This really deserves its own thread. I clicked the link from the article, and started reading and was thinking to myself "WTF are these people talking about?", and then i realized they were all posts from 2 years ago.
Im curious about some of the fans, and placements in this system. You have 3x 120mm fans in series, one after the other, just to cool the CPU. Isnt this just a tad redundant? I would think 1 fan at the exhaust, and some ducting would do exactly the same thing with less fans.
And why would you have an active VGA cooler on the video card, and then put a 120mm fan blowing directly on it running at a full 12v? Why not just put a large passive heatsink like the thermalright HR-03 or the arctic cooling Accelero S1, with the 120mm nexus blowing right on it?
Any reason why the WD SE16 was chosen over the WD GP?
One last question. When your sitting next to it and listening to it from a normal seated position, what do you hear the most? Seeks from the HD? HD whine? Fan (whoosh) noise? And if it is fan noise, which fans do you think the culprit is?
own thread -- done.
There are 3 120mm fans -- one on the CPU cooler, one for back panel exhaust, and one for the VGA area. There is no intake fan dedicated to the CPU -- cooler outside air comes to it via the top blowhole and the Kama Bay.
The VGA cooler was preferred at time of original design (about 4 months ago) by EPCN, and the results with this config are fine. (See my last post about how it was thermally tested.) The Nexus 120 fan at 12v in front of the vidcard helps with cooling. This was designed with hotter cards in mind, as well as dual vidcard configs in future. The system noise is already at 22 dBA even with this fan at 12V -- because of the damping effects of the AcoustiPack lining -- so there was little acoustic price to be paid for it.
Also, EPCN (and I) reserves the right to modify system configs for better performance any time; they're not stuck or "married" to the Zalman HS. If an x-fire system config works better with different HS, then they will make the changes, and I'll document the changes in the future.
The WD SE16 640GB is much faster in every way than the WD GP -- this is a gaming machine, and the HDD is the single biggest performance bottleneck in any system.
Noise seated next to it -- well, pretty much like any system: I can hear everything
that makes noise in there.
The 12V Nexus is probably the single biggest noise source, along with HDD seeks. The rest blend together. There is no high freq whine of any kind -- from fans or HDD. But on the desktop is not the way I'd recommend using this or any other PC except <18 dBA/1m ones. What's the point? By putting it so close and on a resonant wood platform, you increase subjective noise perception by at least double. What for? So you can get more EM radiation to your head and complain that even though it's 22 dBA/1m, it is 26 at 1'?