davidyon wrote:Sorry for the long post. Mods, feel free to move this elsewhere if this is somewhat off-topic for this thread.
Yeah, that. I have no direct experience with the SPCR-designed systems, so these are informed guesses based on the published photos.
Some background on my situation:
I've got an old Shuttle XPC with a 2.4Ghz P4 which I just moved out of the basement office into the living room. The living room has a large computer armoire that closes up, with a bay on the bottom for a tower PC. As you might imagine I have two problems:
- The Shuttle is noisy, even with the armiore all closed up.
- With the armiore closed, the pessimal venting causes it to get very warm in there. The CPU core temp reads 60C after an overnight of idle.
The temp doesn't seem dangerously high, but I really don't want that to be the nominal operating temperature. The system needs to be on 24/7, as I frequently VPN into it from work, and it also serves up a USB all-in-one printer to other PC's in the house.
From a few hours of browsing this site, I'm assuming that the Shuttle is not worth trying to salvage, noise-wise. Which is fine with me since I'd like to jump up to something that will handle Photoshop better anyway.
So I'm guessing that a SFF PC is probably not going to work out from both a noise and thermal perspective. It's unfortunate since I've really gotten religion on SFF PC's and notebooks. On the other hand, there's plenty of room in the armoire bay, and most of the time the PC is hidden behind the door on the armoire anyway. So size here is not the factor it usually is for me.
A Shuttle is inherently slightly noisier than something else, as a compromise needs be made between small and silent (with a given set of heat coming off the internals, at least). However, the 2.4 P4 is not *that* hot a CPU. A Core 2 Duo likely will be slightly less powerconsuming and quite a bit faster, but:
In the closed environment of the armoire, which I suspect isn't so much 'pessimal' ventilation as it is 'nonexistent' ventilation, you're still going to overheat. If you put a PC inside a closed box, you *really* need to cut vent holes. I supect your best bet might be to put a couple of intake fans into the *armoire*, duct them to the intake(s) of the PC case, and add a few exhaust ports out.
Based on a quick fillup of a Newegg cart, it looks like I can save substantial money by cloning this design and building it myself. But I can think of a few obstacles:
- The oft-mentioned custom power supply vent. I have no idea what the noise and thermal impact would be of omitting that.
MChin said earlier in the thread that it mainly prevents the PSU fan ramping up in hot exterior conditions, ie summer. In your armoire it's possible that "hot summer" may be the default 'exterior' temperature, if not higher than that.
I don't think it would be *that* hard to make yourself. In fact it's such a good idea I may end up doing it myself somewhere. The duct is basically just sturdy paper and sellotape, so bluepetering something together should work. The grille in the front to make it look good will take more effort -- it looks like a standard bay cover with slots cut in it, not hard in itself but hard to do neatly. Taking a Coolermaster Stacker bay cover and wedging it in place would be easier, and might well look better than any attempt I'd make at such a grille.
[*]It's hard to tell from the pictures exactly where the Acoustipak has been installed.
Start by covering the side panels, and then continue on to every thin panel of steel where there's room and no airvents to hinder. That goes a long way, I suspect.
[*]It's unclear what other custom work they needed to do to get this to all fit together. (custom heatsink work? special fan mounting?)[/list]
I doubt it, the Ninja fits straight on a 775 board and the fan change at the rear will drop right in. It looks like a fairly standard PC build, apart from having very neat cable management.
I'm not comfortable with the lack of direct cooling for the drives in the proposed system, now IIRC the Solo has 2x92 mm fan grills in front of the drive cage, so I'd put one or two nexuses in there and only turn them on if and when needed. Depending on the version of the P5B chosen you could probably plug them into a software-controlled channel, which means you can set up speedfan to turn the fan on and off based on HD temperature. I've just tested my P5B-E Plus, and I can confirm that the two fanheaders right near those intakes are both running off of SpeedFan's Speed4. Whatever header I've plugged the CPU fan into doesn't appear to be doing anything currently, but it's far too crowded with that Ninja there to do any more on the fly exploring right now. I'll report back when I've had a chance to get to all the fan headers better.
I know I'm going to have to address venting in the armiore, probably by drilling some vent holes on the bottom of the PC bay in the front, then maybe mounting a fan in the back of the bay and run it at low voltage. My initial thought was that I'll have the 120mm stock Antec fan lying around as an extra, and just mount that. Or maybe put the Scythe fan in the armiore since the stock fan noise will be reduced by the armiore. I can just run a power supply cable extension through a card slot in the back power to the fan, which will cycle with the computer.
It makes more sense to me to retain the noisier fan on the CPU cooler and put the silent Nexus one as the armoire fan. That's the one you'll hear far more directly. Unless you can ventilate to the other room through a hole in the (dry?)wall?