Preface: pictures are 40 - 170KB each, click for larger version, 250 - 750KB each.
Even I can't ramble for 37,000 words, so only about 1,700 I'm afraid
Hi All, I'm going to present this thread as a load of pictures with captions and then all my long rambling commentary on how I arrived at this config afterwards; for anyone that's interested so without further ado the pictures:
I wanted more air flow through the case and decided on bottom intake.
Holes marked out on paper. (46 of, since increased to 57)
Holes marked on case through paper with a centre punch.
Pilot holes drilled.
Pilot holes in floor of case seen from inside.
Holes drilled out, 10mm holes on 15mm centres. Additional soft "Acousti" feet stuck on existing case feet to lift further off floor to increase airflow under the case to the new holes.
Motherboard tray with Asus P5B-E Plus motherboard, 4x 2GB Kingston HyperX RAM and Q9400 CPU with ZERROTherm BTF-90 "Butterfly" heatsink. Thermnalright HR-05 Northbridge heatsink, much larger than original Southbridge heatsink and 4 port USB PCI bracket.
Fitted with 3 Arctic Cooling F8 fans, super-glued to soft white door sealing foam.
Monster graphics card! Freedom Force & GTX260 review thread
Graphics card fitted to motherboard.
Graphics card takes up four slots in total!
Shroud from CPU heatsink to rear case fans stops well short of the motherboard to allow extra air flow out of the case from over/around the motherboard. CPU at idle can be cooled by case fans alone if desired.
CPU cooling from the other side.
Antec Signature 650 cracked open and fan speed wire (yellow) extended and routed out with rest of wiring.
Arctic Cooling F8 PWM fan on rubber grommets swapped in to Signature PSU.
PSU fan header (centre), original fan plug (right) and Arctic Cooling fan plug (left)
Replacement fan plug jammed on to fan header.
Arctic Cooling F12 PWM fan for CPU cooling. Soft de-copling foam and corner cut off to clear northbridge heatsink clip.
All fitted in to Cooler Master ATCS 201 case.
Holes in case floor feed cool air straight to graphics card cooling. Lower case fan removes the hot air. (In theory!)
CPU fan sits on the motherboard behind the DIMMs, has to be this low as the case is narrow.
Lots of heatsinks. (Red SATA cables now replaced with black ones)
HDD in Scythe Quiet Drive sitting on foam. (normally stands upright not touching anything and not falling over!)
Rear 3/4 view.
"Blow hole" in top of case serves as an intake, mostly to the PSU right below it.
Signature PSU with swapped fan on "Acousti" rubber fan mounts. PSU carrying plate had to be modified to allow for the fan grill that's bevelled outwards considerably.
Internal case bar had to be notched to make room for bottom modular connector. PSU fan speed wire (yellow) plugged in front of RAM.
Scythe Quiet Drive budges out front of case slightly!
Low tech sound damping!
More low tech sound damping!
Yet more low tech sound damping!
This text is a run through of the things Iâ€™ve done to my PC and itâ€™s slow evolution that's lead to the above point. Iâ€™m not sure it gets quieter exactly but certainly faster. It seems to be a cycle of PC is fine then itâ€™s too slow so gets upgraded and then itâ€™s no longer quiet enough so I work on getting it back to really quiet.
The last full write up was a some 5 and a bit years ago, here,
so things have changed quite a bit since then.
Shortly before the big upgrade an accidental short finished the Q-Technology PSU and I replaced it with a Seasonic S12 380w.
The system then had a big upgrade in Jan 2007 from Athlon XP2500+, 1GB RAM, Radeon 9600pro and 300GB HDD to Core 2 Due E6600, 2GB RAM, Radeon X1950pro, NeoHE 430w and 500GB WD 5000AAKS. The X1950pro was a Sapphire one that came with VF-900 on it and I bought Zalman 9500AT for the CPU.
Obviously it was much faster and I also went to Windows Vista at the same time. Unlike many people I had no problem with Vista, it ran fine and I couldn't understand what the problem was. Since then I've had the "pleasure" of working on under-powered Vista PC, and worse still laptops, that are intolerable!
On the Silencing front the hard drive got put in Scythe Quiet Drive, one of my best purchases. I find when getting to the quietest levels the hard drive becomes the loudest part. Itâ€™s much more effective than the previous enclosure I had, but also much longer, which became sort of a problem. The SQD knocks 3-4dB(A) off the idle noise, according to the SPCR review, and helps with the seek noise too.
I have a thread about the VF-900 and swapping a Noctua fan in to it to make it quieter.
At one point a stray wire got caught in the fan and stopped it, I didnâ€™t notice for 2-3 days as was away and sadly this damaged the X1950pro. It kind of worked but some of the memory chips no longer worked properly so 2D has some corruption and any kind of 3D load produced a hard crash pretty quickly.
I replaced the X1950pro with HD4670 that was smaller and higher performance. The VF-900 got transplanted to it and the Noctua fan replaced with a Xilence one as the Noctua fan was also damaged by spending 2-3days ~90Â°C! Details here.
After a while of using the Zalman 9500AT, which has black PWM fan and 775 mounting only, I discovered itâ€™s minimum speed is about 30% / 1300rpm and not that quiet. After much messing around I found a way to add a fan mate to the loop to â€œmoveâ€