I hadn't built a new (up to date) system since around 1999 as i have been able to extend the life of my Asus P2B (440BX) mobo to the max. Incremental updates of pretty much all the components (P2 350 -> Celeron 850 @ 1.1Ghz -> Tualatin 1.1 @ 1.4) kept me afloat up to this year. Although updates and overclocks have been good to me, it was time to part with that trusty motherboard and make the plunge into the 21st century.
So I went ahead and built myself a nice computer around mid-october. Everything is new except for the HDDs and DVD burner which were salvaged from my previous computers.
: Antec P180
: AMD64 3000+ Venice (E3 stepping)
: SI-120 w/ Antec Tricool @ low.
: Asus A8N-E, NB47J on chipset
: 2x512MB OCZ EL DDR PC-4800 Dual Channel Platinum
: Sapphire x800 GTO2 (unlocked and rocking)
: Enermax EG495P-VE "Noisetaker" 480W
: WD 60GB, WD 80GB, both 8MB cache, both IDE
: BenQ DW1620 (dvd burner), Liteon dvd drive
Soundproofing is not complete as free time is at a premium right now but it is already kinda quiet (but audible).
The top fan exhaust of the P180 has been taped up and the Tricool found it's way unto the SI-120. The taping job is not particularly soundproof (who would have guessed with electric tape). I will cut up some foam and insert it in the top exhaust bezel. It won't be visible and should help muffle the computer.
I've taken out the plastic separator (between the PSU chamber and main chamber) and taped up the holes using aluminium vent tape. The separator was just a hassle to work with. I now have more flexibility to route the cables. Speaking of which, it is not easy using IDE drives in the lower chamber. I've wrestled with a couple configurations before the current one. I've folded the IDE cable to get it into the lower chamber. This makes it possible to "hide" the main ATX and other power cables behind the folded IDE cable and it makes it look tidier. You guys with SATA drive have it easy.
I had to route the 12V ATX and GPU power cables through the middle opening. Both cables are sleeved together which makes it impossible to route the 12V under the mobo. Had I routed the 12V and 6V cables with the main ATX cable it would have been difficult to reach the 12V connector on the A8N-E . It may not look good but the cables are not restriciting airflow.
I'm no Dynamik but I am satisfied with my cable management so far.
The box is fairly quiet. I can hear wind sounds from the exhaust and heatsink fans. Packing the top exhaust bezel should quiet things a bit. The PSU's fan is at it's lowest setting, is inaudible and keeps the HDDs at 36-38C. Surprisingly, the video card is barely audible while idling.. At the moment, the loudest components are the hard dives. When both of them are seeking or coming out of sleep, they can be heard plainly. I guess choosing Western Digital some years ago is not paying off right now.
Now for some temps. Load temps were achieved with Prime95 and the ATItool artifact finder going at it simultaneously and were measured after an hour of load. Temps are given as "idle / load".
: 35C / 48C
: 38C / 40C
Other mobo temp
: 20C / 30C
: 43C / 70C
The PSU never ramped up during load testing which was predictable. Loading the CPU only (GPU idling), CPU temps hover at 44C. Loading the GPU at the same time than the CPU generated enough heat to increase the CPU temps by 2 to 4C. This tells me an AC Silencer 5 should be my next upgrade. Although this would bring issues of clearance with the northbridge passive cooler.
The video card idles at stock clocks (400/490) but under load is overclocked to 520/560 making it in effect an X850 XT. The cooler is sufficient for the task as it will keep the temps at/under 70C but the fan ramps up to 70% which is REALLY audible (but who cares while gaming).
Upcoming tasks (before the new year):
Change the Tricools with something else (Nexus fans?). Buy an AC Silencer 5 for the video card. Overclock the CPU a little while maxing out the RAM. Enjoy my new system.
Comments and suggestions are very welcomed.