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 Post subject: Very limited cooling, very loud, need to replace a few thing
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 6:15 pm 
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My computer is inside of one of those computer cabinets with a door on the front and pretty much zero space for the air to go except a slot a couple inches wide at the back bottom of the cabinet. This pretty much means zero fresh air :(

As such, the CPU sits at around 45C idle, video card and NB both at 42C.

I have a i5 650 with stock hsf, a Radeon HD 4770, and Earthwatts 380W PSU with an SSD as my main drive.

The Earthwatts makes an unbearable whine and roar if I play any games or anything, even through the cabinet (even though its 10x better than my old system) and I know it's overheating if I push it in Prime95. It will hit 80C before leveling off and I'm pretty sure that's way too hot for an i5. With the door open, it will max at around 65-70C.
This is the case I have. Basically it has some grilles on the side and one spot on the back for up to a 140mm fan. It's also a very short case so not much room inside.

I've been thinking about undervolting the CPU a bit although my mobo (GA-P55M-UD2) doesn't like changing anything. It always locks the CPU speed and voltage to max if any setting is changed (CPU mult/voltage/bclk/etc).

So what I need is a replacement PSU that's quieter than what I have now and maybe a replacement CPU HSF and 120/140mm fan for the case. I've read through all the recommendations but still aren't really sure what could do in such a high heat environment and tight case space.

Any recommendations? Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Very limited cooling, very loud, need to replace a few t
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:44 am 
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wandering_soul wrote:
Any recommendations?

Swap the CPU heatsink with something recommended by SPCR which fit, swap the PSU fan with a Scythe SFF80B or a Nexus Basic, install that 140mm exhaust (a Thermalright X-Silent, a Xilence, an Enermax T.B., or something with the right mounting holes).
And use some form of effective fan control, as Gigabyte's BIOS very often sucks (personally I recommend SpeedFan or a Scythe Kaze Server). Even some basic cabling management (if you haven't already done it) may help the airflow.

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 Post subject: Re: Very limited cooling, very loud, need to replace a few t
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:30 am 
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quest_for_silence wrote:
as Gigabyte's BIOS very often sucks


That's for sure! :lol:

Thanks for narrowing it down quite a bit. Even though I've been lurking for years, I still got overwhelmed when it came time to lay some cash out. Not too keen on opening the PSU but I guess $15 is better than $80.


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 Post subject: Re: Very limited cooling, very loud, need to replace a few t
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:10 am 
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Is there an exhaust in that cabinet ? you only mention intake.
If not, PLEASE, make one. Top back of the cabinet would be ideal.
You can go for multiple small holes, maybe 30 or 40mm in diameter, or slots if you prefer (at least 3 or 4 slots, each 10mm high and as wide as the cabinet, with a nice cover on them), all along the back top of the cabinet.

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 Post subject: Re: Very limited cooling, very loud, need to replace a few t
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:02 am 
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No matter what components you swap out as long your have your system inside cubby hole like that it's going run hot. Lack of airflow is lack of airflow, not to mention that case has awful ariflow as is something like the Coolermaster Haf 912,Elite 330 would be much better. I would suggest selling the desk and getting something that would allow you to place the tower on the desktop.


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 Post subject: Re: Very limited cooling, very loud, need to replace a few t
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:45 am 
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Have you already removed the front 5,25'' bay covers yet? (things you remove when installing DVD-drive)
See how much effect it has - maybe it's also worth trying to remove the left side panel, as your case has no intake at the front.
Like mentioned, more airflow wouldn't hurt, the most hardcore solution for this would of course be to make a 12x12cm hole in the front of your cabinet, install a 500 RPM slipstream there, and screw the motherboard directly onto the inside of the cabinet :twisted:

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 Post subject: Re: Very limited cooling, very loud, need to replace a few t
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:49 pm 
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Yeah, that's true. It's sort of a "case within a case". At the time, it was the only one that I could find short enough to actually fit in the cabinet. I have no idea why they designed the cabinet that way but it pretty much sucks.

How beneficial would it be to add a couple moderately quiet fans to the 2.5" slot in the back (although even 2 60mm fans don't push THAT much air) or cut out a larger slot for a 120-140mm fan? Negative airflow to the "cubby hole" sucking cooler air in through crack in the front door. I don't think I'd want any air coming from the floor in the back since there's a corner of a radiator there. edit: Yeah, that wouldn't work would it. It would just circulate the open air near the opening.

Probably be double the work but replace the PSU fan, change out the stock HSF, add a 140mm rear case fan, and force some airflow through the back of the cabinet (and clean up the cables in the cabinet- I forgot about that)?

And wouterr5, I HAVE thought of that ;) Definitely a possibility if I can keep the cat out

edit2: Redid all the cabling in the cabinet. -8C difference. Waiting for components to come in now.


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 Post subject: Re: Very limited cooling, very loud, need to replace a few t
PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:21 pm 
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Well I changed the PSU fan and added a 120mm fan (case specs lie- can't put a 140mm in there).

The 120mm is a Nexus Basic D12SL-12 and the PSU fan is the Noctua NF-R8-1800, which was recommended to be coupled with the EA-380. PSU temps are beautiful now and much quieter :)

CPU still tops out at 70C, even with the added case fan, and it has the remaining annoying whine. Luckily the fan on the graphics card is almost completely silent (that with the low power draw were what sold me on that card).

Has SPCR any recommendations for low profile (hopefully top down) coolers for the ix series? Or are coolers all standard now? I can't find anything really useful in the forums/main page on that.

Also, now I have some sort of electrical clicking? It sounds similar to the HDD noise except that it's slower and intermittent). It sounds like it's coming from the PSU or somewhere from the CPU up. I stopped the CPU fan and it was still there. Stopped the PSU fan and it was still there. Ran a memory test in case it was the memory and didn't hear it. Anyone have any ideas?

The only thing I could think of is either the PSU made this sound before I changed the fan and the fan masked the noise, there's not enough clearance with the new fan installed (both were x25mm, but there's maybe 1mm or so between another component on the PSU, or it's actually the SSD's garbage collection running...


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 Post subject: Re: Very limited cooling, very loud, need to replace a few t
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:08 am 
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wandering_soul wrote:
CPU still tops out at 70C, even with the added case fan, and it has the remaining annoying whine. Luckily the fan on the graphics card is almost completely silent (that with the low power draw were what sold me on that card).

It should be an improvement from the previous 80°C, shouldn't it?

wandering_soul wrote:
Has SPCR any recommendations for low profile (hopefully top down) coolers for the ix series? Or are coolers all standard now? I can't find anything really useful in the forums/main page on that.

I've already pointed out you to SPCR Recommended Heatsinks, however: check the actual clearance for you case (I don't know which enclosure it is) and then:

  • if it's up to ~80mm, go for a Scythe Big Shuriken with Universal Retention Kit 3 SCURK-3000 (if this kit fits, I think it should);
  • if it's up to ~90mm, go for a Scythe Big Shuriken with Universal Retention Kit 3 SCURK-3000 (if this kit fits, I think it should), and swapping its stock slim (12mm) fan with a regular (25mm) one;
  • if it's up to ~100mm, go for a CoolerMaster Gemini IIS with TWO fans (if they fit, they overhang the motherboard), otherwise go for the previous option (the Big Shuriken but swapping its stock fan);
  • if it's up to ~110/115mm, go for a Thermalright AXP-140 (if it fits, as it's wide: but if the Big Shuriken fits, as I expect, it should go almost flawlessly) with Thermalright AXP-140 1156 Bolt-Thru-Kit and a 140mm fan;
  • if it's at least ~140mm, go for a Noctua NH-C14 (if it fits, as it's the widest of these recommended coolers: if you have a bottom mounted PSU it should fit almost surely).

What about those recommendations? Well:

  • for the Big Shuriken suitable fans are the Scythe Kama Flow PWM DFS122512L-PWM if you have a 4-pin PWM header on the motherboard, otherwise, if you have a 3-pin header or a 4-pin header voltage-regulated (NOT PWM: check your manual), go for a Scythe Kama Flow 2 SP1225FDB12M if you use SpeedFan, or a Scythe Kama Flow 2 SP1225FDB12L if you use the BIOS to control the CPU fan;
  • for the Gemini IIS suitable fans are the same under the same conditions: you do need also a cable splitter, so for PWM fans go for the Akasa PWM Signal motherboard Cable - AK-CB002, while for the 3-pin fans go for (something like) the Akasa AK-CB001 Cable Adapter (with this one DO NOT USE the 5V outputs with the recommended fans). DO NOT USE any adapter/splitter cable which not draw DC directly from the PSU, or you may likely fry the motherboard's headers;
  • for the AXP-140 suitable fans are the Thermalright TY-140 if you have a 4-pin PWM header on the motherboard, otherwise, if you have a 3-pin header or a 4-pin header voltage-regulated (NOT PWM: check your manual), go for a Thermalright X-Silent 140mm: if you don't use SpeedFan to control fans, you might need a speed-reduction cable (9V or maybe 7V, as the 140mm fans are louder than 120mm ones) with voltage controlled (NOT PWM) fans. As I never used such a thing on PWM fans, I don't know if it may work even with those ones (I think no), but if you have a PWM header on the motherboard, then the BIOS should be able to dial down the fan;
  • the Noctua needs nothing (and as a matter of fact it costs quite a lot).

Last but not least, for TIM use either an Arctic Cooling MX-4 or an Arctic Silver Ceramique.

All the above, as usual, IMO.

wandering_soul wrote:
Anyone have any ideas?

Put your ears quite on the PSU and wait for it: if it isn't, then repeat the same for each and every part.
Just as a side note, I've mounted the R8 on two EarthWatts, and they never show me such a clicking noise.
At anyway, troubleshooting might not be easy.

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Last edited by quest_for_silence on Tue Feb 01, 2011 3:02 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Very limited cooling, very loud, need to replace a few t
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 2:01 am 
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+1 on changing the CPU HS, just about anything but the bundled HS will be quieter (read quests's suggestions above).

The PSU and GPU is already quieter, so they're good.

Can't see the case in itself as a problem, start with changing fans (now only CPU left), and you'll have a lot more silence.

Next step would be grille cutting, at least on the back panel, put a wire grill ther in stead.

/ d

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 Post subject: Re: Very limited cooling, very loud, need to replace a few t
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 5:54 am 
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Ahh, I went to the Recommended Heatsinks before but the post date said 2002 so I didn't go through. I thought there was a newer one you were referencing and I couldn't find it. Didn't realize that it's been updated. That's a my bad. :lol:

Thanks for typing that all out. I'll go through yours and the Recommended Heatsink and try to find out what will fit and work.

I'll see if I can make a "paper cup amplifier" and figure out where that noise is coming from. Will report back :mrgreen:

(I appreciate all the help and patience everyone)


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 Post subject: Re: Very limited cooling, very loud, need to replace a few t
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:50 am 
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wandering_soul wrote:
I'll go through yours and the Recommended Heatsink and try to find out what will fit and work.

Just an erratum: due to my carelessness, I recommended TWO 120mm fans for the CoolerMaster Gemini IIS. It's an odd error, as that heatsink may sport ONE 120mm fan OR TWO 92mm fans (I'm recommending this latter config in order to better cool your motherboard, as the first one is not really preferable to a Big Shuriken with a regular fan).

So the actual codes for the Scythe fans to be used with the Gemini IIS are:

  • the Scythe Kama Flow PWM DFS922512M-PWM if you have a 4-pin PWM header on the motherboard;
  • the Scythe Kama Flow 2 SP0925FDB12M if you have a 3-pin header or a 4-pin header voltage-regulated (NOT PWM: check your manual) AND if you use SpeedFan;
  • the Scythe S-Flex SFF92B if you have a 3-pin header or a 4-pin header voltage-regulated (NOT PWM: check your manual) AND if you use the BIOS to control the CPU fan.

Even the the Scythe Kama Flow 2 SP0925FDB12L may be conveniently used in the latter case (symmetrically to the 120mm fan recommendation), as well as the Scythe S-Flex SFF92A, but they should offer either a lower airflow for an about comparable noise and money.
A valuable (and value) alternative for PWM drive is probably the Arctic Cooling F9 PWM (while the std AC F9 should give the same amount of air of the Scythe SP0925FDB12M with a bit more noise: so it should be just cheaper and not tout-court better, IMO).

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 Post subject: Re: Very limited cooling, very loud, need to replace a few t
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:22 am 
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Perhaps you could add a quiet fan to the intake "slot"? You could try the 5V from your USB bus if you are sure the fan won't over load it. Also, USB failsafes are pretty good. I know I've shorted out my fair share with no permanent damage :D

Obviously an intake fan does no good if there is no exhaust, though. And trimming the intake to match the fan would help!

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 Post subject: Re: Very limited cooling, very loud, need to replace a few t
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:07 pm 
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quest: One thing I noticed, you are mentioning heights. I have exactly 140mm from the base of the motherboard to the grill on the side of the case, yet all the ones I see seem really wide. The first RAM slot basically almost touches the stock cooler and there's maybe ~7-8cm from CPU center to the graphics card and ~10-11cm from CPU center to PSU (also ~10-11cm to the new 120mm case fan).

I've never changed out a HSF so I'm not really sure how everything is measured. Is it really mostly eying to see if it will fit apart from the height? I'm not finding any useful dimensions from CPU center out nor height between base and the fins or heatpipes (to clear RAM).

I think I might be able to fit the AXP-140, but it looks bigger on one side than on the other and it doesn't look like it'll clear my RAM (I have the same RAM as in this picture on a review of it).

The Geminii S doesn't sound all that great by the reviews I've found outside SPCR but it seems to cool better than the Big Shuriken, but I don't think it will fit with 2 fans unless that bracket can move a ways to one side, although the MUCH larger Geminii looks like it would with 2 fans due to the staggered design.

I'm sort of leaning to the Big Shuriken since the Scythe website says that it supports 1156 via the Intel pushpins. Since it's light I'd assume that would be fine. The motherboard itself took a lot of finessing to fit into the case originally as the case is extremely short front to back.

I do need to change out the case once I have some more funds to put towards this. I found out the buzzing was actually the sides of the case which are off for now until I can find something to dampen the vibrations. Just can't afford to put out $100+ for a better case yet. (Gotta pay the bills!)


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 Post subject: Re: Very limited cooling, very loud, need to replace a few t
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:51 pm 
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wandering_soul wrote:
quest: One thing I noticed, you are mentioning heights. I have exactly 140mm from the base of the motherboard to the grill on the side of the case, yet all the ones I see seem really wide. The first RAM slot basically almost touches the stock cooler and there's maybe ~7-8cm from CPU center to the graphics card and ~10-11cm from CPU center to PSU (also ~10-11cm to the new 120mm case fan).

I think you have the typical situation of anyone else, or so about: personally I would go for a Noctua NH-C14, if you can afford it:see the installation photos on SPCR.

wandering_soul wrote:
I've never changed out a HSF so I'm not really sure how everything is measured. Is it really mostly eying to see if it will fit apart from the height? I'm not finding any useful dimensions from CPU center out nor height between base and the fins or heatpipes (to clear RAM).

About the RAM clearance, the more the height, the less the problem: the only really problematic heatsink is the Big Shuriken (it won't clear a common OCZ Gold), and maybe then the Gemini IIS with some of the tallest RAM heatspreaders (which you don't have, I think) with very near sockets.

wandering_soul wrote:
I think I might be able to fit the AXP-140, but it looks bigger on one side than on the other and it doesn't look like it'll clear my RAM (I have the same RAM as in this picture on a review of it).

The AXP-140 goes practically everywhere: see that miniITX installation, it's a very tight space, I mean it should be much tighter than your one.

wandering_soul wrote:
The Geminii S doesn't sound all that great by the reviews I've found outside SPCR but it seems to cool better than the Big Shuriken, but I don't think it will fit with 2 fans unless that bracket can move a ways to one side, although the MUCH larger Geminii looks like it would with 2 fans due to the staggered design.

Reviews outside SPCR are made with different criteria in mind, so if you need either enough cooling and enough quietness you can't trust other source than SPCR itself: please take note that SPCR setups are not sort of "fire and forget" ones, as those intended for (maybe) overclockers, but they imply some form of automatic and effective fan control (software or hardware). Under different conditions your mileage may vary.

Said that, I personally own both those coolers (Scythe and CM) and they are either really good but we are talking about two compact and not expensive cooler: so they are very efficient, but not stellar performers. These latter are the Thermalright and Noctua.

wandering_soul wrote:
I'm sort of leaning to the Big Shuriken since the Scythe website says that it supports 1156 via the Intel pushpins. Since it's light I'd assume that would be fine.

A better retention helps cooling, with this reference pushpins suck a bit.

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 Post subject: Re: Very limited cooling, very loud, need to replace a few t
PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:35 am 
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Wouldn't it be less work, effort and cost to just replace the case with one that provides more airflow?

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 Post subject: Re: Very limited cooling, very loud, need to replace a few t
PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 6:09 am 
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@ces - I'd still have to buy quiet parts, regardless of the case? I'm only height limited on the case, everything else is position of the components on the mobo.

@quest - Thanks again. You've been super helpful! Next post hopefully will be pics :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: Very limited cooling, very loud, need to replace a few t
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:29 am 
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quest_for_silence wrote:
see that miniITX installation, it's a very tight space

See also this other else more regular installation.

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 Post subject: Re: Very limited cooling, very loud, need to replace a few t
PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 4:14 pm 
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Just got the AXP-140 in today. It fits and the included fan is pretty quiet. In a burn-in test you can hear it but it's not an unpleasant whoosh mostly. Still quieter than the whine on my LCD monitor (next thing to change!). Although I wonder if that's fixable. I've replaced blown caps in LCDs but I guess it's probably something that's nonserviceable.

Thanks quest and ces :mrgreen:

I'll put up a couple pics when I find my camera :lol:

Oh and 55C max now. Great cooler for me!

edit: What I find more amazing is that I accidentally set the speed too low and the fan stalled (Voltage controlled instead of PWM). I didnt realize for a few minutes as the temps never went above 42C with normal usage (non burn in,gaming). Needless to say, I'm very happy with this heatsink and fan :)


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