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 Post subject: A Quiet PC for Torrid Thailand
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 1:10 pm 
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A Quiet PC for Torrid Thailand--

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition wrote:
tor·rid (tôr'ĭd, tŏr'-)
adj., -er, -est.

as in...
Quote:
1. Parched with the heat of the sun; intensely hot.
2. Scorching; burning: the torrid noonday sun.

not
Quote:
3. Passionate; ardent: a torrid love scene.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 3:08 pm 
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Nice to see some tropics lovin.

It’s been a cool summer this year so my local temps have been around 38c in the shade instead of 40+. But some advice from someone living in a warm climate.

1) Under volt: Changing my 3500+ from 1.4v stock to 1.2v dropped my shuttles temperatures 5-6c in winter and 10c in summer. I had to up the volts to 1.225v this summer because the heat was causing instability.

2) Nice work on the Power supply duct (looks much nicer than the hack on my old 1.2tbird). But it might be wise to add an intake fan behind the grill to increase the cooling. An overheating power supply causes lots of problems.

3) You can’t just add 20c because the ambient goes up 20c, it’s more like adding 25-30c to the components.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 3:18 pm 
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dragmor wrote:
Nice to see some tropics lovin.

1) Under volt: Changing my 3500+ from 1.4v stock to 1.2v dropped my shuttles temperatures 5-6c in winter and 10c in summer. I had to up the volts to 1.225v this summer because the heat was causing instability.

2) Nice work on the Power supply duct (looks much nicer than the hack on my old 1.2tbird). But it might be wise to add an intake fan behind the grill to increase the cooling. An overheating power supply causes lots of problems.

3) You can’t just add 20c because the ambient goes up 20c, it’s more like adding 25-30c to the components.

Thanks.

1) CnQ is pretty good for this already. For PCs that I build for others, I prefer keeping core components at stock/default settings. Safer that way.
2) Remember that the PSU fan is thermally controlled. I'm sure at >30C ambient, w/or w/o the duct, it will ramp up at least a bit
3) That's just a guesstimate, but remember that the CPU and lower intake fans are thermally controlled too.

The PC will usually be in an airconditioned room.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 3:22 pm 
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Why haven't you tested it at 40C? Isn't heating an area much easier than air conditioning it? Have you thought about doing your testing at generally higher temperatures so that hot days don't swing testing conditions up so much?

How about an article for nunavut? :lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 3:43 pm 
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mathias wrote:
Why haven't you tested it at 40C? Isn't heating an area much easier than air conditioning it? Have you thought about doing your testing at generally higher temperatures so that hot days don't swing testing conditions up so much?

How about an article for nunavut? :lol:

1. Impossible, practically speaking
2. Not really
3. We work with conditions as we find them here.

Does anyone except an accredited mega-buck lab do anything like you suggest? :roll:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 3:50 pm 
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Very nice article.
So.. original! Thanks.

p.s. damn.. that P150 seems like telling "buy me, buy me" :?
will we ever see a black version?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 4:05 pm 
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Nice article Mike.

I now understand what you had in mind regarding an air duct for 5.25 bays.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 4:13 pm 
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Since when do you guys worry about if anyone is on par with you?

Sorry about poorly phrasing that as a rhetorical question, my point is that heating doesn't require having somewhere to dump the heat to, so it doesn't have to be by a window, it could be in any small room or an artificially enclosed space, and heaters are generally far quieter than air conditioners. Since the computer itself is a heater, in this case, just sticking it in a large box probably would have worked reasonably well.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 4:33 pm 
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very good article - it's always interesting to see how people, particularly of your renown, build their computers. A few things popped into my head while reading it though:

1) why not use a Scythe Ninja instead of the heatlane?

2) why not use a program like Speedfan to control fan speed as it's much more flexible than the on-off nature of Qfan?

3) why not use a MB fan header to control the exhaust fan, in conjunction with Speedfan

4) why use CnQ instead of CrystalCPUID - it'd be more work admittedly (quite a lot more, perhaps I've answered my own Q?) but would allow undervolting even at fullspeed, giving a bit more thermal headroom.

I guess 2-4 are because you're building it for someone else, who may not want to tinker incase Thailand temperatures make certain settings unstable, but they would add the finishing touches and may be all that's required to reduce the noise of the PC beneath ambient in your conditions. All fans Speedfan controlled would also give a little more insurance against high temps if Frank forgets to up the speed of various manually controlled fans in a heatwave, for eg.

Also, would Frank be able to mount the CPU HS himself? That'd take away a major worry of the shipping!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 4:38 pm 
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mathias --

If we did it that way, we'd be criticized & laughed at by engineers & techs (many of whom float around here). The temperature has to be 40C independent of the device that you're testing. If you have 40C ambient, then no problem, because the device we're tsting won't change the temp, the room/house is big enough. But if you try to get 40C in a small space -- let's say 3'x3'x3', then you have to have a way to heat & cool as necessary in order to maintain that temperature while whatever you're testing adds heat into the space.

Engineering companies use megabuck thermal testing chambers for burnin, etc -- here's a quick google search example: http://www.gpcl.com/services/thermal.htm

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 4:46 pm 
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mattthemuppet wrote:
very good article - it's always interesting to see how people, particularly of your renown, build their computers. A few things popped into my head while reading it though:

1) why not use a Scythe Ninja instead of the heatlane?

2) why not use a program like Speedfan to control fan speed as it's much more flexible than the on-off nature of Qfan?

3) why not use a MB fan header to control the exhaust fan, in conjunction with Speedfan

4) why use CnQ instead of CrystalCPUID - it'd be more work admittedly (quite a lot more, perhaps I've answered my own Q?) but would allow undervolting even at fullspeed, giving a bit more thermal headroom.

I guess 2-4 are because you're building it for someone else, who may not want to tinker incase Thailand temperatures make certain settings unstable, but they would add the finishing touches and may be all that's required to reduce the noise of the PC beneath ambient in your conditions. All fans Speedfan controlled would also give a little more insurance against high temps if Frank forgets to up the speed of various manually controlled fans in a heatwave, for eg.

Also, would Frank be able to mount the CPU HS himself? That'd take away a major worry of the shipping!

1) The Heatlane was there, calling out to me, "please, please, I want to go to Thailand!" :lol: Seriously -- it was there & it's quite suitable.

2-4) It's Windows-based. I don't trust anything Windows-based for hardware control, especially in computers that are not my own. Q-fan, on the other hand is independent of the OS. It's the old KISS attitude.

The manual fan adjust is a bit of a compromise... but I'm reasonably confident that even at my default quiet settings, this PC will remain cool enough even in the hot season. I just don't think anything Frank does with this PC will stress it like I did with those extreme utilities for 48+hours.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 4:51 pm 
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Holy mechanical marvel, Batman!

That thing looks absolutely sweet. I hope antec takes a look at that duct.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 4:54 pm 
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Mike.

Another superb build and review for us all to enjoy and learn by.

The PSU ducting was an obvious choice, but executed far better than me just pulling out the top 5.1/4 blanking plate on my old (beloved) Sonata.

The fan choice/airflow path is less than obvious and particularly well planned out and executed, ideal for "Frank's" needs and total overkill for most people in the north of the northern hemisphere, where the summer temperatures hit a whopping 32C.

The only concern I have about the build is that Frank gets his machine in one piece (personally I would have tucked the drive in the middle of the bubblewrap in the empty space in the PC and have him hook it up at the end), that is the closest I have to a complaint.

Can you build me a PC.??? Dont even consider saying yes, what would be the fun if you did all of work for me ;) Just keep the reviews flowing.

I honestly do hope that you get some serious and regular feedback from Frank (now famous on SPCR) about how his PC is doing and what the weather is like at the time (degrees Celcius not just how much its raining, shining etc). It would be very usefull for all of our Australian cousins (metaphorically) and anyone else who wants a quiet/silent PC who lives in a hot country.


Regards Andy

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 5:00 pm 
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andyb wrote:
The only concern I have about the build is that Frank gets his machine in one piece (personally I would have tucked the drive in the middle of the bubblewrap in the empty space in the PC and have him hook it up at the end), that is the closest I have to a complaint.

Hmmm.. I haven't shipped it yet. It's worth considering. He's been sent a link to the article and I might wait to hear back from him before I seal it up and send it off. I just don't know how hands-on he is or wants to be or can be.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 5:13 pm 
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If the box was big enough(made from multiple smaller boxes), the temperature would be increasing slowly and the testing could be done while it progresses from say 37 to 40. Some appropriately sized holes in the box might even keep the temperature fairly stable.

On the other hand, it's not your problem and it would be a lot easier and accurate to test stuff at high temperatures in hot locations.

Have you thought about waiting until summer with this so that you'd be able to test it better? Would it even make much difference? It would be feasible if you were in the prairies, but then ambient temps for reviews would be all over the place. We're lucky you're in vancouver.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 5:14 pm 
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Very good article Mike. I'm sure Frank will be very happy with it.

As I'm living in Bangkok (which is a bit warmer than Chieng Mai in general) I can see that Frank's new PC will be plenty cool. Personally, I think you do not even need the 2 front fans and let the 3 remaining fans (VGA, CPU, and exhaust fans) do the pulling job bringing in cool air. My guess is you add that 2 fans just to be sure.

Since I also have PSU duct built in similar fashion for more than a year now, I can also testify that it work very well in our climate, even better in AC room. :D

Right now, I'm just envy Frank for having P150 since Antec does not have any distributor here. :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 5:19 pm 
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I am a computer engineer. Its amazing what people can do if you explain to them just how much they CANT screw up.

People even say to me (dont laugh). "I dont know how to take the wires out of the hard disk, can you do it for me.???" (Yes I know......... I even heard it called an "Engine" yesterday) Seriously, that is a frequent request, one that I NEVER do, I just dont want to deal with a customer who cant put "square blocks into square holes" and "round blocks into round holes".

An obvious question with an obvious answer, does Frank have a PC.??? I guess its a yes (rhyme not intended).

How about asking someone with a bit of spare time, a digital camera, and some creative (jargon free) writing to come up with a SATA HDD setup in a P150 (suspended of course), it would then become a permanent resident page on SPCR.

I would but the P150 is not out in Black, PLEASE BRING IT OUT SOON ANTEC, you dont want to see me with a spray can.

I wouldnt expect anything else to go wrong, so long as the corners are protected, "L-Shaped peices of hard plastic would be ideal, as corners always get crushed, or you could be creative with brut force, and old case sides (everything needs recycling).

BTW, am i mistaken or is the PSU you are using a "European/non-US" model WITH Active PFC (thats what Thailand use) and not the US version.???


Andy

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 5:25 pm 
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andyb wrote:
BTW, am i mistaken or is the PSU you are using a "European/non-US" model WITH Active PFC (thats what Thailand use) and not the US version.???

AFAIK, there is only one version of the NeoHE (in terms of AC volatge etc). They are all universal input (100~240VAC), APFC.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 5:29 pm 
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I am mistaken :)

Cheers Mike.


Andy

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 7:08 pm 
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Greetings Andy,

andyb wrote:
The only concern I have about the build is that Frank gets his machine in one piece (personally I would have tucked the drive in the middle of the bubblewrap in the empty space in the PC and have him hook it up at the end), that is the closest I have to a complaint.


I would suggest putting some more bubble wrap in and around the hard drive as it is installed! And maybe some string/cable tie supports for the top of the Heatlane?

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 7:13 pm 
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specs couldnt be any closer than mine, only differences are the PSU and arctic cooling (i got vf700 w/panaflo). by the way mike I noticed that you didnt install a fan controller for him, I assumed its because you wanted to make him a solid automated system without any needs of being adjusted?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 8:08 pm 
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Nice job as usual. I have say though that top duct looks out of place on the case. Although very functional, in my opinion it ruins the look of the outside of the P150 even though you did a great job with it. Maybe if you painted the mesh cover white?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 8:42 pm 
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Fair enough - if a HS wants to travel, who are you to stop it?

On the Windows based programs, I can see where you're coming from, especially as the PC's built for someone else. It's just I felt a little twinge of disappointment that it'd didn't go quite as far as it could in reducing power use, heat and noise. Me, picky? :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 12:03 am 
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Great article and very nice reading. :)
Nice to see a powerful and quiet PC coming to life.
Really inspiring.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 12:09 am 
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mattthemuppet wrote:
On the Windows based programs, I can see where you're coming from, especially as the PC's built for someone else. It's just I felt a little twinge of disappointment that it'd didn't go quite as far as it could in reducing power use, heat and noise. Me, picky? :)

What if he reinstalls Windows, or uses some other OS? I do like your idea and I would use the software too, but in this case I understand the choice MikeC has done. He want something that works independently of the OS. It's now up to Frank to get the software and join SPCR! :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 12:20 am 
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in a few days i will be moving to a country with similar climate as thailand.
i hope my sys will still be able to operate silently.

not long ago, my buddy just went overseas and took his computer with him. i cant recall if he checked in his computer in a luggage or he sent it with a shipping company.
when he opened the computer, his sk6+ heatsink on the socket A mobo was dismantled. he s lucky that brick of copper did not damage any other components in the system. that thing must of been flunged all over the casing.

i m not familiar with a socket 939 clip but maybe it would be a good idea if you could apply some force to hold that heatlane in place. maybe styrofoam ?
it would be better if you could ship it dismantled, but i presume the person receiving the computer is not familiar with installing heatsinks.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 3:29 am 
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What a fantastic story! You are probably right in that it is over-engineered, thermally speaking, but aren't all the best products like that (BMW, Swiss watches etc)? I'm amazed at the care and attention to detail that you put into this build; Frank is a lucky guy to have the great MikeC personally construct his silent rig! :lol:

Any chance you can total up the final cost of this silent build (not including shipping)?

I was going to mention the humidity as another factor to consider, but I read that the North is one of the driest areas of Thailand, so it shouldn't affect this build.

Mike, thanks for sharing this with us; it makes for great reading on a drizzly winter morning here in the UK. 8)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:06 am 
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sampoerna wrote:
not long ago, my buddy just went overseas and took his computer with him. i cant recall if he checked in his computer in a luggage or he sent it with a shipping company.
when he opened the computer, his sk6+ heatsink on the socket A mobo was dismantled. he s lucky that brick of copper did not damage any other components in the system. that thing must of been flunged all over the casing.

i m not familiar with a socket 939 clip but maybe it would be a good idea if you could apply some force to hold that heatlane in place. maybe styrofoam ?
it would be better if you could ship it dismantled, but i presume the person receiving the computer is not familiar with installing heatsinks.


exactly my thoughts...the hs is a lot of unsupported weight that could easily be yanked off. hope it gets there alright :S

nice system, btw.. mike. I have a p150 as well, might try the duct idea... my neo seems to be revving up more often now that i've OCed my system quite a bit.

edit: any particular reason you didn't tinsnip the rear grill?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 10:02 am 
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For the heat testing you could perhaps use a sauna (I think I remember a friend's sauna that went down to 50°, if you're lucky you might find one that can be set to 40°) you could even simulate humidity if you want to :lol: .

I'm a bit worried about the suspended hard drive, if the box is shocked, it would bounce up and down, possibly doing more damage than a single movement? Worse still if there is a shock in the horizontal direction, it could slip out of one side of the elastics... Perhaps filling the empty spaces with bubble wrap, or styrofoam could be a solution. :roll:

The mobo-foam is a great idea! I'm angry at myself for not having thought of this before, here I was looking for a good supply of vacuum-cleaner filters :P It's a bit less free breathing, and might not stop as much dust, but it's gray, and more readily available, good thinking!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 10:51 am 
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Very nice review, MikeC! However, I have two questions:
1) what are the odds of getting NOW a replacement (revised-improved) NeoHE 430 for someone who is NOT a SPCR reviewer? Or, when will the new version available within the P150?
2) why use such a top-heavy heatsink in a machine that will bear many shocks, and by consequence risk motherboard damage? I would have used a Thermalright XP-120 or SI-120, they are much lighter.


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