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 Post subject: Silencing a Coolermaster Stacker... or buying a P180...
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 12:20 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2005 11:29 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Sweden
Hi!

I'm looking to build a new (quiet) overclocked gaming system this coming autumn, and I need some help and advice... I know that I have to compromise on the noise levels if I want a powerful setup, but I've become very noise-concious lately, since my current rig is driving me mad, MAAAAAD I TELL YOU :lol: The damn thing sounds like a tornado and STILL can't take the summer heat in SWEDEN without crapping out... jeez... What makes me even more annoyed is that I built it myself... DOH! So this time I'll put more effort into silencing.

Anyway, I really like the now world famous P180, but I tend to keep cases a long time and I wouldn't want to have to toss the P180 out if the next motherboard I want is BTX. So therefore I'm looking pretty hard at the Coolermaster Stacker. This case also has lots of room, is sturdy and looks good too.

So here's my plan (for the moment at least):

1. Get a Coolermaster Stacker (the one with two PSU bays)

2. Get a good PSU (approx 500 W, maybe Antec SmartPower v2.0-something), and mount it in the bottom PSU bay.

3. Build a duct for the PSU and include a 4-in-3 HDD module in the duct, much like the Antec P180.

4. Mount the CrossFlow fan in the Stacker (should be able to keep memory and NB heatsink cool without much noise, and also it's easy to turn off when I'm not gaming for example).

5. Use noise dampening in the entire case, to cover as much as possible, including that silly porthole on the side.

6. If necessary: replace used stock fans with quieter ones. Don't know much about Coolermaster's fans and how noisy they are.

7. Install the stuff: AMD FX-55 or better, one ATI R520-card (I'll wait for it) or Nvidia 7800GTX (if the ATI R520 is crap; not likely), Audigy 2, HDDs et.c.


So now I have a few questions for all you good people here on the forum!

- Is this a good idea? Will it work, or is the Stacker crap from a noise perspective? Has anyone here tried to quieten a Stacker? Or should I just drop this and go buy the P180 and take a chance on the whole BTX bit?

- PSU: Since I want to build a duct, I'm thinking I need a PSU with horizontal fans, since I feel there isn't much room for a vertical fan to do its thing if I use a duct. Anyone know what the SmartPower v2.0 (500 W) is like? I've seen someone mentioning it in the forums but there's not much really useful information anywhere except for Antec's site.

- Duct: I have 3 HDDs, so I'm thinking I'll leave that 120 mm fan on the 4-in-3 HDD module to suck in air to cool the HDDs and blow through the duct to the PSU. My gut feeling tells me a PSU is not enough to keep things nice and cool... right or wrong? I'm thinking that without the 120 mm fan, the PSU would suck in air from the HDDs that's hot and therefore ramp up...? Also, there's a long rectangular ventilation mesh in the bottom of the case... cover up or leave it? Just not sure on that one. Also, is it better to have the duct in the bottom of the case or in the top? The P180 has it in the bottom, I'm sure there's a reason :)

- Fans and case cooling: The Stacker has a blowhole up top (in the middle for some reason), but only with an 80 mm fan. Should I A) cover it, B) put an adapter with an 120 mm fan there, C) use the 80 mm fan or D) remove the fan but leave it opened? I'm leaning towards alternative A... Also, the porthole on the side which I plan to cover up has room for an 80 mm fan (probably a 120 mm with an adapter would fit), but I don't think I need it... has anyone got expreience with side mounted fans? Do they make a difference? I'd say no, but then again I've never tried...

Oops, this post is longer than I wanted... oh well. And please forgive me if this info is somewhere else on the forums... I have searched, but there's a lot of stuff posted here :)

I'll actually be gone for a few weeks on holiday, but I'm looking froward to any good comments!

_________________
Current System Status:
Overclocking: a lot
Noise levels: pretty low, but can get better


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 3:32 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2004 10:37 am
Posts: 23
Location: London, UK
I'm not sure you'll get much joy out of the crossflow fan. The specs seem to be:
Quote:
# Application for CM Stacker
# Dimensions 50×50×336mm
# Weight 400g
# Voltage DC12V
# Start Voltage 5V
# Current 0.24amp
# Speed (4speeds) OFF 0 r.p.m
# LOW 1400 r.p.m ( 6.5 V )
# MIDDLE 1800 r.p.m ( 8.5 V )
# HIGH 2500 r.p.m ( 12 V )
# Noise Level 0 dB (OFF)
# 22 dB (LOW)
# 30 dB (MIDDLE)
# 38 dB (HIGH)
# Airflow 0 CFM - 0 r.p.m
# 25 CFM - 1400 r.p.m
# 32 CFM - 1800 r.p.m
# 46 CFM - 2500 r.p.m
# Pressure 2.0mmH20
# Life Expectance 30,000 hrs
# Bearing Type Ball Bearing


So at low speed (if the noise level is accurate) this pushes quite a bit worse airflow than the 12V nexus (which is on a par with the published noise level). I haven't got any first hand experience of one though, but I do remember a lengthy discussion featuring Cathar about the lack of availability of quiet radial fans...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 1:48 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2005 1:18 pm
Posts: 467
Location: Umea, Sweden.
The only thing that I've heard about the radial fan is that is isn't good at all. I haven't heard it myself so I cannot confirm it, but I haven't heart anyone say anything good about it.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 2:21 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2004 1:05 pm
Posts: 419
Location: Palo Alto, CA
I just bought a stacker and put an Antec TruePower 500W in it. Neither is good for silence. Let's take them one at a time:

Stacker

Advantages:
Huge
Very Expandable
Very easy to work in

Disadvantages:
Aluminium (conducts noise very well)
Holes everywhere! (let's even more noise out than the thin aluminium)
Less directed airflow

TP500W

Advantages:
More than enough power for anything
Modular cables (though not compatible with those from the NeoPower)
Second Fan doesn't turn on until needed

Disadvantages:
uses 80mm fans
fans aren't quiet by modern standards


The Stacker isn't a cheap case. The P180 costs a little more and has all the advantages without any of the disadvantages. The Seasonic S12-480 has nearly all the advantages (no modular cables) of the Antec, and none of the disadvantages. Not a tricky decision IMHO.

The reason I bought the Stacker was because I put 18 hard drives in there; this you can't do with a P180. It's also noisy as heck and sits in my server room.

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A64 6000+, GF 7950GT, 4GB DDR2-1000, Gigabyte GA-M57SLI-S4, Auzentech X-Plosion 7.1, 3Ware 9650SE-16ML, 2x 74GB Raptors, 6x 750GB 7200.10s, Antec Nine Hundred, Samsung SATA DVD-RW, Seasonic M12 700W, Logitech G15, Razor Copperhead, Vista Ultimate


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 Post subject: Re: Silencing a Coolermaster Stacker... or buying a P180...
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 2:56 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2004 10:45 pm
Posts: 205
JayF wrote:
Hi!

I'm looking to build a new (quiet) overclocked gaming system this coming autumn, and I need some help and advice... I know that I have to compromise on the noise levels if I want a powerful setup, but I've become very noise-concious lately, since my current rig is driving me mad, MAAAAAD I TELL YOU :lol: The damn thing sounds like a tornado and STILL can't take the summer heat in SWEDEN without crapping out... jeez... What makes me even more annoyed is that I built it myself... DOH! So this time I'll put more effort into silencing.

Anyway, I really like the now world famous P180, but I tend to keep cases a long time and I wouldn't want to have to toss the P180 out if the next motherboard I want is BTX. So therefore I'm looking pretty hard at the Coolermaster Stacker. This case also has lots of room, is sturdy and looks good too.

So here's my plan (for the moment at least):

1. Get a Coolermaster Stacker (the one with two PSU bays)

2. Get a good PSU (approx 500 W, maybe Antec SmartPower v2.0-something), and mount it in the bottom PSU bay.

3. Build a duct for the PSU and include a 4-in-3 HDD module in the duct, much like the Antec P180.

4. Mount the CrossFlow fan in the Stacker (should be able to keep memory and NB heatsink cool without much noise, and also it's easy to turn off when I'm not gaming for example).

5. Use noise dampening in the entire case, to cover as much as possible, including that silly porthole on the side.

6. If necessary: replace used stock fans with quieter ones. Don't know much about Coolermaster's fans and how noisy they are.

7. Install the stuff: AMD FX-55 or better, one ATI R520-card (I'll wait for it) or Nvidia 7800GTX (if the ATI R520 is crap; not likely), Audigy 2, HDDs et.c.


So now I have a few questions for all you good people here on the forum!

- Is this a good idea? Will it work, or is the Stacker crap from a noise perspective? Has anyone here tried to quieten a Stacker? Or should I just drop this and go buy the P180 and take a chance on the whole BTX bit?

- PSU: Since I want to build a duct, I'm thinking I need a PSU with horizontal fans, since I feel there isn't much room for a vertical fan to do its thing if I use a duct. Anyone know what the SmartPower v2.0 (500 W) is like? I've seen someone mentioning it in the forums but there's not much really useful information anywhere except for Antec's site.

- Duct: I have 3 HDDs, so I'm thinking I'll leave that 120 mm fan on the 4-in-3 HDD module to suck in air to cool the HDDs and blow through the duct to the PSU. My gut feeling tells me a PSU is not enough to keep things nice and cool... right or wrong? I'm thinking that without the 120 mm fan, the PSU would suck in air from the HDDs that's hot and therefore ramp up...? Also, there's a long rectangular ventilation mesh in the bottom of the case... cover up or leave it? Just not sure on that one. Also, is it better to have the duct in the bottom of the case or in the top? The P180 has it in the bottom, I'm sure there's a reason :)

- Fans and case cooling: The Stacker has a blowhole up top (in the middle for some reason), but only with an 80 mm fan. Should I A) cover it, B) put an adapter with an 120 mm fan there, C) use the 80 mm fan or D) remove the fan but leave it opened? I'm leaning towards alternative A... Also, the porthole on the side which I plan to cover up has room for an 80 mm fan (probably a 120 mm with an adapter would fit), but I don't think I need it... has anyone got expreience with side mounted fans? Do they make a difference? I'd say no, but then again I've never tried...

Oops, this post is longer than I wanted... oh well. And please forgive me if this info is somewhere else on the forums... I have searched, but there's a lot of stuff posted here :)

I'll actually be gone for a few weeks on holiday, but I'm looking froward to any good comments!


Stacker is a cool case. (pun intended :D) I really want a Silverstone TJ07 though, that is one GOOD looking case, and it has a very unique arangemwent for airflow. I ordered a P180, but ended up canceling the order because I was sort of disapointed with the amount of plastic used in the case and the fact that its performance wasn't quite what I had anticipated. I'd get a Seasonic S12 if you can, I'm not sure if they are available where you are.

One other thing, why are you going for an FX-55? A beter choice would be to get a Athlon 64 X2 4400+. That gives you a 2.2ghz clock on each core as well as 1mb cache on each core. The X2 4600+ only gives you 512kb cache per core. You could always go for the x2 4800+ as well, but I don't think its worth it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 2:57 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2004 5:00 am
Posts: 1424
Location: New York, NY
drudge,

what are you talking about? JayF is not considering a tp500. He mentions a smartpower 2.0 500w. There is nothing inherently wrong with 80mm fans, especially if your intention is to use a ducted cooling system or in a case like the p180. And what exactly are modern standards for fans? The sp 2.0 uses medium speed sleeve bearing fans.

Maybe you should post to the "what are you listening to right now" thread where I hope you can do better. - FG

EDIT: my apologies and please disregard my last sentence.

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e8400, Corsair XMS2-5400, Asus 8400GS, Gigabyte EP45-UD3R, Chenbro SR209/Nexus 120, T-Balancer, Enhance ENP-5150GH 500W, Seagate 7200.7 160MB
(Retired: XP-120, FSP530-60GNA, Antec SP2.0 500W, Antec SLK3000B)


Last edited by frankgehry on Fri Jul 15, 2005 11:11 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 3:22 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2004 10:45 pm
Posts: 205
ddrueding1 wrote:
The Stacker isn't a cheap case. The P180 costs a little more and has all the advantages without any of the disadvantages.

Actualy, you can get the P180 for less. When I ordered one from tech on web it was only 106.00... The stacker costs a good bit more.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 3:32 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2004 10:45 pm
Posts: 205
frankgehry wrote:
what are you talking about? JayF is not considering a tp500. He mentions a smartpower 2.0 500w. There is nothing inherently wrong with 80mm fans, especially if your intention is to use a ducted cooling system or in a case like the p180. And what exactly are modern standards for fans? The sp 2.0 uses medium speed sleeve bearing fans.

Maybe you should post to the "what are you listening to right now" thread where I hope you can do better. - FG

Easy man, its pretty obvious he misunderstood which powersupply the OP was talking about. He didn't insult you, so I don't think you need to go insulting him. He did not say anything about the SP 2.0.

On another note, I think the 80mm push/pull config has an advantage in a case like the P180 because of the fact the air has a straight shot from the hard drives to the back. This is even more true if you plan on sealing off the vent surrounding the power supply. It is very likely I would have gotten the smart power 2.0 had I gone with the P180 as a case. A power supply with a 120mm fan is goign to be pulling air from above or below, and it pretty much disupts the airflow. Then again, maybe a 120mm psu works just fine.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 3:20 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2005 6:36 pm
Posts: 191
Location: UK
The Stacker is an interesting case, it holds a lot of potential for ducting various components with large, straight ducts. It also has good possibilities for suspending drives. However, it has a lot of holes, the stock fans are very noisy, and the side panels are best not mentioned however, as they are large and thin.

Noise damping material will undoubtebly help; but I think that with the Stacker, there is just too much unsupported area on the side panels.

The Crossflow fan I have no idea about, because it looked expensive and was superfluous for how I use the case.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2005 1:17 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2005 2:09 am
Posts: 256
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
I have a Stacker case and i'm very happy with it. It's so versatile that i can experiment almost infinitely. Will post pics in general gallery hopefully today.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2005 12:41 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 5:27 am
Posts: 86
Location: Denmark
Regarding the fact that the stacker is aluminium:

I have an aluminium case (thermaltake tsunami dream), and it resonated like hell. It has rubber grommets, but they didn't do the job. I then put acoustipack deluxe in the case, and that helped, but not nearly enough. When i suspended my 2 drives (seagate 120GB & samsung 160GB) with bungee cord, it made a huge difference.

Just some food for thought I guess.

BTW, depending on how far up in Sweden you live, summer has been pretty good to us this year, so I wouldn't fret too much about your sys getting hot. I'm running mine without the side panel on atm.

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Main Sys: 3000+ w. Zalman 9500 (nexus fan), Ati 9700 Pro w. Zalman Heatpipe, Thermaltake Tsunami Dream w. AcoustiPack Deluxe & Nexus 120mm


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 Post subject: Re: Silencing a Coolermaster Stacker... or buying a P180...
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2005 11:04 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2005 11:29 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Sweden
Thanks for your comments! After looking around some more and a discussion with peterson here I think... :? ...that I'll go with the Stacker because of the flexibility (BTX and overall). I'll do some serious modding to it though (duct and others), and buy a few kits of AccoustiPacks to dampen the noise a bit... I also think I'll try to put some "crossbars" on the side panels to make them a bit more rigid before I put noise dampening there...

I might go with suspension of the HDDs if I can't mod the 4-in-3 HHD modules good enough. As far as the Crossflow fan goes, I think I'll go for that as well. Money's not an issue 8) and I can always turn it off when I'm not gaming... It'll help the Northbridge and RAM at least, and covers more of the motherboard than a single fan. I'll let you know how it works...

As far as PSU goes, I'm going to go for a Seasonic S12-500 and build the duct so it fits properly. TruePower seems to be... well... El cheapo... :(
And I can't find any other good PSUs with a horizontal airflow, so I'll have to compensate for it in some other way (ie shaping the duct so that the PSU gets air anyway). Might have to sacrifice a PCI-slot, but who uses them anyway? :)

I'm going to transfer my current setup (P4C 2.6 oc'd to 3.3GHz, Abit IC-7G) to the new STacker case in order to see if I can get it quiet that way and to stop the crashes because of NB (Zalman NB-47J) running hot. If that fixes it, I'll buy a new GFX-card and postpone the rest of the purchases until AMD pulls the DDR2 (or DDR3) rabbit out of the hat sometime next year. I'll post my results, if anyway is interested :lol:

And thx for the comments once again!

_________________
Current System Status:
Overclocking: a lot
Noise levels: pretty low, but can get better


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