Yet Another P182 Build - Ãœber Cablegami [56k friendly]

Show off your quiet rig.

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blackworx
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Yet Another P182 Build - Ãœber Cablegami [56k friendly]

Post by blackworx » Mon Jun 23, 2008 4:34 am

I can't remember if I was drunk, hung over or otherwise incapacitated, but for whatever reason more than a year ago now I took leave of my senses and spent a small fortune on an Antec P182SE. I don't normally go in for shiny things and I think this one was down to supposed rarity value more than anything else. If I'd known they would be turning up in bargain bins a year later I'd not have been so hasty to part with my cash. :oops:

Anyway, my old socket A Athlon XP rig was getting a bit long in the tooth, so over the course of the next year I bought the components piece by piece to fill the P182 from scratch:
  • Abit IP35-Pro w/heatpipe mod

    Intel Q6600 G0 @ 3GHz w/Ninja Rev. B, both lapped, plus Thermalright bolt-thru kit

    Corsair Dominator 2 x 1GB (wasn't planning to buy anything of that calibre, it just happened to be going cheap at the time)

    GeCube Radeon X1550 (aka X1300 - the cheapest card in the shop - to be replaced when funds allow)

    Samsung Spinpoint 500GB x 2, suspended, w/Xilence Iceboxes for cooling

    Antec NeoPower Blue 650W (too much power, but I didn't have a choice - this was a warranty replacement for a failed Phantom)

    Cooling is all soft mounted and temperature controlled 1,200rpm S-Flexes, idling @ 6V. I currently have no fan on the Ninja but that is going to change (more on that below).
Image Image Image Image

If you're interested, there's lots more photos and descriptions: here if you're on broadband, or here if you're not.

Thoughts: It's not perfect, but overall I am pleased. The system sits on my desk less than 2' from my head and I hear only a faint fan whoosh, except for very early morning, by which point the most noticable noise in our house is the geriatric refridgerator pump anyway. The NeoPower's fan is noticeable and adds a rough, grinding character to the noise, so I am going to swap it - something I should've done from the start. It's not a showstopper though and I'm only conscious of it if I'm being really critical.

From a silencing perspective, the HD chamber works perfectly. I use P2P quite a lot so the drives are more frequently active than idle. I have not enabled AAM but I can't hear the drives unless I put my ear to the front panel, or ambient noise is exceptionally low. As I suspected, from a cooling perspective the push/pull fans plus heatsink brackets are overkill - neither drive has ever gone above 28ºC (ambient is in the range 15-25ºC). For that reason I plan to ditch the fans, but keep the foam and heatsink brackets, and do what everyone else does by using only the PSU for airflow.

As for the upper chamber: I'm going to remove the top fan, block off the top vent and put the fan on the CPU HS. I've attempted using the Ninja fanless initially for the simple reason that the Dominator's heatspreaders obstruct the normal placement of a 120mm fan. Unsurprisingly the CPU idles quite hot (around 40ºC) and under everyday heavy loads, such as video transcoding, it peaks at around 67ºC - a little too close to thermal throttling for my liking. Under synthetic load (CPUburn) it goes over that 71º boundary. Since the the Dominator will obstruct any fan I want to put on the Ninja, I'm toying with the idea of changing the HS for something narrower - probably one of Thermalright's models. I'm keeping the intake fan as it is though, because it will be needed for airflow once I put in a more powerful GPU, which will be cooled with an AC Accelero.

Since I took the last pics I have added a bracket with a coaxial S/PDIF output, driven off the IP35-Pro's electrical S/PDIF header pins. If anyone is interested I have photos of this too. I'm very pleased with that little upgrade as it means I don't have to spend money on a decent sound card. I'll not go into detail here, but I find FLAC files played via this output almost indistinguishable from the source CD (both played through the same DAC).

I've been toying around with silencing and modding for a few years, but this is my first attempt at a "proper" quiet PC. I've gotten loads of information and inspiration from SPCR and the forums - some of which is credited in the pages linked above - but I want to say a general thank you to everyone - thanks!

Comments, criticism, suggestions all welcome. :)

aztec
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Post by aztec » Mon Jun 23, 2008 5:01 am

I humbly bow to my cablegami god!

Just to nitpick, on the 4th picture above, you use 1 SATA connector which is right-angled correct?

Any reason you didn't use right-angled for the other 2 connectors?

Awesome work!

Cistron
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Re: Yet Another P182 Build - Ãœber Cablegami [56k friendly]

Post by Cistron » Mon Jun 23, 2008 5:05 am

blackworx wrote:As for the upper chamber: I'm going to remove the top fan, block off the top vent and put the fan on the CPU HS. I've attempted using the Ninja fanless initially for the simple reason that the Dominator's heatspreaders obstruct the normal placement of a 120mm fan. Unsurprisingly the CPU idles quite hot (around 40ºC) and under everyday heavy loads, such as video transcoding, it peaks at around 67ºC - a little too close to thermal throttling for my liking. Under synthetic load (CPUburn) it goes over that 71º boundary. Since the the Dominator will obstruct any fan I want to put on the Ninja, I'm toying with the idea of changing the HS for something narrower - probably one of Thermalright's models.
Why don't you keep the top fan and move the fan to the Ninja's bottom?

blackworx
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Post by blackworx » Mon Jun 23, 2008 5:19 am

aztec - Thanks! - and you're right it is a hotchpotch of SATA cables. I bought some nice black right-angled ones similar to the one I used for the DVD drive, but they were about 3" too short so I had to resort to an old cable I had lying around plus one of Abit's freebies. I will (probably) replace them when I upgrade the gfx!

Cistron - I've toyed with this idea and may yet give it a try, but I think the northbridge heatsink gets in the way (not 100% sure about this).

bonestonne
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Post by bonestonne » Mon Jun 23, 2008 6:13 am

i thought i had a lot of patience...wowza.

amazing cable job, but i only ask (or more hint off) those cable ties are easily removeable without being cut? i'd hate to wasted so many cable ties when i swap cases, or power supplies, or just find that I have to add something more.

but it looks amazing. if the case wasn't so freakin expensive i would have gotten a P182SE by now...i love the way they look. (but then again, 12 hours and a few bottles of chrome polish can give anything a mirror finish).

Aleksi
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Post by Aleksi » Mon Jun 23, 2008 9:42 am

Really great work, executed with thought and patience. A+

ntavlas
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Re: Yet Another P182 Build - Ãœber Cablegami [56k friendly]

Post by ntavlas » Mon Jun 23, 2008 10:48 am

Cistron wrote:Why don't you keep the top fan and move the fan to the Ninja's bottom?
I second that, even if the path from the top to your ears is more direct it`s worth experimenting with.

I like how even the non visible part of the cables is tidy :d Overall a well thought build with no real drawbacks I can think of.

chahahc
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Post by chahahc » Mon Jun 23, 2008 11:02 am

That cable job is.....amazing.... :shock: .....

Nick Geraedts
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Post by Nick Geraedts » Mon Jun 23, 2008 11:33 am

I must say... I'm stunned. Great work!

Ash
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Post by Ash » Mon Jun 23, 2008 12:16 pm

nice job mate, i like the whole cable management thing, espesially the way you have got the front panel cables to feed through the lower chamber. i was thinking of doing something like this but im not brave enough to take too much of the case apart incase it doesnt work or i break something.

did you have to cut the slot next to the grill to feed the cables through?
and how easy or hard is it to take the front panel off?

as for your temps are you reading core temperatures or cpu temperatures?
my cpu is cooled with a xigmatek + 1200 slipstream, cpu reading us around 40, cores idle at 25. under load the temps do not increase by much. i have 2 800 slipstreams on the exhaust and top of the case.

my hd's are also in the lower chamber with only the psu fan to pull air through. after time they both sit at around 40c, they are in the standard cage, when i moved the hd's to the middle of the cage the temps where a lot better as they were not hidden on the sides, but i was still thinking of putting a slow quiet fan in there to keep them a little cooler as i dont think the psu fan alone is too great for temps.


well done

xev
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Post by xev » Mon Jun 23, 2008 12:38 pm

i've looked through your site and have to say that u did a great job. personally i dont really like the mirror finish, but what you did with the case was amazing. unfortunately i have the old version of the case and cant properly route cables behind the mobo panel, so i can only dream of doing what you have. but i want to attempt something similar, though without so much drilling and wire-modding

blackworx
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Post by blackworx » Tue Jun 24, 2008 4:16 am

Thanks for the compliments folks - means a lot coming from you guys.
bonestonne wrote:amazing cable job, but i only ask (or more hint off) those cable ties are easily removeable without being cut?
Thanks :) ... The short answer is no, but I'm a sucker for unneccessary surgery so it doesn't bother me too much. Plus I have a massive box full of cable ties I picked up from a liquidation sale for next to nothing - more than I'm ever likely to need. When I upgrade the graphics I'll be routing the PCI-E power cables alongside the ATX cable, which means I'll have to replace all those cable ties.
ntavlas wrote:
Cistron wrote:Why don't you keep the top fan and move the fan to the Ninja's bottom?
I second that, even if the path from the top to your ears is more direct it`s worth experimenting with.
I'll definitely give it a go. I checked it out when I got home last night and the NB heatsink isn't in the way. It will be right up against the edge of the fan which is no biggie, except possibly for airflow over that HS.
Ash wrote:i was thinking of doing something like this but im not brave enough to take too much of the case apart incase it doesnt work or i break something.
The key is no fear and a little patience :) ... I really had almost no case mod experience before I did this, but once my flatmate showed me how to get the rivets out quickly and cleanly it was pretty much plain sailing. The hardest part is making accurate cuts, but it doesn't take long to get the hang of it.
how easy or hard is it to take the front panel off?
It's very easy. If you take the case sides off you will see the front panel has 6 clips which latch on to the inside of the case front - 3 on each side at the top, middle and bottom. These can be released by hand, allowing the front panel to come straight off. Removing and working with the front panel is easier if you remove the door first. This is done by opening the door to 90º and bending the ladder-shaped hinge on the left inward slightly towards the power button, loosening the tension on the hinge clips at the top and bottom allowing you to pop the door assembly out in one piece.
as for your temps are you reading core temperatures or cpu temperatures?
my cpu is cooled with a xigmatek + 1200 slipstream, cpu reading us around 40, cores idle at 25. under load the temps do not increase by much. i have 2 800 slipstreams on the exhaust and top of the case.
I'm reading core temps. Core 0 is always slightly hotter, but all 4 cores stay within a couple of degrees of each other. Btw how are you reading your core temps - is it SpeedFan by any chance? CPU and core should be pretty close to each other - no more than a few degrees different - but the 15º offset you have between your mobo CPU reading and your core temps doesn't seem right. You might be experiencing the issue where SpeedFan (and some other utils iirc) report temps 15º too low on some Core2 chips like the Q6600 G0. If in doubt, get yourself a copy of Crystal HWmonitor which definitely reads core temps correctly. Apologies if you know this already and I've got the wrong end of the stick!
my hd's are also in the lower chamber with only the psu fan to pull air through. after time they both sit at around 40c, they are in the standard cage, when i moved the hd's to the middle of the cage the temps where a lot better as they were not hidden on the sides, but i was still thinking of putting a slow quiet fan in there to keep them a little cooler as i dont think the psu fan alone is too great for temps.
Aye, the standard P182 mounting grommets stop much of the normal conduction process where some of the drives' heat is taken away through metal-to-metal contact like a crude heatsink. The Xilence Iceboxes have definitely helped me out there.
xev wrote:i've looked through your site and have to say that u did a great job. personally i dont really like the mirror finish, but what you did with the case was amazing. unfortunately i have the old version of the case and cant properly route cables behind the mobo panel, so i can only dream of doing what you have. but i want to attempt something similar, though without so much drilling and wire-modding
Thanks :) ... I thought the mirror finish would stick out like a sore thumb and for a while I was convinced I was going to hate it, but I've found it actually blends in better than a silver or black box as it pretty much takes on the appearance of its surroundings. I totally agree about the cable routing thing though. It was the addition of those holes that really sold me on the P182.

Ash
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Post by Ash » Tue Jun 24, 2008 4:53 am

thanks for that, il check out the front panel later, i want to do something with the cables.

im using everest to read my temps, i have HWmonitor aswell and they both show the same readings. my core temps are still around 25-27 idle, cpu reads as 40-42.

you've probably come my thread in the gallery aswell, i have made a few updates so i will get pics soon and post them up.

LongJan
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Post by LongJan » Tue Jun 24, 2008 11:08 am

Cistron wrote:Why don't you keep the top fan and move the fan to the Ninja's bottom?
blackworx wrote:I'll definitely give it a go. I checked it out when I got home last night and the NB heatsink isn't in the way. It will be right up against the edge of the fan which is no biggie, except possibly for airflow over that HS.

When you put in a more powerful GPU, wont hot air from that one be sucked directly into the Ninja?

blackworx
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Post by blackworx » Tue Jun 24, 2008 1:57 pm

LongJan wrote:When you put in a more powerful GPU, wont hot air from that one be sucked directly into the Ninja?
Probably... or it might have a small benefit of removing hot air from the back of the VGA card and not affecting CPU temps too much. I'll be doing the gfx and changing fans round at the same time, so I'll be able to experiment.

MajmuN
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Post by MajmuN » Thu Jun 26, 2008 4:50 pm

So much for cable management, it's a disease isn't it. I'll soon be buying some sounddampening mats from Be-quiet, mainly because it will lower my total system noise(hopefully) and... i'll be able to hide the cases cables, just like you've done. Though you shouldn't worry, i won't beat you haha.

NyteOwl
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Post by NyteOwl » Sat Jul 26, 2008 10:31 pm

Is tat a particular type of foam you used around the dive spae and in the upper bays or just ordinary high density foam?

blackworx
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Post by blackworx » Sun Jul 27, 2008 12:59 am

Hi NyteOwl, it's supposedly 32kg/m3 'acoustic foam' but tbh I can't tell it apart from ordinary high density foam and I doubt it makes any difference.

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