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 Post subject: Advice on case for optimal cooling of passive graphics card
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:29 pm 
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Posts: 2
Hello from yet another newbie (UK based)...

I wondered if anyone could kindly give me some advice for a case suitable for optimal cooling of a passive graphics card.

I currently run MythTv as my PVR with the following core components:
    e5200
    Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro Cooler
    ATX sized ASRock 4CoreDual-Sata2 Motherboard
    2GB RAM
    Passively cooled Nvidia FX5200 AGP
    Hauppauge Nova T-500
    320GB Seagate SATA HD
    DVD Writer
    400W Zalman 20pin PSU


This computer currently is housed in some generic case cooled by a couple of 80mm Panaflos.

I hope to upgrade this with a(n already bought) passively cooled GT 240 (Asus ENGT240 Silent) which uses a PCIe slot (the motherboard has both AGP and PCIe!) to enable VDPAU based decoding for high definition video. Such decoding raises the temperature of the graphics card....I'll probably add a second drive and maybe a gigabit network card too.

I would like to keep this card reasonably cool and my current case is not too good in that respect AND the way the card slots in, the heatsink and the fins point down towards the bottom of the case - I would have thought that an inverted motherboard case would be an idea (the heat rises approach?). I appreciate that a case with good airflow might simply be the answer, but have got a bit confused as to whether the airflow would be simply out of the rear fan/PSU and that it would not get to the downward pointing heatsink around the graphics card and I am not too sure about the pros and cons of side fans (i.e. - do they interfere with the airflow of the rest of the case; some people say the side fans can be (especially) noisy because of the mesh grills).

My other constraints are:
    that the case is currently housed under the TV in a open backed cabinet which is 48 cm high.
    I would like to minimise dust
    whilst I would like to keep the noise down, we are not next to the PC (about 10 feet away) so I can accept a bit more noise than if we were speccing for a silent PC sited next to me
    the ATX sized motherboard should fit in the case


I have looked around and, with a budget of up to £75 wondered about the following:
    Bitfenix Outlaw
      Inverted design - permits graphics card to point the right way up for heat dissipation
      Top cooling fan locations adjacent PCI(e) slots
      Side cooling fan possible
      Cheap
      Kit out with additional (say Noctua) fans to improve cooling
    I was also considering the Zalman Z9-Plus
      Cheap
      Bit garish for a PVR
      Kitted out with 4 fans by default
      Side fan probably noisy unfortunately
    Fractal Core 3000
      Cheapish
      Can take out a drive bay and then the front fan could possibly cool the video card
    People keep telling me about the Fractal R3 - it is a nice case
      Expensive
      Concerned that I would still have to buy a side fan and that may be noisy

Does anyone have advice....I am tempted to simply go for the outlaw and buy extra fans.

Ta

Chorltan


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 Post subject: Re: Advice on case for optimal cooling of passive graphics c
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:51 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 10:29 am
Posts: 582
Location: de_DE
The Bitfenix Outlaw will certainly do, but I don't think is has dust filters.
You might not need a fan for the graphic card, inverted setup or not, it's not such a hot card and htpc duty is not very demanding.

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on case for optimal cooling of passive graphics c
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 1:43 pm 
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Posts: 676
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Have you tried the new GT240 in your existing case? What temps are you seeing?

You could try using negative pressure to your advantage. Assuming your 80mm fans are exhausts, your case will be "inhaling" through all other gaps and openings. Seal up useless leaks and remove a few PCI slot covers directly below your video card. You're effectively telling the case where to leak. The 80mm exhaust fans should now pull fresh air in under your GPU heatsink. Obviously, take care not to starve other components of fresh air (HDD's, for example).

Who knows, this might be sufficient to cool the GPU for £0.00 :)

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on case for optimal cooling of passive graphics c
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 3:50 pm 
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Don't worry about heat rising...convection only matters when there is zero airflow. Any airflow through the case/on the card has a much larger effect.

Case: What about the Silverstone Grandia series? Pricey, but will look good with your other A/V components. They tend to have side to side airflow, so you need to have a few inches of clearance on each side.

Your GT 240 and e5200 don't consume a lot of power - so not a lot of heat generated. Worst case, you can zip tie a silent very low rpm fan to the fanless card.

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on case for optimal cooling of passive graphics c
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:14 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2012 11:14 am
Posts: 2
Thanks everyone for the advice. I thought I would let people know how things have progressed

I passed an exam so (ahem) treated myself to the Bitfenix Outlaw and some Sharkoon Silent Eagle 1000s (I know not the best, but I judged they would be quiet enough).

In the old case the GT240 card was pushing 45-49 C (if I recall correctly - which I think is not too hot anyway). Now in the Outlaw with a Sharkoon blowing on it - it gets to about 28 C when performing VDPAU/1080 decoding.

The new case is much nicer to work in (but not amazing) and is a bit quieter too. I like the look of the Grandia, but the PC hides away in a (sort of) cupboard (open backed) so I am not bothered about its appearance too much.

I agree that the zero cost alternatives would have been worth while following up....but the exam clinched buying some kit for me :-)

Thanks all

Chorltan


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 Post subject: Re: Advice on case for optimal cooling of passive graphics c
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:08 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
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Location: Monterey Bay, CA
Congrats on your build :)

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1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

Support SPCR through these links: NCIX, Amazon and Newegg


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