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 Post subject: ISK 300 available with larger power supply now
PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:21 am 
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I don't know if anyone has seen this or how new they are (Newegg has them listed as "new arrivals"), but I just happened to be updating wish lists on in anticipation of an income tax refund and spotted these.

Antec has details here:

http://www.antec.com/Believe_it/product.php?Family=Mjg4

Looks like one is the same ISK300 but with a 150W rated PSU and the other has the larger power supply and grey front, like a lot of the NSK series cases.

They're both available now on Newegg. Haven't checked other stores.

[edit] I just saw MikeC mentioned he had an early sample in hand a few weeks ago.

If anyone was thinking the 65W rating on the previous one would be cutting it a little close, this might be what you're after.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:40 am 
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Two color choices:

Black face: http://www.newegg.com/Product/NewProduc ... 6811129080

Silver face: http://www.newegg.com/Product/NewProduc ... 6811129081

There are some differences in this design in black and the 65w version that I have.

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2.0 Ghz Al Macbook, Dell XPS m1330 (Mrs' machine), Work - ISK 300-65/e5300/ZOTAC NF630I-F-E/ 2 gigs ddr2 2 WD blue 2.5" drives, Home Office - Gigabyte GA-MA74GM-S2/5050e/2 gigs ddr2/WD640ALKS/WD6400AAKS, HTPC - 4850e/GA-MA78GPM-DS2H / 4 gigs ddr2 / WD6400AAKS / WD10EADS


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:15 am 
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I ordered an ISK 300-150 yesterday. I'll post on it when it arrives. I don't recommend buying it from Newegg since it's about $30-35 cheaper elsewhere.

Unfortunately, I won't have all the components to put it together until later in the month, so it'll be sitting around until then. I'm still waiting for the Radeon HD 5450 to come out so I can see how it compares with the GT 220. And Newegg doesn't have the DFI P55 mini-ITX board in stock until the 16th.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:42 pm 
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blaster - I'd be curious to hear how it goes!

I was planning to put together an H55 system and use the new Core processors' onboard graphics for a tiny linux box, but Zotac's H55 mITX board doesn't seem available anywhere just yet. I figure the 65W version would be sufficient for my use, but an option that provides a little more juice will be just what some were after.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 4:29 pm 
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Okay, so the case arrived yesterday. Here's a few pictures:

Image

Image

Image

As you can see, the board used in the 65 watt version of the case has been replaced with an internal PSU with a custom form factor that fits underneath the drive bay. It's sort of got an "L" shape to accommodate the 80mm fan.

The other difference from the 65 watt version is that the cover has more ventilation. Both sides are vented pretty much all over. That will probably help with more power hungry components.

I can't really do anything with my case until I get the rest of the components. I'm actually debating on this a little. My original plan was for the following specs:

Intel Core i5-750
DFI LANParty MI P55-T36 mITX
2 x 2GB G. Skill DDR3 1600 (1.5V)
Intel X-25M G2 80GB
Panasonic UJ-875 Slim Slot-Load DVD
ATI Radeon HD 5450

However, based on the reviews, it seems like the HD 5450 might be a little too underpowered. It's a little disappointing that Vector Adaptive De-Interlacing doesn't seem to work. Unfortunately, I think the HD 5570 might be a bit too much for the power supply when coupled with a quad core processor. It's rated at 42.7W under load.

I might consider going with the HD 5570, but substituting a Core i5-660 as the processor. It's not a particularly good deal though considering the Core i5-750 is slightly cheaper and generally a higher performer.


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 Post subject: PSU and internal case dimensions?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 7:03 am 
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Hello.
Would it be possible to measure the PSU and the internal dimensions of the case, and then post the results?
I would like to order this case for a HTPC project, but before I do that, I need to know if it is possible to reposition the PSU inside the case, and for that its dimensions are essential.
I am planning something kind of crazy... I wanna use this case to place a microATX board inside (a rectangular board, with one of the sides shorter, not the full square type - it is 24.40 by 21 centimeters, while the outer dimensions of the case are 32.28 by 22.2 centimeters)... I would place the motherboard sort of sideways... the left side of the case (as watched from the front, with the case placed horizontally) would became the "new" back side and the case would be vesa-mounted on the back of my LCD TV, with the cables hanging down from the new back (original left) side of the case.
This would not be very difficult with a pico-psu... but I only have a 90W pico-psu, and that is not enough for a gt 220. I believe the included PSU (150W) can handle the load, but it must be repositioned on one side, close to the front side of the case, after removing the dvd/hdd tray. Otherwise, the microATX would have no chance of fitting inside the case.
I hope it is not extremely hard to understand my crazy plans :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 9:41 am 
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I don't think there's room for that. The power supply takes up almost all the space under the drive bay. Even if you took the metal casing off it, I don't think there's any way to fit the motherboard and power supply board in that area.

If you removed the drive cage completely, removed the casing from the power supply, and found some way of holding the power supply board up above the motherboard where the drive bay area is, I suppose there might be a chance. Wouldn't be able to secure a hard drive though -- it'd have to dangle by the video card or something.

It'd be a heck of a lot easier to just get a mini-ITX board of course. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 10:37 am 
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You are probably right about not being possible to fit the motherboard and the power supply on the "floor" of the case.
About it being easier to get a mini-ITX board, I totally agree, but:
- I already own a DG45FC, which unfortunately does not have a PCIe slot;
- There is no mini-ITX board with PCIe available in Romania right now;
- I really doubt it that the new Intel H57 ITX or Zotac H55 will be available in Romania in the next few months;
- Even if I waited for such a mini-ITX with PCIe, positioning the video card somewhere in the middle of the case, from side to side, as opposed to placing it so close to the left side of the case, would make it possible to remove the fan from the GPU cooler and bring down the noise level. Furthermore, it would also make it possible to install low profile video cards with 2-slot cooling solutions.
- Finally, I enjoy a good challenge :)

As I see it, I have the following options:
- I am going to buy the Antec case and see if it is possible to move the PSU somewhere without damaging the motherboard (I will most likely have to remove the metal casing off the PSU, and probably also remove some of the cables, that I am not going to use in the final build)
- Should it prove to be impossible to fit both the motherboard and the PSU, I am going to order a 150W pico-PSU; that should make things a whole lot easier.
- As far as the hdd is concerned, I am sure I will find a way to secure the 2.5 inch SSD somewhere in there :)

I sure hope I will be able to complete this crazy project.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 1:49 pm 
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I'm very interesting in this new case but I have one question about it:
Is it possible to replace the 80mm psu fan by something more quieter like a Noctua NF-R8 for example?

Thanks for the reply.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 6:49 pm 
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litenin wrote:
Is it possible to replace the 80mm psu fan by something more quieter like a Noctua NF-R8 for example?


I have no experience with power supply fan swapping. All I can tell you is that the fan appears to be a standard size 80mm. Not sure if the Noctua would be a suitable substitute or not, but there's a good chance you could find a quieter replacement.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 12:48 pm 
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blaster, thanks for posting the pictures. What's the cable length like on the PSU? From the pictures it looks like there are way too many (and they are too long) for the size of the case.

Does it have the smaller power adapter used by slimline optical drives included? I believe the 65W version does so I'd be surprised if this didn't.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 10:01 am 
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deruberhanyok wrote:
blaster, thanks for posting the pictures. What's the cable length like on the PSU? From the pictures it looks like there are way too many (and they are too long) for the size of the case.

Does it have the smaller power adapter used by slimline optical drives included? I believe the 65W version does so I'd be surprised if this didn't.


The cable length looks just about right for the case. You'd have a hard time making use of many of them if they were any shorter I think.

What is the adapter used by slim optical drives? Doesn't it vary? There's one SATA power connector and one 4-pin floppy power connector. I'm using a DVD drive with a slim IDE to SATA adapter, which uses the floppy one.

DFI's mini-ITX motherboard is finally back in stock, so after much delay, I should have all the parts to put my build together this week. Then I can probably give a little more insight on this case.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:13 pm 
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There's a smaller SATA style power connector used by slim SATA optical drives. It looks like a regular SATA connector but I believe it is 6 pin instead of 7. There's a picture here:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6812270183

I was also looking at a few more pictures and wondering if there would be less cable clutter in the 150W version. Looking forward to the addendum being added to the 300-65 review.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:52 pm 
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I got my build running last night, though not without issues. I'm going to have to play around a bit more.

My thoughts...

1.) Cable management is not easy. The power supply consumes most of the remaining space in the case and if you've got a video card in there too, it's hard to find room to squeeze all the cables into. I think they're blocking airflow a bit for me.

2.) The power supply fan isn't too loud, but the sound it makes is pretty obnoxious. It's not smooth at all. I think I'm going to try replacing it.

3.) My HIS Radeon HD 5450 512MB doesn't seem to fit in the expansion slot. Either the case has the wrong height for the slot or the card's bracket isn't quite right. I'll test it in my media PC to find one. I got it running without a bracket, but the card isn't totally secure without it. I might have to do some bending/cutting.

Edit: It actually does work even though the card doesn't appear to be fully seated near the backplate (it's visibly at an angle to the motherboard). I tried putting it inside the Micro Fusion case and had the same problem, so the issue seems to be with the card. Not impressed by the quality of HIS.

4.) With a quad core processor and video card in there, heat can build up pretty quickly under load. I have one 80mm Scythe S-Flex fan at 1000 RPM. I think I might need a second one to keep the temps reasonable. I'll have to to experiment with different fan configurations a little to find out what works best while generating the least noise.

5.) The stock Intel cooler for the Core i7 750 isn't terrible, but it's not great either. It looks like the Xigmatek Durin D982 might be the best heatsink that will fit in this case without cutting the drive bay, but it's not available anywhere at the moment.

6.) This case will scratch easily. Don't slide it around if you've got it horizontal or you might need to repaint it.

7.) Slim optical drives are loud. Mine produces some pretty severe vibration at times. I'm wondering if soft washers might help. Thankfully, I don't need to use the drive very often, so silence isn't a huge concern.

8.) Logitech Illuminated Keyboard doesn't work in BIOS. Have to use a different one until you get into Windows. Annoying. Something to consider if anyone is planning to use this motherboard/keyboard combo.

I'll take pictures once I've got everything in a more final configuration.

deruberhanyok:

It looks like there is a mini SATA power connector actually. One mini and three regular ones if I recall.


Last edited by blaster5k on Sat Feb 27, 2010 8:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:47 pm 
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Another update.

I was putting this machine through some stress testing by running 4x CPU Burn and FurMark all at once. Then I watched as my Kill-A-Watt peaked as high as 191W.

It seemed to be 100% stable -- at least with the cover off. The power supply managed to keep up. I'm baffled as to why the power consumption is so high though. The idle power seems to be high too at around 59W. The power supply isn't 80 plus rated, so I wonder if the efficiency is really poor.

The processor has a 95W TDP. The video card's is 20W. I can't see total system power consumption being much over 125W DC.

I'll test with another power supply to see just how bad the efficiency really is.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 6:37 am 
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Thank you very much for this review, I'm actually planning to buy this case with the Zotac GF9300-G-E board to put a little C2D on it (probably E5200), a little SSD and maybe a graphic card to build a little gaming config with it (it would fit perfectly in my backpack for LANs).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 8:44 am 
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My theory regarding the efficiency of the power supply appears to be correct. I tried using the power supply from my Antec Micro Fusion case. This is a 350W 80 plus rated power supply.

System Specifications

Intel Core i5 750 (Turbo Boost enabled)
DFI LANParty MI P55-T36
HIS Radeon HD 5450 512MB DDR3
2 x 2GB G.SKILL DDR3 1600 1.5V
Intel 80GB G2 SSD
Panasonic UJ-85 Slim Slot DVD

Results

Antec FP-150-8 (ISK 300-150)

Idle: 59W
Load: 191W

Antec MT-350 (Micro Fusion 350)

Idle: 40W
Load: 167W

The MT-350 isn't the most efficient power supply out there, but it significantly outperforms the power supply in the ISK 300-150. I doubt the efficiency is over 70%.

This is bad news. It means you're not really getting much headroom over the 65W version because there's no way you can run higher power components with that level of waste heat generated inside the case. The only advantage this case really has is increased ventilation.

I'll probably have no choice but to replace it with something else -- either a more efficient internal power supply of similar size or a high powered external power supply.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 11:28 am 
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Really bad news =( ...
But this is still better than the 65W version.

Let us know if you find another PSU that fits in this case.

I'm still looking to buy this case, even if the PSU isn't really efficient. It will maybe just end up as a HTPC. Without a dedicated GPU and with a little C2D, there shouldn't be any problems. It's still better than any Atom out there. It should help a lot for multitask or even light gaming with the IGP.

However, I've heard of some good setups with the 65W version (GT220 low profile with undervolted C2D) working great at full load.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:17 am 
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Wow, that's a bummer about the efficiency. I figured it might be 80 plus. :(

Thanks for providing the extra info, blaster. I wonder if there's a way to get a more efficient PSU in there, perhaps a DC/DC board? Of course, at that point you'd be doing pretty much the same as putting a bigger one in the 300-65 version.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:36 am 
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Thanks for sharing your experience. I really was questioning getting the 65w version but after your experience I am quite happy with my choice. I think a Pico PS might fit the bill well for you but as you mentioned that same thing could be accomplished on the 65w case like mine.

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2.0 Ghz Al Macbook, Dell XPS m1330 (Mrs' machine), Work - ISK 300-65/e5300/ZOTAC NF630I-F-E/ 2 gigs ddr2 2 WD blue 2.5" drives, Home Office - Gigabyte GA-MA74GM-S2/5050e/2 gigs ddr2/WD640ALKS/WD6400AAKS, HTPC - 4850e/GA-MA78GPM-DS2H / 4 gigs ddr2 / WD6400AAKS / WD10EADS


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 8:30 am 
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The picoPSU, though rated for 150W, isn't really a good option for anything over 100W. The connector it uses just isn't safe with the current levels needed to support anything higher. Need a DIN connector (higher voltage helps too).

Anyone aware of a DC power supply that can provide a full 150W with DIN connector? Even the WinMate is only rated to 130W.

If there isn't anything external that can do that, I'm looking at fitting a Sparkle Power 220W Flex ATX PSU in there. I'm thinking it might be possible to put it inside of the casing from the Antec power supply, which accommodates an 80mm fan -- preferable over the 40mm one in the Sparkle. I have no experience opening up power supplies though.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 9:13 pm 
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So actually, it looks like my power consumption figures may not be accurate. I have to test further, but it looks like the motherboard's BIOS is very buggy. If I don't adjust my settings in exactly the right order, it just automatically overclocks the processor! It had my Core i5 750 running at 3.33GHz at 1.25V and there was no way adjust it without clearing the CMOS. Other settings were wacked out too. I've never seen anything like it.

After correcting the settings (Normal clock speed, SpeedStep enabled, Turbo Boost enabled, C-State enabled), it's idling at 44W with the stock power supply.

I'm not sure if it was running at standard clock speed with the other power supply since this BIOS has a mind of its own, so the results might tainted.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 5:34 am 
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Will you be running your tests again? I'm looking at putting together a SFF system using virtually the same parts and was wondering about this new PSU.

I've had a go at power consumption testing in the past and thought I would list some tips that helped:

1. Document every step you take so it can be repeated each time you change parts around.

2. Make a check list of each cable connected inside and outside of the case.
(a network cable connected at 100Mbps can increase the PSU reading anywhere up to 5W than with no cable connected. Same is true to a lesser degree for different fans as some use more power at the same speed).

3. If possible, connect each fan directly to a molex connector so you can make sure their speed is the same for every test. Otherwise, use SpeedFan or HWMonitor to control or confirm speeds.
(PSU fan is then the only uncontrolled variable)

4. Set the BIOS to it's defaults, document each change made, do this each time when changing anything in the BIOS.
(Be aware that memory settings can sometimes cause the CPU to run at a higher speed)

5. Take your time when checking idle numbers as it can continue to decrease over the first 30 mins. Some components take longer than others to cool after startup and will generally be more efficient at a lower temperature.

Also, we're only human and mistakes are part of the overall plan :)

Looking forward to see how you go.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 5:10 pm 
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Yeah, I tried to keep everything the same. Heat can lead to some differences though. Right now, it's idling at 45W since my room isn't as cold. I noticed the load temperatures get progressively higher as heat builds up too -- my measurements were all taken after temperatures had stabilized.

The Kill-A-Watt isn't 100% accurate either. :-)

I don't have the motivation to hook up the other power supply again, but here's the figures with the stock power supply and non-overclocked/ridiculous processor settings:

Idle: 44W
Load: 140W

There's a good chance the BIOS settings were identical in my comparison -- I'm just not totally confident based on the bizarre behavior the BIOS exhibits. I'm trying to figure out if it's just my board or a more widespread problem.

The ISK 300-150's power supply doesn't seem to be too efficient, but it doesn't seem to be bad enough at standard clock speed for me to ditch it right now. With these power figures, I could probably get by with a WinMate and cut down the noise a little. My bigger noise concern at the moment is the CPU fan though. I'm debating if I want to install a Shuriken or Big Shuriken and cut the drive bay, or wait a potentially long time for the Xigmatek Durin to become available.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:14 am 
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I can understand not wanting to go through all that again with the other unit, so thanks for posting the numbers of the Antec FP-150-8.

The stock Intel CPU cooler is a real disappointment. I was hoping to use it in a recent build for a friend but the noise was horrible. I had an i5 750 on a Gigabyte P55A-UD3R in a SOLO case, and the fan would make loud groaning sounds whenever the fan speed would slightly increase or decrease, so if the CPU wasn't absolutely idle it would be constantly changing speed. The motherboard appeared to be reacting to the frequent temperature jumps and do it's best to adjust the fan speed smoothly, but even using SpeedFan to control the speed only slightly improved things. This really is a poor cooler.

I ended up using a Noctua NH-U12P SE2 which was really amazing and helped make this the quietest build I've done, but it's going to be a real challenge to find a quiet enough cooler that fits in the ISK 300 with this CPU.

Just having a quick look over at the Hardforums and there are several builds using the ISK 300-65 and DFI P55-T36. Looks like people using the Big Shuriken are having to mod the case or remove the side fans to get it to fit, so the Xigmatek Durin looks like the best option currently without any real modding, but I don't know where people are getting them if nobody have them for sale.

Good luck with your build, I'm also looking at the Silverstone SG05 as an option for my build, but I prefer the Antec case so I'm interested to see how you go.

EDIT:

Just remembered, with the Gigabyte P55A-UD3R I was using G.Skill 1.35v 1600MHz ECO ram and when I enabled the XMP memory profile in the BIOS, it would automatically change the CPU speed, so I wonder if something similar is happening on the DFI board?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:14 am 
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Kriz wrote:
The stock Intel CPU cooler is a real disappointment. I was hoping to use it in a recent build for a friend but the noise was horrible. I had an i5 750 on a Gigabyte P55A-UD3R in a SOLO case, and the fan would make loud groaning sounds whenever the fan speed would slightly increase or decrease, so if the CPU wasn't absolutely idle it would be constantly changing speed. The motherboard appeared to be reacting to the frequent temperature jumps and do it's best to adjust the fan speed smoothly, but even using SpeedFan to control the speed only slightly improved things. This really is a poor cooler.

Just curious, what fan was on your Intel CPU cooler (Foxconn, Delta, Nidec, etc)? I remember reading from one of the posts here that not all Intel stock coolers were created equal. The Nidec was reported as being fairly quiet, I think.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:34 pm 
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I don't think the DFI board's problems have anything to do with memory. I didn't even touch any memory related settings.

The only settings I changed were:

IDE -> AHCI
SpeedStep: Disabled -> Enabled
Turbo Boost: Disabled -> Enabled
C-State: Disabled -> Enabled
Sleep: S1 -> S3
CPU Fan Control: Full Speed -> Automatic

(Exact names may be off since I don't have it in front of me)

Quote:
Just curious, what fan was on your Intel CPU cooler (Foxconn, Delta, Nidec, etc)? I remember reading from one of the posts here that not all Intel stock coolers were created equal. The Nidec was reported as being fairly quiet, I think.


How would you find out what type of fan it's using? I can tell you mine is pretty loud and not terribly smooth.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:38 pm 
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blaster5k wrote:
How would you find out what type of fan it's using? I can tell you mine is pretty loud and not terribly smooth.

The cooler part number and specifications are written on the heatsink label, below the Intel logo.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 5:40 am 
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ilovejedd wrote:
Just curious, what fan was on your Intel CPU cooler (Foxconn, Delta, Nidec, etc)? I remember reading from one of the posts here that not all Intel stock coolers were created equal. The Nidec was reported as being fairly quiet, I think.

It's a Nidec, Part # F90T12MS1Z7-64A01A1

This appears to be a datasheet for the fan:
http://www.nidec.co.jp/group/product/is ... nk-013.pdf

The heatsink itself weighs ~162g and has a copper core with straight fins. The heatsink height is ~18mm in the center, and ~13mm around the outside.

Total heatsink and fan height when installed is ~52mm, and weighs ~255g.

The design looks to be the same as the one pictured on this page:
http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=19979&page=4

It's always a possibility that I had a dud fan, but the whole design seemed inadequate.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 7:02 am 
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blaster5k wrote:
I don't think the DFI board's problems have anything to do with memory. I didn't even touch any memory related settings.

With the i5 750, I believe the max memory speed is limited to 1333 MHz. In order to run the RAM at 1600 MHz, the BCLK has to be increased from 133 to 160 and on many boards the power saving and turbo features are then automatically turned off, as technically it's overclocking the CPU.

On the Gigabyte board, it wasn't automatically running the RAM at 1600 MHz and 1.35v like I was expecting, so I had to enable the XMP memory profile, which was when I noticed the idle power and temps had increased. For a while this had me stumped.

The BIOS was increasing the BCLK to 160 whenever I would enable the XMP profile, so I disabled the BCLK overclock after enabling the XMP profile and the idle power and temps were back to normal again. After this, I made sure all the power saving and turbo mode settings were changed from AUTO to Enabled. The idle power and temps were still the same. The only problem now was the RAM was back to 1333 MHz, but the tighter timings now made it worth staying at the lower frequency.

I remebered you had 1600 MHz RAM like me and I'm wondering if the DFI BIOS was automatically changing the BCLK to 160 to make full use of the RAM, and disabling the power saving and turbo modes.


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