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 Post subject: WC Genie, Mk 2
PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 3:44 pm 
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Location: 15143, USA
Table of Contents

System Description
Picture(s)
Chenbro Genie Intake
Down to two fans! <- Added 2006-8-23
How heavy is it? <- Added 2006-10-29
Power draw measurements <- Added 2007-1-13


Last edited by HammerSandwich on Sat Jan 13, 2007 10:33 am, edited 5 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 3:48 pm 
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Location: 15143, USA
I recently upgraded my main PC and passed some hand-me-downs into my secondary/fileserver box. This covers the main PC, previously discussed in Project QBG.

When I started, the system had a few changes that weren’t documented in the QBG thread. The big upgrade that prompted this new thread was going to an Opteron on a new motherboard. The components are:
  • Opteron 144
  • Asrock 939Dual-SATA2
  • 2 x 512MB PQI Turbo TCCD
  • ATI Radeon 9800Pro 128MB (upgraded to X850 XT)
  • WD2500KS
  • Samsung optical
  • Chaintech AV710
  • Chenbro Genie
  • Seasonic Super Silencer 350 A3
Cooling/Silencing:
  • Little River Storm/G4 CPU waterblock
  • Laing DDC pump
  • Heater core (Fedco 2-333 or GDI 399095 for 1995 Chevrolet G van)
  • Yate Loon D12SL case fan, ~5V
  • Arctic Cooling VGA Silencer, set low
  • Panaflo L1A in the PSU, using stock Seasonic controller, ~5V
  • Sunbeam Rheobus
  • Smartdrive 2002
This system is not so different from the old build. However, the Opteron runs much cooler and offers Cool’n’Quiet. The Asrock is not the mobo for monster overclocks, so the CPU is at 2.5GHz and 1.45V. With low load, it throttles back to 1.4GHz and 1.1V. C’n’Q seems to hurt the voltage stability and maximum clocks a little, but I’m not going to complain about 40% more than stock!

With the Smartdrive, the system is extremely quiet. Seek noise is barely audible with AAM set for performance. With three very quiet fans, I’d expected the DDC to be a huge noise issue, but it’s actually quite comparable to the VGA Silencer. Perhaps I got the golden sample…

This setup has taken its share of abuse over the years, and I’m considering replacing the Genie for my next build. The Genie is such a nice case, that I might just get a new one if they’re still available. OTOH, its intake could be more open, and I’m tempted to try a custom case. We’ll see what happens. For now, this is a satisfying PC in performance and noise.


Last edited by HammerSandwich on Sat Jan 13, 2007 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 3:48 pm 
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Location: 15143, USA
Side shot of everything:
Image
The plumbing and wiring get uglier with every partial rebuild.


Last edited by HammerSandwich on Mon May 15, 2006 4:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2006 3:49 pm 
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I'd mentioned the Genie's intake.

Click for a look behind the intake filter. We see roughly 14cm x 2.5cm holes, for a total area of 175 cm^2. But in front of the filter, we have a bigger restriction. These holes are about 6mm x 15cm. This is only 26% as much area as the first set of holes! Need proof that this is a problem? Look at a dirty filter!

Temperature testing results are in. These numbers all came from uncalibrated Speedfan reports, so they're not very accurate. I started Prime95's In-place test, let the reading stabilze (typically 35-40 minutes), then added or removed part of the intake. After the temps staibilized again, I reverted to the previous config to verify the baseline. I also kept a thermometer near the intake. There was no inconsistency on any of these readings.

From stock configuration, removing the front grille improved temps from 43C to 41C. Also removing the filter dropped further to 39C. This case has a pretty good filter, but it's still too small, even with minimal airflow.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 9:19 pm 
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I couldn't pass up Newegg's X850 XT for $90 after MIR, so there have been some changes. This new vidcard smokes the 9800Pro (duh!), but the stock cooling unit is absurdly loud. The fan emits an annoying bearing growl regardless of RPM, and it took a full 5 hours before I couldn't handle any more. I'm sure someone here can relate...

No one ever bought the Maze4 GPU block I was supposed to sell for a friend, so I decided to watercool the GPU. Because the GPU block and my DDC have 3/8" barbs, I changed the CPU block's inlet to 3/8". The 7/16" tubing from CPU to rad and back to pump was not changed, so the conversion was pretty quick. (Note that I would change everything to 3/8" but that would require cutting the barbs from my heatercore...) The not-quite-final result looks like:
Image
See the hi-res pics here, here and here.

As I finished bleeding the system, the pump seemed louder than the last time I had the case open. I sandwiched the DDC in foam and reconnected it to the Sunbeam Rheobus, both of which help. Reducing the pump voltage to ~9V makes the greatest difference in noise level by removing the "edge" from the sound, and it does not affect temperatures very much.

Too much changed for valid comparisons of temperatures, and both fans still run at ~5V. Under normal gaming loads, the CPU and GPU both report about 50C in a 21C ambient, and I have no complaints about stability. One nice feature is that the fan speeds never change (at least not audibly), so the system's noise level is constant except for HD seeks.

Having the CPU and GPU in the loop really allows watercooling to shine. Both chips receive adequate cooling from a quiet 120, which ventilates the case as well! While adding the GPU block did increase CPU temperatures about 5-10C, the system's noise level actually decreased thanks to the removal of the VGA Silencer. Achieving this with aircooling would be very challenging, though having no pump would allow slightly higher fan speeds at the same noise.

There's still room for improvement, of course, but this system keeps getting better and better. A lot of the credit belongs to the water.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2006 6:48 pm 
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Just FYI, I finally weighed this thing. It's 49.6 pounds (22.5 kg).


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 10:31 am 
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I've had a Kill-a-Watt for 4 months now and finally got around to measuring this system's power draw. The hardware is as described above.

Idling with Cool 'n' Quiet (Opteron at 1.35GHz, X850 at 260/260MHz), the system pulls 93W AC. This is a 30W improvement from my old P4!

Adding Prime95's in-place test increases the CPU to 2.43GHz and load to 128W.

Furthing adding RTHDRIBL to load the X850 gives 152W, still with the GPU underclocked. Bumping the GPU up to 580/580 gives 179W.

I've never heard the PSU fan speed up, and everything else is controlled manually.


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