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 Post subject: 100% Fanless midrange system - is this possible?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 11:51 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 12:43 pm
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Location: Romania
Hello guys,
I'm thinking of building a completely fanless PC, it will be used at home (internet, office work, movies, moderate gaming etc)
When I say moderate gaming i'm talking about 1680x1050 and not shooters, racers or other fast pacing games, just some (a)RPGs ... right now i'm a big fan of Path of Exile ;)

Case: I have a Antec Solo 1 but if there is a better solution i'm open to suggestions ... maybe it's better to run the PC without a case for open air? dunno, just asking;

PSU: I really like the Kingwin Stryker Fanless STR-500 because it's the only fanless PSU in the world that is 80+ Platinum certified;

Motherboard: whatever, something decent, i'll be using the onboard network and sound;

CPU: I guess Intel Ivy Bridge because of being more energy efficient than AMD line of CPUs ... anyway maybe you can recommend some CPU that works great with none to very low airflow ... maybe wait for Haswell in spring 2013?;

CPU heatsink: I guess i need a really big one since i won't put a fan on it. Here i'm helpless and i hope you can help me;

RAM: i guess 8GB will do;

SSD: some good 256GB, prolly the new Samsung 840 Pro;

VGA: thinking about the Sapphire 7750 Ultimate, the fanless one. Guess there is no better out there yet, thou Sapphire announced a passive 7770 just 5 month ago but that card is not in production yet, maybe it'll never be. I would have liked a 650/660 passive but i guess this is really out of the question;

no ODD/FDD.
no case fans! I can't stress that enough, i have already a pretty silent PC and i can hear the goddamned fans spinning at 800rpm (some good noctua).
I can run the system without a case if that helps.

Is this even possible? What do you think?
Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: 100% Fanless midrange system - is this possible?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 12:33 pm 
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Wow, that sounds really difficult. Bear in mind that fans running at 800 rpm are audible for most SPCR members so you might be perfectly content with a fan running at 300-500 rpm. Have you tried that before?

SPCR just reviewed two fanless CPU coolers. One from Silverstone and one from Thermalright.

Personally I don't think that a mid-range gaming machine can be run completely fanless. But a single CPU fan, or a single exhaust fan would do wonders!

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 Post subject: Re: 100% Fanless midrange system - is this possible?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 12:38 pm 
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The combination of the NoFan CR-95C with a fanless PSU and a suitable case would work. But not I think with a discrete graphics card like the 7750. So graphics capability would be limited to the HD4000 unit of Intel Ivy Bridge CPUs like the core i3 3225 or one of the 65w TDP AMD APUs. The AMD APU would be a better choice in this context, particularly one of the recently released FM2 range as it would give you the maximum graphics capability that could be achieved in the absence of a separate graphics card. There would probably be a need to drop the resolution and/or visual details to achieve a reasonable frame rate.

Edit: You could in fact use a discrete graphics card with the CR-95C as this review demonstrates.


Last edited by lodestar on Sun Oct 14, 2012 1:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 100% Fanless midrange system - is this possible?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 12:50 pm 
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This is optimistic, but maybe you are up for a challenge. This could make an exciting build if that's what you are after! However, I would have to question just how much of a pain barrier you have and whether or not just having a few 500rpm fans would cover you instead. Odds on you're going to have some other components buzzing away that will quickly become more annoying than a 500rpm fan.

mobutu wrote:
Case: I have a Antec Solo 1 but if there is a better solution i'm open to suggestions ...

I can't say it'll work well in the Solo 1. There isn't any top ventilation for the PSU and with a fanless PSU you have to accept that if there is no forced airflow in the installation, it needs to breath freely. I think it's optimistic at least to get mid range hardware running entirely fanlessly without major work. Some custom cases with massive heatsinks would be able to dissipate this kind of heat and obscure things like the Hush and Zalman TNN cases but these are very limited in hardware and largely obsolete now.

mobutu wrote:
maybe it's better to run the PC without a case for open air?

It might work and chimney approaches have been demonstrated but is it practical?

mobutu wrote:
PSU: I really like the Kingwin Stryker Fanless STR-500 because it's the only fanless PSU in the world that is 80+ Platinum certified;

Seasonic Platinum 400, 460 and 520 are also fanless and are starting to appear shortly, MikeC just said that he will review one before the end of the month. If you are going for a fanless PSU, they're only able to dissipate their own heat. A massive fanless CPU heatsink below will raise the temps of the PSU and may cause thermal shutdowns. It might not, but you are going to be running it beyond what it is designed for. Maybe you could run the PSU outside of the case to avoid the problem? If you are going fully passive then the TDP of components will be low so a 500W PSU is over the top.

mobutu wrote:
Motherboard: whatever, something decent, i'll be using the onboard network and sound;

Go MicroATX? If you don't need the expansion then it will open up the possibilities a bit more for cases and cooling.

mobutu wrote:
CPU: I guess Intel Ivy Bridge because of being more energy efficient than AMD line of CPUs ... anyway maybe you can recommend some CPU that works great with none to very low airflow ... maybe wait for Haswell in spring 2013?;

Another generation won't neccesarily make this any more possible but it would give you a faster CPU. Whatever CPU you get, you will always be able to get it working with enough undervolting and underclocking. Running too hot? Drop the voltage. Unstable? Drop the speed. Trouble with this is that if you went and bought an i7 and then had to run it at a snails pace you'll feel like you've wasted money. Starting with an i3 would be more realistic. How many cores will you need? I would expect that a dual core CPU would suffice and this would give you a lower TDP starting point to work from.

mobutu wrote:
CPU heatsink: I guess i need a really big one since i won't put a fan on it. Here i'm helpless and i hope you can help me;

A big tower cooler intended for fanless cooling. Normal heatsinks with their tight fins won't lose the heat well without airflow. Options aren't good and do be prepared for mounting the thing to be problematic in a tower case. Something like the old Scythe Orochi might work.

mobutu wrote:
I would have liked a 650/660 passive but i guess this is really out of the question;

You can cool any card up to ~130W with an Accelero S1 Plus fanlessly. If you really want fanless, this gets you many more options.

So maybe possible if you downrate your expectations a little of CPU power and do something about the heat from the PSU but still, a 500rpm fan is not so loud.

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 Post subject: Re: 100% Fanless midrange system - is this possible?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:23 pm 
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Take this with a grain of salt (I'm a layman, and my knowledge is purely qualitative), but I highly doubt you could make a 100%-fanless, mid-range system without buckets of money and/or unlimited free time. Even "fanless" components really aren't. They're designed to operate in turbulent airflow and will overheat in even low-power systems without a little breeze. I suspect the only viable, off-the-shelf option is watercooling with a passive radiator, but then you'd have to worry about pump noise.

But as with the previous poster, I highly doubt that you'll be disturbed by one or two high-quality fans running at low speed, and that should be enough to maintain turbulence.

If you really are that sensitive, I'd suggest either putting your system in another room or building yourself a cabinet with indirect noise paths and real acoustic absorption. Assuming no beautification and a 4" lining of foil-faced fiberglass/mineral-wool insulation (the bare minimum if you want to make a dent on frequencies under 1kHz), my pessimistic cost estimate for such a cabinet is $100 and a Saturday.

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 Post subject: Re: 100% Fanless midrange system - is this possible?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 9:11 pm 
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mobutu wrote:
no case fans! I can't stress that enough, i have already a pretty silent PC and i can hear the goddamned fans spinning at 800rpm (some good noctua).

800 rpm is quite high if you're striving for true silence. My intake fans (120 mm Scythe Slip Stream 500) run at 400 rpm behind a closed case door and I can still hear them if I listen very carefully.

My recommendation: experiment with your current system. Eliminate all noise sources other than the fans (disconnect HDDs, perhaps underclock & undervolt the CPU temporarily so you can disable the heatsink fan, block the psu fan), and then undervolt the case fans until you cannot hear them. Also pay attention to any 'new' noise sources that may have been masked by the fan noise, such as electrical noise from the PSU or coil whine. If the fans stall before becoming inaudible, consider buying a high-quality super slow fan for the purpose of determining if you can achieve silence without completely sacrificing forced airflow.

Only if you cannot accept any fan at any speed should you consider the fanless option, for the reasons mentioned by the other posters.

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Last edited by Jens Lyn IV on Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 100% Fanless midrange system - is this possible?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 2:46 am 
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To all: thank you for your kind replies, you are all very nice.

So, as individual components the parts can be fanless but when put together in a system they cannot run fanless unless it's a very very low power one on which you cannot even have a mild-gaming experience.

I'll wait for the new Seasonic Platinum Fanless (400/460/520), didn't knew about them but they look really good from what i saw so far.
I really hope the SPCR review will come soon, MikeC said it'll be here until the end of october.

I have one more question: if i cannot run completely fanless, then just one (1) fan at 300 rpm on the CPU heatsink will be enough?
Or i really need to put one intake fan and one exhaust fan to create the damned airflow?

Also, if i mount the fanless PSU in a case that has a bottom space for it will this be ok?

Thanks again.


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 Post subject: Re: 100% Fanless midrange system - is this possible?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:13 am 
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mobutu wrote:
To all: thank you for your kind replies, you are all very nice.

So, as individual components the parts can be fanless but when put together in a system they cannot run fanless unless it's a very very low power one on which you cannot even have a mild-gaming experience.

I'll wait for the new Seasonic Platinum Fanless (400/460/520), didn't knew about them but they look really good from what i saw so far.
I really hope the SPCR review will come soon, MikeC said it'll be here until the end of october.

I have one more question: if i cannot run completely fanless, then just one (1) fan at 300 rpm on the CPU heatsink will be enough?
Or i really need to put one intake fan and one exhaust fan to create the damned airflow?

Also, if i mount the fanless PSU in a case that has a bottom space for it will this be ok?

Thanks again.

I wouldn't be so pessimistic.
I would build it like this: ASUS P8H77-M board,Intel Core i3-3220 cooled by Thermalright HR-02 Macho without the fan in an In Win BR65 case. The PSU sits at the bottom so you can use a passive one like the Seasonic X-400 FL. As for the graphic card I would either go with the Sapphire 7750 fanles or put an Arctic S1 on a 650 Ti.
If the temperatures were too high I would put a single large low RPM fan between the CPU cooler and the graphic card cooler blowing up, so the top of the S1 gets some airflow and the CPU cooler, too.

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 Post subject: Re: 100% Fanless midrange system - is this possible?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:25 am 
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Running passively is possible, but you'll run into problems. On hot days -and that can be quite a few, depending on where you live- you'll likely run into overheating issues when you stress the system.

The best scenario is running SEMI-passively. During normal usage like websurfing, listening to music, doing some word processing, passive is easily possible with a big CPU heatsink (HR-02 Macho) and an Accelero S1. And when you do something stressing, like playing a video game, the fans come alive. A 7750/650 Ti with an S1 on it will only need <300 rpm from a 120mm fan to stay cool. An Ivy Bridge Dual Core or even Quad Core will only need a handful of rpms too, unless you do some persitent load stuff, like encoding videos or benchmarking.

For reference, I have a GTX 560, that uses more than twice the power of the cards you specified. I have a gimped Accelero S1 on it. Gimped, because to make it fit, I had to get rid of 25% of the fin area and one heatpipe. Still, 350 rpm from a quiet Scythe fan cools it down to 80c or less in video games. If you Furmark it, it will reach 100c eventually, that's why Furmark is silly.

The CPU, a Core i3-530 cooled with a HR-01 doesn't really need a fan at all, but I don't like seeing it reach high 60s, that's why there is a 300 rpm fan on it as well. Never goes beyond 50c now.


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 Post subject: Re: 100% Fanless midrange system - is this possible?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:24 am 
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tim851 wrote:
The best scenario is running SEMI-passively.

+1

Get an Asus mobo that uses Fan Xpert2. Create a fan profile that turns the CPU/case fans off for idle/low stress use and then have them ramp up for stress use (like games) where you won't hear the fans over the game sounds, anyway.

For the GPU...there are a couple of approaches you can take.
Low end: Get a passive 7750 card. Strap a low rpm case fan to it that's tied into Fan Xpert2 that turns on when the CPU is stressed.
Mid 1: Get an Asus DC II or MSI Twin Frozer version of the 7770 or GTX 650 Ti. Use MSI's Afterburner to set a lower fan profile. It'll always be on, but pretty darn quiet.
Mid 2: Get a 7770 or GTX 650 Ti and put the accelero cooler on it...possibly with a case fan connected to Fan Xpert2 like above.

Or some variant thereof. :D

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 Post subject: Re: 100% Fanless midrange system - is this possible?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:22 am 
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CA_Steve wrote:
Mid 2: Get a 7770 or GTX 650 Ti and put the accelero cooler on it...possibly with a case fan connected to Fan Xpert2 like above.

With some effort you could rewire a standard PWM fan to be run from the graphics card fan header. Then the fan is automatically controlled by the card itself, editing the BIOS will then enable the best level of control. I have never seen this done but have had the idea in my mind for a while although no need to use it myself right now.

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 Post subject: Re: 100% Fanless midrange system - is this possible?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:39 am 
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edh wrote:
With some effort you could rewire a standard PWM fan to be run from the graphics card fan header.

The easier option here is to use the relatively inexpensive adapter made by Gelid.

Image


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 Post subject: Re: 100% Fanless midrange system - is this possible?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:40 am 
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With Speedfan, there's no need to wire a fan to the GPU header unless you need another control channel. It has a steeper learning curve than Fan Xpert, but it's way more flexible, and you can set any controllable fan header based on any system temp. For example, I have a fan set to respond to both HDD and GPU temps, with two different curves for each temp. It rapidly ramps up as the HDD's approach 40C and slowly ramps after the GPU passes 50C. Hell, if I wanted to, I could set my GPU fan to ignore GPU temps and respond only to NB temps!

I heart Speedfan! :mrgreen:

Oh, and I forgot to mention this before, but any passive heatsink is going to be highly sensitive to orientation. Fins must exist in a plane perpendicular to the floor, and will work significantly better if they're oriented with a minimum vertical length and maximum horizontal length. For example, an Accelero won't work in a desktop orientation without significant airflow, and will work inverted (A05N) > standard >> vertical (FT02).

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 Post subject: Re: 100% Fanless midrange system - is this possible?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:59 am 
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lodestar wrote:
The easier option here is to use the [url=http://www.gelidsolutions.com/products/index.php?lid=2&cid=11&id=60]relatively inexpensive adapter made by Gelid

Didn't know such a premade cable existed. It seems readily available in the UK for £2 at quietpc.com. Added to wishlist for next system build, thanks!

Irrelevant wrote:
With Speedfan, there's no need to wire a fan to the GPU header unless you need another control channel

As much as I like Speedfan and have been using it for many years, there are times when other methods of control have their place. I don't use Speedfan to control fans during normal use because my main environment is Linux. Now I could also write some scripts to control fans similarly under Linux but there's no point in my case when the BIOS combined with a PWM-DC adaptor does an acceptable job, whichever OS I boot into and without needing any resources. I do use Speedfan for monitoring and testing purposes but I would not depend upon it's fan speed control during normal use. The GPU header is controlled by the video BIOS and there is a greater level of safety built into this than a set of Speedfan curves. True, in some setups Speedfan would accomplish everything that the user needs, but BIOS control is better in some other situations.

Agree though on fin arrangement in a passive case, you still need to make sure the heat goes out somewhere at the top, a chimney system built around the CPU heatsink might improve this.

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 Post subject: Re: 100% Fanless midrange system - is this possible?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:45 pm 
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Hm, well, I can tell you one thing: I once built a 45W (max dissipation) completely fanless mini-ITX system in the smallest possible box, a Mini-Box M350. I'm sorry, my write-up is in Dutch, but here it is: http://ssj3gohan.tweakblogs.net/blog/54 ... eel-5.html . Everything is inside that box, including the power supply. All those 45 watts are dissipated in a 20x20x6cm box. And yeah, about 33% (by weight) of that case is heatsinks :P

If you're really careful with your components, nowadays you can make a system with midrange components that runs below 120W full load. With a larger case and more space for heatsinks and passive airflow that means that purely from a power-to-heatsink-ratio point of view, this *should* be possible.

But as said before, your Antec case won't work. I can tell you for a fact that it will not work. I have tried to run an Intel Core i5 3450, stock voltage, stock speed on an Intel DQ77MK passively with a Scythe Mine 2, and it didn't work. It worked fine outside of the case (Fractal design Define R3), but once inside the airflow it generates passively is not nearly enough. It topped out at 85C after about 6 minutes and then started throttling. That was without a discrete GPU.

You really, really have to throw ridiculous heatsinks and a case with very generous top grating at the problem. I would just say: OROCHI!! Go nuts. As for the GPU: I don't know exactly which passive heatsinks you can buy, but as far as dissipation goes the 7770 is pretty much unbeatable (price/performance/power-wise). Maybe a 7750. If at all possible find a version that lets you control voltages and undervolt the heck out of it. Same goes for the processor by the way.

And really, don't let anything inside the case impede the airflow. If at all possible choose one of those sexy mSATA SSDs (Crucial m4 128GB is very reasonably priced) and stick it directly on the board, instead of having extra SATA cables in the way. Choose a case with bottom-mounted PSU and cable management behind the motherboard.

And the PSU: Well... if you can prove that the system doesn't draw over 100W DC (i.e. 120ish W from the wall), you can definitely get away with ripping out fans from stock non-fanless PSUs. Obviously voids your warranty, but it's safe.


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 Post subject: Re: 100% Fanless midrange system - is this possible?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 1:49 pm 
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multiplexer wrote:
I'm sorry, my write-up is in Dutch, but here it is: http://ssj3gohan.tweakblogs.net/blog/54 ... eel-5.html

Those pictures speak for themselves!

Here is a more commercial totally fanless solution with a rather higher power but still no GPU:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1173-page1.html

Edit: one from the forums which may be of interest, fanless in an Antec 300:
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=54709

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 Post subject: Re: 100% Fanless midrange system - is this possible?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:43 am 
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Thanks again for finding the time to help me with your precious knowledge, this is much appreciated.

Regarding the CPU:
I searched the net and I was thinking of choosing the i7-3770T, a 4-core CPU that has a max TDP of 45W.
Or if this is too much then maybe the i5-3470T, a 2-core CPU that has a max TDP of 35W.
And there is always the "waiting for Haswell" variant, maybe this part will further reduce the TDP, thou probably not by much.

Regarding the VGA card i chosed the 7750 for its TDP of 55W ... the 7770 has a max TDP of 80W and the 7850 has a max TDP of 130W.
From nVidia camp the 650 has a TDP of max 65W, the 650ti has a TDP of max 110W and the 660 has a TDP of max 130-150W depending on version.
I know I can install an accelero s1-plus on pretty any higher performing vga card but then there'll be so much more heat to dissipate therefore further increasing the need for fan(s).

Regarding the PSU:
I'll wait for the Seasonic Platinum Fanless 400, it'll be available pretty soon ... too bad there isn't a smaller version. But it's good that i reduced it from 500 to 400 :)
I really cannot think this type of system can be powered with a picoPSU.
That Fan Expert 2 on those Asus boards it sure is a very nice utility and I might pick one just because of this, in the unfortunate event that 1-2 really slow RPM fans are indeed needed.

Regarding the Case:
I was almost sure that the Antec Solo 1 is not a good solution but i had to ask ;)
I understand that a bottom mount PSU case is mandatory. Also i think the case has to have some sort of opening at the top so the generated heat could escape easily.
Unfortunately I don't like those big towers, i prefer the smallest case that can get this job done, even the Antec Solo 1 feels too big for me.
Can i go into microATX territory? or it's too small for all the generated heat to dissipate and I need a standard tower ATX case?
So what case can you recommend?

Thanks a lot for your input.


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 Post subject: Re: 100% Fanless midrange system - is this possible?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:02 am 
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Only you can choose CPU and GPU. The lower TDP they have the better, but only you can say how much processing power you actually need. A 7750 should easily play all games at 1680x1050. And if you can live with a Dual Core (most people could), then it's better than a Quad Core.

If you want to go really bonkers, Intel sells the Xeon E3-1220LV2. Dual Core, 2.3 Ghz with 3.5 Ghz turbo at just 17 WATTS! It will fit on the same boards as Core i3/5/7s. Couple that processor with a 650 Ti and lower and you can probably use a Pico PSU 160 XT. And at this point, you can start to dream about a Lian Li Q18 for a case, because without a regular ATX-PSU, there's room for a HR-02 in there!
Put a 140mm fan on the bottom and one on the top and set them to only spin up at certain temperatures and you're there!


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 Post subject: Re: 100% Fanless midrange system - is this possible?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:44 am 
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mobutu wrote:
I searched the net and I was thinking of choosing the i7-3770T, a 4-core CPU that has a max TDP of 45W.
Or if this is too much then maybe the i5-3470T, a 2-core CPU that has a max TDP of 35W.

The T variants are underclocked and undervolted. A similar TDP can be got by doing the underclocking and undervolting yourself but obviously this needs work. Where the difference is is that the T variants are normally more expensive - you pay more for less in a sense. It depends on the economics you are working with but I would not disregard the non-T variants if you are happy with underclocking and undervolting yourself.

For VGA card I would think the AMD/NVIDIA argument may depend upon the strengths of each brand in the games you might play. Have you looked at this at all?
mobutu wrote:
Can i go into microATX territory? or it's too small for all the generated heat to dissipate and I need a standard tower ATX case?

With the right uATX case it'll be just as good as a full ATX case, after all you don't need lots of room for drives... or fans.

How about the Fractal Design Arc Mini? It has a lot of open vent area which may make it more suitable for a near fanless setup. Without fans fitted in the top there is basically a 240x120mm area open!
http://www.fractal-design.com/?view=pro ... =2&prod=59

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 Post subject: Re: 100% Fanless midrange system - is this possible?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 3:21 pm 
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Location: Romania
Hi and thanks again for your time.

So if I can dream of miniATX cases then i won't be needing a miniATX motherboard (17x17cm)?
Or can one install a microATX motherboard (25x25cm) in a miniATX case?
I ask this because that Lian Li Q18 is a miniATX case and so far i've been eyeing one microATX motherboard from Asus: P8Z77-M PRO
I can have this model for like $125-130 so i think it's pretty decent.

Regarding that Xeon E3-1220LV2 CPU: 17W TDP 2-core 4-threads 2.3-3.5 GHz - this is insane!!! very nice find mr. tim851 ;)
The only problem is that officially no producer supports Xeon CPUs on a desktop mobo but i googled this and it seems to work unofficially :)


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 Post subject: Re: 100% Fanless midrange system - is this possible?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:49 pm 
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Posts: 1196
Location: UK
mobutu wrote:
So if I can dream of miniATX cases then i won't be needing a miniATX motherboard (17x17cm)?
Or can one install a microATX motherboard (25x25cm) in a miniATX case?
I ask this because that Lian Li Q18 is a miniATX case and so far i've been eyeing one microATX motherboard from Asus: P8Z77-M PRO
I can have this model for like $125-130 so i think it's pretty decent.

MicroATX and MiniITX are different sizes. You can install MiniITX in a MicroATX case but not the other way round. Take a look at all of the form factor sizes here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATX

MiniITX motherboards tend to be more expensive than MicroATX and you are much more restricted. I would stick with MicroATX.

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 Post subject: Re: 100% Fanless midrange system - is this possible?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 5:27 am 
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Posts: 29
Location: Norway
Fanless gaming PC:

Case: Streacom FC10 (I used FC5OD but then the PSU must be outside the case, the FC10 is 1 cm short in depth for both PSU and GPU-modify GPU mount on backplate)
Alternative case for internal graphics: HD Plex H3 with 160W PicoPSU(in spring Intel say Haswell internal graphics will be twice what AMD have now, and play most games in HD)
MB: Asus P8Z77-I DELUXE (in the FC5OD I use Asus P8Z77-M)
CPU: Intel Core i7 3770/3770K (77W tdp, no problem cooling these with heatsinks)
PSU: Seasonic Platinum Fanless 520 (make som holes on top of the case for air, I have the Platinum 1000W, overkill so the fan is still/goes slow, will now get the 520)
GPU: Nvidia Geforce GTX 670 (has short pcb, I have the GTX 660ti in FC5OD-higest temp so far 65 Celsius at 50% tdp after a couple of hours of Grid on High settings, FC10 has bigger heatsinks so GTX 670 will be fine)
RAM: 8GB 1600 MHz (I have low profile in the FC5OD)
SSD: Intel 520/Samsung 830
Blueray: Sony Optiarc BD 5850/5750
Heatpipes for GPU: Hfx heatpipes (1 of the gpu-type and 1 of the extencion type, I have 8 heatpipes from the GPU)
Riser card for GPU: PCIe x16 extender cable w/molex connector (importent part, not all riser cards support powerfull GPU's, to get this work and PC to boot fine go in BIOS: put PCIe to gen2, there is noe visible difference between PCIe 2.0 and 3.0. There may be other riser cards that manage PCIe 3.0, I just haven't found one)
Software: TechPowerUp GPU-Z to monitor the GPU temp.
OS: Windows7, will soon get Windows8.

The price on components may be a question, but beside that you will never need a fan in your PC again! (unless you overclock or have high demands on resolution/multiscreen) My room is about 22 Celsius and I use a 47 inch TV with HD resolution 1920x1080.

I would recomend the HD Plex H3 with internal graphics for an easyer build, I built this one with i7 3770 for my father.


It is possible :D
Good Luck!


Last edited by Highfi on Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:27 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 100% Fanless midrange system - is this possible?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 2:06 pm 
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Forgive me for being a bit sceptical here but if the FC10 is only designed for a 95W CPU and makes no mention of graphics cooling, how is a 170W graphics card possibly going to be kept cool?

Do you have pictures of your system? I can't quite see how this all fits together with the PSU as well.

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 Post subject: Re: 100% Fanless midrange system - is this possible?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:18 am 
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edh wrote:
Forgive me for being a bit sceptical here but if the FC10 is only designed for a 95W CPU and makes no mention of graphics cooling, how is a 170W graphics card possibly going to be kept cool?

I'm sorry but I dont understand what you're saying.
Did anyone in this topic mentioned FC10 before?
I dont see any mention of it.

Anyway, it is about the FC10 Fanless Case from Streacom?
I've seen that case and i think it's perfect for a 100% fanless system. The only problem is that it cannot house a discrete graphics card so it's not an option for me :(
Also i talked about a 7750 graphics card which is 55W ... not 170W ;)


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 Post subject: Re: 100% Fanless midrange system - is this possible?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:09 am 
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Posts: 1196
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mobutu wrote:
I'm sorry but I dont understand what you're saying.
Did anyone in this topic mentioned FC10 before?
I dont see any mention of it.

Anyway, it is about the FC10 Fanless Case from Streacom?
I've seen that case and i think it's perfect for a 100% fanless system. The only problem is that it cannot house a discrete graphics card so it's not an option for me :(
Also i talked about a 7750 graphics card which is 55W ... not 170W ;)


Look at the post before mine by the user 'Highfi'...
Quote:
Fanless gaming PC:

Case: Streacom FC10 (I used FC5OD but then the PSU must be outside the case, the FC10 is 1 cm short in depth for both PSU and GPU-modify GPU mount on backplate)
Alternative case for internal graphics: HD Plex H3 with 160W PicoPSU(in spring Intel say Haswell internal graphics will be twice what AMD have now, and play most games in HD)
MB: Asus P8Z77-I DELUXE (in the FC5OD I use Asus P8Z77-M)
CPU: Intel Core i7 3770/3770K (77W tdp, no problem cooling these with heatsinks)
PSU: Seasonic Platinum Fanless 520 (make som holes on top of the case for air, I have the Platinum 1000W, overkill so the fan is still/goes slow, will now get the 520)
GPU: Nvidia Geforce GTX 670 (has short pcb, I have the GTX 660ti in FC5OD-higest temp so far 65 Celsius at 50% tdp after a couple of hours of Grid on High settings, FC10 has bigger heatsinks so GTX 670 will be fine)
RAM: 8GB 1600 MHz (I have low profile in the FC5OD)
SSD: Intel 520/Samsung 830
Blueray: Sony Optiarc BD 5850/5750
Heatpipes for GPU: Hfx heatpipes (1 of the gpu-type and 1 of the extencion type, I have 8 heatpipes from the GPU)
Riser card for GPU: PCIe x16 extender cable w/molex connector (importent part, not all riser cards support powerfull GPU's, to get this work and PC to boot fine go in BIOS: put PCIe to gen2, there is noe visible difference between PCIe 2.0 and 3.0. There may be other riser cards that manage PCIe 3.0, I just haven't found one)
Software: TechPowerUp GPU-Z to monitor the GPU temp.
OS: Windows7, will soon get Windows8.

The price on components may be a question, but beside that you will never need a fan in your PC again! (unless you overclock or have high demands on resolution/multiscreen) My room is about 22 Celsius and I use a 47 inch TV with HD resolution 1920x1080.

I would recomend the HD Plex H3 with internal graphics for an easyer build, I built this one with i7 3770 for my father.

Will try to post a picture later today.

It is possible
Good Luck!

I totally agree with you Mobutu that you can't fit a big discrete graphics card in the case although Highfi says that he has got a 660Ti in one, hence why I'm sceptical.

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 Post subject: Re: 100% Fanless midrange system - is this possible?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:24 pm 
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Posts: 29
Location: Norway
Hi,

I understand some may be sceptic, for further discussion I just hope you will believe the pictures and the descriptions I give you of my project. I can for shure admit it has been alot of challenges and months of planning and troubleshooting. As you can see of the pictures there is a HFX classic case underneath and that project gave me alot of experience with heatpipes.

The heatpipes is actually not the bottleneck (HFX claime each can handle 33W, scepitcs on net tested them and concluded with 20W for shure and probably 25W). So, 8 heatpipes can handle at least 160W, probably 200W and acording to HFX 264W. And if still in doupt you could ad another 4 heatpipes and make it 12, the HFX parts are very adaptable. I believe the botleneck here is the amount of aluminium in the heatsinks and the surface that dessipates heat (and roomtemperature of course and this must everyone take acount for themselves, as Streacom also say). That is the reason why I conclude that if the FC5 can take away heat from the 660ti then the FC10 should be able to handle the heat from the 670 (20W higher tdp) since the FC10 has alot bigger heatsinks (the FC5 is 6 cm high and the FC10 is 10 cm high with about same depth). Of course I haven't built the FC10 with GTX670, witch I am open about, so everyone must do theire own math and surtenly if they want to build it. But I feel that is a part of the excitement when building something new, I took my chanses with my project.

The PC was finished just a few days ago, so it still has to stand the test of time. At the moment it is actually the VRM circuit that gets the hottest. The heatsink is made for airflow so I think I chould change it for something better. I consider ordering another heatsink pack for VGA from HFX, this should also be possible to mount on the mosfets. If it covers the mosfets well it will for shure take the heat away.

I am usually not active on these forums but I saw the title on this thread and I felt I had to inform you of my project. I do actually not play alot of games, but somethimes I like to take a brake with a cargame. I am interested in technics and good design (important here since its supposed to be in my livingroom). Is it possible? was my main motivation through the project. I have also studied several reviews on SPCR, also the one of the FC5 case. There they mentioned the other heatsink that was not in use. In the HFX classic case I used the other heatsink for a descreat graphic card, the HD3870, tdp 105W, and this card has worked for over 5 years. If you don't feel shure about the FC10 the heatsinks on the HFX classic will for shure take the heat from the GTX 670 (and it takes full ATX MB), but it's a heavy case and I think the design on the FC10 is better.

If not to take the chance on the GTX670, the GTX660ti will work for shure in the FC10 since it seem to work in the FC5 (I will be more shure after some months of gaming). To avoid the moding of the backplate (the 660/670 is 17 cm long) you could modify the chiose two steps further down and go for the GTX 650ti (14,5 cm long). The FC5 is 31,9 cm inside the case, the FC10 may be the same or a bit shorter (Streacom has later confirmed the inside dimension to 90 mm high and 304 mm deep). PSU-15cm + 650 14,5 cm = 29,5, or the 660/670 17 cm = 32 cm. With the 650ti you would be safe for shure about the heat, just 15W over the recommended max of 95W (the 650ti is still better than HD7750). The producers will always be conservative on their recommendations on max watts to avoid complaints. On the FC5 I put thermal paste between the heatsink and the front plate (1 cm thick). Since the heatsinks probably are the botleneck I beleave this gives som extra watts in heatdessipation. I have also a set of extra 4 heatpipes I can ad on the GPU and channel them to the back and outside the case where I can put on some extra heatsinks, if I find it necessary.

How to fit the PSU inside the FC10: I explained the depth above. The FC5 is 6 cm and the FC10 is 10 cm, this gives 4 cm extra. The FC5 is 5,5 cm high on the inside, so then the inside of the FC10 should be 9,5 cm (Streacom has later confirmed 9,0 cm). This is enough for an ATX PSU witch is 8,6 cm. If there should lack a few mm just cut a square hole in the top plate, this should be good for airflow aswell. The FC5 is 38 cm wide inside and I think the FC10 is the same. With an mini-itx card (my recommendation is the MB from Asus since it has a good powersupport so it supports graphic cards) the MB is 17 cm wide and the Seasonic is 16 cm long = 33 cm witch gives a few cm left for the side of the MB and cables between the PSU and heatsinks. See my picture of the FC5 and the location of the bluerayplayer. This is where you put the PSU in the FC10, since the bluerayplayer here is on the other side. The tray for the bluerayplayer must be cut of and supported underneath. There is a litle card for the powerswitch in the corner, but you will have som room for the cables anyway so it should go fine. If someone want to try this they must be prepared to modify the case, for example drilling holes in the topplate above the PSU and drilling holes to mount the HFX heatpipes.

I have tried to answer the questions above in detail so others better can understand (and judge) the project and my choises. And hopefully give a good enough guide so that others can try the same. I hope someone could take the chanse on building the FC10 with a graphic card and internal PSU, it would be great to see. I don't think it will be me, I am done troubleshooting for a while.

Here are some pictures:

Image

Image

Image


Hope you think it's possible too!


Last edited by Highfi on Sun Nov 04, 2012 3:53 am, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 100% Fanless midrange system - is this possible?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:43 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 12:43 pm
Posts: 21
Location: Romania
edh wrote:
Look at the post before mine by the user 'Highfi'...

The damnest thing, it could be a forum bug or the browser cache? but somehow I didn't saw the post made by Highfi.
I couldn't see his post, plain and simple. It was not shown by the forum system hence me asking what were you reffering to.

But now somehow I can see his post and the second one with the pictures and i must say WOW! very very very nice indeed.
So it's possible! Congrats Highfi!

If only the FC10 case were a little bit, just a little bit bigger, to accommodate both a ATX PSU and a mid-range gaming card.
Maybe the FC11 (or whatever will be called) will be perfect for this ;)
But i guess with a 150-160W picoPSU (by the way, what's the max picoPSU available?) one can drive a fanless system made with that 17W Xeon CPU, a 55W 7750 VGA, a 10W SSD and a 45W motherboard (maybe even less for a mATX or ITX? - regarding this what's the TDP of a typically microATX mobo?)
(I removed the ODD because it's not necessary for me)

This is a very interesting concept and i hope we will see it growing: using the (whole) case as a passive heatsink!
It seems natural, i guesss only the price is relatively high but with more and more of this hopefully the prices will go down.

Thanks again to all for this very useful infos ... maybe SPCR can do a review/project with this idea because i think it'll greatly help the comunity in achieving silent nirvana ;)


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 Post subject: Re: 100% Fanless midrange system - is this possible?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:21 am 
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Posts: 1196
Location: UK
Highfi wrote:
[img]http://i1299.photobucket.com/albums/ag78/highfi1/P22-10-12_1909_zps6726c74d.jpg

Impressive. How come Streacom make no mention of graphics card cooling? Is the graphics card set of heatpipes a separate option? What testing have you done to find the 65C maximum temp?

Where I'd be concerned still is that the PSU installation will potentially put another 30W of heat inside the case. Cutting big holes in the case is perhaps going to end up a little too ghetto for such a nice looking case design. You're also going to have to be very vareful of ancillary components getting too hot. I'd definitely want to have heatsinks on VRMs and other small components.

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 Post subject: Re: 100% Fanless midrange system - is this possible?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 3:59 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 12:43 pm
Posts: 21
Location: Romania
edh wrote:
How come Streacom make no mention of graphics card cooling?
Is the graphics card set of heatpipes a separate option?

Yeah, it's a wasted opportunity from Streacom ... they only use and advertise the right part of the case as a passive heatsink whereas the left part is unused and unadvertised as a passive heatsink and what it could do.
It's a shame also that Streacom doesn't manufacture, sell and advertise heatpipes for the unused left part heatsink of the case.
This is where Highfi found the separate heatpipes from HFX:
HFX BorgFX VGA
HFX BorgFX Extension

edh wrote:
What testing have you done to find the 65C maximum temp?

This I'd like very much to know also, especially that Highfi said and I quote: "I have the GTX 660ti in FC5OD - highest temp so far 65 Celsius at 50% tdp after a couple of hours of Grid on High settings"
So, if I understand correctly, it's 65 degree celsius on a half load
I wonder how much is the temp on full load and also if the left part of the case can dissipate it fast enough to avoid overheating.
This is where the FC10 intervenes, it's almost the same lenght in depth but it's 4cm higher so i suppose Highfi is confident that being a bigger passive heatsink it will have no problems in dissipating the heat fast enough to avoid overheating.
At least this is how i think regarding of this.

edh wrote:
Where I'd be concerned still is that the PSU installation will potentially put another 30W of heat inside the case.

Yeah, that's my concern too, that's why I hope Streacom will manufacture a LITTLE bit bigger case in the FC11 (or whatever the name will be).
And also I hope they realize the wasted potential of the left part heatsink that can be used to cool a discrete graphics card using those heatpipes ;)


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 Post subject: Re: 100% Fanless midrange system - is this possible?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:10 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 12:43 pm
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Location: Romania
Found another good candidate for the discrete graphics card, a low profile one, good for fitting inside of such a small case albeit it's a max. 130W TDP part:
AFOX Radeon HD 7850 Low Profile AF7850-2048D5L1
Remove the factory cooling system, attach the heatpipes from HFX and voila, you have a very small print but very potent graphics card ;)


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