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 Post subject: Dukla goes ITX - Antec Mini Skeleton-90
PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 11:54 am 
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OK – so the nights are drawing in and I decided it was time to play with my rig. As traditional towers/desktops seem to be going out of fashion in favour of laptops and netbooks I decided to go ITX. Looking around I figured it was hard to significantly beat my existing AMD 4850e/780G setup, but at least I wanted a CPU upgrade option, say an Athlon II X4 at 45W, in a year.

Components:
Case: Antec Mini Skeleton-90
Mobo: Jetway JNC81-LF
Memory: 2 * Kingston 2Gb SODIMM
CPU: reused 4850e
HSF: Xigmatek Apache – removed fan
Optical: reused Samsung DVD-RW
Drives: got a new Fujitsu 80Gb 2.5â€

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2009/Oct: Jetway JNC81-LF * 4850e naked under fanless Xigmatek Apache * Antec mini Skeleton w/Nexus 120mm PWM fan * Delta 90W brick w/Skeleton DC-DC board * WD2500BEVT 250Gb blue


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 10:40 am 
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Thanks for the "review". It's a neat looking case, but it's a shame about the fans and PSU shortcomings. Things definitely look tight in there :shock:

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HTPC: NSK2480,GB GF9400,E5200 w/ Minja,4GB RAM,WD GP 1.5TB,Nova DVB-S. Minja PSU fan,S-FlexEs case fans.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 2:52 pm 
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thats one cool looking case!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 2:37 pm 
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Took some more pics, and have been doing some more work.

Image
Got rid of the nasty 150mm fan Antec supplied and cut my trusty Nexus D12SL-12 to fit. Overall a win/win/win. I run Prime 24/7 with CnQ engaged - fan speed (using lmsensors/fancontrol) is circa 700rpm (virtually inaudible), CPU temps are 12C above ambient. The next win surprised me - obviously the Nexus has a better focused output air-stream as the northbridge temps dropped significantly - about 10C. It did seem the Antec fan was spraying a lot of air sideways, with the benefit of hindsight seems the northbridge was in a bit of a deadspot! (The second win is that getting lmsensors/fancontrol working was fairly trivial - did need to go to kernel 2.6.31 to get support for the mobo superIO chip though.)

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A shot from the front - decided to change the colour of the DVD drive.

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From the rear. Some idea of how tight the Apache fit is. Also the difficulty of hiding the unused power cables means they are jumbled together at the back.

Image
Yes, that brick really does use 21W under no-load! The good news is Antec agree it is abnormal and so I need to RMA it. The trick will be to try get a replacement from my retailer before I send this one back.

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2009/Oct: Jetway JNC81-LF * 4850e naked under fanless Xigmatek Apache * Antec mini Skeleton w/Nexus 120mm PWM fan * Delta 90W brick w/Skeleton DC-DC board * WD2500BEVT 250Gb blue


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 3:52 pm 
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Location: Germany
Cheap powermeters are known to show absurd figures at low loads. Try to measure the adaptor together with a 60W light bulb and see if it still uses that much power.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 12:29 am 
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Gee sapereaude I am surprised you would cast doubt on my German brennenstuhl :D (So what its probably made in China!)

But yes, I did try some sanity checks. For a start the brick is getting very warm under no-load. And to check the meter I did try my speaker subsystem brick (2W no-load, peaks to 33W loud music!), mobile phone charger (0W no-load, 7W load) and various others. So think the 21W is fairly indicative.

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2009/Oct: Jetway JNC81-LF * 4850e naked under fanless Xigmatek Apache * Antec mini Skeleton w/Nexus 120mm PWM fan * Delta 90W brick w/Skeleton DC-DC board * WD2500BEVT 250Gb blue


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 12:36 am 
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Sorry, couldn't see the label on it, it just didn't look like much :wink: Well then, you may have found the worst AC-DC adaptor in history.

Btw, is there no authority watching over radio frequencies in England? Because if you did this build in Germany and some radio amateur complained about all the noise (because of your PC lacking proper shielding), then you would have to pay quite the fine.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 1:24 am 
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Interesting point. Certainly there is no mention anywhere in the Skeleton documentation of any EMI issues specifically related to the Skeleton. Then again I already mentioned even the downloadable manual is pathetically thin - although it does suggest liquids, pets & children may not be a good mix.

I remember a few years ago a discussion here about EMI - probably related to replacing the "more tin than air" fan grills with finger guards or with nothing. IIRC at that time the point was raised that most of the circuitry was DC (except in the AC/DC parts of PSU) and so how much EMI could there be. No doubt a rogue oscillator could, in theory, be broadcasting significant signals with significant power but I don't recall anyone with practical insight, only a whole bunch of theoretical possibilities.

Amusingly enough I did notice the mini Skeleton has a ground lead going from the front USB/sound pcb to the case - I haven't checked whether in fact it has any metal connection, let alone whether it does indeed earth!

My own view - we have so much RF and other emissions these days (wireless keyboards, remote controls, wifi, mobile phones ...) that I am not bothered about anything my mobo may be adding to the mix. Although no doubt we are subject to the same ENxxxxx standard as you - but I suspect that it is pretty much academic for modern PCs.

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2009/Oct: Jetway JNC81-LF * 4850e naked under fanless Xigmatek Apache * Antec mini Skeleton w/Nexus 120mm PWM fan * Delta 90W brick w/Skeleton DC-DC board * WD2500BEVT 250Gb blue


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 3:51 am 
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Very nice setup. I would have maybe tried to get a lower CPU HS in there, although the one you used is pretty damn small in most systems. And i would have used a slimline DVD drive. Screw the extra cost, that would all be about making it look nicer.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:18 am 
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The only surprise here being that someone actually bought one of those things :roll:

No offense lol, I just never understood even what the point was supposed to be, the original Skeletor was bad enough... Nice parts inside it, anyway, I've been thinking of building a mini-ITX setup just to see how small case I can build around it, but I just don't have any use for one...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 4:14 pm 
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Jipa you are so right. I can never understand why people buy these cases big and bulky.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2009 4:24 pm 
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dukla2000 wrote:

Image

Image



looks good

i would have gotten rid of the rear fan grill, simply unneeded, your fingers won't get hurt if you reach back there. (just what is the rear fan cooling anyways? your dvd drive? can you get rid of that fan? maybe save like 2-3 watts right there)

maybe get rid of the top fan grill too, but then you wouldn't be able to put stuff on top of your case....


Last edited by expxe on Sun Nov 15, 2009 2:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 1:10 am 
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expxe wrote:
i would have gotten rid of the rear fan grill, simply unneeded, your fingers won't get hurt if you reach back there. (just what is the rear fan cooling anyways? your dvd drive? can you get rid of that fan? maybe save like 2-3 watts right there)
Yup - in fact I have removed the entire fan. Arguably it cools the DC-DC board (which is mounted above the optical drive) but
1) Not sure how much cooling the board actually needs - even at peak load (93W at the wall) to cause an argument if the AC-DC brick is 85% efficient there is 79W going in to the DC-DC board, and if it is 90% efficient it is only dissipating 8W which isn't great but is approaching trivial as long as it has some access to open air (IMHO)
2) As you can see from the front view the cable loom pretty much 'seals' the front of the lower compartment and so I am not convinced the rear/lower fan can even get much air across the DC-DC board - most of it will just blow straight back out the back. As you note any air it does move is most likely to bounce off the back of the DVD drive - the coolest SATA connector is hardly a design objective!
Jipa wrote:
The only surprise here being that someone actually bought one of those things
Hey - I like it, but appreciate not everyone will!
FartingBob wrote:
And i would have used a slimline DVD drive.
Not sure it would be a big gain - would leave more air around the DC-DC board which will help its cooling but no real way to use the space.

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2009/Oct: Jetway JNC81-LF * 4850e naked under fanless Xigmatek Apache * Antec mini Skeleton w/Nexus 120mm PWM fan * Delta 90W brick w/Skeleton DC-DC board * WD2500BEVT 250Gb blue


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:10 am 
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OK - so RMAd the Delta power brick and the new one has exactly the same no-load draw (21W, 0.09A at 240VAC)!

Doesn't make sense to me as the Energy Star rating for a very similar model, ADP-90SB BBXX is 0.17W @ 230VAC. My guess is my ADP-90SB AB differs mainly in the mains cable standards/formats. Not sure what to do next :?:

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2009/Oct: Jetway JNC81-LF * 4850e naked under fanless Xigmatek Apache * Antec mini Skeleton w/Nexus 120mm PWM fan * Delta 90W brick w/Skeleton DC-DC board * WD2500BEVT 250Gb blue


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 6:07 am 
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Quote:
Not sure what to do next


Does it get warm/hot with no load?

I'm thinking your power meter may be reading/displaying fast peaks rather than a true power reading. If it is drawing 20watts from the mains it will be generating 20watts of heat so will get significantly warm. If it runs cool to touch it probably isn't drawing much power.

Bill

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2009 6:23 am 
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BillTodd wrote:
Does it get warm/hot with no load?
The first one definitely did - this second one I gave a half hour test and it seemed pretty cool, but then again the ambient for the second test was much lower (central heating malfunction!). Will give it an hour run at room temp when I get a chance.

It was a genuine exchange - the first one was serial # 823W8BA02PV, the second is 823W8BA02KH.

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2009/Oct: Jetway JNC81-LF * 4850e naked under fanless Xigmatek Apache * Antec mini Skeleton w/Nexus 120mm PWM fan * Delta 90W brick w/Skeleton DC-DC board * WD2500BEVT 250Gb blue


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