Finally a 100% fanless and total noiseless HTPC!

Enclosures and acoustic damping to help quiet them.

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wasserware
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Location: Toronto

Finally a 100% fanless and total noiseless HTPC!

Post by wasserware » Sun Jul 04, 2010 8:59 am

First of all, I would like to thank all the pros and regular contributors here for putting up tons and tons of useful info to make my HTPC assembly smooth and trouble free.

My German friend/customer came over last week for a visist and brought me some gifts that finally allowed me to build blu-ray HTPC that is 100% fanless. I've held out buying a blu-ray player because I know one day PC hardware and software will 100% support bluray playback and provide much better user experience and picture quality.

The case is the mCubed HFX classic and is probably the heaviest, best built and DEADLIEST case I've ever encountered. Everything is 100% aluminum Made in Austria and diamond cut opennings and the cooling fins. The fins are extremely deadly and I cut myself many times on it. But at the end of the day, it is the single best looking case I've ever encountered, a true piece of art. This is also the only case that my fiance allows me to display in the living room haha..

I am glad I waited and followed the advice here:

Specs:
MSI DKA790G Platinum AM2+ Motherboard
4GB OCZ DDR2 RAM
Radeon 5670 Video Card passive
AMD Phenom II X3 720BE
Seagate 1TB 7200.12
Pioneer BDR-205 12X Blu-Ray burner
Passive Silverstone Nightjar 300W PSU

Windows 7 Ultimate + Total Media Theatre 3 Platinum

This might look like a bunch of scattered pieces of metal but it is actuall the fanless heatpipe cooler for the CPU:
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Silverstone Nightjar 300W fanless PSU:
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Taming the Cables One by One:

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1TB Seagate 7200.12 HDD in SilenceBox which completely removes all noise and clicking sound:
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Everything in Place with Passive Radeon 5670:
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Heatpipe CPU cooler transports heat from the Phenom II X3 720 to the side of the case:
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It seems the flimsy ASUS aluminum heatsink ok the 5670 cant keep the card cool enough so I took it out and swapped it with a Zalman VF-1000 Copper cooler with the fan removed. Now the card idles at 70 degrees and shoots up to about 90C after a few hours of furmark:

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ntavlas
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Post by ntavlas » Sun Jul 04, 2010 12:50 pm

Very well done build, great looking case too. Looking at the hot gpu and the unused heatsinks on the left side of the case is making me wish there was another heatpipe kit connecting the two.

wasserware
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Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2010 8:57 am
Location: Toronto

Post by wasserware » Sun Jul 04, 2010 12:57 pm

ntavlas wrote:Very well done build, great looking case too. Looking at the hot gpu and the unused heatsinks on the left side of the case is making me wish there was another heatpipe kit connecting the two.
they actually have a GPU kit that connects to the heatsink on the other side but it is too expensive and I figured a mid-powered Radeon 5xxx can be adequately cooled passively.


VFD in Place:
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Final Build in the living Room:
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Cooling Fins on the side of the case:
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josephclemente
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Post by josephclemente » Sun Jul 04, 2010 3:58 pm

That is an awesome setup!

Does the power supply benefit from the large heatsink on the side of the case? Is there some sort of thermal pad or flat contact going on between the two?
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wasserware
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Post by wasserware » Sun Jul 04, 2010 5:18 pm

I put a large thermal pad on the side of the PSU that faces the heatink so part of the heat generated is transferred directly to the heatsink and I have no heat build up problem in the case. The hottest component is the video card which idles around 80C!

jackhulk
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Post by jackhulk » Sat Jul 17, 2010 2:58 pm

Looks awesome man! That case is beautiful. Makes me want to build my own and will do one day! Love the idea of total silent media center, but didn't actually think it would be possible.

For future referrence, who makes that fanless heatpipe cpu cooler, price and where can it be purchase?

ntavlas
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Post by ntavlas » Sun Jul 18, 2010 4:51 am

The hottest component is the video card which idles around 80C!
The zalman cooler really doesn`t work the way it is mounted atm. Think about it, a 5670 gpu uses very little power when idle, probably between 5 and 10 watts. You should be able to cool that passively with a much smaller cooler, as long as the fins have the correct orientation.

Maybe it would be worth mounting the cooler the other way round, then bending the heatpipes so that the fin mass lays parallel to the top vent.

Nobull
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Post by Nobull » Sat Jul 31, 2010 3:24 am

Very impressive. Were the cooling fins added by yourself or part of the case?

Nobull
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Post by Nobull » Sat Jul 31, 2010 3:27 am

EDIT: just read it at the top. Nice case mind, how much that set you back?

sgny
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Post by sgny » Wed Aug 11, 2010 12:52 pm

That is a very nice looking case. What temperature does your CPU idle at? Do you have any idea how power hungry a system you could go with?

djkest
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Post by djkest » Tue Aug 24, 2010 7:32 am

Hi. Your computer looks awesome! I think your video card is way too hot- a bigger and more thought-out heatsink would probably help a lot. Interesting choice with the Phenom x3, I'll bet it works great!

tim851
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Post by tim851 » Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:49 am

Is there any reason to use a dedicated vga card?

I mean, if it's already idling at 80°C you won't be able to game on it. And your mainboard has integrated graphics. Why not use it? A Phenom II X3 - which seems unnecessarily high-powered - has no problems displaying HD content without GPU acceleration. And come to think of it, the GPU in the 790g does accelerate video content.

optis
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Re: Finally a 100% fanless and total noiseless HTPC!

Post by optis » Wed Dec 29, 2010 8:08 pm

Could anybody please advise me where to buy/order that fanless heatpipe for CPU (or a similar heatpipe that is attached to the side of the case) as shown on the first picture in the topic?

jhhoffma
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Re: Finally a 100% fanless and total noiseless HTPC!

Post by jhhoffma » Fri Dec 31, 2010 10:06 am

I believe you have to get an mCubed HFX case to get it (or make it work for that matter).

But if you are in Europe, you may want to look for mCubed BorgFX. it looks like a similar CPU block/heatpipe combo that's available separately. Probably won't work with another case though.
HTPC: OrigenAE X11|Gigabyte GA-MA785GPMT-UD2H|Phenom II x3 740BE w/AC Freezer 7|150GB Velociraptor|Corsair VX450
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optis
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Re: Finally a 100% fanless and total noiseless HTPC!

Post by optis » Sat Jan 01, 2011 7:40 am

Thanks, mate.

wasserware
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Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2010 8:57 am
Location: Toronto

Re:

Post by wasserware » Sun Jan 09, 2011 12:33 pm

jackhulk wrote:Looks awesome man! That case is beautiful. Makes me want to build my own and will do one day! Love the idea of total silent media center, but didn't actually think it would be possible.

For future referrence, who makes that fanless heatpipe cpu cooler, price and where can it be purchase?
You can buy the kit here - http://www.hfx.at/ and they ship worldwide.

wasserware
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2010 8:57 am
Location: Toronto

Re:

Post by wasserware » Sun Jan 09, 2011 12:36 pm

tim851 wrote:Is there any reason to use a dedicated vga card?

I mean, if it's already idling at 80°C you won't be able to game on it. And your mainboard has integrated graphics. Why not use it? A Phenom II X3 - which seems unnecessarily high-powered - has no problems displaying HD content without GPU acceleration. And come to think of it, the GPU in the 790g does accelerate video content.
The Radeon 5000 series offers Bluray bit-streaming not found on integrated graphics. Also, the discrete cards has a host of advanced video processing features such as mosquito noise removal, vector adaptive deinterlacing etc. Basically you get the highest possible video and sound quality with a discrete graphics.

I've gamed on the system (guitar hero) and the temperature is fine, I believe the same operation limit is 115C and the cards peaks at about 100 degrees.

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