Zalman TNN-300 Fanless PC Enclosure System & iMon Remote

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MikeC
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Zalman TNN-300 Fanless PC Enclosure System & iMon Remote

Post by MikeC » Mon Feb 27, 2006 3:58 pm

Last edited by MikeC on Mon Feb 27, 2006 8:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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limee
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Post by limee » Mon Feb 27, 2006 9:33 pm

Great review! With an nvidia 7800, which runs cooler, a fine gaming (but expensive) passive system could be built. But I wonder, with that graphics card that is built so that the gpu is on top of the card, would the heatsink be able to be attached? Also, I remember a previous link with the older TNN500's having high power mosfet temps...I wonder if that could be checked out if it might be a problem?

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Post by theyangster » Mon Feb 27, 2006 10:11 pm

interesting

more heatpipes for the GPU probably would be nicer
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Post by Mats » Tue Feb 28, 2006 12:12 am

limee wrote:Great review! With an nvidia 7800, which runs cooler...
Don't know where you've got that from.
7800 GT = 56.7 W
6800 GT = 55.4 W

MikeC: What's your impression, does the thermal blocks for the motherboard make any big difference? I have a hard time imagining proper cooling of the voltage regulators without airflow, even though I probably wouldn't be worried with this low power CPU. Still, we've seen hot temps before, like 133° C at Xbitlabs (P4 though).
Last edited by Mats on Tue Feb 28, 2006 1:18 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Ackelind » Tue Feb 28, 2006 12:27 am

"Even if the gap is only a few seconds, the CPU temperature has already dropped from the highest points reached during the test."

Shouldn't that be the GPU since 3dmark is what is referred to?

I may be wrong though.
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Post by Steve_Y » Tue Feb 28, 2006 2:14 am

It looks like a very nice bit of hardware, but IMO the advantage in noise/temperature of its passive CPU/graphics cooling is quite small compared with a Scythe Ninja + 5v Nexus and passive graphics card coolers like the VM-102.

The HDD and optical drives are the biggest noise makers in a lot of PCs, this case doesn't seem to do much to reduce their noise. It seems quite pointless to buy this if you're going to use a 3.5" drive in it, just about any 3.5" drive would be louder than a couple of low speed fans. From the look of it suspending hard disks in that case would be impractical, and those aluminium shelves don't look designed to hold large HDD enclosures.

Of course a lot of people are happy to use cool and quiet 2.5" drives, but I'm still surprised that there wasn't more of an attempt at drive silencing by Zalman, especially considering the effort taken to silence the PSU, graphics and CPU. I'm thinking of some kind of integrated aluminium enclosure decoupled from the case, rather than a metal shelf and some bits of rubber.

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Post by MikeC » Tue Feb 28, 2006 6:19 am

Ackelind wrote:"Even if the gap is only a few seconds, the CPU temperature has already dropped from the highest points reached during the test."

Shouldn't that be the GPU since 3dmark is what is referred to?
Yes, you're right. Typo.
Mats wrote:What's your impression, does the thermal blocks for the motherboard make any big difference?
I'm not prepared to say BIG difference, but definitely, those things have to help. They're the right height to fit pretty tightly, and there's no question that thermal conduction via the underside of the board does have a real effect on operating temperature. The fact that the EndPCNoise TNN500AF system was cooling the board the same way with a Prescott at ~100W suggests to me that this cooling strategy is pretty effective. I know Zalman got grief over VRM failures in their first iteration of the TNN case, so they had to come up with something that works. And there is some convection airflow over the long term -- you can sense it at the holes around the top after the system has been workling hard for a while.
Steve_Y wrote:I'm still surprised that there wasn't more of an attempt at drive silencing by Zalman
I'm not. You have to remember that even in the demanding "silent sector" SPCR forum activists are more extreme and demanding than most. Lots of people feel anything less than ~30 [email protected] is "silent", especially if it's not a pure tone. Most people readily put up with a lot more noise that I do -- or you, it sounds like. They just shrug and think, "oh well, that's the way it is..." This is the reality that most PC companies consider when developing products. In my consulting work, usually the biggest challenge is to justify challenging low noise targets even to clients who come to work with me on low noise products.
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Mats
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Post by Mats » Tue Feb 28, 2006 7:15 am

I think it's hard to make any conclusions of what the MOSFET temps are in a TNN just because of the lack of fans, it can get very hot in some places (big variations). In the Xbitlabs test the hot running P4 was at 59° C (max load) which sounds pretty ok for a passively cooled system, but who could have thought the MOSFETS would go all the way up to 133° C? It's so easy to forget what that extra airflow that's present in most system does for cooling.

Anyway, with the setup in this test I don't think it would go above 100° C. Many people, including me, have a hard time to accept the high temps the MOSFETS are designed for.

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Post by Aris » Tue Feb 28, 2006 7:23 am

i like it. cost is a bit much though. if they could get it under $500USD i could see myself getting it. Ive seen alot of DIY'ers do this same sorta stuff, its nice to see it put into production, although we can all see why its not as popular as it is. (cost) still, its the same reason dodge makes the viper, and video card manufacturers make 7800gtx 512's. People will buy from the company's entire line of products that makes the best product in its catagory.

(sorry if i dont make sense, im a little sick right now)

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Post by jaganath » Tue Feb 28, 2006 8:02 am

You have to remember that even in the demanding "silent sector" SPCR forum activists are more extreme and demanding than most. Lots of people feel anything less than ~30 [email protected] is "silent", especially if it's not a pure tone. Most people readily put up with a lot more noise that I do -- or you, it sounds like. They just shrug and think, "oh well, that's the way it is..." This is the reality that most PC companies consider when developing products. In my consulting work, usually the biggest challenge is to justify challenging low noise targets even to clients who come to work with me on low noise products.
I think noise has become more important over the last few years, as products like the P4 Prescott and 100W+ video cards have taken PC noise way above ambient; but now that the trend seems to be going the other way, with lots of power-efficient CPU's in the pipeline, maybe the consumer average will settle somewhere between 25db-30db, and SPCR will stay in the 0-20dB range. I think that's plausible; let's face it, there was no way awareness of noise was going to become as acute in the general public as it is on here. SPCR has always been outside the mainstream and probably always will be; maybe that's a good thing, the world would be a strange (and silent! :twisted: ) place if everyone was as concerned with noise as me.
who could have thought the MOSFETS would go all the way up to 133° C?
MOSFET wiki
Power MOSFETs are at risk of thermal runaway. As their on-state resistance rises with temperature, the power loss on the junction rises correspondingly, generating further heat. When the heatsink is not able to keep the temperature low enough, the junction temperature may quickly and uncontrollably rise, resulting in destruction of the device.

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Post by Steve_Y » Tue Feb 28, 2006 8:04 am

MikeC wrote:
Steve_Y wrote:I'm still surprised that there wasn't more of an attempt at drive silencing by Zalman
I'm not. You have to remember that even in the demanding "silent sector" SPCR forum activists are more extreme and demanding than most.
I can see your point, but surely the TNN cases are intended for the most extreme and demanding silencing freaks, who else would spend that much on a noise reducing case? I'd have throught that anyone willing to put up with hard mounted 3.5" drives wouldn't be bothered by a few quiet fans running in a standard case.

Cheaper cases like the Antec P150 and P180 include more successful HDD decoupling, so I'd expect a bit more from a specialist case like the TNN-300.

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Post by Mats » Tue Feb 28, 2006 8:13 am

jaganath: I know what a MOSFET is. My point was that we don't know the temps of the MOSFETs in this system or the EndPCNoise system. Just because all the other temps are ok it doesn't mean that the MOSFETs are, especially when theres no active cooling.
Last edited by Mats on Tue Feb 28, 2006 8:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by MikeC » Tue Feb 28, 2006 9:00 am

Steve_Y wrote:Cheaper cases like the Antec P150 and P180 include more successful HDD decoupling, so I'd expect a bit more from a specialist case like the TNN-300.
It's not that they didn't try. Those rubber damper ARE better than hard mounting. They're not quiet good enough for me/us, but most people would say 23 [email protected] in idle and 25-26 dBA in seek is totally good enough.

And I don't think mainstream computers will get to 25~30 dBA. That requires very careful choices with all the components -- choices not based on price but on thermal / noise criteria. We might see 30~35 [email protected] fairly commonly, but 25-30 will still be in the realm of specialist vendors -- ecept for the odd lucky one that might come serendipitously from a major.
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Post by derekva » Tue Feb 28, 2006 10:17 am

Can you give me a sneak-peek on the Scythe 80mm fan versus Nexus? The reason I'm asking is I need to buy a pair of 80mm fans in the near future. and if the Scythe turns out to be better than the Nexus...

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Post by Laz Winterz » Tue Feb 28, 2006 3:46 pm

derekva wrote:Can you give me a sneak-peek on the Scythe 80mm fan versus Nexus? The reason I'm asking is I need to buy a pair of 80mm fans in the near future. and if the Scythe turns out to be better than the Nexus...

-Derek
Right, these last 2 reviews are way out of mosts people's price range... and the recommended fan page is outdated... and thats where all the noise comes from (minus the HD and after optimizing the output heat).

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Post by Reachable » Tue Feb 28, 2006 4:41 pm

Nitpick Department


From Page 1 of the article, taken from the Zalman site:

VRM Cooling
Thermal Blocks rear-mounted behind the motherboard, can lower the Voltage Regulators' temperature by 10 to 30°C and the Northbridge chipset by 5 to 10°C (41 to 50°F).

They converted Celsius to Farenheit as if it were a thermometer reading rather than equating the values of the units. The temperature of the Northbridge chipset, then, would be lowered by 9 to 18ºF.

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Post by Bluefront » Thu Mar 02, 2006 4:24 am

Cooling MB components from the back side.....it works. I experimented with this concept about a year ago. I cut a large hole in the MB tray, and installed a gel-pac between the board and the right side panel. Since the case was steel and did not transfer heat well, I cut a hole in the panel, and installed an aluminum vent.

It works.....the measured temp of almost all components on the MB went down, even the CPU temp, as much as 2-3C. If you measure temps on the MB from the rear, you'll be amazed how hot it is back there.

I predict a future for this cooling technique.

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Post by Aris » Fri Mar 03, 2006 12:10 pm

Correction:

on the main page it says "Our second Zalman TNN review in a week"

what second TNN case did you review? the HTPC zalman case is not a TNN case.

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Post by qviri » Fri Mar 03, 2006 12:12 pm

Aris wrote:Correction:

on the main page it says "Our second Zalman TNN review in a week"

what second TNN case did you review? the HTPC zalman case is not a TNN case.
This one?
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Post by Aris » Fri Mar 03, 2006 12:21 pm

where did that one come from? its not on the main page.

since when do only SOME reviews make it to the main page and others just get stuck into their respective catagories without any mention whatsoever?

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Post by Aris » Fri Mar 03, 2006 12:23 pm

nvm, i must be on crack or somthin today.... i should go take a nap now. :oops:

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TNN & Core 2 Duo?

Post by echn111 » Thu Nov 02, 2006 2:21 pm

The TNN300 looks great. But looking at the spec it doesn't seem to be able to handle the conroe core 2 duo chips. The TNN500 can be built into a heavyweight gaming system with a Core 2 DUo processor - but it looks ugly.

Can anyone confirm if the TNN300 can handle Core 2 Duo?

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Post by jaganath » Thu Nov 02, 2006 3:16 pm

looking at the spec it doesn't seem to be able to handle the conroe core 2 duo chips.
What spec are you looking at? From the review:
CPU Cooling: Utilizes massive copper blocks and six 6mm diameter copper heatpipes to transfer up to 150W of heat. Sockets K8, 775 and 478 are supported.
should handle C2D w/ no problems whatsoever.

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Post by echn111 » Thu Nov 02, 2006 3:33 pm

jaganath wrote:
looking at the spec it doesn't seem to be able to handle the conroe core 2 duo chips.
What spec are you looking at? From the review:
CPU Cooling: Utilizes massive copper blocks and six 6mm diameter copper heatpipes to transfer up to 150W of heat. Sockets K8, 775 and 478 are supported.
should handle C2D w/ no problems whatsoever.
The uncertainty comes from some of the Zalman pages the review pointed me to: http://www.zalman.co.kr/eng/product/vie ... 8&code=020

The "Recommended Motherboard" section states "CPU's with a Thermal Design of 70watts" then provides a table showing compatibility with Intel 478 and 478m sockets, but not 775 sockets.

As for 775 sockets (supporting C2D) the only thing that is said is "Most Intel Pentium 4 (Socket 478/775) and Pentium D(Socket 775) processors have 70W or higher heat dissipation, so check this before using one."

So it's not an outright "no we can't handle 775's & Conroe" but neither is it confirmation.

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Post by Devonavar » Thu Nov 02, 2006 6:38 pm

The most commonly quoted TDP for C2D is 65W, which fits with in the 70W envelope you quoted. In actual use, it seems to run much cooler, you have to work to make it draw that much power.

I suspect that Zalman has simply not updated the web site — what they say about P4 and P-D chips is true ... but it doesn't apply to the C2D.

The TNN-300 should have no issues.

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