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 Post subject: Re: Advice needed - reasonably small PC with graphics card
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:13 am 
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Joined: Mon May 26, 2014 6:16 am
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Location: Great Britain
Hi gaidal, how are you getting on with reducing temperatures?


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 Post subject: Re: Advice needed - reasonably small PC with graphics card
PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 1:20 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2014 7:24 am
Posts: 41
UK_Peter wrote:
Hi gaidal, how are you getting on with reducing temperatures?
Hey, thanks for checking in with me... :-)

I guess I've been a bit meh about it since it's just about good enough, and it's not obvious how to improve it...
I installed a Noctua redux 120mm at the bottom, which pushes lots of air and hardly adds any noise at all in spite of its location. Well at high speeds there's some noise unless I elevate the case a bit, like Abula and quest_for_silence predicted. But not enough that I've bothered to do anything.
This fan helps to make the case heat up more slowly, and it cools down more quickly if I let the CPU rest... but if I use integrated graphics for an hour or so, the case still reaches almost the same temperatures. Not burning hot to touch but clearly hot.

It's probably good enough, the computer is very rarely loud enough for me to notice it, and it's not hot enough that I think it would damage components.

I've been considering a 40mm Noctua after reading that they're silent and people are very satisfied with them. It would exhaust air from the back of the case which could potentially be just what's needed, but it's also possible that it's too small to accomplish much at all with two 120mm fans in there. It might still leave hot air in the other corner. So not sure if it's worth it.

I've learned a lot from this. The case is really cute, it's so small it'll fit anywhere, even in a backpack. On the other hand there's no free lunch and with a slightly larger case, cooling could've worked so much better. If I could choose more freely where to put fans I'm sure it could be completely silent and cooler at the same time. I dunno, it actually works very well, I just feel like it's a bit awkward. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Advice needed - reasonably small PC with graphics card
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 5:43 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2014 7:24 am
Posts: 41
I finally decided to cut a 120mm hole in the top plate. Sure it would "spoil" the pretty case, but who needs a pretty case that can't be cooled?
Let's see how it went. Previously my CPU cores peaked at 82-83 deg C when maxing both CPU and integrated graphics for 30+ minutes.

Take 1: Take the thin 120mm fan on the CPU cooler (Scythe Big Shuriken 2) and put it under new hole (inside of case) to exhaust hot air, then move the Noctua 120mm to the CPU cooler. A 25mm thick fan wouldn't fit between the CPU cooler and the top plate.
Result: Failure. Noise from Scythe fan was unbearable! Even setting it to the minimum possible PWM profile it kept revving up and down, being very noticeable. While on a low RPM the airflow was so weak I could hardly feel it, showing that Scythe's thin fan has very poor performance compared to a Noctua and wouldn't be any good even if I could keep it quiet with a resistor.

Take 2: Having learned how much weaker the original, thin CPU fan was, I thought maybe the Noctua on the CPU cooler would be good enough by itself. Hot air should find its way through the new top hole without help, right?
Result: Failure. Maxing all CPU cores (no IGPU), after just 10 minutes temperatures reached 85C. I'm guessing that with the added thickness of the Noctua fan there's not enough space between the PSU and the fan, limiting airflow.

Take 3:: Put back the thin Scythe fan on the CPU cooler where it belongs. Put the Noctua on top of the case... Won't be pretty, but it's good to know how it affects temperatures.
Result: OMGZ WOW PERFORMANCE. Where I peaked 82-83C before, it's now 66-67C. And in spite of having a fan outside the case, it's actually quieter! At one point I listened for a bit and thought "maybe it's a tiny bit more noticeable than before", and then realized the system was now under max load and I was comparing to the old system noise when idle. The new noise is more pleasant, very low-pitch and consistent, turbulence is gone. I even enabled turbo mode in the BIOS, going from 3.7 to 3.9 GHz, and temperatures remain the same. Even under full load I can hardly tell if it's on from more than 2 meter away in a quiet room. SUCCESS!

So I'm very satisfied with the case now. I'll add a hole for the cable, an aluminium grill/filter, maybe paint the fan black? Even with a fan on the outside it finally feels like a an actual solution: good cooling, low noise, SSD is back on the bottom plate where it should be (Noctua fan was using that space before). Whenever I get a graphics card I can just add another Noctua taking in air from the side and blowing towards the motherboard, aerodynamics should work out perfectly.

I might even recommend this solution: case is cheap, fun to build, pretty and small enough to carry around in a backpack or plastic bag. If and only if you're prepared to make a hole in the aluminium though, which was sort of messy for a beginner like me. I've considered other solutions and think the case simply isn't very good without this mod, but excellent with it.


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