Antec SOLO II / / Seasonic X-1050 questions

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nosek
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Antec SOLO II / / Seasonic X-1050 questions

Post by nosek » Fri May 22, 2015 10:57 am

Dear silent computers,

I'm a long-time fan of this site and forum. Following the advice found here, many years ago I built my first silent rig based on the original Antec SOLO case, which I have always been really happy with since then.

Currently I want to upgrade the GPU from Gainward Phantom GTX 560 Ti to an ASUS GeForce GTX 970 OC STRIX. Since it won't fit without modifying the case (which I'm not very much into), plus I'm really tired of searching for short GPU cards, and this current Antec Solo is many years old now -- I decided to upgrade the case to its worthy successor: Antec SOLO II.

I have two questions to users or reviewers of this case:
  • will my GPU of choice, ASUS GeForce GTX 970 OC STRIX, fit into Antec SOLO II case with no problem?
  • is it possible to replace the PSU in Antec SOLO II separately from other components?
It's been one of the minor flaws of the original Antec Solo - you could not remove PSU without removing the whole mobo, basically everything.

The second question requires perhaps little explanation. I have now a two-years-old Seasonic X-1050 which is okay, but it's currently by far the loudest component in my rig. Something wrong happened to it. The famous hybrid fan control turns the fan on some 15 seconds after powering up the whole thing, and it never stops. Regardless of load, under temps so low, that the MSI Control Center disables the CPU fan completely (Noctua NH-L12) and turns down the rear fan (Noctua NF-S12B) to minimum spin -- the PSU fan always hums and becomes a really tiring, constant source of noise.

Therefore, I expect that I may either need to clean it, replace the grill or maybe invest into completely new PSU (a fanless unit, Seasonic Platinum Fanless 520W maybe?) - but either way, I must know that my new case will allow toying with PSU, a lot.

Thank you, and looking forward to your advice!

CA_Steve
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Re: Antec SOLO II questions

Post by CA_Steve » Fri May 22, 2015 2:46 pm

Welcome to SPCR.

The dreaded crossbar is now attached with screws rather than being riveted/spot welded in place. So, you should be able to replace the PSU with the motherboard in place - sorta depends on the clearance of your aftermarket cpu cooler.

I think there's 16" of clearance for the GPU. :)
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, Asrock Z97 Anniversary, MSI GTX 1660 Gaming X, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung 860 Evo 500GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic SSR-550FX. 35W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

mentawl
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Re: Antec SOLO II questions

Post by mentawl » Sat May 23, 2015 2:02 am

Yes and yes :) and welcome. Owned the Solo 2 for a few years now, very happy with it.

Tons of clearance for the GPU from any of the slots (10.5" GTX 780 shown):
1.jpg
2.jpg
Also definitely room to replace the PSU, even with a tower cooler installed:
3.jpg
I wouldn't want to replace the PSU every day, as it's a little fiddly with a large tower cooler (that's a Thermalright Ultra-120 on an Asus P8Z68-V fyi - not many tower coolers will be bigger in that aspect), but it's definitely doable on occasion :).
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i5 2500k @ 4.5ghz | Asus P8Z68-V | PNY GTX780 | 32gb DDR3 | SSD & HDD| Antec Solo 2
i5 4670k @ 4.3ghz | Asus Z87I-Pro | MSI GTX670 | 8gb DDR3 | SSD & HDD | Cubitek Mini Cube

nosek
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Re: Antec SOLO II questions

Post by nosek » Sat May 23, 2015 9:00 am

Thank you guys. Asus STRIX-GTX970-DC2OC-4GD5 is 11" long according to the specs and even if it takes two PCI-E slots, it should safely fit in to Antec SOLO II according you what you write and show on photos. I will therefore order the parts, reassemble the stuff and let you know the result :)

By the way, do you know what issue can be with my Seasonic X-1050? I invested a small fortune into it a while ago, very much for its hybrid mode and the renown of being particularly useful for silent computing. But the "silent below 500W, as fan does not spin" summary does not apply to my unit, apparently. It spins always, except for the first 15-30 seconds after powering the machine. I haven't measured it, but there is no way that my current rig drew 500W under no stress.

I'm going to take it out, clear a bit by blowing compressed air here and there, then test it in the new case with new GPU; and if it's still the loudest element, I would replace it for a fanless unit, most likely Seasonic Platinum-520 Fanless (even though I should perhaps treat Seasonic with more caution now).

CA_Steve
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Re: Antec SOLO II questions

Post by CA_Steve » Sat May 23, 2015 12:52 pm

stupid question: is the hybrid/active fan switch on hybrid?
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, Asrock Z97 Anniversary, MSI GTX 1660 Gaming X, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung 860 Evo 500GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic SSR-550FX. 35W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

quest_for_silence
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Re: Antec SOLO II questions

Post by quest_for_silence » Sat May 23, 2015 1:08 pm

nosek wrote:But the "silent below 500W, as fan does not spin" summary does not apply to my unit, apparently.
May you tell us whether it's either a SS-1050XM or a SS-1050XM² ?
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Luca

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nosek
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Re: Antec SOLO II questions

Post by nosek » Sun May 24, 2015 12:09 am

The label on it says: Model: SS-1050XM Active PFC F3

The switch "Fan Control" has two values: 0 Hybrid / 1 Normal, and is currently in position 0 Hybrid.

It is currently powering a rig consisting of i7-3770K + GTX 560 Ti + two Caviar Green HDD's at 7200 rpm + a single 8 GB stick of RAM + a couple of USB devices.

quest_for_silence
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Re: Antec SOLO II questions

Post by quest_for_silence » Sun May 24, 2015 1:07 am

nosek wrote:The label on it says: Model: SS-1050XM Active PFC F3

So (just to be overabundantly sure) your PSU label is not this one (click on it to view it larger):
SS-1050XM2.jpg

right? And since when you got it?

nosek wrote:The switch "Fan Control" has two values: 0 Hybrid / 1 Normal, and is currently in position 0 Hybrid.

Did you try the other position? Did you tested the PSU outside the Solo?
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Regards,
Luca

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nosek
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Re: Antec SOLO II questions

Post by nosek » Sun May 24, 2015 3:44 am

quest_for_silence wrote:So (just to be overabundantly sure) your PSU label is not this one:
SS-1050XM2.jpg
Right. Mine doesn't have the ² symbol after XM:
2015-05-24 09.59.08.jpg
It's more than 2 years old now. I got it in January 2013 as a replacement for another burnt Corsair unit. On this opportunity I had also upgraded mobo, CPU and GPU. I bought a 1kW PSU on an impulse to have all issues with power supply solved forever. :)

Flipping the switch to "Normal" position doesn't change much. I think that in Normal it starts howling immediately, while in Hybrid it's silent for, well, some 30-60 seconds after powering up. Basically, when booting Windows 7 from scratch, it's already spinning on full speed when Windows has finished loading.

I haven't tested it outside the case. It's a lot of hard work to have it removed from Antec Solo. Then I think I don't really know I should turn it on outside of ATX case, or how I should actually test it.

My new case is on the way and soon I will be moving parts from Solo to SOLO II. This should be a good moment for toying with the PSU. I'm looking forward to your advice how would you test it or what kind of maintenance may help it.
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quest_for_silence
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Re: Antec SOLO II questions

Post by quest_for_silence » Sun May 24, 2015 4:47 am

nosek wrote:It's more than 2 years old now. I got it in January 2013 as a replacement for another burnt Corsair unit.

So it's a relatively late model but too far from the introduction of the 2nd series (2014), to think to a XM2 platform in XM casing/labeling.
I thought that as a remote possibility because the XM was tested by SPCR inside the hot box with a significantly different outcome (under 170W it run fanless, despite the high intake temp), while the XM² fan controller is a tad more conservative (aggressive) than the original XM's one.

nosek wrote:Flipping the switch to "Normal" position doesn't change much.

My concern was if some QC issue has happened, so that the cooling mode switch was mounted upside down: it isn't.

nosek wrote:This should be a good moment for toying with the PSU.

Was it new, or was it a RMAed/refurbished unit?

Basically the Seasonic fan controller may run fanless (depending of load) up to 25-27°C intake temp, and then it raises the bar when the ambient rises over 35-36°C: with high powered units (like your one) the slope is steeper than on lower wattage PSUs, and the triggering load levels are lower (despite what's stated on labels).

Apparently either your PSU chamber temp is well over 25°C (I'd say well over 30°C, and so playing with case fans might help, though YMMV), or your unit fan controller is defective (perhaps a defective intake thermistor): in this latter case the fan should spin up quickly even when tested outside the case, where it can breath fresh air.

On the other hand, in the first case, if you're going to replace it, I'd advice for a Super Flower Golden Silent (430W or 500W) / Rosewill Silent Night 500W, given the relatively high ambient temp.
Regards,
Luca

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nosek
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Re: Antec SOLO II questions

Post by nosek » Sun May 24, 2015 6:01 am

Well, I would never think that my place has high ambient temp. But most definitely temperatures inside are 35°-40°C rather than twenty something.

There's one can fan on the rear, which is 12" Noctua NF-S12B; and there's 12" CPU fan Noctua NH-L12, both max 1200 rpm. For the sake of silence, I usually keep them at 50% (~650rpm) and 20% (~580rpm) power, respectively, the minimum that MSI Control Center allows. Under such conditions these tools report 39°C CPU temp and 40°C "system" temp (which is a measurement somewhere on the motherboard, I believe). If I let both fans spin at max 100% speed it doesn't get much colder: 35°C on the CPU and 39°C of system temperature. It's a bit cooler, yes, but still very far above 25°-27°C you mentioned as required for Seasonic X-1050 to go fanless.

It didn't cross my mind that the PSU might have been refurbished. I had ordered it from a rather good Polish reseller as a stock new unit.

Here's what I'm going to do: take out the PSU, run it outside the case (after ventilating the room with cold May air :)), possibly with the grill cover taken out too, so that I can measure fan's rpm using stroboscope. Should be an interesting experiment.

quest_for_silence
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Re: Antec SOLO II questions

Post by quest_for_silence » Sun May 24, 2015 7:13 am

nosek wrote:Under such conditions these tools report 39°C CPU temp and 40°C "system" temp (which is a measurement somewhere on the motherboard, I believe). If I let both fans spin at max 100% speed it doesn't get much colder: 35°C on the CPU and 39°C of system temperature. It's a bit cooler, yes, but still very far above 25°-27°C you mentioned as required for Seasonic X-1050 to go fanless.

Apparently your rig run a tad hotter for what that PSU would permit: I think it's canonically mounted, with the fan facing downwards, isnt'it? In case, with the Solo II I'd try to mount it upside down (as it were a fanless unit), before replacing with a different unit. To be honest, I've some doubts about that, because in fanless mode the fan grille unlikely will work as a main intake, but it's definitely something I'd try.

nosek wrote:It didn't cross my mind that the PSU might have been refurbished. I had ordered it from a rather good Polish reseller as a stock new unit.

I just asked given that you said that you got it as a replacement for another unit: so it was likely brand new.

nosek wrote:Here's what I'm going to do: take out the PSU, run it outside the case (after ventilating the room with cold May air :)), possibly with the grill cover taken out too, so that I can measure fan's rpm using stroboscope. Should be an interesting experiment.

Keep us up to date! :wink:
Regards,
Luca

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nosek
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Re: Antec SOLO II questions

Post by nosek » Sun May 24, 2015 7:40 am

quest_for_silence wrote:I think it's canonically mounted, with the fan facing downwards, isnt'it?
Yes it is, as there's no top exhaust at all in the original Antec Solo (1) case.
quest_for_silence wrote:In case, with the Solo II I'd try to mount it upside down (as it were a fanless unit), before replacing with a different unit.
Yeah it's a good advice, thanks, I'll try this. After all I want the PSU to keep silent with fan disabled, rather that taking over the load from the rear case fan.

I'll keep you guys posted.

nosek
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Re: Antec SOLO II questions

Post by nosek » Sat May 30, 2015 1:50 am

OK, here are the results:

When moving stuff to the newly arrived Antec SOLO II case, I first mounted the PSU in the position with the fan facing upwards to the top exhaust. I attached M/B cable to it and tested it offline using office clipper method.

Here's what I stated: both modes of this Seasonic X-1050 work as expected. :)
In "Normal", the fan starts spinning right after connecting the power, which is, well, normal.
In "Hybrid" mode, the fan does not spin except for a few rotations in the moments of powering up and powering down the unit (which do not add to the noise). The fan was not spinning when I had the PSU powered for two minutes or so using this method.

All happy, I assembled the rest of my rig. However, the overall result is rather depressing.

Currently the PSU fan is all silent for some 8-10 minutes after powering up the rig. Then it starts and keeps spinning just as it used to do before. This happens also when rear case and CPU fans are working on max speed. I have again some 35°C on CPU and only 38°C of system temp. Note that I sticked to original rear case fan (120mm TrueQuiet) rather than replacing it with my Noctua NF-S12B.

So the whole difference resulting from letting the PSU draw cool(er) air from outside the case through the top exhaust is significantly longer time of initial silence. But as I'm using the PC much longer than 10 minutes :), I'm not happy with it. The PSU fan is again my loudest element, the more that it now howls right into my ears, facing up.

I'll be looking forward to more advice from you guys. I'm thinking about ordering a fanless PSU, or employing some fancy procedure of measuring the actual temperature or power consumption of my Seasonic unit.

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Re: Antec SOLO II questions

Post by CA_Steve » Sat May 30, 2015 7:23 am

RMA the PSU - it's thermal sensing circuitry is not working correctly. I had a x560 Gold in a Solo with similar power load - (other than boot) the PSU never spun up.
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, Asrock Z97 Anniversary, MSI GTX 1660 Gaming X, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung 860 Evo 500GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic SSR-550FX. 35W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

nosek
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Re: Antec SOLO II questions

Post by nosek » Sat May 30, 2015 12:08 pm

I will. I'm contacting Seasonic authorized distributor right now.

By the way, to the moderators: is there any way to rename the topic to something like "Antec SOLO II / Seasonic X-1050 questions" so that it suits better the actual contents of this thread now? Thanks!

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Re: Antec SOLO II / / Seasonic X-1050 questions

Post by CA_Steve » Sat May 30, 2015 2:50 pm

You can always edit your own post / subject line.
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, Asrock Z97 Anniversary, MSI GTX 1660 Gaming X, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung 860 Evo 500GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic SSR-550FX. 35W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

quest_for_silence
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Re: Antec SOLO II / / Seasonic X-1050 questions

Post by quest_for_silence » Sun May 31, 2015 1:05 am

nosek wrote:I'll be looking forward to more advice from you guys. I'm thinking about ordering a fanless PSU, or employing some fancy procedure of measuring the actual temperature or power consumption of my Seasonic unit.

Nothing fancy: use an IR/probed digital thermomether (that's what I could buy here) and a power meter (something like this), then play with them.

For instance you could test your rig a couple of times with the thermometer inside the case (for about an hour of normal usage and maybe half an hour of synthetic stress testing), and eventually with it stuck to the top grille, in order to record the relevant differences.

By the way, though the X-1050 fan controller is rather different from the X-560 one, I'd second Steve's advice and RMA the unit (take note: often Seasonic doesn't send out new units, but refurbished ones, so YMMV). With reference to that, having done some tests as above described may help, IMO, to better assess the replacement unit (if your RMA request were approved): I'm also assuming you already tested the PSU "en plein air".
Regards,
Luca

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Re: Antec SOLO II / / Seasonic X-1050 questions

Post by nosek » Mon Sep 07, 2015 1:51 pm

Hello guys,

It's been a long silence from me, very much like the deep silence of my machine now. A couple of weeks ago I got my Seasonic X-1050 back from the RMA (provided here in Poland by Proline) and I'm all happy ever since then. Packed together with Asus STRIX-GTX970 to the Antec SOLO II, the rig is now quiet to the level of ambient noise in my place and possibly the quietest I've ever built. I must have a look on the case's LED to tell if the PC is running or not, which is good. :)

Thank you for all invaluable feedback and advice. Keep silenting!

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Re: Antec SOLO II / / Seasonic X-1050 questions

Post by CA_Steve » Mon Sep 07, 2015 3:25 pm

Glad it worked out.
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, Asrock Z97 Anniversary, MSI GTX 1660 Gaming X, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung 860 Evo 500GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic SSR-550FX. 35W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

nosek
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Re: Antec SOLO II / / Seasonic X-1050 questions

Post by nosek » Sun Oct 25, 2015 4:15 am

Sorry for necro, but I think it's important. Some two months after I got my Seasonic X-1050 back from service I started to have issues with random power losses (Kernel-Power critical error, as reported by Windows). By the way of elimination I established that they are strictly linked to using "Hybrid" mode on the PSU. I can eliminate them totally by using "Normal" mode but then, heck, the PSU gets somewhat loud.

I think I've not much left to do than discourage people from investing money into Seasonic X-1050. I don't think I'm eager to go through their RMA once again, even if it was perfectly ok.
Don't know if it's the issue of hybrid power supplies in general but maybe the technology is a notch too fancy to be reliable.

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