Antec Solo airflow

Enclosures and acoustic damping to help quiet them.

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russd1978
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Antec Solo airflow

Post by russd1978 » Thu Dec 24, 2009 7:28 am

Hi,

Im currenly running an Asus P5B vanilla with E4300 and a 8800 Palit GT graphics card. I have the standard Tricool 120mm exhaust (set to lowest setting) and a single 92mm zalman set to "low" on the front. My temps are 40c CPU and 38c Motherboard idle.

I have noticed the northbridge and southbridge get really hot though, so I replaced the NB heatsink with a Thermalright heatsink and that fixed that problem, but the SB is still really hot. I dont think it helps with the 8800GT which is quite large for the Solo case.

I'm planning to upgrade to a i5 or i7 build and was going to keep the Solo case, but Im thinking now maybe Id be better with a different case that will allow a 120mm fan on the front? I could get 2x 92 noctua or nexus fans for the front of the Solo, but not sure if that would be too noisy and still not keep the SB cool enough.

Any thoughts much appreciated. Would 2x92 noctua or nexus fans be quiet enough for me to keep the Solo. Or maybe I just need a motherboard with decent heatsinks for the i5 or i7?

russd1978
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Post by russd1978 » Thu Dec 24, 2009 9:37 am

Here's some images, im guessing that southbridge would be hot even with great airflow unless it had a fan over it. If I get a motherboard with decent heatsinks hopefully this wont be a problem in an i5 or i7 build in this case?

Excuse the dust on the last pic... need to get an airduster soon!

Image

Image

Image

nutball
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Post by nutball » Thu Dec 24, 2009 11:08 am

Well I hate to open a can of worms here, but it's Christmas and there's nothing better to do, so I will.

What do you mean by "really hot" and why are you convinced it's a problem?

russd1978
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Post by russd1978 » Thu Dec 24, 2009 11:51 am

nutball wrote:Well I hate to open a can of worms here, but it's Christmas and there's nothing better to do, so I will.

What do you mean by "really hot" and why are you convinced it's a problem?
Haha - yes a can of worms perhaps. The southbridge is hot, its okay with a bit of air flow over it but 1x92mm fan at low setting at the front of the case isnt quite enough, if i move the fan nearer the SB its very cool. Seems not much air is getting to it as things stand.

I can put my finger on it for a few seconds so its not as hot as it probably could be, but i suspect the cases airflow isnt great, and that concerns me when planning my next i7 build with this case.

Perhaps 2x Nexus 92mm fans will be better than the 1xZalman 92mm fan im using at the moment. Or maybe I need a fan better positioned to cool the SB, or alternatively I could install a better heatsink on the SB, not sure if anyone sells them.

audiojar
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Post by audiojar » Thu Dec 24, 2009 11:56 am

You should be able to use a Solo with just exhaust. Your MB is designed to be used with the supplied heatsinks with not a whole lot of airflow. The temps you gave seem normal, so I don't see any reason to suspect your SB is running too hot. It's common to not be able to touch the heatsink for more than a second.

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Post by CA_Steve » Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:22 pm

The case is fine. My last setup in this Solo (see signature) was a P5B-E, e4300, and an 8800GTS 320 (~ same wattage as the 8800GT). I swapped out the rear tri-cool for a Scythe and have another Sythe in front. No temp problems whatsoever.

The P55 chipset uses MUCH less power than the P965. The Northbridge is integrated w/ the i5/i7 and the southbridge is known to run fairly cool.

I don't think you will have any problems w heat.

russd1978
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Post by russd1978 » Thu Dec 24, 2009 2:19 pm

Thanks for the info, glad to hear my Solo should be able to handle an i7 build. I think youre right, the P965 is quite a hot one. The Northbridge did benefit from the Thermalright heatsink though I think, its so much cooler now. I think I will invest in a better motherboard next time though, since the vanilla P5B seems to have very basic heat sinks compared to the Deluxe etc.

oldabelincoln
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Post by oldabelincoln » Thu Dec 24, 2009 6:23 pm

The Solo is just fine for the new P55 boards. Ventilation is more than adequate - the P55s chipset runs cool - and you can expect very good temperatures on the board with almost any reasonable fan setup. The CPU socket location is very good, and you can use large CPU heatsinks without hitting the Solo's crossbar.

I've just built a Solo-based P55 system for my brother-in-law, using a Gigabyte P55-UD4P and an i7 860. GPU is an HIS 4670 (dumps heat outside the case), HDDs are 1 each 1TB WD Black and Green. 4GB of Corsair 1600 memory, Antec 430W NeoHe.

2x Nexus 92mm in front, a 120mm Nexus 120 mm in back, and a 140 mm Scythe on a Prolimatech Megahelms. All fans at full speed. Top 5.25 bay cover replaced with perforated Lian-Li cover for extra cooling air for the PSU.

Obviously with a rig like that, I'm concerned about noise, although I'm more concerned with having a well-cooled computer than a quiet computer. But it is both cool and reasonably quiet, with very good airflow. I don't see the P55 boards as presenting any cooling problems, but for me cooling comes before noise, hence the Megahlems, a 140 Scyte, and extra intake for the PSU. Most folks won't bother with such attention to cooling.

All 4 cores were under 40C in Windows idle, under 60C at full load (OCCT). An IR thermometer showed the stock PCH heatsink in the NB position to be running around 38C. I no longer have access to the system, and these numbers are from memory.

The location of the PCH - there is no northbridge or Southbridge anymore - varies a lot among vendors. This particular board has it in the northbridge position, while others have it in the southbridge position. And there is what amounts to a dummy southbridge HS on top of a controller that probably does not need an HS; presumably they felt users would panic without a major HS down there.

The CPU socket is much further south on the board than was the case with P45 boards in general, and thus the Megahelms fit without even being close to the Solo crossbar - a pleasant change.

The biggest problem I had with a P55 board in a Solo was the SATA cables, and it wasn't a big problem. This board, like most mid range to high end P55 boards has the SATA sockets lying on their side, just at the east edge of the board (the case with some X58 boards as well), forcing the cables to be inserted from the back, via the Solo's cable management area. This makes installing or changing SATA data cables an onerous task on the Solo, one that should be delayed till all other cables have been installed. Other than that, the P55 board and the Solo get along just fine. I would have bought the Gigabyte P55-UD3P, which has SATA sockets in the "normal" orientation, but 1394 was needed and a UD4P was the solution.

russd1978
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Post by russd1978 » Fri Dec 25, 2009 1:37 am

Thanks for the info oldabelincoln. Very interesting.

I like the fact that the SB is higher on a lot of these newer boards, since I think mine doesnt benefit from much airflow in its current lower position.

So the Prolimatech Megahelms 140mm fitted in the Solo case okay? Interesting - I'm also conscious some HSFs might not fit in the Solo. I was also looking at the Noctua NH-U12P but that looks quite high too.

Thanks for all the advice so far, much appreciated :)

oldabelincoln
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Post by oldabelincoln » Fri Dec 25, 2009 9:07 am

My main concern about the Prolimatech was about the possibility of the fins hitting the Solo's crossbar in the north - south direction, a serious issue on 775 boards in a Solo, and the main reason I used an HR-01 in the 775 system in my sig, rather than a TRUE.

I had had no trouble with the Scythe 140 mm fan in terms of hitting the case's side panel because I had already used one in the system in my sig. However, each HS will put the 140mm fan at a different height as each HS has a different height. This fan uses 120mm fan hole spacing, with the fan casing bulging out between the mounting holes, and I used elastic cord to mount the fan instead of the wire clips.

The 140 touches the inner sticks of low end memory that does NOT have heat sink "fingers" sticking up, and may not work well with memory like the Corsair Dominator that has high fingers.

Don't give a second thought to the PCH temp for any P55 system, as it produces very little heat compared to any earlier Intel chipset, and location is not a concern for cooling on any P55 board that I looked at, which was just about every one out there at present.

russd1978
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Post by russd1978 » Sun Dec 27, 2009 5:28 am

Thats all really interesting, thanks. Good to hear the Prolimatech Megahelms fit in the Solo!
oldabelincoln wrote: I've just built a Solo-based P55 system for my brother-in-law, using a Gigabyte P55-UD4P and an i7 860. GPU is an HIS 4670 (dumps heat outside the case), HDDs are 1 each 1TB WD Black and Green. 4GB of Corsair 1600 memory, Antec 430W NeoHe.
I notice you say you used a 430W PSU (my current one is a 3 year old Seasonic S12 430W) - would this handle my proposed new set up:

i5 or i7 (at stock, no overclocking)
4Gb or 6Gb RAM
3xHDDs 1xODD
8800GT Palit

The PSU calculator says so, but Id always rather be safe than sorry when it comes to PSUs so was planning on getting a Corsair 650W offering. Perhaps thats not needed though?

Thanks again!

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Post by CA_Steve » Sun Dec 27, 2009 7:03 am

russd1978 wrote:I notice you say you used a 430W PSU (my current one is a 3 year old Seasonic S12 430W) - would this handle my proposed new set up:

i5 or i7 (at stock, no overclocking)
4Gb or 6Gb RAM
3xHDDs 1xODD
8800GT Palit
Yes. Easily. Comparing to my system: Your idle power will be 90-100W, 150W when gaming, and maybe 260W when running both Prime95+Furmark.

oldabelincoln
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Post by oldabelincoln » Sun Dec 27, 2009 2:05 pm

russd1978 wrote:I notice you say you used a 430W PSU (my current one is a 3 year old Seasonic S12 430W) - would this handle my proposed new set up:

i5 or i7 (at stock, no overclocking)
4Gb or 6Gb RAM
3xHDDs 1xODD
8800GT Palit

The PSU calculator says so, but Id always rather be safe than sorry when it comes to PSUs so was planning on getting a Corsair 650W offering. Perhaps thats not needed though?
It will depend upon the 8800. The rest of the system is likely not a problem.

With all power saving features of the i7 860 turned on, the system I've been talking about in this thread idles impressively in the low 70's W AC, much better than the P45 system in my sig.

With hyperthreading on and rthdribl running 4x multisample on an otherwise idle system at stock, the program needed 12 to 15% of available total CPU to give around 100fps in an 1152x974 window, drawing a system total of 140 W AC. However, it appears to be a single threaded program, and all the action was in one thread, which needed 50 to 75% of that thread by the appearance of the task manager graph.

When I added OCCT running Linpack, CPU utilization on all 8 threads went to 100%, power draw went up to 200W, and rthdribl was getting starved for CPU and became very jerky, with unreliable fps reports all over the place.

I raised the priority of rthdribl and lowered the priority of OCCT and the 2 linpack processes, and rthdribl ran smoothly again,with results approaching 100fps, with all 8 threads maxed out. Power draw maxed at 220W AC.

It's hard to generalize from these off-hand, unsystematic results, but I recall that even with the 860 overclocked to 3.8 GHz, I never exceeded 250W AC with the system, running only OCCT.

I wouldn't speculate how an 8800 would affect things, as I'm unfamiliar with the card. However, comparing reports on the 4670 and the 8800 should give you at least a good handle on the problem.

One caution - you mention the possibility of 6 GB memory, which at least hints at the possibility of an X58 socket 1366 triple channel board. My results are for a P55 socket 1156 dual channel board, and all bets are off for X58 boards - they draw considerably more power than do the P55s by all accounts.

russd1978
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Post by russd1978 » Sun Dec 27, 2009 5:04 pm

Hmm very interesting stuff. I think Ill invest in a Corsair HX 650 modular or a TX 650 - I have the cash at the moment so may as well play it safe! The 8800 feels a bit dated now, but seeing as I dont game hopefully it should be okay. Thanks again for all the advice :)

jtcb
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Post by jtcb » Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:29 am

oldabelincoln wrote:The Solo is just fine for the new P55 boards. Ventilation is more than adequate - the P55s chipset runs cool - and you can expect very good temperatures on the board with almost any reasonable fan setup. The CPU socket location is very good, and you can use large CPU heatsinks without hitting the Solo's crossbar.

I've just built a Solo-based P55 system for my brother-in-law, using a Gigabyte P55-UD4P and an i7 860. GPU is an HIS 4670 (dumps heat outside the case), HDDs are 1 each 1TB WD Black and Green. 4GB of Corsair 1600 memory, Antec 430W NeoHe.

2x Nexus 92mm in front, a 120mm Nexus 120 mm in back, and a 140 mm Scythe on a Prolimatech Megahelms. All fans at full speed. Top 5.25 bay cover replaced with perforated Lian-Li cover for extra cooling air for the PSU.

Obviously with a rig like that, I'm concerned about noise, although I'm more concerned with having a well-cooled computer than a quiet computer. But it is both cool and reasonably quiet, with very good airflow. I don't see the P55 boards as presenting any cooling problems, but for me cooling comes before noise, hence the Megahlems, a 140 Scyte, and extra intake for the PSU. Most folks won't bother with such attention to cooling.

All 4 cores were under 40C in Windows idle, under 60C at full load (OCCT). An IR thermometer showed the stock PCH heatsink in the NB position to be running around 38C. I no longer have access to the system, and these numbers are from memory.

The location of the PCH - there is no northbridge or Southbridge anymore - varies a lot among vendors. This particular board has it in the northbridge position, while others have it in the southbridge position. And there is what amounts to a dummy southbridge HS on top of a controller that probably does not need an HS; presumably they felt users would panic without a major HS down there.

The CPU socket is much further south on the board than was the case with P45 boards in general, and thus the Megahelms fit without even being close to the Solo crossbar - a pleasant change.

The biggest problem I had with a P55 board in a Solo was the SATA cables, and it wasn't a big problem. This board, like most mid range to high end P55 boards has the SATA sockets lying on their side, just at the east edge of the board (the case with some X58 boards as well), forcing the cables to be inserted from the back, via the Solo's cable management area. This makes installing or changing SATA data cables an onerous task on the Solo, one that should be delayed till all other cables have been installed. Other than that, the P55 board and the Solo get along just fine. I would have bought the Gigabyte P55-UD3P, which has SATA sockets in the "normal" orientation, but 1394 was needed and a UD4P was the solution.
I am also considering the Solo for my i7 build. The case looks small in picture. So you have no problem with space and cooling? You mention about replacing the top 5.25" cover with a perforated Lian-Li cover. Can I purchased? Does it fit and match the color of the Solo? Does I need to do any modification to it like drilling holes and stuff? Does it has intergated dust filter?

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Post by NeilBlanchard » Fri Jan 22, 2010 11:24 am

The Solo is a fair sized case -- it is a truly mid-sized tower. Here's the SPCR review of the clone of the Solo -- the P150 is same case in white:

http://www.silentpcreview.com/article272-page1.html

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Post by danimal » Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:29 pm

i would not build with a solo case, unless you got it for really cheap.

1) power supply on top is not the best location, because it pulls in heat from below.
2) two 92mm fans instead of a 120mm fan creates more more noise at a higher cost.
3) having to remove the side of the case to clean or check the filters sucks, unless you tweak the front to not stay shut, which also sucks.
4) the hdd suspension system is nice, but i could never get it to hold on to the hdd securely enough... hdds are much quieter now than they were when this case was designed.

the solo is a solid, well-built case, it's actually really nice, but there are too many drawbacks.

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Post by CA_Steve » Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:29 pm

danimal wrote:i would not build with a solo case, unless you got it for really cheap.

1) power supply on top is not the best location, because it pulls in heat from below.
2) two 92mm fans instead of a 120mm fan creates more more noise at a higher cost.
3) having to remove the side of the case to clean or check the filters sucks, unless you tweak the front to not stay shut, which also sucks.
4) the hdd suspension system is nice, but i could never get it to hold on to the hdd securely enough... hdds are much quieter now than they were when this case was designed.

the solo is a solid, well-built case, it's actually really nice, but there are too many drawbacks.
I completely disagree.

Especially for a build like his that will not be drawing much power, the Solo is a great option. Front fans are optional - I only use one at 500rpm, it is silent. My silent rear fan also operates at 500rpm. My CPU fan doesn't even spin up during idle use (web browsing) and temps are fine for all apps. HDD suspension works and, finally, cleaning the front filter takes all of a minute. The only real downside to the Solo is the metal brace inside: if you ever have to remove your PSU, you have to remove the mobo first.

Calgarian
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Post by Calgarian » Fri Jan 22, 2010 6:40 pm

Just coming up to the third anniversary, and I still love my P-150 White.

I have been researching my i5 and i7 options recently. Whichever way I go, the P-150 (Solo) stays!

jtcb
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Post by jtcb » Fri Jan 22, 2010 7:38 pm

Does the included dust filter do a good job of keeping the case clean? If not, what about this? Anyone has experience with it? They just don't have 92mm size.

http://www.demcifilter.com/using_demciflex.htm

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/image ... assis.html

danimal
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Post by danimal » Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:17 pm

CA_Steve wrote:I completely disagree.

Especially for a build like his that will not be drawing much power, the Solo is a great option. Front fans are optional - I only use one at 500rpm, it is silent. My silent rear fan also operates at 500rpm. My CPU fan doesn't even spin up during idle use (web browsing) and temps are fine for all apps. HDD suspension works and, finally, cleaning the front filter takes all of a minute. The only real downside to the Solo is the metal brace inside: if you ever have to remove your PSU, you have to remove the mobo first.
i see what you are saying, but jtcb was talking about an i7, so given the tdp, i'm guessing that it's probably a different situation than a low-power build.

the solo drive suspension, while it might be slightly quieter, it does a poor job of securing the hdd... although there is probably a hackable fix... i like to be able to pick a computer up without worrying about the drive getting loose inside.

the filter in the front of the solo will filter dust fine, it's a bit more porous than the demcifilters are... i use the 140mm demcifilter for the top fan hole on my p183, which is supplying positive case pressure to the box... you could probably save some $$$ by using some old screen door mesh.

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Post by CA_Steve » Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:46 pm

danimal wrote: i see what you are saying, but jtcb was talking about an i7, so given the tdp, i'm guessing that it's probably a different situation than a low-power build.
TDP:
e4300 65W
P965 chipset 19W
.................84W

i7-860 95W
P55 4.7W
................100W

16W difference. not a lot. i5 and i7 systems are amazing low power users. The idle power of the i7 system will definately be lower than the e4300/p965.

danimal
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Post by danimal » Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:58 pm

i3 = 73 watts
i7 = 95 watts
i7 = 130 watts

22 watts difference.

core2duo = too inefficient for a modern low power build, they have been rendered obsolete.

kater
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Post by kater » Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:19 pm

Not if you can find a low low price for, say, E5300 (and OC it) or a 2nd hand E8200 or even Q9400. Repeat - 2nd hand CPUs can be bought at Ebay (or similar places) for next to nothing. Who needs a warranty with a CPU anyway? Ever seen a broken 775 or AM2? I haven't. Put the CPU on a USD 50-60 (new) board, add cheap DDR2 800 to flavor and presto. A dirt cheap, power efficient and still able backbone.

One more thing ;) P150 FTW! The case stays with me at least until reasonably powerful PCs shrink to the size of, say, 2 stacked HDDs.

ame
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Post by ame » Sun Jan 24, 2010 6:09 am

Like others said, Solo has very good airflow. Its not a super cooled gamer's case with 5X120mm fans, but its also much quieter than most gamer cases. It can handle a hot CPU + hot Vid card with ease.

On A system I installed for a freind (Q6600 OCed ~ 3.0GHZ with a Zalman 9500 cooler, and ATI 4850 with original stock cooler+2*nexus 92mm @ 5V) Video card was running hot (78-90c) until he replaced the cooler with AC Twin turbo. Now its not only cool (60-65 GPU load) but very quiet even while playing COD MWF2.

I also built a Solo with i7 860, AC 7 Pro rev 2, Quadro FX 580, no front fans. System is ice cold CPU never goes over 46c at full load.

Myself still using Solo as DAW case. couldn't be happier.

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Post by dnavas » Sun Jan 24, 2010 7:07 pm

Am also considering the Solo for a P55/i7-860 build. Probably with a HIS 5750 card. It's a bit taller than the lian li a05nb I've been considering, as well as cheaper and probably quieter. Not worried about cooling -- if it gets hot, add the front fans.... I am worried about the dust/fingerprint magnet and the power button quality issues.

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Post by Shakkan » Mon Jan 25, 2010 9:37 am

What's preventing me from purchasing the Antec Solo right now is the depth to fit my current video card (which was given to me), a 4870 X2. It's around 10.5" long. Right now, it's in my Sonata III and it seems alright (albeit tight), but I just bought a P55 system and I want to fit my new parts into a new case along with my current 4870 X2.

It's either the P183 (more expensive, more noisy I guess?) or the Antec Solo that I drill through (which I'm not too fond of).

Is the P183 that more noisy than the Solo?

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Post by jtcb » Mon Jan 25, 2010 6:23 pm

I think I will get the Nexus Value 430W as reviewed here as the quietest PSU. The problem is the fan is under the unit. Would that cause any problem in terms of positive airflow? Does the Solo has opening at the crossbar right under where the PSU sits? Any suggestions if these parts should be replaced with others that are more silent?

And off topic here.. Do you think it can handle load?

i7 860
motherboard TBD
4GB ram
Gigabyte Radeon HD 4550
1 SSD
1 WB Green or Blue HD
2 optical drive
1 floppy
Prolima Megahalems with 1 or 2 120mm fans
1 rear 120mm
2 front 90mm

ame
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Post by ame » Tue Jan 26, 2010 12:30 am

I think I will get the Nexus Value 430W as reviewed here as the quietest PSU. The problem is the fan is under the unit. Would that cause any problem in terms of positive airflow? Does the Solo has opening at the crossbar right under where the PSU sits? Any suggestions if these parts should be replaced with others that are more silent?

And off topic here.. Do you think it can handle load?

i7 860
motherboard TBD
4GB ram
Gigabyte Radeon HD 4550
1 SSD
1 WB Green or Blue HD
2 optical drive
1 floppy
Prolima Megahalems with 1 or 2 120mm fans
1 rear 120mm
2 front 90mm
I don't think you will get positive pressure. the 120mm exhaust + 120mm PSU will most likely pull more air out of the case than the 2*92mm would be pushing in (=negative). Its quite difficult (still possible with some modding) to get positive in the Solo

With that said I think you can consider dropping the 92mm fans altogether. You have a relatively cool setup with only one HD...

Megahalems can handle this CPU in the Solo with 1 very slow fan or even passively (depending on your overclocking).

Rucker
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Post by Rucker » Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:34 am

jtcb wrote:I think I will get the Nexus Value 430W as reviewed here as the quietest PSU. The problem is the fan is under the unit. Would that cause any problem in terms of positive airflow? Does the Solo has opening at the crossbar right under where the PSU sits? Any suggestions if these parts should be replaced with others that are more silent?

And off topic here.. Do you think it can handle load?

i7 860
motherboard TBD
4GB ram
Gigabyte Radeon HD 4550
1 SSD
1 WB Green or Blue HD
2 optical drive
1 floppy
Prolima Megahalems with 1 or 2 120mm fans
1 rear 120mm
2 front 90mm
I running pretty much the same setup, EVGA P55 mobo, i860, 4GB RAM, HIS 4670 passive, Nexus 430 PSU, 1 SSD, 2 2.5" HDD, one BD drive, Megahalems with one Slipstream, one Slipstream exhaust and 2 92mm Nexus fans. With the intake fans off, room ambient temperatute at 17C, temps right now are:

CPU: 27/27/29/22
VREG: 38
GPU: 48
HDD: 25/25

You should have no problems.

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