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 Post subject: upgrade/ modify my TNN500AF, or go with something new?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 7:00 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2012 6:07 pm
Posts: 1
So it's getting to be about new computer time. I like my totally fanless q9550, but I could certainly make use of a faster processor (mainly for single threaded stuff) and and faster graphics card.

But the thing is, the TNN500AF is pretty limited for a modern computer (400w power supply, 75w max graphics card cooling, need to machine or kludge a CPU mount). I'm curious what my current options are for a moderate workstation computer cooled by only two or at most 3 low rpm fans (total - PS, graphics card and all). I'd like to go Ivy Bridge + kepler in a month or two.

With the Tnn500 AF, I'm probably looking at a base of:

Ivy Bridge 9770
Asus workstation MB (mod TNN heatsink mount)
Gddr5 nVidia gt640 (wikipedia says it's 75w)

cons: need to mod the CPU mount for LGA 1155, need to make sure the TNN heatpipes can accommodate the new Motherboard, no USB 3.0 on the case.

If I dump the TNN:

Ivy Bridge 9770
Asus workstation MB
Probably the same gt640? what's the limit of the best silent setups for today's graphics cards?
Case - Antec solo II? Silverstone FT02? the silverstone looks nice...with 3 slow 180mm fans can I get away with a passive cpu cooler + passive power supply?
Power supply - No clue here. googling just leaves me confused. Definitely want a quality one.
CPU cooler - Nofan?

cons: more crap to buy and probably not as quiet.

what say you, SPCR?


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 Post subject: Re: upgrade/ modify my TNN500AF, or go with something new?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:22 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:27 am
Posts: 1694
Location: Switzerland
400W is more than enough for a general purpose computer.
I depend on how much of an upgrade you want of course but with a case like yours you should be able to achieve a substantial upgrade without sacrifices on the noise front.
So if you're happy with the efficiency of that PSU (I bet some newer models are substantially better than yours), if you don't want a smaller case and if you can handle the heatpipes problem, I think you ought to keep using your case.

I assume that by 9770 you mean 3770.
If you want single-threaded performance you want overclocking. The i7 models are mainly good for multi-threaded performance when overclocking and I doubt your current heatpipes could handle an 8-threaded load if you overclock much. If you don't care for the features it lacks, the overclockable i5 should give you the best single-threaded performance you can get with the cooling you've got and it's cheaper to boot.


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 Post subject: Re: upgrade/ modify my TNN500AF, or go with something new?
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 6:49 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:32 pm
Posts: 36
Location: Memphis, TN
Zalman's TNN500AF case should be compatible with Intel's 1155 slot. I say this because my TNN500AF build is with 1156 slot and 1155 and 1156 are exactly identical cooling mounting holes, just one pin missing for CPU. My build:
http://www.neo-geo.com/personal/i5-fanless/build.html

400W PSU is plenty for our needs. You'd only need more if you were going with SLI or multiple GPU video cards. Ivy bridge is more energy efficient and uses 20% less power than Sandy Bridge. The best passively cooled NVidia card on the market is the GTS 450, which is what I'm using now (Zotac's brand which I had to order from Germany since it was never released for the North American market).

I plan on doing a rebuild of my TNN50AF in the near future and I'll be going with the following:
i7 3770S, 65W TDP and yet 3.9 GHz turbo. (won't use CPU graphics and will turn hyper threading off so that it will run ultra cool and hit turbo speeds more often)
ASRrock Z77 Extreme9, $395 motherboard but provides the PERFECT heat pipe clearance:
http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?M ... 20Extreme9
Zotac GTS 450
8GB Kingston HyperX
Latest and greatest SSDs in RAID 10, probably Kingston's HyperX enthusiast series unless something better is released soon.

I'm just waiting on the motherboard to be released. No known date yet but the manual was posted on ASRock's website this past week so I assume it's due out soon.

For the Zalman heat blocks, I'm going to try a new product and have it professionally cut into 10mm diameter circles with .5mm thickness. It supposedly provides unheard of 12.0W/mK thermal conductivity and is aerospace grade quality.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Extreme-Perform ... 20c498afdd

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Totally silent and passively cooled i7 build: Zalman TNN-500AF Fanless case | ASRock Z77 Extreme9 | Intel Core i7-3770S Ivy Bridge | 16GB DDR3 1600 MHz Kingston HyperX Genesis | HIS Radeon HD 7750 iSilence | four 120GB SATA III Kingston HyperX SSDs in RAID 10 for OS | two 420GB Fusion-io ioFX PCI-E SSDs for applications


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 Post subject: Re: upgrade/ modify my TNN500AF, or go with something new?
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 12:59 am 
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Joined: Fri May 11, 2012 12:46 am
Posts: 4
NeoGeo wrote:
For the Zalman heat blocks, I'm going to try a new product and have it professionally cut into 10mm diameter circles with .5mm thickness. It supposedly provides unheard of 12.0W/mK thermal conductivity and is aerospace grade quality.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Extreme-Perform ... 20c498afdd


I would love to hear your thoughts/experience on these thermal pads, as I also need to replace mine in a couple of months. I have ordered the ZALMAN ZM-CS5B CLIP SUPPORT S-775/1156 (which I also believe will fit on to the 1155). Thanks a lot for the heads up on the ASRock-MB, as this is definitely the one I'm going to order (there are only a few alternatives, but this MB seems to be a great choice anyways). Here in Norway, it will arrive in a couple of weeks.


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 Post subject: Re: upgrade/ modify my TNN500AF, or go with something new?
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 6:38 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Posts: 4243
Location: Monterey Bay, CA
If your PSU is the same as the one in this SPCR review (TNNAPF400-V2), then it's an older ATX design. It only supports 216W on the 12V rail and will be another limit on how much GPU you can put in the case.

So, given psu power deration over time, i7-3770 set up and all the other stuff drawing mostly from the 12V rail, I wouldn't go past 75W for the gpu, either. The HD 7770 is probably the most horsepower you can put in there.

_________________
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)


Last edited by CA_Steve on Fri May 11, 2012 7:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: upgrade/ modify my TNN500AF, or go with something new?
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 7:17 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 11788
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
The concerns expressed by many here about the 400W PSU in the TNN500 are valid, capacitors in power circuits do age & weaken, and imo, that PSU was never a great one. If I had an TNN500, I'd look at integrating a fanless Seasonic x460 or Kingwin STR500. iirc, there's room at the top/back (traditional ATX position) corner.

OK, so making any mods in such a classic case might be a bit daunting, but it doesn't look like you would have to do much, and if you're going to be modding the CPU & GPU mountings to accommodate newer gear, well, this should enable the case to be viable for another half decade, anyway.

Edit: BTW, I think the TNN500 cooling system is powerful enough to handle a pretty hot processor. The CPU block is heavy copper, and all the elements are robust. The TDP of the Athlon 64 3200+ in one of the TNN500s I reviewed back in 2003 (2004?) was 67W, with max load CPU temp being 55C. See... http://www.silentpcreview.com/VoodooPC_ ... n_TNN-500A In the EPCN system, an Intel P4 630 3GHz EMT64 CPU with 84W TDP was used (and this was in the days when Intel underreported their CPU heat), with 45C max temp seen under load. http://www.silentpcreview.com/article301-page4.html

All that bodes well for the 77W TDP of IvyBridge -- and you know we never hit 77W on the AUX12V line during our testing; even OC'd I doubt they'd exceed 100W.

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 Post subject: Re: upgrade/ modify my TNN500AF, or go with something new?
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 4:47 am 
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Joined: Fri May 11, 2012 12:46 am
Posts: 4
The ASrock MB has finally appeared (ready for order at least...), so I'm eager to find a solution for the thermal-pad issue. Anyone?

First store in Norway to offer ASRock Extreme9 Z77:
http://www.multicom.no/-/cat-p/c/p10616724


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 Post subject: Re: upgrade/ modify my TNN500AF, or go with something new?
PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 11:44 am 
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Joined: Fri May 11, 2012 12:46 am
Posts: 4
For those of you who cannot find the thermal blocks in your own country - I found them in Sweden. They appear to ship all over the world;
http://datorfixarna.com/catalog/product ... s_id=19175


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 Post subject: Re: upgrade/ modify my TNN500AF, or go with something new?
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 12:44 am 
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Joined: Fri May 11, 2012 12:46 am
Posts: 4
I just received the thermal pads and have also ordered the ASRock Extreme9 Z77 motherboard (in stock). I assume there will be no issues with regards to fitting the TNN500 CPU-cooler, but will post my experiences here if otherwise...


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