I love my new P182 case. As far as I'm concerned it's the best. case. ever. However, I noticed a few strange video card crashes during gaming
, so I investigated.
Note that I have performed a few mods on my P182, so this is a better-than-normal situation. I've already..
- snipped out the fan grills in the front and rear with tin snips
- removed all dust filters from the front
- removed plastic cover from the front middle fan (so it's basically a direct "hole" into the computer when the case cover is oepn)
- placed all three "standard" p182 fans in the traditional places on low
- dremeled away the exhaust backplate cover for the 8800GTX
- removed 8800GTX heatsink, cleaned, and reapplied with Arctic Silver Ceramique for optimal heat transfer
What I found may shock you. I think there's a pretty severe airflow problem with the P182 case as-designed
RivaTuner temperature graphs for my 8800GTX are below.
Idle -- P182 case door OPEN vs. CLOSED
Load (full screen 1600x1200 rthdribl) -- P182 case door OPEN vs. CLOSED
P182 case door OPEN
Idle: Ambient 47, core 57
Load: Ambient 67, core 80, fan ~1800 rpm
P182 case door CLOSED
Idle: Ambient 64, core 75
Load: Ambient 71, core 86 (and rising!), fan ~ 2900 rpm
With the case door closed, I can't play games on the 8800GTX without eventually overheating and crashing the video card driver.
It's that simple.
I also found that snapping the plastic fan cover over the front fan is almost as airflow-restrictive as closing the case cover (!). On this case, you DEFINITELY want to remove anything
blocking that front middle air intake.
And even then you may need to open the front of the case for gaming sessions. However, I'm not a fan of manually opening and closing the case when I do things... it should just work. I'm going to experiment with putting an intake fan in the front middle position and see if that works at all with the case door closed.