Fortress II or not? The heatpipe 'issue'.

Enclosures and acoustic damping to help quiet them.

Moderators: NeilBlanchard, Ralf Hutter, sthayashi, Devonavar

Post Reply
Shadout
Posts: 117
Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2008 6:04 pm
Location: Denmark

Fortress II or not? The heatpipe 'issue'.

Post by Shadout » Mon Jan 10, 2011 8:25 pm

I'm quite unsure what to pick for a new gaming computer I am hoping to buy soon (tm) as my old video card died recently.

So far the planned hardware is something like I7-2600k (OC'ing it) and HD6950 => Somewhat high temps, especially from the video card.

At first I got convinced by the Silverstone Fortress II review here on SPCR (and other sites).
However the potential issue of vertical heat transfer in heat pipes keeps popping up, making me worried I'm picking the wrong case, no matter how great it looks on paper. Early on it sounded like random nonsense, but quite a few report this for various video card coolers.

Currently I have a Accelero S1 on my HD4870, but this time around I decided I would prefer the safer option of a video card having a custom cooler already applied.

Most custom coolers by the video card manufactures tend to have somewhat vertical heatpipes though (or rather bending in all possible directions), which might end up being a problem in the Fortress, if one are to believe the (sadly) random reports on forums about this 'issue'.

Now there isn't actually any HD6950s with custom coolers out yet, which makes the decision a whole lot more complicated with the lack of information and reviews, but at least one card from MSI has been shown so far with others to come.
I've however also been considering the Asus DirectCU HD6850 reviewed on SPCR, if no decent HD6950s show up soon. It got a little less heat to get rid of, but the concerns are the same otherwise.

Do you think I would be better off with another case altogether? Been looking a little bit on Antec 1200 / 900 (hating the glass/design already :P).
The P180-series (Got a P182 now) was great and all, but doesn't seem well-suited for hot video cards, which is why I started looking elsewhere.
The goal is not silence obviously, but certainly some quietness, also during load (as a noise reference point I'm coming from the aforementioned HD4870 + Accelero S1 with 120mm 1000 RPM).

Anyone here got experience with cards like the MSI Twin Frozr II or Asus DirectCU (no matter the cards beneath) in the Fortress II? (= how they perform vertically).

danimal
Posts: 734
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 2:41 pm
Location: the ether

Re: Fortress II or not? The heatpipe 'issue'.

Post by danimal » Mon Jan 10, 2011 8:48 pm

i would try maxing out the p182 before throwing money at a new case... as in, put 4 fans in the upper compartment, maybe in a positive pressure setup, then see what you get with the new video card.

will you be overclocking the video card?

SebRad
Patron of SPCR
Posts: 1121
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2003 7:18 am
Location: UK

Re: Fortress II or not? The heatpipe 'issue'.

Post by SebRad » Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:05 pm

Hi, the Radeon 6950 isn't really any hotter than the HD4870 you already have. Well according to Anandtech it's consumes less power under Crysis and more under Furmark.
If your P182 will cool the 4870 with custom cooling dumping all the heat in the case then a stock HD6950 pushing the heat out the back will be no problem.
You may well be able to reuse the Accelero [with additional VRM etc heatsinks] on the 6950 if you were minded.

The Fortress is a lovely looking case though...

Regards, Seb
i7 2600k under NH-C14 w/2xTY-147PWM fans, P8P67Deluxe, 8GB RAM, GTX560Ti OC w/TwinTurbo II and BIOS fanspeed mod. MX100 512GB & 2TB EARX in Scythe QuietDrive outside case. Antec Signature 650 fan swapped. CoolerMaster 201C with 2x92 + lower 92mm fan out rear, holes-in-floor and mesh top+front intakes.

Shadout
Posts: 117
Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2008 6:04 pm
Location: Denmark

Re: Fortress II or not? The heatpipe 'issue'.

Post by Shadout » Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:43 am

Thanks for the replies.
Yeah, I'm not switching out the old case because it can't do its job. I wanted to give my old computer to a family member (beside the dead video card) so that is why I'm considering a new case to go with the new hardware.

Wont OC the video card. Contrary I might actually underclock it a tiny bit if its a worthy tradeoff for less noise.
If your P182 will cool the 4870 with custom cooling dumping all the heat in the case then a stock HD6950 pushing the heat out the back will be no problem.
Not planning to get a stock 6950, but one of the custom solutions from Asus, MSI or whoever, so the heat would be exhausted in the case. I'm sure P182 can handle it, I'm looking for a case which can handle it even better, so the GPU fan (hopefully) wont speed up as much as I'm pretty sure it will do in P182 (judging from the SPCR reviews).

In the end it does look like the homemade solutions work the best, as in installing Accelero S1 or similar. It just feels a bit risky to play around with custom coolers both removing the warranty, and often with crappy VRM cooling as well. So I'd very much prefer not to take that route this time around if it can be avoided, without too much of a noise trade-off :)

Anatorax
Posts: 74
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:43 am
Location: Germany

Re: Fortress II or not? The heatpipe 'issue'.

Post by Anatorax » Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:35 am

Well, an Accelero S1 + Fortress 2 seems like the best solution to me. I have this combination, but with the 6850 card and the temps are amazing (~30-33C idle) even with 180mm fans on 400rpm and the rest ~600-700rpm. If the PC is at least 80cm away from your ears, the thing will be marginally silent.

Search for a topic on custom VGAs and Fortress cases in the VGA section or google it. Someone made a test of different coolers and positions. The result was that the cooler will not work in a FT02 case if it heatpipes run vertically ALONG the card (e.g. Prolimatech MK-13). If the heatpipes run ACROSS the card everything will be fine (Accelero S1). I guess the same logic would apply to custom non-aftermarket solutions too. There are plenty of custom heatsinks with heatpipes across the card (Twin Frozer from MSI to name one) and they will work fine.

quest_for_silence
Posts: 5275
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:12 am
Location: ITALY

Re: Fortress II or not? The heatpipe 'issue'.

Post by quest_for_silence » Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:24 am

Anatorax wrote:There are plenty of custom heatsinks with heatpipes across the card (Twin Frozer from MSI to name one) and they will work fine.

I may confirm that the MSI Cyclone works fine in my Raven.
Regards,
Luca

Support SPCR, use these links when you buy: NCIX, Amazon and Newegg

Shadout
Posts: 117
Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2008 6:04 pm
Location: Denmark

Re: Fortress II or not? The heatpipe 'issue'.

Post by Shadout » Wed Jan 12, 2011 7:04 am

Thanks.

I've also seen people who say coolers with heatpipes running vertically works fine (viewtopic.php?f=17&t=60334&p=524104&hil ... ss#p524104), so it is a bit confusing to figure out what works and what doesn't :)
Especially considering the ridiculous price on this thing. You really want to be sure you get the right case then.

I've pretty much decided on the Fortress though. Just the hunt for a video card left. (Choice is pretty much between HD6950 with Twin Frozr (supposedly coming out next week) or a stock HD6950 with Accelero S1 or Twin Turbo Pro (also horizontal heatpipes).

If I may ask, quest_for_silence, how are temps and fan speed on your MSI cyclone? And which card?

quest_for_silence
Posts: 5275
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:12 am
Location: ITALY

Re: Fortress II or not? The heatpipe 'issue'.

Post by quest_for_silence » Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:46 am

Shadout wrote:If I may ask, quest_for_silence, how are temps and fan speed on your MSI cyclone? And which card?

It's a pair of modest and cool GTS 450 OC (850MHz).

They idle in the lowish thirties, 30°-32°C mostly, at load (gaming or folding) they are costantly under 58°-60°C (ambient may vary, 20°-23°C).

About fan speed I can be less precise (as their noise slightly change between idle and load when I can barely notice them over the three SS Air Penetrator, I've not spent so much time looking at AfterBurner being quite satisfied), but IIRC it stays everytime well under 50% when gaming/folding (right now I don't remember the exact FurMark figures). I've try to oc the cards over 900MHz in order to squeeze some more PPDs, but the fan rose well above 60% (it strove to mantain temperature around 65°C) and it was disturbing, but I don't think it's related to the heatpipe-issue.

Just as a side note, if they weren't so acceptably quiet (way quieter than the previous EVGA GTX 460) now I would regret about their purchase: I've bought them a few months ago as they gave a GTX 470-like performance for a fraction of the cost, but now it's quite the contrary.
Regards,
Luca

Support SPCR, use these links when you buy: NCIX, Amazon and Newegg

Post Reply