HTPC 120mm fan ducting.

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Edwood
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HTPC 120mm fan ducting.

Post by Edwood » Mon Nov 29, 2004 8:57 am

Here is my Quest for a near silent HTPC.

D.Vine 4 Case
Athlon 64 3500+ 90nm 939 Winchester
Thermalright XP-120 with Papst 120mm 4412 FGL
Asus A8V Deluxe
Antec Phantom (on it's way, using el cheapo PSU right now. Scary.)
Samsung PC3200 512MB x2 CL2.5 (was DOA, RMA'd it, waiting for replacements) Right now, one Corsair XMS PC2700 CL2
Powercolor Radeon X800 Pro VIVO (dead, RMA'd it, waiting for replacement) Right now, PNY Geforce 6800GT
Audigy 2
RME digi96/8 PAD
Seagate 7200.7 200GB PATA in a SmartDrive2002
LiteOn 16x DVD-ROM drive
One ducted 120mm Papst 4412 FGL

So basically my plan it to have one 120mm fan ducted to that it sucks the air from the bottom of the case, and directs airflow to the CPU and the video card. Hopefully there will be enough airflow to cool a heatpiped card, with either a Zalman ZM80D-HP or Aerocool VM-101. I have left the back of the case pretty open to allow hot air to be directed out of the case. leaving empty card slot covers off, etc. Not pretty, but best I can do right now.

Image

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A little tight by the RAM, but the RAM slots are still accessible.

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Two 120mm Papst 4412 FGL's. One on the XP-120 @7V, and the other on the bottom of the case for sucking. CUrrently running at 12V, but will soon have Noise Control NMT2 and NMT3 fan controllers on each fan.

Image

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Darn paint chipped off abit when I was cutting the suck hole out. My 4.5" hole saw would not cut through this steel. Yikes, my drill was smoking, so I gave up, and used my trusty nibbler. Very tedious. Ugh. I'm buying a powered nibbler next time.

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This is my prototype duct. I made it out of styrene plastic. Since it's temporary and I will make a sturdier and prettier one later, it's made from pretty flimsy and thin styrene, but it does the job.

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My "temporary" Geforce 6800GT. My Radeon X800 Pro is dead, and I'm waiting for it's RMA'd replacement to arrive. Ugh, that 6800GT is a screamer!

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Well, whaddya know? There's enough room for either a Zalman ZM80D-HP or Aerocool VM-101. I'll have to compare the two when I get my X800 Pro back.

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It was suffocating on the floor, as the fan filter I put on the bottom (ugh, yes it's ugly, but it works) does not give enough clearance. So I will have to give this case bigger feet. For now, my old UPS will have to do for now. :p

Well so far so good. I'll have to double check the MBM5 readings, seems to be to good to be true. 26 C FOlding?
I'll check the BIOS readings later.

I just ordered an Antec Phantom, so we'll see if it works well in this setup.

-Ed
"Tell me what you eat, and I'll tell you what you are."
-Brillat Savarin

cansan
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Post by cansan » Mon Nov 29, 2004 5:10 pm

Great system, one of the best quiet HTPC builds I have seen. Nice and clean and simple.

Just one suggestion:
Have you tried placing the intake 120 fan vertically? What I mean is, put it up vertically, keep the duct, and blow to the rear? It would blow directly over the whole length of the zalman zm80 (if you're going to have that), and I think would be an ideal cooling solution for a video card. It is hard to tell from the pictures, but it looks like there is enough space.

Edwood
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Post by Edwood » Mon Nov 29, 2004 5:33 pm

cansan wrote: Just one suggestion:
Have you tried placing the intake 120 fan vertically? What I mean is, put it up vertically, keep the duct, and blow to the rear? It would blow directly over the whole length of the zalman zm80 (if you're going to have that), and I think would be an ideal cooling solution for a video card. It is hard to tell from the pictures, but it looks like there is enough space.
There are two reasons why I did not go for a vertical "suck" fan in the front.

1. No room. Not without sacrificing the ability to use an LCD or VFD display in the front. Also, there is so little space between the front bezel and the case's inside front part. So there would be very little clearance for the uh, sucking.

2. Fan chattering. I purposefully have my 120mm Papst fans both in horizontal orientation. They are the quietest running this way. Like nearly all larger fans with low RPM's, the fan begins to rub a little bit creating a slight chattering noise due to the effects of gravity on the motor spindle and fan impeller.

-Ed
"Tell me what you eat, and I'll tell you what you are."
-Brillat Savarin

wim
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Post by wim » Mon Nov 29, 2004 6:35 pm

nice :)

i thought htpc meant a pc for watching movies / listening to music with. why do you need such a hot and hardcore video card in there?

that prototype duct is looking pretty good to me! if you call that temporary/flimsy you should see some of the ghetto crap i've done. much less sturdy and pretty.

Edwood
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Post by Edwood » Mon Nov 29, 2004 7:05 pm

Heheh, well, OK. This is pretty much going to be the Entertainment Hub. Games, movies, music, pr0.......:p

I'm consolidating gaming and HTPC into one box now. It was silly to spend so much effort trying to quiet down two computers. (well, actually I have 6.5 right now)

So I am focusing my effort on this computer.

As soon as I get a stable running system with the X800 Pro, I'm going to start the foam-tastic insulation and dampening next.

-Ed
"Tell me what you eat, and I'll tell you what you are."
-Brillat Savarin

cansan
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Post by cansan » Mon Nov 29, 2004 7:11 pm

Edwood wrote:
There are two reasons why I did not go for a vertical "suck" fan in the front.

1. No room. Not without sacrificing the ability to use an LCD or VFD display in the front. Also, there is so little space between the front bezel and the case's inside front part. So there would be very little clearance for the uh, sucking.

-Ed
Actually I meant for the fan to suck through the bottom hole, not a front hole, bezel etc. Exactly the same configuration as you have now, except the fan is standing up inside your duct and still taking in air through the bottom hole. Anyway I can see your biggest point with the horizontal, it if chatters with vertical, no point in going for that.

Hmm. If the chatter noise in vertical orientation is significant, it may be something to think about for my next build, I was thinking of using 2 of those exact same fans in a vertical position....

Edwood
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Post by Edwood » Mon Nov 29, 2004 7:28 pm

Well, other than the fact that I would have to make a mounting bracket for the fan, that may be an excellent idea if the current configuration does not cool the X800 Pro enough.

It could be a good trade off to move the fan closer to the Video card.

Thanks.
-Ed
"Tell me what you eat, and I'll tell you what you are."
-Brillat Savarin

Tibors
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Post by Tibors » Mon Nov 29, 2004 8:35 pm

Edwood wrote:Two 120mm Papst 4412 FGL's. One on the XP-120 @7V, and the other on the bottom of the case for sucking. CUrrently running at 12V, but will soon have Noise Control NMT2 and NMT3 fan controllers on each fan.
I don't understand why you use a Noise Control NMT-2 or NMT-3 on an intake fan. Normally these are used on exhaust fans, so when your case temperature rises the fan speeds up. When you put it on an intake fan it will only speed up when your ambient temperature rises. The temp range of an NMT-2 is 30°C-50°C. The temp range of an NMT-3 is 28°C-42°C. I don't know where you live, but my room only gets above 28°C during a few days in summer. And it won't ever get close to 42°C.
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Edwood
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Post by Edwood » Tue Nov 30, 2004 1:31 am

Tibors wrote:
Edwood wrote:Two 120mm Papst 4412 FGL's. One on the XP-120 @7V, and the other on the bottom of the case for sucking. CUrrently running at 12V, but will soon have Noise Control NMT2 and NMT3 fan controllers on each fan.
I don't understand why you use a Noise Control NMT-2 or NMT-3 on an intake fan. Normally these are used on exhaust fans, so when your case temperature rises the fan speeds up. When you put it on an intake fan it will only speed up when your ambient temperature rises. The temp range of an NMT-2 is 30°C-50°C. The temp range of an NMT-3 is 28°C-42°C. I don't know where you live, but my room only gets above 28°C during a few days in summer. And it won't ever get close to 42°C.
Heheh, because I will be desoldering the thermistor and extending it (with wires) to read temps from the Video Card cooler and CPU cooler.

I have finished the final duct. The pretty one. It's drying and setting right now, so I'll post pics of it tomorrow.
I made it a little narrower to concentrate the air flow in the video card area a little bit more. The prototype covered a PCI slot.

-Ed
"Tell me what you eat, and I'll tell you what you are."
-Brillat Savarin

AndyP
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Post by AndyP » Tue Nov 30, 2004 5:48 am

Could you explain how you made the duct - it looks fantastic - perhaps you can produce a Duct Making Tutorial!.

Also have you considered tinsnips for cutting blow holes. Crispy did a fantastic article about this. The snips he recommends are great, and its actually not that hard to produce quite good results
I fold for SPCR [url=http://folding.extremeoverclocking.com/user_summary.php?s=&u=93917]my stats[/url]

Edwood
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Post by Edwood » Tue Nov 30, 2004 3:23 pm

Duct Ver.2

This time I used clear styrene for the top part, and thicker plain white styrene for the side parts.

Image

Image

Maybe I should line the white parts with black cloth or some kind? Like an acoustic felt cloth or something?

It may cause a little turbulence in the airflow in the sides, but not the top clear part.
It could help to cut down a tiny bit more noise from the inside. Not to mention it would look nicer, but not that everyone would ever see, but I would.

-Ed
"Tell me what you eat, and I'll tell you what you are."
-Brillat Savarin

cansan
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Post by cansan » Tue Nov 30, 2004 3:31 pm

I think a cloth wouldn't harm the airflow much, if at all. Great job on the duct v2, I think with the clear top it looks great! You get all the benefit of a duct but none of the boring/hiding looks.
GOOD JOB!

Tephras
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Post by Tephras » Tue Nov 30, 2004 4:20 pm

Really great looking duct! As AndyP wrote; it would be nice with an explanation on how you made it and a little more info about that styrene.

Edwood
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Post by Edwood » Tue Nov 30, 2004 5:28 pm

Everything you need to know about working with styrene.

http://www.trains.com/Content/Dynamic/A ... 7lqnwa.asp

I found a nice solvent that is non-toxic, and only really works with Styrene. It's called Plastruct Weldene and it comes in a little bottle.

I usually use Weld-on solvent, but it is really meant for acrylic and polycarbonate, which are much harder plastics. And Weld-on is often too strong for styrene.

As an alternative to using a brush, there is a applicator bottle. It is a small plastic bottle with a hollow needle on the end of it. This method offers far more control than a brush.

Remember that you are not actually gluing the pieces together, you are actually melting the plastic together.

-Ed
"Tell me what you eat, and I'll tell you what you are."
-Brillat Savarin

Trip
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Post by Trip » Tue Nov 30, 2004 7:24 pm

It doesn't work better with 2 60mm exhaust and no intake fan?

EDIT: oh, you're using a phantom and not something like a Tornado... Great design!

Edwood
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Post by Edwood » Tue Nov 30, 2004 8:11 pm

Nope. One ducted 120mm intake works much better.

I used to have two 60mm Panaflo L1A's. Then had two 80mm L1A's with 60->80mm adapters.

I had them all at 7V, which didn't help their lack of airflow.

-Ed
"Tell me what you eat, and I'll tell you what you are."
-Brillat Savarin

ONEshot
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Post by ONEshot » Wed Dec 01, 2004 5:53 pm

How'd you bend the styrene? That tutorial has nothing on bending.

Edwood
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Post by Edwood » Wed Dec 01, 2004 6:19 pm

I bent it by hand. Just bend it carefully until it stays in the shape you need.

For softer and more controlled bends, use a heatgun. Be sure to wear protective gloves and be careful.

-Ed
"Tell me what you eat, and I'll tell you what you are."
-Brillat Savarin

AndyP
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Post by AndyP » Wed Dec 01, 2004 8:58 pm

Duct v2 is even better, I'm well impressed! Thanks for the link to the styrene article. Could I ask what thickness you used.

All best

AndyP
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Edwood
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Post by Edwood » Thu Dec 02, 2004 2:21 am

Added Noise Magic Thermocontrols for each fan. Temporarily taped and wedged into place for now.

Image

Still waiting for the Antec Phantom to arrive. That PSU is the loudest thing by far right now.

-Ed
"Tell me what you eat, and I'll tell you what you are."
-Brillat Savarin

ONEshot
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Post by ONEshot » Thu Dec 02, 2004 5:44 pm

How is the air going to be exhausted without that PSU?

Edwood
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Post by Edwood » Thu Dec 02, 2004 7:10 pm

Open card slot openings and I cut open the 60mm fan holed in the back. I may cut even more out, but looks like it won't be necessary.

But I probably will anyways, and install a mesh filter or something.

-Ed
"Tell me what you eat, and I'll tell you what you are."
-Brillat Savarin

Tephras
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Post by Tephras » Thu Dec 02, 2004 8:03 pm

Edwood wrote:Everything you need to know about working with styrene.

http://www.trains.com/Content/Dynamic/A ... 7lqnwa.asp
Thanks for the link - useful information. I imagined it would be a pretty complicated procedure, but that article proved me wrong. I managed to find some retailers selling styrene where I live and the price really suprised me, it didn't cost much at all.

ONEshot
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Post by ONEshot » Thu Dec 02, 2004 8:47 pm

Have you thought about reversing the fan to get rid of some of the stagnant air that would necessarily build up in the case?

Edwood
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Post by Edwood » Thu Dec 02, 2004 11:08 pm

I prefer positive air pressure. Less dusty.

So far, all the temps are fantastic.

I will find out for sure how well it could be when I install the Antec Phantom (hopefully) tomorrow.

-Ed
"Tell me what you eat, and I'll tell you what you are."
-Brillat Savarin

Edwood
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Post by Edwood » Fri Dec 03, 2004 11:51 pm

OK, my components are complete.

Installed the Antec Phantom and the Aerocool VM-101.

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The surface finish of the cooling block for the Aerocool VM-101 was really crappy. It was even concave. Had to sand it down quite a bit. Lapped it to 1000grit. The aluminum block is painted, not anodized, BTW. :roll:

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Note that the VM-101 is not touching the XP-120. There is plenty of room there.

Image

All I can say is, wow. It's so quiet. To the point that I'm getting critical of very slight case vibrations. Foam, and other dampening material will be next.

The Antec Phantom was challenging to get all those friggin wires to fit. I had to cram them in there. Antec really needs to make a modular Phantom. I guess I'll have to mod it later. But since it's not a windowed case, show cares, right?

With the Phantom, I am seeing around 20watts less power being used than before. The Phantom is definitely more efficient.

The Aerocool VM-101 runs at about 58C running 3DMark 05. Temperatures recover very quickly. Idle is around 42C. Much better than the Zalman ZM80D. Which was idling at around 53C. (According to ATiTool)

-Ed
"Tell me what you eat, and I'll tell you what you are."
-Brillat Savarin

cansan
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Post by cansan » Sun Dec 05, 2004 6:36 am

Nice build!
How hot does the phantom get?

I must admit I had some of the same ideas on ventilation as you did -namely blow 120 mm fan across the board/cpu/gpu to the back instead of exhaust fans-.... Anyway I won't be building my system until next winter, quite a long ways off. To give a brief teaser, it is to be a custom built metal framed wood case with a stereo equipment look. :?:

What I was wondering is, having used both the zalman zm-80 and the aeroccol vm-101; can you tell me by how much -if any- these protrude above the screws holding the pci cards?

wim
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Post by wim » Sun Dec 05, 2004 10:27 pm

i'm jealous .. this looks awesome :D

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Post by JvT » Mon Dec 06, 2004 1:22 am

I'm very impressed with your work Edwood!!

I do have a theory of an improvement to your airduct:
(I hope my "drawings" is understandable. Both "drawings" are supposed to be a side-view of the airduct)

V2:

¨¨¨¨________
¨¨¨/***********
¨¨/***********
¨/***
/****_______
|****/
====
|FAN|
++++++++++++++++++++++++

* = airflow
+ = Bottum of case

With your current airduct, my theory is, that the airflow will exit the airduct in the top of the duct. If you could make two channels in the duct, I guess that you could cool your graphic card more effectively:

¨¨¨¨________
¨¨¨/***********
¨¨/***********
¨/**/***********
/**/***********
|**|**/
====
|FAN|
++++++++++++++++++++++++++
My theory may be all wrong, only a test will prove me wrong or right.

Keep us updated on your progress, as it looks very good!!

Carsten

Edwood
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Post by Edwood » Mon Dec 13, 2004 9:13 pm

Nice theory.

I'll have to try that.

It'll be easy to add a divider inside the duct.

Thanks,
-Ed
"Tell me what you eat, and I'll tell you what you are."
-Brillat Savarin

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