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 Post subject: Bozar & Thrash's Ugly But Functional - A Chieftec Mod
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 9:03 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:49 pm
Posts: 305
Location: Sweden
I do own two computers, one quiet but expensive Phenom-based DAW in a P182. The case is great and pretty quiet out of stock and with a Scythe Ninja 2, 2 Nexus Real Silent fans and a fan controller I'm actually satisfied.

My other computer, an socket 939 Athlon 64 with a nforce 4 ultra chipset is a whole different story. The case is a big Chieftec mid-tower with pretty good airflow due to lots of ventilationholes in both sidepanels and a maximum of 5 fans.
Unfortunately the HDD mounting was bad and vibrations a major issue. It also leaked lots of fan-noise despite undervolted semi-quiet fans.
I tried solving the vibration problem with a mounting technique similar to Mike's. It helped with vibration but added to much heat for the drives.
Cable management possibilities was also a problem so I decided to buy a dremel and mod the case until it was adequete for my needs.

Front Intake - I used a saw to enlarge it, filter is made of cut nylon stocking.
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Sideplate - Ventilationholes are blocked of with dampening material.
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Interior 1 - Motherboard fan was replaced by a modified P200 CPU-cooler attached with zalman thermal glue.
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Interior 2 - Three holes have been cut in the motherboard tray, one above the CPU, one in height with main power connector and one close to the SATA connectors. The HDD cage has been removed and the drives suspended. One fangrill has been removed.
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The mess behind the motherboard tray:
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The components:
Athlon 64 3500+
Nforce 4 Ultra motherboard
4 512 mb DDR sticks
Passive HD3450
Corsair HX520
Generic DVD-drive
1 Samsung SATA drive
1 Samsung IDE drive
1 Seagate IDE drive
M-audio 2496

The Cooling:
Zalman 7000-CU @ 5V
Two Fractal Design 120 mm fans @ 5-7V (Depending on application)

How quiet is it then? I'm positively surprised that it almost matches my P182 and I can always add more dampening material. This proves that any case can be quiet with enough modding.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 9:48 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2009 9:58 am
Posts: 144
Location: Poland
It's a shame that Chieftec puts holes everywhere they can. This and the rotated HDD cage are the main reasons Chieftec can't really compete with other brands in the field of silent computing (with no modding).

Still, your case could be converted into a P180-clone upside down :) I would try to slide a piece of PCV or plywood (cut to shape) into the rails the PSU rests on and flip the PSU so it draws air from top. This would create a chamber within the case, completely separated from the MOBO area. Block the back exhaust and you've got yourself a HDD cage with active cooling provided by your Corsair PSU :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 12:31 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:49 pm
Posts: 305
Location: Sweden
Unfortunately the drives get really hot (most of them is from before 2000). I had them cooled by fanless VF900's before I rearranged the mounting and they reached temperatures over 50 degrees on load but the idea of having a seperate chamber for the PSU is very interesting and I will look into the possibilities.


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 Post subject: Re: Bozar & Thrash's Ugly But Functional - A Chieftec Mod
PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 7:35 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:49 pm
Posts: 305
Location: Sweden
Update 2011 but was made 2010. Inverted the whole layout and drilled a hole for PSU ventilation. Cable management got worse but overall the build is a bit more quiet. Thought of building a metal door for the front but I'm a bit fed up with the case so I'm thinking of buying a H2.

New set of hardware:
Phenom 9550 @ stock, slightly undervolted.
6 GB DDR800
780G based motherboard.
Geforce 210 for dual monitors.
One IDE 7200 RPM Seagate drive
One 1 TB Western Digital Green Power, 500 GB platters.

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HDD mounting

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Motherboard setup

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PSU intake

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GPU ventilation

All temps are ok for one year at least. As always northbridge idles to high as will all gigabyte motherboards. GPU is never that heavily used so it stays at less than 70 degrees, often at 61 dregrees.


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