Originally Posted by aramil
I have had the Z77 sabertooth in the past (full plastic armour) and used it with and without fans (as the manual said I could) it makes very little difference to the temps when the fans are on or off (a few degrees over extended periods). So your call. At <8watts of power I would not worry at all.
the z77 sabertooth is VERY different though: most of the mainboard is covered by plastic EXCEPT a few things like the PCH heatsink which is exposed to air (no plastic to smother it)
a bit the opposite of mine actually - look at the pics I posted in the OP - which is why my plastic-covered PCH needs a fan to blow out the air trapped by the plastic
that's no problem though I was able to remove only the plastic cover, and keep the metal heatsink : )
I kept the fan too (difference is without the plastic, the fan will blow air all around it & it won't be funnelled toward the PCH. no biggie. at least when the fan fails, the heatsink won't be covered by plastic so the hot air can escape)
!!! I tested with & w/o the fan: temperature difference on an almost empty PC is about 7°C: w/o the fan it's 50°C on idle, with fan it's about 43°C on idle, on a system with no hard drive, 1 usb flash drive & 2 ram sticks on stock speed
and that's with the plastic cover removed & heatsink exposed. imagine how much hotter it'd be with the plastic & without the fan! (again look at the pic in the OP)
>>> now another question is, what's the "best" way to "stress" a PCH?
what sort of activity in the PC makes the PCH as hot as possible? (for testing purposes)
increase ram clock?
increase number of ram sticks? (quad channel?)
increase number of hard drives?
increase number of usb drives?
theoretically if I do ALL these things at once (8 ram sticks, an SSD on every sata port, and a flash drive on usb port, then somehow do a read or write operation on ALL these drives simultaneously) how much hotter can it get compared to say, a system with no hard drive, only 1 usb drive (live usb) and only 1 ram stick at stock speed?
what'd be the temperature difference?