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Thermaltake ND-1 : A fan mod experiment...

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
So I got a wild hair to take my ND-1 apart today.

It works great as an after market cooler for my 8800GT SC card; with my stock 8800GT SC, the ND-1 yields idle temps around 40C and load temps maxing at 60C (HDR Test).

But I've always wanted to take it apart ... get a better look at the cooling assembly, etc.

I also, and this is the point of this post, wanted to satisfy my long standing curiosity as to finding out what would happen should I remove the stock fan and strap on a 80mm fan.

Seriously ... it's kept me up nights over the past six months ...

Just how much better could the ND-1 be made to function if using a higher output fan? The stock one barely creates a breeze out the back of the case so it's always seemed to me that the cooling performance could be improved quite a bit by mounting a higher output fan on it. You know ... more air over the fins/heatpipes at a higher volume pretty much = better temps.

So this is what I set out to investigate today ...

Enjoy the show.




-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Stock ND-1 Performance
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

The stock performance is already fine for my daily use. It's actually one of the better air coolers on the market in my opinion.

I dig it cause it exhausts the air out of the case.

Here's a handy table showing the stock performance numbers.

NOTE:
Load temps were obtained after running HDR Test for 10 minutes (also known as the "Real-Time High Dynamic Range Image-Based Lighting" test).

NOTE:
All tests were conducted on my completely stock clocked EVGA 8800GT Superclocked card (650 core/950 memory).

...





...








-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Taking the ND-1 Apart
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

So I got my handy little eyeglass screwdriver out and started taking the ND-1 apart.

No big deal really ... a few screws and you can then pull the cooling assembly free of the plastic shell and also remove the fan:

...

Really nice AS5 contact with the GPU Core (from previous mount):



...

Here's the cooling assembly seperated from the plastic housing:






-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Electrical Tape to seal it up...
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

After removing the stock fan, the backside of the cooler is left wide open since a part of the fan assembly includes the necessary backplane to seal the cooler.

To create a nice sealed tunnel for the wind to flow down, I brushed off my ghetto skillz and broke out the electric tape.

There's just something about electrical tape that's endearing, maybe it's the stealth look it gives things or maybe it's just that it leaves very little residue once removed ... either way ... I sure like it :

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...





...

With that out of the way, I reassemble the cooler and get ready to strap the SilentX 80mm on.




-----------------------------------------------------------------------
First Up, SilentX 80mm
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

So continuing in my ghetto glory streak ... I neatly strap on the 80mm SilentX iXtrema fan.

One thing I can say ... it really IS very quiet. Totally silent. Had to put my ear to it to hear it.

But then again, I also doubt it's rated 34CFM's as, once strapped onto the ND-1, I could barely feel any air coming out the back of the cooler (about like the stock cyclone fan to tell you the truth).

But it really is pretty much silent(x).



...





...


Here it is in the case (GHETTO-fabulous!!)




...

After running HDR Test for 10 min, I find the temps to be identical to the ND-1's stock cyclone fan:

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...

An interesting result.

I had quite idiotically assumed that the much higher rated CFM's (over the stock ND-1 fan) would naturally equate to way better temps but this wasn't the case.

Seems there's a pressure issue or something that doesn't allow the fan to pump much air over the fins (just about the same really as the stock ND-1 fan).

At least I broke even (and I can still take the fan back for a refund at Fry's!!) .




-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Next, Generic 40CFM fan
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

This is just a silly little LED fan I had in a drawer. I wasn't planning on testing it but after seeing the lack of improvement with the Silentx fan ... and knowing this little guy had a bit higher CFM's, I figured I'd try it for contrast if nothing else.


....





...

It actually looks sort of fly once running in the system:





...

After running HDR Test for 10 minutes, here's what ATI tool reports:

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...

So I guess the secret to making the ND-1 work even better than it does with it's stock fan (and if you have the case-room) is to strap on ever more powerful fans.



Seems the extra UMPH! delivered by my LED laden generic 80mm fan was just the ticket to pushing the ND-1 beyond it's stock potential.

The fan's not very loud at all and I'll continue to use it until I try some new fans on the cooler.




-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Vantec Tornado at full RPM
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

I just had to drop the 10 bucks on this little demonic fan. I don't think I could have rested until I tested it on the ND-1.

This is a MUTHA! of a 80mm fan. Rocket ship loud. Super beefy and thick.

At full speed, the air shooting out of the back of the ND-1 is like a hair dryer. It's just ridiculous.

I'm going to make a little short vid of it running with some string taped to the exhaust slot ... should make for quite the hilarious viewing.

Anyway. Here's the bastardo in question:

...





...

I could barely fit it in my case.

Anyway ... as expected, the insane CFM and pressure generated by this fan aunched it well into the temp lead:

...





...

Load temps pegged at just 10 degrees over idle temps. Sick sick sick!

Anyway. Was a fun experiment. I'm going to just put the stock ND-1 fan back in as it works quite well for my purposes.

This mod brought to you by Insomnia(tm)

...

** BTW: I linked somewhere above but if you want to download the very nice HDR Test program used to obtain load temps then here's the download page.

...
    
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post #2 of 7
I love s1rrah...and that ND-1 i've always wanted

If you want a 92mm tornado i have some for sale
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post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kopi View Post
I love s1rrah...and that ND-1 i've always wanted

If you want a 92mm tornado i have some for sale
Fun mod.

Can't wait to try the Tornado.

    
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post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 


...

(the first post has been updated to reflect the Tornado's temps!)

    
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post #5 of 7
How loud is the tornado? Would you say it was worth it?
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post #6 of 7
I love anything with tornados, I have an 80mm that I break out every couple of weeks just to remind me what loud is.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlin View Post
How loud is the tornado? Would you say it was worth it?
Stupid loud.

Louder than an airplane loud.



And yeah it was worth it as an experiment. Fun to see what numbers came up.

But no way would I run the ND-1 like this (with any fan, really) unless I just had too (fan failure, etc.).

I think the ND-1's stock fan is perfect.
    
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