Antec Solo build/review

Enclosures and acoustic damping to help quiet them.

Moderators: NeilBlanchard, Ralf Hutter, sthayashi, Devonavar

eoctanker
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Post by eoctanker » Tue Sep 26, 2006 4:26 am

Bursk,

First off, I think your case may be damaged. I don/t have any gaps in my case and I cannot see into the interior workings from any angle. I can see the reflection of the LEDs through the Bezel, but that is it.

Second. The way I worked the zip ties, I daisy chained them. I used the square end as an anchor in the hole up through the fan. The next tie would attach to the flat end on the other side of the fan. This one would go over to the next hole. At the next hole, I would reverse the direction through it so the Square was at the top and the flat end went through to the back side. Then I would attache the next zip tie to this one and continue to the next hole. Sounds confusing, but before the clipping occurs, the zip ties are all connected to each other. No zip tie loops back on itself. When they are all connected and cinched down, I clipped the sections of zip ties that go between the holes. End result is that each hole is anchored front and back. I have this done for both fans on the front, so you can do it for two 92 fans.

Wolf84,

I have not done much testing with temperatures at different settings, but I believe that if you have a positive pressure on your case, those holes exhaust hot air from your graphics card. You can test this by putting the back of your hand or a small thread in line with these holes while your system is running and see which way the string moves or whether you feel warm or cold air on the back of your hand. If your system has a negative air pressure, then it will pull cold air in from outside and drop the temperature in your case.

Either way, I believe that Antec has them present as part of their airflow plan for this case. My case has a slightly negative air pressure due to the fact that the nexus 120 exhaust and the PSU exhaust are pulling out more CFM than the two 92 nexus fans on the front of the case and are pushing in. Therefore, those holes on my case are providing a secondary inflow of colder air that hits the graphics card before it exits through the exhaust.
Antec Solo w/ 120mm Nexus exhaust and two 92mm Nexus intakes, Seasonic S12-500, Asus A8N-SLI Premium, AMD X2 4400 w/ zinja plus, 2gb corsair DDR400 XMS3200, Evga 7900 GT w/ Zalman VF900, BenQ DVD DW1655, Samsung SpinPoint P SP2504C 250GB

Bursk
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Post by Bursk » Tue Sep 26, 2006 4:59 am

eoctanker, thanks for the swift response!

I've done some proper measuring of the gap at the top and side of my case.

When looking down on the case from a 'bird's eye' point of view, at the point where the bezel meets the main body of the case, the far right part where the two sections meet has no gap at all.

Moving left, about halfway across there's a gap of 1mm. Sounds small, but it is noticable. By the time you get to the far left of the case, the gap between the bezel and the rest of the case is 3mm! This means that there is a very noticable difference between the left and right sides of the case.

Looking at the case from the side, there's a gap of 2mm almost all the way from the top to the bottom, again at the point where the bezel meets the rest of the case.

Ralf Hutter
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Post by Ralf Hutter » Tue Sep 26, 2006 6:17 am

Bursk wrote: When looking down on the case from a 'bird's eye' point of view, at the point where the bezel meets the main body of the case, the far right part where the two sections meet has no gap at all.

Moving left, about halfway across there's a gap of 1mm. Sounds small, but it is noticable. By the time you get to the far left of the case, the gap between the bezel and the rest of the case is 3mm! This means that there is a very noticable difference between the left and right sides of the case.
1) Remove the left side panel.

2) Now make sure the three front bezel hooks are snapped completely into the holes in the front of the case.
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Bursk
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Post by Bursk » Tue Sep 26, 2006 7:12 am

Ralf Hutter wrote: 1) Remove the left side panel.

2) Now make sure the three front bezel hooks are snapped completely into the holes in the front of the case.
They do snap into the holes, but it's still not flush.

The bezel essentially looks like it's made from two parts - an inverted L and the straight part with the grille. The problem is that the grille part is sticking out a bit at the top, so instead of it being parallel with the inside-front of the bezel, it's attached to it at an angle.

So at the top of the bezel, when looking at it from the side, instead of the inverted L and the grille bit being the exact same width as each other, the grille part is further to the left at the top, which is creating this gap.

I tried gently pusing the grille bit to the right, but it won't budge. I'm waiting now for the company I got it from the pick this one up and deliver me a replacement. I've contacted them by Email, but they're yet to reply.

I'll try to take some pictures with my digital camera in a little while. I've never uploaded images to the internet, so don't know how to do that. Whould it be okay to Email them to you, Ralf?

Bursk
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Post by Bursk » Tue Sep 26, 2006 8:52 am

Well, I took some photos but they didn't come out very well; perhaps not surprising considering it's black on black.

wolfy84
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Post by wolfy84 » Tue Sep 26, 2006 10:59 am

RAFH - i'm using the default pwm that came with the mb. i also did a bios update for my motherboard yesterday and now pwm is working better (varies the rpm in larger margins, faster response) .but the problem was't the pwm itself, but the setting that says 3pin...and it should have been 4pin.
it now works better, so i decided to keep the covering for the back holes to prevent dust from entering the case (highest temperature achived is now 50C in full load with 20-22C ambient temp). overall i am pleased with the silence of the case but maybe i'll soon try to remove the grills of the front and back case coolers.
btw, what's the deal with the other pwm you recommanded?
thank you!

eoctanker - i'm sure that in my case the back holes are intakes (back coolers are 120mm antec and source cooler, front 92mm antec). so i prefer to cover them as long as i don't have any temperature problems...

RAFH
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Post by RAFH » Tue Sep 26, 2006 10:59 pm

You can download SpeedFan from the SpeedFan website.

http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php

Its also available at other download sites like Major Geeks.

Its a third party program. It scans all active busses and monitors all available temperatures, fan speeds, voltages, etc. It can be configured to modulate the fans per temperature readings. You can set the minimum speed, maximum speed, desired temperature and alarm temperature. Each fan can be set to respond in a variety of ways to each sensor availabe. It can also monitor and test your smart drives and email you advisories. It takes a while to figure it all out, but it can work wonders. There's still a lot I have no idea what it does but since its the brainchild of a guy that gets essentially nothing out of it, I assume everything has a meaningful purpose.
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RAFH
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Post by RAFH » Wed Sep 27, 2006 12:29 pm

Bursk, your case is definitely not right. And you are doing the right thing by getting it replaced.

I hope this doesn't sour you on the case, its really quite a nice one. Mostly if you are concerned about quietness. I was surprised at how quiet it was. Of course, I did use very quiet fans and a very quiet HSF.

Its also a very solid feeling case. Which I suspect contributes to the quietness.

Anyway, good luck with your replacement, its never a fun thing to go through.
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Bursk
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Post by Bursk » Thu Sep 28, 2006 1:16 am

RAFH wrote:Bursk, your case is definitely not right. And you are doing the right thing by getting it replaced.

I hope this doesn't sour you on the case, its really quite a nice one. Mostly if you are concerned about quietness. I was surprised at how quiet it was. Of course, I did use very quiet fans and a very quiet HSF.

Its also a very solid feeling case. Which I suspect contributes to the quietness.

Anyway, good luck with your replacement, its never a fun thing to go through.
Cheers, RAFH.

The company I used are turning out to be really inefficient. It's unlikely I'm going to get my replacement by Saturday (which is when I really need it by) so I'll order another one today from somewhere else and get a refund on the old one. A PITA, but worth it in the long run.

Thanks again.

RAFH
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Post by RAFH » Fri Sep 29, 2006 1:50 pm

Well, Bursk, I am glad to see you are not bowed by a bad experience and are taking the bull by the horns.

I do suggest you rate the 'inefficient' company on ResellersRatings. I always check out on ResellersRatings any company before I do business with them. Its saved my a lot of grief. Plus the users (usees?) reviews are often quite entertaining.

Anyway, it is a great little case with lots of quality features. The only features I wish they had included are a case speaker (with a volume control) just for beep codes, and a removeable motherboard tray. The former I will take care of myself one of these days, the latter would probably have to involve a good portion of the back of the case sliding out with the motherboard mounting. I don't know if that would be possible as there might not be enough stability left with the side panels also removed.

As it is, its best to get as much as you can installed on the motherboard before you install the motherboard into the case. As noted, it is compact with little room to spare.

Do give some thought to my solution of isolating the PSU from the rest of the case, I am convinced its reduced noise overall and allows my PSU to control its own fate since it only gets cool outside air. It also simplifies the air flow within the main compartment. I think that will improve even more when I add an intake fan, a crossflow type (long and narrow with the air coming out of a slot) to the openings to the right (as seen from the back) of the expansion slots, though I may need to include a diverter to keep the air coming from the front intakes from just stalling the air coming from the rear intake. That would redirect both streams to the back of the Zalman cooler which would then send them to the 120mm exhaust fan and out of the case. If you like, I can send you pictures. I would post them but don't seem to be having much luck with that.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.
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PretzelB
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Post by PretzelB » Fri Sep 29, 2006 4:00 pm

I found this thread pretty late but it's been a good read. Thanks to the OP for posting such great info on the case. It's almost like a review! Only bad news is that now I'm itching to get a Solo and I really don't need a new case.
[size=75]Antec P182 - Stock fans, SeaSonic S12-500 ATX12V 500W PSU, Sunbeam controller, Scythe SCNJ-1000 w Titan 120mm, ASUS A8N-SLI Premium, AMD X2 2 3800 Manchester, 2gb Corsair value ram, Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 ST3250824AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA HD, passive XFX 7950 GT [/size]
[size=59]Old stuff - Chenbro 611 - Titan 120mm intake, Evercool 120m (M version) exhaust [/size]

K9-Cop
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Post by K9-Cop » Sat Sep 30, 2006 7:01 am

You're supposed to use 92mm fans for the front-intake in the Solo. Would it support 80mm fans?

Update: found a 92mm fan in my area, but it would be interesting to know the answer anyways.

wolfy84
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Post by wolfy84 » Sat Sep 30, 2006 1:35 pm

I'm really having some trouble with dust in my area....so i'm thinking of making a somewhat dust-free pc-system. my antec solo has one 120mm exhaus (antec tricool, running low, at 1200rpm, 39cfm) and the psu 80mm exhaust (not sure, but let's say around 25cfm???). at the front of the case there is one 92mm antec tricool running low,1200rpm, 21cfm. my problem is that inside the case there's a negative pressure, and to make it possitive i should add a "super fan" to have a bigger intake cfm value than the exhaus value. so do you have any solution? i was thinking about adding a second 92mm cooler, maybe with a higher cfm value than the 92mm antec and setting the current 92mm to medium (1600rpm, 28cfm, 21dba).
i found these:
Arctic cooling fan 9 - 2000rpm, 34.86cfm, 23.5 dba
Antec 92mm PRO, DBB - 2600rpm, 42.4 cfm, 33dba
Evercool SFF9 - 2200rpm, 41cfm, 22 dba

do you have any suggestion?

wolfy84
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Post by wolfy84 » Sat Sep 30, 2006 11:53 pm

K9-Cop wrote:You're supposed to use 92mm fans for the front-intake in the Solo. Would it support 80mm fans?

Update: found a 92mm fan in my area, but it would be interesting to know the answer anyways.
you should be able to fix them with zip ties...read the beginning of this topic

RAFH
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Post by RAFH » Sun Oct 01, 2006 7:19 pm

For adapting 80mm fans I would suggest making up an adapter plate that would fit the 92mm area but have holes cut and/or drilled for the 80mm fans.

You could use thick cardboard or thin metal, plexi, probably even wood. I'd suggest using some soft felt where the adaptor touches the frame and for where the 80mm fans tough the adaptor plate.
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bobbavet
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KISS SOLO PC

Post by bobbavet » Mon Oct 09, 2006 12:22 am

Well here it is.....

The KISS SOLO PC.

After saving pennies,selling old sytem and a month of assembly.


http://img241.imageshack.us/img241/8539/frviewcq6.jpg
http://img209.imageshack.us/img209/598/tlviewvq7.jpg
http://img241.imageshack.us/img241/7742 ... ew1wr7.jpg
http://img241.imageshack.us/img241/7544 ... iewfk1.jpg
http://img156.imageshack.us/img156/1227/board2lc9.jpg
http://img149.imageshack.us/img149/8550/desktopor7.jpg

Specs:

Antec Solo Case (Extremely quiet)
E6600 CoreDuo
Gigabyte DQ6 mobo
2GB PC6400 DDR Geil Ram
Winfast 7900gt 256mb
160GB SataII 16mb cache, main drive
200gb sataII 8mb cache, secondary drive
AeroCool Gatewatch fan controllers
Thermaltake 5.25" draw
Lg 16x DVD burner
19" LCD


Wishlist:

Chimei 22" Widescreen LCD (digital)
DX 10 video card when available

RAFH
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Post by RAFH » Mon Oct 09, 2006 10:59 am

Looking good.

I take it you really like KISS in a very big way?

Maybe you could make a casting of Gene Simmon's tongue and mount it to the bezel?

Seriously though, looks great.

What fans did you end up installing?

Thanks for noting the Chimei LCD, what a deal that is. Cripe, I paid $800 for my Dell 24". Its nice, very nice, but I could have gotten two of these instead. Of course, not when I bought my Dell over a year ago.
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eoctanker
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Post by eoctanker » Mon Oct 09, 2006 3:18 pm

Recommendation: You can run almost all of those wires on the reverse side of the Solo case. It is designed to have room over on that side so you can have them out of the way to make it neat and also not affect air flow. Take off the other cover and look at all of the cool extra room for cables...
Antec Solo w/ 120mm Nexus exhaust and two 92mm Nexus intakes, Seasonic S12-500, Asus A8N-SLI Premium, AMD X2 4400 w/ zinja plus, 2gb corsair DDR400 XMS3200, Evga 7900 GT w/ Zalman VF900, BenQ DVD DW1655, Samsung SpinPoint P SP2504C 250GB

bobbavet
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Nexus fans

Post by bobbavet » Tue Oct 10, 2006 12:31 am

Nexus fans

eoctanker
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Post by eoctanker » Wed Oct 18, 2006 3:55 pm

Wolfy84,
Adding the second 92mm fan and pwming them both to run at whatever volume you can stand :wink: is one method of creating a positive pressure system. The problem with creating a positive pressure is more than just the exhaust fan and the PSU fan. The case is designed to have air flowing in along the whole front of the case and the second set of holes at the bottom of the rear of the case. You can make a semi dust free system by blocking all of the inflow points except for the filter area (two 92mm fan area) and keep the negative pressure. This will force the air through the filter and also ensure that the noise level is not increased.

If you want to make a positive pressure system, you will have an increase of noise no matter what you do. Air flowing through a filter will cause noise as we all know.

Another technique that I have been thinking about is to reverse the whole system. Reverse the single 92mm fan, take off the filter and then reverse the rear fan. This sounds bad, but if you build (or Buy) a box type air filter that you can place over the back exhaust, the antec reversed can pull air through this filter. In theory, this will pull alot of fresh air in through the back and have it blow across the CPU HS. Part will then go out through the PSU HS, the rest will hit the front of the case and then go down and split. Some will go out the front pulling 92 mm and the rest might go out the whole in the back by the graphics card (cooling the graphics card). If my theory is correct, and you increase the CFM of the Antec (or nexus like I have) the air turbulence through the filter will be muffled by the case and the air will be dust free and blow out the front.

Anyone who has tried this, let me know if I am close to a new concept or way off.
Antec Solo w/ 120mm Nexus exhaust and two 92mm Nexus intakes, Seasonic S12-500, Asus A8N-SLI Premium, AMD X2 4400 w/ zinja plus, 2gb corsair DDR400 XMS3200, Evga 7900 GT w/ Zalman VF900, BenQ DVD DW1655, Samsung SpinPoint P SP2504C 250GB

Sgt_Strider
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Post by Sgt_Strider » Fri Oct 20, 2006 10:42 pm

Has anyone contemplated of getting the colour of the front face plate painted to black? I'm thinking of getting the Solo and get the silver face plate painted to match the rest of the case. However, I'm not sure how much that would cost.

NyteOwl
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Post by NyteOwl » Sat Oct 21, 2006 2:02 pm

If you want the interior of the Solo but all black you might have a look at the Atlas http://www.antec.com/us/productDetails.php?ProdID=91540 as it has the same interior. It doesn;t apprear to have the same dampening material or the suspension grommets thoughit does have a hefty power supply. The grommets are available from Antec.

That said - there is a case mod in the gallery section of a p150 (same case absically) where the front panel was redone in a burgandy/maroon colour so black shouldn't be too difficult. viewtopic.php?t=34710
Obsolesence is just a lack of imagination!

RAFH
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Post by RAFH » Sun Oct 22, 2006 2:43 pm

I don't think the actual painting would be too difficult, though I am not sure how the existing surface (appears to be very lightly brushed aluminum sheet laminated over plastic) would take either to paint directly or to whatever preperation. But it should be possible. I think the hardest part might be matching that gloss black. With the example provided by NyteOwl, they painted the black background and then painted the maroon foreground, no matching involved. Gloss Black is probably one of the hardest colors to match accurately, especially with different substrates.

You have any friends in the Auto Body and Paint business or hobby? In the past that's seemed to be one of the more successful strategies for getting computer parts painted.

Personally, I'd love for my SOLO's bezel to be black, I wouldn't even mind the light brush finish. It would be so very excellent. I'd also like to throttle the Power LED, cripes, it lights up the whole room at night. I disconnected the drive indicator because it was too distracting.

If you go for it, definitely log your efforts with lots of photos and post it all.
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eoctanker
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Post by eoctanker » Mon Oct 23, 2006 8:51 am

have you tried to dampen the LED? I have read about some different techniques, such as the sharpie method to make the LED less bright. Another technique I have read about is to take paper and cover the LED between the LED and the cover. This is supposedly a very good method to lessen the brightness. I bet you could change the level of brightness by increasing the weight (thickness) of the paper... Maybe if you used color paper you could change the color of the light, thereby making you SOLO a one of a kind... :roll:
Antec Solo w/ 120mm Nexus exhaust and two 92mm Nexus intakes, Seasonic S12-500, Asus A8N-SLI Premium, AMD X2 4400 w/ zinja plus, 2gb corsair DDR400 XMS3200, Evga 7900 GT w/ Zalman VF900, BenQ DVD DW1655, Samsung SpinPoint P SP2504C 250GB

RAFH
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Post by RAFH » Mon Oct 23, 2006 12:22 pm

Thanks for the suggestions. I assume by the Sharpie method you mean going over the led or lens with a Sharpie pen. I don't like that as its permanent but the paper sounds workable and as noted, I can just add more sheets or use thicker paper/whatever.

I wonder is there is such a thing as a LED dimmer?

Aha, it appears there are. Look sort of expensive and seem to be focused on large scale lighting systems. Well, at least its possible. That would be ultra cool to be able to dim that light. Something to work on.
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nutball
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Post by nutball » Mon Oct 23, 2006 12:29 pm

RAFH wrote: I wonder is there is such a thing as a LED dimmer?
Any reason a fanmate wouldn't work, maybe mated with some capacitors and/or resistors?

eoctanker
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Post by eoctanker » Tue Oct 24, 2006 1:58 am

Aren't sharpies able to be removed by alcohol? If not, you can use alcohol markers like the military use. They come in various colors, you can get them at hobbie stores and no matter how long you have it on, you can wipe it off with some rubbing alcohol or whaterver type of alcohol you prefer. The army uses them on clear plastic overlays and even months later, you can wipe it off real easy.
Antec Solo w/ 120mm Nexus exhaust and two 92mm Nexus intakes, Seasonic S12-500, Asus A8N-SLI Premium, AMD X2 4400 w/ zinja plus, 2gb corsair DDR400 XMS3200, Evga 7900 GT w/ Zalman VF900, BenQ DVD DW1655, Samsung SpinPoint P SP2504C 250GB

WR304
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Post by WR304 » Tue Oct 24, 2006 6:08 am

eoctanker wrote:have you tried to dampen the LED? I have read about some different techniques, such as the sharpie method to make the LED less bright. Another technique I have read about is to take paper and cover the LED between the LED and the cover. This is supposedly a very good method to lessen the brightness. I bet you could change the level of brightness by increasing the weight (thickness) of the paper... Maybe if you used color paper you could change the color of the light, thereby making you SOLO a one of a kind... :roll:
Blue LED's are a real nightmare. The worst is when you have them on something like a DVD player/ AV amp right where you're looking. :(

For a PC all you have to do is reverse the +/- pins for the LED and HDD jumpers.

The PC will work normally but the LEDs stay off. :)

RAFH
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Post by RAFH » Tue Oct 24, 2006 12:37 pm

eoctanker wrote:Aren't sharpies able to be removed by alcohol? If not, you can use alcohol markers like the military use. They come in various colors, you can get them at hobbie stores and no matter how long you have it on, you can wipe it off with some rubbing alcohol or whaterver type of alcohol you prefer. The army uses them on clear plastic overlays and even months later, you can wipe it off real easy.
I think I might be better off if I used the alcohol the way the Navy does, down the hatch, drown the batch. However, I don't drink, rather I can't drink due to some medical conflicts, I like the blotto method with paper or such best. Simple, undoable, cheap.
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wolfy84
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Post by wolfy84 » Sat Oct 28, 2006 5:02 am

eoctanker thanks. the problem is that i have an arctic freezer 7 on the cpu so i'll have to reverse that to. another problem is i'l have to buy a 120mm air filter but in general the solution should work.we'll see...

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