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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 2:17 pm 
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the p183 isn't an editors choice, but the ancient solo series, with it's crippled airflow and inaccessible front filters, is??

i think that the spcr readership has evolved into more than just people who want low-power pure silence pc's, so perhaps it's time to add another category to the rankings?

maybe a performance type of category, where serious cases like the p183 and the ft02 can compete in the arena that they were designed for.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 2:24 pm 
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MikeC wrote:
I'm not sure that's there's any definitive study which "proves" this, but I can vouch from personal experience that very low/no airflow PCs do tend to break sooner. For more info, just go through some electronics/thermal documentation sites. Try, for example, a search on Tony Kordyban.
What, in your personal opinion (without benefit of specific testing) is a generally safe temperature where these is unlikely to be heat generated degradation of component life... at all. Period.

What do you think about 40C. That is what I use as a target. I didn't get it from any scientific source. I just saw that speedfan is set by default with a 50C redline. Seemed like 40C or less would be safe. As a result, I get uncomfortable when I see temps above 40C. I think that is based on something a little more than superstition, but not much more.

Perhaps you have a slightly more refined opinion than mine.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 2:32 pm 
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danimal wrote:
the p183 isn't an editors choice, but the ancient solo series, with it's crippled airflow and inaccessible front filters, is??.
The Solo is a nice case. It cools well enough.

200 watts isn't much more than a large light bulb. You don't need that much air going in and out of a case to carry that kind of heat away.

If you have heat problems in that case, probably best to first look at the components.

If you are talking about 400 or 500 watts maybe you are right.

But that is gaming territory with video cards that cost more than whole computers. I don't think the spcr readership has become that evolved, nor is it likely to become so in the foreseeable future.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:14 pm 
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danimal wrote:
the p183 isn't an editors choice, but the ancient solo series, with it's crippled airflow and inaccessible front filters, is??

I've been using one for years and I don't find either airflow or filters poor. My components are E8400 CPU, 4gb ram, ATI HD3850, 300gb velociraptor & 1tb Hitachi. PSU is some Seasonic modded years ago with a near-silent fan. The 2 Scythe 120mm fans at 6-700rpm for case exhaust and CPU are enough to keep everything cool, the HDDs typically at ~40C. The HD3850 w/ stock cooling, even when maxed out with an occasional 3d game, stays quiet and cool The suspension -- favorite feature -- makes an SSD unnecessary for me. To me this case is the perfect mid-power mid-size case. It could be made better, a process that's happening now, afaik.

You should understand that EC doesn't mean it's the best in every way of all the products on the list -- it's my top choice. But all the cases there are recommended.

Quote:
i think that the spcr readership has evolved into more than just people who want low-power pure silence pc's, so perhaps it's time to add another category to the rankings?maybe a performance type of category, where serious cases like the p183 and the ft02 can compete in the arena that they were designed for.

Why complicate things? Large cases are generally used only got gaming rigs or servers. Pick on the basis of size from the recommended list and you won't go far wrong.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:18 pm 
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ces wrote:
But that is gaming territory with video cards that cost more than whole computers. I don't think the spcr readership has become that evolved, nor is it likely to become so in the foreseeable future.


go look at the cases forum, what is the biggest thread on the front page there? 140 posts, 5 pages long, maybe you should jump in there and tell 'em that an old solo is better than the ft02 that most of 'em want? :roll: :)
http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/vi ... hp?t=55140

that thread proves that a large portion of the spcr readership is very much interested in quiet performance computing.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:33 pm 
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danimal wrote:
that thread proves that a large portion of the spcr readership is very much interested in quiet performance computing.

No question, and they have no problem figuring out that the Solo is not for them, EC or not. Surely, they can see that the bigger cases on the list are right for them.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:46 pm 
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ces wrote:
MikeC wrote:
I'm not sure that's there's any definitive study which "proves" this, but I can vouch from personal experience that very low/no airflow PCs do tend to break sooner. For more info, just go through some electronics/thermal documentation sites. Try, for example, a search on Tony Kordyban.
What, in your personal opinion (without benefit of specific testing) is a generally safe temperature where these is unlikely to be heat generated degradation of component life... at all. Period.

What do you think about 40C. That is what I use as a target. I didn't get it from any scientific source. I just saw that speedfan is set by default with a 50C redline. Seemed like 40C or less would be safe. As a result, I get uncomfortable when I see temps above 40C. I think that is based on something a little more than superstition, but not much more.

Perhaps you have a slightly more refined opinion than mine.


http://www.eece.maine.edu/~zhu/ece598/lectures/17-Energy_Aware_Computing.pdf wrote:
Electrical components driven at high power levels tend to fail faster due to greater heat generated.
– Arrhenius Law – component life expectancy decreases 50 % for every 10C increase[1]

[1]Performance-constrained Distribution DVS Scheduling for Scientific Applications on Power-aware Clusters. Feng et al. November 2005 ACM.


It's just the first google hit I got for a random search term but I've seen the 10C rule posted a lot over the last five or ten years.

keep in mind if a chip is designed to live 3 years at 60C, and that is 6 years at 50C, and 12 years at 40C you still may not care and toss it in the trash at year 4 just because you want something newer. Doubling the life of a product doesn't help much if the product is no longer desirable before it stops working.

think about all those old USB 1 flash drives (thumb drive, keychain drive, etc). Do you care if it still works now that 1GB flash drives are practically free? Will you care in a year or two when 4GB flash drives are at the same price point?

Hard drives are a different case as they have different failure modes than solid state devices but targeting 40C is a good goal there if you want to balance life vs noise.

SSDs are rated for higher temps than hard drives (70C for most SSDs vs 60C for a typical hard drive though I think the rated temp for the hard drive is a little unrealistic). Going completely fanless will shorten system life but once you get rid of the hard drive your concerns are definitely less.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:36 pm 
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dhanson865 wrote:
Going completely fanless will shorten system life but once you get rid of the hard drive your concerns are definitely less.

The most common failures attributable to heat that I've seen personally have not been HDDs, but power components -- in the PSU, on the motherboard, more or less in that order. Don't know about video cards, just haven't run into them failing as much -- and when they do, I have a hard time isolating the cause.

There are usually no temp sensors to monitor in/around these power components, unfortunately. And they are rated to run much hotter than most other board parts. 65-75C for these things is typical, and I've seen some MOSFETs rated to run at 200C. (If you want to burn a fingertip, try touching one of the VRM parts around the CPU after the system has been working hard for a little while -- only with the encapsulated parts, mind you.)

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Last edited by MikeC on Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:41 pm 
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dhanson865 wrote:
http://www.eece.maine.edu/~zhu/ece598/lectures/17-Energy_Aware_Computing.pdf wrote:
Electrical components driven at high power levels tend to fail faster due to greater heat generated.
– Arrhenius Law – component life expectancy decreases 50 % for every 10C increase[1]

[1]Performance-constrained Distribution DVS Scheduling for Scientific Applications on Power-aware Clusters. Feng et al. November 2005 ACM.


It's just the first google hit I got for a random search term but I've seen the 10C rule posted a lot over the last five or ten years.

I've quoted Tony Kordyban before on this topic. Here's Rule #9 of his Ten stupid things engineers do to mess up their cooling:

[quote][b]Stupid Thing No. 9. Reducing temperature because “every 10°C drop doubles the life.â€

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:57 pm 
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MikeC wrote:
To me this case is the perfect mid-power mid-size case. It could be made better, a process that's happening now, afaik.


A successor to the Solo? Are you able to tell us anymore about this?


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 5:56 pm 
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danimal wrote:
ces wrote:
But that is gaming territory with video cards that cost more than whole computers. I don't think the spcr readership has become that evolved, nor is it likely to become so in the foreseeable future.


go look at the cases forum, what is the biggest thread on the front page there? 140 posts, 5 pages long, maybe you should jump in there and tell 'em that an old solo is better than the ft02 that most of 'em want?
http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/vi ... hp?t=55140

that thread proves that a large portion of the spcr readership is very much interested in quiet performance computing.


1. Well you got me there. The solo is not well suited for a dual video card overclocked water cooled hot rod. Oops, did I say water cooled?

Well if you have a dual video card overclocked water cooled hot rod system, why isn't the solo appropriate?

2. Maybe what is not so appropriate is a dual video card overclocked AIR COOLED hot rod.

Hey, but what do I know :roll: :)

3. By the way this is the longest thread. Seems like interest in audio visual seems to dominate on this site - and not by a little:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/vi ... hp?t=10285

Ohh and don't forget President Obama and guns:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/vi ... hp?t=57954
and god
http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/vi ... hp?t=53282
http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/vi ... hp?t=58026
and electric cars:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/vi ... hp?t=46218

toomuchdogfur wrote:
As a long time lurker, just wanted to sign up to add my thanks!

There are far too many sites focused on the big rigs with the big benchmarks. Yours serves what I reckon a more important role - making it bearable to actually sit near the big rig in daily life!


Last edited by ces on Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:01 pm 
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MikeC wrote:
The most common failures attributable to heat that I've seen personally have not been HDDs, but power components -- in the PSU, on the motherboard, more or less in that order. Don't know about video cards, just haven't run into them failing as much --

and when they do, I have a hard time isolating the cause. There are usually no temp sensors to monitor in/around these power components, unfortunately.


You know somewhere on this board, some place, someone provided a link to a free Russian software package that tracks GPU temps.


Last edited by ces on Thu Apr 08, 2010 5:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 7:56 pm 
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Thanks ces for your entertaining post at 5:56.

I'll speak up for those of us who like 'em small quiet and cool -- this is the only site addressing that fetish. And seriously, there's plenty of useful stuff on this site if you want to make more heat.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 5:01 am 
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ces wrote:
[ quote="MikeC"]
dhanson865 wrote:

CES, you need to edit your post and delete the [ quote = "dhanson865" ] portion. The quoted text is actually Mike's.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 5:28 am 
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Great update! I've been awaiting this for long.

I kind of agree with users criticizing Solo for being the only mid-tower to get the remark although I do not agree with comments suggesting the solo has restrictive cooling, it probably has the most efficient single-fan cooling of all cases built. It certainly is top-notch but the lack of support for long graphic cards may prove a real downside when GPGPU usage and support becomes more frequent.

I would like there to be a second editor's choice for bigger gaming cases, the Silverstone Fortress 2 is way superior of Fractal Design Define R2 although it cost more and while Twelvehundred is no bad case, it doesn't really compare to the others in overall quietness.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 5:43 am 
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MikeC wrote:
To me this case is the perfect mid-power mid-size case. It could be made better, a process that's happening now, afaik.



Unless they change it to accommodate normal video cards (10.5") they shouldn't even bother.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 6:32 am 
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rpsgc wrote:
MikeC wrote:
To me this case is the perfect mid-power mid-size case. It could be made better, a process that's happening now, afaik.



Unless they change it to accommodate normal video cards (10.5") they shouldn't even bother.


I certainly hope so to, why else would they bother to change the design?

Maybe a bottom-mounted PSU would be a good idea as well, of course facing downwards with some ventilation.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:46 am 
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A couple of additions/changes made to the recommended list -- 2 silverstones left off erroneously.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 10:58 am 
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Separate by form factor?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 12:29 pm 
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croddie wrote:
Separate by form factor?

Isn't it already? tall, wide and small w/ actual volume in liters and max size mobo support. That pretty much covers everything.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 7:06 pm 
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bozar wrote:
I certainly hope so to, why else would they bother to change the design?

Maybe a bottom-mounted PSU would be a good idea as well, of course facing downwards with some ventilation.


Maybe to:
- add USB 3.0 and e-SATA ports.
- fix up the faulty power switch that some people have reported on.
- change the front fans to 120mm rather than 92mm.
- give it a more modern look.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 8:09 pm 
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Kreed wrote:
bozar wrote:
I certainly hope so to, why else would they bother to change the design?

Maybe a bottom-mounted PSU would be a good idea as well, of course facing downwards with some ventilation.


Maybe to:
- add USB 3.0 and e-SATA ports.
- fix up the faulty power switch that some people have reported on.
- change the front fans to 120mm rather than 92mm.
- give it a more modern look.
That would all be nice.

The first case company that is just starting to add USB 3 plug receptacles. Does anyone know of any other cases with USB 3?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 8:42 pm 
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ces wrote:
The first case company that is just starting to add USB 3 plug receptacles. Does anyone know of any other cases with USB 3?


Lian Li.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 8:54 pm 
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rpsgc wrote:
ces wrote:
The first case company that is just starting to add USB 3 plug receptacles. Does anyone know of any other cases with USB 3?


Lian Li.


Anyone other than Lian Li?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 11:34 pm 
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I'm glad to see that the Solo is still the best choice in the world of quiet computing. I disagree with some opinions about future updates...

Quote:
Unless they change it to accommodate normal video cards (10.5") they shouldn't even bother.


10.5" isn't a normal video card - it is an oversized nvidia-style screaming and sizzling powerhog, which indicates an enthusiast-grade gaming gear. As such, it won't be mounted in a Solo, because gamers are lured by more flashy and airy cases.
That being said, new ATI cards are powerful, yet fit in a Solo. They are cool and efficient and you can fit in an HD5850 easily, if you need more gaming power than that... you'll buy a gaming case anyway :)

Quote:
Maybe a bottom-mounted PSU would be a good idea as well, of course facing downwards with some ventilation.


How is a bottom mounted PSU advantageous?
a) it sucks in dust, so you need to have a filter. If you mount a filter, the obstruction will force the fan to ramp up. Also, the filter's close proximity creates turbulence noise. If you keep some distance between the filter and the PSU -you will need to make the case bigger. In every way - this is inferior to the current design.
b) in a Solo, a bottom mounted PSU will disrupt the otherwise perfect flow path
c) please don't mention the convection. If there's but one exhaust fan in a case - convection doesn't work!
d) removing the PSU from the top will rise the CPU temps - as evidenced by the users who built ducts to the front of the case.

One thing must be mentioned though - the horizontal brace should be removable (not riveted, but screwed in), to make it possible to remove the PSU without removing the motherboard.

Quote:
- add USB 3.0 and e-SATA ports.


Agreed, and space them out a little. Currently it is often impossible to use two USB sticks at once. Firewire is obsoleted by USB3, move it to the back or get rid of it.

Quote:
- fix up the faulty power switch that some people have reported on.


It is a simple fix - just make the button longer. It won't have to be pressed so deep and thus, will be less prone to breaking. I've done this to my Solo - I stuck a piece of plastic on the button. I need to press it in about 1mm and the computer starts. :)

Quote:
- change the front fans to 120mm rather than 92mm.


I disagree. Two quality 92mm fans are extremely quiet. I use two Nexus RealSilent fans at 6V each (wired in parallel). They're inaudible and provide about as much air as a single Slipstream spinning at 800rpm while being quieter and covering a larger area. No need for improvement here.

Quote:
- give it a more modern look.


After seeing the most recent Antec cases, I would rather urge them NOT to change anything as far as looks are concerned. :) Maybe a brushed matte paint, instead of scratch&dust-magnet gloss, but that's it for me :)


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 1:04 am 
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KadazanPL wrote:
10.5" isn't a normal video card - it is an oversized nvidia-style screaming and sizzling powerhog, which indicates an enthusiast-grade gaming gear.


A 9800GTX is an oversized sizzling powerhog? It's a mid-end card and it's 10.5".
The only thing oversized is the 5870 at more than 11".


KadazanPL wrote:
As such, it won't be mounted in a Solo, because gamers are lured by more flashy and airy cases.


You know what happens when you assume? You make an ass out of u and me.
So in your mind, gamers don't deserve silent computing because gamers are all immature ricers who just like big flashy cases full of bling bling LEDs, therefore aren't allowed to have a silent computer? Generalise much?


And FYI: plenty of gamers use Antecs NSK3480 and mini-ITX cases like the Silverstone SG05.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 7:45 am 
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KadazanPL wrote:
I'm glad to see that the Solo is still the best choice in the world of quiet computing. I disagree with some opinions about future updates...

Quote:
- change the front fans to 120mm rather than 92mm.


I disagree. Two quality 92mm fans are extremely quiet. I use two Nexus RealSilent fans at 6V each (wired in parallel). They're inaudible and provide about as much air as a single Slipstream spinning at 800rpm while being quieter and covering a larger area. No need for improvement here.


There's more variety when it comes to 120mm fans.

KadazanPL wrote:
Quote:
- give it a more modern look.


After seeing the most recent Antec cases, I would rather urge them NOT to change anything as far as looks are concerned. :) Maybe a brushed matte paint, instead of scratch&dust-magnet gloss, but that's it for me :)


Agreed. The most recent Antec cases are dust-attracting monstrosities aimed purely at the gaming crowd. I personally prefer the looks of some of the mid tower Lian Li cases like the PC-60FNWX or PC-7FNWX without the side window or front mesh.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 11:12 pm 
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KadazanPL wrote:
10.5" isn't a normal video card - it is an oversized nvidia-style screaming and sizzling powerhog, which indicates an enthusiast-grade gaming gear. As such, it won't be mounted in a Solo, because gamers are lured by more flashy and airy cases.
That being said, new ATI cards are powerful, yet fit in a Solo. They are cool and efficient and you can fit in an HD5850 easily, if you need more gaming power than that... you'll buy a gaming case anyway :)


There are lots of cards that doesn't fit and aren't necessarily that ultra high end. It's a shame that 9800GTX/+ and all renamed cards doesn't fit.
Solo doesn't necessarily have to become longer, it's enough with a removable part of the HDD-tray in case you do have a long graphics card.
Workstation graphics aren't seldom long either so you are to quick to make assumptions, all long graphic-cards aren't for gaming.

Quote:
How is a bottom mounted PSU advantageous?
a) it sucks in dust, so you need to have a filter. If you mount a filter, the obstruction will force the fan to ramp up. Also, the filter's close proximity creates turbulence noise. If you keep some distance between the filter and the PSU -you will need to make the case bigger. In every way - this is inferior to the current design.
b) in a Solo, a bottom mounted PSU will disrupt the otherwise perfect flow path
c) please don't mention the convection. If there's but one exhaust fan in a case - convection doesn't work!
d) removing the PSU from the top will rise the CPU temps - as evidenced by the users who built ducts to the front of the case.


You forget that warmer components draw more power and heat buildup in the cpu-area will do this in any top-mounted psu case. Modern PSUs are not built for cooling systems like they where in the 90s/early 20s, cooling is minimal and increased heat shortens capacitor-life. Modern PSUs are made solely for converting AC to DC, not cooling, that's why we have case-fans.

The K56 is a excellent example of a case with PSU mounted in the bottom and have great cooling with only one exhaust-fan because there is no heat buildup in the top, the NZXT Whisper manages just fine with an additional intake in the front, also only one exhaust. All K56 builds I've seen has matched the temperatures of my heavily modded Chieftec case with extremely free airflow, despite the fact that it has a top mounted PSU that in theory would benefit cooling.

There are also several members here having a problem with rapid increase of psu fan speed in solo where they solve the problem with building a duct, this would be unnecessary in a bottom mounted PSU facing down.
Your choice of PSU shouldn't depend on what case you choose, a PSU that manages temperatures fine in P18X doesn't do as well acoustically in Solo/Lancool K10/similar high quality cases and that also forces you to buy an more expensive PSU than you really need to maintain low noise during all loads.
I did mount a old HEC PSU in the bottom of my P182 before i installed my second Corsair HX520 and I was really suprised mow much quieter it was compared to when top mounted in my dads HEC case (excellent by the way and cheap but hard to get hold of nowadays). It wasn't night-and-day difference but it certainly was audible so PSU mounting does make difference when it comes to noise.

Turbulence? Please, filters are really close to fans in P18X cases aswell as my own modds and there is very little difference what in temps when comparing a well open filter with non at all, neither has it considerable effect on noise if you've soft-mounted your fans and undervolted them. I've never heard of anyone having problems with turbulence of the PSU fan in a K56/K58/K60/K62/Coolermaster Cosmos 1000/Fractal Design Define R2 or similar case.

Quote:
I disagree. Two quality 92mm fans are extremely quiet. I use two Nexus RealSilent fans at 6V each (wired in parallel). They're inaudible and provide about as much air as a single Slipstream spinning at 800rpm while being quieter and covering a larger area. No need for improvement here.


I do, however, agree here. The design of the intake-fan mounts distribute airflow more evenly between components and I don't think it's necessary to replace it. The only problem is the lack of good low noise 92 mm fans compared to 120 mm fans but as long as you go with Nexus, you're fine.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 2:24 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 3:49 pm
Posts: 18
Location: Wet Coast
FYI - The link for the Fortress FT01 review is broken:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/silverstone_fortress_ft01

That page is the first page of the case overview by another name. Which cryptically has 'Silverstone Fortress FT01: Positive Pressure Case' as the headline. However, if you click through the pages foolishly hoping to read something about the FT01 and get to page 5 and click on the FT01 link from the recommended table you arrive back at page 1 of the case overview where you can navigate to page 5 of the article and click on the FT01 link from the recommended table arrive back at page 1 of the case overview and so on and so on.

Not to be negative, but is this deliberate, as the FT01 is a positive pressure case and you wanted a tantalizingly close, yet unrequited recursive display so that peeps would give up and go back to those negative pressure dust-sucking cases like the Solo? :wink:


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:55 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 11874
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
QuietCat wrote:
FYI - The link for the Fortress FT01 review is broken:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/silverstone_fortress_ft01

Not to be negative, but is this deliberate, as the FT01 is a positive pressure case and you wanted a tantalizingly close, yet unrequited recursive display so that peeps would give up and go back to those negative pressure dust-sucking cases like the Solo? :wink:

This is obviously an error cause by haste on my part. No need to rub it in by suggesting it's deliberate... :roll: A backup copy of the review is being hunted...

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