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 Post subject: Custom HTPC / gaming case
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2016 3:09 pm 
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Location: UK
I'm looking to build a new PC for HTPC/Music/Gaming purposes, and am thinking about making a custom case, with some ideas stolen from the Lian Li PC-O5, and possibly using one of their GPU riser cables, but having room for a full size optical drive. It will probably be wooden construction, though I may buy a cheap ITX case to get a motherboard tray.

For the case, I had an idea of having downward firing fans as part of the components drawing air directly down from the lid, mounting the motherboard, GPU and PSU such that their intakes are all at the same height, and with the lid having holes in the appropriate places, and with the warm air mostly exiting the rear of the case.

Component wise, I see the Scythe Big Shuriken 2 Rev.B and Noctua NH-L12 as potential CPU coolers and the Silverstone SX600-G as a potential PSU, though I'm not decided on GPU, which all seem to have done reasonably well in SPCR tests, though need to think about GPUs a fair bit still, and possibly wait to see what ATI and NVIDIA are bringing out in the next few months.

Has anyone tried this idea before? If so, how successfully? Are there any things I should particularly consider for this type of project? Is the GPU in this kind of the setup likely to be the noisiest part, or do the use of SFX PSU and lower profile CPU cooler make things a bit closer between components? If the main fans are from the components themselves, will I also need a fan for any 2.5" HDDs or for an optical drive?

Thanks for your help.

Martin


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 Post subject: Re: Custom HTPC / gaming case
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2016 11:10 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:12 am
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Location: ITALY
martineyles wrote:
and the Silverstone SX600-G as a potential PSU

I'd suggest to avoid the larger Silverstone SFX PSUs: a Corsair SF would probably be more well suited (as well as you can easily put an ATX PSU in a custom enclosure).


martineyles wrote:
Is the GPU in this kind of the setup likely to be the noisiest part, or do the use of SFX PSU and lower profile CPU cooler make things a bit closer between components?

I guess it mostly depends of the GPU of choice, though under stress SFX units have to be rather noisy.


martineyles wrote:
If the main fans are from the components themselves, will I also need a fan for any 2.5" HDDs or for an optical drive?

IMHO you need some case fans: a) to supply fresh air to the components own fans; b) in order to not "cook" the mobo (and perhaps the PSU/GPU).

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Luca

Support SPCR, use these links when you buy: NCIX, Amazon and Newegg


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 Post subject: Re: Custom HTPC / gaming case
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2016 12:22 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2009 2:02 pm
Posts: 27
Location: UK
To clarify some of the reason for choosing certain items, I would like to fit the case onto a shelf in this unit:

http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/p ... 092689.htm

The gap at the rear of the shelves is only 420mm wide, so I am trying to keep the case as close to this width as possible, so that I can connect cables easily and have the hot air escape at the back of the cabinet.

I also want to put in a full size internal optical drive, rather than a slim drive, as I find them a lot nicer to use. However, these can take a fair amount of depth of the case up, and I am limited on shelf depth to around 300mm.

By choosing an SFX PSU, I can fit the optical drive in front of it and still fit on the shelf, and I can avoid having the PSU or GPU firing mostly at the supports at the back of the unit.

I'm also trying to keep the case slim, top-to-bottom, so that there is enough clearance above the case to allow fresh air into the component fans, as the shelf is only 16cm high.

I'll try to mock up a diagram to make the concept a little clearer.


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 Post subject: Re: Custom HTPC / gaming case
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2016 1:14 am 
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Hi, thanks for replying, and giving me some more things to consider. I've put a reply above to explain the general idea of the case a little better. I have a couple of questions about your reply too.

quest_for_silence wrote:
martineyles wrote:
and the Silverstone SX600-G as a potential PSU

I'd suggest to avoid the larger Silverstone SFX PSUs: a Corsair SF would probably be more well suited (as well as you can easily put an ATX PSU in a custom enclosure).

I was thinking of the Silverstone because it was given SPCR recommended in the review here http://www.silentpcreview.com/Silverstone_SX600-G_SFX_PSU, and gives enough power for a decent GPU. What reason do you have for prefering the Corsair SF units? I've posted another message above now, which I hope explains the rational of choosing an SF/SFX PSU.


quest_for_silence wrote:
martineyles wrote:
Is the GPU in this kind of the setup likely to be the noisiest part, or do the use of SFX PSU and lower profile CPU cooler make things a bit closer between components?

I guess it mostly depends of the GPU of choice, though under stress SFX units have to be rather noisy.

The GPU depends on budget, and what the manufacturers come up with in the next couple of months. I think budget will prevent me pushing 4k with a 980, 980ti, 1070, 1080 or AMD equivalents. I'm more likely to end up pushing 1080P with a 960, or if the prices drop when the new cards come out, a 970, or whatever AMD equivalents fall into the sub £200 category after their announcements. From what I know of AMD, their current cards, even custom cooled, are probably louder than Nvidia's, but they may be releasing some much quieter 14nm Polaris sub-£200 cards soon (I hope) which compete well with the 960/970.


quest_for_silence wrote:
martineyles wrote:
If the main fans are from the components themselves, will I also need a fan for any 2.5" HDDs or for an optical drive?

IMHO you need some case fans: a) to supply fresh air to the components own fans; b) in order to not "cook" the mobo (and perhaps the PSU/GPU).

The concept is to mount the GPU, CPU cooler and PSU at the top of the case (basically have quite a slim case at the height of the tallest component, and boost the other two component up to match), so they draw air directly from outside the case, only impeded by whatever filters I may decide to use. Do you think that won't be sufficient for those components? I suppose I haven't considered the motherboard/RAM cooling. For that I could fit an additional fan in front of the CPU cooler, also firing down into the case.


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 Post subject: Re: Custom HTPC / gaming case
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2016 5:22 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:12 am
Posts: 5275
Location: ITALY
martineyles wrote:
What reason do you have for prefering the Corsair SF units? I've posted another message above now, which I hope explains the rational of choosing an SF/SFX PSU.

The larger Silverstones have a rather conservative (aggressive) fan controller, mostly due to the high power density when it was designed, and a nasty sound fan: the newer Corsairs have a more relaxed (quiet) fan profile, partly due to the larger and better fan (a custom rifle bearing 92mm one vs the run-of-the-mill ADDA ball bearing 80mm fan seen on the Silverstones).

That's how they compare at highish ambient temperature (like probably in your scenario) according to Aris Mpitziopoulos of Tom's Hardware Guide:

SX-600G
Attachment:
SX600_high.jpg
SF-450
Attachment:
SF450_high.jpg


That's how they compare at lowish ambient temperature still according to Aris Mpitziopoulos of Tom's Hardware Guide:

SX-600G
Attachment:
CL_fan_w_600.jpg
SF-450
Attachment:
CL_fan_SF450.jpg


Though not as accurate as SPCR hemi-anechoic figures, nonetheless those data come from the same source, so they offer us a fair comparison between the two units.
As you may see the Corsair unit is consistenty quieter across the board (and incidentally it's also a better unit overall): at any rate, the typical gaming power draw for an Intel rig equipped with a 1080/970 card is usually under 250W, where the SF450 is noticeably more silent under any scenario.
Please note also as the SX-600G noise graph (at low temp) show off some resemblances of the SPCR noise measures, though not recorded at the very same temperatures (not by absolute figures, but with reference to deltas between different power levels).


martineyles wrote:
I'm more likely to end up pushing 1080P with a 960, or if the prices drop when the new cards come out, a 970, or whatever AMD equivalents fall into the sub £200 category after their announcements.

I guess that at 180-200W the SX-600G may likely be louder than the best sounding GTX-960s in the market, but YMMV due to the unknown ambient temperature.


martineyles wrote:
The concept is to mount the GPU, CPU cooler and PSU at the top of the case (basically have quite a slim case at the height of the tallest component, and boost the other two component up to match), so they draw air directly from outside the case, only impeded by whatever filters I may decide to use. Do you think that won't be sufficient for those components? I suppose I haven't considered the motherboard/RAM cooling. For that I could fit an additional fan in front of the CPU cooler, also firing down into the case.

In the Silverstone RVZ/FTZ cases reviews, case fans proved to be not strictly required (I'm referring to the RVZ02 particularly, albeit with higher CPU and motherboard temperatures): on the other hand, those enclosures are meant to be run vertically, as they performed quite worse when placed horizontally, so I guess that in the latter scenario some case fans might help (but definitely YMMV). IMHO it worths to mention that the large TV cabinet would likely act as an hotbox for the case (as per common experience), more or less severely affecting the internal heat build up, and that's another aspect which let me think at the moment that your proposed design (horizontal slim case in a relatively cramped space) wouldn't seem really sounding (pun not intended).
Last but not least, as far as I know neither the mentioned Lian Li PC-05 was probably ever meant to be run horizontally.


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Regards,
Luca

Support SPCR, use these links when you buy: NCIX, Amazon and Newegg


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