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 Post subject: smaller wooden box
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 1:10 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:56 pm
Posts: 1075
Location: San Jose
Hi All, so I finally finished up my smaller wooden version of the big brass box http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=59803&hilit=brass. Here's how it looks on the shelf:

Attachment:
minnow1.jpg


It's a lot smaller than the brass box, I only wanted room for two hard drives, a blu ray drive and an ssd, so it's about 18.5" tall by 16.5" wide by 16.5" deep, although the lid on top adds an inch to the width and depth. I built it with the same basic floorplan as the brass box, there is an upright divider in the middle of the box, on one side is the motherboard and the PSU and drives are on the other side. Here's how it looked at an early stage of construction:

Attachment:
minnow4.jpg


The frame and outer panels of the case are made out of poplar boards I picked up at Lowe's. The divider is particle board, couldn't find a poplar board quite wide enough for it. The motherboard tray is a part I got from a place called Mountain Mods, I thought about hacking one out of a cheap old case, but I couldn't find one that didn't seem like too much work. I had to trim the motherboard tray down a little with tin snips to get it down to the minimum size. You can also see that the PSU/drive side is much smaller, I suspended the PSU near the back side and put the blu ray drive vertically, which leaves room for the hard drives to be suspended vertically beside the blu-ray drive. For the side panels, I screwed the panels for the PSU/drive side down directly to the frame, but the panels on the motherboard side and on the back of the psu/drive side are hinged with clasps to hold them closed. For the motherboard side, I wanted to make sure I still had access to the sides of the motherboard, so I wanted to make sure the panels folded back far enough to allow full access:

Attachment:
minnow5.jpg


You can also see the inside lined with acoustipak sheets, wanted to make sure it was as quiet as possible. In the picture you'll also see a much bigger fan in the bottom. I was thinking about using a single big fan at the bottom to cool things down, and I found a 350mm found that was actually 300mm across that could have worked. But when I tested it, part of the fan baffle had dropped a little low and started hitting the blades, and two of them broke off. At that point I had the system installed and ready to run, so I hastily stuck two 140 mm fans on the motherboard side and two 120mm fans on the psu/drive side. And, looks like 3 attachments max, so I'll put the other two pics in the next post...


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 Post subject: Re: smaller wooden box
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 1:28 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:56 pm
Posts: 1075
Location: San Jose
So, with the system installed, the motherboard side looks like this:

Attachment:
minnow2.jpg

That's an msi xpower big bang motherboard, with an i7 980x, prolimatech megahalems (nickel plated version), and two gtx 460 cards. The 140mm fans are two prolimatech blue vortex fans. They aren't totally silent, but they undervolted down to silence pretty easily. On the psu/drive side it looks like this:

Attachment:
minnow3b.jpg

The psu is an antec signature 850, and the hard drives are a couple of wd green drives. Haven't really had time to clean up the cable routing, my next task. Now in terms of cooling effectiveness, it's doing pretty well. I'm currently folding full out on this system, so the gpus and the cpu are fully loaded, and the gpu temps are 65C and 57C, and the cpu has hit a high of 54C according to Core Temp, and the hard drives are at 32C and 37C. Now I'm not sure I trust that Core Temp temperature, on a similar system I have the motherboard utility gives me a temp about 10C above Core Temp temps, so it might be up to 64C, but that's still pretty nice. I really need to start OCing this stuff. But really, I'm just glad it's all done! So, what do you think?


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 Post subject: Re: smaller wooden box
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 1:50 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:38 pm
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Location: ontario
very impressive work sir.

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 Post subject: Re: smaller wooden box
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 5:49 am 
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Location: CT
:shock: that's a nice box you've got there Cordis !!

Enjoy the OC on those 460s, it should be a piece of cake !

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 Post subject: Re: smaller wooden box
PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:42 pm 
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Location: San Jose
Thanks! And a little update on OCing stuff, didn't have much time for it over the weekend. I was able to tweak the 460s each up to 825Mhz, now they're both around 70C even with the fans at the lowest setting. I also got the i7 980x up to 3.86GHz, but I'm still checking the stability on that, I may have to bump the cpu voltage up more, hope I don't have to. The cpu temps are spiking into the low 80s according to Core Temp, so they could be higher than that. Although I took a look at the bios hardware monitor, and Core Temp seems to be somewhat close to that, so ???? I was really hoping to get up to 4Ghz, maybe I'll try a 2nd fan on the megahalems....


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 Post subject: Re: smaller wooden box
PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:58 pm 
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Are those 460s the 768Mo versions or the larger ones ?
What are your shader OC numbers on the 460s (high shaders are good for folding right ?) ?

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 Post subject: Re: smaller wooden box
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:48 pm 
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Location: San Jose
The evga 460 is 768mb, and the msi hawk is 1gb. Doesn't seem to make any difference in terms of performance. I think the shaders are locked to double the main clock, so they should both be at 1650Mhz now. After all that OCing, I took a look at one of the cards in a different system, and discovered that it's running stock at 700Mhz, already started bumping that up. In terms of the cpu, I think 3.86Ghz is going to be the limit, it spiked up to 86C yesterday. I'm looking at using fewer cores running faster to get over the current thermal limit. Ah, too many options, really. But the case seems to be holding up, I haven't had any wood glue failures or suspension breaks.


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 Post subject: Re: smaller wooden box
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 10:26 pm 
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Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
looks great man :)

the hinged sides is a great idea too

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 Post subject: Re: smaller wooden box
PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 1:04 am 
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Something that is very, very important to observe with wooden cases is that you have either electrically conductive paint on the inside or metal panels to act as an EMI shield. Computers put out tons and tons of electromagnetic interference (EMI) and are actually required by law and/or import rules to have a metal enclosure so that this interference is attenuated into the surrounding area. Obviously, you can build whatever you want by yourself as long as you're not selling it, but you might encounter cell phone signal loss, wifi signal loss etc. Or your neighbors may encounter this.

For instance, I have a small mITX box stuck behind a monitor in my bedroom. I also have a regular FM radio. The box is a mini-box M350 which has a metal enclosure for the motherboard etc. and a plastic flap thingamajiggy where you can put a wifi antenna (i.e. it is not in the metal enclosure so it will not suffer from either EMI from the computer or signal attenuation because of the metal box). However, I put a stripped-down power supply inside this plastic thing. The power supply puts out so much electromagnetic noise that whenever the computer is on, even when it's idling, it makes the radio unlistenable on most channels. And that's just a 20-W power supply outside of a metal box.


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 Post subject: Re: smaller wooden box
PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 1:42 am 
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Location: US
Take a look at these prebuilt wooden cases:
viewtopic.php?p=540875#p540875

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