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 Post subject: The playground Sonata
PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2005 6:48 am 
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Hi guys

Ever since I wrote about my PSU modding, I knew I would have to get some pictures of my work. Well now I finally got myself to do it. Only problem is, that all the pictures I took of my PSU were messed up by my cheap camera's crappy flash. But, I'll try to get those pictures re-taken and I'll add them here then.

Edit: As suggested, here's a list of my components:

- Asus A7V880 motherboard with 1024mb memory
- AMD Barton 3000 400MHz with Aerocool HT101
- Geforce TI4200 with Zalman heatpipe
- 160GB Maxtor (lower HDD) and 80GB IBM (upper HDD)
- LG DVD-burner
- FSP300-60PN(PF) with analog sensor and Papst 4412F/2GL
- 2 x 120mm Nexus (one intake, one exhaust), second intake Glacialtech 120mm

Anyway, here's some pictures of my rig. I'll give you a play-by-play.

Image
Overall picture of my computer. The fan wires going to the T-Balancer behind the PSU are a bit
messy still, I'm trying to get those hidden somewhere.


Image
Shot of the CPU area. You can see the analog sensor pinned between the CPU heatsink's bottom part. I'm thinking of ducting the CPU area so, that the plastic cover will be removed from the heatsink and the 120mm rear fan will ducted over the heatsink. That would probably lower the PSU temps few more degrees.

If you're wondering why the CPU fan is sucking through the heatsink, it's because I found out the PSU sucks all the warm air if the fan is set to blow from the other side. This way the CPU fan is blowing it's warm air towards the rear fan and out of the case.

I've also placed an analog sensor to the rear of the PSU, for measuring PSU exhaust air. (Yeah, I know, pretty useless, but where should I stick 4 digitals and 4 analog sensors. :roll:


ImageImageImage
There's the front of the case and the HDD area. The HDD mounting is going to be swapped for some kind of suspension. Just haven't figured out how... The fan below the bottom HDD is Glacialtech Silentblade 120mm, doing it's part in air intake. Not really sure whether I should let it be, remove it or reposition it...

I've created a wall of acoustic foam in the 5 1/4 area. Helps in hiding the horrible amount of T-Balancer sensor wiring. I've placed a digital sensor for both HDD's and one between the graphics card and it's heatsink. Also the whole case is damped with Acoustipack.

This is maybe a bit boring, because so many ppl have the Sonata these days. But please give me some comments (both good and bad), suggestions and questions!

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Last edited by Aleksi on Sat Mar 31, 2007 12:20 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2005 11:06 am 
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Nice rig! Your wiring convinced me that a T-balancer or similar device is not in my near future (unless manufacturers stop making PWM controllable fan headers).

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2005 11:24 am 
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Up front: a gallery post is never boring and besides... pictures will lead to more responses generally. I've followed your posts around, but for the ones who haven't it helps if you put up a short list of the not-so-obvious components (like cpu, vid card, etc).

Just a few thoughts: I'd ditch one of the two intake fans... or maybe even both and see what kind of temps you get, especially on that Zalman'd videocard and your harddisk. In single disk systems I've done very simple suspension setups in Sonatas: installed the top-most and bottom-most drive bracket with two elastic loops tied between them before installing, with the hdd inside the crossed loops, like this (looking into the open side of the case):
Code:
#                     #
#    EEEEEEEEEEEEE    #
#######################
       E       E
        EEE EEE
           E
          E E
         E...E
         E...E
         E...E            # drive cage
         E...E       
         E...E            # elastic
         E...E
         E...E            . harddisk
         E...E
          EEE
#      EEE   EEE      #
#     E         E     #
#######################
     EEEEEEEEEEEEE 

With some simple sewing elastic. Would have shot a picture but the Sonata's are all at friends & family. Hope you catch my drift though.

How do you like the analog versus digital sensors, especially when it comes to responsiveness & acuracy? I'm planning on T-Balancing my other rig too so I'm always looking for more input on this issue. How did you attach the sensors? I know wiring is a problem with these units, imagine what it would have been like if you'd gotten the PCI version. Won't the unit fit between the 5.25" drives and the side panel? Would make for easier and more accessible wiring. Otherwise perhaps just stick it to the case top so you can hide wires on top of the psu.

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II: A64 3000+, Ninja, DFI nForce3, headless, Samsung disks suspended, Enermax Pro82+ 385W, Antec 3000B padded & dampened, 2x Nexus 120 B&W


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2005 11:30 am 
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tay wrote:
Nice rig! Your wiring convinced me that a T-balancer or similar device is not in my near future (unless manufacturers stop making PWM controllable fan headers).


Thanks... I guess I have some cable management to do if the pictures turned you away from T-Balancer. :lol:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2005 11:47 am 
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Hi Teejay

Why haven't I thought that suspension method?! :shock: Tomorrow I'll get some elastic cord and try it. Thanks for the tip!

On the T-Balancer... The analog sensors are definately better, also really thin and flexible.. The accuracy is basicly the same as digital sensor. The difference is, you can place the analog sensor closer to the desired area (like I did on my CPU heatsink). The analog sensor jumps instantly to the higher temp, like from 30C to 60C. The digital sensor climbs steadily from 30C to 60C, rising 0,5C at a time. So to be used as a CPU sensor, I think they are too slow. The only downside of the analog sensors is, that they might break after a few repositionings... But you should get around that with some soldering.

There are now digital and analog packages sold of the T-Balancer. As the price difference is only a few euros, I think everyone buying it should go for the analog versions. If I remember correctly, mCubed's support also recommended this.

Same places you can just jam the sensor, like I did on my graphics card and upper HDD. The two sided tape that comes with the T-Balancer is good. On the CPU heatsink I twisted the fins AND used the tape to attach the sensor, just in case. The analog sensor I placed on the PSU heatsink is held in place by the tape, screwed to the heatsink from one corner and finally secured with a cable tie. That one is staying there for good. :wink:

The wiring is a problem. There isn't enough space between the drive bays and the case door, because the door is covered with Acoustipack's thicker sound proofing mat.

Thanks for your input!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 7:23 am 
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I realized I took some pictures of the PSU mod with my mobile phone's camera. The quality is really bad, but atleast it will give you guys some idea of my mod. The analog sensor is placed on the main heatsink.

Image Image

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2005 11:54 am 
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Hi guys,

a small update, I'm currently running the following system:

- Abit NF7 rev 2.0, with Zalman NB-32J
- Athlon 3000+ underclocked/undervolted to 9*200FSB = 1,8GHz @ 1,375V. Cooled by Aerocool HT-101 with Panaflo 80L1A
- Two sticks of Kingston Valueram 512mb dual channel, 1024mb total
- Geforce 4 Ti4200 with Zalman D-series heatsink
- Antec Neopower 480W, modded with a Globe S1202512L-3M
- Western Digital 160GB, AAM enabled, "suspended"
- LG 4081B DVD-burner
- 120mm Nexus case intake fan

Image

I'm controlling all fans and monitoring all temps with the T-Balancer. I must say, it's a pretty nice fan controller, but the wiring it brings is a total pain in the ass. Like you can probably see...

Anyway, I'm satisfied with the system for now. Undervolting really lowered the PSU/CPU temps, biggest noise is caused by the PSU, which normally (with stock PSU fan controller) runs at around 900RPM. It will be actually lower when I get to tune the T-Balancer response curves.

On the HDD I used some GelMec silicone strips, with the current configuration it works as well as suspension, which was actually a pretty big surprise for me. Enabling AAM also really helped in reducing noise/vibration.

ImageImage

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Last edited by Aleksi on Fri Jun 24, 2005 5:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2005 12:01 pm 
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OK, I give up: where'd ya put that T-Bal?!? :D Seriously though, that's a very cleanly wired T-Balancer setup 8). What kind of temps are you reading on that PSU sensor? Is the Globe fan in the PSU hooked up to the T-Balancer as well?

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2005 12:18 pm 
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Hi Teejay,

If you look closely between the PSU and the DVD-drive, you can see it hovering in the mix of wires. :D Thank you on your very kind comment, I actually got fed up when assembling the system back together today, so I didn't bother with wiring details.

I actually just wrote about the Neopower modding in to the PSU modding sticky. Yes it is also monitored (analog sensor) and controlled by the T-Balancer. I was actually surprised to see the PSU heatsink going ~40C and the PSU exhaust being <33C when running Prime95. My old Fortron 300W was running <65C heatsink and <40C exhaust when stressing. I was running with 1,65Vcore and 2,1GHz back then. The undervolting and underclocking (+ a better effiency PSU) REALLY helped! :shock:

Thanks for the feedback, it's always nice to hear other people's thoughts on your work!

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 6:05 am 
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Disturbing...

I ordered two speaker/cabinet ports I intended to use as fan ducts (thanks to Dorothy Bradbury for pointing these out for me). My plan was to duct my tower heatsink to the rear exhaust fan. This way I could have removed the CPU fan and just use the case exhaust fan as the CPU fan.

I hooked up the duct, but noticed it was not a perfect fit. It was only pointed at the top part of the heatsink. I decided to test how it works anyway as I had it installed. Running the case exhaust at 100% didn't really have an effect on the CPU temps, actually a few degrees higher than before. A bit of a disappointment.

But, I was a bit shocked to find out, that by turning off the case exhaust fan, my CPU temps started to drop and went down a few degrees! :shock:

Apparently the PSU fan running at 900RPM is pulling fresh air through the duct and more effectively cooling the CPU.

I'll post some pictures if I manage to get this thing running with only one fan :twisted:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 6:17 am 
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Aleksi wrote:
I hooked up the duct, but noticed it was not a perfect fit. It was only pointed at the top part of the heatsink. [...]
But, I was a bit shocked to find out, that by turning off the case exhaust fan, my CPU temps started to drop and went down a few degrees! :shock:

Apparently the PSU fan running at 900RPM is pulling fresh air through the duct and more effectively cooling the CPU.


It's like I said--it's easier to blow air from a duct at a heatsink than it is to suck air into a duct from a heatsink. In the latter case, the duct needs to be nearly a perfect fit, since air will come inward from all directions equally. In contrast, air exhausting from a duct will still have some directionality.

Currently, I have only one duct working in "suck" mode, and it drastically loses effectiveness if there's any gap between it and the CPU heatsink.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 10:51 am 
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Isaac's got a point.

I reversed the case exhaust fan so that it is currently blowing fresh air through the duct on the CPU heatsink which really helped. I also did some more undeclocking and undervolting. My Barton 3000+ is now running 200*8=1,6GHz @ 1,225V. I'm currently folding at 100% and typing this, CPU temps are ~47-48 degrees. The duct fan is blowing at 600RPM and the PSU at 900PRM.

If I turn off the duct fan the CPU temps rise to 52, I think the PSU is moving enough air to keep the temps down. So very very close to running the system with only a slow spinning PSU fan :)

The T-Balancer needs some adjusting in the fan curves, I can run the PSU fan around 400-500RPM safely, so I'm currently very close to having a very quiet system.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2005 5:32 am 
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Well, in the end the duct really wasn't worth it. I simply wanted to run a bit faster than 1,6GHz, so I decided to remove the duct. It wasn't aligning with the heatsink properly, so I decided against it. Also I think there was some extra airflow noise caused by it, as the PSU fan's airflow was being blocked by it somewhat.

I ended up also removing the rear exhaust fan, simply because the duct experiment showed I really have some serious intake resistance, despite the front bezel modding. So the PSU is getting some fresh air through the (filtered) rear fan hole. But the question is, do you think it will some how screw up the airflow patterns in the case? Those who have done this, have you noticed any problem with it?

Image

However I will use the duct together with the front intake fan to direct the airflow to my new graphics card, it most likely will need some airflow as it passively cooled 6800.

But please, opinions about the non-existing rear case fan and the usefulness of the VGA duct?

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2005 1:59 pm 
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Geez....you've made so many changes, I'm at a loss to figure your current configuration.

Apparently you're trying to remove the rear exhaust fan and run the computer using the PSU fan as the only exhaust? And at an extremely low RPM?

My one-fan computer (P4-2.66), is using a 120mm fan between the fanless PSU, and an HT-101. But the PSU chamber is radically modified for increased airflow......so it won't overheat.

I use Speedfan to control the RPMs......today the ambient is 28C. The fan is running (as I write this) at 1400rpms, the CPU at 34C, and the PSU output temp is 39C. The only problem I've had with this setup was high HD temps.

To fix the HD temps, I was forced to put a low-speed 80mm fan between the two drives. It's not really an intake fan...and is totally inaudible.


I doubt you will be successful with the setup you propose, without a tight duct between the PSU fan and the HT-101. Plus you will have to run the PSU fan over 1500rpms most of the time (ambients around 26C). I've never used a Sonata......but I can't believe the intake is as restricted as you say. My setup is using one big filter where the rear case fan used to be, and another big filter in the front of the case. Sounds similar to what you propose.

The two other computers I built along this line, run at similar temps.....with the PSU as the only exhaust outlet. You can do this, but you definately need a tight, well executed CPU duct. And you need a PSU with better airflow than any I've ever seen off-the-shelf.

It is possible that new Sythe model heatsink would work good without a tight duct. I might try it sometime. My original Sythe fanless heatsink, worked well when I modded the PSU.....similar to my current build.

This is the computer I'm describing.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2005 1:40 am 
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Thanks to Bluefront for answering.

can someone explain what is causing the following effect: I have taped shut my Sonata's rear exhaust fan hole. So the only spinning fans are the PSU 600-800RPM and the CPU fan. Running the front intake fan at 0V or 12V has NO effect on any temperatures.

Is this because of the negative pressure in my case, so that running the front fan doesn't actually increase the airflow at all?

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2007 12:19 pm 
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Looking at the old pics sure brought a smile to my face. Nice to watch a time line of your silent PC obsession :)

well, this setup is currently with my brother as his HTPC. The current specs are...

- Asus A7V880 motherboard,
- Athlon XP 2000 running at 1,4V and 1,2GHz IIRC. Used the wire trick on the socket to bring down the voltages as the board doesn't allow undervolting. Using a Glacialtech Silent Breeze on the CPU with a 5V Panaflo 80M1A.
- Sapphire Radeon 9250, passive
- Seagate 7200.10 320G SATA
- DVD-burner
- HEC 300W with an FBL80L1A (this is the PSU from the first PSU modding "tutorial"). Some intake vents removed. Runs around 5V..6V depending on load.
- NMB-MAT as intake/exhaust fans, FBA120L1A as exhaust and RB120L as intake.
- Acoustipack Deluxe used on the whole case (inside the front panel, roof, floor, sides etc)

I have to say that this thing is probably my best build regarding overall acoustics. Rarely do I say the term "silent", but this is pretty damn close to that. The Sonata was really a playground for different ideas, so some of the work is not so clean.

When I assembled this I used it for a few weeks to check stability etc. A friend was over and he went into the room where I had this PC and starts yelling to me "this damn thing won't turn on!". He did see the light turn on, but though something was wrong as he couldn't hear anything. :)

So now the pics, which are not so great.

the front panel was dremeled for better air intake.
Image

the two upmost drive bays were replaced with some perforated sheet. Basicly the ends are twisted 90 degrees and pushed in. Every other PSU intake vent has been removed for better airflow. The piece of acoustipack foam is pushed up tight against the PSU, forming a PSU duct.
Image Image Image Image

The case overview. All case and CPU fans are running at 5V, the fanmates were stuck to the rear for easier use if the need rises. The HDD is once again laying on some sorbothane.
Image Image Image Image Image

Once again thanks for looking!

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2007 6:42 pm 
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Looks nice and it brought up some nice pics of old hardware I hadn't seen before...halfway through reading this I noticed the dates and was wondering who had bumped it up. The GF Ti4200 clued me in that this was probably a little old ;)


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2007 11:35 pm 
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Hi psiu and thanks for the comments. I actually re-titled the thread as the title "Sonata (T-balanced and damped)" didn't really describe it anymore.

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