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 Post subject: Advice welcomed in migrating stock P4 Dell or cooling it.
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 9:48 am 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 9:21 am
Posts: 4
I've been an HTPC user for almost 2 years now and love the rig I have now. But heat is now a problem as you will read below.

My rig:

SageTV
MS MCE remote with blasters
Dell Optiplex GX270 small form factor desktop-
P4 2.8 HT (northwood), 512mb ram
nvidia fx5200 fanless low profile AGP
hauppauge mce 150 low profile PCI
200gb HD
slimline cdrw/dvdrom drive
3.5" floppy

The problem is now I am driving my new 37" HDTV off of the nvidia VGA and its creating a lot more heat then when driving the s-video port.

The PSU fan is loud and the PSU runs hot, too hot to even touch.
It sucks in hot air off the nvidia heatsink- bad.

The CPU HSF is a squirrelcage blower and is variably controlled by the motherboard. After 20 minutes it is almost full throttle and sounds like a hairdryer. It blows out the back, over the rest of the components.
I have no video artifacts or CPU performance issues. It just feels too hot, and is now unacceptably loud.

I would vent the case but it is so small, so crammed, there is little I can do. I did cut a hole in the top center and mounted a panaflo fan but it barely helps and lets more noise out.
I don't think a new HSF would do the trick as there is nothing moving air out of the case now besides the HSF blower.

I would like to move everything to a new case with new PSU but the stupid Dell mobo is custom and has no mounting holes even though its a uATX

So, I am thinking:

new socket 478 mobo
new psu
new case
new dvd-rw drive
new HSF
reuse CPU, memory, video, tuner, HD

But with a mobo being 50, psu being 50, drive for 30, and hsf for 40, i am close to 200 before a case!

It kills me to spend so much for a system I am happy with besides the noise and heat. It only serves as an HTPC and it's old technology to invest in.

Here is the dell I have. Nice, small case, just no venting and hard to mod (plastic shell around steel cage!)

http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/s ... fabout.htm

And yes, it has a new mobo because of bad capacitors (for those who know what I am talking about)

So.... any way to cool and quiet this beast, or is it time for a new home for these parts?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 11:16 am 
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Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
How about removing the cover altogether, then encasing the system in a second case made of wood, with 120mm fans running real slowly? In other words, double-box your system. It's small enough so that the outer box won't be too big, and if you think through the airflow design carefully, you should be able to get what you want -- lower noise & better cooling and modest cost. Some of the wood case projects in the DIY section of SPCR will give you ideas.

You might also want to relocate or replace the PSU with good 300W ATX supply that uses bigger, quieter fans.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 11:59 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 22, 2006 7:39 pm
Posts: 524
Location: Denver, Colorado USA
Get a case with a PSU, that will save you quite a bit. I think the big part of the problems is SFF. You just can't get enough surface area on that processor to cool it.

By the way, the PSU cooling the chipset is a good thing: PSUs can tolerate very high temperatures, and something has to cool that chipset. Better the PSU than the CPU.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 12:22 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2005 6:55 am
Posts: 5085
Location: UK
Quote:
PSU cooling the chipset is a good thing: PSUs can tolerate very high temperatures, and something has to cool that chipset. Better the PSU than the CPU.


debatable. 100C is much more fatal to PSUs than modern CPUs,cap life halved every 10C increase.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 12:50 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 22, 2006 7:39 pm
Posts: 524
Location: Denver, Colorado USA
Quote:
100C is much more fatal to PSUs than modern CPUs,cap life halved every 10C increase.


Yeah, I know what you mean. It's pretty uncommon to run a PSU to the end of its life, on the other hand. It always seems like the motherboard goes out first, and by the time a motherboard dies, a new PSU always seems to factor into the equation.

Come to think of it, the only PSUs I've ever had die on me were all relatively new; as in, less than a week of use, so that's got to be manufacturing flaw. Even when I worked at a school, and PSUs got crammed with pencil shavings and wads of paper and the fans burned out, they still worked. I just think of power supplies as hardy.

Of course, the only dead CPUs I've come across had been physically damaged somewhere down the line, and while I know heat isn't likely to ever harm a CPU, it can cause them to throttle and restart; stability issues in general arise.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 10:43 am 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 9:21 am
Posts: 4
Thanks for your comments so far.
I am not a good woodworker.
I am leaning towards the NSK2400.
The price is right, comes with PSU, and is pretty quiet out of the box.
Plus I like the look.

That leaves me needing a socket 478 mobo for my P4 2.8HT
Any recommendations?


I am not too concerned about onboard video as I have a FX5200 unless there is a 478 mobo with DVI or HDMI out 8)
Now that would be sweet.

As for cooling I like the xp-120.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 12:26 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2004 12:45 pm
Posts: 887
Location: California, US
I think the Thermalright SI-128 would work better with an NSK2400. In the 2400 there's no top vent like in the Antec Overture II, so a fan on top of the XP-120 wouldn't help all that much. The SI-128 is beefier and cools better, but of course also costs more.

There's not many socket 478 motherboards still out there, but here's one I would consider:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813131573

Actually, Abit has a Socket 478 motherboard with an HDMI port
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813127009
Considering that it's more than twice the cost of the other skt478 mATX boards, I don't think it's worth it. :wink:

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Brother's: Antec 3000B, C2D E6600, ASUS P5K, XFX 6850, 4GB DDRe RAM, 160GB Seagate 7200.8 & 2x 2TB Caviar Green, ASUS 16X DVD-ROM, Sony DVD-RW, Corsair 400W, Thermalright HR-01, 2x Scythe 120mm Low Speed Fans
Mine: Antec NSK3480 w/EA 380W, i5-750, Gigabyte P55M-UD4, Sapphire 5750, 4GB DDR3, 60GB OCZ Agility & 500GB Seagate 7200.8, Xigmatek HDT-S964


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 7:11 am 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 9:21 am
Posts: 4
stromgald wrote:
I think the Thermalright SI-128 would work better with an NSK2400. In the 2400 there's no top vent like in the Antec Overture II, so a fan on top of the XP-120 wouldn't help all that much. The SI-128 is beefier and cools better, but of course also costs more.


From what i've read it sounds like there is about 120mm to play with in the NSK2400. The xp-120 is only 63mm high leaving room for a fan.

The SI-128 is 91.5mm high so I assume you mean to use it fanless?

Pricewise they are both 50 at newegg right now, plus I would need a fan on the 120 though that is under 10.

What about these?
Zalman CNPS8000
Any of the Zalman 7000 series
Thermaltake CL-P0006 (with a fan)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 9:15 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2003 8:35 am
Posts: 149
How about replacing the P4 2.8 with a 30w Mobile Celeron CPU (going for about $20 on ebay ship)?

I have been running my Dell 4500 (6 year old?) as a file sever using a Mobile Celeron 1.6G for two years. In fact, by breaking off just 1 pin on the CPU, it is pinmoded from 100fsb to 166fsb without changing the voltage (can't do it via BIOS anyway). The end result is a Celeron running at 2.56. I use a copper penny as a shim to compensate for the lack of heatspreader.

Instruction for the pin mod could be found over Andantech and other forums.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 6:33 am 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 9:21 am
Posts: 4
I'm still lurking and watching prices.

I see the NSK2400 for $70 after rebate this week. :D

I am considering these items to stick in it along with my P4 2.6HT cpu and the DDR400 ram I have (plus my tuner card and agp video):

BIOSTAR P4M80-M4 Socket 478 VIA P4M800 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
ZALMAN CNPS7700-ALCU 120mm 2 Ball CPU Cooling Fan
Sony NEC Optiarc 18X DVD±R DVD Burner With 12X DVD-RAM Write Silver E-IDE / ATAPI Model 7170A-0S - OEM

Total $193 shipped (including the case).
I am not looking for complete silence. Compared to the hairdryer of a CPU cooler I have now, this would be quiet bliss. Plus this mobo would have the cpu next to the Tricools that come with the case letting me run the Zalman very low.

I just don't need a new cpu. Even watching 1080p x264 files my cpu is maybe 30% right now.


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