My Antec TP 380S Mod Idea

PSUs: The source of DC power for all components in the PC & often a big noise source.

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MajinWu
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My Antec TP 380S Mod Idea

Post by MajinWu » Mon May 31, 2004 6:35 pm

I just made a blowhole for my Antec Sonata (along with a few other holes as you can see here http://www.ocforums.com/showthread.php?t=300833)

To me, my case is pretty quiet (believe it or not). All my fans are running really low rpms, but my PSU noise is really the main thing standing out.

Please see the link above before you pass judgement!
Anyways, here's my idea:

Take out original exhaust PSU fan and replace that with a 80mm Panaflo L1A that's INTAKE. Then add another 80mm Panaflo L1A that's the EXHAUST (enough grill will be cut out to accommodate the fan). Since my blowhole is right behind the PSU, the hot air will be sucked out the case. I'm hoping this way works better b/c I've heard a lot of people frying their PSU by using only one 80mm PanaL for exhaust.
Last edited by MajinWu on Mon May 31, 2004 7:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

somebody
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Post by somebody » Mon May 31, 2004 7:08 pm

How do you think it compares with just replacing the stock fan with a Panaflo M1A?

MajinWu
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Post by MajinWu » Mon May 31, 2004 7:18 pm

I really think this mod will perform better (noise and cooling-wise) than just using a PanaM. This mod is using cold air from outside the case and pushing it through and out the PSU in a straight and direct path, at least until it gets the the blowhole. The single M1A is just sucking the hot air out, without the help of cool air.

lenny
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Post by lenny » Mon May 31, 2004 7:24 pm

Hi, MajinWu. Welcome to SPCR forums!

Adding 3 more fans to the Sonata will drive some of the regulars in this forum to alcoholism :-)

I've done the Panaflo M1A mod before. It really helps with the noise. I also mounted the fan using isolators (not easy!) and isolated the PSU from the case using the Vantec / Antec silicone PSU isolator + little bits of silicone where needed. I had to break off one of the metal tabs to get the screw holes to align.

Other options to consider :

1. Using the top blowhole as PSU air intake (remove the fan)

2. Using the side fan hole to feed outside air to the CPU HSF

Good luck!

MajinWu
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Post by MajinWu » Mon May 31, 2004 7:34 pm

lenny wrote: 1. Using the top blowhole as PSU air intake (remove the fan)

2. Using the side fan hole to feed outside air to the CPU HSF
1.) I'm not sure what you mean by using the blowhole as PSU air intake (removing the fan??)

2.) The side fan hole is already feeding outside air to cpu. It's even ducted, as the link shows.

Thanks for tips about M1A and PSU silicon dampening. Dont u think the M1A will be too loud? And does that PSu silicon stuff really help? I can touch my PSU and not feel any vibrations...

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Post by Putz » Mon May 31, 2004 8:15 pm

1) He means: remove the fan in the blowhole, and create a duct from the hole to your PSU, with the PSU fan exhausting as normal (but perhaps replaced by an M1A). That way, the PSU would be sucking cold air from the outside, without messing with reversing airflow direction, etc. This can be accomplished using 3" flexible dryer duct, for instance.

2) If you have a duct on that side fan, why do you need two fans in series like that?

If you have six fans running in that rig already, an M1A is not gonna be "too loud" for you. You probably won't even hear it.

Overall, the quality of your mod seems to be quite good. However, I'd be willing to bet that you can get that box a lot quieter still, without sacrificing your temps much (or at all). For instance, have you modded the front bezel for airflow yet?

MajinWu
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Post by MajinWu » Mon May 31, 2004 8:46 pm

Ahh, thanks for the clearification. That method would work, but I'd sacrifice an extra exhaust port for heat... then again, im not sure if that blowhole is really necessary now that the cpu is ducted.

I would still like to use L1As though because M1As without any resistence would be the loudest noisemakers in my case. I was thinking:

Remove the blowhole fan, use a L1A mounted onto the PSU to suck air in, and another L1A as exhaust. Pretty much the same original idea, but with normal air direction.

By the way, is keeping normal air direction important at all?
Putz wrote: 1) ...That way, the PSU would be sucking cold air from the outside, without messing with reversing airflow direction, etc. This can be accomplished using 3" flexible dryer duct, for instance....
I donno if a single M1A would be strong enough to suck the cold air ALL THE WAY from the blowhole... dont you think the distance is a little far? I'm kinda new at this.
Putz wrote: ..2) If you have a duct on that side fan, why do you need two fans in series like that?...
Well, the duct only concentrates air to the cpu. The two fans in series is meant for the PSU... I donno what you exactly mean by your question.
Putz wrote: ...If you have six fans running in that rig already, an M1A is not gonna be "too loud" for you. You probably won't even hear it...
I'm using a sunbeam rheobus, and every fan is running as low as possible (each LED is red except for the CPU fan, which is an M1A, and it'll turn red too if i just touch the knob a little). The other fans are plugged into the Fan-Only plugs of my PSU. The case is on the table, about 1-2 feet away from me. It's quiet. The only noise is air turbulence, mainly from PSU. I know this because I temporarily shut down EVERY single fan in my case (cpu included) for about 4 seconds. The noise level was the same!
Putz wrote: ...have you modded the front bezel for airflow yet?
Whew... last one! No I haven't modded the front bezel. I thought my 120mm floor fan can handle intkae from the bottom well enough by itself.

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Post by lenny » Tue Jun 01, 2004 11:42 am

MajinWu wrote:I would still like to use L1As though because M1As without any resistence would be the loudest noisemakers in my case.
The fans in the Antec PSU is temperature controlled, so they spin faster if the heatsinks (usually - don't know about this particular design) are hotter. I would think an L1A should be sufficient if you're feeding cool air to the PSU from the outside.

The Vantec silicone thing for the PSU is probably overkill. I just happened to have some lying around and wanted to use it up :-)
MajinWu wrote:By the way, is keeping normal air direction important at all?
It might reduce airflow (if you don't have another fan exhausting). If you simply reverse the fan, I would think that airflow would be decreased, since there is more resistance to air exiting the PSU.

I'm not too keen on the idea of exhausting hot air into the case, even with the blowhole. That's why I really like the Arctic Cooling VGA silencer, which I notice you're using as well.
MajinWu wrote:I donno if a single M1A would be strong enough to suck the cold air ALL THE WAY from the blowhole... dont you think the distance is a little far? I'm kinda new at this.
You can either build a duct, or block off the bottom part of the case from the PSU / optical drive parts.
MajinWu wrote:Well, the duct only concentrates air to the cpu. The two fans in series is meant for the PSU... I donno what you exactly mean by your question.
If you can duct it more efficiently (instead of using Chinese takeout containers :-) ) you can connect the side intake directly to the fan, and the CPU fan will suck outside air and blow it directly onto your Thermalright.
MajinWu wrote:No I haven't modded the front bezel. I thought my 120mm floor fan can handle intkae from the bottom well enough by itself.
I think you're right. With a 120mm hole (with or without fan) you should get way more air into the case than the front bezel would allow even after modding.

You may want to consider a more permanent solution than "stacks of paper" though :-) Someone here used shot glasses. Another person suggested using short PVC pipes. There's also "quiet feet" available from some vendor.

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Post by Putz » Tue Jun 01, 2004 7:54 pm

Bezel airflow is important for drive cooling. If you do end up reversing your PSU airflow, you'll have roughly neutral pressure in the case, resulting in no airflow over the drives. Same deal if you duct the PSU to the top hole (which would then become an intake). So you might as well do the bezel mod to reduce any resistance... and hey, you don't seem to be a stranger to Dremels.

I really think you could have better noise-reduction results if you cut down the number of fans in your system. Admittedly, you're probably right that the PSU is the worst offender at this point, but seven fans in a system is probably overkill; you could get away with only three or four fans without compromising your cooling efficiency at all. Say you duct the PSU to the hole in the top (a very good suggestion, IMHO) and do a Panaflo fan swap (be it M1A or L1A)... Next, you could remove the fan on the case floor, since negative pressure from the rear exhaust will pull air in through that hole with little resistance (and some airflow will find its way over the drives that way too, especially with a bezel mod). Then, you could improve your side duct so that only the fan on the heatsink is needed to pull air through the duct (rendering the 80mm Panaflo currently on the panel superfluous). Perhaps some acoustic padding on the inside of the duct itself would be something to consider too. Then, you could do away with the 60mm on your Northbridge and just use spill-over from the 92mm fan on the CPU heatsink. Hey! Now you're down to only four fans (92mm CPU, 120mm exhaust, 80mm PSU, VGA silencer) and I bet your temps would be within a degree or two of their current values!

MajinWu
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Post by MajinWu » Tue Jun 01, 2004 8:15 pm

Excellent suggestions, Putz. But I think everyone is ignoring what I said earlier about my noise...

All my fans are running on either Fan-Only plugs or Sunbeam Rheobus. Each fan is getting near minimum power, and are thus running a good bit below their advertised dbA rating. All the fans together (except the PSU's) are close to silent. Like I said before, the noise is the same even when I disconnect every fan and cut off power by turning down each knob on the Rheobus (yes, even to the CPU, but only for about 4-6 seconds).

I agree with you guys' saying that having so many fans is superfluous, but I really hate it when people overstate my noise levels.

Back to Putz's suggestion about airflow in the case, I agree with your view of my case's general airflow if I carry out my idea. I guess the more harmless thing to do would be just to add the 2nd L1A fan to the front of the PSU and have it blow some semi-cool air towards the rear exhaust L1A fan... It'll still cool better than having a single L1A or M1A in my opinion. And I can dremel a small hole behind my case so that I'll be able to use the PSU's external molex connector.
Putz:
Then, you could do away with the 60mm on your Northbridge and just use spill-over from the 92mm fan on the CPU heatsink.
My system is OCed at 215x10.5. Vdd at 1.8V
I REALLY dont think the spill over from a 92mm fan will be enough to insure my motherboard's longevity :roll:

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Post by Putz » Tue Jun 01, 2004 9:23 pm

MajinWu,

Fair enough. If you're happy with it, then I'm happy.

I did read and heed your comments about the current noise level of your system. However, I'm just used to looking at things in the same way as those people on this forum that debate whether having ONE 5V Panaflo L1A in a system is too much!

Assumedly, you posted on this forum to share your experiences and methods with others, and for constructive criticism on how to make your PC even quieter. Addressing the latter point, as the owner of a modded Sonata myself, the single best and cheapest thing you can do to quiet that machine is to duct and fan-swap the PSU. Don't mess with reversing airflow or anything, because that will provide worse results than ducting to the top hole will (with said hole's fan removed), I guarantee it. Ducting isn't that hard, either. Flexible dryer duct and duct tape are readily available at your local hardware store. Failing that, cardboard and Scotch/masking tape work too (especially as trial-run tactics).

I'm not really sure what you meant by adding an L1A to the front of your PSU, though, similarly to what I said above, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be nearly as effective as a ducted setup anyway.

TBH, if completely turning off five or six fans doesn't make an audible difference, it's because something is way louder than them. Once that loud source of noise is reduced, you'll find that the noise of the other six fans will show through much more clearly. Unfortunately, if you take silencing seriously, this process becomes addictive :roll:

I was not overstating any noise levels at all. I said: "I really think you could have better noise-reduction results if you cut down the number of fans in your system." I'm simply making suggestions that will hopefully help guide you towards Silent PC Review's ultimate goal of a completely silent PC. (Even though, especially with that fairly-high level of overclocking, this holy grail ideal is probably next to impossible in your case.)

To that end, I wish you luck. Be sure to let us know how your future mods pan out! And...

Welcome to SPCR!

MonsterMac
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Post by MonsterMac » Wed Jun 02, 2004 3:15 pm

you'd b efine to replace the fan in the PSU with a panaflo M1A or L1A and then just duct the rear intake to the blow hole, that way it will suck in cool air from outside the case through the blow hole, no need for two fans, one will suffice!
Antec P180, 3200+ Venice, Gigabyte A8N Ultra-9, 1gb RAM (2x512) PQi Turbo, eVGA 6600GT w/ NVSilencer, Audigy2ZS, XP-120, S12 430W PSU, 1.2TiB HDD Space

MonsterMac
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Post by MonsterMac » Wed Jun 02, 2004 3:20 pm

why on earth do you have so many fans? that noise dampening material is really worthless in reducing the noise category because sound can freely leak out of the top blowhole, and the sidepanel fan; i guess if your fine with the noise then that's one hting but adding more fans isnt going to make your computer any quieter.
Antec P180, 3200+ Venice, Gigabyte A8N Ultra-9, 1gb RAM (2x512) PQi Turbo, eVGA 6600GT w/ NVSilencer, Audigy2ZS, XP-120, S12 430W PSU, 1.2TiB HDD Space

MonsterMac
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Post by MonsterMac » Wed Jun 02, 2004 3:24 pm

why adding the extra northbridge cooling with the fan? i'm sure it was cooling passively fine before, and also teh swiftec cooler probably works better than the one you have on there now; you dont need the active cooler, you have like 6 fans in your case already so that extra little fan on the norrthbridge will only help it a minimal ammount, your airflow is great. its just added noise.
Antec P180, 3200+ Venice, Gigabyte A8N Ultra-9, 1gb RAM (2x512) PQi Turbo, eVGA 6600GT w/ NVSilencer, Audigy2ZS, XP-120, S12 430W PSU, 1.2TiB HDD Space

MajinWu
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Post by MajinWu » Wed Jun 02, 2004 8:56 pm

I think I'll follow the general suggestion of using one L1A and having the rear psu intake ducted to the blowhole and getting rid of the blowhole fan. I got a little paranoid when I read the stories of people ruining their TP380S by using a single L1A.

MonsterMac, I have this many fans because I'm heavily overclocking my CPU, mobo chipsets, and videocard. I know the noise dampening stuff is worthless now. I got it months before I even considered modding my case. I understand that adding more fans isn't going to make things any quieter, but in the case where I have a noisy PSU, then yes it will. As for the northbridge, the stock passive heatsink wasn't enough to maintain stability at FSB of 215 mhz. I can't use tall NB sinks like swiftec's because of the over-arching fins of my SP97 heatsink. I tested my NB fan plugged into a resistor. Trust me, it is inaudible.

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Post by Putz » Wed Jun 02, 2004 9:18 pm

MajinWu wrote:Trust me, it is inaudible.
Perhaps over the rest of your system at the moment...

---

Have you tried sticking a ruler or something into your PSU fan to prevent it from spinning? (Do this before turning the machine on, and don't leave the system on too long, and no damage should occur. Also, make sure the system has warmed up (use CPUBurn) shortly before this procedure, so as to allow the PSU's thermistor to ramp up the system fans immediately.) This will give you a good indication of the difference that improving your PSU should make. It will also confirm that the PSU is the biggest noise-making culprit (although I'm quite certain that it is) before you go to the trouble/expense of modding it.

I'm glad you're taking the suggestion to duct your PSU. It is truly a good one, in both raw cooling and noise contexts.

If you're wary of using just an L1A in your PSU, monitor the temperature of the PSU's exhaust air with your hand. If it seems uncomfortably hot after the swap (especially as compared to how it feels now), it may not be enough airflow. In that case, switch it with an M1A instead (they're not that expensive). Or, more ambitiously, since you are clearly a modder at heart, you could attach a thermal probe of some type to the PSU's internal heatsink, and get a before/after reading to give you a pretty good idea of the impact of such a low-flow fan. Having said all that, if you have a fresh-air duct for your PSU, an L1A should suffice.

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Post by MajinWu » Wed Jun 02, 2004 9:33 pm

Putz wrote: Perhaps over the rest of your system at the moment...
Well, I tested this by actually having the little thing an inch away from my ear when I first got it. It was pretty whisper-like. I'll try out that ruler-into-the-PSU test though and post some results.

EDIT: Air turbulence noise decreased a good bit. Now I realize that my harddrives are the next noise makers (I am still using only one CPU fan, the rest are off)... I use a Samsung SP1614N (160gig IDE 8mb 7200rpm) and a Seagate 80gig (7200.7 series, 8mb). I'm not too concerned about the hdd's noise. Ah well, this is at least a 50% decrease in noise imo.

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