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HTPC Air Cooling issues

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Having some noise issues with my HTPC and want to quiet it down some. Next is the dust issue as this sits in a stereo cabinet, and never gets shut off as it also doubles as my home server. Im not looking for overclocking headroom. If I need to do any crazy crunching I can use my i7 desktop. Quiet and fits in the case is key.

Relevant hardware is:
stock speed Q9650 w/ stock cooler
XFX 5770 w/ 1st ed cooler (blows out rear of card)
SeaSonic M12II 520W psu
SilverStone LC10B-E HTPC case using stock SilverStone 80mm fans

I want to change the cooler on the cpu and gpu. However, I have limited space.

From the top of the CPU to the top of the case I have about 5" or 127mm total. I would prefer a tower style cooler, vs a blow down style, to keep the air flowing out of the rear of the case. Pretty much limited to a 92mm fan cooler in this case it looks like. I was looking at a Noctua NH-U9B SE2 as the fix for this. Comes in just under 5" tall. Any other ideas on this?

Next and most difficult issue is the 5770. From the center of the gpu I have about 3.25" to the top of the case. From the back of the card the gpu sits about 3.25" in. I have rougly about 1" of clearance from the top of the pcb of the card to the top of the case. Length to the front of the case is not really a factor as I have installed a 4870x2 in this case just to see if would fit. The biggest issue Im finding with these coolers is they are too tall and finding good dimensions on these is a pita. Ive looked at the Scythe Setsugen 1 or 2, and the Musashi. Another option is a Zalman VF3000 or maybe a Thermalright T-Rad. I want to stay away from anything like the Arctic Cooling coolers as you pretty much only use the fans they come with, or you make modifications to make them fit.

Case fans are a little too fast and Im limited to 80x25mm fans. Ive been looking at some low speed Scythes or Noctuas to replace them. Also should help with the dust issue as Im forcing less air thru the case. Any other suggestions on these?

Also been thinking about cracking the psu open and putting a new fan, but that is a last ditch thing if I really felt it was too loud after I do the first 3 changes.
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post #2 of 11
My HTPC is in a Silverstone GD01MX with 6 2TB WD Greens, the noise isn't much above ambient with AAM and windows power management when only the drive in use is being spun up. With any kind of volume on you can't hear the HTPC at all.


I put a Scythe Mini Ninja on the E8400 in there and it cools very well with low height clearance. It sucks through the sink and blows directly into a case fan and right out the back, like a push/pull setup with a few inches gap between the sink and exhaust pull.


Using gentle typhoons as case fans and they stay pretty quiet with decent CFM.

Never opened a PSU to change the fan but I'd run it by itself with the paperclip short and listen to make sure its really noisy enough to warrant surgery.
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post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Yeah Im not really too worried about the HD noise as the HTPC is put way out of the way, but the fans are bad.

Good call on the Mini Ninja. I thought about it, but finding one is like pulling teeth. Ill have to dig around some, see if I can find one.

Any ideas on replacing the cooler on the 5770?
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post #4 of 11
Actually, I'm similarly challenged. I just saw my new prospect in the NH-C14... definitely worth a VERY close look. Not sure if they're readilly available yet but certainly better than any other option currently out there. I'm hunting one down for sure!
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post #5 of 11
Check out the Prolimatech MK-13 for a cooler for your card. It is similar in concept to the Thermalright t-rad but thicker.

Gigabyte also made a passively cooled 5770. That would be perfect for a HTPC.
    
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post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaldor View Post
Yeah Im not really too worried about the HD noise as the HTPC is put way out of the way, but the fans are bad.

Good call on the Mini Ninja. I thought about it, but finding one is like pulling teeth. Ill have to dig around some, see if I can find one.

Any ideas on replacing the cooler on the 5770?
I've been looking for a mini ninja for 2 weeks now and still haven't found anything. So good luck!
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post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eno75 View Post
Actually, I'm similarly challenged. I just saw my new prospect in the NH-C14... definitely worth a VERY close look. Not sure if they're readilly available yet but certainly better than any other option currently out there. I'm hunting one down for sure!
Yeah, a downdraft would be OK, but I dont really need anything that massive. I also considered a NH-C12P which looks like it would come in under the dimensions I have. I really like the NH-U9B SE2 as I dont need a massive cooler, but I actually need to pull the stock heatsink and be absolutely sure this would fit. Also considering a Scythe SHURIKEN... Lots of choices out here for this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Epitope View Post
Check out the Prolimatech MK-13 for a cooler for your card. It is similar in concept to the Thermalright t-rad but thicker.

Gigabyte also made a passively cooled 5770. That would be perfect for a HTPC.
The MK-13 is going to be too tall I can almost guaranty due to the 120mm fan. The video card is going to be the pita for this one. The MUSASHI or Setsugen 1 look like the best options. I wonder if the Masashi will clear the rear of the card as I have about 3.25" from the center of the gpu chip to the rear of the card. And the height of the Setsugen 1 looks tall due to 120mm fan. Need to get numbers on these to be sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manyak View Post
I've been looking for a mini ninja for 2 weeks now and still haven't found anything. So good luck!
This would probably be the best option in all reality, but they stopped making them. Throw a nice slow 92mm fan on it and it would be set. I cant even find one on Ebay
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post #8 of 11
I'm using the Scythe Shuriken now and end up pulling 75 degree core temps at a 3.8OC @ 1.17 while folding... with IC7 paste. Often as the room warms up, so too do the core temps- It's a little on the warm side for my liking so I'm moving away from the Shuriken- they're not HORRIBLE temps but for my use I do need something bigger.
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post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eno75 View Post
I'm using the Scythe Shuriken now and end up pulling 75 degree core temps at a 3.8OC @ 1.17 while folding... with IC7 paste. Often as the room warms up, so too do the core temps- It's a little on the warm side for my liking so I'm moving away from the Shuriken- they're not HORRIBLE temps but for my use I do need something bigger.
I dont overclock this machine, so the Shuriken may be just fine for me. I run a Noctua NH-U12P SE on my i7 which runs at 3.6 with no issues, and its quiet, even with both fans on it.
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post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Ended up skipping the Mushashi. Found a good reference page here: http://www.orthy.de/2011/02/der-grose-h ... rratgeber/ Its in German, so translate away. The Mushashi WILL work, but you have to have a card that doesnt have the stacked DVI connectors on the back. Or you have to have the cojones to remove one of the connectors and take a chance at bricking a card, heh.

I used a Zalman VF900 on the 5770. Was an easy change. Just rewired the speed controller to remove the 8 miles of wire they have on them. The card idles nicely at 45 degrees. I dont do much gaming or any overclocking on this machine, so it should be fine. I only have the speed up maybe 1/4 of the way.

As far as the rest goes, 4 Scythe S Flex 80mms (1000 rpm) and a Shuriken B for the CPU. The thing is so quiet I had to make sure it was on, heh.

Thanks for the help.
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