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mark84

The little big project

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I've got a hankering to build a new rig. Not just any rig though. I want to keep the top class performance of my current build but shrink it down into a case as small as possible and keep it as quite as possible.

 

Currently I have a monolithic case sitting on my desk (Antec Twelve Hundred) with all the goodies in it mentioned in my sig, plus 4x HDDs, 2x ODDs, custom water cooling loop etc etc.

Problem is I'm over it's hugeness and noise. It's really heavy to move around if I need to work on it and with 12 fans currently running in it to move air around it's capacious interior it's somewhat loud too. The other fact is that it takes up a fair bit of desk space too, the cases footprint but then also the custom water radiator setup hanging off the back adding another 1/4 of the cases length to the overall setup.

Then there's the water loop itself. My HD5970 refuses to work correctly with any number of full cover blocks and when it was running on water the temps were only just acceptable, presumably due to just a dual 120mm rad.

 

So I'm over it am thinking about a bit of a challenge. Going small and quiet.

 

I was wanting to go for a Mini ITX form factor but with those offering just a single PCI-E slot I wouldn't be happy, as after the GFX card I really like add-in sound cards for sound, so that means Micro ATX for the extra slots.

The other issue is cooling. I'll be going for water cooling again but this may be difficult in such a small space. How ever after some searching around I have one or two ideas.

 

Just after any thoughts or suggestions regarding the water cooling or anything else with it.

 

 

Bits I'm thinking of using for the build:

  • i7 950 (from current build)
  • 6GB RAM (from current build)
  • ASUS Rampage III Gene motherboard
  • AMD HD6990 (or what ever Antilles will be)
  • Asus Xonar D2X (from current build)
  • Possibly a RAID card or TV tuner (from current build)
  • 2x HDDs for mirrored big data stuffs
  • 1x SSD for OS/Apps/Games
  • 1x Slim ODD
  • Corsair AX850 PSU (modular and 0 fan speed up too a certain wattage, and 80 Plus Gold rated)
  • This 5.25" bay adapter to convert one bay to accept the slim ODD and up to two SSD's.

The case

After looking at a few to many cases I've narrowed it down to four, although I think I've already settled on one.

  • Lian Li PC-V354 (PSU mounting position may compromise full cover GPU blocks, plus places to mount pump+res would be awkward)
  • Lian Li PC-V352 (not a bad setup but the area inside I think is too small for a big dual GPU card, length and height restrictions unfortunately cross this off the list)
  • Da Box 100 Blackheart (a really sweet case I came across from the US, unfortunately they're all out of stock plus they don't seem to be made in big numbers so doubt I could get one. Also the res+pump mounting internally would be hard plus limited drive bays)
  • Silverstone SG02-F (this seems the best overall fit)

The SG02 seems best as there's two 5.25 bays in it which gives me options, plus the PSU hangs over the CPU area which seems to be the most compact case layout type and helps with CPU mobo area ventilation.

The only issue is case air flow. It only has 80mm fan mounts and even then not in the best areas. I'm after comments here, just thinking of slapping a 140mm fan on the expansion slot side of the case towards the front. Can't do the other side really as PSU would interfere with air flow. Mounting on the left near front should push air into HDD cage area at front, blow directly over GFX card and hopefully over the top and into the CPU area before going out the other side of the case or up and out the PSU.

 

I think I'll put clear plastic over the breather holes on the case on the left hand side and on the top ones so air from the side fan doesn't exit the case so readily. Doing this in my SG05 build worked well.

 

 

Water cooling bits

Still nutting this one out so feel free to chip in with ideas.

  • Apogee GTZ (from current build)
  • Koolance RP-1000BK res + pump 5.25" bay device (only decent one I can find at the moment. There is this but it's flow rate is less than half)
  • Full cover block for HD6990 when they come
  • 3/8" ID tubing (easier to route inside the case vs larger gauges)
  • Shroud(s) for rad setup to reduce air turbulance and noise

That's about as far as I've gotten. Just after some help with radiator options, fans for the rad and the pump situation.

 

For the rad setup I'm thinking of having it lay down on top of the case raised up by rad boxes or similar, but as my dual 120mm rad barely coped with the current setup I want to beef it up a bit. So I'm thinking maybe a single 3x 120/140mm rad or keeping the current dual 120mm rad and getting another and put them side by side in series. Thoughts? Rad suggestions? How does fins per inch effect cooling and noise?

 

Fan suggestions for rad(s)? Currently have two Scythe Ultra Kaze 2000rpm fans but have them running on reduced voltage with a pot to reduce noise. Scythe Gentle Typhoons maybe?

 

With the 5.25" bay thing above it looks like it has a standard DDC pump in there. Would that be ok for this sort of setup?

 

\wall of text

Discuss!

 

 

EDIT: You can check out my photo album of the build over HERE

Edited by mark84

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SFF and watercooling don't go together well, stick to a H70 or H50.

 

you should go ITX IMO SG07 will fit a HD5970 so I assume it will fit a HD6990 use a i7 870 oc it a bit, use a Gigabyte H55N mobo and you will have yourself an awesome little games machine.

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SFF and watercooling don't go together well, stick to a H70 or H50.

 

you should go ITX IMO SG07 will fit a HD5970 so I assume it will fit a HD6990 use a i7 870 oc it a bit, use a Gigabyte H55N mobo and you will have yourself an awesome little games machine.

Agree with nesquick. This kind of build will make an great SFF/LAN type rig. But to really enjoy the portability of a SFF, you may need to reconsider the water cooling.

 

Whichever way you go, it will be a very interesting build.

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Note to dude... Post smaller. When you're baked, you read one paragraph, lose focus, get bored and scroll down to see whos taking the piss out of who for what... And possibly to truncheon IAMTHEMAXX.

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Get the Da Box. Was looking at that earlier in the year. Best bloody MATX case ever.

But as you said theres not much stock so look into getting something like Nesquick suggested.

Edited by brissmas

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for rads, look at the black ice stealth series, 30fpi and very slim 26.9mm keep my 870 under 60 @4.2ghz (use some 1850rpm scythe GT's, so you wont have to use super high rpm fans to get good results). Theyre at pccg and the koolroom, this looks good!

 

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_p...oducts_id=15847 oh yea and the rads a pretty cheap too, mine had an excellent finish and didnt get any gunk inside it.

 

edit: oh and the ddc pump will be ok. theyre fantastic. (i dont even hear mine and its sitting on my psu).

 

edit2: having a look through the black ice rads you can get a 4x120 for 100 bucks. that would be sweet.

 

edit3: i like the blackheart case, it might end up being more expensive, but for your needs it fits perfectly, its got routing holes out the back, so you could just get a rad stand for the rad and have it like a tower next to the rig?

Edited by tunksy

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looks interesting and everyone has good ideas that would work except the stoner...

problem with itx suggestion is the gpu will make some noise with no way to put it on water

if you can fit a 3x140 rad on the roof of that case you would have all the rad you need to run some nice quiet fans

the gt 1850rpm fans are fairly quiet though just making a bit of baring and air noise you can hear them from several meters away but there not much louder than a hdd or corsair tx750 psu at idle

Edited by Dasa

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looks interesting and everyone has good ideas that would work except the stoner...

problem with itx suggestion is the gpu will make some noise with no way to put it on water

if you can fit a 3x140 rad on the roof of that case you would have all the rad you need to run some nice quiet fans

the gt 1850rpm fans are fairly quiet though just making a bit of baring and air noise you can hear them from several meters away but there not much louder than a hdd or corsair tx750 psu at idle

Taking the piss outta me, eh? You've just made an enemy for life... Wait, lets be be friends. No? Freinemies?

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SFF and watercooling don't go together well, stick to a H70 or H50.

 

you should go ITX IMO SG07 will fit a HD5970 so I assume it will fit a HD6990 use a i7 870 oc it a bit, use a Gigabyte H55N mobo and you will have yourself an awesome little games machine.

Agree with nesquick. This kind of build will make an great SFF/LAN type rig. But to really enjoy the portability of a SFF, you may need to reconsider the water cooling.

 

Whichever way you go, it will be a very interesting build.

 

The system won't be moved much when it's made, so LANing is a non-issue, just in terms of if I have to move it or work on it, anything mATX will be waaaay better. Plus more desk space.

 

As I said in OP mini ITX won't work cause I'd like decent sound card meaning I need the extra slots for one. SG07 would probably be one of my first picks if I were going that route though.

 

And nes, water plus SFF is a challenge, and that's half the appeal for me with this.

 

Note to dude... Post smaller. When you're baked, you read one paragraph, lose focus, get bored and scroll down to see whos taking the piss out of who for what... And possibly to truncheon IAMTHEMAXX.

Yeah, I ramble on a bit some times :)

 

 

for rads, look at the black ice stealth series, 30fpi and very slim 26.9mm keep my 870 under 60 @4.2ghz (use some 1850rpm scythe GT's, so you wont have to use super high rpm fans to get good results). Theyre at pccg and the koolroom, this looks good!

 

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_p...oducts_id=15847 oh yea and the rads a pretty cheap too, mine had an excellent finish and didnt get any gunk inside it.

 

edit: oh and the ddc pump will be ok. theyre fantastic. (i dont even hear mine and its sitting on my psu).

 

edit2: having a look through the black ice rads you can get a 4x120 for 100 bucks. that would be sweet.

 

edit3: i like the blackheart case, it might end up being more expensive, but for your needs it fits perfectly, its got routing holes out the back, so you could just get a rad stand for the rad and have it like a tower next to the rig?

I had a black ice stealth rad before my current thermochill one. They're kinda skinny, wouldn't thinker rads like the XSPC ones be more efficient at cooling? I'm thinking of just laying it down on top of the case so thickness doesn't matter.

 

Has anyone got input on how many fins per inch I should be going for? 8fpi, 20, 30? Presumably more fpi = better heat transfer but at what cost? Noise?

 

if you can fit a 3x140 rad on the roof of that case you would have all the rad you need to run some nice quiet fans

the gt 1850rpm fans are fairly quiet though just making a bit of baring and air noise you can hear them from several meters away but there not much louder than a hdd or corsair tx750 psu at idle

3x140 rad is tempting but what fans would I get for it though? The Scythe GTs are only 120mm..

 

heh, just looking at face surface area, and 3x140 rad has more surface area than a 4x120 one. And it'll be shorter. Just need a good fan option :\

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more fpi is good on a small rad as it helps make up for its lack of size but requires more pressure from the fan to move air threw the fins so faster fans more noise

if you can fit a nice big rad then one with low fpi would be fine and allow you to run lower speed fans if you wish with less of a performance hit

 

you need enough air getting threw to keep the fins cool and more fins adds more surface area to cool but blocks more air so its a bit of a balancing act but unless you want fans under 1200rpm ~10fpi is fine i think

Edited by Dasa

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check out something like this for ideas,its really good and has awsome performance:

...

cool hey?

Yeah there's some good mini itx designs around, and I would like to go that way but I need mATX for a little more expansion. Mainly add in sound card.

 

more fpi is good on a small rad as it helps make up for its lack of size but requires more pressure from the fan to move air threw the fins so faster fans more noise

if you can fit a nice big rad the a low fpi one would be fine and allow you to run lower speed fans if you wish with less of a performance hit

Ah I see. Alright so fpi on 3x140 rad shouldn't be too much of an issue, especially if I want it quiet. Ok.

 

Just need to figure out some good 140mm fans to pair with it..

Edited by mark84

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the biggest trouble is most of the matx cases look crap, are cubes or just won't do what you require, as I said ITX is probably easier to do than MATX in this instance, I just don't know any MATX cases that could fit a 3x140mm rad plus a 12" video card you might be able to modify something like a NSK 4480B to accept a 240mm rad with slim fans and still have room for a long video card.

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more fpi is good on a small rad as it helps make up for its lack of size but requires more pressure from the fan to move air threw the fins so faster fans more noise

if you can fit a nice big rad then one with low fpi would be fine and allow you to run lower speed fans if you wish with less of a performance hit

 

you need enough air getting threw to keep the fins cool and more fins adds more surface area to cool but blocks more air so its a bit of a balancing act but unless you want fans under 1200rpm ~10fpi is fine i think

a slim rad like the black ice's with GT will go well, you either need high speed fans, or fans with high static pressure to push the air threw the fins, thats hwere the GT's will be good, or those new silverstone air penetrators. other than that dasa summed it up perfectly. if you're mounting it externally none of what we have said will matter, just get a decent xspc or Black Ice GTX

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PC-V354 looks like a beasty case and a 3x120 rad would fit the top or a 3x140 would overhang the back ~40mm which is about what you want for lead space ect anyway

you may be able to use a psu and watercool it to so you can make it a bit thinner with its side off to fit the gpu's but then this is messing with 240v which is not something most people should do

a seasonic 450w fanless psu with its side off to fit the gpu waterblock may have enough grunt to run your rig if you have a fair bit of positive pressure in the case to move air threw it but once again exposing 240v components

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the biggest trouble is most of the matx cases look crap, are cubes or just won't do what you require, as I said ITX is probably easier to do than MATX in this instance, I just don't know any MATX cases that could fit a 3x140mm rad plus a 12" video card you might be able to modify something like a NSK 4480B to accept a 240mm rad with slim fans and still have room for a long video card.

Yeah, but it's like that on all SFF cases really, finding the right one is tricky. The PC-V354 is fairly decent looking, so might have a rethink about possibly using that.

 

As for rad, I'm thinking of just laying it down on top of the case, not so much attaching it or making it internal.

 

a slim rad like the black ice's with GT will go well, you either need high speed fans, or fans with high static pressure to push the air threw the fins, thats hwere the GT's will be good, or those new silverstone air penetrators. other than that dasa summed it up perfectly. if you're mounting it externally none of what we have said will matter, just get a decent xspc or Black Ice GTX

I'm just thinking with high fpi it'll cause more turbulance and thus noise from the air passing through. My current thermochill has bigger gaps between fins so is probably like a 8-10 fpi one but is also like twice as thick as the Black Ice Stealth models so perhaps makes up there. Seems quiet enough by itself. Might have to test it by itself later and double check.

 

 

PC-V354 looks like a beasty case and a 3x120 rad would fit the top or a 3x140 would overhang the back ~40mm which is about what you want for lead space ect anyway

you may be able to use a psu and watercool it to so you can make it a bit thinner with its side off to fit the gpu's but then this is messing with 240v which is not something most people should do

a seasonic 450w fanless psu with its side off to fit the gpu waterblock may have enough grunt to run your rig if you have a fair bit of positive pressure in the case to move air threw it but once again exposing 240v components

Edit: Not so keen on modding and/or water cooling PSU's, I'd rather leave those alone.

 

PC-V354 is probably the only other decent choice atm. Might have another look at pictures of it tonight and try to work out how much of a gap there is between cards and PSU. Where to mount pump + res? Maybe stand them on top of PSU, there's a 120mm fan grate I could maybe mount something to.

 

Mmm possibilites. Rear 120mm and top 140mm fans. Could even go a rear 120mm rad along with the 3x140mm rad on top... interesting.

 

 

 

 

Just looking at 140mm fans, this one seems to have a high cfm at low dBA.

Edited by mark84

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That is so cool (: . I want one...

how does it compare to a similar build with a standard ATX motherboard in a normal case?

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looking at the open blades on that fan it would have very little pressure like the scythe slipstream fans i wouldnt touch them

also its rpm\airflow\dba looks false i wouldnt mind betting its like the cm fans 19db where they give the noise rating it dose at its min rpm and the airflow result when its at 2000rpm when it would normally be making ~32db of noise

 

Yate Loon D14SM-12 are decent value fans and is probably whats in your psu

 

Noctua NF-P14 FLX

Noiseblocker 140mm BlackSilentPRO PK3 Ultra Quiet Fan

may also be worth a go but i wouldnt be surprised if there not worth the extra

 

edit

just found this

140 mm Fan Roundup

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/coolers/d...an-roundup.html

 

edit even better

http://translate.google.com.au/translate?j...er-roundup.html

Edited by Dasa

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My 2 cents:

 

What about this for the case?

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_p...oducts_id=13631

 

Add two of these at the front...

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_p...oducts_id=15159

 

And one of these to cool the cpu...

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_p...oducts_id=12235

 

Voila! A quiet SFF build with enough cooling to sort out any externally exhausting GPU.

 

My mate is considering this for his next build, combining it with a i7 950, Rampage Gene, 2x GTX460's and an X-series Seasonic PSU.

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Thanks Dasa, I'll have a read.

 

@roger, I looked at that case before but there's wasted space above the mobo. Seems like it's only there as the 5.25 bay at the front made the whole thing taller.

 

 

 

Had a bit of a think with the Lian Li case. It's quite good and would probably suit my gear, but I'm thinking smallness is my primary factor. The SG02 is some 10cm shorter and only 2cm wider, so takes up less space over all. So at this stage is my preferred case. Just need to mod a fan into the side of it to improve air flow inside.

Edited by mark84

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well a 140x3 rad would overhang the SG02 a bit much but it would actually fit two 3x120 rads side by side on the top with just enough overhang to run the tubes back in the rear :) a little to crazy? 6 1150 rpm gentle typhoons could go rather nice blowing into that case it dosent have much room for hdd once you get a pump in there though

res space can be freed up by using a T piece res it will just take a bit longer to bleed and top mount rads can hold air to which could make setup\bleeding a bit more time consuming

Edited by Dasa

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well a 140x3 rad would overhang the SG02 a bit much but it would actually fit two 3x120 rads side by side on the top with just enough overhang to run the tubes back in the rear :) a little to crazy? 6 1150 rpm gentle typhoons could go rather nice blowing into that case it dosent have much room for hdd once you get a pump in there though

res space can be freed up by using a T piece res it will just take a bit longer to bleed and top mount rads can hold air to which could make setup\bleeding a bit more time consuming

man more ppl should be into watercooling, its soooo much easier than what people made it out too be, 'oh no! leaks!' and filling and bleeing problems, really for me thats half the fun getting it up runing and being quite happy (happiest ive ever been with a setup tbh) and proud of my rig.

 

oh and its never take me very long to fill and bleed and everything its just a take you time thing. anywho back on topic. two 3x120 rad on tho would be very very awesome! im lookin at getting this: http://www.thekoolroom.com/index.php?route...;product_id=563 or the 3x360 version.

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Damn you Dasa, stop giving me awesome brain storms! :)

 

Mmm, well a 3x140 rad would only over hang by 6.7cm so I could diddle it and have a bit over the front and a bit over the back ok. Using these measurements. And doubling those up would only have 3.6cm overhang total, so really dual 3x140 would be possible lol

 

Though dual 3x120 rads would be neater I guess.

 

Had a look at the 140mm fan review at xbits. The Thermalright TY-140 blows away (pun!) the competition. Way quieter per cfm at 850rpm onwards. But it's one of those weird models that has 120mm mounting holes but no 140mm ones. So wouldn't work with 140mm rads. Although I suppose you could rig something up.

 

Are the Scythe GT's the best 120mm fans for rads atm? I mean noise wise mainly.

 

RE: res + hdd space. Per OP I was looking at getting this for one of the 5.25" bays and using this in the other to give me ODD and SDD mounts. That leaves the two 3.5" bays untouched for HDDs plus I get pump, res, ODD, SSD(s) mounts all in the front section.

 

@tunksy - yeah WCing is more fun, more to think about and do but far more satisfying.

That stand alone WC unit would be insane hehe. Neat idea though.

Edited by mark84

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