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 Post subject: Quiet and neat CM690
PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2009 10:09 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2009 3:51 am
Posts: 76
Location: Sydney
The specs:

Mobo: Asus P5Q SE
CPU: E7300 w/ Xigmatek Dark Knight HS w/ Arctic Cooling F12025 PWM fan
HDD: Soft mounted WD 500GB GP w/ AAM set to quiet
Ram: G.Skill 2x2Gb DDR2-800 kit
GPU: Passive Gigabyte 4550
PSU: Corsair HX450
Case: Coolermaster CM690 w/ Scythe Kaze Master Ace fan controller w/ 2x Noctua S12-1200

Side on:
Image

Front on:
Image

Suspension a bit closer up:
Image

Anyway, the system is still a work in progress, that is limited by finances. I do plan on making a shift to SSD, but think I'll wait till the end of the year for that move.

I still need to properly position my thermal probes, but I'm out of the polymer tape that came with the fan controller. What can I use as a substitute?

The system is cool enough to cool passively (except for the PSU) at the moment if run at stock settings, because its a cool winter, however, the fans are necessary come summer and days in the mid to high 30s.

I guess what I'm really happy about here is the power connector on the motherboard. On most of the Asus P5Q series boards it is in a really stupid place. I came up with a way of routing the power cable so that it didn't cut across the whole board. This was something I found impossible using my previous PSU because of its non modular nature making it harder to bend the cable. The power cable is held in using some ties going through the vents at the back near the PCI slots.

Power connector cable routing:
Image

Any comments or suggestions are more than welcome.


Last edited by 40974111 on Sat Jul 25, 2009 11:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2009 10:50 pm 
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Location: Where I Am
Quote:
Case: Coolermaster CM690 w/ Scythe Kaze Master Ace fan controller w/ 2x Nexus S12-1200
You made a typo: those are Noctua fans, unless I have been flung into a parallel universe of Nexusian rulership.

ASUS board designers need to realise this is 2009 not 1999 and people expect more from their motherboards' design and layout.

I have an EPOX board from 2004 with the same problem. I routed my ATX power cable (in top mounted PSU case) over the top of the board through one of the case's grooves and back down again to the offending power connector. It is downright annoying. But thankfully more board makers these days (Gigabyte being perhaps the best) know this and design it accordingly.

Have you considered blocking those vents off and perhaps mass dampening the panels? I had a look at the CM690 in person and I didn't quite like the number of vents and the less than substantial panels. There's enough vents in that case to let in the world's population of flies. Okay, maybe not. Half the world's population. It is a solid choice for a main PC however, and an affordable alternative to the taller Antecs. I understand all this costs money and I'm a budget minded person myself. But a few bits and pieces from the hardware shop for a few $10s (less or more) might do the job.

In Australia's summer heat, we must all be mindful of keeping our computers from frying, so whatever noise reduction measures you take, don't let cooling suffer too much as a result.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2009 10:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:11 am
Posts: 540
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Shamgar wrote:

ASUS board designers need to realise this is 2009 not 1999 and people expect more from their motherboards' design and layout.




In Asus' defense, their newer boards have the 20+4 power connecter on the east edge of the board..where it belongs. With the p5Q there was a reason that connector is where it is...and that reason is WAYYYYYYYYYYYYY beyond the scope of this forum (unless you have your degree in electrical engineering and/or PCB design). The fact is, if you buy the board, you are signing up for a difficult mobo cable management.


O.P. Nice build. I like how you dealt with all the cables, and nice hdd suspension. You doing any overclocking? Your rig is more than capable of doing it quietly as well...

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The Rig: Asus P5Q, e8400 O.C.'d to 3.6 Ghz w/ Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro, MSI GTX460 768MB, 4x1gb G.Skill@1066Mhz, 320gb WD & 500gb Samsung suspended, Corsair 520W PSU, Windows 7 Professional x64


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2009 11:17 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:31 pm
Posts: 822
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Is the hard drive cage easily removable? It looks like it is fairly restrictive and may be blocking a lot of the front fan's air flow. I would consider removing it.

Blocking off some of the side and top vents could also improve your cooling slightly, as the airflow will be better controlled from front fan to rear fan.

Otherwise, looks pretty good to me.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2009 11:40 pm 
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Location: Greece
How about moving the front intake to the bottom? If dust doesn`t prove to be an issue it would be a definative improvement in terms of noise. This and blocking any unused vents should make this system pretty much inaudible.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2009 11:41 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2009 3:51 am
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Location: Sydney
Quote:
You made a typo: those are Noctua fans, unless I have been flung into a parallel universe of Nexusian rulership.


Correct indeed. I've been contemplating buying some Nexus fans recently and so I tend to say Nexus instead of Noctua.

Quote:
Have you considered blocking those vents off and perhaps mass dampening the panels?


The side left side panel would be relatively easy to mass dampen, and really needs it. However, I've had to leave this for now. This is because I've been trying to work out my final fan set up. My motherboard is about 7 degrees warmer, and my CPU about 5 degrees warmer with the fan mounted at the front compared to the lower left side intake.

Quote:
Is the hard drive cage easily removable? It looks like it is fairly restrictive and may be blocking a lot of the front fan's air flow. I would consider removing it.


It is not removable.
It is fairly restrictive.
I'm contemplating sectioning that part of the case off, such that air can't get in or out and moving the front fan to the left side. Doing this will drop down my northbridge temps 7 degrees and my processor temps 5 degrees. Problem is the grill is too impeding, and I don't have anything to cut it with - it is loud with a fan even at 600 rpm.


Quote:
Blocking off some of the side and top vents could also improve your cooling slightly, as the airflow will be better controlled from front fan to rear fan.


I might give that a go. I think I'd do it inside the gap between the chassis and the black plastic top cover, rather than inside the case.

Quote:
O.P. Nice build. I like how you dealt with all the cables, and nice hdd suspension.


Thank you :)

Quote:
You doing any overclocking? Your rig is more than capable of doing it quietly as well...


Temp wise it is perfect 51 degrees at load, at 400mhz * 8.5 =3.4GHz. That is the highest I've managed to get it keeping the vCore within intels product specifications.

Unfortunately ASUS's PC Probe went a bit hay-wire, and led to crashing (even when not overclocked). The program also wouldn't readily uninstall, even in safe mode. So I wiped my PC - which I'd been planning on doing anyway, and am reinstalling everything. When thats all done, I'll go back to my overclocked settings, and push it a bit more.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2009 11:43 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2009 3:51 am
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Location: Sydney
Quote:
How about moving the front intake to the bottom? If dust doesn`t prove to be an issue it would be a definative improvement in terms of noise.


Dust is an issue, I end up having to remove the fan on a bi-weekly basis to clean it, and it isn't the easiest fan to remove.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 1:07 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:11 am
Posts: 540
Location: Massachusetts, USA
I've come to realize that Asus utilities suck. and I'm OK with that...i just refuse to use them lol

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:20 am 
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Location: San Diego
why in gods name are you using a CM 690 for a system that has 1 optical drive, and 2 hard drives?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:31 am 
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Fayd wrote:
why in gods name are you using a CM 690 for a system that has 1 optical drive, and 2 hard drives?
I have considered COOLER MASTER CM-690 also for system with little amount of hard disk and optical drives. Why, it has some nice feature like PSU at bottom in flipped position; meaning it won't interfere with air circulation in case. Also, it offers basic cable management features not found in most cases of the same price range. However maybe the biggest contra is many fan openings. There is one version of CM-690, which is more suitable to quiet computing. Yes, I talk of WHITE EDITION: http://www.pcgameshardware.com/aid,6794 ... ered/News/ 8)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 3:51 am 
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Location: Missing in Finnish wilderness, howling to moon with wolf brethren and walking with brother bears
Oh, that whhite edition seems to correct 3 major problem original CM 690 had:

2x 120mm fan spaces on side and 80mm fan place on opposite side... Now those fan openings gone, CM690 White looks very promising!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 3:56 am 
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Location: Sydney
Quote:
why in gods name are you using a CM 690 for a system that has 1 optical drive, and 2 hard drives?


Before the silent computing thing I was planning on having a nice raid card and was going to be looking at a raid 10 setup. Then I realised how much noise annoyed me, and that plan fell by the way side.

The current set up is using 4 5.25" inch drive bays (2 for soft mounted hard drive, 1 for optical, 1 for fan controller). None of the the 3.25" inch bays, which make a nice spot to store the excess cabling and keep them out of the way.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:25 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 1:56 pm
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Location: Detroit, MI
40974111 wrote:
Quote:
why in gods name are you using a CM 690 for a system that has 1 optical drive, and 2 hard drives?


Before the silent computing thing I was planning on having a nice raid card and was going to be looking at a raid 10 setup. Then I realised how much noise annoyed me, and that plan fell by the way side.

The current set up is using 4 5.25" inch drive bays (2 for soft mounted hard drive, 1 for optical, 1 for fan controller). None of the the 3.25" inch bays, which make a nice spot to store the excess cabling and keep them out of the way.


Gotta love Gigabit ethernet! My server is located in another room. The dual-core Atom 330 (with hardware gigabit) is more than enough for various tasks running Linux, *BSD, or whatever floats your boat. Just be sure to get a board with a PCI-Express x1 slot or greater for more than one additional SATA port. You can also get away with SATA port multipliers.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 7:47 am 
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40974111 wrote:
Quote:
why in gods name are you using a CM 690 for a system that has 1 optical drive, and 2 hard drives?


Before the silent computing thing I was planning on having a nice raid card and was going to be looking at a raid 10 setup. Then I realised how much noise annoyed me, and that plan fell by the way side.

The current set up is using 4 5.25" inch drive bays (2 for soft mounted hard drive, 1 for optical, 1 for fan controller). None of the the 3.25" inch bays, which make a nice spot to store the excess cabling and keep them out of the way.

The CM 690 is a reasonably cheap and good alternative to a more expensive Antec case. Most corner store PC and online vendors in Australia stock them as well which makes availability not a problem. Just because someone only uses a single optical drive and one or two hard drives doesn't mean they have to go mATX et al and join the small and sleek crowd. There are advantages, both aesthetical and practical to having a larger case. However, this is largely due to personal preference, which I believe should be the deciding factor to what individuals buy and use.

As 40974111 stated, the case was bought before his silent computing "journey" had begun. Making the most of what he already owns for now is both economically and ecologically wise (for those who care about such things).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 8:51 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:11 am
Posts: 540
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Shamgar wrote:

As 40974111 stated, the case was bought before his silent computing "journey" had begun. Making the most of what he already owns for now is both economically and ecologically wise (for those who care about such things).


well said.

plus, mATX has other limits too, like the size of n/s bridge heatsinks, the number of pcie slots, etc. ATX is still the king if size isn't an issue (who cares about the size if it doesn't need to be trasported regularly?)

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