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 Post subject: Humble i7 in P180 mini
PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2009 8:00 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2007 9:28 am
Posts: 7
Location: Toronto, Canada
Greetings all. I've been a long time follower of SPCR, and this is my first time posting to contribute back to the community on a new rig I've built last month. I'd like to thank the community and this site for their efforts and contributions.
Quick background. I wanted small and relatively silent, but high-end PC with a budget of $2000CDN including taxes. Being very particular with choosing a case, I was looking for a white case. My old rig was in a P150 and loved it. Antec's website showed a new P180 mini in white as well! I was excited and wanted to build my PC in this enclosure.

Specs:
Antec Mini P180 White
Core i7 920 with Thermalright HR01 plus and Nexus 120mm Orange 1000RPM
Asus Rampage II GENE m-ATX
Cosair XMS3 1600 2GBx6
MSI Radeon 4890 OC with modified heatplate and Thermalright T-Rad2, 2x92mm fans
Western Digital Velociraptor 300GB
OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W PSU
and random optical drive
Image

Challenges with installation:
- Mini P180 was on backorder while I received the rest of the parts. Praying HR01 would fit in this case using blind faith.
- After the case arrived cable management was a nightmare. I could not route most of the PSU cables on the "backside" of the enclosure. The reason was related to the PSU being installed with the bottom fan facing up. All the power to the motherboard came up from panel seperating the PSU and rest of the case.
- Drivebay was a nightmare. Since the case is cramped, I was only able to retain one drivebay (top) and was forced to remove the bottom. Cause - front case fan did not allow for drivebay to be installed, and video card was far too long (including the PCI-E power cables) to be installed.
- Video card cooling. Installation of the Thermalright T-Rad2 was definately easy, but the cooling for the VRMs were terrible.
Image
The included heatsink barely stuck to the 2 smallest VRMs. The pic is a bit blurry but it did not look proper after installation.
Image
I read on Hardforum that someone used the original stock cooling plate (sans shorud, fan, and heatsink) with an Accelero. I tried installing the plate along with the T-Rad. Some parts of the plate impeded on the T-Rad. 3 areas needed modification.
First, the end point of the pipe that makes contact to the GPU and memory needed filing.
Second, where the heatpipes bend:
Image
Third, on the top left part of the plate where it rises needed to be filed down:
Image
Before:
Image
After:
Image
you can see the filing points that's not in red, and a big chunk to clear the heatpipes.

Here's the final build with some comparison shots with P150:
ImageImage
ImageImage

Finally here's some temps:
Code:
\\Open Air Temps
CPU
-idle         35
-Prime95         63 @ 9hrs 59mins
GPU
-idle         35
-furmark         57 @1.5mins

\\Case Temps
CPU
-idle         32
-Prime95      65
GPU
-furmark      63@~7mins max (cpu 48)
--with oem mem/vrm hs   110@5mins


Prime95&Furmark      66 (CPU)/59 (GPU)


And for people interested in power draw I used a kil-a-watt for measurements:
Code:
\\Power draw
startup       274 watt max   
off          6 watts
sleep          7 Watts
awake from sleep   170 Watts
idle         160watts
prime95         287 Watts
furmark         304 Watts
   68W (52.2A)
Prime95&Furmark      345W @~4mins


Everything else during the build was very straight forward with no surprises. The HR01 plus fit with less than an inch clearance :)
Hope this information helps someone on their next build. Comments and questions are welcomed.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 4:54 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 4:14 pm
Posts: 517
Location: Toronto, Canada
Nice build. The white looks good.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 6:09 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:14 am
Posts: 230
Location: Sweden
Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

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Antec P182, MSI H55-GD65, i3 530@3.5GHZ (w/Nexus 92mm@850 rpm & Minja), 4GB RAM, Samsung HD502HI (suspension w/rubber cords) Geforce 7300GS (w/Zalman ZM80D-HP) PSU Corsair VX450 (w/Noctua NF-S12-1200), System fan Scythe S-Flex 120mm@~550rpm


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 6:56 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2003 3:37 pm
Posts: 371
Location: S. Illinois
On my recent build which was similar I had to lose the drive cage as well. It's a shame these cases can't be tweaked somehow to allow the longer cards which are almost de-facto now it seems. At least among the enthusiasts.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 10:24 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2007 9:28 am
Posts: 7
Location: Toronto, Canada
Riffer, new2spcr: Thx for the compliments

Hellspawn: I see in your sig that my build is like a mini version of yours. The drive cage issue was almost nightmare-ish. If you look at the depth of mini P180 to P150. There's probably half an inch shorter for mini. If they had that a bit deeper, then that would alleviate a lot of cable management problems I encounter. Perhaps micro-ATX designs are still not considered for enthusiast level hardware. Or drivecages should never be used and elastic suspension should be de-facto!
Did you encounter cable management issues as well?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 2:20 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:31 pm
Posts: 822
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Very neat indeed.

Are your cable management issues due to the PSU cables not being long enough or isn't there enough room around the back of the P180 Mini for everything?

You should be able to buy cable extenders for the two mobo power input cables if that is the problem.

Also, Thermalright now sell some VRM heatpiper coolers that could be compatible with your card, so you might want to check them out.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2009 6:27 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2007 9:28 am
Posts: 7
Location: Toronto, Canada
JamieG wrote:
Very neat indeed.

Are your cable management issues due to the PSU cables not being long enough or isn't there enough room around the back of the P180 Mini for everything?

You should be able to buy cable extenders for the two mobo power input cables if that is the problem.

Also, Thermalright now sell some VRM heatpiper coolers that could be compatible with your card, so you might want to check them out.


It's a combination of not being long enough and room in the back. I did not think of extenders. Again there's not much room to play with, and the side panel shows a slight bump from me jamming all the cables I have there. :x

I thought about the Thermalright solution, but was not available for purchase earlier. I'm curious if anyone else bought one. The position of it looks very awkward, and I'm not sure whether it will help airflow or not.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 11:33 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2003 3:37 pm
Posts: 371
Location: S. Illinois
raymanxp wrote:
Riffer, new2spcr: Thx for the compliments

Hellspawn: I see in your sig that my build is like a mini version of yours. The drive cage issue was almost nightmare-ish. If you look at the depth of mini P180 to P150. There's probably half an inch shorter for mini. If they had that a bit deeper, then that would alleviate a lot of cable management problems I encounter. Perhaps micro-ATX designs are still not considered for enthusiast level hardware. Or drivecages should never be used and elastic suspension should be de-facto!
Did you encounter cable management issues as well?


Actually the mini p180 build was in addition to the one in my .sig.

It consisted of:

Asus Rampage II Gene
6gb OCZ DDR3-1600 8-8-8-24
Evga GTX285 FTW
Ci7 920 @ 3.3ghz
Xigmatek Dark Knight with included PWM fan for now.
Corsair HX850W PSU
LG Blu-ray burner
memory card reader

My main complaints were:

1. Blu ray burner had to go to the bottom slot, just doesn't seem right, also it's closer to the floor where it sucks in more dust than if it were up higher.

2. Losing the drive cage. I'd really rather had it mounted horizontally in that cage instead.

3. Silicone drive grommets pushing though when the screws are tightened down. I had to improvise some washers to keep them from pushing though. I've had the other antec models, including the p182 so I know how they work and how not to overtighted but they just give up right away and push through.

I don't know if I dislike the cage loss or the drive being on the bottom more, otherwise the board and such are great.

I put the Dark Knight on last evening and I'm seeing idle temps around 50 so I think I didn't get something right with the amount of AS or such.

I haven't put any extra fans in yet, and no problems with cable management so far. It's not complete, but just need to tuck here and there.

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Silverstone FT02 w/ Seasonic X750 Gold / WD 1TB Black /12gb Corsair Dominator DDR3 1600 / Asus P6X58D Premium / Intel Core i7 975 Extreme / XFX HD5870 / Pioneer BD-205 Blu-Ray Burner / Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme / Gateway FHD2400 24" LCD


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 2:50 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:53 am
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Location: Newyork
After comparing i5 750 and i7 920 gaming benchmarks... that $180 looks nice in my pocket for the 1-2% gain you get going i7. i7 just means spending more later because everything cost more. People went q6600 for 'future proofing' and look where those dolts are now? Spending more now doesn't always translate to savings later. It also depends on your needs.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 5:58 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2005 12:27 pm
Posts: 327
A system anyone could love.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:36 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 9:24 am
Posts: 169
Location: Earth
Great build.

BTW, does your PSU touch/hit the dust-filter in the bottom?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:38 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 6:07 pm
Posts: 144
Location: Canada
haddenharley wrote:
After comparing i5 750 and i7 920 gaming benchmarks... that $180 looks nice in my pocket for the 1-2% gain you get going i7. i7 just means spending more later because everything cost more. People went q6600 for 'future proofing' and look where those dolts are now? Spending more now doesn't always translate to savings later. It also depends on your needs.


Whats wrong with the Q6600? Also, I agree that the i7 920 isn't a great value (imho) only because X58 mobos are very expensive*. However, I think the i7 860 (Microcenter has these for sale for $230, sometimes even $200) is a better value than the i5 750 (only $30 cheaper).

*edit: Of course, if you want SLI, then this is the best choice.


Last edited by nyu3 on Tue Feb 23, 2010 5:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 4:57 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2005 12:27 pm
Posts: 327
I saw the i7-920 at Microcenter today for $200.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:19 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 2:41 pm
Posts: 734
Location: the ether
i paid $279 for the i7-920/x58m bundle.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 7:35 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2005 12:27 pm
Posts: 327
danimal wrote:
i paid $279 for the i7-920/x58m bundle.


Such a deal...


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