motherboard I'm looking at is, "Leadtek nForce2 Deluxe Limited".
/sigh, oh well

Anyway, that motherboard isn't widely available, but I found it for $128.

Now, for the CPU cooler, since the case has a 120mm fan right next to (on the back of the case) the CPU, could a passive HS and a shroud/duct cool sufficiently?
I believe the 120mm fan is mean to act as a systen fan, so I couldn't shroud it tightly around the HS on the CPU, but something angled that would pull heat off the HS might work.
Any thoughts?
I might go with something like the thermalright SP-97. This way I could shroud it and if it didn't work, then I could throw a stealth or something on it.
Any thoughts?
-Jason


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 3:13 pm 
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You might have trouble ducting an SP97 but you could use something like the Scythe NCU2000. There is a review on the site and a couple other members have posted their thoughts.

Also, you're going to have to get rid of the stealths :wink: There are several fans listed in the recommended section.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 4:16 pm 
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Quote:
Will the included PSU do the trick, or should I get a fanless one?
There was a seperate review done of the PSU the results were "reccomended".


Again, I wouldn't go passive at this stage, particularly as your case already comes with a perfectly adequate PSU. Passive ones are expensive and you have to be a lot more careful with your overall airflow design with one. There are plenty of things you can do before this step (such as undervolt the PSU fan). When the PSU becomes a significant source of noise (i.e. you've quietened everything else in your rig) and you still have some cash to spare, then you might want to think about an Antec Phantom 350 or a SilverStone ST30NF Fanless.

With fan controllers, go for one that uses voltage regulation instead of PWM, as the PWM ones tend to cause fans to click at low speeds. The Sunbeam Rheobus is cheap and effective, and you can unplug the (ultra-bright!) LED's if you don't like them. Not sure about being able to close your case door though.

As for the CPU heatsink, the SP-97 is a great cooler but not ideally suited to ducting as PhilgB says, so go for the NCU2000 or other tower type cooler if you want to use the rear case fan for cooling it. Make sure it can be oriented correctly for your motherboard (the NCU2000 can be oriented in either direction, but not all can).

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Pangit's PC silencing project "on the (not so) cheap"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 4:26 pm 
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Wow, that thing is huge!
I've never seen a heatsink that big.
So, if I went with the SP-97, I could throw a low noise fan on it and be done, or I could go with a tower HS and use the 120.
The 120mm fan wouldn't be sitting directly on the HS, but it would be close, I don't think I want to go that route.

I'm leaning torward the SP-97 and a 80 or 92mm fan.
I'll look at the alternatives to my stealths, or did you mean to say my tornados? I have both, is stealth not a good low-noise fan?
-Jason


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 5:42 pm 
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username17 wrote:
So, if I went with the SP-97, I could throw a low noise fan on it and be done, or I could go with a tower HS and use the 120.

Correct.
username17 wrote:
I'm leaning torward the SP-97 and a 80 or 92mm fan.
The trusty Panaflo L1A is the perfect 80mm fan choice, but since the SP-97 can take 92mm then it would make sense to use one. Choice is less clear cut for 92mm/120mm as the Panaflos are not so quiet. I can't recommend one as I don't have any myself, but do a search here or look at the recommended sections.

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Pangit's PC silencing project "on the (not so) cheap"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 6:25 pm 
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If an 80mm Panaflo will do the trick then I may just go that route.
I still cannot find a fanbus/rheobus that doesn't protrude way out or look like a riceboy's dream.
Digidoc 5 is nice, I've liked it since they removed the dinky fan and replaced it with ports up front.
Other than a fan controller I'm looking at $350.00 for the change.

I was reading and there is a lot of info about the frequently done mods to the sonata, I think my mind is made up at this point.
Thanks for your help everyone,
-Jason


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 8:28 pm 
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Glad to hear it! Once you've built it, I hope you come back here and give us your verdict of the results!

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Pangit's PC silencing project "on the (not so) cheap"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 11:06 am 
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Will Do!
I'll even bring pictures! =)
-Jason


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 3:31 pm 
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Oh no!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I did it again, I looked at another case and I'm liking it better, now I'm stuck in that "research" phase that takes year (literally, last PC purchase took a year of research).
At first, I didn't like the look of the case, but after looking in the gallery at what someone did to it, I'm starting to like it better.
The SuperLanboy, I don't go to LAN parties, I have one planned, but haven't been to any in the past.
I'm getting a very nice looking motherboard and I intent to make the inside look nice to match.
I was tempted to install a window in the Sonata, then I saw the SuperLanboy.
I don't like the regular lanboy as much, but the super is looking nice.
The Antec SuperLanboy is actually cheaper (is this for a reason I do not like, I do not know, yet).
Hmm, I can't believe I'm going through this again, reading the review posted here, sigh..
-Jason


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 3:49 pm 
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Ahh, the catch.
The power supply on the Superlanboy is not included, so overall the cost would be higher.
Hmm, what to do...what tooo doo.
-Jason


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2004 2:18 am 
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Before we start looking for a case for you, how about reconsidering what you already have? As has been suggested, a little modding to the exhaust of the ICE system should give you serious improvements. Plus, you're using Vantec fans. Forget the Tornados, the stealths are neither quiet nor well-performing. As for the video, SFF cases have next to no air path to the fans on the graphics cards. That is probably why you've been having noise & cooling issues. You might do well with a Radeon 9600 Pro. Sapphire version is already passive and uses a single slot so it should fit your case.

If you really MUST go to a larger case (if you're after really quiet, this is the way to go), beware the thermaltake passive graphics coolers. Thermaltake is very careful NOT to provide any ratings or compatibility for it - most probably because it doesn't work well with the average card.

The Sonata is a very cramped case with horrible air intake. So unless you're looking to mod it, there are better alternatives. Plus, recently I realized that the Antec holes are a SIGNIFICANT source of EMI. Don't ever put it anywhere near a TV.

I've had better results with the Zalman 7000 cooler than with the SP97. Not because the SP97 is a bad cooler but my motherboard forced it to be installed such that the fins were toward the PSU, making cooling more difficult than necessary. Combined with the bad airflow of the Sonata, it just didn't perform as well (it still did the job quite well)

If you DO go the SP97 way, try the Nexus 92mm fan on it. It's quieter than the Panaflo, blows slightly less air but since the SP97 is already an excellent heatsink, it'll be enough. Plus, the Nexus doesn't make much extra noise just because it's facing a heatsink.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2004 8:57 am 
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I was actually looking at the Antec SuperLanboy case instead of the Sonata.
I know my SFF pc is not dead, I've kinda lost hope.
I subscribe to CPU Magazine, this month they have information on silently cooling a SFF PC.
I guess before I go and drop $500 I should fully research what I can do with what I have right now.
I'll look on at the SFF section this website, which I have not done yet and read that article.
They don't have a copy available online to the public, or I'd link it.

Thanks for setting me straight,
-Jason


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2004 9:06 am 
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After looking, it looks like the PSU I have is one of the better ones for the Shuttle SFF PCs.
Also, I don't want to purchase another videocard, mine is powerful enough, I just need to cool it.
I don't think a Zalman ZM80D-HP will fit, it's pretty tight.
-Jason


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2004 1:54 pm 
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This is what I'm looking at doing.

Image
EDIT: Image credit given to CPU Magazine

The article in CPU Magazine recommended I install another 80mm fan on out outside of the case, what they did is where the thumbscrews normally scren in on the back of the PC, they screwed in Motherboard standoffs (the brass ones) and screwed the fan into it. So there is a space, the fan on the inside of the case, on the fins of the ICE cooling, will be exhause and the fan on out outside will follow the same direction. So they had a push/pull system going on.
CPU mag used SilentX Fans (21cfm @ 11db). So with the opening on the side, negative pressure will pull in air and push it out through the CPU Cooling system.
I'm thinking of using modders mesh, the hexagonal mesh, instead of screen. I'm not big on chrome, but I do like the look.
They added a larger, zalman northbridge HS, put some small HSs on the small components for overall cooling.
I have some Akasa PaxMATE and some 80mm gaskets for fans left over from Vantec's kit.

CPU Mag also suggests lapping the HS, not sure if I need to do this or not.
I have no prob doing these mods, my only real concern is the video card, the only cooling on it now is the stock heatsink. I have a tornado blowing on it, but what am I going to do if I drop the tornado.
Also, are those SilenX fans ok, or are the Panaflo's better? (M1A, for speed control)
-Jason


Last edited by username17 on Tue Oct 26, 2004 8:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2004 3:16 pm 
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I really have no idea how youre having trouble cooling the videocard with an 80mm blowing fresh air directly on it. Cutting the rear grill will make an enormous difference even if you leave everything else the same. I think it was in one of the SPCR reviews that Mike (or the reviewer) measured over 50% lower airflow with the grill.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2004 3:57 pm 
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I'm not having trouble with the cooling, it's the noise.
If I remove the tornado, do the mod to the case, I won't have a way to mount a fan. This is why I must look at video cooling alternatives.
-Jason


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2004 4:28 pm 
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Oh ok, I thought I read that even with the stealth temps weren't acceptable. I think a 5v panaflo would provide more than enough cooling and is nearly inaudible. My tower has 4 5v panaflos and it cant be heard at more than 3 feet.

You can do the same for the power supply. As soon as I thought of this, I looked it up and found someone who did the same. The psu needs to be flipped, then you can cut an 80mm hole for a fan.

Then once all that is nice and quiet, youre going to want to suspend your drive.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2004 4:34 pm 
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I have a feeling you're still thinking I'm going to purchase a new case.
I'm sticking with my Shuttle SN45G.
This is the PSU I have:
Image

It has a small fan on each end, it is one of the best Shuttle SFF PSUs available.
-Jason


Last edited by username17 on Tue Oct 26, 2004 8:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2004 5:00 pm 
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And what case would require you to flip the psu and cut a new hole? All of my posts have been about the SN45G :wink:

When I get mine, I plan on flipping the PSU (because in its original position, the PCB inside has its back to the inside), sealing the extra holes, and mounting an 80mm panaflo (about 20x more airflow than it needs or comes with). With your exhaust fan outside of the case there is more than enough room for the new psu fan. There is even room with the exhaust fan on the inside, but they might have that competing airflow problem.

I've been trying to encourage you to stick with your current case not only because of money, but because I'm getting tired of these huge mid towers :) I don't know how peoeple live with their full sized cases.

Good Luck!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2004 5:11 pm 
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Ok, sorry I didn't catch on.
I'll see how quiet my PSU is after I quiet down the rest of my case.
I don't hear it now, obviously because of my tornado's.

I'm feeling the same way about two exhaust fans on the back, one on the inside and one on the outside.
I think I'll just order a Panaflo M1A for the ICE cooling stick with it.
My concern is still my video card, not sure if the zalman will fit.
I think it's the only aftermarket HS that will cool my video card.
I have nothing in my PCI slot and plan on installing nothing, so we'll have to see.
I appreciate your feedback,
-Jason


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2004 5:42 pm 
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Well how are temps now? You said the heatsink on it right now is pretty good. Maybe it's enough to use with just a panaflo (or equiv). What are temps like, and how are you checking them?


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 Post subject: quiet that shuttle
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:31 am 
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Tower cases do offer more options, but you can make that shuttle pretty derned quiet. I think the goal on that one, since you don't have any options on power supply should be to get it to the point where the psu is the loudest component. Here's how i silenced my ss51:

replaced the stock ICE fan with a good quality slower fan
(i used a pabst that had max rpm of 1500, but other recommended ones should work - i really like the nexus ones now)

arctic silver 5

replaced the psu in the ss51 with the silentX one - yours already has that

seagate barracuda 4 (the new samsungs would be my current choice)

ss51 has no northbridge fan, but if yours does get a small passive heat sink

plextor burner (solidly built so the sound they do make is relatively pleasant)

passive ATI 9600pro (i popped the passive heatsink off an extra 9600 se i had lying around, but you can get one that is already passive)

I put some damping material on the inside of the case cover.

I didn't feel the need, but you can cut the exhaust grill out

Probably helps that it has a P4 1.8 - you may need more cooling for your athlon.

Its not as quiet as my tower system, but its very quiet and the quality of the sound it makes is much better.

hope that helps


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2004 12:43 pm 
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Hello,
Sorry for the silence everyone.
I ordered a Panaflo M1A, a Zalman ZM-NB47j (Northbridge HS), and a Zalman ZM80D-HP (Video HS).
I've received these parts in the mail.
I'm a little concerned about the video card cooling, not sure if it will fit.

I'm going to remove both tornados this evening and install the panaflo back on the ICE cooling.
This weekend I will cut out the grill on the back of the case, that restricts air flow.
I also plan on opening up the sides of my case, as the above image pictures. However, I will not be using the screen, I will be using this:
Image
Image mirrored from MNPCTECH.com, all credit for image goes to Bill Owen

I'm also not using the chrome molding, I ordered some U Channeling from MNPCTECH along with the mesh, I have not heard from MNPCTECH about the order though.
I will keep you updated, but about the video card temps, I was using speedfan, which detected my video card. Also, my video card comes with it's own temp software, which has an alarm in it. When I used to play farcry, with stock cooling, the GPU would get up to 80c.
We'll see how the cooling is with the Zalman, if it fits.
-Jason


Last edited by username17 on Tue Oct 26, 2004 8:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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