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 Post subject: Front panel combogadgets by Cooler Master and Matrix Orbital
PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2005 6:41 am 
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We investigate a couple of inteeresting front panel combogadgets by Cooler Master and Matrix Orbital.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2005 8:33 am 
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Quick question for the reviewers:

Is it possible to stick a 2.5" drive in there (using a normal 2.5" -> 3.5" converter mount) and do you think it would help reduce acoustics for a 2.5" drive? Heat transfer is not critical in this situation.

There was no picture of what the back of the cooldrive looks like so I don't know if the back panel might interfere with a 2.5" converter

From what I've seen, if one wanted to use a 2.5" drive AND enclose it in a 5.25 enclosure, the SilentDrive is a good candidate due to how the SilentDrive's back encloseure works and the negligible heat output of a 2.5" drive to start with...

One of our esteemed posters had such a setup.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2005 8:49 am 
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sgtpokey wrote:
Quick question for the reviewers:

Is it possible to stick a 2.5" drive in there (using a normal 2.5" -> 3.5" converter mount) and do you think it would help reduce acoustics for a 2.5" drive? Heat transfer is not critical in this situation.


sgtpokey,

Yes you could physically mount the drive into the bay, however you would have to custom make an adaptor to fit the bay. There would still be a reduction in noise because of the rubber grommets. However the device really is not designed to work with this type of hard drive.

chucuSCAD

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2005 10:17 am 
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I've got a couple nits to pick:
On Page 2, you wrote:
The Cooldrive 6 comes prewired with four temperatureerature probes
On Page 3, you wrote:
The Achilles heel of the Matrix Orbital, however, is the software. Matrix Orbital relies on other venders to produce software that will work and display information on their unit.

All in all, I'm surprised by the Cooler Master product, but a little disappointed in the coverage of the Matrix Orbital product. I didn't expect the Coolermaster hard drive coolers to actually be able to cool a hard drive passively.

The really powerful selling points of the Matrix Orbital AREN'T the fact that they can control your fans, but the fact that YOU can control the display to whatever you want. Hardly useful from an SPCR perspective, and although you guys did cover that point, it still felt a little under appreciated. You'd want to purchase the Matrix Orbital as a display that also happens to control fans, not as a fan controller with a display. That's why if you go to Matrix Orbital's site, you'll find a lot of other displays, rather than a lot of other fan controllers. Their image is a very good representation of just how powerful their product is. In theory (and from what I've read about LCDC and seen on several related sites, is very much possible), you can have your Matrix Orbital device display the current weather activity in your area, the information of the mp3 that you're listening to, or even the title and track of the DVD that you're watching.

I know that the Matrix Orbital's full capabilities were beyond the scope of Silent PCs (as was indirectly mentioned about the LCDC coverage), but I got the impression that you might have missed the point of the Matrix Orbital. Basically, you can do some really cool stuff with the Matrix Orbital (if you like displays). I'm a person that hates bling on his computer, but a product like the Matrix Orbital is the only one I would make an exception for, just because of its power.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2005 11:20 am 
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sthayashi wrote:
In theory (and from what I've read about LCDC and seen on several related sites, is very much possible), you can have your Matrix Orbital device display the current weather activity in your area, the information of the mp3 that you're listening to, or even the title and track of the DVD that you're watching.


And here i am like a chump with my 19" lcd monitor


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2005 1:51 pm 
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sgtpokey wrote:
Quick question for the reviewers:

Is it possible to stick a 2.5" drive in there (using a normal 2.5" -> 3.5" converter mount) and do you think it would help reduce acoustics for a 2.5" drive? Heat transfer is not critical in this situation.

There was no picture of what the back of the cooldrive looks like so I don't know if the back panel might interfere with a 2.5" converter

From what I've seen, if one wanted to use a 2.5" drive AND enclose it in a 5.25 enclosure, the SilentDrive is a good candidate due to how the SilentDrive's back encloseure works and the negligible heat output of a 2.5" drive to start with...

One of our esteemed posters had such a setup.


Certain 2.5"-3.5" adapter kits, such as the crude one that Directron carries (hey; it works, and it's cheap), include metal brackets that allow mounting of 2.5" drives into 3.5" bays; my experience is that these brackets would work, but to be honest with you, this would hardly be a cost-effective noise reduction solution for a 4200-5400rpm 2.5" drive. A SilentDrive enclosure, which Directron still carries, would cost half the price of a CoolDrive 6 and do a better job of dampening a 2.5" drive's minimal whine and seek noise to a point where it's pretty much completely inaudible, without any fear whatsoever of overheating the thing. At that rate, you could buy yourself a different fan control device for less than $35, or alternatively, just use SpeedFan, which is free, in conjunction with Motherboard Monitor. This combination is actually superior, since CoolDrive 6 can't even automatically control fan speed, anyway.

-Ed

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2005 10:29 am 
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sionnach wrote:
sthayashi wrote:
In theory (and from what I've read about LCDC and seen on several related sites, is very much possible), you can have your Matrix Orbital device display the current weather activity in your area, the information of the mp3 that you're listening to, or even the title and track of the DVD that you're watching.


And here i am like a chump with my 19" lcd monitor


Some of that stuff would be nice for a HTPC.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2005 11:27 am 
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Yes, all that stuff that the Maxtrix Orbital can do is very nice, and very useful...but the reason that it came off looking badly next to the Cooldrive 6 is the amount of work required to get it to do the sorts of stuff that SilentPCReview readers would want it to do, namely control fan speeds. All the other stuff would be powerful selling points at any other hardware site, but we're decidedly unlike other hardware sites.

To paraphrase Ralf: "We're SilentPCReview, not LCDFrontPanelControllerPCReview" :wink:

For our purposes, the hoops you have to jump through are way too high. (has anyone else ever tried to use LCDC? ack)

It's really no different than if we were to review a super-duper SLI screamer: we would pan it even though it is "high performance"...to us it would be low performance.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2005 11:57 am 
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In the review you mention several times that the orbital display could be redesigned to fit into one drive bay, but im not sure if this is true.
Although the front area of the display would seem to fit, the bare LCD boards I have looked at at 4 lines high are slightly too big for one drive bay based upon the size of the board the LCD is mounted to.

For example, these:
http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=36389&TabID=1&source=15&WorldID=&doy=24m4

The 20x4 display is just too big.

So although two drive spaces do make the unit look big it may be the only way to mount it without taking up 3 bays in all.


If you still have access to it, maybe you can measure the display panel and PCB its mounted to before the main PCB. If i'm wrong then id be very pleased if you could find any identifying marks on the display so I can get one for myself. My plan is to make my own fan controller similar to those discued previously on the forums. Im not sure if I want a display, but im looking around for possible candidates.


James


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2005 1:24 pm 
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James Long wrote:
If you still have access to it, maybe you can measure the display panel and PCB its mounted to before the main PCB. If i'm wrong then id be very pleased if you could find any identifying marks on the display so I can get one for myself. My plan is to make my own fan controller similar to those discued previously on the forums. Im not sure if I want a display, but im looking around for possible candidates.

James


The display itself is only 1" high(the shroud of the display behind the front sheild are 1.5"), given that a standard 5.25" bay is 1.5" tall it would fit just fine. As for the PCB, it would have to be rotated to lay in the bay, this could easily be accomplised via a ribben cable and some re engineeriing of the product.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2005 7:32 pm 
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Semi off-topic, the 4-in-3 drive cages used in Coolermaster CM Stacker case (and also available separately) use the same rubber grommets as the Cooldrive 6 reviewed here. I'm unable to comment on their efficiency, as I'm still waiting (2 months already, dammit) for delivery of my NB-47J, and the 40mm chipset fan drowns out absolutely everything.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 5:40 pm 
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sthayashi wrote:
I've got a couple nits to pick:
On Page 2, you wrote:
The Cooldrive 6 comes prewired with four temperatureerature probes


It looks like you've used a global search and replace to replace "temp" with "temperature" but ended up with the "...erature" on twice every time! :?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2005 11:13 am 
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Just a Quick Question about the cooldrive 6. I have one myself, and am quite pleased with it (cools down the drive a treat, controls my nexus fans nicely too).

It has an LCD Display on it, does anybody know what kind of comtroller it uses to power this? It'd be neat to have my own text scrolling across rather than the message thing, e.g. displaying winamp current track.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2005 8:20 am 
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How quiet are the CD6's, run at half speed? The review says they're significantly quieter compared to at full speed, but to within SPCR standards? What dB?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2005 9:09 am 
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Sooty wrote:
How quiet are the CD6's, run at half speed? The review says they're significantly quieter compared to at full speed, but to within SPCR standards? What dB?


The fan at 1/2 speed is quiter then a Panaflo L1A at 12v ruffly the same as at 5v.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2005 6:54 am 
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ChucuSCAD wrote:
Sooty wrote:
How quiet are the CD6's, run at half speed? The review says they're significantly quieter compared to at full speed, but to within SPCR standards? What dB?


The fan at 1/2 speed is quiter then a Panaflo L1A at 12v ruffly the same as at 5v.


chucuSCAD


So at half speed they're quiet enough. Thanks ChucuSCAD.

There's now a 'Lite' version, minus the software and display, and bigger air intake. Review at SystemCooling. But because there's no software, I doubt you can halve the fan speed, or run it passive (unless you physically take out the fan).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2005 7:01 am 
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Can you stop a hard-drive from spinning-up, in one of these? (a secondary hd, used for storing video, only used 5% of the time).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2005 2:57 pm 
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Charles or Russ: I'm not sure which one of you looked at the software/interface for the MX411, but do you think it would be possible to run a system using this as the only I/O interface? I'm thinking of building a silent audio PC that can serve audio files to my stereo. I'd rather not have a monitor/keyboard/mouse around if I can help it. If possible, I'd like to program the interface to act similarly to an iPod or mp3 player, perhaps by interfacing with Winamp. Obviously, the audio program will have some impact on the interface, but my main question is whether it will be practical to use the MX411 as the ONLY I/O on the rig.

Devonavar


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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2005 4:14 pm 
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Yes, I'd say that'd be a definite possibility. You should take a stroll through LCDC's site to see what some other people are doing with their's.

You'll have to have either an I/O, or another machine networked to it to set everything up, but once you get it figured out it would be doable.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2005 9:42 am 
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Thanks for the link. I'll have to figure out how much programming and hacking I'm willing to do. It doesn't look like the Winamp plugins have everything I'm looking for ... yet.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2005 9:45 am 
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In case you guys don't know already,

The link in the "Article Index" section of this review leads to ATN-TP-02E / FP05SL Multi-Fan Controller Review.

:D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2005 10:51 pm 
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Any idea how the Coolermaster compares to the Smartdrive in terms of noise reduction when run passively? I'm particuarly interested in which does a better job when muting seeks. (I'm assuming the enclosure would be resting on foam).

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 9:04 pm 
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Rusty075 wrote:
Yes, all that stuff that the Maxtrix Orbital can do is very nice, and very useful...but the reason that it came off looking badly next to the Cooldrive 6 is the amount of work required to get it to do the sorts of stuff that SilentPCReview readers would want it to do, namely control fan speeds. All the other stuff would be powerful selling points at any other hardware site, but we're decidedly unlike other hardware sites.

To paraphrase Ralf: "We're SilentPCReview, not LCDFrontPanelControllerPCReview" :wink:

For our purposes, the hoops you have to jump through are way too high. (has anyone else ever tried to use LCDC? ack)


Maybe it's a little painful, but I believe that the MO/LCDC combo has some distinct advantages for thermal control. For one, the MX has not only the PWM controlled outputs, but the 1-wire inputs. The 1-wire temp probes are really cheap and accurate, and you can hook up as many of them as you want. I've wired up my case with numerous thermal sensors, glued to the CPU heat sink, VGA heat sink, NB heat sink, HD, case intake, case ambient, etc. Then I have the fans in my P180 controlled by LCDC. The built-in fan control in LCDC is not very good, so I've written a true PID (Proportional-Integrating-Differentiating) control loop plugin where you can tune the parameters of your thermal control to your hearts' content. And the display spits out the thermal data in realtime, temp history curves, etc.

When idling and in moderate use, most fans run at 5-10% PWM, and if I had a more quiet hard drive the system would be inaudible. All of this still retains the full cooling capacity which comes in handy on hot summer days with heavy CPU/GPU use.

Anyway, I think this setup has provided me with capabilities for silent thermal control that I otherwise would have no idea how to achieve. That it was a little tricky just added to the satisfaction once I got it working! :wink:

Just wanted to share my opinion. YMMV.

cheers,

/Patrik


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