who's getting the zalman case?

Enclosures and acoustic damping to help quiet them.

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Gholam
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Post by Gholam » Wed May 12, 2004 1:09 pm

A guy over at iXBT forums got one of these cases, and it's running pretty damn hot - with no air circulation inside, hard drives are pushing 60C (2x Hitachi 80GB and 160GB 7200.7 in RAID), and CPU (Athlon XP2500@3200, stock voltage) is in the 70's. He also has a Radeon 9800 Pro @ 410/73, no word on temperature. Quiet though :) Link if you can read russian.

boardsportsrule
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Post by boardsportsrule » Sun May 16, 2004 8:54 pm

there is no way his sb is 99C...they get hot, yes, but he says case is 35C, and there is NO WAY that his sb gets that hot...my dfi infinity at 255X9 with a small heatsink on there and NO case flow = 34C....

Pate
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Post by Pate » Sun May 16, 2004 11:48 pm

Looks like my friend will get his case today, and also the internals he bought from the local net store are supposed to arrive today. When I get home from work I'll be heading towards his place!

Oh, and yes, I'll ask his permission for posting the pictures. :)

Pate

MoJo-chan
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Post by MoJo-chan » Mon May 17, 2004 2:55 am

Seems like the concept of a fanless case can be made to work. I'm sure you have all seen this by now:

http://www.geocities.jp/numano3/index.html

If this guy can run his machines stable in the Japanese summer time, I guess it must work. Having said that, a lot of people have air-con out there. He doesn't post NB temps either.

What bugs me is not so much the CPU but all the other bits. Sure, you can stick a massive heatsink on the CPU, but then you have no air flow to reach your northbridge, VGA and HDs. Zalman seems to have tried to cool those with heatpipes too; I guess only temps will show if it works.

Still, £600 seems a bit steep considering it's been done by hobbyists for a lot less. Any speculation as to where the money goes? All that metal can't cost that much can it?

MoJo

Pate
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Post by Pate » Mon May 17, 2004 3:06 am

The assembly project is about to start! :)

Image

Pate

shathal
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Post by shathal » Mon May 17, 2004 3:22 pm

What is it you intend to shove into it, hardware wise?

Let us know how it went... :).

luminous
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Post by luminous » Tue May 18, 2004 2:57 am

Sweeeeeeettttt........

If only I had that box on my floor :)

GPSIIR
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Question about that Zalman case.....

Post by GPSIIR » Tue May 18, 2004 11:38 am

Hello, newbie to the forum (been a geek longer than I'd like to admit, though). Getting ready to build a near-silent system, this Zalman case caught my eye, but at $1200 (cheapest I found it for), seemed a bit pricey. Then I added up what the cost of my silent system components will be, 'bout $950 for the case, water cooling, silent drive enclosure, fanless PS. Came across this http://silentmaxx.net/catalog/cases is this the Zalman case? If so, that $1000 doesn't seem so bad.......
Last edited by GPSIIR on Tue May 18, 2004 8:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Gholam
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Post by Gholam » Tue May 18, 2004 12:29 pm

Link gives a 404. Why do you need water cooling, drive enclosures and fanless PSU when TNN-500 already comes with all that? For the $1200, you get a case with fanless PSU and heatpipes with copper blocks for CPU and graphics card, purpose of the heatpipes being to dump the heat from CPU and GPU directly onto the case sides, which act as a giant radiator. I think you also get at least one of those Zalman's HDD coolers, maybe more than one.

shathal
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Post by shathal » Tue May 18, 2004 3:12 pm

The Zaalman case, however, is very likely to run into problems with high-end-y stuff, i.e.

P4 3.4 GHz Prescott
ATI 800XT / NVIDIA 6800

And seeing as it comes with its own PSU, you MAY run into problems with a high-end system. All depends what you want to stick into it, from what I've seen :).

PiSan
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Post by PiSan » Tue May 18, 2004 3:55 pm

Back to the original question of this thread, this case gives Zalman some advertising. No other company is crazy enough to make a product like this and now people know it :lol: .

MoJo-chan
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Post by MoJo-chan » Tue May 18, 2004 4:16 pm

I think the cost issue is a legitimate question though. This case seems to be aimed at people with a lot of money who just want something that "works" without all the fiddling. Assuming you bolt everything in tightly you should even be able to move the case about quite freely.

$950 seems a little high for a DIY system. I suppose if you buy everything new... I got a huge server case off eBay, and am going to try and get a car heatercore (surprised there are none in the UK on eBay). Watercooling will also stand up to just about anything you can throw at it.

MoJo

GPSIIR
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Zalman case....

Post by GPSIIR » Tue May 18, 2004 8:30 pm

Sorry about the link in my previous post, fixed it. :oops: Also, answered my own question by calling silentmaxx today, the case in the link (now fixed) is a competitor from another company, only available in Europe for the moment, but available in the USA in July. The person I talked to claimed their case was better than the Zalman's (of course!) :roll: As for cost of my silent system, case=$200, pump/res =$111, CPU/GPU/N-bridge blocks about $135, Silent HD enclosure = $69x2=$138, radiator/tubes/fittings ~$100, fanless PS $299, ... well, you can add it up. The Zalman (if it had been $1000) basically included all of the stuff I just mentioned.... But a good point that the Zalman would not handle extreme stuff, but water cooling would. Found some info on that ST-P1 (all in German), even with bablefish I couldn't figure out what the case is capable of handling. Anyway, I'll shut up now. :wink:

Pate
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Post by Pate » Tue May 18, 2004 8:38 pm

Okay, an update about the installation process. It didn't go quite according to plan, but let's start with a list of the stuff my friend's TNN-500A will have in it:

- Mainboard: Asus P4C800-E Deluxe
- CPU: Intel Pentium IV 3.0GHz Northwood
- Memory: Kingston HyperX 1GB Kit DDR 400MHz PC3200
- Hard disks: 2 x Toshiba MK-4025GAS 2.5" HDD 40GB ATA/100 4200 RPM
- Graphics card: Matrox G400 (to be replaced)
- DVD-burner: (to be purchased)

While building the machine, we ran into several problems, as follows:

Problem #1: One of the crosshead screws that hold the hard disk shelves did not open, instead the head of the screw broke when attempting to turn it loose. You are supposed to remove all the hard disk shelves prior to installing the mainboard, though this does not seem to be necessary. The fact that the shelf got stuck limits the hard disk installation options, though.

Problem #2: The Asus motherboard, although in the list of compatible motherboards, is not quite as compatible as we hoped. The case comes with a set of 6 CPU heat pipes which are meant for mainboards where the processor is about 1cm away from the main board edge. Zalman provides a separate "Heatpipe-L" set for mainboards where the CPU is farther (3-5 cm) away from the mainboard edge. The Asus has the CPU at about 2 cm from the mainboard edge, so some of the provided heatpipes were a bit too short. Whether this is actually a problem will be seen when the system is running.

Problem #3: My friend plans to use two 2.5" hard disks in RAID0 (striping) configuration. However, it turned out that the 2.5" - 3.5" adapters he bought do not have mounting holes in the correct positions for the Zalman hard disk coolers. Thus, installing the hard disks needs some rethinking.

Problem #4: When we had assembled the system (with the hard disks on the table next to the case) and attempted to test that everything runs, we ran into a major problem. Pushing the power button did absolutely nothing. No signal on the monitor, and the hard disks did not spin up.

That was how far we got monday evening, so it was time to quit for the day and leave the troubleshooting for later.

Yesterday after a long troubleshooting session and finally taking the motherboard out of the case and attempting to turn on the motherboard with nothing but the CPU and RAM connected (no hard disks, no graphics card) resulted in some beeps from the speaker. Eventually it was determined that when the Matrox G400 AGP card is installed, the system will not POST. So, today I'm loaning my Ati Rage 128 AGP card to my friend so we can determine that everything else runs.

I'll post some pictures later, they are currently on my friend's other PC and I'm at work at the moment.

Pate

(Edited: CPU and RAM connected)
Last edited by Pate on Tue May 18, 2004 9:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

sthayashi
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Post by sthayashi » Tue May 18, 2004 9:20 pm

Pate wrote:Yesterday after a long troubleshooting session and finally taking the motherboard out of the case and attempting to turn on the motherboard with nothing but the CPU connected (no RAM, no hard disks, no graphics card) resulted in some beeps from the speaker. Eventually it was determined that when the Matrox G400 AGP card is installed, the system will not POST. So, today I'm loaning my Ati Rage 128 AGP card to my friend so we can determine that everything else runs.
I don't mean to be an ass, but whenever I've forgotten to install memory in my motherboard, it never POSTs. I don't know if it even turns on (I remember one of those two things occurring as a subtle hint that I forgot to reinstall the memory).

Pate
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Post by Pate » Tue May 18, 2004 9:53 pm

Sorry, my mistake, it did have RAM installed during all the tests (silly me).

Also, my friend determined that it does POST with a PCI graphics card, which I forgot to mention.

Pate

alear
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Post by alear » Thu May 20, 2004 8:13 pm

Hey guys,

I just finished building a computer with one of these TNN-500A's for my workplace. I also had a video card problem with my system. I am using an ATI 9800 Pro. ATI says on their website that some of the cards in this and other lines don't post/blank screen with some power supplies. That's the only way I can see it being linked to the case but it might be a motherboard issue. I have a different card (geforce2 with fan disconnected) in there now that works temporarily till we diagnose the issue. Its either power supply or motherboard conflict at this point.

Like I said, I do have the other video card in there and its works great. Believe me, there is no substitute for a totally silent system. I'm impressed by the case. The build quality is perfect and parts are extremely precise. I'm using an Intel i875 chipset board 2GB hyperx ram and a 2.8GHz P4 HT. I let prime95 crank on it for an hour today and CPU temp slowly increased and levelled out at 57C. Idle was about mid 30's. This is just a computer for a quiet microscope neuron tracing room and doesn't need massive performance.

My impression of the case:
This is not a cheap sheet metal case, almost all parts are massive CNC milled aluminum pieces, nicely brushed and colored black, and are perfectly made and assembled. This thing is solid and HEAVY. There are many heat pipes and more solid aluminum blocks for the heat pipes to contact the case. A giant copper cpu main block that has a mirror finish quality cpu interface. The included power supply is a redesigned high efficiency PS that doesn't need fans and actually runs rather cool while system is under full load. All power supply wires are covered and include velcro wraps to keep everything organized. Comes with a hard drive cooler mounted on vibration absorbing rubber spacers. All the parts bags are very well organized and labelled clearly, this is always a big help. The case wheels are very nice and convert to giant rubber feet. Last but not least, the manual was clear, professional, and had good diagrams.

I know people have complained about the price. I think you get your moneys worth in this case. It does what it says it does well and requires no maintenance. If I could gather up all the money spent on cases, quiet power supplies, fans, cpu coolers, etc., I would much rather have this case for my home system.

Pate
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First temperature test results

Post by Pate » Thu May 20, 2004 8:51 pm

Okay, I got the first temperature test results from my friend.

Room ambient temperature was 25 degrees C, the temperatures were measured with Asus Probe V2.21.07.

Idle temperatures were CPU: 34 degrees C, motherboard: 31 degrees C.

After running two instances of CPUBurn 1.4 for 10 minutes, the temperatures had risen to CPU: 49C/120F, motherboard: 32C/89F.

The temperatures seemed to level out at that point.

As mentioned above, the CPU is a 3.0GHz Northwood P4.

Pate

MoJo-chan
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Re: First temperature test results

Post by MoJo-chan » Fri May 21, 2004 2:01 am

Pate wrote:After running two instances of CPUBurn 1.4 for 10 minutes, the temperatures had risen to CPU: 49C/120F, motherboard: 32C/89F.
Seriously impressive! It would be interesting to know how you get on with 3D Mark once the system is all set up with the right graphics card, as then just about every component would be throwing out the maximum amount of heat.

Oh, and alear, about your video problems. I have seen this before. It was with a 350W PSU (cheapo) and Radeon 9600 XT, and hitting the reset button would clear it (I bet you tried that). Sometimes removing or moving PCI cards helped, but it was not reliable. A different 9600 XT (might have been MSI) was okay.

MoJo

MoJo-chan
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Re: First temperature test results

Post by MoJo-chan » Fri May 21, 2004 10:17 am

Maxamus wrote:I find that hard to believe. Passive cooling is as far as i know the leasting cooling out of any of the cooling available.
It depends how "passive" the cooling is in this case. The case is basically one massive heatsink. Point a desk fan at it, and it will give you some serious cooling. Keep it by an open window with a slight breeze, and it will probably give you some excellent cooling as well.

I suppose the real test is to stick it under a desk in a room with no open windows for a day and see what happens.

MoJo

MikeC
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Post by MikeC » Fri May 21, 2004 10:24 am

After running two instances of CPUBurn 1.4 for 10 minutes, the temperatures had risen to CPU: 49C/120F, motherboard: 32C/89F.

The temperatures seemed to level out at that point.
Not long enough. Try half an hour. Also, does the Asus P4C800-E Deluxe board underreport the cpu temp?

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Post by Ralf Hutter » Fri May 21, 2004 10:28 am

MikeC wrote:Also, does the Asus P4C800-E Deluxe board underreport the cpu temp?
Yes, it certainly does. About 8-10°C.

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Post by MikeC » Fri May 21, 2004 10:51 am

Ralf Hutter wrote:
MikeC wrote:Also, does the Asus P4C800-E Deluxe board underreport the cpu temp?
Yes, it certainly does. About 8-10°C.
:!: :!:
So that brings the CPU temp up to 59°C, 29°C over your ambient. It is the same result I obtained in the VoodooPC with an Athlon 64-3200. I suspect if you left CPUBurn for 30 mins, the temp would climb a bit higher. Maybe into the low 60s. I suspect (tho don't know for sure) that the Athlon 64-3200 runs cooler than a P4-3.0 -- even a Northwood. Can't recall what the recent Anantech roundup of CPUs said...

Marko
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Re: First temperature test results

Post by Marko » Fri May 21, 2004 12:29 pm

Maxamus wrote:I find that hard to believe. Passive cooling is as far as i know the leasting cooling out of any of the cooling available.
34*C for a 3.0GHz Northwood P4 which is passively cooled seems just not right. That would suggest that the passive cooling in the Zalman is better than watercooling and air cooling.....how is that possible?
And where does all the heat from the HDD's go?
Zalman case uses heatpipes. They move heat from one place to another (from CPU to the case) rather efficiently.
Heatpipes are not solid metal. The heat pipe moves heat via a phase change (liquid to gas) that happens internally. The method is not so passive as you think.

I'm the friend that Pate has been talking about. I built the PC to be a multimedia PC, not a gaming PC. I have a separate computer for gaming. ATI Radeon 9800 (or above) or NVidia 5800 (or above) requires a Zalman VGA Heatpipe-D set which is not yet available.

I received today the final VGA card which is Matrox P650. It has a passive heatsink. Matrox is the only brand for a multimedia PC. The TV-OUT picture quality is superb and only Matrox can send overlay picture to the (widescreen) TV as anamorphic widescreen picture.
I have a Sapphire Atlantis Radeon 9800 Pro on my game PC, and it's TV-OUT picture quality is inferior compared to my old Matrox G400. ATI can only send anamorphic picture to the TV in clone mode and then the VGA display and the TV must have the same refresh rate (horrible). Maybe not a problem with LCD display and NTSC TV picture. ATI also don't send picture to the TV in it's native resolution, which causes black frames and scaling problems. I haven't yet received the TV-OUT cable for my newer Matrox card.

After installing the card I immediately had this problem:

Image

I can't close the back door. Matrox only has two DVI connectors and HD-15 (VGA) requires an adapter. Also this kind of VGA cable makes it impossible to close the back door:

Image

It's a pity the old Matrox G400 didn't work with this motherboard.
It was good enough for it's purpose.

This is a closer look of the mounted hard drive:

Image

I think there is enough room between between HD heatpipe cooler and the memory modules. The picture lies a bit.

The HD heatpipe cooler ZM-2HC2 has no mounting holes on the bottom. When installing HD to the HD Bracket, you a supposed to put the four dampers to the bottom holes of the HD. You then fasten the HD to the Bracket, not the ZM-2HC2. It's not a problem if the ZM-2HC2 is a bit wider than the Bracket. If you have no ZM-2HC2, it's perhaps better to leave the dampers out because with dampers on, the heat is not transferred away from the hard disk.

I had a bit exotic way of fastening the hard disk because none of the holes in the Zalman HD Bracket were on the right place. Also the 2.5 inch to 3.5 inch conversion rack has no holes in the bottom. As seen in this picture:

Image

I do have two 2,5 inch hard disks when Zalman supports only 3.5 inch hard disks. The two disks are in a RAID-0 data striping mode. I copied a 700 megabyte file over the network to the hard disks in 60 seconds, so in RAID-0 mode they are fast enough for me. In data striping mode the two (identical) drives read and write data in parallel, interleaved stacks. This doubles the sustained data transfer rate.

Because they are hard disk for a portable, they are very quiet and produce little heat. Because the case is somewhat open, I can hear the seek noise of the hard disks. I can't hear the idle noise when the front door is closed.

Here is some more temperature measurements:

In the beginning the CPU temperature was 31 C and Motherboard temperature 29 C.
After half an hour with 100% CPU load the temperatures were
CPU 54 C/127 F and MB 32 C/189 F.
When I stopped both CPUBurn programs
the CPU temperature dropped this way:
After 30 sec: 48 C/118 F
After 2 min: 43 C/109 F
After 5 min: 39 C/102 F
After 10 min: 37 C/98 F
After 30 min: 34 C/93 F

These temperatures were reported by Asus Probe V2.21.07. Different versions are known to report different "fixed" values.
The case is currentlty under a table which is a wrong place for this computer case :) .
The natural convection probably does not work as it should.

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