To cut or not to cut (giant holes in the bottom of my case)?

Enclosures and acoustic damping to help quiet them.

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Jay_S
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To cut or not to cut (giant holes in the bottom of my case)?

Post by Jay_S » Thu Mar 12, 2015 10:36 am

That is the question!

My desktop PC is housed in an Antec NSK3480. I love the case for all kinds of reasons. But it's cramped inside.

MOBO: Intel DH77EB mATX
GPU: MSI GTX 660ti w/Twin Frozr

The PC sits about a meter from my face, on my desktop. I've never seen the PSU fan turn on (Seasonic X650). My CPU is cooled semi-passively: I ducted a rev 1 Ninja to the rear chassis fan, an Arctic Cooling F12 PWM fan that's inaudible from my chair.

Here's the issue: The GPU fans idle when I'm just doing general purpose desktop work. I can hear them, but it's not bothersome. But they ramp up while gaming (1920x1200 px). I don't hear them w/headphones on. But when I'm shutting down & pop the headphones off, I'm usually alarmed by how much noise my GPU is making.

What I think is the problem: My motherboard has 4 card slots. The PCIe x16 slot is the 2nd slot if you start counting from the CPU. The GPU cooler is a 2-slot assembly. This puts the GPU cooler's fans pretty close to the bottom of my case. There are no vents in the bottom or side panels. I have a quiet 92mm front intake fan blowing toward the GPU, which does help, but I still feel like the GPU fans are starved for air.

All of the above has me itching to cut one or more huge holes in the bottom of my case. Taking inspiration from infrasonic's gallery thread:
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=56875&start=0

There's a "0dB" MSI or Asus GTX 970 in my future, but I suspect they won't be 0dB without adequate air circulation. I have the tools to cut the panels, but it's a bunch of work and, well, I couldn't ever un-do a case mod this drastic.

So, would you cut?

quest_for_silence
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Re: To cut or not to cut (giant holes in the bottom of my ca

Post by quest_for_silence » Thu Mar 12, 2015 3:16 pm

Jay_S wrote:So, would you cut?

There are chances the new GTX 970 would run cooler than your GTX 660: I just swapped an ASUS 660 with a Zotac 970 and it actually run cooler.
Said that, broadly speaking opening two 120mm intakes in the front/bottom panels will surely improve the 3480 cooling prowess: but IMO/IME you will need some custom dustfilter, then (as the DEMCiflex ones).

Jay_S
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Re: To cut or not to cut (giant holes in the bottom of my ca

Post by Jay_S » Thu Mar 12, 2015 6:13 pm

quest_for_silence wrote:There are chances the new GTX 970 would run cooler than your GTX 660
True. Maybe I should revisit this after I've upgraded GPUs.

Vicotnik
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Re: To cut or not to cut (giant holes in the bottom of my ca

Post by Vicotnik » Fri Mar 13, 2015 1:46 pm

I think holes in the bottom of the NSK3480 destroys it. It maybe needs some modifications on the inside, like holes for better cable management, and a bigger fan in the front. But nothing that destroys the aesthetics imo.
NSK3480, DH77EB and a Ninja.. Damn, that is beautiful. :)

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Re: To cut or not to cut (giant holes in the bottom of my ca

Post by quest_for_silence » Fri Mar 13, 2015 1:59 pm

Vicotnik wrote:I think holes in the bottom of the NSK3480 destroys it.
Why?

Jay_S
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Re: To cut or not to cut (giant holes in the bottom of my ca

Post by Jay_S » Fri Mar 13, 2015 2:00 pm

Vicotnik wrote:I think holes in the bottom of the NSK3480 destroys it. It maybe needs some modifications on the inside, like holes for better cable management, and a bigger fan in the front. But nothing that destroys the aesthetics imo.
NSK3480, DH77EB and a Ninja.. Damn, that is beautiful. :)
I don't think holes in the bottom would destroy the aesthetics. You'd never see the holes, and it's not like the bottom is all that attractive anyway. The first thing I did upon receipt of the case was cut holes for better cable management. I'll post a pic or two tonight.

I see you also have a DH77EB. This board has been great to me. The ninja was a lucky win (after discovering kater's success here).

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Re: To cut or not to cut (giant holes in the bottom of my ca

Post by Vicotnik » Fri Mar 13, 2015 11:22 pm

quest_for_silence wrote:Why?
Not the holes themselves, but the taller feet needed to elevate the case. The beauty of the NSK3480 is it's size I think. Better do downsize on the graphics card a bit and improve front to back airflow.

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Re: To cut or not to cut (giant holes in the bottom of my ca

Post by Jay_S » Sat Mar 14, 2015 7:21 am

Here's a side view of my case
IMG_20150314_100018.jpg
Looking at it again, maybe there's plenty of room and the card is just over taxed. I cut out the 92mm front intake fan grill and taped over the assorted other holes in the front sheet metal. I'm going to remove the 2 remaining PCI slot covers, maybe that will help exhaust some heat. Probably should have tried this long ago...

No jokes about my flaccid duct! (Previous mobo CPU socket was located much higher, and the duct was made for that system. Function over form in this system).

Tight fit up top with the PSU and optical drive:
IMG_20150314_095932.jpg
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Re: To cut or not to cut (giant holes in the bottom of my ca

Post by quest_for_silence » Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:20 am

Vicotnik wrote:
quest_for_silence wrote:Why?
Not the holes themselves, but the taller feet needed to elevate the case.

I think that something like the Nexus Dampers case feet could work satisfactorily (even aesthetically-wise).

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Re: To cut or not to cut (giant holes in the bottom of my ca

Post by Vicotnik » Sat Mar 14, 2015 4:07 pm

Nice pictures Jay_S. :)

Yeah, remove the PCI slot covers. But you have negative pressure in that case I think, with an 92mm for intake and a 120mm for exhaust. Ideally you should have one (or two ;)) quiet 120mm fan(s) in the front pushing in a bit more than the back fan pushes out. That would create a bit of airflow across the graphics card.
quest_for_silence wrote:I think that something like the Nexus Dampers case feet could work satisfactorily (even aesthetically-wise).
Yes, perhaps. Much better than the stilts look you get with just taller feet.

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Re: To cut or not to cut (giant holes in the bottom of my ca

Post by Jay_S » Sat Mar 14, 2015 4:34 pm

I have a bazillion Yate Loon 120mm fans. It would be easy to enlarge my front intake. Maybe I'll try that first.

I wish I could "demo" a GTX 960. It's supposedly an upgrade to the GTX 760 and rivals the GTX 770. I basically only play borderlands 2 these days, so maybe I don't need a 970...

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Re: To cut or not to cut (giant holes in the bottom of my ca

Post by xan_user » Sun Mar 15, 2015 2:25 am

Vicotnik wrote:
quest_for_silence wrote:Why?
Not the holes themselves, but the taller feet needed to elevate the case.
everyone has a different aesthetic curve.. tall feet are fine in my book, if silence/performance balance is achieved for the user.

some people can't stand tall feet on a sexy case, or large modded holes....but to me silence is first, athletics are like 3rd or 4th...

...to each his/her own. and beauty is in the eye... and all that...

For ME SPCR is about silence first. looks never come before silence in my builds... If big holes and tall feet make the rig fit your needs, i say go for it!

not a criticism, vicotnik, just offering my personal perspective to the OP.

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