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 Post subject: Ed's (Effectively) Silent K8 Rig--Moving Beyond Sigma One
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2005 6:57 pm 
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Okay, I admit that this is rather long past due. I've revamped my silent rig twice since doing Sigma One, but was too lazy to go through the trouble of shooting pics etc. Since I had a bit of free time finally, I figured that while I was at it for the second overhaul, might as well get some photos in, too. Here it goes...

Moving past the old school tech in my first silent rig, this new one is running with a Venice 3000+ (1.8GHz stock @ 1.4V stock). I left everything on Auto, enabled Cool n' Quiet and let 'er rip. According to the ABIT EQ monitoring software, my chipset so far has not hit or exceeded even 40C since I installed this board over the weekend. The CPU has not hit or exceeded 55C yet, either--the Venice is way cooler than the NewCastle that I replaced with it! Also, thanks to the low power draw of the CPU, the PWM modules (most likely a sensor near the MOSFETs) has never reported a temp. of 40C or higher. Keep in mind that I have not yet run any really intensive load software like CPUBurn; this is just under normal usage patterns.

Sitting here typing, I see 39C CPU, 36C chipset and 36C PWM according to ABIT EQ monitoring software. I am also using DTemp to monitor the temperature of the three hard drives; the highest temp I've seen any of the drives register at was the MHT2080AT at 40C after an hour and a half of defragging; the other two drives have never exceeded 36C, also under at least 30 minutes of defragging. Sitting here typing right now, the Fujitsu is reporting 33C, the Samsung is reporting 34C and the WD is reporting 30C. The room is currently at 22C. Please note that none of the temperature sensors have been specifically calibrated, so these figures are purely FYI.


The system is configured as such:

Antec SLK2650-BQE, all openings sealed except CAG and Silent-OTES I/O shield vent

One Nexus orange 120 in the rear, at 8.0V (~800rpm), no other case fans

SeaSonic Super Tornado 400 w/orange Yate Loon 120 fan swap; avg. speed ~700rpm--the ABIT AN8-SLI works fine with only 20-pin power input; I also plugged in the separate 4-pin P4 connector and a molex line in the optional input. According to ABIT EQ, 5V, 3.3V and 5VSB lines are a rock stable 5.12V, 3.30V and 5.09V, respectively.

ABIT AN8-SLI in Normal mode (not SLI)--completely fanless, with stock heatpipe cooler on the chipset and stock passive heatsinks on the MOSFETs

AMD Athlon 64 3000+ (Venice core) with a fanless Thermaltake XP-120, stock voltage, stock speed, CnQ enabled

One stick of PQI Power PC3200 (carried over from previous S754 platform; I'll be ordering a second stick to make this a dual-channel, 2GB machine)

XFX PCI-Ex GeForce 6600 256MB card with stock fanless cooling and dual DVI outputs--using Dualview across two LCDs, stock speed, stock voltage

IDE 0/0: Western Digital Scorpio WD800VE, inside a SilentDrive enclosure

IDE 0/1: Samsung MP0804H, inside a SilentDrive enclosure

IDE 1/0: Fujitsu MHT2080AT, inside a SilentDrive enclosure

IDE 1/1: Plextor PX-708A

Echo Audio Mia MIDI

Considering the fact that all the hard drives are in stuck up inside SilentDrive enclosures yet never get past 40C, and only two Nexus fans around 700rpm are used to cool everything in the entire machine to more than satisfactory temperatures, I'll admit that I am not only satisfied with the system's performance, but actually quite amazed that the system runs as cool as it does!

Anyhow, on with the pics (per usual, please click on an image to bring up a large version--narrowband warning on the large versions!):

[url=HTTP://WWW.NgTechnik.com/Sigma2.5/ExteriorAngle_Large.jpg]Image
Outside shot.[/url]

[url=HTTP://WWW.NgTechnik.com/Sigma2.5/OpenLit_Large.jpg]Image
Opened up, with lights on.[/url]

[url=HTTP://WWW.NgTechnik.com/Sigma2.5/OpenUnlit_Large.jpg]Image
Opened up, with lights off.[/url]

The ABIT AN8-SLI has an array of multiple red LEDs towards the rear, producing a great deal of light if you have a case window or don't close the side panel--luckily, I keep my solid side panel on at all times, as I don't want to see that light.

[url=HTTP://WWW.NgTechnik.com/Sigma2.5/ProfileTilted_Large.jpg]Image
Closer up, straight on. I took the liberty to clip off the factory grille on the PSU intake when I did the fan swap.[/url]

[url=HTTP://WWW.NgTechnik.com/Sigma2.5/Q-OTESInterior_Large.jpg]Image
This image shows the Q-OTES cooler in entirety, as it runs to the back of the board via a single pipe.[/url]

[url=HTTP://WWW.NgTechnik.com/Sigma2.5/Q-OTESInterior_LargeZoom.jpg]Image
Same shot, but closer in.[/url]

[url=HTTP://WWW.NgTechnik.com/Sigma2.5/RearInterior_LargeZoom.jpg]Image
Even closer still, showing only the rearward portion.[/url]

[url=HTTP://WWW.NgTechnik.com/Sigma2.5/Q-OTES_Large.jpg]Image
And now just the portion that actually attaches to the nForce4-SLI chip.[/url]

[url=HTTP://WWW.NgTechnik.com/Sigma2.5/FanlessVidCard_Large.jpg]Image
The video card.[/url]

[url=HTTP://WWW.NgTechnik.com/Sigma2.5/CoreLit_LargeZoom.jpg]Image
The CPU cooler, as it runs (no fan attached).[/url]

[url=HTTP://WWW.NgTechnik.com/Sigma2.5/CoreUnlit_LargeZoom.jpg]Image
Same shot, lights off; you can locate the LEDs easily from this viewpoint.[/url]

[url=HTTP://WWW.NgTechnik.com/Sigma2.5/SilentDrives_Large.jpg]Image
The hard drives are all enclosed in SilentDrive enclosures, without even breaking a sweat--this is really inaudible.[/url]

The Scorpio is split into a small head partition for the OS and a secondary large partition for network file share (this computer is the only one on 24/7, so I made a share on this drive). The Samsung has a small lead partition for the software applications and then a large secondary partition where I housed the internet and e-mail cache, two TEMP/TMP folders and a Photoshop cache as well as A/V mass storage. The Fujitsu is a single large partition for my A/V mass storage needs and is also where my pagefile is located.

[url=HTTP://WWW.NgTechnik.com/Sigma2.5/RearExterior_Large.jpg]Image
Finally, out back.[/url]

Looking at the inside of the front intake area, you can see the blue masking tape I used to completely seal the front off. This is perfectly viable due to the low heat output of the HDDs and video card, the airflow design involving the CAG and because of the design of the Q-OTES system

[url=HTTP://WWW.NgTechnik.com/Sigma2.5/RearExterior_LargeZoom.jpg]Image
And again, but closer up.[/url]

The special I/O shield ABIT includes with the board has a wide, mesh-filtered opening for the copper sink array cooling the nForce4-SLI chip. Since I used tape to seal off all intakes except for the CAG, when I stick my hand out behind the Q-OTES opening, I can actually feel air flowing through into this opening. Air flows in from either the CAG or the Q-OTES vent, and out from either the 120mm exhaust or the PSU. Because overall heat is so low, any air that recycles into the Q-OTES vent from the 120mm exhaust is hardly warm enough to really affect the chipset's temperature critically.

That wraps up this installment of Staff Rigs.

-Ed

PS Btw, this is Sigma Two.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2005 7:57 pm 
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Impressive! Fanless CPU cooler :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2005 8:07 pm 
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@TOMMY@ wrote:
Impressive! Fanless CPU cooler :D


Uhm yeah, same as the old build.

-Ed

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2005 8:13 pm 
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Three silentdrives? Thats ridiculous.



Im impressed. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Ed's (Effectively) Silent K8 Rig--Moving Beyond Sigma On
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2005 8:38 pm 
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Edward Ng wrote:
Thermaltake XP-120


blasphemy! :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2005 8:47 pm 
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A very nice build. Those SilentDrives make me rethink my previous thought that three 5.25" bays are enough. Apparently I need more! :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Ed's (Effectively) Silent K8 Rig--Moving Beyond Sigma On
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2005 9:17 pm 
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-what is that green digits lcd display down the bottom of the mobo?
-those leds, that's an awful lot of light pollution, i wouldn't be able to stand that personally (i'd have attempted to break them). is all these leds really on the stock mobo?! if so i might have to seriously consider 'light noise levels' when buying new hardware now :-|

Edward Ng wrote:
IDE 1/0: Fujitsu MHT2080AT, inside a SilentDrive enclosure
IDE 1/1: Plextor PX-708A


do you find fujitsu HD gets pulled down in speed by being on the same ide cable as a cd-drive?

Edward Ng wrote:
Looking at the inside of the front intake area, you can see the blue masking tape I used to completely seal the front off. This is perfectly viable due to the low heat output of the HDDs and video card, the airflow design involving the CAG and because of the design of the Q-OTES system


CAG..? Q-OTES...? huh? forgive my ignorance but what do those mean?
and err..where's the intake? are you really saying that the only intake is that little copper grill on the back panel above IO ports?
this doesn't seem like an optimal airflow plan because the grill is sitting right next to both exhausts. also that intake air would be preheated by the chipset, right?
isn't it a case of less restrictive intake is almost always better (provided it doesn't confuse airflow directions)? have you compared temps with and without front intake closed before you decided to do that taping up? i mean i see your temps are fine, but i can't help feeling it's mainly because you have selected good & cool components - because unless i'm missing something here it looks like a bad airflow plan.

one more thing, some of your pics are bigger than 640x480 area, which is no big tragedy - but since you're a moderator and you have to go around telling other guys to keep their pics below 640x480...well, ya know.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2005 9:44 pm 
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Very amazing setup. Whats the power usage for your system like.
Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Ed's (Effectively) Silent K8 Rig--Moving Beyond Sigma On
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2005 10:28 pm 
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wim wrote:
CAG..? Q-OTES...? huh? forgive my ignorance but what do those mean?
and err..where's the intake? are you really saying that the only intake is that little copper grill on the back panel above IO ports?

CAG = chassis air guide - the holes on the side panel to feed air to graphics card and/or CPU.

Q-OTES is something Abit came up with. Outside Thermal Exhaust System. I guess Q = quiet?

Doesn't the air come in from the chassis air guide as well? That will feed cool air directly to the XP-120.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2005 10:43 pm 
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Thanks for the article Ed. Looks really great!


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 Post subject: Re: Ed's (Effectively) Silent K8 Rig--Moving Beyond Sigma On
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2005 10:43 pm 
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wim wrote:
Edward Ng wrote:
Thermaltake XP-120


blasphemy! :wink:

Burn Him!

How are the temps on the GeForce after/during gaming?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 1:19 am 
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Excellent work! Closing off the front is very clever.

Does the CAG still have the duct attached?
If you unscrewed the blanking plate below the video card, would there be much airflow through it?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 1:56 am 
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wim: The green LED display at the bottom is part of ABIT's uGuru system (microGuru?); it indicates current state of the board in live time, very specifically, with codes like POSTing, drive detection, memory testing etc. etc.--if something fails during boot, like you're attempting to overclock and the SATA controller conks out, this thing is (supposed) to identify the exact issue.

Yeah, the LEDs are stock on this mobo; ABIT's pretty big on the whole bling/modding thing. Look at the bright (or should I say dim?) side: ASUStek's upcoming passively cooled A8N-SLI Premium board shouldn't be nearly as bright--too bad its chipset cooler doesn't have access to fresh air like ABIT's does.

I don't really find that the Fujitsu gets held down noticibly; maybe it is, maybe it's not, but not enough to be an obvious issue. Since this drive doesn't house the OS or apps, I don't access it as much.

CAG: Chassis Air Guide, Intel marketingspeak for the side panel cool air duct, originally introduced to help maintain sufficiently cooler temperatures for Netburst chips.

Q-OTES: Quiet-OTES, ABIT marketingspeak for the new fanless heatpipe cooler on the nForce4. The original OTES system is that monstrocity of a board with the actively cooled power modules, chipset and (optionally) RAM.

The primary intake is the CAG on the side panel; the only hint of that is the very first picture; for more on the Intel-spec CAG, please see this article of mine. Considering this, please re-examine my airflow pattern.

The primary reason for the size limit has more to do with width than overall size; we like to keep it ~500 or narrower to prevent sidescrolling; I used higher compression in Photoshop to ensure that none of the images in this post itself exceed 45KB--some are less than 24KB. I will admit that I resize all small pics to exactly 512 pixels wide and the large versions to exactly 1024 wide. Btw this moderator only complains if the picture is over 512 pixels wide; for all I care, it can be 512x8192. :wink:

elec99: Power usage--good question. I'll attach a Power Angel tonight to test this; will get back on it.

lenny: Correctamundo.

anthony/slipknottin/Tommy/et all; thanks.

york: I've got a separate machine for gaming, but just for the heck of it later on I will leave ABIT EQ open on my second monitor while I try a game or two on the primary display so I can watch temps as I play, and then I'll get back to you.

StarfishChris: Yes, but it would reduce the air flow coming in through the CAG and the Q-OTES vent. This is how I previously kept my 6600GT with VM-101 cooler. I found that this plain 6600 is so far pretty comfortable as is, but I'll get more specific temps at a later time. Haven't had too much time to test this. Yes, the duct is completely there.

To summarize, I have the following tests to run: Power Angel line power tests, gaming temperatures tests and graphics card temp. test. My 6600 doesn't report temps, so I will just test for temperature at the heatsink.

-Ed

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 4:25 pm 
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Image

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 4:42 pm 
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Hello Ed:

Is the BIOS undervoltable? How about fan controls?

Looks like an oh so sweet machine...

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 4:45 pm 
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Multiple fan controls with optional warning buzzer temp and shut down temp. You can set a low mode temperature trigger and fan voltage and a high mode temperature trigger and fan voltage, and base it upon one of a few different sensors; fan voltage minimum setting is as low as 6.0V on certain ports. I'll go check the details and be right back, including minimum CPU voltage...

-Ed

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 6:00 pm 
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Okay, I've gathered the precise data and posted it here.

-Ed

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 9:13 pm 
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Edward Ng wrote:
Image

Damn! You make my machine look like a power hog! :-)

With a Seasonic S12-430, I get 75W AC draw (Kill-A-Watt) at idle if I underclock my 9800 Pro drastically, and with my Winnie 3200 at 5x / 1.1V. This is with an Asus A8V Deluxe MB with 1 GB of RAM, one Hitachi 250GB SATA, one optical and no other cards.

Thanks for posting details and pics of your machine. It's a really nice setup.

I'm a little surprised you didn't use Crystal CPUID instead of CnQ. But I guess with such low power draw at idle, and being effectively silent, there's no need.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 1:46 am 
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Just being lazy; CnQ is very simple to set up and utilize; I'll mess around with CrystalCPUID tonight or later in the week.

-Ed

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 7:41 am 
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CAG - big intake ducted onto the cpu, got it. yah, now it all makes better sense.

i wonder why did you choose silentdrives when the spcr review showed them outperformed by smartdrive? i thought maybe review leftovers at first, but 4 of them..


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 8:52 am 
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SPCR review showed that SilentDrive is prone to overheating 3.5", 7200rpm drives. In terms of acoustic reduction effectivity, the SilentDrive is completely effective in preventing the sound of these 2.5" drives from escaping, and costs much less than SmartDrive as well. As these are far cooler operating 2.5", 5400/4200rpm drives, they are under no risk whatsoever of overheating inside the SilentDrives--the temperatures they report are solid proof as well. There's no way I'd ever stick a 3.5" drive in one of these, but see as the SilentDrive gets the job done with 2.5" drives for less cost than SmartDrive without any chance of overheating them, I consider it a very good setup (assuming the price isn't an issue--suspensions are cheaper, even free, but not as effective from an acoustic standpoint).

There's nothing wrong with the SilentDrive review, but my application happens to be different.

Btw, there's three of them, not four. :)

-Ed

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 11:06 am 
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Nice work Ed.

Have you tried overclocking the AN8 to high FSB? I'm looking for a suitable candidate for replacing my A8N-SLI since I can't run above 240mhz 1T on my RAM.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 11:10 am 
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Ed,
So, was your experience with the SmartDrive different than that of the SPCR review where the seek noise was still audible?

Thanks,
Dennis


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 11:13 am 
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Ed,
Sorry for my confusion. I mixed up SmartDrive and SilentDrive -- again.

Dennis


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 11:25 am 
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Ed's using 2.5" notebook drives. They're smaller, cooler and quieter (and also slower and more expensive). The SmartDrive review is with 3.5" drives (ditto for SilentDrive cautions).

Ed, how did you mount the drives inside the enclosure? With the 2.5" to 3.5" adapters or with something more exotic?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 12:44 pm 
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lenny wrote:
Ed's using 2.5" notebook drives. They're smaller, cooler and quieter (and also slower and more expensive). The SmartDrive review is with 3.5" drives (ditto for SilentDrive cautions).

Ed, how did you mount the drives inside the enclosure? With the 2.5" to 3.5" adapters or with something more exotic?


Used the rails that came with my older 44-pin to 40-pin adapters and slipped the assembly in, that's it.

-Ed

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 6:46 pm 
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Here's a power chart measured using a SeaSonic Power Angel:

Image

CrystalCPUID is set to idle at 5.0*200&0.90V, midrange at 7.0*200&0.95V and full load at 7.0*200&1.00V. However, the tray icon always indicates 1.10V, no matter the multiplier.

RTHDRIBL is run with default settings, manually adjusted window size to 1024x768 pixels in 32-bit color mode.

The most important thing to know, however, is that with CnQ, CPUBurn ws pushing my CPU past 70C; with CrystalCPUID, I'm not even breaking 60C.

-Ed

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 Post subject: Re: Ed's (Effectively) Silent K8 Rig--Moving Beyond Sigma On
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 12:34 pm 
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Edward Ng wrote:
Considering the fact that all the hard drives are in stuck up inside SilentDrive enclosures yet never get past 40C...

Ed,
Very nice setup, thanks for the report.

I want to do something similar to your setup, but with these differences:

- use a single 3.5" drive
(Samsung SpinPoint P Series HD160JJ – 160 GB, 7200 RPM, SATA II)
- mount HD in bottom front of case, like this:
http://forums.silentpcreview.com/viewtopic.php?t=20305
- CPU is AMD Venice 3500+
- Case Antec SLK1650B or YeongYang YY-5411
( http://yycase.com/yy-5411.htm )
( http://www.antec.com/us/productDetails.php?ProdID=91654 )
- Power Supply - Seasonic S12-430

To help cool the drive, I think leaving some vents open in the front would be good. Do you think that might divide the intake paths too much and negatively impact the CPU and Q-OTES radiator cooling?

Thanks,

Wayne


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 5:51 pm 
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Disregarding the effect of the grill removal, did the fan swap in the PSU make a big difference? Is the PSU fan still controlled by the PSU?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 6:28 pm 
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Wayne: That is very difficult for me to just guess at in the dark; I do not believe it will be too much of a divide as long as you keep to stock voltages on the chipset and memory and undervolt the CPU; also, other than the opening for the HDD and for the CPU, seal everything else tight. It's worth a try; if anything, the CPU may need a fan depending on the heatsink. The Q-OTES otherwise works very well and I doubt the nForce4 will overheat with such overkill cooling unless you upvolt it and/or raise the FSB above stock.

halfpower: The Yate Loon fan is PSU controlled, yes, but stays around 600-700rpm, which is the speed I want it anyway. This fan is definitely smoother than the stock one, but in most people's setups, it's probably not necessary, particularly with the new S12-330.

-Ed

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