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 Post subject: Your Basic P180 Rig - Sans Fan Grills - Filter Door Mod
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 5:21 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2006 1:41 pm
Posts: 71
Location: New Orleans
Late last year, I posted this topic about my new P180 rig. Since last December, my computer has evolved a little bit and I did some things I have not seen repeated here, enough for a new topic in my opinion.

This is a pretty basic rig based on the Antec P180. Most of my purchasing decisions were made with the help of the fine people here. With the fans undervolted, the case is nearly silent, although a keen ear can detect the hard drives spinning. I recently worked up the courage to cut out the fan grills with a Dremel. I also modified the plastic doors covering the filters, allowing more airflow.

Parts List (complete):

Antec P180 Case
Seasonic S12-500 PSU
Asus A8N32-SLI Motherboard
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

[edit 10/29/07]
Three Samsung HD501LJ 500GB Hard Drives
1 for OS, 2 for RAID 1 media storage
One empty IDE HD enclosure for occasional access of old drives.
[/edit]

Pioneer DVD-RW DL Optical Drive (DVR-108)

Three (3) YATE LOON 120mm Case Fans (D12SL-12)
undervolted to 5-7v by Sunbeam Rheobus fan controller

Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer Sound Card
Linksys WMP54GS PCI Wireless Card
Floppy Drive/Card Reader Combo

The Pictures:

Image

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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.

Image

Image

At the suggestion of some folks here I sealed the top fan grill with some clear, rigid plastic.
Although I find it hard to believe this would actually improve temps, keeping dust out is reason enough to close it off.

Image

Recently I worked up the courage to remove the fan grills with my new Dremel XPR 400. I had the luxury of practicing on another P180 before grinding away at my own case. I also used a ‘blade sharpening’ attachment to smooth out the cuts a bit.
Image

Image


Perhaps the only modification making this topic worthwhile is the work I did on the fan filter doors. I took a Dremel and XACTO knife and removed some of the plastic, keeping the horizontal fins intact but removing the plastic behind it that impedes most of the airflow. This lets plenty of air in with no detriment to the cosmetic appearance. It took some practice before I figured out the cleanest method.

I used a Dremel at low speed ("3" on mine) and a standard cut off wheel. I made the cuts with the door front face down. With a ruler and XACTO knife, I made a line marking my best guess as to where the top edge of each fin would be (1/16th of a inch from the bottom of the fin). With that as a guide, I started my cut my easing the running dremel onto the edge of the line I made. Once comfortable with the cut-off wheel placement, I pushed gently on the door, leaving, holding the dremel stationary (much like a table saw. Since the wheel is round (duh) I did not make the horizontal cuts all the way to the end. It's worth noteing that you need only let the wheel sink about 2mm into the plastic. To finish each one, I first 'shaved' off the excess plastic that accumulates on the sides of the cuts, then finished the job by cutting to the ends, and then making small vertical slices along either side. I also did some touchup as needed with the XACTO knife. Repeat a dozen times.

I found this work to be very time-consuming but worthwhile. I did the top and bottom doors several months apart. During the second time around, I found it easier to mark all the lines, then do all the dremel cuts and then do the final touchup work. That way, you can get "in the groove" (sorry I can't think of a better phrase), make good cuts consistantly and be done with the noise making. With only the XACTO work ahead of you, you can half pay attention to the TV or whatever and the work won't seem quite so tedius.

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I also inserted some black construction paper here to stop light leaks from the power/disk LEDs... just another anal fix.

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Finally, here is my case in its permanent home.

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Thanks for looking. Constructive criticism welcome.

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My P180 Rig | eVGA P55 | Intel Core i5-750 + Scythe Mugen 2 | nVidia GTX 260


Last edited by Mr. B on Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:47 pm, edited 8 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 5:38 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 9:20 am
Posts: 3141
Location: Missing in Finnish wilderness, howling to moon with wolf brethren and walking with brother bears
That's really nice. Everything is nice and tidy. I really liked your fan door modding. That was very cleanly made and has huge help with minimal efforts and also reduces the turbulence noise.

Good choices in fans, fan grill removal was cleanly made.

Cables look nice and tight, won't make much turbulence noise I'd say.

Generally very well made case with each modification helping silence and cooling. Your rigs looks good from inside and outside. Very well made case. I like it.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 5:50 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2007 6:54 am
Posts: 187
Fantastic work on the plastic. Could you give a more detailed description of how you cut it? (cutting bit used, dremel speed, any method details). :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 6:12 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2006 1:41 pm
Posts: 71
Location: New Orleans
^^ Added to post.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 6:23 pm 
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Location: Northern New Jersey
looks really good, i have to say. i wish i had to money for a really nice case and the time to mod it up like that.

my only question is if you sealed off the mesh on the back next to the PCI slots, or if thats still open...what do you think it'll do for the temps how it is vs. how you could change it?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 6:35 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2006 1:41 pm
Posts: 71
Location: New Orleans
bonestonne wrote:
my only question is if you sealed off the mesh on the back next to the PCI slots, or if thats still open...what do you think it'll do for the temps how it is vs. how you could change it?

I'm not sure, that very topic is being discussed at http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/vi ... hp?t=41933

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 6:52 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2004 7:12 pm
Posts: 380
Location: Toronto, ON
Pretty clean setup, given the older revision of the P180!

If you feel brave enough, you may want to invest some time dremelling the other side of the case as well to ease wire management. I emulated this person and was much happier with the cleaner look.[/url]

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