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 Post subject: Heat/Dust issues
PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:00 pm 
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I've moved to a new town in the last 6 months or so. Not the most attractive place on the planet, but the work is good. Anyway, the place is hot (>45oC in the summer) and during the day temperatures avg. just over 30oC inside (old, clunky aircon). The other problem is the iron ore dust (mining town). My old HTPC that was working well up until we moved now sounds similar to a jet passing overhead while it is idling. I opened it up and did my best to clean out all the red fuzz covering the components with little improvement. It doesn't seem to cope with the higher temps and even at night (~20-25oC ambient) it is still quite noisy.

So I want to build a new HTPC rig which will primarily be used for movies and surfing the web. I also don't have a lot of space to play with, so I'm looking at a mini-ITX build. What I'm aiming for is a case that has a small foot-print, with low air velocity (hopefully to minimise dust intake) and a filter over the intake. Maybe a positive pressure system? I'm not sure if I'm using the right terms. I've done a bit of research and have pieced together this system -

Case - Silverstone FT03B-Mini
PSU - Silverstone ST45SF-G 450W SFX
MoBo - Asus Z87I-Pro
CPU - Intel i5 4570
CPU Cooler - Corsair H90 140mm CPU cooler

I'll pick up an SSD (samsung evo?) and about 8Gb of memory to go with it. I have a Xonar Essence that I want to put into the PCIe slot so I need to be sure that the heat sink will not obstruct that.

I'm not sure about any particular component, though I like the look of the case. The PSU is supposed to be noisy at higher loads, but I'm hoping that with the ITX and no GPU it shouldn't get into that range. The MoBo is supposed to have good WiFi inbuilt, but I'm not an expert... and I was looking for energy efficiency and slightly better inbuilt graphics capability in the haswell processor. And, lastly, the CPU cooler was chosen due to the fact that it is unlikely to obstruct the PCIe slot, it's got a 140mm fan (which I'm happy to swap for another), and I'm hoping that a water cooled system will have a better chance at functioning in the environment that I'm in. I understand that a air cooled system can be quieter, but this is likely in more optimal environs with a big, roomy case...

If any of my reasoning is flawed let me know :)

Thanks all.


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 Post subject: Re: Heat/Dust issues
PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 5:35 am 
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Location: Monterey Bay, CA
If you didn't have the Xonar and could use HDMI (or optical) for digital audio out, you'd be a good candidate to use a passive case like one of the HDPLEX. No fans, no dust sucked in..other than what would naturally settle out of the air. The H5 would limit your CPU selection a bit (or need big undervolting/underclocking for a quad core), but there's also the H10.

Just a thought, given your environment.

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1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)


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 Post subject: Re: Heat/Dust issues
PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:27 pm 
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Thanks for the suggestion. I was thinking about the FC8 evo from streacom which has a max CPU TDP of 95W. I asked about running it in a room with an ambient temp of ~30oC. They said that at higher load I can expect CPU temps at around 85oC. Apparently that's OK because the Tmax is meant to be 100... still seems a little high to me.

I might have to go with a lower spec/undervolted CPU. Which would be the better option?


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 Post subject: Re: Heat/Dust issues
PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 6:28 am 
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If you look at the SPCR test results for the Streacom case, 20C ambient led to 72C CPU temps while encoding video and 82C under Prime95. So, you'd see ~82C while encoding video with a similar 65W TDP CPU and 90's under stress with a program like Prime95. So, you could throw a quad core S part in there and it might be ok, or get a non-S part and under volt and underclock as needed until your temps get down to where you feel comfortable. For me, comfortable is in the 70's under a normal heavy load.

The HDPlex cases just have a lot more mass/better cooling...pricier, but you'd have a lot more room to move, thermally.

When you say movies...do you use the PC to transcode or just stream stuff? Because, if you don't need the horsepower to encode/transcode video, then you could certainly drop down to a dual core and probably not worry about thermals. (Even though the i3-4330 has a TDP of 65W, I kinda doubt it'll ever see it).

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1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)


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 Post subject: Re: Heat/Dust issues
PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:52 pm 
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Thanks again for all the help.

The more I look into it, the more I like the idea of getting one of these fanless cases. Now all I have to do is figure out how I'm going to get one shipped to Oz. Retailers seem to be pretty thin on the ground here.

I'll only be transcoding occasionally. So I can definitely afford to go for undervolting or lower spec parts. I like tinkering with things, so I'll probably end up undervolting/underclocking.

The compatible mobos seem to be fairly limited for these cases, I'll put up the build I end up deciding on and let you know how easy it was to fit together...


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 Post subject: Re: Heat/Dust issues
PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 5:29 am 
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Have fun!

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