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 Post subject: Antec NSK-1380 with SSD and no internal optical drive
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 6:52 am 
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Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 1:26 am
Posts: 19
Location: Earth
Hi

As a newbie, I am planning to build a non-gaming rig and wonder if I may seek the views of fellow forum members (esp. current/former owners of the Antec Aria/1300/1380 case) on the following setup.

(1) Install a 2.5" SSD vertically on the right.
(2) Use an external USB DVD drive instead of an internal one.
(3) Place unused cables from the PSU in the space reserved for an optical drive in the center of the drive cage.
(4) Install a 32nm CPU like the Intel i3-530 with a stock heatsink/fan.
(5) Use the ASRock H55M Pro motherboard.
(6) Install a passively cooled ATI 5450 display card in the secondary PCIe x16 slot away from the CPU.
(7) Use two 2GB RAM sticks.
(8) Do not install the supplied blower fan.

Do you think the airflow will be improved with step (3) above, with commensurately low internal temperatures?

Your feedback is invited and would be much appreciated!


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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 10:10 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
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It's not clear that your config would be much different from any other system in this case. There are many ways to bundle and tuck away unused power cables.

If you're looking for low noise, the stock intel heatsink is not a good option. It's low in absolute level at idle, but those nidec ball bearing fans always have this nasty buzz, personally can't stand em.

Also, if it's a non-gaming rig, why not just use the integrated graphics?

Finally, I have to say this Antec case just does not have great airflow. We reviewed one years ago, and we also got a new sample to examine a few months ago. It's just not a great design, and that PSU restricts greatly the size of HS you can use. I never liked the PSU and my opin of that has not changed. The only way I would use the case is with a DC/DC power supply and external Ac/dc power adapter, which opens up the space above the CPU for a big heatsink and dramatically improves airflow. But it also makes for a much more costly setup.

Still with your modest setup, and with a suitable quiet aftermarket HSF, you could have a decently quiet system.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 12:40 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 7:49 am
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Location: Denmark
Welcome to SPCR max789 !

If you are want to do a bit of modding the 1380 can be really good.

Check out some of the threads here on the forum for inspiration:
Antec NSK1300 with PW-200-V DC-DC and Akasa Evo-120
PD820 in an Antec NSK1300 (Aria)
Black Box: Quiet NSK1300
The Antec NSK1300. Brought to you by AuraAllan.
Antec NSK1380 with PicoPSU, Minja, 4670 etc
Zero-mod NSK1300/1380, with melamine!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 5:42 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 25, 2006 1:19 am
Posts: 489
Location: Australia
it's possible to make this case extremely quiet, but it takes some work.

the main problem is airflow and the psu fan, what i did was remove half of the psu casing(a few screws and it pops right off)- this allowed me to change the fan easily, soft mount it and more importantly, expose about 20% of the fan to free airflow. like this:
Image
i also reversed the fan to blow into the case, mainly because my cpu hs is bare, but i expect it to have a favourable effect on the psu and components in the vicinity like you vrms. leaving the pci slots open will free up the airflow significantly, though you may have to consider some ducting so the cool air is correctly utilised.
i can't guarantee this will be enough, but it will definitely be magnitudes better than the stock setup.

other points:
unless you are doing some light gaming or need 3+ monitors i can't see the advantage of getting a 5450.
the mounting holes for the hdds are for 3.5" drives, i drilled a hole in order to screw my ssd right in.
i expect the stock hs to be pretty quiet at idle but very loud during load so keep that in mind. fan longevity and sound quality also seem to be considerable issues.
the cabling is a minor issue, there aren't many and they're very short, some anchors and cable ties will let you put them aside wherever you please.
if you're not going to use the drive tray for anything other than the ssd, consider removing it entirely. if i didn't have an odd installed, i could fit my hypertx in there, a 92mm tower hs- but note that this depends entirely on the cpu position on the mb. the ssd can be mounted virtually anywhere.

edit: spelling/grammar.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 4:25 am 
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Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 1:26 am
Posts: 19
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Thanks, MikeC, AuraAllan and porkcop for your prompt and useful feedback.

MikeC@ Thanks for the many helpful pointers, esp. regarding Intel stock HSF. Looks like using a PicoPSU or similar setup would be the best way forward. More learning ahead... like which is the most suitable PicoPSU/power brick combination for my configuration. The PicoPSU 150W's manual mentions a maximum CPU TDP of 65W, but it seems from other SPCR forum posts that CPU's with a somewhat higher TDP would work, too.

I've never done any modding, so will take this whole thing a step at a time. For instance, I've little idea of how to choose and mount a suitable fan in place of the Antec NSK-1380's PSU. The SPCR forum has (or points to) so many useful resources. Thanks for creating this wonderful community, MikeC!

AuraAllan@ Your thread is the one that inspired me to use the Antec NSK-1380 in the first place. I've already read all the threads you posted, but need to digest them. Look forward to reading about your next project!

porkchop@ Thanks for the many interesting ideas. Yes, my configuration is an attempt to build a power- and space-efficient box to run four (or more) displays. Need time to think thru your suggestions. I'd probably try the Antec's stock PSU for a while before considering whether to switch over to a PicoPSU/external power brick combo. First, I need to familiarize myself with the case...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 12:13 pm 
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max789 wrote:
AuraAllan@ Your thread is the one that inspired me to use the Antec NSK-1380 in the first place. I've already read all the threads you posted, but need to digest them. Look forward to reading about your next project!
Oh wow. Thanks. :)
Always nice to inspire someone.
Looking forward to seeing how your project turns out.

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