HFX mini + ssd. Absolute silence with a cost.

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HFX mini + ssd. Absolute silence with a cost.

Post by N-K » Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:43 pm

Hi all.

The Windows 7 RC time was running out so I thought I'd just buy an ssd and buy the 7.
BUT THEN! I had the chance to buy HFX mini bundle pretty cheap.
Of course I had to buy it. I also bought a slightly used Asus M-ATX mobo and an e5300 CPU. I took the memory from my now old computer.
I later on added a GT240 graphics with the GPU heatpipe kit.

Now, before I bought the case I knew it was going to be hard to assembly.
I just wasn't prepared for the horror it actually was.

The most horrible thing in my life. Seriously. It took about 6 hours to get the DVD drive, PSU and mobo in. HORRIBLE. Bending the CPU heatpipes was HORRIBLE.
And don't get me started about the GPU... HORRIBLE HORRIBLE HORRIBLE!
Suddenly, problems everywhere!

Oh well, I think the case missed some parts and there was a lot of spare parts too. Strange.

HFX mini
Included slot-in DVD-RW drive
120W bundled PSU + external brick
4GB 800MHz ram
Asus P5QL-EM
Intel e5300 @ 2,6GHz & 1.05V
Leadtek GT240 + GPU heatpipe kit
Kingston SSD 64GB with TRIM
Card reader
Windows 7 Ultimate

Anyway, here's some pics.

Here it is assembled. It looks more like an amplifier than my amp does.
It's also a dust magnet. I didn't know it had an iMon VFD when I bought it. Nice addition.

Under the hood.
I put some copper bits to the chipset cooler. It runs quite hot. The copper bits are from the bundled HDD kit that I don't use. SSD is under the DVD drive, attached to the floor with aluminum tape.

Here's the graphics card with the heatpipe kit. Probably the most horrible part to fit. The GPU heatpipes were a lot stiffer than the CPU heatpipes.

GPU fitted to the case with riser card and connected to the case with heatpipes. Horrible... just horrible. There's no space at all to tighten the bolts. All the bolts that came with the case were too short or too long so I had to use some big washers to get it tight.

The CPU cooler. I just couldn't find the right parts to get this together so I used a spare Zalman 775 backplate and other random parts that came with the case to tighten the acryl part.

The PCI slot mounting system is unbelievably badly designed. I had to do some ghetto modding to get them tightened. The thing on top is a card reader from an old computer. There are no 3,5" external slots int he case so I had to mod it to the back. It works and I'm happy.

SSD speed. Faaaaaaaast.

So, overall it was horrible to assemble. The price wasn't so bad but the actual cost was my sanity. HORRIBLE!

Oh well. At least it's COMPLETELY SILENT!
No noise whatsoever.

Power figures:
Idle with onboard graphics: 43W
CPU load with onboard graphics: 62W
Idle with GT240: 55W
CPU + GPU load GT240: 120W
All figures with keyboard, mouse, USB DAC, USB DVB-T card, usb hub connected

Temps: idle - load
CPU: 33C - about 54C
GPU: 35C - 54C
Might get hotter if it's on load longer than 2h. Haven't tested.

To sum it up: It was awful to assemble but now it's fantastic. Yay.

Edit: Forgot to mention that I used 4 tubes of Noctua NT-H1 thermal paste and one tube of AS5 to this... Horrible....
Last edited by N-K on Sat Nov 26, 2011 6:10 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Jay_S » Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:36 pm

Gorgeous kit despite the headache. Having worked with this, how would your say it compares with designing / building your two DIY chassis?

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Post by mark19891989 » Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:00 pm

looks verry nice !!

casse looks like a bit of a fucker to work with, but for a fully passive system its worth it!

good job :)

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Location: Finland

Post by N-K » Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:36 pm

Jay_S wrote:Having worked with this, how would your say it compares with designing / building your two DIY chassis?
When I did those cases, it was nice and fluent. Everything went well despite the fact that I didn't design them that well from the start. Problems kind of solved themselves. I guess I was lucky.

It was all different with this case. Problems kind of came out of nowhere. Simple things were done wrong. Some parts of this HFX case are well thought out, but a lot of them seem to be designed by a blind monkey. (so, almost like me then)

I know I could have never built a totally passive case with this demanding components myself.

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