It's quiet, in fact it's silent to me for all practical purposes. There's a single Nexus 92mm fan blowing upward through the ducted Ninja. The wood case is built around an old Compaq, chopped and cut up. The front bezel/panel is a piece of 1/2" oak plywood. The metal frame is screwed to this piece of wood from the inside. This panel forms part of the frame, and strengthens and squares the rest of the setup. The drive cage came out of an Antec Aria case...cut up of course. It is held to the front bezel with two wood screws. It will hold a short full-sized optical drive. When finished it will have a Scythe Kama Panel w/ a Pansonic laptop optical drive.
The board is an A-Open i855-GMEm LFS. The CPU is a Pentium M-755 Dothan. This processor supports speed step....so it is set to idle at 600mhz, and speeds up to 2.0 when maxed out. I'm still experimenting with under-volting. Right now it's running a vcore of 1.32V.
This case was built to disassemble easily for further mods if necessary. Other than the front panel, the other wood sides come off easily....no screws, no glue, no velcro, no magnets. The back edge of the metal part of the frame has a lip on the four edges....the rear edge of the panels slips under this ledge. The front edge of the panels is held together by friction. The upper and lower panels have a slight concave warp. On assembly this warp is depressed enough to allow the other panels to slip over, being held tight by the black edge pieces. Completely tool-less construction.
The side panels are 3/16" oak plywood...thin stuff. It's stained with Ebony stain, and will be finished with semi-gloss poly-urethane. There are four little foam feet on the bottom.
This setup has three passive intakes, as the pictures show. When sitting on the right side of a monitor, none of the intakes faces the user. The top exhaust is louvered so the airflow through the Ninja is angled to the rear.
The user has the ability to adjust the amount of intake from each vent, by the partial blocking of the intakes and checking temps. I was mostly concerned about the 320gb WD temps. Didn't need to be....at 24C ambient, the temp has never gone over 34C.
I spent many hours testing the Ninja for airflow
. This duct setup uses the results to construct a case setup in which everything runs cool, with only one fan. The problem we all face with a single fan is the airflow. You might easily cool the CPU, but what about the other temps? To avoid high temps completely I did a few things here. There's a 120W PICO....no PSU temp problems. There's a Ninja that can be mounted at the very top and ducted so most of the exhaust heat goes out of the case directly. There are two "wings" on the duct, so a small amount of relatively cool air is blown on the ram sticks, and at the MB components. This air is recirculated somewhat like a blow-down type heatsink.....but not enough to be significant. There are three intake vents with plenty of area. Some of the intake goes over the card area (lower intake), some goes over the hard drive heatsink (right side vent), and there's the rear intake vent. There's an external deflector for this vent, deflecting any intake noise away from the user. I initally thought this vent would be un-necessary, and might detract from the other cooling vents. As it turns out, with the rear vent open, the CPU temp drops 1-2C, but the other temps are unaffected.
I tried this exact setup with a different board, and a normal P4-2.4. I had to raise the Nexus RPM slightly to maintain the same CPU temp. The other temps remained about the same. On the bench, I had to install a faster fan to keep a P4-3.4 under 50C.....that's about it. Here's a chart showing what happens to this Pentium M setup going from an idle speed of about 900, to maximum usage, where the RPM increases to about 1125. The "VENT" temp in the chart is actually the ambient temperature. As you can see, the only temp that shows any change is the CPU temp.....which is still relatively low.
I'll complete the whole description of this project in a short while. I'm tired of typing. One fan, low temps, PICO-powered, a plain brown box right now.....quiet as hell. Neat project for me....I'm waiting for a new video card and the Scythe panel.