Dual 4850s in a nsk-3480?

Got a shopping cart of parts that you want opinions on? Get advice from members on your planned or existing system (or upgrade).

Moderators: NeilBlanchard, Ralf Hutter, sthayashi, Lawrence Lee

Post Reply
moobags
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2007 8:21 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Dual 4850s in a nsk-3480?

Post by moobags » Mon Aug 10, 2009 8:43 pm

Howdy SPCR readers!

Long time lurker of these forums. Got all the info on components for my current rig (see my sig) from here. THANKS EVERYONE!! It has served my faithfully (and QUIETLY) for several years now, and it couldn't have happened without these forums.

However, I am now looking to upgrade (its been a while now, I think I deserve it!). Basically I love the nsk-3480, and really want to build a system in it. The following will be the internals:

- DFI 790GX-M3H5 mobo
- Intel i7 (920/950 depending on budget) cooled by a Megahalems (passive)
- 12Gb Corsair 1333MHz XMS DDR3
- 2xHDD RAID1 (prob samsung ecogreen)
- Corsair HX-750W PSU
- 2x ATI HD4850 in crossfire (each cooled by Thermalright HR-03)
- Noctua case fans (front and rear)

Now i'm thinking the 3480 is going to struggle to fit in 2 4850s.. especially with 2 HR-03s hanging off them. Also I'm thinking there will be a bit of a heat issue.

If it seriously won't happen, I was thinking the mini p180 for this system. By my reckoning, the aforementioned parts won't have a problem fitting in this case. If I were to use this case, I would remove the lower drive cage and use the front fan there to blow over the gfx cards (possibly add some ducting to make sure it goes where it supposed to)..

What are peoples opinions on this? Will 2 4850s with after market coolers fit in a 3480? If it can be done i'd like to do it in that case. its just so damn dinky!
A64 X2 4400+ w/ Scythe Ninja (fanless) | KN8 w/ Zalman ZM-NB47J | P150 w/ 1x120mm nexus, 2x92mm nexus | Corsair 2048mb TWINX | Spinpoint 1x300gb 2x500Gb SATA | GeForce 6800GS 512mb w/ Zalman VF900Cu

swivelguy2
Posts: 404
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2004 9:18 pm
Location: Illinois, USA

Post by swivelguy2 » Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:30 pm

You certainly can't fit 2 HR-03s in that case. The top one would have to be faced upwards, and it'll collide with the NB heatsink. The bottom one would have to face downwards, and there isn't enough space at the bottom of the case for that.

However, you could fit two video cards that have a dual-slot stock passive cooler, as long as you provided some excellent airflow for them. You could duct the lower front intake fan back over the PCI slots, for example.

The best card to use 2 of in this situation would be the not-yet-released Gigabyte passive HD 4770. The 4770 has nearly identical performance to the 4850, with lower power consumption. In addition, the fins on the Gigabyte 4770 appear to all be oriented front-to-back, which will be good for airflow. Gigabyte has a similar passive 4850, but half of the fins go left-to-right, which would block airflow.

Gigabyte passive 4850: $130 at Newegg
Gigabyte passive 4770: Preview

There's a comparison of power consumptions by X-bit Labs in the sticky in the VGA forum: here.

With this setup, you won't be able to use the bottom HDD mount in the case, but other than that, they should sort of fit. Using 4850s, it'll be a lot of heat to get out of the case, though.

darkb
Posts: 46
Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2007 11:07 pm
Location: Australia

Re: Dual 4850s in a nsk-3480?

Post by darkb » Tue Aug 11, 2009 4:38 am

moobags wrote:- DFI 790GX-M3H5 mobo
- Intel i7
I'm pretty sure you'd have problems using an i7 with an AMD motherboard..

Maybe the DFI LanParty JR X58-T3H6 would be a better choice :P

Also, you'd only have one space between the cards, and I don't think a HR03 will fit in there.. Definately not with a fan, and the fan would be needed because the 4850's put out ~90W of heat iirc.

I think a better Idea would be to get a single HD4890 and put an accellero twinturbo cooler on it.. An S1 would also work but putting a normal fan on that makes it a three slot cooling solution and there wouldn't be room for much airflow below the fan.

Or if you're really serious about GFX you could get a 4870X2 and put the accellero extreme cooler on it.. But then you'd be over taxing the psu and dumping too much heat into the case.

RoGuE
Posts: 540
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:11 am
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Contact:

Post by RoGuE » Tue Aug 11, 2009 4:53 am

You do realize it's going to be virtually impossible to make this build quiet..right? You are grossly underestimating how much airflow an i7 cpu and 2 VGA's will need to keep from melting. Supplying the ample amount of airflow will be downright impossible to do quietly..unless that just isn't a priority of yours.

The first thing I would suggest, is looking at a single, high powered graphics card. New cards are amazing these days, and a single $200 card can do what sli/crossfiring 2 x $200 cards could do 6 months ago. Going down to one card will not only drastically reduce the noise of your system at both idle and load, it will also allow your motherboard to run cooler.

Second thing, is why 12gb of ram? 99.9% of people never even fill up 8gb durring heavy shopping / video editing sessions. Also, a lot of people seem to think that more ram = faster computer. This is one of the biggest, most retarded myths in the computer industry today. Just something to keep in mind...

moobags
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2007 8:21 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: Dual 4850s in a nsk-3480?

Post by moobags » Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:27 pm

Thanks for the replys guys! They have definitely given me a new outlook on things.
darkb wrote: Maybe the DFI LanParty JR X58-T3H6 would be a better choice :P
Heh thats what i meant :oops: For some reason thats what I copy/pasted.. Ah well, u get the idea...
darkb wrote: Also, you'd only have one space between the cards, and I don't think a HR03 will fit in there
The HR-03 can be mounted either hanging off the card, or curled around it (if that makes sense). Either way, one if not both would have to be fanless... and the bottom one wouldn't fit in the 3480 (hanging off at least)
darkb wrote: I think a better Idea would be to get a single HD4890
RoGuE wrote: The first thing I would suggest, is looking at a single, high powered graphics card
I think you both have a very good point here. I don't know why I was determined to go down the dual gfx route... I think i'm going to go with the 4890/4870X2 with an Accelero S1..
RoGuE wrote: You do realize it's going to be virtually impossible to make this build quiet..right? You are grossly underestimating how much airflow an i7 cpu and 2 VGA's will need to keep from melting. Supplying the ample amount of airflow will be downright impossible to do quietly..unless that just isn't a priority of yours.
Silence is absolutely a priority for me. I wouldn't be posting here if it wasn't :wink:
Considering that i'm going for 1 gfx card now, do you really think this build is going to be hard to keep cool AND silent?
RoGuE wrote: Second thing, is why 12gb of ram?
The question here, is why not? Is it a heat issue? I'm aware that after a certain point more RAM wont make your computer appear to run any faster, but will 6 sticks really affect the heat in the case that much?
A64 X2 4400+ w/ Scythe Ninja (fanless) | KN8 w/ Zalman ZM-NB47J | P150 w/ 1x120mm nexus, 2x92mm nexus | Corsair 2048mb TWINX | Spinpoint 1x300gb 2x500Gb SATA | GeForce 6800GS 512mb w/ Zalman VF900Cu

JamieG
Posts: 822
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Post by JamieG » Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:50 am

Single GPU + i7 CPU + X58 mATX mobo + 2 x HDDs + 1 x Optical Drive is probably workable in an NSK3480 but it may not be silent. Quiet is achievable though I think.

As you mentioned, a P180 mini is your other alternative for slightly better cooling (but will probably be louder).

Also, a P180 Mini is about the same size as smaller full ATX towers, like the Antec Solo, so going with a Solo may be a better option as it has built in suspension mounts for hard drives and doesn't come with a PSU that you might have to discard like the NSK3480 does. (The Earthwatts 380W PSU that comes with the NSK3480 doesn't have dual PCI-E power connectors from memory, which you would need for anything more powerful than a single 4850).

You also have more flexibility re cooling in the Solo, as if you went with a downward facing 120mm fan style PSU, you could put a duct around the CPU cooler so that the PSU and rear exhaust fan would help pull air through your CPU cooler - might help in getting it to run passively!

Other random thoughts:
- if you go with the NSK3480, an Antec Signature 650 would be a better power supply choice, as it has a pull through 80mm fan design would help cooling any HDDs mounted in the upper chamber and is also a pretty quiet PSU (quieter than the Corsair you mentioned, based on the review of the TX650W by SPCR - although I have an idea the 750W and 650W versions of that PSU are actually made by different manufacturers)
- For the NSK3480 and probably the Solo as well you would probably need dual 92mm intake fans for the heat you are planning
- It is unlikely that you would be able to run a Megahalems passively in the NSK3480 on even an i7 920.
- Based on the above comments re fans for the NSK3480 (or the Solo if you go that route), 2 x 120mm Nexus fans for the Megahalems and rear exhaust + 2 x 92mm Nexus fans for the intakes would be pretty good. Get some Zalman Fanmates or some 7V fan power adapters to undervolt these fans and they would be pretty quiet
- In the P180 Mini (if you prefer that option), I'd similarly replace the stock fans with 120mm Nexus or Scythe fans and undervolt them, and either leave the top 200mm fan on low if it is quiet enough for you, or feed the top fan 7V through a molex connector instead and see if that makes it quieter while still being able to start up.
My PCs:
Main PC (E5200, G31, Lian Li Q07) | Gaming PC (E6850, X38, 5870 Vapor-X, P182) | HTPC (4850e, 780G, 3450, NSK2480B)

RoGuE
Posts: 540
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:11 am
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Contact:

Re: Dual 4850s in a nsk-3480?

Post by RoGuE » Wed Aug 12, 2009 4:33 am

moobags wrote:
RoGuE wrote: Second thing, is why 12gb of ram?
The question here, is why not? Is it a heat issue? I'm aware that after a certain point more RAM wont make your computer appear to run any faster, but will 6 sticks really affect the heat in the case that much?
Well yeah. say you only ever use up 3.5 gigs at a MAX (and that is A LOT of open applications btw). that means u not only bought 8 gigs of ram that are totally useless to you, but now they are just adding to the ambient heat generation in your case.

I would advise hitting ctrl+alt+del and click on the performance tab. now, open up every application you could possibly need, a photoshop session if you do that..EVERYTHING. Now look at how much ram you're usin up. Take that number, and add a gig to be safe. now THATS how much ram you should buy.

I can garentee you it wont be anything close to 12.

moobags
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2007 8:21 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post by moobags » Wed Aug 12, 2009 4:46 pm

Thanks again for the input guys! I guess i need to clarify that I'm not aiming for this build to be 100% silent, but quiet enough so i can't hear it when i'm sitting at my desk (this is the case with my current setup)..
JamieG wrote: Also, a P180 Mini is about the same size as smaller full ATX towers, like the Antec Solo, so going with a Solo may be a better option as it has built in suspension mounts for hard drives and doesn't come with a PSU that you might have to discard like the NSK3480 does.
Yeh, see my current rig is housed in a solo (well p150, but same deal) and I guess I just want a new case to look at :) even if it now comes in black..
JamieG wrote: It is unlikely that you would be able to run a Megahalems passively in the NSK3480 on even an i7 920.
Despite the fact that the rear case fan sits right next to it? i guess if it gets too hot i can just chuck one on later...
RoGuE wrote: I would advise hitting ctrl+alt+del and click on the performance tab. now, open up every application you could possibly need, a photoshop session if you do that..EVERYTHING. Now look at how much ram you're usin up. Take that number, and add a gig to be safe. now THATS how much ram you should buy.
Yeh see use VMs a fair bit (often 2 running at once, as well as my OS), plus things like photoshop, and multiple tabs in multiple browsers, and just having that headroom would be very handy. On my work computer I have 6 gigs and easily fill that up. Seeing as i'm getting this RAM cheap (<$250 AUD for the 12Gb) I just don't see any real reason why i shouldn't get it (apart from the heat). I may not fill it up now, but in a year or 3 when applications/games get more resource hungry.....
A64 X2 4400+ w/ Scythe Ninja (fanless) | KN8 w/ Zalman ZM-NB47J | P150 w/ 1x120mm nexus, 2x92mm nexus | Corsair 2048mb TWINX | Spinpoint 1x300gb 2x500Gb SATA | GeForce 6800GS 512mb w/ Zalman VF900Cu

darkb
Posts: 46
Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2007 11:07 pm
Location: Australia

Re: Dual 4850s in a nsk-3480?

Post by darkb » Fri Aug 14, 2009 5:41 am

moobags wrote:I think i'm going to go with the 4890/4870X2 with an Accelero S1..

.........

Silence is absolutely a priority for me. I wouldn't be posting here if it wasn't :wink:
Considering that i'm going for 1 gfx card now, do you really think this build is going to be hard to keep cool AND silent?
The Accelero S1 isn't a good choice for a mATX case, the height of that with the necesary fan isn't going to fit well.. When I had one on my 4870 with a 120mm fan it took up ~4 slots for cooler + card.
The twinturbo or extreme respectively would be much better choices, though I don't think you'd have enough airflow with only one 120mm exhaust fan to keep the ambient temp at a reasonable level if you use a 4870X2..

You're not going to be able to overclock the i7 much in the 3480 if you want it to be quiet, I've got an i7 920 with a TRUE on it in an antec 900 two and a nexus fan running at full speed attached, and it still gets to 70c easily under load at default settings. (though it is an original C1 revision cpu)

Here's some pics to give you an idea of how much space an Accelero S1 takes up.. One with the turbo module thingo taking up three slots (in an Antec Solo), and then another with the 120mm fan fitted.
(Click for larger pics)

Image
Image


Edit: found This, which has some nice modding and a few pics of the same size hardware you're looking at fitted into a 3480. The air entry points actually line up quite nicely.
Damn that setup looks tempting, I wonder if you could mount 2.5" ssd's to the other side of the motherboard tray or in the cut out section beside the psu area :idea:

Post Reply