Hi there! Long time lurker, first time poster.
I've managed to make a nice and quiet HTPC thanks to the many posts and product recommendations from SPCR, so I thought I'd share my results.
Specs for the HTPC are as follows:
- Silverstone LC13 - Black
- Seasonic S12 380
- A64 3200+ Winchester
- Thermalright XP-90 HSF w/ 120mm D12SL-12 Yate Loon (motherboard controlled)
- Gigabyte K8NF-9 Mobo
- 2 x 512Mb Samsung DDR 400 RAM
- PCI-E Gigabyte 6600GT (passive)
- Hauppauge PVR-150
- Seagate 160 Gb IDE HDD (soft mounted using rubber grommets)
- Lite-On DVD-R/W
- XP Pro w/ MediaPortal
My latest mod was to improve airflow over the NForce chipset and the videocard.
What I did was take a bracket and rubber grommets from a Sunbeam PCI rack (pictured here: http://www.atruereview.com/pci_rack/index.php
) and mounted a 120mm Yate Loon fan on it. I wanted to soft mount the fan to minimize vibrations. It's connected using the low speed fan header from the Seasonic's bundled fan control adapter.
Here is a pic of the new fan assembly
The default intake fan assembly was removed and then I installed motherboard stand-offs on the unused mounting holes near the front of the case. Since the mounting holes for the PCI rack bracket are open, I was able to position the fan assembly so the fan would not interfere with the HDD cage.
Fan assembly installed:
The temps were monitored using the motherboard bundled Gigabyte utility and Speedfan. Both programs are reporting temps within 1 degree Celsius of each other. Videocard temps are taken from the Nvidia readouts from the video properties window.
Temps @ load are taken while watching AVI files using ZoomPlayer and FFDshow. My FFDshow settings weren't intended to max out the CPU; its the settings that I use to get the picture quality I like. Idle temps are taken 30 min after load with Cool and Quiet enabled.
The old setup had a Zalman 7000Al-Cu HSF (motherboard controlled) and Nexus 92mm intake @ 5V. Temp readings for the old setup were documented before the mod. New setup is as described above with no other changes to hardware. No updates to BIOS or videocard drivers. Ambient temps are approximately 22C.
New setup: Idle = 33C, Load = 40C
Old Setup: Idle = 37C, Load = 45C
New setup: Idle = 64C, Load = 72C
Old setup: Idle = 69C, Load = 83C
I couldn't find any readings for the NForce chipset temps, but since the Yate Loon has dropped the video card temps I can safely assume the NForce HS is also running cooler.
With the old setup the Zalman used to ramp up and down - which got annoying really quick. Now at idle the HTPC is inaudible from 10ft away. At 2ft there is a soft whooshing of air; it's faint and definately unintrusive.
I am very pleased with the results. The mod was very easy to do, and didn't require any tools other than a screwdriver. I hope these pictures might help someone with a similarly laid out case.