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 Post subject: My PCs: Q07 / gaming P182 / 2480B HTPC (updated 23 Jan 2010)
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 11:06 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:31 pm
Posts: 822
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Update: 23 January 2010

New post below with some changes to my day-to-day PC. I've left the original post intact so that anyone who is interested can see the development.

---------------

I figured it was time for me to document my PCs and seek some feedback and ideas from my fellow forum members.

Unfortunately I don't have a real camera, so apologies in advance for the poor quality of the photos from my mobile phone's camera. (It's also why I haven't posted large numbers of photos).

I haven't included any temperatures at this stage. I have stress-tested all three PCs but didn't record the maximum temperatures, but they were all stable. I'm happy to do some quick tests if people are interested in something particular, however.

Any thoughts/comments/suggestions welcome!

_________________
My PCs:
Main PC (E5200, G31, Lian Li Q07) | Gaming PC (E6850, X38, 5870 Vapor-X, P182) | HTPC (4850e, 780G, 3450, NSK2480B)


Last edited by JamieG on Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: My main PC
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 11:09 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:31 pm
Posts: 822
Location: Melbourne, Australia
This is my newest project (mostly completed now). The aim was for a PC for normal use and overnight downloading that I couldn't hear while sitting at my desk in my bedroom or trying to sleep.

Components:

Intel E5200 (EIST used: 1.2Ghz idle - 200 x 6 / 1.8Ghz load - 200 x 9)
Thermalright HR-01 Plus with Scythe Slipstream 800rpm @ 5V
Gigabyte G31M-ES2L (mATX)
2 Gb stick of Kingston HyperX DDR2-800 RAM at default timings
PW-200V with 60W brick (largest I could find with no active fan)
OCZ Vertex 60Gb SSD (OS drive)
1 Tb Samsung F1 HDD (storage, only connected some times)

Image

Image

I've put all this together in a DIY clear perspex case of sorts - dimensions: 25.5cm (W) x 20cm (H) x 20cm (D). I chose the above motherboard for its slimness compared to normal mATX motherboards (19.4cm actual vs 24.4cm standard). I still have to finish off this case, however. I planned on using some modder's mesh that I bought for the front and back, but it reacted badly with the glue I had used to put the case together with, so this is on hold for the moment. (Any suggestions welcome).

The motherboard tray is 3mm thick MDF with foam from my motherboard box underneath to prevent scratching the plastic.

I've re-used the PSU holder from my P182 to suspend my HDD and zip-tie my SSD to, so that everything fits inside the case.

The button you can see in the top left corner of the front on picture is the power switch.

The other switch you can see in front of the hard drive is a toggle switch for power to the Samsung HDD. After a bit of wire-cutting and soldering of some molex wires, I run power to the HDD through this switch via a molex to SATA power connector. If I flip the switch the other way, no power flows to the hard drive and it doesn't turn on when I boot the PC up. For normal or overnight 'silent' use, I leave power to the HDD off, but when I want to watch a movie or something that I've got stored on that hard drive, I shut down my PC, flip the switch the other way and reboot so the storage HDD is now read as part of the boot-up process and I can use that hard drive normally to access files on it.

I have to admit I'm a little pleased with this last idea, as I haven't seen a power toggle switch like mine before on SPCR. I'd be happy to provide more details if anyone's interested.

_________________
My PCs:
Main PC (E5200, G31, Lian Li Q07) | Gaming PC (E6850, X38, 5870 Vapor-X, P182) | HTPC (4850e, 780G, 3450, NSK2480B)


Last edited by JamieG on Thu Oct 14, 2010 3:54 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: My gaming PC
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 11:12 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:31 pm
Posts: 822
Location: Melbourne, Australia
This is my oldest PC in terms of when it was first built. I hadn't discovered SPCR by the time I started building it, so some of my original component choices are less than perfect for quiet operation. I was still trying to build a quiet computer from the start though, and eventually I found SPCR after a bit of googling for how to make a computer quieter. (I've been hooked ever since.)

Components

Intel E6850 (stock, 3Ghz)
OCZ Vendetta with Nexus 92mm fan (controlled by fan controller)
Gigabyte GA-X38-DQ6
2 x 1Gb OCZ Reaper DDR2-1066 at stock timings
XFX 8800GTX XXX with Zalman GV1000 (version of VF1000LED, fan speed controlled by fan controller)
Pioneer DVD-ROM
Scythe Kama Bay (no fan, intake only)
Seagate 7200.10 320Gb HDD in Zalman ZM-2HC1 (all suspended) in lower chamber
Zalman ZM-600 PSU with rubber-mounted Scythe S-Flex 1600rpm
P182 with Slipstream 1200rpm as front middle intake (controlled by fan controller), Nexus 120mm as rear exhaust (controlled by PCI slot fan speed controller) and Scythe S-Flex 1200rpm as top exhaust (on CPU fan header)
No-name 3.5 inch fan controller with 4 headers, controlling Nexus 92mm on CPU cooler, front intake fan and graphics card (fourth header broken already!)

Image


Image

(close up without the duct)

The P182 has the front intake grills and rear exhaust grills cut out. I've also rigged a cardboard duct so the front intake fan's air is directed towards the graphics card, although I'm not sure if this is of much benefit really.

The noise made by this system is dominated by the GZ1000 on the graphics card cooler, as all the other fans are turned down to near-silent levels. It is apparently pretty much the same cooler as the Zalman VF1000LED tested by SPCR, so I thought it would be quiet enough after I had no luck finding an Australian retailer with stock of a Thermalright HR-03 Plus for my 8800GTX. I'm still exploring ways to cool this more quietly – probably involving strapping one or two quieter fans on to replace the whining Zalman fan. Again, any ideas are welcome here.

_________________
My PCs:
Main PC (E5200, G31, Lian Li Q07) | Gaming PC (E6850, X38, 5870 Vapor-X, P182) | HTPC (4850e, 780G, 3450, NSK2480B)


Last edited by JamieG on Thu Oct 14, 2010 3:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: My HTPC
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 11:14 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:31 pm
Posts: 822
Location: Melbourne, Australia
This is the first PC I built with the full benefit of having read the SPCR forums from the start and taking ideas from other people's builds. I wasn't confident enough to do a fan swap at that stage, so I replaced the Earthwatts PSU that came with the case.

Components:

AMD 4850e (stock)
Scythe Ninja Mini (passive)
Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H with a Thermalright HR-05 IFX on the northbridge
Asus Radeon 3450 (passive, bought for the component connection to my old TV)
2 Gb stick of Corsair ValueRAM DDR2-667
Corsair VX450W PSU
Seagate Barracuda IV 80Gb HDD (PATA)
Pioneer DVD-RW
Antec 2480B with the Scythe 800rpm fan from the Kama Bay as an exhaust at 10V
Compro PCI TV tuner (not shown in picture)

Image

This is a fairly standard HTPC and is mainly used for watching DVDs and standard definition video, as my old TV isn't HDTV-capable. When I upgrade my TV and buy a BluRay drive, it should be fine to handle it.

_________________
My PCs:
Main PC (E5200, G31, Lian Li Q07) | Gaming PC (E6850, X38, 5870 Vapor-X, P182) | HTPC (4850e, 780G, 3450, NSK2480B)


Last edited by JamieG on Thu Oct 14, 2010 3:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: My HTPC
PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 7:12 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2008 1:39 pm
Posts: 307
Location: Toronto, Canada
JamieG wrote:
Asus Radeon 3450 (passive)

Are you running the video card in Hybrid Crossfire mode? Notice any performance/ power improvements?

Overall your rigs are neat, although you could work a bit on cabling :P.

Cool idea though on the HD switch- I thought SATA drives were hot swappable so perhaps you could disable it on the fly? Not sure though, maybe thats just the data cable. Otherwise it would be kinda risky to have such a switch sticking straight out of your comp- I remember killing an old IDE drive by stupidly yanking its molex connector while it was running LOL


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 7:38 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:31 pm
Posts: 822
Location: Melbourne, Australia
My HTPC has my old install of Windows XP, so I can't do hybrid crossfire, which I think is Vista-only. I don't need the performance for my current use of the HTPC, and it isn't running often enough for me to upgrade to Vista just for power efficiency.

Yeah, I could work on the cablegami a bit more, but the cables don't obstruct any crucial airflow paths at this stage. Plus, I still mess with my systems enough that I'd probably be end up ruining any good work I do the next time to go to play with something or other.

Anything particularly shameful though that I could easily fix? (Ignoring the space constrictions in the DIY case for my main PC...)

I did a quick google on the SATA hotswap now that you've mentioned it but it seems it can go either way, depending on how power comes from the PSU. Given that I've got a PW-200V and am using Win7 beta on my main PC, I figure I'm not going to risk it. Besides, with my SSD as an OS disk, shutting down, flicking the switch and rebooting is about 1 minute! :lol:

_________________
My PCs:
Main PC (E5200, G31, Lian Li Q07) | Gaming PC (E6850, X38, 5870 Vapor-X, P182) | HTPC (4850e, 780G, 3450, NSK2480B)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 12:48 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 20, 2002 10:32 am
Posts: 740
Location: Melbourne, Australia
That's a great idea using the switch, particularly in conjunction with the SSD. Allows you to have the best of both worlds. I've just ordered a Vertex 30GB myself to use for the OS. I have to admit, I've never been so excited about a computer component! I'm thinking of setting up a server so that I can remove mechanical disks from my desktop machine altogether.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 6:38 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2008 1:39 pm
Posts: 307
Location: Toronto, Canada
JamieG wrote:
I did a quick google on the SATA hotswap now that you've mentioned it but it seems it can go either way, depending on how power comes from the PSU. Given that I've got a PW-200V and am using Win7 beta on my main PC, I figure I'm not going to risk it. Besides, with my SSD as an OS disk, shutting down, flicking the switch and rebooting is about 1 minute! :lol:

The part about having a switch like that sticking out of the comp is scary- what if you accidentally hit it? It might kill the disk if its still in use.
Another idea would be to wire in one of your front panel connectors (perhaps using an inverter logic circuit) so that the switch will only work if and only if the power is off.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 3:02 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:31 pm
Posts: 822
Location: Melbourne, Australia
speedkar9 wrote:
The part about having a switch like that sticking out of the comp is scary- what if you accidentally hit it? It might kill the disk if its still in use.

Another idea would be to wire in one of your front panel connectors (perhaps using an inverter logic circuit) so that the switch will only work if and only if the power is off.

The switch that turns the hard drive on or off is the one that is hanging just in front of the hard drive in the first picture. It's a reasonably resistant switch that takes a deliberate effort to flip from one position to another. I actually have to hold the switch in place to flip it, so I'm not worried about accidentally flipping it at this stage. The case also actually sits on my bookshelf out of the way a bit, so the danger is fairly minimal.

The circuit idea is a good one - unfortunately I don't have any front panel connectors, given it is the DIY case I'm talking about here :wink:. Besides, I just about exhausted my electronics knowledge and soldering skills putting that switch in in the first place! Thanks for the concern though.

_________________
My PCs:
Main PC (E5200, G31, Lian Li Q07) | Gaming PC (E6850, X38, 5870 Vapor-X, P182) | HTPC (4850e, 780G, 3450, NSK2480B)


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 Post subject: Main PC - update 23 January 2010 - new case: Lian Li PC-Q07
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:13 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:31 pm
Posts: 822
Location: Melbourne, Australia
With a little bit of modding, I have managed to fit my undersize mATX motherboard (24.4cm x 19.4cm) into a Lian Li mITX case: the PC-Q07.

I had to cut a new motherboard tray from a removable motherboard tray I bought online, as well as cut out some of the rear of the case to accommodate the changed position of the I/O area. This also required swapping the left and right panels, as the mITX motherboard mounts are built into the right panel.

I've used some modder's mesh to turn the DVD bay into an intake vent, and covered the ATX PSU holder with modders mesh as well.

While I was taking my PC apart, I took the opportunity to swap the stock NB cooler for a Thermalright HR-05 IFX and the stock SB cooler for a Zalman ZM-NB47J.

I've moved my Samsung F1 1Tb into an external hard drive cage as well.

Component list:

Intel E5200 @ 2.2Ghz and 1.0V
Thermalright HR-01 Plus with Scythe Slipstream 800rpm @ 5V
Gigabyte G31M-ES2L (mATX)
2 Gb stick of Kingston HyperX DDR2-800 RAM at default timings
PW-200V with 60W brick (largest I could find with no active fan)
OCZ Vertex 60Gb SSD (OS drive)
1 Tb Samsung F1 HDD (in ASTONE external HDD cage)

Again, you'll have to forgive the poor quality photos from the camera on my mobile phone.

Front:

Image

(You can see the external HDD cage sitting between the case and the speakers on top of some open cell foam, which reduces the vibrational noise a little bit when the HDD is on, along with the DVD bay vent which is the main intake for the CPU fan, the sole fan in this build).

Left:

Image

(Not much to see really, the vent at the top also functions as a bit of an intake area for the CPU fan. This used to be the right panel, but I had to swap them as explained above.)

Right:

Image

(You can see the silver of the motherboard tray through the now-useless ventilation holes from what used to be the left panel.)

Rear:

Image

(You can see the hole I had to cut to fit the I/O board. The modders mesh coving the PSU area looks pretty good IMO.)

Inside:

Image

(Pretty minimal clutter inside, given the hardware I am using. The clearance between the HR-01 on the CPU and the HR-05 on the NB is pretty slim.)

Oh, and for anyone who is wondering, the speakers the PC is setting next to are a set of Logitech Z-10 2.0 USB speakers.

Next on the agenda is swapping to a picoPSU 150W XT and a 12.5A brick, as the PW-200V covers most of the SATA ports (even though I'm not using them). I also want to play with a little overclocking and the current 60W brick won't allow enough headroom.

_________________
My PCs:
Main PC (E5200, G31, Lian Li Q07) | Gaming PC (E6850, X38, 5870 Vapor-X, P182) | HTPC (4850e, 780G, 3450, NSK2480B)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 3:25 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 3:21 am
Posts: 1
Location: uk
thanks gyz for sharing information

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 Post subject: Re: My gaming PC
PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 3:22 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:31 pm
Posts: 822
Location: Melbourne, Australia
JamieG wrote:
Image

Image

I've made the following changes:
- Replaced the 8800GTX with a Sapphire 5870 Vapor-X
- Front middle intake fan is now a Scythe Gentle Typhoon 1,150rpm
- Rear exhaust fan is now a Scythe Kama PWM
- Scythe Kaze Server installed for fan control

Updated specs (pics when I get the time):

Intel E6850 (stock, 3Ghz)
OCZ Vendetta with Nexus 92mm fan (controlled by Kaze Server)
Gigabyte GA-X38-DQ6
2 x 1Gb OCZ Reaper DDR2-1066 at stock timings
Sapphire 5870 Vapor-X (blue PCB Rev 2 model)
Pioneer DVD-ROM
Seagate 7200.10 320Gb HDD in Zalman ZM-2HC1 (all suspended) in lower chamber
Zalman ZM-600 PSU with rubber-mounted Scythe S-Flex 1600rpm
P182 with front doors removed and front and rear fan grills snipped out

Fans are:
- CPU fan (92mm Nexus) is at 650rpm idle / 1,600rpm load
- Front intake fan: Scythe Gentle Typhoon 1,150rpm at 500rpm idle / 1,000rpm load
- Top exhaust fan: Scythe S-Flex E at 500rpm idle / 1,000rpm load
- Rear exhaust fan: Scythe Kama PWM at about 400rpm idle / 900rpm load

Load speed for the 3 non-PWM fans hooked up to the Kaze Server occurs when temperature probes pushed between the heatsink and PCB on my 5870 Vapor-X reaches over 50C, using semi auto mode. I've added two Nexus NRC-1000 10V fan speed cables to the front intake and top exhaust fans so they don't spin at full speed when this threshold is reached.

My 5870 Vapor-X seems to have a low idle fan speed of 1,050rpm. See my posts and those of WR304 in this thread. My card appears to be a blue PCB Rev 2 5870 Vapor-X but the fan speed is lower than WR304's card, which is the same model, revision number and BIOS version.

_________________
My PCs:
Main PC (E5200, G31, Lian Li Q07) | Gaming PC (E6850, X38, 5870 Vapor-X, P182) | HTPC (4850e, 780G, 3450, NSK2480B)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 5:59 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 2:35 pm
Posts: 808
Location: Greece
I like what you did to the q07, the modders mesh looks great and matches the speakers. Have you tried to run this rig fanless (possibly changing the orientation of the cpu heatsink)?

I would keep the pw200 as it can handle more current than the pico xt, plus it regulates the 12v line (not so important if you have a high quality brick). Considering you mounted a μatx board in there you shouldn`t have much trouble clearing those sata ports. A 200 watt power brick would be nice though, pitty they`re so hard to find.

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My PCs: Workstation : HTPC in a CD player case : Custom Mini ITX projects


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 3:49 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:31 pm
Posts: 822
Location: Melbourne, Australia
I have run the Q07 without the fan on the HR-01+, but haven't tried the heatsink in a different orientation. CPU load temps are about 10C higher and the northbridge HR-05 gets very hot indeed if it is being stressed as well. Besides, I can't hear the Slipstream 800rpm at 5V, so I am happy to have it running.

The problem with the PW200V is caused by the placement of the 3 unused SATA connectors on the motherboard. If you look at the bottom right of the picture reproduced below, they are directly under the PW200 to the right of the blue Zalman southbridge cooler.

Image

I can fit a single right angle SATA cable in there if I need to, but it is a real pain getting it in and out, as I either have to unplug the PW200V or bend its PCB upwards to fit the cable in.

_________________
My PCs:
Main PC (E5200, G31, Lian Li Q07) | Gaming PC (E6850, X38, 5870 Vapor-X, P182) | HTPC (4850e, 780G, 3450, NSK2480B)


Last edited by JamieG on Tue Jun 15, 2010 3:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 10:21 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 2:35 pm
Posts: 808
Location: Greece
Quote:
The problem with the PW200V is caused by the placement of the 3 unused SATA connectors on the motherboard. If you look at the bottom right of the picture reproduced below, they are directly under the PW200 to the right of the blue Zalman southbridge cooler.


If you use an extension instead of plugging the psu directly on the motherboard that shouldn`t be a problem. True, it will add one more cable to your clean setup but nothing unmanageable.

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My PCs: Workstation : HTPC in a CD player case : Custom Mini ITX projects


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:01 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:31 pm
Posts: 822
Location: Melbourne, Australia
JamieG wrote:
I can fit a single right angle SATA cable in there if I need to, but it is a real pain getting it in and out, as I either have to unplug the PW200V or bend its PCB upwards to fit the cable in.

After doing a bit of data backing up onto a separate HDD, I've decided to leave the SATA connector in place for the moment.

_________________
My PCs:
Main PC (E5200, G31, Lian Li Q07) | Gaming PC (E6850, X38, 5870 Vapor-X, P182) | HTPC (4850e, 780G, 3450, NSK2480B)


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