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Like many people here that build their own PCs, they evolve as money permits. That's certainly the case with me. After replacing most everything else earlier this year, my old Chieftec Dragon case
was all that remained. More recently, noise of this case was becoming annoying and with the money to fix the problem, I set out to correct it. I've been lurking on this forum for a while which has helped me greatly in my purchasing decisions. Thanks to the people here by the way, this is an excellent community.
This is a pretty basic rig based on the Antec P180
. There's no hard drive suspension or missing fan grills, yet. I'm stil working up the courage. The upper compartment is a little crowded but I think I've done a decent job in keeping things tidy. Should you see any room for improvement, I welcome any comments or criticism.
[EDIT]REVISED: Feb 19, 2007 - I made some small changes including some upgrades and suggestions from this post and thought it was worth the trouble of a post edit. Italisized text is old information.[/EDIT]
Parts List (complete):
Antec P180 Case
Seasonic S12-500 PSU
eVGA nForce4 Sli Motherboard (133-K8-NF41-AX)
with Thermalright HR-05 SLI chipset cooler
AMD 4400 2.2ghz Athlon 64 Processor
with Scythe Ninja heatsink (semi-Passive - CPU fan will usually be off)
eVGA (nVidia) 7800GT (256-P2-N519-AX)
with Arctic Cooling Accelero X1 VGA Cooler
Two (2) KINGSTON 1GB PC3200 RAM Modules KVR400X72C3A/1G
with Vantec heat spreaders
Western Digital 400GB HDD (WD4000KD)
Western Digital 320GB HDD (WD3200KS)
Two older IDE drives (WD 200gb & 80gb) sit in removable enclosures, these will on only rarely as their quite noisy)
Pioneer DVD-RW DL Optical Drive (DVR-108)
Three (3) YATE LOON 120mm Case Fans (D12SL-12)
undervolted to 7v by Sunbeam Rheobus fan controller
Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer Sound Card
Linksys WMP54G PCI Wireless Card
Generic USB 2.0 PCI Card
I've tried to minimize any obstruction of airflow. Some cables such as the AC 12v CPU power plug are routed under the motherboard. I also removed the top drive cage and tracks for the same purpose.Things are pretty tight by the CPU fan but I'm confident these cables aren't going anywhere. This fan will be off most of the time anyway.
At the suggestion of folks here, I replaced the round cables with standard ribbon cables, which has largely eliminated the clutter that was here.
This of course is the Thermalright HR-05-SLI chipset heatsink, which barely clears the video card. I like this accessory but the mounting does not feel solid at all. The cooler is easily moved. When my PC is on this thing feels dangerously hot but I'm assuming that's not a problem as the stock fan cooler was a pathetic piece of bend sheet metal with a wussy fan on top.
At the suggestion of some folks here I sealed the top fan grill. Although I find it hard to believe this would actually improve temps, keeping dust out is reason enough to close it off.I have the lower chamber fan pointed towards the hard drives as I'm sure they are in more need of the air, although I've read many people do the opposite. I installed the fan grill after hearing a scratching noise. The motherboard power cable settled and was touching that fan.
I caught hell for this and put it back the right way.Since my case is nearly always closed I decided to take the cosmetic hit and remove those plastic fan grill covers as they appear to be a significant impediment to airflow.
Eventually I got annoyed seeing the fan filters but I created a workaround.
I took a dremel to the plastic fan grill covers and removed some of the plastic, keeping the horzontal fins intact but removing the plastic behind it that impedes most of the airflow. This lets plenty of air in with no significant detriment to the cosmetic appearance. Unfortunately I was half done by the time I figured out the cleanest method. It's not pretty on the backside.
I also inserted some black construction paper here to stop light leaks... just another anal fix.
Finally, here is my case in its permanent home. I didn't realize it until after I had the case at home that it matches my TV pretty well.
Thanks for looking. As I said earlier, comments welcome.