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Thread: Pros/Cons of a test bench over a normal case? Reply to Thread

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  Topic Review (Newest First)
06-15-2011 03:19 AM
Romanrp Thanks for the help guys! smile.gif
Now I am almost definitely set on making my own test bench.

I made this quickly in google sketchup, its a scale model.
The horizontal bits are A3 size, the 2 vertical ones are A4 size.
The material is 5mm perspex (the 5mm is not represented in this image)


Would something like this cut it?
The white bit represents the motherboard.
06-14-2011 10:07 PM
Originally Posted by Romanrp;13868963 
How are test benches with water cooling?
Would it be safer as the pump can be placed in the tray under motherboard for example?

Yes they're great for leak-testing and checking/debugging components (some cases induce shorts and what not making it difficult to troubleshoot/isolate hardware problems).

Another theoretical advantage to an open chasis is the layout of components. Horizontally spreading your components out allows heat to rise up in between card slots (instead of getting squeezed in between cards in vertical codown in vertical configurations).

Structurally, you also probably have an advantage with better more evenly distributed thermal-stresses (thermal expansions) across the boards rather then in various hotspots or thermal-torque areas in a vertical layout inside a case.

I haven't tested enough with water cooling to come to any conclusions, and the mathematics involved there are slightly more complicated then with air cooling. However for air cooling, fan for fan, I can assure you an open chasis is almost always better. One can't fairly compare a case with 20 deltas in it without surrounding a tech station with 20 deltas. Pound for pound there should almost always be more cooling involved with open chassis/horizontal configurations, again unless you're getting into climate controlled enclosures with different dew points and what not.
06-14-2011 09:58 PM
Voksen Like others have said, a test bench is easier for overclocking, swapping parts, and dusting.
In many cases, a tech station will attract less overall dust due to the greater exposure of parts to ambient air turbulence. Basically the dust will not be trapped and settle on your parts the way it would in a case, provided the room has fairly decent circulation.

As far as temperatures go, it will depend on your ambient air temperature and latent turbulence. Assuming you are going 100% air cooling and have some fans pushing/pulling airflow over your 'open' chasis, you will likely experience better overall temperatures. This is due to the fact that most closed/quiet designed cases are simply not giving you any 'wind-tunnel-like' cooling effects. Basically, in thermodynamic convection, any airflow is basically good airflow, with the outside room acting as a giant heat sink which sucks heat out away from your hardware through even the most minor and chaotic directional changing of 'background' airflow. So basically, even if you have random soft air blowing from all kinds of directions over your heatsinks, its not like its going to 'cancel out' the effects of your fans on the heatsink. Almost any natural negation to the work done by your fans (eg. somehow blowing directly against them) will effectively still equate to work done removing heat off your heatsinks.

There are a lot of other reasons why open chasis concepts provide greater air cooling the extreme majority of the time (only example I can think of when they wouldn't is in an extremely well designed closed case which uses ultra-high-velocity cooling to create venturi effects and what not).

For water cooling it is a slightly different story. In this case you're trying to optimize airflow across the radiator fins (which is slightly different then large static heatsinks which effectively radiate heat out into all directions). Here, the optimal airflow is highly directional, and some small amount of turbulence is ideal (greater molecular collision with the fins and thus greater heat transport). However, since most rads are setup with fans basically push/pull right up against them, this wouldn't be an issue.

An exception to the rule is when the case temperature is artificially dropped to below ambient. An example is say in the morning when an aluminum case is cold/cool and lags behind the increase in ambient temperature as the morning/midday air comes into the room. In this case you might experience slightly better temps inside the case until the heat dissipation into the case chasis itself effectively equalizes with the heat leaving through the chasis (usually only a matter of 30 mins or so with full load) - in which case the 1-2 deg advantage you might have with a closed case will likely vanish.

So the open chasis should give you slightly better temps (-C/F), at the cost of extra noise (+dB), potentially worse aesthetics (~subjective).
06-14-2011 10:38 AM
Romanrp How are test benches with water cooling?
Would it be safer as the pump can be placed in the tray under motherboard for example?
06-14-2011 10:35 AM
Megaman_90 I wouldn't worry about dust, you should clean your PC at least every 3-6 months anyway.
Use a sterile air compressor, don't use canned air. Ever.

Test bench is easier if you OC. Its much easier to monitor things and clear the CMOS. If done right it does look pretty sexy. Just don't drink water while your at your computer.
06-14-2011 10:22 AM
Romanrp I guess its down to personal preference, to me my motherboard looks better than any case.

So there shouldnt be much difference in airflow if the cooler is in push and pull horizontally?

The DD torture rack is a bit expensive IMO, and it takes away the fun of building one.
But it gave me a few more ideas.
06-14-2011 10:19 AM
Originally Posted by Romanrp;13868674 
I dont have any small children or pets.

My plan is to make out of acrylic, and putting on about a million cold cathodes lol.

then the DD torture rack is your perfect test bench.
06-14-2011 10:16 AM
Majin SSJ Eric I'd prefer to have a sweet case than a tech bench but I can see the attraction...
06-14-2011 10:13 AM
cavallino I think it would be easier to clean, maybe dust would settle faster but it would be easier to blow out with canned air.

I might consider it when I do another build down the line.
06-14-2011 10:13 AM
Romanrp I dont have any small children or pets.

My plan is to make out of acrylic, and putting on about a million cold cathodes lol.
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