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 Post subject: Prescott & Stacker: The Challenge.
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2005 6:19 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2005 2:09 am
Posts: 256
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
I had some thoughts about making this into a story with characters, but my fantasy went dry.

Anyways, I decided to post my rig since I have this community to thank/blame for being somewhat addicted to reduce computer noise. The choice of hardware is based on several incidents. It started with a purchase of a complete PC some 3 years ago. An intel it was.
Then I upgraded my graphics card to a 9800PRO. Then my mobo died on me and I didn’t consider upgrading anything else at the time. Then my 9800 died on me and I was out of options and had to go for a AGP card. And with that performance enhancement I upgraded my processor as well. So, no particular reason why I have what I have. :)

Short: My rig
Intel P4 3.0 GHz/800FSB with Scythe Ninja and Pabst 120mm.
2*512MB Samsung DDR400
ASUS P4S800D-E mobo.
Leadtek 6800GT with Zalman VF700 and Nexus 80mm fan.
Soundblaster Audigy2ZS
Hauppauge 150PVR
Nexus 4090 PSU
Seagate Barracuda 160GB 7200.7 SATA in mCubed Vertical Silencer case
Maxtor Diamondmax Plus 9 160GB ATA with Nexus DiskTwin.
NEC 2500 DVD-RW
Cooler Master CM Stacker case with BeQuiet damping sheets.
2*120mm Nexus case fans + 2*80mm Nexus case fans.
mCubed T-Balancer fan control.

My thoughts around this rig.
I got the Stacker case because I think it’s so versatile and it’s possible to test different ideas. And it’s fairly future proof with BTX possibility. Also the possibility with 2 PSUs and the good air circulation made me choose this case. I wasn’t too keen on the huge side intake so I put in a bit 4mm thick glass instead. It dampens the sound, looks cooler. :) and maybe it helps with the airflow not being disrupted.

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I immediately after getting the 6800GT card, ordered an Arctic Cooler NV5. But having it with my T-Balancer made the fan make a rattling sound. And I don’t think the NV5 can handle cooling the memory and GPU and still be cool/quiet enough. So I swapped it for a VF700. It cools way better and also was a bit quieter. But the tiny 80*15mm fan sounded a bit too much. So I searched for a suitable replacement. And I found it in the Nexus 80mm which had enough material to drill holes in and pushing enough air. I didn’t know what the original Zalman fan pushes but I compared with 80*15mm Panaflo and the Nexus 80mm seems to be enough at around 20cfm. It idles at 8.0V/705rpm and 65°C at ambient 25°C. I have to be closer than two feet to hear it. It may be a few degrees warmer with the heatsink on top. But the PSU likes this setup more.


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And this is another great feature of the Stacker being able to chose mounting right or left side. The top “casing” for the PSU had a bit too small opening for a 120mm fan, and I didn’t want to cut until I tried mounting it in the bottom of the case. So I changed side for the mobo and mounted the PSU at the bottom. Its fan immediately spun slower. Not ramping up at all like before. Could be the less obstructive mount. The PSU is mounted with an Antec anti vibration kit and rests on the damping mat. I was a bit disappointed with the Nexus PSU at first but now I’m really content. Allthough it may very well be replaced with an Antec SmartPower. :)

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I had the Thermalright XP-120 until yesterday, and I was really happy with its performance. But I felt it disrupted the airflow around the PSU and the rear case fan. Installing the Scythe Ninja was fine until I was about to mount the fan. I put the case on the side to avoid too much leverage. It took some time and i had to use tape as a third hand to mount the clips to the fan.
The choice of a Pabst and not a Nexus was that the Pabst can rotate at a slower speed. The Ninja can run fanless and I don’t turn the fan on until somewhere above 40°C. At idle the CPU doesn’t rise above 40°C so it’s virtually fanless. :)

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The HDDs are somewhat dampened and cooled. The Maxtor is mounted lowest and has the Nexus DiskTwin as cooling. It also damens the vibrations a bit with the rubber mounts. But reducing AAM really made this almost silent. And being the secondary HDD it contains my music, movies and such files, so when it spins, I’m listening to other stuff.
The Seagate is in a mCubed Vertical Silencer case. It does dampen sound very well but it runs a bit too warm I think. It’s mostly around 45-50°C. No big deal perhaps, but I’m a bit disappointed. I can still hear seek noice quite well. I had it suspended in the top just behind the 2 80mm fans but it wasn’t cooler, neither quieter since the noise escaped through the top ventilation. Now it’s just above the Maxtor with a Nexus fan blowing air from the front of the case above it. That fan spins at the same rpm as the rear case fan. Which now spins at 500rpm or 8,5V. I will have to dial in these better since I haven’t had this configuration that long. The mobo reports 34°C at this moment, also at 25°C. I have 2 northbridge coolers, 1 Zalman, 1 Cooler Master, but I’ve decided not to swap the original simply because there is no need.

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The 2*80mm Nexus case fans are so quiet at 7V I can’t hear them at all. I can hear them at 12V sure, but they’re great. I’m not sure I’ll need them really. I installed them for cooling the top mounted HDD, but of course they do no harm since I hear no difference if I turn them off.
I have not decided what to do about the top ventilaion hole yet. Probably some kind of filter to dampen noise but still letting out some air.

Image

I will update this when something new happens. Please give response if you like. :) Good or bad.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2005 5:53 am 
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Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
A minor update.

I was a bit concerned on HDD temp, and especially my C-drive in the mCubed Vertical Silencer. It idled around 45°C and easily got up to 50°C whenever else. I've read some reviews on this silencer and there were reports on little rise in temp. So i decided to split my HDDs and put a fan in between them. I also swapped fan to a Pabst 120mm and lowered the response curve in T-Balancer SW i.e. it gets less V than the previous Nexus but spins at roughly the same speed. The fan is mounted a bit in from the front so i don't hear it at all.
This lowered temps on both drives by 5-8°C. :D

It looks like this now:
Image

The front is dampened on most drive bays and ony open on two slots in front of the fan. This may seem restrictive but i've tested most different variations and i didn't experience any drop in temp anywhere, neither did i notice any improvement in noise. So i feel this is the ideal air circulation in my rig atm.

The drive bay covers look like this on the inside.
Image

Now all i can hear i a faint hum that is hard to localise. It's easily drowned in ambient noise level unless it's completely quiet. :)

btw: 193 views and no answers must mean this is a perfect rig! :P


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2005 5:58 am 
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Hi Peterson,

a quick thought: Have you tried moving the PSU backwards about 5cm, so that the PSU fan would be directly under the CPU heatsink? I think you could take out the 120mm fan that is blowing in to the CPU heatsink. Or/and ducting the rear fan to the CPU heatsink?

Overall a nice looking and a clean install!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2005 8:13 am 
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Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
No, i haven't tried it. It would require a duct of some kind to extend the outlet of the PSU. I have been thinking about making some kind of duct to use those fans to cool the CPU, but i dont think it'll happen. I'm waiting for the Antec Smart Power to be released in Sweden. It'll draw cool air from the bottom ventilation of the case. :) Then i'll test how the Ninja performs without a fan mounted on it. :)

Thanks. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2005 5:01 am 
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Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
I finally found some elastic cord to suspend the HDDs. :) It was in a general store just around the corner where i've been so many times.. I discovered the cord was in the boat accessories. Never looked there.

The quiet hum almost disappeared completely. :D And the Ninja is running passive and idles in 40°C and 24°C ambient.
At last i'm satisfied. :D For a day or two until i discover a new sound. :P


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 1:07 am 
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After some time of near silence, one tends to hear "new" sounds. And the rig isn't "silent" anymore.
I swapped the Pabst CPU fan for a Nexus. Temps are the same but it's a bit quieter even though the Nexus spins a bit faster. @5.0V in idle.
The front intake fan and rear fan spins @ 5.4V The 2 80mm exhaust fans spins @ 4.5V The GPU gets 8.0V in idle. I suppose it spins as fast as the stock fan @ 5V or something.

I'm pretty sure i'll continue working on getting the noise down. :P


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 3:39 am 
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Location: Finland -- Folding For SPCR
Hi Peterson,

that's pretty normal. I've tested quite a few configurations and then noticed that the "one fan running at 1000RPM" setup is not actually quieter than the "three fan running 500RPM" setup. Also has much to do with the fan locations.

My current setup is quiet right now, but the more you know about silent PC the more critical you become. All of my friends say it's "silent", but I know it isn't. I'm leaning towards the conclusion that a truly "silent" PC is almost impossible with modern system, especially if you're into gaming.

About the T-Bal: Have you modded the PSU? I really do recommend modding the PSU also, after monitoring temps before and after the mod, you can really squeeze a few hundred RPMs from the fan without affecting temperatures. It also helps with determining other mod's effectiveness you've made.

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Just because I didn't respond to your post doesn't mean you were right. It just means I was speechless as to how to reply to such an idiotic statement

[MainRig][HTPC][Playground]


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 5:58 am 
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Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
No i haven't modded the PSU. I did it on my older Soanata PSU, because i wasn't so careful if it would break.
I'm not sure where to put the sensor or at what temp i should aim. And i'm out of fan connections on the T-Balancer.
I have considered swapping the PSU fan for a Nexus sleeve bearing fan. If it pushes enough air that is. But i really wait for an Antec Smart power to be released so i can take this PSU to my scrapyard PC. :) Then i'll probably swith the mobo back to normal orientation. The GPU cooler seems to like it better.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 7:18 am 
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But isn't your current PSU the Nexus 4090? That's a good model, I seriously think you will not gain anything by switching to the Antec. Maybe a higher efficiency, but who knows.

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Just because I didn't respond to your post doesn't mean you were right. It just means I was speechless as to how to reply to such an idiotic statement

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 7:33 am 
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Aleksi wrote:
But isn't your current PSU the Nexus 4090?
Yes it is, but up to certain level, steps in improvements become smaller, and this may seem small. But i intend to mount the PSU at the bottom and the construction of the smartpower means that it'll get its air from the bottom intake of the case.
And i need another PSU to silence another PC. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 8:01 am 
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I've done some reearch. :shock: Removing the noise absorbers on the drivebays lowered the temp by an average of 3°C inside the case. Pretty much. I suppose it was more restrictive than i imagined. Good to find out. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 9:49 am 
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Does the modded video card cooler now block two PCI slots instead of just one?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 9:51 am 
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ChrisH wrote:
Does the modded video card cooler now block two PCI slots instead of just one?
Yes, unfortunately. I'm considering reinstalling the stock fan or getting a Panaflo 80*15mm fan.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 12:30 am 
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Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
I've decided to ditch the upsidedown mount. The GPU gets a bit warmer this way, around 5-6°C and i don't gain that much elsewhere.
And i'll try Aleksis thought on moving the PSU back above the Ninja. Perhaps there's room to mount the fan outside the PSU just sandwiched between the PSU and Ninja. :) I'll have to cut in the case for such a configuration.

I'm also planning on testing the 2*80mm fans as intake fans at the rear bottom of the case. Perhaps i don't need any intake fan at the front. :)

I've gotten the Panaflo 80*15mm fan from Dorothy Bradbury (great service btw) and will have a listen to its noise compared to stock VF700 fan.

I really don't need to do this. The case is quiet as it is, but i guess it's a habit after visiting these forums for a while. There's allways a sound to dampen. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 11:59 am 
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peterson wrote:
I've decided to ditch the upsidedown mount. The GPU gets a bit warmer this way, around 5-6°C and i don't gain that much elsewhere.
And i'll try Aleksis thought on moving the PSU back above the Ninja. Perhaps there's room to mount the fan outside the PSU just sandwiched between the PSU and Ninja. :) I'll have to cut in the case for such a configuration.

I'm also planning on testing the 2*80mm fans as intake fans at the rear bottom of the case. Perhaps i don't need any intake fan at the front. :)

I've gotten the Panaflo 80*15mm fan from Dorothy Bradbury (great service btw) and will have a listen to its noise compared to stock VF700 fan.

I really don't need to do this. The case is quiet as it is, but i guess it's a habit after visiting these forums for a while. There's allways a sound to dampen. :)


Ahh, finally someone with a Stacker that I can ask questions :D
I'm wondering how much space there is around the PSU in the lower bay? I want to know if I can put a Seasonic with a vertical fan in there AND build a duct around it to the front of the case (as in my thread here). I'd be really grateful for a response since I desperately want to buy case + other stuff as soon as possible.

Also, ever consider the Crossflow fan? I'm trying to decide whether it's good or bad...

Thanks a million for any reply! And BTW, your rig looks nice!!

//JayF

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 10:09 pm 
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JayF wrote:
Ahh, finally someone with a Stacker that I can ask questions :D
I'm wondering how much space there is around the PSU in the lower bay? I want to know if I can put a Seasonic with a vertical fan in there AND build a duct around it to the front of the case (as in my thread here). I'd be really grateful for a response since I desperately want to buy case + other stuff as soon as possible.

Also, ever consider the Crossflow fan? I'm trying to decide whether it's good or bad...

Thanks a million for any reply! And BTW, your rig looks nice!!

//JayF
Which way is vertical! :P Do you mean a Smartpower or Truepower? I had my thoughts on getting aSmartpower until i read the review. I planned to duct air from the bottom of the case. That way it would be cool air. Or if you place the PSU at the top you can duct cool air from the top 80mm hole. That hole doesn't do that much difference anyway.

I never considered the crossflow fan. I watched the review at 3dgameman.com, and it didn't sound nice. Also i've put damping material over the hole for that fan.

If you decide to get a case, and since you're Swedish(?) you can PM me and i'll help you as much as i can.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 11:04 pm 
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Have you tried the 80x15 Panaflo yet?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 11:06 pm 
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Yes, but i'll get back to you later. It's quiter than the 80*25 chinamade Panaflo i ordered at the same time.

Edit: Sry, did you mean test it on VF700? No, i ordered a 80T-L also since i wasn't completely satisfied with the 80T-H. And i ordered a Panaflo 80L1A also. So i'll have some more testing to do before i decide which fan to use.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 11:27 pm 
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peterson wrote:
JayF wrote:
Ahh, finally someone with a Stacker that I can ask questions :D
I'm wondering how much space there is around the PSU in the lower bay? I want to know if I can put a Seasonic with a vertical fan in there AND build a duct around it to the front of the case (as in my thread here). I'd be really grateful for a response since I desperately want to buy case + other stuff as soon as possible.

Also, ever consider the Crossflow fan? I'm trying to decide whether it's good or bad...

Thanks a million for any reply! And BTW, your rig looks nice!!

//JayF
Which way is vertical! :P Do you mean a Smartpower or Truepower? I had my thoughts on getting aSmartpower until i read the review. I planned to duct air from the bottom of the case. That way it would be cool air. Or if you place the PSU at the top you can duct cool air from the top 80mm hole. That hole doesn't do that much difference anyway.

I never considered the crossflow fan. I watched the review at 3dgameman.com, and it didn't sound nice. Also i've put damping material over the hole for that fan.

If you decide to get a case, and since you're Swedish(?) you can PM me and i'll help you as much as i can.


By vertical I mean that for the Seasonic, the 120 mm is placed on top/bottom, blowing vertically... The reason why I'm asking is because I want to build a duct like in the P180, with the 4-in-3 module at the bottom and a duct running along the entire bottom length of the case (like the P180) to include the PSU. But I need some room above or below the PSU if the fan is mounted "vertically" like the Seasonic. I'm thinking that if I remove the bottom ventilation grille and cover it with something on the outside that there should be enough room for a vertical fan...

Hope that made it clearer :)

BTW, thanks for pointing me to 3dgameman, excellent to watch a video review!! I'll be checking that site every now and then!


//JayF

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 11:36 pm 
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If you're having 4 HDDs, it may justify a 4in3 module, otherwise not. The stacker is so big and there's plenty of room to have the HDDs in elastic cord.
I can show you some pics later, but not today. (i'm turning 40 today)
The bottom hole of the Stacker is about 90mm wide, so it will obstruct a 120mm fan somewhat. And the PSU is almost, if not fully, in contact the the bottom grill. I don't know how much of a difference there is in mounting a PSU upside/down with regards to moving warm air down before out. So maybe you can sider having it like so?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 11:46 pm 
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peterson wrote:
If you're having 4 HDDs, it may justify a 4in3 module, otherwise not. The stacker is so big and there's plenty of room to have the HDDs in elastic cord.
I can show you some pics later, but not today. (i'm turning 40 today)
The bottom hole of the Stacker is about 90mm wide, so it will obstruct a 120mm fan somewhat. And the PSU is almost, if not fully, in contact the the bottom grill. I don't know how much of a difference there is in mounting a PSU upside/down with regards to moving warm air down before out. So maybe you can sider having it like so?


I do actually have 3, soon to be 4 HDDs... although I might get rid of the two small 120 GB just to save noise.
Pictures would be nice, but there's no rush... do it later whenever you have time...

And happy birthday :D

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Current System Status:
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