After a year of lurking, I'd like to share my experiences while building this rig, this might be useful to fellow P182 users, and also those considering using this wonderful case from Antec. Here we go!
My guiding principles while building/modding this rig is pretty simple:
1. As quiet as possible,
2. As cool as possible,
3. and Efficient airflow design
And here are my system specs:
Antec EarthWatts 430, Asus P5k, E4300 (stock) + Scythe Infinity, 2gig Kingston HyperX DDR-800, Gigabyte 8600gt, one optical drive, one 3.5" 7200rpm harddisk.
I have not overclocked at this time, but i'm really excited about the overclock potential of the E4300...
In this pic u can see a important mod: a baffle that separates the CPU and graphics card into 2 distinct chambers. I got this inspiration thanks to Chris Thomson at silentpcreview.com. Thumbs up!!!
This cardboard baffle was easier to make and install than I initially thought! It rests snugly in between a few mobo capacitors, fan headings, a 12 cm fan, and the power cable keeps it in place. No tape or glue needed.
Ok let's go for a closeup of the graphics card chamber...
Here u can see the Gigabyte 8600gt uses a passive heatsink, and I have a 12 cm Scythe fan blowing horizontally across the whole card, and exhaust thru the PCI panels. This Scythe fan came from the Scythe Infinity which I am using (more on this later); it moves 46.5CFM of air and is QUIET. You can see that I taped up 3 of the PCI panels at the bottom; I did this with the hope of maximizing the airflow over the heatsink.
Here's a shot of the back, showing the graphic card compartment exhaust:
You can see I taped a tiny strip of single ply tissue to test the airflow direction. Heated air comes out of all 3 open PCI panels.
Now let's see the CPU cooling solution:
There are 2 fans in this compartment:
1. Antec Tricool @Low strapped on the Scythe Infinity, moving 28CFM.
2. Antec Tricool @Low on the top exhaust.
That's right folks, that's a shroud made out of a plastic folder; 3 pieces carefully measured and fitted onto the top, side and bottom of the Infinity. The idea is to allow heated air to go right out of the case. With this design, the top exhaust fan's job will be to pull in cool air over the voltage regulators, north bridge, the base of the Infinity, and possibly the RAM too. The top fan is 1 cm away from the Infinity.
...view from the front...
You can see the height of the RAM aligns exactly with the edge of the fan, hopefully this leads to good airflow over the RAM. Also, the fan speedswitch is long enough such that it lies conveniently on top of my DVD drive. It's very convenient to bump up the fan speed during heavy overclocking+gaming, but at medium setting the fan IS audible.
This final pic shows the front...I removed the air filter to improve airflow in the graphics card chamber. My experiments show that closing the front door will raise core temps by 2 degrees.
Ok now for the meat of the matter: TEMPERATURES
I use Coretemp 0.95, Orthos. Temps for the 2 cores vary only by 1-2 degrees.
With ambient at 30C, Idle temp=40C; Load=59C.
Other temps: System=40C; GPU=52 (idle); HDD=45C
My thoughts on heatsink lapping: Well-worth the effort! After lapping both the heatsink and CPU IHS, my load temps dropped by 5 degrees! I use AS5, and I follow exactly the application instructions as per Arctic Silver website. It says AS5 will settle in after 200hrs, resulting in 2-5C drop in temp. I'd be really happy with another 2C drop!:) Will update the results soon...
On a final note...
I feel the baffle has been a really critical mod. Previously, without it, and having both fans at top and rear running at low speed, with Scythe fan strapped on Infinity, PLUS another Antec fan in the graphics card chamber, air was actually sucked in from the rear PCI panels, despite the fact that a fan was blowing in the opposite direction!
There ya go, hope u all enjoyed this mini report! Now my system is running with just 3 fans. Quiet, quiet quiet!
Questions and comments are most welcome!