Fractal Design Mini build plans

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WhiteFireDragon
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Fractal Design Mini build plans

Post by WhiteFireDragon » Tue Apr 12, 2011 2:05 am

hi guys, i did some research before my first post here, and i need some feedback before i start ordering/building. i'll start off with my plans, then just a few final questions. planned hardware:

- intel i7-2600k, with passive thermalright silver arrow
- asus P8P67-M Pro (or a Z68 variant when they come out)
- fractal design mini case (when they come out)
- 3x scythe slipstream 800rpm (or 2x stock fractal fan, 1x scythe slipstream 1200rpm)
- gigabyte HD5770 passive
- kingwin LZP-550 platinum PSU
- any SSD
- any memory
- blue-ray burner

so tell me if i'm wrong on any of my research: i plan to overclock both cpu and gpu as high as they can go on stock voltages. the max system power consumption should be about 200w with both CPU and GPU at full load. the PSU fan should stay completely off, so essentially it will be a fanless PSU. now my few questions:

1) the case already comes with noise absorbing foam on the front panel and both side panels. if i were to try to cover some other larger interior areas with with foam also, would that help at all?

2) the case comes with two fans both running at 1200rpm, one in the front intake and one exhaust. if i were to move the rear one to the front and then just buy 1 more 1200rpm scythe slipstream for the exhaust, would the difference in fans cause any type of sound resonance even if they all have almost the exact rpm's? if so, should i just replace all of them with the 800rpm version of scythe slipstreams?

3) i already have a lite-on blue ray burner that i'll be putting in, and it's extremely loud when it spins up. are there any ways to either open it up and silence it, suspend it, or wrap it in foam or something? any other known models that are much more quiet?

4) are there any better GPU's that are passively cooled?

5) any news on when this case will be available to buy?

ffha
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Re: Fractal Design Mini build plans

Post by ffha » Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:28 pm

  • Why would you want to passively cool an i7 in such a case?
    You would have to underclock and undervolt it for it to run stable, which would make it a waste of cash as an i5 would suffice at that point.
    Besides, the Silver Arrow has a rather dense fin stack and might not be suitable for succesful passive cooling.
  • I definitely recommend you to get that the triple Slip Stream-setup rather than using the fans included with the case - Fractal Design fans tend to be of a low quality and rather loud. The 800RPM models might push too little air for use in a Fractal Mini, though, so you should consider buying the 1200RPM models instead.
  • Forget about overclocking the CPU and/or the GPU entirely.
1. I doubt it will, unless the case resonates a lot with everything in it, which I doubt as you're using a minimal amount of mechanical components. The hard drive cages are removeable and thus allow you to suspend your hard drive, but this will decrease the structural integrity of your case.
2. Different fan models rarely cause resonation, but as I've "said" before; get the triple Slip Stream setup instead.
3. It's nearly impossible to silence an optical drive itself, but you might be able to add some foam padding between the drive and the case to reduce any vibrations. I wouldn't count on it, though.
4. Depends on what you define "better" as. More powerful? Yes, but it would make your system a lot more difficult to cool without adding extra fans.
5. Are you American or European? As far as I know, it has just been released and at least two shops in the Netherlands are selling it already.

Also, what will you be using this setup for?

WhiteFireDragon
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Re: Fractal Design Mini build plans

Post by WhiteFireDragon » Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:46 pm

hi, thank you for the post. i'm in north america, so i guess if it's already released in europe, it shouldn't be long for US shops to carry it. as for cooling, these new i7's don't run that hot, and i was debating between the silver arrow or the HR-02, which several reviews said it successfully cooled an overclocked i7 passively because of the offset of the HR-02 design. only reason i went 2nd gen i7 over i5 is because there's not much power consumption difference on stock volts. and as for the fans, there were a decent amount of people that vouched for them, although the fractal case review on here did say there were some very slight clicks when undervolted. this rig will be used for light gaming and blue rays

Rekonn
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Re: Fractal Design Mini build plans

Post by Rekonn » Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:39 am

That is a sweet looking case! If it's mostly for gaming - would it be acceptable to have a very quiet machine at idle, and some noise under load? I'm thinking with both proc and vid card overclocked, that will be more achievable.

WhiteFireDragon
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Re: Fractal Design Mini build plans

Post by WhiteFireDragon » Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:55 am

trying to have it quite all at idle and load, but if temps become a problem, then i might tolerate all pwm fans

fumino
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Re: Fractal Design Mini build plans

Post by fumino » Wed Apr 13, 2011 3:49 pm

if you dont want to have a fan on your cpu cooler... and youre not going to reuse the 2 fans that come with the silver arrow...

why not just use the hr-02?

about the video card: there is a 6850 on the forums thats being cooled by an arctic cooling accelero s1... but iirc it required a little undervolting and underclocking to get there.
you might want to consider a 6790, with that cooler.

WhiteFireDragon wrote: i might tolerate all pwm fans
tolerate? total control over airflow and noise. i dont see why its so hard to tolerate that.

if you're wanting to buy 3 new slipstreams, then you could get the slipstream pwm models and a pwm splitter.
they can be run at very low speeds(mine can go down to 150rpm), all the way up to maximum rpm. much more versatile than normal voltage control.
my foamed mini p180 | corsair cx-400 w/ fan swap | scythe mugen-2 | thermalright hr-05 | unlocked sempron 140 | asrock 880g | 8gb mushkin |vertex 30gb boot | 7TBs storage |

WhiteFireDragon
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Re: Fractal Design Mini build plans

Post by WhiteFireDragon » Wed Apr 13, 2011 4:24 pm

just wanted to give some numbers to my current power consumption numbers, and i'll probably be using this same chip on this upcoming rig:

- i7 2600k (1.05v undervolt) with stock cooler
- H57N-USB3 mobo
- 2x1gb ddr3
- gt240 512mb
- seasonic x750w gold
- 45w idle, 100w load (prime95)
fumino wrote:if you dont want to have a fan on your cpu cooler... and youre not going to reuse the 2 fans that come with the silver arrow...

why not just use the hr-02?
ya i had a big debate on the silver arrow vs hr-02, but intended on silver arrow becase one of the reviews had very slightly lower temps for passive cooling on the silver arrow. but now that i think about it, the offset design from the hr-02 will probably give better temps when airflow is very low. i'll probably go with hr-02 now
fumino wrote:about the video card: there is a 6850 on the forums thats being cooled by an arctic cooling accelero s1... but iirc it required a little undervolting and underclocking to get there.
you might want to consider a 6790, with that cooler.
thanks for the pointer, i'll look into the 6790 right now
fumino wrote:tolerate? total control over airflow and noise. i dont see why its so hard to tolerate that.

if you're wanting to buy 3 new slipstreams, then you could get the slipstream pwm models and a pwm splitter.
they can be run at very low speeds(mine can go down to 150rpm), all the way up to maximum rpm. much more versatile than normal voltage control.
thanks again, i didn't know there was a pwm splitter. i thought pwm was always built into fans only. i'll look into this as well.

i just read the fractal design R3 review that just came out today, and it seems like the stock fans has improved ever since the R2 review. since the same fans will be used for the fractal mini, i'm hoping to use the stock fans without many problems

fumino
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Re: Fractal Design Mini build plans

Post by fumino » Wed Apr 13, 2011 6:09 pm

and thank you, since i was looking at that same motherboard/cpu and wondering if i'd be able to underclock. :D

i wonder though, could you grab some quick power numbers without the gt240?
my foamed mini p180 | corsair cx-400 w/ fan swap | scythe mugen-2 | thermalright hr-05 | unlocked sempron 140 | asrock 880g | 8gb mushkin |vertex 30gb boot | 7TBs storage |

ces
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Re: Fractal Design Mini build plans

Post by ces » Wed Apr 13, 2011 6:24 pm

WhiteFireDragon wrote:becase one of the reviews had very slightly lower temps for passive cooling on the silver arrow.
I find it difficult to believe that that Silver Arrow outperformed the HR-02 in passive. Are the numbers you are using to compare them from the same reviewer using the same testing methodology on both?

If you are going passive I think you should limit yourself to Orochi, Hr-01, HR-02, and Ninja heat sinks. They are designed for passive.
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"Aristotle calls man the rational animal. All my life I have been seeking evidence to confirm this" Bertrand Russell
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former" Albert Einstein

ces
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Re: Fractal Design Mini build plans

Post by ces » Wed Apr 13, 2011 6:36 pm

I would try to stick with fans running around 800 rpm.... or some PWM fans.

Arctic cooling and Akasa have setups that allow 2, 3 and maybe even 4 pwm fans to all run off of one headers.

If you don't do PWM, consider some 1900 rpm Gentle Typhoons. They can be undervolted all the way down to under 800 rpms. You can experiment in between 1900 and 800 rpm to find the right speed without having to swap fans. The only fan that is so flexible, to my knowledge, are the high end San Ace fans. The 1900 rpm Gentle Typhoons are basically the same fans as their slower ones with just a different motor.

The Gentle Typhoons are exceedingly good at handling static pressure. If it turns out you need to move a lot of heat out of your case, by moving a lot of air through it, the Gentle Typhoons have the muscle to move that air, even against high static pressure.... and they will do it quietly. I would expect that in high static situations they are in particular more quiet than most other fans.

You can use the GTs to jam a lot of air into the case (to carry heat out of the case) while you are gaming... and do that better than most alternatives.
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"Aristotle calls man the rational animal. All my life I have been seeking evidence to confirm this" Bertrand Russell
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former" Albert Einstein

lodestar
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Re: Fractal Design Mini build plans

Post by lodestar » Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:12 pm

Do not overlook the bottom 140mm snap in fan mount common to both this case and the R3. It would be a natural location for the Fractal Design Silent Series 140mm. It runs at 600 rpm, pushes about as much air as a 120mm fan running at 1000 rpm and is whisper silent. Bottom mounted it directs air straight towards the graphics card and CPU.

The 120mm fans on the Mini by the way are not the same as those fitted to the R3. The R3 120s run at 1350 rpm max; those on the Mini run at 1200 rpm max.

WhiteFireDragon
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Re: Fractal Design Mini build plans

Post by WhiteFireDragon » Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:11 pm

fumino wrote:and thank you, since i was looking at that same motherboard/cpu and wondering if i'd be able to underclock. :D

i wonder though, could you grab some quick power numbers without the gt240?
i didn't underclock it, it kept it at stock speeds, so it still downclocked during idle and ran at 3.7ghz in turbo mode. i undervolted it from 1.20v stock to 1.05v, made a difference in heat and power consumption. ya i could get some numbers for you without the video card installed. i'm pretty power conscious about all my computer hardware since i leave my systems on 24/7 for folding/crunching, and i remember both of my gt240's added another 10w just being in there, and another 38w during folding. so in this case, removing it should shave off 10w, making the system idle at 35w and load at 90w. i'll check again tomorrow just to make sure.
fumino wrote:about the video card: there is a 6850 on the forums thats being cooled by an arctic cooling accelero s1... but iirc it required a little undervolting and underclocking to get there.
you might want to consider a 6790, with that cooler.
and just some side info incase anyone else is looking at this video card, i did some digging around on a HD6790 after you said this, and found out the 6790 actually consumes more power than a 6850. this is because the "bad" 6870 chips are used to make 6790 instead of being thrown away. and if you notice, the 6790 has two 6pin power connector, whereas the 6850 only needs one.
ces wrote:I find it difficult to believe that that Silver Arrow outperformed the HR-02 in passive. Are the numbers you are using to compare them from the same reviewer using the same testing methodology on both?

If you are going passive I think you should limit yourself to Orochi, Hr-01, HR-02, and Ninja heat sinks. They are designed for passive.
the specific review i looked at was this one. it shows both thermalright silver arrow and noctua NH-D14 did a little better than HR-02 in passive mode, but maybe i might have missed something, like same test conditions:

http://www.vortez.net/articles_pages/th ... iew,9.html
ces wrote:If you don't do PWM, consider some 1900 rpm Gentle Typhoons. They can be undervolted all the way down to under 800 rpms. You can experiment in between 1900 and 800 rpm to find the right speed without having to swap fans. The only fan that is so flexible, to my knowledge, are the high end San Ace fans. The 1900 rpm Gentle Typhoons are basically the same fans as their slower ones with just a different motor.

The Gentle Typhoons are exceedingly good at handling static pressure. If it turns out you need to move a lot of heat out of your case, by moving a lot of air through it, the Gentle Typhoons have the muscle to move that air, even against high static pressure.... and they will do it quietly. I would expect that in high static situations they are in particular more quiet than most other fans.

You can use the GTs to jam a lot of air into the case (to carry heat out of the case) while you are gaming... and do that better than most alternatives.
thanks, i'll keep this in mind when ordering fans for this build. i'm quite aware of the gentle typhoons as well as the notorious san aces. are you sure they're essentially the same fans? i still have 4 gentle typhoons left over from my watercooling builds, though it's the 1150rpm version, and i've had several different san ace models, including the H1011. i got rid of them because they made some extremely annoying clicking noise at normal and undervolted speeds.

i'm now in a pickle between gentle typhoons, slipstreams, or the stock fans
lodestar wrote:Do not overlook the bottom 140mm snap in fan mount common to both this case and the R3. It would be a natural location for the Fractal Design Silent Series 140mm. It runs at 600 rpm, pushes about as much air as a 120mm fan running at 1000 rpm and is whisper silent. Bottom mounted it directs air straight towards the graphics card and CPU.

The 120mm fans on the Mini by the way are not the same as those fitted to the R3. The R3 120s run at 1350 rpm max; those on the Mini run at 1200 rpm max.
i believe the bottom only has a slot for 120mm fans, the 140mm is only in the R2/R3 version. but if i put that extra 120mm fan on the bottom, then there will be 3 intake fans and only 1 exhaust. wouldn't this positive pressure result in a little more dust? and if i want to balance out the airflow more and add a top exhaust fan, then how much louder will it be?

lodestar
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Re: Fractal Design Mini build plans

Post by lodestar » Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:50 pm

WhiteFireDragon wrote:i believe the bottom only has a slot for 120mm fans, the 140mm is only in the R2/R3 version. but if i put that extra 120mm fan on the bottom, then there will be 3 intake fans and only 1 exhaust. wouldn't this positive pressure result in a little more dust? and if i want to balance out the airflow more and add a top exhaust fan, then how much louder will it be?
Yes, that's right - the bottom fan slot in the Mini is 120mm not 140mm but it does have a dust filter.

WhiteFireDragon
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Re: Fractal Design Mini build plans

Post by WhiteFireDragon » Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:27 am

fumino:

i just tested it without the gt240, pretty close to the numbers i predicted. idle is 36w, load is 89w

ces
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Re: Fractal Design Mini build plans

Post by ces » Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:18 am

WhiteFireDragon wrote:hanks, i'll keep this in mind when ordering fans for this build. i'm quite aware of the gentle typhoons as well as the notorious san aces. are you sure they're essentially the same fans?
The are NOT essentially the same fans. They both just have a wide voltage/RPM range of operation.
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"Aristotle calls man the rational animal. All my life I have been seeking evidence to confirm this" Bertrand Russell
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former" Albert Einstein

ces
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Re: Fractal Design Mini build plans

Post by ces » Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:18 am

WhiteFireDragon wrote:fumino:

i just tested it without the gt240, pretty close to the numbers i predicted. idle is 36w, load is 89w
36 watts? Yuck. Why not get a more modern card?
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"Aristotle calls man the rational animal. All my life I have been seeking evidence to confirm this" Bertrand Russell
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former" Albert Einstein

ces
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Re: Fractal Design Mini build plans

Post by ces » Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:37 am

WhiteFireDragon wrote:
ces wrote:I find it difficult to believe that that Silver Arrow outperformed the HR-02 in passive. Are the numbers you are using to compare them from the same reviewer using the same testing methodology on both?

If you are going passive I think you should limit yourself to Orochi, Hr-01, HR-02, and Ninja heat sinks. They are designed for passive.
the specific review i looked at was this one. it shows both thermalright silver arrow and noctua NH-D14 did a little better than HR-02 in passive mode, but maybe i might have missed something, like same test conditions:

http://www.vortez.net/articles_pages/th ... iew,9.html
The test platform was
CPU - Intel Core i7 920 - 2.66/4.0GHz
with a Graphics card - XFX HD5870 1024MB to help cook the case.

I would expect the Silver Arrow and the large Noctua do have the ability to handle larger quantities of heat than the Hr-01. If it was the HR-01 I would ascribe the difference to the high levels of absolute heat (as opposed to performance characteristics with lower quantities of heat). Perhaps that reason might also apply to the HR-02?

But I am now looking at the idle temps in that review. Same ranking result. So I don't know. I do know that different reviewers frequently give different ranking to the same coolers. Who knows why.

Looks like my expectations were just not consistent with real life test results.
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"Aristotle calls man the rational animal. All my life I have been seeking evidence to confirm this" Bertrand Russell
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former" Albert Einstein

fumino
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Re: Fractal Design Mini build plans

Post by fumino » Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:42 pm

WhiteFireDragon wrote:fumino:i just tested it without the gt240, pretty close to the numbers i predicted. idle is 36w, load is 89w
ohohoho, thats pretty good news.
ces wrote: 36 watts? Yuck. Why not get a more modern card?
the 2600k is fairly modern. just saying.
my foamed mini p180 | corsair cx-400 w/ fan swap | scythe mugen-2 | thermalright hr-05 | unlocked sempron 140 | asrock 880g | 8gb mushkin |vertex 30gb boot | 7TBs storage |

ces
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Re: Fractal Design Mini build plans

Post by ces » Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:30 pm

ces wrote: 36 watts? Yuck. Why not get a more modern card?
the 2600k is fairly modern. just saying.[/quote] OOps I thought the 36 watts idle was the video card.
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"Aristotle calls man the rational animal. All my life I have been seeking evidence to confirm this" Bertrand Russell
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former" Albert Einstein

quest_for_silence
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Re: Fractal Design Mini build plans

Post by quest_for_silence » Fri Apr 15, 2011 4:28 am

WhiteFireDragon wrote:the specific review i looked at was this one. it shows both thermalright silver arrow and noctua NH-D14 did a little better than HR-02 in passive mode, but maybe i might have missed something, like same test conditions:

http://www.vortez.net/articles_pages/th ... iew,9.html

Those numbers look clear, but they would seem still overall questionable (maybe):

Image

Unfortunately, I haven't found Xbit Labs numbers even for the SA passively used.
WhiteFireDragon wrote:i'm now in a pickle between gentle typhoons, slipstreams, or the stock fans

Apart the bottom mounting, if you shoulnd't have been satisfied by the stock FD fans, I would stay with the Slipstream all the way: at least if you want nearly absolute silence and you're willing to change the fan every couple of years or so about.
For a longer run, I would give a look to the Kama Flow 2 (or the evergreen S-Flex), instead.
What will you use to control your fans?
WhiteFireDragon wrote:if i want to balance out the airflow more and add a top exhaust fan, then how much louder will it be?
It should mostly depend of where you will place the enclosure, with respect to your ears.

If I may take the liberty, I wouldn't use a passive GPU in your proposed setup.
With a proper custom fan curve (Afterburner is your friend), a natural-born-quiet fanned card would be about on par (IME: I have a couple of Cyclone GTS 450 inside a Raven), with reference to operating quietness, and you may also try to reduce the number and/or speed of the intake fans, providing it would generate some airflow inside the case.
Free bonus will be getting more 3D horsepowers, if you mind about (picking carefully the videocard).
Regards,
Luca

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WhiteFireDragon
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Re: Fractal Design Mini build plans

Post by WhiteFireDragon » Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:07 pm

ces wrote:36 watts? Yuck. Why not get a more modern card?
yup, looks like you misread it. 36w is total system draw, not the video card. i think that 36w is pretty amazing for an i7 system
ces wrote:Looks like my expectations were just not consistent with real life test results.
well u learn something new every day :wink:

although based on the graph that quest_for_silence posted, it looks like we can extrapolate that there's actually not such a huge difference between the silver arrow vs hr-02 passive performance

ntavlas
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Re: Fractal Design Mini build plans

Post by ntavlas » Sat Apr 16, 2011 7:18 am

I would actually avoid using pwm fans all over unless I was sure that the motherboard has a good controller. Unfortunately most gigabyte models seem to use a very agressive fan control profile, making the fans change speed very frequently and running them faster than necessary (target temp seems to be around 50 degrees).
You could use speedfan to change this behavior though, so if you don`t mind controlling your fans through software you can ignore the above.

I would still try the stock fans before replacing them, ticking noises are likely to be absorbed by the front case door. You should also take advantage of the bottom fan slot, a fan placed there will be less audible than at the front plus it won`t be restricted by the front door.
If I may take the liberty, I wouldn't use a passive GPU in your proposed setup.
I second that point as it`s quite hard to effectively cool the power circuitry on a performance card passively. Besides, an extra low speed fan deep inside the case is unlikely to be perceivable. Passively cooling the gpu could make sense if you wanted to build a single fan or passive system but in your case I don`t think it`s worth the trouble.

Finally, I would pick the hr-02 as the cpu cooler even if the silver arrow would end up a few degrees cooler. One problem with large coolers is that they can block access to ram slots or fan headers. The hr-02 is still a fairly large cooler but at least it shouldn`t overhang the ram slots.

meridius
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Re: Fractal Design Mini build plans

Post by meridius » Sun Jul 24, 2011 12:05 am

what case fans did you go with in the end as i am building a HTPC and basicly the same system,

i am after teh HR-02 in teh fractal design mini i noticed the HS is 160mm tall and the case is 165mm did it fit ok ?

i have not decided yet on what case fans the noctua nf-s12b or the fans that come with the case or get some G typhoon 1150rpm and slow them down with a fan mate 2 controler.

my gfx card is passive as well a ati 6570 and a seasonic 760w psu as it was cheaper than the fanless psu and 5 x F4 2TB hardrives

any thoughts on the case fans you used

any help would be great as i want this silent as possable

AznJason
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Re: Fractal Design Mini build plans

Post by AznJason » Sun Jul 24, 2011 10:58 pm

I've been keeping an eye out for the Define Mini myself and I just saw it available on http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811352011.

meridius
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Re: Fractal Design Mini build plans

Post by meridius » Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:16 am

just bought the HR-02 to go inside the fractal design mini

lhopitalified
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Re: Fractal Design Mini build plans

Post by lhopitalified » Tue Jul 26, 2011 10:19 pm

I would try the stock fans with motherboard pwm, or with the included fan controller (as I did because my motherboard didn't have enough pwm connectors), before splurging on replacement case fans. I found turning down the speed of the stock fans got them to an acceptable noise level.

meridius
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Re: Fractal Design Mini build plans

Post by meridius » Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:16 am

Got the hr-02 and it just fitted in this case. Got 2 fans running at 800rpm and the system is about 33c and the CPU which is amazing is at 31c with no CPU fan.

Have not prime tested it yet but as this is a htpc and the gfx card will do the work it should keep cool all the time. And my gfx is passive to.

It's that silent I am thinking of putting 2 more fans in just to see if it's just as silent and it should help to keep it even more cool.

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