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 Post subject: PD820 in an Antec NSK1300 (Aria)
PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 7:54 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2006 5:57 pm
Posts: 32
Location: Toronto, Ontario
I got bit with the SFF craze. I like 'em a lot. I like the fact that they were more "portable" then your standard ATX case. I also wanted a dual-core processor at the time because I would be doing work in Illustrator and Photoshop, so I got a PD820 (don't laugh :P).

Computer Specs
    Pentium D 820 2.8GHz
    Asus P5LD2-VM Socket 775
    OCZ GX XTC PC2-5400 1GB 2X512MB DDR2 CL4-4-4-12
    Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 160GB ST3160812AS
    ATI Radeon X800 XL


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The workstation.


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I liked the idea of positive pressure for such a small case and after reading about it on the forums, I settled with two 120mm side intakes. The fans are ordinary Coolermaster 120mm blue LED fans. Nothing fancy; they're automatically controlled by Speedfan and run between 811-959RPM depending on the CPU heat/load. The PSU fan was swapped out and all the grills were cut out to reduce restriction as much as possible; the PSU fan runs at 5V.


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An aerial view. Because the NSK1300 has the vent above PSU & CPU, I noticed a lot of air was exiting through that vent and probably not staying in the case long enough to cool the hot components. So, I taped up any holes within the DVD & harddrive cage. The black foam tape you see is some left-over weather stripping for our front door and it helps prevent air from flowing above the cage; there's a 1-2cm gap between the top and that cage.


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I tried to keep the inside as tidy as possible to optimize the airflow. I purchased some polypropylene spiral wrapping at Home Depot and wrapped whatever I could to keep it clean. You'll also notice I taped up a portion of the vents to prevent the flow from exiting there and directing it right towards the CPU. I also cut out every other strip from the vents to open it up and allow any airflow from the CPU to exit there; it's still quite small but I think it helps a bit than the original side panel design (look at the second image to see how little air flows through).


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It's not the best design to positively cool a computer since there are two obstructions in it's way (e.g. wireless card) but it still works fairly good. Optimally, no obstructions would be nice since it would help minimize any noise from the air hitting anything directly in it's path. From the picture, it would appear the air flows left and down through the case, hits the side panel and routes toward the CPU and out through the I/O shield; I had it removed to allow any trapped hot air escape as easy as possible. The way the PSU is situated, the vent that is supposed to exhaust the air can't do it at a fast enough rate.


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Another inside look. You might notice on the left a small device with some 3-pin wires. It's an extended cooling system device that allows the fans run at 5V after the computer has been shut down; works kind of like a turbo timer. You can also see my attempt to keep wires out of the way by taping 'em down with some electrical tape.


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Another inside angle.


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I should have done more research before buying this harddrive! SPCR reviewed the ST3160812AS a while back and I'm sure many of you have heard the sound recording. Well, it sounds pretty dead on to me. :? I really don't like the seeks. The idle isn't too whiny but still audible enough that it bothers me. This'll be the next thing I replace.

I used some of the weather stripping here too. I had to bend the cage outwards a bit to fit the harddrive with the foam. The case came with some rubber grommets so I used those as well to help reduce vibrations. Suspending is not really nice in this case; it's just way too small and hard to incoporate without it looking ugly or affecting the airflow. So, this is what I thought would help.



Temperatures
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The CPU was undervoted to 1.1825V (lowest possible on motherboard). Specs indicate it should normally run between 1.25-1.40V, so it really helped a lot in keeping temperatures down and I haven't experienced any problems with it set that low yet. After playing Counter-Strike: Source for an hour, while still being comfortably quiet, it never reaches past 52C. One thing I noticed is if I cover the top vent (as seen in the first picture with my green XP book), the idle temperatures will be what you see. But if I remove it, the CPU will idle at around 40C.

If I were to do another SFF, I'd probably go with Ultra's Microfly because it's layout for cooling and airflow is a lot better than Antec's Aria/NSK1300.

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Modded Antec NSK1300 w/ 2x120mm LED intakes . Pentium D 820 . Asus P5LD2-VM . OCZ 2x512MB PC2-5400 Gold XTC . ATI X800 XL . Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 ST3160812AS . Viewsonic VX2025WM 20" LCD


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 4:15 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 2:46 am
Posts: 243
Location: Blackpool, England, UK
That's looks great! I'm a big fan of the looks of the NSK 1300, and you've done some nice mods to it!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 12:05 am 
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Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 3:32 pm
Posts: 3
I am wondering about the PSU fan mod. its not connecting with a regular molex inside, how did you undervolt to 5v? is the fan also blowing "into" the PSU (i.e changed direction as oppose to stock) for positive pressure?

any heating issue with the PSU?

thanks.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 4:26 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2006 5:57 pm
Posts: 32
Location: Toronto, Ontario
If I remember correctly, the stock PSU fan had a strange connector plus a cable feeding from the fan to a spot on the wafer board.

I severed the wires from the current setup, installed my own fan, ran the wiring thru with the other multitudes of wires, and powered it to 5V outside the PSU enclosure.

I kept the fan exhausting and haven't considered reversing the flow only because of the heat issues. At 5V exhausting, I find it quite warm and I'm unsure if the cooling would be sufficient if changed the other way around.

With the current setup, the pressure of two fans bringing air into the case with only one fan exhausting may seem to be too much, but since I removed the I/O plate and with the stock vent above the PSU area, I think there's enough area for the air to escape should it become bottlenecked with the exhaust.

I guess that's just theory what I think might happen... :)

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Modded Antec NSK1300 w/ 2x120mm LED intakes . Pentium D 820 . Asus P5LD2-VM . OCZ 2x512MB PC2-5400 Gold XTC . ATI X800 XL . Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 ST3160812AS . Viewsonic VX2025WM 20" LCD


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 7:24 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2006 4:58 pm
Posts: 246
Location: Markham, Canada
digitalfeed, how much room is ther from the side 120mm fans to your videocard? also, how high off the bottom are the fans, how much room is there from the top of the NB HS to the bottom of the fan? if possible, do you think a Thermalright HR-05 will fit in there? i'm trying to build the exact same system, although i'll be using a P5B-VM, and a 25mm thick dual 120mm rad along with the side fans for a WC rig.

Brendan


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 3:17 am 
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Posts: 5316
Location: St Louis (county) Missouri USA
Looks neat.....but certainly illustrates the limitations of the Aria design. The PSU. It gets in the way of everything, obstructing the CPU area, limiting you to low profile heatsinks, and still blocks airflow to the CPU fan. Then there's the PSU wiring.....also obstructs airflow big-time. And not much you can do with it. The intake holes to the PSU are way too small, and the stepped design of the PSU case gives you an effective airflow of about a 92mm fan...maybe. All-in-all a horrible PSU to deal with. Not to mention....that PSU has a reported high failure rate......

In my Aria I threw out the stock PSU and used a PICO converter, and installed a 120mm fan in the unused PSU hole, blowing inward.

With the side intake fans, the airflow is severely obstructed by a full-height video card....I'd go looking for a half-height card. There are plenty available that are powerful enough for most applications/games.

From a quiet view-point those side fans look too noisy for me.... That Aria is a difficult project to mod into a quiet/cool/powerful computer.

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"At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child - miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill disciplined, despotic, and useless. Liberalism is the philosophy of sniveling brats." - P.J. O'Rourke


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2006 2:28 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2006 1:54 pm
Posts: 9
Great pictures and nice looking small form factor case. I was looking to get one but with it being so small I thought that the temps might run a little. You seem to be able to handle the temps well. Nice job!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:01 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2006 5:57 pm
Posts: 32
Location: Toronto, Ontario
cyberspyder wrote:
digitalfeed, how much room is ther from the side 120mm fans to your videocard? also, how high off the bottom are the fans, how much room is there from the top of the NB HS to the bottom of the fan? if possible, do you think a Thermalright HR-05 will fit in there? i'm trying to build the exact same system, although i'll be using a P5B-VM, and a 25mm thick dual 120mm rad along with the side fans for a WC rig.

Brendan


The angles on the pictures aren't the greatest but good enough to make reference to.

1. From the fan to the PCB board, you're looking at roughly 6cm. From the fan to the heatsink on an X800 XL, 4.5cm; the heatsink is 1.5cm thick.

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Here's an alternate view of the same thing.

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2. The fans are roughly 2cm from the bottom of the motherboard (PCB level) to the bottom edge of the fan. I had a capacitor close to the first fan, so I also measured 1.5cm; that was from the top of the capacitor to the bottom edge of the fan.

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3. I wasn't sure if you were really referring to my northbridge heatsink or my south bridge (since the south bridge is the closer one to my fans). I didn't check how your motherboard is layed out.

If you were referring to the south bridge, 1.8cm from the top of the thin heatsink to the bottom edge of the fan.

If you were referring to the north bridge, it's as high as 1.5cm. The heatsink's height is 1.5cm above the bottom edge of the fan, if that makes any sense (measure 1.5cm from the bottom edge of the fan and you'll get an idea how tall it is)

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Here's an alternate view of the same thing.

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If your north bridge heatsink is in my south bridge location, an HR-05 probably won't fit. If you look at the picture, the CD-ROM cage, when seated in place, is directly over the centre of the southbridge heatsink. You'd probably run into clearance issues since there's not much room for tall things.

I know the picture doesn't do much justice but I measured 2.7cm from the top edge of the fan to the bottom of just the CD-ROM cage.

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Modded Antec NSK1300 w/ 2x120mm LED intakes . Pentium D 820 . Asus P5LD2-VM . OCZ 2x512MB PC2-5400 Gold XTC . ATI X800 XL . Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 ST3160812AS . Viewsonic VX2025WM 20" LCD


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