Chris Thomson's 3rd DIY OC'd rig -- a Core 2 Duo this time

Want to talk about one of the articles in SPCR? Here's the forum for you.

Ackelind
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Post by Ackelind » Mon Oct 02, 2006 11:23 am

Wow, I clearly envy that system.

I have only 3 nexus fans (had 2 previosly) and a very similar system, and I find my system clearly audible. There is no way my LCD-monitor can be heard over the sound from my computer. Most of the sound is from hard drives though, very little is from the fans.

Mats
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Post by Mats » Mon Oct 02, 2006 11:50 am

I initially tried the DQ6 motherboard, but it was not a happy experience. The 965P north bridge actually has fewer features than the 945P on my old motherboard, and would not allow me to directly control the DRAM parameters. Also the BIOS is set up for overvolting and overclocking only; it is not possible to set voltages directly, or below the stock values called for by the VID and SPD.
Well you've already sold the mobo, but I'd like to inform other people here that CTRL + F1 in BIOS will give you access to more features, it's pretty common with Gigabyte motherboards. Read more here.

jaganath
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Post by jaganath » Mon Oct 02, 2006 12:50 pm

it was hot enough that the heat pipe to the north bridge was actually working backwards: it was transmitting heat toward the north bridge instead of away from it.
Hi Chris, how did you identify that this was happening? Bit of an engineering boo-boo if that's the case. I wonder if Aerocase will comment on the inadequate washers for the VGA H/S. Also, have I understood the article correctly, the Ninja has airflow going through it both horizontally and vertically (vertically from the top fan, horiz. from the CPU fan)? It's nice to see how the case is clearly divided into 3 zones, CPU zone, GFX zone, and PSU + HDD zone, this bears out my observations that best quiet cooling comes from the hot components NOT sharing airflow (unlike in BTX).

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Post by cmthomson » Mon Oct 02, 2006 1:21 pm

jaganath wrote:
it was hot enough that the heat pipe to the north bridge was actually working backwards: it was transmitting heat toward the north bridge instead of away from it.
Hi Chris, how did you identify that this was happening? Bit of an engineering boo-boo if that's the case.
In the time-honored way: I stuck my finger on the two radiators. The VRM radiator was hotter than the NB radiator. So of course the working fluid was evaporating at the VRM and condensing at the NB. Neither was especially hot.

I wouldn't call it a boo-boo; the board is obviously designed with the stock Intel cooler in mind, so there's a downwash of air around the CPU socket. It would work just as well with the airflow upward from the motherboard. That's why I initially wanted to use the XP-120.

However, with the Ninja the airflow is planar with the board, and this downwash/upflow doesn't occur.

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Post by cmthomson » Mon Oct 02, 2006 1:28 pm

jaganath wrote:Also, have I understood the article correctly, the Ninja has airflow going through it both horizontally and vertically (vertically from the top fan, horiz. from the CPU fan)?
The main radiators on the Ninja are the big fins at the top. These form a 110x110mm block, so a 120mm fan sticks out about 10mm on two sides (or 5 on all four, or whatever). I oriented the fan so the full 10mm was exposed on the NB side (bottom in the case) and on the MB side. This spills a little air across the NB heat sink, and also around the base of the Ninja, which has a bunch of heavy aluminum fins that look nice but don't do much.

The main airflow across the motherboard is from the top case fan pulling air from around the base of the Ninja.

With the duct and baffle installed, the airflow through the Ninja fin block is horizontal (front to back), while the airflow around the base is mostly vertical (bottom to top).

Erssa
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Post by Erssa » Mon Oct 02, 2006 1:57 pm

All I can say is, wow! Just thinking of the amount of money, knowledge, time and dedication needed to build that system is crazy. I wish I could just buy these ducts somewhere...

cmthomson
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Post by cmthomson » Mon Oct 02, 2006 2:07 pm

Erssa wrote:All I can say is, wow! Just thinking of the amount of money, knowledge, time and dedication needed to build that system is crazy.
Ever met a model railroader? At least my computer does something useful... :D

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Post by zoob » Mon Oct 02, 2006 2:14 pm

Nice setup! :)

Have you checked the flatness of your CPU? My first E6600 was fairly flat, almost a little convex. I switched to an E6700 and it was VERY concave. After lapping the IHS, it dropped at least 10 C.

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Post by cmthomson » Mon Oct 02, 2006 2:35 pm

zoob wrote:Have you checked the flatness of your CPU?
Indirectly. I've mounted and remounted the Ninja so many times I can almost do it with my eyes closed. The AS5 spreads out very uniformly; on the few occasions when I didn't use quite enough, the patch was nearly circular.

I'm not worried about any of my temperatures. It takes a full-bore synthetic load to induce throttling, even with my completely anemic air flow.

One sure way to get higher temperatures is to bump the Ninja after the AS5 has gone through its phase change (over about a week it changes from greasy to clay-like). This was a common reason for me to remount. :(

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Post by einsteingodel » Mon Oct 02, 2006 3:48 pm

Wow

Fantastic build. Humorous to me, for it was just a couple of days ago I first read your articles documenting your prior build - and all I could think of was along the lines of: ‘poor guy, does such a meticulous job to tame that toaster oven and now Conroe comes along. Wonder how he feels’. You sure answered my question! :D

The only item I find disconcerting is the aesthetics of the P180, it has never won me over. I’m still looking for my dream case to begin my E6600 build (P180 innards + Solo exterior = heaven), but as far as system design goes, I find your component selection and implementation to be at the pinnacle of the performance/value/silence equation.

Great job, and can’t wait till a year or two when you decide to go quad-core! :D

Erssa
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Post by Erssa » Mon Oct 02, 2006 3:54 pm

einsteingodel wrote:Great job, and can’t wait till a year or two when you decide to go quad-core! :D
Lucky for him, he only needs to swap the cpu...

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Post by bhaltair » Mon Oct 02, 2006 4:38 pm

I recently bought the components to a similiar system as yours except I decided to get a Thermalright Ultra-120 Heatsink, Asus P5B Deluxe, and Radeon X1950XTX instead. With that said I am looking to do a similar modding scheme like yours except I wouldn't mind sacrificing a little silence for better airflow. From what I gathered from the article you did not have a fan in the Scythe Kama Bay correct? Would you recommend leaving one in there for better airflow/cooling albeit sacrificing some slience?

The other thing is should I setup the top case fan as an intake fan with the Ultra 120 as you did with your Ninja? The components should be coming in on Friday but I won't have time to make a duct for the case for sometime.

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Post by gb115b » Mon Oct 02, 2006 5:38 pm

i'd like to see temp / noise comparisons to see the effects of the ducts

esp the gfx one, as i'm thinking of doing that myself with my p150 , core2duo extreme, x1950 xtx setup. which are all on stock at the mo, but slowly attempting to silence them

(not a massive priority as when they run loud there's generally lots of explosions and gunfire coming from my speakers)

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Post by mattthemuppet » Mon Oct 02, 2006 6:09 pm

very tidy build and considerably less effort by the looks of it than the last one :)

Shame you can't get Aerocase coolers with the fins running side-to-side rather than top-to-bottom - that'd work much better with the kind of airflow in this situation and ATX cases in general. They seem to be working on the basis of natural convection rather than forced airflow.

Surprised that TV card consumes/ dissipates so much power though..

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Post by alfred » Mon Oct 02, 2006 11:07 pm

Nice setup, I don't have enough time right now to read the article in detail but I soon will in order to see if I can improve something on the last system I built (10 days ago), using a Conroe E6700 @ 3400 MHz; single Nexus 120mm fan @ 5~7 Volts.

http://forums.silentpcreview.com/viewto ... 868#289868

Poodle
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Post by Poodle » Tue Oct 03, 2006 12:02 am

:evil: Arghh. You got it done before me! But my project is a bit more advanced. Well it is really that's why it's taking so freaking long to finish. The three or even four chamber idea I've had for a long time.
The element of suprise is lost. I had to finish an old Lian Li project that ended up nicely though to my girlfriend for present that took over 6 months. That's why I havn't finished this one yet. Damn... :(

...And now you know why I said I was so glad that Condor made custom made coolers. Remember? I wanted to have the cooler with turned fins. But my project has Vm-102 for now. Not as massive but the cooper fins are turned the right way. You just have to bend the pipes a bit.



But good stuff Chris! Can you read minds btw? ;)


You should have seen the face on my girlfriend when I got home the other p180. Because I've got two. One to run the computer in while I modify the other. What a nerd I am... :roll:

Rutar
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Post by Rutar » Tue Oct 03, 2006 3:11 am

I know that the PC is based on an old one and therfore some compromises had to be made, but I would like to see better options mentioned as some readers might copy the system.


The PSU used needed a fan mod and I think that nowadays this is not acceptable (I blame Seasonic for it).

There was no part about how the HDs were exactly mounted and those Samsung tend to have a lot of vibration (I know, SPCR no brainer). Also the 200 GB size is a bit slower than the 250 due to lower density The new sheriff in town for silent HDs (WD Caviar SE16 approved by SPCR) would be a nice sidenote.

The 7900GT is totally underpowered for the top of the line Asus motherboard ($$$) and the Conroe.

For people who work a lot with TIM, Arctic Silver cleaning kit is a must have since it's very effective and it doesn't smell as bad as the alternatives. I do not see it mentioned but maybe you did use it, if so I think it has to mentioned since it kills even the horrible pink stock TIM used on some motherboards.

Floppys have to die, they just block airflow with their cables.

The DVD-RW, now this is the ultimate SPCR blind spot. Samsung has just released a new SATA burner at the same price point as IDE solutions and I've heard some users saying it is actually "quiet". I think it's a must have for airflow junkies with the smaller cables and a reviewing sample @ SPCR would give Samsung a lot of revenue if the thing is as quiet as I think it is.


I would be interested as well how ACs MX-1 does against AS5 on one of the crappy Conroe heatspreaders since MX-1 seems to be designed to correct such flaws on AC heatsinks.

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Post by MikeC » Tue Oct 03, 2006 7:48 am

Rutar,

Now this is what I call a "jackal" response. The question is why you feel the need to bash cmthomson's work so unfairly. Did you have a bad day? :lol:
Rutar wrote:I know that the PC is based on an old one...
Mebbe you didn't get the joke: Everything except the case and the PSU was changed.
Rutar wrote:The PSU used needed a fan mod and I think that nowadays this is not acceptable (I blame Seasonic for it).
:?: :?:
The PSU was not modded in the least and there are no Seasonic components anywhere in this rig. The P180 has a built in 120mm fan mount in the lower chamber. cmthomson used a different fan.
The 7900GT is totally underpowered for the top of the line Asus motherboard ($$$) and the Conroe.
According to who? Nothing anywhere says such-and-such CPU must be mated to so-and-so vidcard. It was cmpthomson's choice, based on his needs, plain and simple.
For people who work a lot with TIM, Arctic Silver cleaning kit is a must
It's only one of several ways to clean up TIM. Oil-free 99% pure isopropynol is perfectly good.
Floppys have to die, they just block airflow with their cables.
Floppies have their uses still.
The DVD-RW, now this is the ultimate SPCR blind spot.
If any optical drive is allowed to spin up to the full "rated" speed, it's noisy. Period. It's the nature of an unbalanced plastic disc spinning at high speed. Some drives are smoother than others. We've seen many (and reviewed a few) from BenQ, LG, Samsung, Asus and others that are quite smooth. Most current ones are quite good when something like Nero Drive Speed is used to limit their top speed. This is a perfectly good strategy.

Normally, optical drives are used only for short periods, so the noise is not a big factor, it is the user's choice to have it on. The only reason it is on for longer periods is when a movie, music or game is being played -- during which time the audio output from speakers or headphones will make other noises trivial.

EDITED to remove jackaliness... as per jaganath's criticism below. ;)
Last edited by MikeC on Tue Oct 03, 2006 9:03 am, edited 2 times in total.

cmthomson
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Post by cmthomson » Tue Oct 03, 2006 8:25 am

bhaltair wrote:I recently bought the components to a similiar system as yours except I decided to get a Thermalright Ultra-120 Heatsink, Asus P5B Deluxe, and Radeon X1950XTX instead. With that said I am looking to do a similar modding scheme like yours except I wouldn't mind sacrificing a little silence for better airflow. From what I gathered from the article you did not have a fan in the Scythe Kama Bay correct? Would you recommend leaving one in there for better airflow/cooling albeit sacrificing some slience?

The other thing is should I setup the top case fan as an intake fan with the Ultra 120 as you did with your Ninja? The components should be coming in on Friday but I won't have time to make a duct for the case for sometime.
The Ultra-120 and Ninja are very similar. The Ultra is larger, and the Nexus won't stick out past the fin block, so you'll need to think about how to cool the north bridge. Also, its asymmetric shape will make building a duct more challenging. The Ninja is nice and square, and lines up almost perfectly with the case holes.

I've seen several posts that say that SpeedFan does not work on the P5B.

I added the Kama Bay to get a larger intake cross section. I doubt that its fan would add any value; push-pull arrangements have been pooh-poohed many times on SPCR. But try it and see; who knows?

My top case fan blows out, not in. With the baffle installed, it draws its air across the VRM area of the motherboard.

Good luck cooling that XTX. You will definitely have to give up silence...

cmthomson
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Post by cmthomson » Tue Oct 03, 2006 8:43 am

gb115b wrote:i'd like to see temp / noise comparisons to see the effects of the ducts

esp the gfx one
Um, there is a table in the article showing temperature vs RPM.

There aren't any noise numbers because I don't have a $5K sound meter, and they would all be below 23 dBA anyway. SPCR rates a Nexus at full speed (12V, 1100 RPM) at 23 dBA, and at 5V at less than 17 dBA. Those measurements were made on an open bench, outside a case.

The fastest I ran the video fan was 970 RPM, inside a heavily damped case.

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Post by jaganath » Tue Oct 03, 2006 8:44 am

Mike, it's ironic that you included that link to "jackal language", because your response to Rutar is pretty "jackally" itself:
What are you talking about? Mebbe you didn't read...
Hooey! According to who?..
According to you?..
Only if you know nothing..
Baloney.
The guy is a newbie, his criticisms are pretty minor, I think the reference to Seasonic is meant to imply that they make such quiet PSUs that PSU modding is now outmoded; there's no need to get all defensive and overreact.
Last edited by jaganath on Tue Oct 03, 2006 8:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

cmthomson
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Post by cmthomson » Tue Oct 03, 2006 8:46 am

mattthemuppet wrote:Surprised that TV card consumes/ dissipates so much power though..
Me too. When it's recording, it's a little toaster oven. I actually had one fail before I stuck all those heat sinks on. (ATI kindly replaced it)

Poodle
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Post by Poodle » Tue Oct 03, 2006 8:58 am

The Kama bay I've totally missed though. Thanks for the tip now I don't have to build an own in thick acryclic or steel with a aluminum fan filter that was my plan. Good stuff again Chris.

I've got to wait for the cool and digital 6phase vrm:ed DFI Rd600 before I post anything about it. I'm on the cool 945 chipset for now. But max fsb is only 285mhz. Not a surprise though. :lol:

I hope I can get 3,5ghz on the E6600 and ddr1100 on the Vitesta. :)


Good chose in components overall but I'm not too sure about that Phantom 500W though. I hate thoose cheaply built psus (two have failed on me). I've got the M12 now. The quality feel is something else. Don't dare to go fanless psu until some comes that is 200% safe and can power 400W or more (I like headroom now that DX10 is around the corner, ok?).
Last edited by Poodle on Tue Oct 03, 2006 9:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

cmthomson
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Post by cmthomson » Tue Oct 03, 2006 9:31 am

alfred wrote:Nice setup, I don't have enough time right now to read the article in detail but I soon will in order to see if I can improve something on the last system I built (10 days ago), using a Conroe E6700 @ 3400 MHz; single Nexus 120mm fan @ 5~7 Volts.

http://forums.silentpcreview.com/viewto ... 868#289868
Looks to me like you got an exceptionally good chip. Although I don't know what "standard voltage" is at 3400 MHz on a DQ6, do you?

Nice that the Ninja and the Crazy Cool are compatible.

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Post by cmthomson » Tue Oct 03, 2006 9:44 am

Regarding the power supply. I bought my Phantom 500 over a year ago, and it has served me flawlessly folding 24x7 on both the old 830D and the new Conroe. Its fan has never spun up.

Maybe there's a better choice available now, but I'm skeptical.

I did not mod the power supply; I replaced the case fan. The PS still has its fan installed and its warranty sticker unviolated.

My old system maxed out at 327W, the new one maxes out at 230W, both measured at the wall. A P500 has lots of headroom.

Poodle
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Post by Poodle » Tue Oct 03, 2006 9:53 am

Welll you got a good one then. The idea with the phantom is great but I wasn't as lucky as you and I'm not alone I believe... Must have been tricky to fit it in when the hybrid fan isn't removed. :)

I'm aware that 500w is more than 95% of us will ever need. My ups reports someting around 160W on 100% TAT @2,6ghz and with Rthdribl running on the gpu. I just wanted to mention my only criticism of the system which doesn't incl. your work which is really really nice. :)


Off topic: It's nice to see how the N.V.C. aka Giraffe language gets past around. :)
Last edited by Poodle on Tue Oct 03, 2006 10:49 am, edited 3 times in total.

cmthomson
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Post by cmthomson » Tue Oct 03, 2006 10:08 am

Rutar wrote:The PSU used needed a fan mod.
No it didn't. I replaced the case fan and left the PS alone.
There was no part about how the HDs were exactly mounted.
I didn't think it was necessary to say more than that they are mounted in the lower bay. The P180 comes equipped with soft-mount caddies, which work very well. My drives emit a soft "shhh" sound and no hum.
The 7900GT is totally underpowered.
On the contrary, it is massive overkill for 99% of what I do.
For people who work a lot with TIM, Arctic Silver cleaning kit is a must.
Wow. We actually agree on something.
Floppys have to die, they just block airflow with their cables.
I run my disks with AHCI to get NCQ (native command queuing). This requires a floppy drive while installing XP, to get the disk driver. My floppy cable is completely out of the air path.
The DVD-RW...
Yes it's noisy at higher speeds. I burn CDs at 8x, which is silent. The PATA cable is indeed a pain to route, and unreliable if not folded perfectly.
I would be interested as well how ACs MX-1 does against AS5 on one of the crappy Conroe heatspreaders since MX-1 seems to be designed to correct such flaws on AC heatsinks.
"Crappy heatspreader" :?: :?: Mine is flat and works very well.

Poodle
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Post by Poodle » Tue Oct 03, 2006 10:59 am

[quote="cmthomson"][quote="bhaltair"]I added the Kama Bay to get a larger intake cross section. I doubt that its fan would add any value; push-pull arrangements have been pooh-poohed many times on SPCR. But try it and see; who knows?quote]


Well the mid fan placement of the fan in the lower chamber I think i ideal, there you don't have to think about pressure or anything.
I've made a push pull arangement in that Lian Li case I was on about that makes 10 degrees C. lower temps while having lower rpms (600rpm vs 1200rpm) but using an extra fan. Mike chin wrote an article about that two fans can be more quiet than one. We should keep this in mind.

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Post by cmthomson » Tue Oct 03, 2006 11:09 am

Poodle wrote:I've made a push pull arangement in that Lian Li case I was on about that makes 10 degrees C. lower temps while having lower rpms (600rpm vs 1200rpm) but using an extra fan.
I'm guessing it had more to do with where the air was being directed than it did with the amount of air.
Mike Chin wrote an article about that two fans can be more quiet than one. We should keep this in mind.
Yes, but in general that applies to fans in parallel, not in tandem, at least in low-impedance situations. I'm running four fans, and have no noise at all. :D

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