Antec Solo II + GTX 980Ti: any way to optimize thermalnoise?

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Xyvotha
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Antec Solo II + GTX 980Ti: any way to optimize thermalnoise?

Post by Xyvotha » Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:51 am

Hello all, I need advice on this, just upgraded GPU from a GTX 970 and having serious noise/temps while gaming.
Even though GPU (while gaming) doesn't go past 76C (ambient temp is 27C, summer here), case side panel is quite warm and GPU fans get really loud.

Here's the setup:
- Case: Solo II with 2x Scythe Gentle Typhoon 1,450RPM as intake. Antec TrueQuiet 120 (1,000RPM) as exhaust.
- MB: Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3.
- CPU: i7 2500K@4.2 w/ Noctua NH-U12P (stock fan).
- GPU: MSI GTX980Ti Gaming 6G.
- PSU: Antec HCG-620M.
- Storage: 1x WD Black 1TB, 2x SSD. Only the HDD is installed in drive cage.

I'm not sure if there's a way to optimize this. First thing I've considered is replacing the exhaust fan with another Gentle Typhoon I was lucky to get some time ago. Apart from that, very few buying options here.

Any other ideas? I even tried removing the side panel but it doesn't seem to help much. I'm afraid all the components are getting warm air from the GPU (probably the worst victim is the PSU on top). If there's no option but replace the case I'll do it but I really like this case because of many reasons and would like to give it another chance before discarding it :(

TIA!

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Re: Antec Solo II + GTX 980Ti: any way to optimize thermalno

Post by Abula » Mon Feb 22, 2016 10:13 am

At 76C the MSI GTX980Ti should be around 1600rpms, given that its not silent shouldn't be that loud. It gets loud once you reach 85C where the cooler pushes around 2100rpms, where its very noticeable. Btw my Asus at this temps were already above 2500rpms where they are very loud compared to the MSI at this load.

What rpms are the Scythe gentle typhoon running while the GPU reaches 76C?
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Re: Antec Solo II + GTX 980Ti: any way to optimize thermalno

Post by quest_for_silence » Mon Feb 22, 2016 10:27 am

Xyvotha wrote:Any other ideas?

The 980ti is (more probably that not) just too hot for the Solo II (about 120W more than the 970): did you try to relax the MSI fan curve accepting higher temps (around 82-84°C)? Did you try undervolting the 980ti, maybe lowering the relevant power envelope?

Knowing your current fans curves would help to advice.
Regards,
Luca

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Re: Antec Solo II + GTX 980Ti: any way to optimize thermalno

Post by quest_for_silence » Mon Feb 22, 2016 10:29 am

Abula wrote:Btw my Asus at this temps were already above 2500rpms where they are very loud compared to the MSI at this load.
Can't you use a custom curve, mate?
Regards,
Luca

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Re: Antec Solo II + GTX 980Ti: any way to optimize thermalno

Post by Xyvotha » Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:11 am

Thanks for the quick reply!

I've tweaked Speedfan's curves (for case fans), but haven't touched MSI's utility yet. Since I saw (and felt) the case ambient is very warm I thought I should try to improve airflow first.
I'm gonna check MSI's settings tonite, will update later :)

Thanks!

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Re: Antec Solo II + GTX 980Ti: any way to optimize thermalno

Post by Xyvotha » Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:56 am

Abula wrote:At 76C the MSI GTX980Ti should be around 1600rpms, given that its not silent shouldn't be that loud. It gets loud once you reach 85C where the cooler pushes around 2100rpms, where its very noticeable. Btw my Asus at this temps were already above 2500rpms where they are very loud compared to the MSI at this load.

What rpms are the Scythe gentle typhoon running while the GPU reaches 76C?
I've set the GTs at 100% (1450RPM) when reaching 76C (exactly the number you asked, lol), but the GPU fans are the dominant noise source at that point. I don't remember the GPU RPMs at load, will, edit this reply when I have the number tonite :)

Thanks!

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Re: Antec Solo II + GTX 980Ti: any way to optimize thermalno

Post by Abula » Mon Feb 22, 2016 12:17 pm

quest_for_silence wrote:
Abula wrote:Btw my Asus at this temps were already above 2500rpms where they are very loud compared to the MSI at this load.
Can't you use a custom curve, mate?
Yes, but if at 2500rpm it was at 85C, if i modify it it will go over easily, if i were to drop the Asus fans to 2000rpm my guess it will reach 100C or more.
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Re: Antec Solo II + GTX 980Ti: any way to optimize thermalno

Post by Fire-Flare » Mon Feb 22, 2016 1:11 pm

Which model of MSI 960ti are you using, one with two or three fans?

Perhaps an aftermarket cooler or even liquid-cooling the thing would improve the noise levels?
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Swiftech MCP35X review: viewtopic.php?f=27&t=65287

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Re: Antec Solo II + GTX 980Ti: any way to optimize thermalno

Post by Xyvotha » Mon Feb 22, 2016 1:26 pm

Fire-Flare wrote:Which model of MSI 960ti are you using, one with two or three fans?
Perhaps an aftermarket cooler or even liquid-cooling the thing would improve the noise levels?
It's the 980Ti Gaming 6G which comes with the TwinFrozr (2 fans) unit. I chose that one because it's the shortest 980Ti I could find (270mm), and I plan on moving to miniITX in the near future ;)

I've been avoiding WC because of models available here and also fear of liquid leaking over time :S

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Re: Antec Solo II + GTX 980Ti: any way to optimize thermalno

Post by quest_for_silence » Mon Feb 22, 2016 4:10 pm

Abula wrote:Yes, but if at 2500rpm it was at 85C, if i modify it it will go over easily
Never mind, I thought you got 76°C at 2500rpm. :wink:
Regards,
Luca

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Re: Antec Solo II + GTX 980Ti: any way to optimize thermalno

Post by Abula » Mon Feb 22, 2016 4:25 pm

quest_for_silence wrote:
Abula wrote:Yes, but if at 2500rpm it was at 85C, if i modify it it will go over easily
Never mind, I thought you got 76°C at 2500rpm. :wink:
But those were the Asus, the MSI never ever have gotten close to those rpms, when i game heavy they do go up, speically the first GPU goes into 85C around 2100rpms (very noticible, but not jet engine like asus) link, but i cant change them either here to go lower than 2100rpm or else ill hit above 90C, for now i cant do much (well i could go water, but im giong to wait for pascal to see if i can go single gpu + mk26).
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Re: Antec Solo II + GTX 980Ti: any way to optimize thermalno

Post by baii » Mon Feb 22, 2016 5:27 pm

A little extreme but not that extreme is to remove the GPU fan shroud and tie some 25mm thick fan, 2 x120mm or 3 x90mm.

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Re: Antec Solo II + GTX 980Ti: any way to optimize thermalno

Post by Abula » Mon Feb 22, 2016 7:13 pm

One thing that could work instead of going aftermarket is to sell the yours and get the quietest GTX980Ti, and its big, but i doubt you will have much issues, the solo can fit huge gpus, it should overlap with the central hdd cage if you were to have ATX mobo with the 16x on the second slot.

TechPowerup MSI GeForce GTX 980 Ti Lightning 6GB
Idle fan noise is fantastic as the card completely turns its fans off in idle (up to 60°C).

During serious gaming, the card stays extremely quiet; it is actually the quietest GTX 980 Ti we have ever tested, while being the fastest with the highest clocks!

MSI has engineered a brand-new triple-slot, triple-fan TriFrozr thermal solution for their GTX 980 Ti Lightning, which is probably the best graphics card cooler I've seen in recent years. During heavy gaming, the fans run extremely quiet, making this the quietest GTX 980 Ti on the market. In idle or light gaming, the fans will stop completely for the perfect noise-free experience. Now, if you think that being so quiet results in high temperatures, you couldn't be more wrong. With only 65°C under full load, the MSI Lightning is the coolest GTX 980 Ti we have tested, making it the fastest, coolest, and quietest of them all at the same time!
I would have grab two of these, but i cant sli triple slots... well technically i could if i were to upgrade to MSI Z170A XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM EDITION, but too much trouble atm, im going to stick to what i have until pascal.

Here my Solo II, im using a micro atx mobo that has the 16x on the first PCIe slot, usually the standard ATX mobo has it on the second (including your gigabyte), if you see the photo you will see mine is close to the cage in alignment but an atx mobo should install the gpu one below allowing to use the bottom of the cage, and thus fitting very long GPUs, if you can post a picture of your build to check.

Image

Btw one thing that i do like about the solo II layout is the solid bottom, if you feel a big card / aftermarket cooler will put strain on the PCIe just add an support at the end to sustain the weight, it should be easy on the Solo II. Here is an example,

Image
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Re: Antec Solo II + GTX 980Ti: any way to optimize thermalno

Post by quest_for_silence » Tue Feb 23, 2016 3:24 am

baii wrote:A little extreme but not that extreme is to remove the GPU fan shroud and tie some 25mm thick fan, 2 x120mm or 3 x90mm.
Not sure if that would work: apparently it already lacks fresh airflow to feed all the current internal fans.
Regards,
Luca

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Re: Antec Solo II + GTX 980Ti: any way to optimize thermalno

Post by SebRad » Tue Feb 23, 2016 4:00 am

Hi, I'm not sure if we've yet determined the issue is the graphics card getting too loud due to high in case temperatures, or just plain gets too loud.
You mentioned 27°C ambient temperature which is probably hotter than most of us have, for extended periods anyway

You mentioned you tried with the side panel off and it didn't help, that suggests to me that the graphics card isn't able to cool itself quietly.
If you have a pair of 120mm 1400rpm fans (@100%) blowing towards it and the case side off and it still gets very loud then no amount of case tweaking is going to help.

If you have the shortest GTX 980Ti you could find then this isn't a promising start, for quiet cooling size matters, bigger is usually better!
I think you've looked in to MSI Afterburner? You can use it to alter the fan curve (and clock speeds and much else), the GPU can take 85°C before the fans need to go crazy loud.
As already mentioned you might be able to reduce the GPU core voltage, this helps a lot as the power follows voltage squared, ie 5% drop in volts is ~10% drop in power/heat.
If voltage drop leads to instability you might reduce the clock speeds a little to regain stability. I guess this goes against the idea of buying a really fast card in the first place, but voltage dropping does make it more efficient in fps/watt terms, probably for very little performance drop.

If removing the side panel does help then it's case airflow that needs working on. In this case I would get rid of any filters in front of the fans, as far as possible, and open the door. See how that goes, then close the door and see if that causes significant changes.

Good luck,
Seb
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Re: Antec Solo II + GTX 980Ti: any way to optimize thermalno

Post by Xyvotha » Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:40 am

Abula wrote:One thing that could work instead of going aftermarket is to sell the yours and get the quietest GTX980Ti, and its big, but i doubt you will have much issues, the solo can fit huge gpus, it should overlap with the central hdd cage if you were to have ATX mobo with the 16x on the second slot.
Thanks Abula for the pics and info, that will help a lot!
Unfortunately the Lightning model isn't available here, and probably would cost around $150 more. Also, I'm planning to build a mITX system keeping this card, that's why I searched for the shortest one.
I think I'm going to try both replacing the exhaust fan AND tweak GPU votage/fan profile. Couldn't make it to try anything last night (family duties are first ;) ), will do some trials later tonite and take pics :)

Thanks again! you guys are really awesome!

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Re: Antec Solo II + GTX 980Ti: any way to optimize thermalno

Post by Xyvotha » Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:43 am

quest_for_silence wrote:
baii wrote:A little extreme but not that extreme is to remove the GPU fan shroud and tie some 25mm thick fan, 2 x120mm or 3 x90mm.
Not sure if that would work: apparently it already lacks fresh airflow to feed all the current internal fans.
Yeah, even though I tried removing the side panel I didn't leave it open long enough to be 100% certain it didn't help.
One thing is clear though, that lonely Antec fan @1kRPM and the PSU exhaust are not enough for this scenario, at least I'm fixing that tonight :)

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Re: Antec Solo II + GTX 980Ti: any way to optimize thermalno

Post by Xyvotha » Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:51 am

SebRad wrote:Hi, I'm not sure if we've yet determined the issue is the graphics card getting too loud due to high in case temperatures, or just plain gets too loud.
You mentioned 27°C ambient temperature which is probably hotter than most of us have, for extended periods anyway
Hi SebRad!
Yeah, we're reaching 28C peak ambient temps at NIGHT, which is worst scenario of the whole year (it gets down to 10C in July/August).
You mentioned you tried with the side panel off and it didn't help, that suggests to me that the graphics card isn't able to cool itself quietly.
If you have a pair of 120mm 1400rpm fans (@100%) blowing towards it and the case side off and it still gets very loud then no amount of case tweaking is going to help.
To be honest, I didn't leave the side panel open longer than a couple minutes, I should try a prolonged period gaming to confirm this.
I think you've looked in to MSI Afterburner? You can use it to alter the fan curve (and clock speeds and much else), the GPU can take 85°C before the fans need to go crazy loud.
As already mentioned you might be able to reduce the GPU core voltage, this helps a lot as the power follows voltage squared, ie 5% drop in volts is ~10% drop in power/heat.
If voltage drop leads to instability you might reduce the clock speeds a little to regain stability. I guess this goes against the idea of buying a really fast card in the first place, but voltage dropping does make it more efficient in fps/watt terms, probably for very little performance drop.
I agreed with all that. I don't mind sacrificing a little performance if noise gets down considerably. I'll try tweaking Afterburner's profile.
Thanks a lot for the feedback! will update soon :)

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Re: Antec Solo II + GTX 980Ti: any way to optimize thermalno

Post by Abula » Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:18 am

Xyvotha wrote:I think I'm going to try both replacing the exhaust fan AND tweak GPU votage/fan profile. Couldn't make it to try anything last night (family duties are first ;) ), will do some trials later tonite and take pics :)
About undervolting, i dont think its not that easy anymore, as i did it on my laptop, was to flash the vbios, but here is always the risk of bricking the gpu while doing this, software wise, im not sure you can, from what i remember on kelpler via afterburner what you could do was limit the target power and this would limit the clocks and volts depending on the card, but not sure if this works the same on maxwell. The fan profile you should be able to change it, and you probably still have 10C to play around, so here should help some with the noise levels, and probably a better exhaust should help a little more.

Good luck with your tweaking,
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Re: Antec Solo II + GTX 980Ti: any way to optimize thermalno

Post by quest_for_silence » Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:03 am

Xyvotha wrote:Yeah, even though I tried removing the side panel I didn't leave it open long enough to be 100% certain it didn't help.

Right, you opened the panel, though that isn't exactly an active airflow: ideally (cooling wise) you would want an intake flow which is equal or greater than the total CFM of the internal fans, so that adding larger fans to the GPU would worsen that ratio (probably increasing the recirculation of hot air rather than the effective cooling).

BTW, perhaps you may try to blow onto the card with a fan (with the side panel open since boot), in oder to assess whether a larger intake flow can be beneficial for the stock GPU heatsink.
Regards,
Luca

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Re: Antec Solo II + GTX 980Ti: any way to optimize thermalno

Post by Xyvotha » Tue Feb 23, 2016 6:52 pm

Okay, just replaced the exhaust and modified Afterburner's curve. Will try stressing the system later, for now a few pics :)

Warning: case is duuuussstyy :)
Front side, with two Gentle Typhoons 1,450 (one inside the drive cage), you can see in the bottom section the cable splitter to control both fans from a single connector (I'ts a Gigabyte MB, remember?). They're set in Speedfan to 100% when either CPU or GPU get warm:
Image

Back side, with fresh GT 1,450. That fan can't be software controlled (old Gigabyte MB blah, blah):
Image

Detail of the HDD and second SSD, this one gets pretty warm for an SSD, probably because of the GPU heat going up (didn't happen with GTX970). The first SSD located in the bottom side of the case (see first pic) stays cool, same with the HDD being directly cooled by the intake fan:
Image

Bonus shot, my LED strips on the case and desk! :mrgreen:
Desk lights are controlled from a switch below the desk, case lights are powered via an old eSATA power/data adapter (you can see it below the GPU in 2nd pic). Lights are much more subtle than what the picture shows:
Image

Edit: Ok I gotta cleanup that case ASAP, it's embarassing :oops:

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WHOA! it was the PSU!!!

Post by Xyvotha » Tue Feb 23, 2016 8:46 pm

(kinda) solved!

With the modified settings I was getting:

- Same GPU Delta T with less RPM.
- Better case exhaust temps (subjectively, not as warm to the touch).
- Same noise, with added noise from new, higher RPM case exhaust fan.

After a few minutes of head scratching, I decided to set all (GPU/CPU/Case fans) to manual settings, all processes at ilde, and identify each one's noise tonality by raising RPMs individually. GPU fans at 100% weren't really THAT annoyingly loud.

So leaving all controllable fans at moderate speeds, I put the PC on load again (Fallout 4 is the fav tool this month). Then the noise rose again, and it came from the only fan I can't control or monitor, my poor Antec HCG-620! I't not only powering a higher specced GPU, it's also swallowing all the additional heat raising to the top of the case!

So... yeah, I have to either swap my beloved Solo II (I don't really wanna spend $$ in another ATX case), or replace the PSU with another with more headroom... Is that right fellow SPCR'ers?

As I mentioned before, there aren't many hardware options in my country, fortunately I've found a few in the 750w range (prices are in US$, and yeah they're awful):

- Cooler Master 750M - $112
- Seasonic M12II-750 EVO - $135
- EVGA 120-G1-0750-XR - $137

It's money I didn't plan to spend, so if there's a better option please let me know :wink:

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Re: Antec Solo II + GTX 980Ti: any way to optimize thermalno

Post by quest_for_silence » Wed Feb 24, 2016 12:16 am

Xyvotha wrote:(kinda) solved!

OH! So wasn't it that the "GPU fans get really loud"? Nice to see... so now are we sure that, nasty noise signature set aside, the sound pressure level problem is due to the PSU (looking for a definitive confirmation)?

Xyvotha wrote:So... yeah, I have to either swap my beloved Solo II (I don't really wanna spend $$ in another ATX case), or replace the PSU with another with more headroom... Is that right fellow SPCR'ers?

No: your main and probably only option is to swap the PSU, as your HCG would scream in any case (pun intended) in that scenario.

Xyvotha wrote:As I mentioned before, there aren't many hardware options in my country, fortunately I've found a few in the 750w range (prices are in US$, and yeah they're awful):

- Cooler Master 750M - $112
- Seasonic M12II-750 EVO - $135
- EVGA 120-G1-0750-XR - $137

The EVGA is plainly loud, that Seasonic would be about the same of your HCG, the CM I don't know what it is: take note that bronze efficiency isn't what I'd look for a 980TI setup with some overheating problems (more heath dumped into the case than a Gold/Platinum PSU).
Whether the CM were a G750M, that one is not an high quality unit so, though it would be the quietest among them, I hope you don't plan to use it there for more than 3-5 years (but 4-5 just in case the CM warranty is very well enforced in your country).

Xyvotha wrote:It's money I didn't plan to spend, so if there's a better option please let me know :wink:
Please, if we don't know what else is actually available, how could we let you know what?
Regards,
Luca

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Re: Antec Solo II + GTX 980Ti: any way to optimize thermalno

Post by frenchie » Wed Feb 24, 2016 6:11 am

Have you ever tried using just the bottom intake fan for your intakes ?
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Re: Antec Solo II + GTX 980Ti: any way to optimize thermalno

Post by Xyvotha » Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:19 am

quest_for_silence wrote:Nice to see... so now are we sure that, nasty noise signature set aside, the sound pressure level problem is due to the PSU (looking for a definitive confirmation)?
Yeah, after isolation of the remaining fans by lowering their RPMs, my conclusion is that the PSU is the dominant source of noise.
Whether the CM were a G750M, that one is not an high quality unit so, though it would be the quietest among them, I hope you don't plan to use it there for more than 3-5 years (but 4-5 just in case the CM warranty is very well enforced in your country).
Seems like my only option at the moment then. And warranties here don't get past 12 months :/
Xyvotha wrote:It's money I didn't plan to spend, so if there's a better option please let me know :wink:
Please, if we don't know what else is actually available, how could we let you know what?
Well to be honest, the previous 750w list was what's available and affordable for me. Higher wattage/efficiency PSUs get past the $200 mark.
Thanks again for the help, I'm going to try different fan curve profiles on MSI's Afterburner before going the PSU replacement route :)

Xyvotha
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Re: Antec Solo II + GTX 980Ti: any way to optimize thermalno

Post by Xyvotha » Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:21 am

frenchie wrote:Have you ever tried using just the bottom intake fan for your intakes ?
Hi frenchie! You got me curious, what's the logic of that? I'm open to new ideas, especially the ones that don't cost :mrgreen:

frenchie
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Re: Antec Solo II + GTX 980Ti: any way to optimize thermalno

Post by frenchie » Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:48 am

Hi !
My policy when trying to cool my case is to only direct the fresh air where it is needed the most. Everywhere else, with a negative pressure case, enough air sneaks through the cracks to be enough.

In your setup, you want the cool air to flow in at the bottom as much as possible, where the GPU will benefit the most from it. So put a fan there. The air will warm up, move up in the case (the cool air will push it away), and get sucked out by the back fan and the PSU. Enough cool air will come in the front panel (where your HDDs are) to cool them and provide a bit of fresh air to the CPU. You want the warm air to come out as fast as possible.

The fan you have in front of your HDDs right now is creating an air stream across the top of your case, and it might be disrupting the flow of warm air coming from the GPU from quickly exiting. It is good for your CPU though.

I'm only guessing, but it's easy to test :)
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Abula
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Re: WHOA! it was the PSU!!!

Post by Abula » Wed Feb 24, 2016 5:39 pm

Xyvotha wrote:As I mentioned before, there aren't many hardware options in my country, fortunately I've found a few in the 750w range (prices are in US$, and yeah they're awful):

- Cooler Master 750M - $112
- Seasonic M12II-750 EVO - $135
- EVGA 120-G1-0750-XR - $137

It's money I didn't plan to spend, so if there's a better option please let me know :wink:
Honestly i cant recommend either of the options, for me Power Supplies are a very important foundation of buidling quiet, given that its not needed to spend a ton to get something worth it, there are certain PSU that imo are worth the extra. In Guatemala there is only 1 distributor of decent hardware, and as in your country there are not many options, specially for certain models that excel in bieng quiet. What i do is either imprort it via a courrier, here in guatemala we have different companies that have their main office in US, and import products deliver to them, i would assume there are similar offering in your courtry, yes its expensive.... but to me its worth the trouble into ending with a quiet pc, my recommendation is EVGA SuperNOVA 650 P2 80+ PLATINUM, 650W ECO Mode Fully Modular NVIDIA SLI and Crossfire Ready 10 Year Warranty Power Supply.

Ill try to find out if one of the courriers that i use has offices on Peru/lima, ill get back at you if there are any info.
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Re: Antec Solo II + GTX 980Ti: any way to optimize thermalno

Post by quest_for_silence » Thu Feb 25, 2016 1:44 am

Xyvotha wrote:I'm open to new ideas, especially the ones that don't cost
How did you mount your current PSU, with the fan facing upwards or downwards? If downwards, try to flip and test.

Another trick which worked for me once is to reverse the back fan flow: to be honest my scenario was rather different (IGP), but you can always play just for shits and giggles, right?
Regards,
Luca

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Abula
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Re: WHOA! it was the PSU!!!

Post by Abula » Thu Feb 25, 2016 7:00 am

Abula wrote:Ill try to find out if one of the courriers that i use has offices on Peru/lima, ill get back at you if there are any info.
CompraenUSA uses the same address of my courrier in guatemala (transexpress), im not sure there are other options, but in here they are pretty reliable (and expensive).
GameMi - Intel i9 9900K + Gigabyte Z390 AM + Asus RTX2080Ti Strix | MiniMi - Intel i7 8700K + ASRock Z370ITX + MSI RTX2080Ti
StreaMi - Intel i9 7940X + AsRock X299 Taichi + Asus GTX1080Ti Strix | WorkMi - AMD 1950X + AsRock X399 Taichi + MSI GTX1080
ServeMi - Intel Xeon E3-1230 + Supermicro X9SCM-F + 144TB | StoreMi - Intel Xeon E3 1240v5 + Supermicro X11SSM-F + 42TB | CamMi - Intel i7 4770K + MSI H81i + Blue Iris

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