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 Post subject: Is the XCLIO 3060 a suitable SPCR DIY computer case?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:36 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2005 11:06 am
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Location: Klamath Falls, OR
The 3060 is obviously aimed at the gaming crowd, most of whom aren't sensitive to noise. But there are now two video cards in high-end gaming machines, and these cards run hotter and hotter. They need a 220mm fan!

The question is, is this $35 case (Newegg, no PSU) suitable for SPCR types? If you haven't seen this case, go to Newegg, search "xclio", and the first hit will be the white and the second the black version of the 3060. Lotsa good pics.

The case takes a full-size ATX mobo and PSU, and has 4 5-1/4" external slots, one of which will have to be used for the (optional) floppy because the 3.5" cage has to be removed to make room for the DIY HDD suspension.

I just got mine in via UPS at 8:01PM last night (it's the holidaze). I took it apart and removed the 3.5" cage, which is really two sides, each fastened with 4 rivets. Dremel time.

It's easier to remove the top rivets if you remove the case top. It screws in on the rear and the two sides, but not on the front. But it feels as if it's screwed into the front panel! Additional detail: the plastic bezel is attached by the usual six clamp prongs, but also by six screws that are located alongside the prongs. You won't be able to remove the top cover until these screws are removed from the bezel (the top ones, at least).

Once the top was off the Dremel made quick work of the 8 rivets. My current-favorite HDD suspension device can now be set into place:

Image

Regrettably, the two obvious "hooks" for the suspension are not replicated on the other side. But the 4 rivet holes will be great to attach something that can hold the top end of the Stretch Magic suspension (this is where the DIY comes in).

Here's the star of the show:

Image

You may be able to see that there's a ~.2" gap between the side and the fan, which will allow the fan to recirculate quite a bit of case air in addition to the cool outside air. This is a design error that's easy to fix with cheap sticky-back 3/8" wide by 1/4" high soft foam, which I have.

The case is deep enough to mount an Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 Pro, with one or two tenths of an inch to spare (clearance from heat-pipe tip to fan mount screw bottom). Since this is an SPCR DIY experiment, I removed the stock 90mm fan and discarded it, substituting a Scythe 100mm 1000RPM fan, mounted using soft foam and a single strand of 1mm Stretch Magic.

The idea is to test the HS with and without the fan, and it'll be easier to start with the fan already mounted. BTW: I rotated the HS mounting 180 degrees, so the flat part of the HS is to the rear of the case, and mounted the fan to the flat portion so it sucks air thru the HS fins.

Image

If a case vibrates, it's almost always due to rotating machinery. If all the rotating machinery is suspended, then the case will not vibrate. My HDD suspension housing hold two HDDs and a 100mm cooling fan, the same as on the HS. I'll cut out the rear exhaust grill and not mount a fan there. I'll remove the fan from the PSU.

The HS fan is foam-and-SM mounted, and besides I expect to use the HS passively.

I plan to first see how the 220mm fan works as currently mounted, with the foam seal added. If there is any trace of vibration-noise, I'll suspend the fan with Stretch Magic. Heck, I'll eventually do that anyway.

Like I said, if all the rotating machinery is suspended, then the case will not vibrate at all, and so it won't make noise at all. I don't count the floppy and DVD burner, because I use those once every week or two for backup. I go for a walk (literally) when the DVD is burning, anyhoo.
----------------------------

Some additional notes: for those who are turned off by the appearance of the bezel, the PSI Solo 604 (Directron) appears to be the same case with a different bezel. Not as dragons-and-dungeonsish.

Remember the TJ08 and Athenatech A301 being essentially the same case with different bezels and exhaust cutouts? Not only do we have the same stuation here, but the same company designed (and produces?) all 4 cases. Take a look at the first foto: there's no top connection between the front and back of the case once the top cover is removed, so the top cover is a structural element - the same as the TJ08/A301. There are numerous other details that are duplicated, like the shape of the oval hole in the front panel to pass wires thru, etc.

It's a fact that big fans can move a given CFM more quietly than small fans. A 70mm fan is closer to a 120mm fan than a 120mm fan is to this 220mm monster! If I need 25CFM of cooling air, can I get it more quietly using a 70mm or 120mm fan?

The 3060 case, under whatever name, is now the smallest US of A-available case that has that 220mm fan. I suspect that others will appear. So I'm presenting an approach to adapting that fan to an SPCR environment that doesn't threaten kids, pets or divorce papers.

Lotsa football games coming up, but when I get this thing together I'll post pics and some temperature measurements, and whether it really is as quiet as I expect it to be.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 1:59 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2005 2:59 am
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Location: Santa Cruz
I don't want to be skipping a chapter,but is this the early phase of what now has the Dominator jumbo HS and the big windmill undervolted to about 300 rpm?

Hat's off to Felger for not giving into the temptation to just get an Antec. Had edison thought easy route we'd have steam powered computers.

I'll probably do a salvage/wood homebuilt ultimately,but have looked at various cases,and thought "that could be real quiet". I'll have to take another look at some of the Big Fan cases


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:09 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2005 11:06 am
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Location: Klamath Falls, OR
ronrem wrote:
I don't want to be skipping a chapter,but is this the early phase of what now has the Dominator jumbo HS and the big windmill undervolted to about 300 rpm?

Yes. I now have 2 fully operational and one that will be next week; a coupla parts coming in yet. One uses the Freezer 64 Pro, one the Dominator, and next week I'll have the Andy Samurai back in action, applying what I've learned about passive cooling.

The PSI Solo 604 is indeed exactly the same case as the Xclio 3060 except for the bezel and an included PSU.

How well the big fan cools quietly is intimately related to HS cooling with low-speed air flow, and that takes us back to the cooling grid size and fin spacing. It,s this latter aspect that I'm experimenting with now.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 2:32 am 
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Nice write up. I have a couple of questions.

I want to put a 8800 GTX in this case, do you think the harddrive enclosures (before your mods) will get in the way of a long card?

Also, that big fan, does it exhaust or intake?

Thanks

Paul


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 2:56 am 
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All of the cases thus far available, use the big fan as an intake. With some mods, the fan could be turned around and used as an exhaust. IMHO.....I see no benefit to do so. Maybe with the fan blowing out at you, it would make a nice space heater...... :lol:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 2:58 am 
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I was thinking of adding a badge to it.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 8:53 pm 
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Location: Klamath Falls, OR
Paul, I understand the 8800 eats 150W all by itself, and that this is a cooling challenge. Also it's a long card, as you indicate. These are two issues that I have no personal knowledge of, and I try not to stomp around in unfamiliar territory. :D

I do know that large amounts of CFMs are needed to cool computers that pull high power from the wall socket, and that large fans are ideal to provide lotsa CFMs as quietly as possible. But how the airflow is arranged to cool those hot hot video cards is beyond me. Does the heat escape through some otherwise unused PCI expansion holes? :?:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 12:30 am 
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Felger Carbon wrote:
. Does the heat escape through some otherwise unused PCI expansion holes? :?:


Don't know. Haven't bought, let alone built it yet. :)
I will install an expansion slot exhaust fan I think plus the 8800 uses two slots, one of which is for exhaust.

I wonder if I might ask a favour? If you still have the case to hand, do you think you could do an internal measurement for me? At the level of where the PCI-E slot would be, from the expansions slot in the case to the hard disk cage? I'll buy you a pint. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 2:42 am 
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In my current project using one of these big fans, I have an ATI AIW 8500 DV. It had a fan on it to begin with.....but I removed the little fan and substituted a standard heatsink. This thing does run rather warm. I left the PCI slot under the card open. The big fan blowing right at the edge of the card, provides plenty of airflow out the slot opening, keeping the ATI card at a reasonable temperature. I'm running the big fan at about 6v however, because I use only that one fan.......

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 5:30 am 
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Location: Klamath Falls, OR
PaulE wrote:
At the level of where the PCI-E slot would be, from the expansions slot in the case to the hard disk cage? I'll buy you a pint. :)

11-7/16". Not warm, mind! :wink:

150W going out one PCI slot?? That's high-speed air, which means loud air, in my book. :oops:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 11:40 am 
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You are a gent, sir. Many thanks.

I'll be honest, silent isn't a high priority for me, as long as it isn't jet engine loud, I'll live with it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 1:44 pm 
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Location: NY
I hate those cases.

Image

I had one similar to this one and immediately sold it. The side panel disrupts air flow and actually hurts temps. At least for me. The fan has a humming sound. Didn't try undervolt. :(

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 3:53 pm 
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YOu mean you don't like L-shaped airflow path? :shock: :shock: :shock:

:lol: :lol:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 2:56 pm 
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As you guys were so helpful before I bought this case, I just thought I'd drop back in now that I've got it and assembled the system.

In terms of noise (I know that's the purpose of this site) is pretty damn quiet. The big intake fan has a speed adjuster and even when it's slow, you can feel it dragging air in, but it's still virtually silent even when it's running top speed.

The blue LED's are a bit gay and I'll snip them out soon.

About 8800 graphics cards; My XFX 8800 GTX is very long but it does fit with about 10mm between it and the 3.5 drive cage. You do have to be careful where you put the hdd though as that tends to be longer than the cage that holds it. However, this card does require two power cables and they stick out the side of the card. They will foul the fan unless I strap then down good and proper.

My Tagan 580 modular PSU complements the case nicely with reduced clutter up top. It's fairly quiet.

Thanks for your help earlier and I hope I have reciprocated.

Paul


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