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CaseLabs n00b looking to build air cooling rig

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi there,

Long time fan, first time poster. I'm a long-time system builder - even used to sell boutique PC's back when FalconNW and Alienware were first getting their start, so I've been at this a while. That said, I have never built a water cooled rig, beyond some of the sealed closed-loop systems like the Corsair H100i, etc.

I was interested in the STH10 (to give myself headroom for future builds, but had some concerns/questions). I'd appreciate your help with them:

  1. First, the biggest concern is that in a case of this size, air cooling would leave a lot of pockets of "dead air" requiring a lot of fans and/or airflow to compensate. My goal is a quiet single CPU build with one NVidia Titan GPU, but I want to start with air. I have done many quiet air-cooled setups before, but never in a case this large. I'd perhaps do watercooling down the road, but want to start with the basics.
  2. I don't mean to rehash the Corsair Obsidian 900D thread, but one thing I did like in that case are the rubber grommets between the compartments to further reduce airflow between areas and to allow cabling to look a bit neater (perhaps a personal preference). I don't see such grommets in your accessories, so is there a 3rd party accessory that you refer people to?
  3. I'm a little confused on the power switch panel on the STH 10. It looks the same width as the others, but there's no option for fitting the USB/Audio jacks on this. Wouldn't it be possible, but just with a spacer needed to make the door longer?
  4. Finally, and this is a total random question, but on the orders where you coordinate custom power coating, what type of cost would you expect on a case of this size for a solid color? (Just a ballpark, certainly not holding you to a quote...)

So the TL;DR version: am I stupid to build an air-cooled setup in this case and expect it to be quiet?

As to expected timeline, I'd expect to order components in November/December and complete the build by end of year. Thanks for your time, and I look forward to your thoughts.
post #2 of 6
Caselabs usually doesn't do custom powder coats.(you can ask) If you want that you will have to buy your own powder then find a place that does powder coating in your area. It can get really expensive depending on what color you choose and if you want a base coat and top coat. I found a place here in Co that will powder coat a STH10 for 95 bucks per coat, which is really cheap from what I heard.

You can add audio and usb for a small add on price. I would ask them just to make sure

Water cooling guide when you decide to
http://www.overclock.net/water-cooling/913181-water-cooling-guide-noobs.html#post11984918

Website for selling powder coating paint
http://www.prismaticpowders.com/
Edited by Juggalo23451 - 10/16/13 at 3:41pm
Case Labs th10
(21 items)
 
   
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
970 evga 4way 2 gtx590 6gigs muskin ram 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingCooling
2tb wd,128 ssd/crucial lg dvd koolance gtx590 block x 2 white heatkiller 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
RX480 rad x2 MCP35x (X2) gentle typhoons 1850 rpm (8) xigamtek fans  
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
win pro 64bit samsung 2343 x3 6144x1152 logitech g19 silverstone 1500watt 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
case labs th10 deathadder 3500dpi cheap one Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty C... 
Other
XSPC dual bay reservoir  
  hide details  
Reply
Case Labs th10
(21 items)
 
   
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
970 evga 4way 2 gtx590 6gigs muskin ram 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingCooling
2tb wd,128 ssd/crucial lg dvd koolance gtx590 block x 2 white heatkiller 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
RX480 rad x2 MCP35x (X2) gentle typhoons 1850 rpm (8) xigamtek fans  
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
win pro 64bit samsung 2343 x3 6144x1152 logitech g19 silverstone 1500watt 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
case labs th10 deathadder 3500dpi cheap one Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty C... 
Other
XSPC dual bay reservoir  
  hide details  
Reply
post #3 of 6
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Quote:
Originally Posted by falxonPSN View Post

Hi there,

Long time fan, first time poster. I'm a long-time system builder - even used to sell boutique PC's back when FalconNW and Alienware were first getting their start, so I've been at this a while. That said, I have never built a water cooled rig, beyond some of the sealed closed-loop systems like the Corsair H100i, etc.

I was interested in the STH10 (to give myself headroom for future builds, but had some concerns/questions). I'd appreciate your help with them:

  1. First, the biggest concern is that in a case of this size, air cooling would leave a lot of pockets of "dead air" requiring a lot of fans and/or airflow to compensate. My goal is a quiet single CPU build with one NVidia Titan GPU, but I want to start with air. I have done many quiet air-cooled setups before, but never in a case this large. I'd perhaps do watercooling down the road, but want to start with the basics.
  2. I don't mean to rehash the Corsair Obsidian 900D thread, but one thing I did like in that case are the rubber grommets between the compartments to further reduce airflow between areas and to allow cabling to look a bit neater (perhaps a personal preference). I don't see such grommets in your accessories, so is there a 3rd party accessory that you refer people to?
  3. I'm a little confused on the power switch panel on the STH 10. It looks the same width as the others, but there's no option for fitting the USB/Audio jacks on this. Wouldn't it be possible, but just with a spacer needed to make the door longer?
  4. Finally, and this is a total random question, but on the orders where you coordinate custom power coating, what type of cost would you expect on a case of this size for a solid color? (Just a ballpark, certainly not holding you to a quote...)

So the TL;DR version: am I stupid to build an air-cooled setup in this case and expect it to be quiet?

As to expected timeline, I'd expect to order components in November/December and complete the build by end of year. Thanks for your time, and I look forward to your thoughts.

Hello and Welcome to OCN biggrin.gif

1. You can of course use whatever case you would like to use, but why a STH10? For a non-water cooled build with a single GPU, why not look at the Merlin line. It would still give you LOTS of cooling options for future builds and is much smaller than the STH10. The STH10 was created for massive amounts water cooling equipment, and with a small air cooled build there will be quite a bit of unused space.

2. The grommets we have are the only ones we offer and I am not aware of anyone who makes anything aftermarket.

3. The STH10 was designed without a fixed I/O panel for the front. Instead, we created a 3.5'' bay mount directly under the switches. The switch assembly includes two switch plates, a solid version and one with a cut-out for your 3.5'' device.



4. Email cs@caselabs.net for powder coating questions. Powder coating a complete STH10 for $95 is quite cheap.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin_CL View Post


Hello and Welcome to OCN biggrin.gif

1. You can of course use whatever case you would like to use, but why a STH10? For a non-water cooled build with a single GPU, why not look at the Merlin line. It would still give you LOTS of cooling options for future builds and is much smaller than the STH10. The STH10 was created for massive amounts water cooling equipment, and with a small air cooled build there will be quite a bit of unused space.

2. The grommets we have are the only ones we offer and I am not aware of anyone who makes anything aftermarket.

3. The STH10 was designed without a fixed I/O panel for the front. Instead, we created a 3.5'' bay mount directly under the switches. The switch assembly includes two switch plates, a solid version and one with a cut-out for your 3.5'' device.



4. Email cs@caselabs.net for powder coating questions. Powder coating a complete STH10 for $95 is quite cheap.

The choice of the case was based on the thinking of spending more up front to have options later down the road, but in retrospect, perhaps the Merlin ST10 would be more my speed. (I've always had a dislike of mid-towers, hence why I seem to be looking at the big boys.) my only issue with the Merlin line is that they don't appear to have a separate compartment for the power supply, which may have cooling impact if I do switch to water later.

I appreciate your help so far. Just trying to make sure I make the right decision. On the upside, I did finally recognize that the TX-10 was too big for me, so I am improving...
post #5 of 6
Well if you want a separate compartment for the PSU, what about the SMH10? Its roughly the same size as the ST10 and again it has lots of water cooling potential.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin_CL View Post

Well if you want a separate compartment for the PSU, what about the SMH10? Its roughly the same size as the ST10 and again it has lots of water cooling potential.

Good point... Now that work has died down, I'll try to get the parts list finalized, make sure it all fits, and post for final feedback before I order.
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