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Ruin

Cooling Advice

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Well, I'm finally happy with my new rig. I've adjusted adn am loving EVERY second of using it... Now, I want to... "secure my investments."

I'd like to keep this machine running cool. Whatever it takes (within reason ofcourse) and I want to know where to start.

What companies should I look at?

What case do you recommend?

Is the spiffy neon liquid as good as it looks?

How much does the size of the case fans matter?

How much will the material of the CPU fan effect the cooling?

What kind of collant gel do you reccomend?

As of now I have a fan in the front, back and side of my case and the fan that came with my CPU.

I'd like to know what to look for and what can get me the msot bang for my buck. However, I don't want to be a cooling nut... lol.

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What companies should I look at?

Depending on what you get. Antec, Cheiftec, Vantec, Thermalright those are some good ones.

What case do you recommend?

I always have recommended the Chieftec Dragon. You can get it from tigerdirect.com for $50 and it is arguably one of the best cases.

Is the spiffy neon liquid as good as it looks?

I assume you are talking about liquid cooling, and I dont think that is the smartest step yet.

How much does the size of the case fans matter?

Compatibility and Airflow (measured in CFM's) The bigger the fan the more CFM ussually. And an 80mm fan has to go in an 80mm slot unless you have an adaptor.

How much will the material of the CPU fan effect the cooling?

The fan, none really.

What kind of collant gel do you reccomend?

Artic Silver 3 is supposedly the best there is.

However, I don't want to be a cooling nut... lol.
You just wait Mwa HAHAHAHA

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I think Ruin means the liquid tubes that are neon lit ive seena f ew cases with these decorating the outside looks good in pics

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El wire? Im still confused I guess. But they have nothing to do with cooling.

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Well, how much do you want to spend on a case Ruin? You can purchase shiny, new aluminum cases up to $300, or a decent Mid-Tower, like Stinger suggested, for $50.

I am using a CoolerMaster ATC-201a Aluminum Tower, and I am really happy with overall airflow and appearence. True, it is a bit pricey at $150, however CM has included some really nice features. As far as brands go, what Stinger mentioned is a good start. Also consider Foxconn and ThermalTake. Lian Li cases are quite nice too, albiet expensive. It's up to you...

- Look at the cases which include both front and rear fan placements, even side or top too.

- Consider a removable motherboard mounting plate for easier installation - what this enables you to do is screw in your motherboard to the mounting plate, install RAM and CPU, and your CPU heatsink/fan. Then, slide the plate back into the case and finish connecting the other devices. IMHO, it's easier instead of trying to play Tetris with components if you have a small case.

- Try to find a case with front-integrated USB/FireWire ports. This allows easy connectivity of periphiral devices such as digital cameras, removable storage devices, and MP3 players.

- Last, but not least, look at some of the new Thumb-Screws to secure PCI cards, instead of the regular Phillips screws. I have this feature on my case, and it is quite nice.

- Be sure to purchase a case WITHOUT a PSU, since you already have one. Sometimes manufactures don't do the best job of describing their product.

If you are going to do Cold Cathode lighting, you will spend more on a case with plexiglass side panels. But if that is the look you want, I will admit, it looks > :rocky:

How much does the size of the case fans matter?

How much will the material of the CPU fan effect the cooling?

What kind of collant gel do you reccomend?

For the first question, it's a trade off: Higher fan diameter=more noise/more cooling. Smaller fan diameter=less noise/less cooling. I'm running 80mm fans in my case, and it's cooling just fine.

I'd stay away from the "aluminum" fins on some fans. Just get the typical plastic ones...they work fine.

Arctic Silver or ArcticSilver3 for CPU...hands down.

Hope this helps ya.

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Actually, noise isn't in relation to fan size, its to fan speed. A large 120mm low speed fan can push more air than a high-speed 60mm fan and at a lower noise level. Pick a high-speed 120mm though, and you'll be making more noise than that 60mm ever though of though :D

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Thanks for allt he help guys. I'm looking into it.

That case Stinger showed me is really nice.

As I said, I don't plan on spending too much. No more than $200 overall.

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That case I showed you is very nice and I'm very proud of it. It has room for 4 80mm fans. I went with Antec's LED illuminated line of fans and have Blue and Green fans in my case. They were $10 a crack IIRC. So that would take you to about $110 with shipping and taxes. Leaving you $90 for a new HSF and other accessories (plenty for any HSF combo and then some). So take a $50 HSF just becase we can. That would take you up to $160. Then add some AS3. $170 and you can still by Shadow some Roses...$194.99 oh and a candy bar for yourself :D

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How's this look?

CHIEFTEC Server Chasis BLUE COLOR w/ Side acrylic window --- $60

(4) ANTEC Case fan With BLUE LEDs Lights --- $13 = $52

Thermalright SLK-900-U --- $47

Arctic Silver 3. 3-gram( 1 cc. ) tube --- $7

Total --- $168

Okay, I found this bad ass Heatsink, but no fan to go with it... any suggestions?

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How's this look?

CHIEFTEC Server Chasis BLUE COLOR w/ Side acrylic window --- $60

(4) ANTEC Case fan With BLUE LEDs Lights --- $13 = $52

Thermalright SLK-900-U --- $47

Arctic Silver 3. 3-gram( 1 cc. ) tube --- $7

Total --- $168

Okay, I found this bad ass Heatsink, but no fan to go with it... any suggestions?

Looks great! The HS you chose can take a 92mm fan I know for sure. You can get adaptors to make the size lighter. But the fan depends on how much noise you are willing to take primarily.

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Ruin, I wouldn't pick a stealth, they're quiet but don't put out the cfms needed. Get a standard 92mm fan, it will still be decent sounding, but it won't be a roaring monster either. As for the slk900... one of, if not the best current hs on the market for AMD cpus.

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Thanks for the info Rook. :)

I like this one much better:

VANTEC's Tornado (Double Ball-Bearing) Fan. --- $15

Same link as above for the specs.

As long as all is compatible, I'll be saving up! :)

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That is what I have now. I have a Nexus Fan controller so I can adjust the volume. But its loud. I mean loud. You can easily hear it while watching tv. Anyone else in the room will be able to hear it. Its 50dB plus IIRC. Its a bit much unless you can stand the constant sound of a jet taking off.

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So should I avoid VANTEC all together? I'll keep looking. :)

This is what I found. The quietest 92mm's Newegg has to offer:

Panasonic Panaflo Axial Fan --- $11

or

Zalman 92mm Fan with Zalman Bracket --- $8

Link to Page

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While we're on the topic of HS

I've read some good reviews on the Swiftech MCX462+

does anyone know if this is actually better than the ThermalRight SLK900?

I'm thinking of retiring my Thermaltake HSF due to high temps and irritatingly loud noise

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I think Vantec only makes the 92mm sizes in Tornado. You want a fan with 30CFM plus. Look for fans that meet that qualification. And Vantec makes good products but they are pretty extreme.

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Have you also considered Thermaltake ??

Their cases are pretty "cool" for cooling purposes (no pun intended lol) and they look pretty trick as well, with some nice little extras thrown in too :)! I have the Xaser II which I'm not saying is better than anyone else's or the best you can get before I start any arguments lol, just another option to look at and see what you think for yourself :).

They are great value (it was £80 UK, so maybe $110ish US), extremely sturdy and fully lockable etc. Supplied with 5 x 80mm fans (2 intake up front flowing over the H/D bays, 2 exhaust at the rear and 1 on the side blowing onto the PCI slots). There is also plenty of room for other fans of larger capacity if required. They also come with a neat utility panel in the top bay too. That has a 3 way fan speed controller (slow, med and high) so you can just control all that with a quick flick, an LCD temp readout panel (you can stick the temp probe whereever you like, on the CPU, GFX card, RAM, you name it lol), as well as 1 Firewire and 2 USB ports on it too (the firewire routes thru the case to connect at the back as well :)! The lights on it are smart too, some nice bright and different colours lol. It's not supplied with a PSU so you have to get one of those but there's not just room for the one, like many cases now there is also the space for a redundant PSU as well :)! They are extremely spacious and as such allow a good volume of air to keep flowing and have to say I'm pleased I got this one :)! If you get one with the viewing window too and fill the case with LED fans you'll spend more time watching the damn case hehehe, looks good tho lol :)!

They are doing the Xaser III's now anyway and they really do look trick lol, obviously they are more expensive which has knocked the price of the Xaser II cases down too so you could get a bargain on one. But the Xaser III's come with 7 fans on some models as well lol (same as above but 1 extra at the top blowing down onto board and 2 over the PCI slots instead of 1), there's also loads of their accesories you can buy for these cases as well lol.

Certainly well worth checking it out at least m8 :)! It's good quality kit with some nice touches and they are reputable and well known too :). Hope that's of continuing help to you in picking up a case etc that you like and good luck with it all too :)!

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Okay, you guys did it... I'm hooked.

There's some sweet things out there. Those Xaser cases are amazing! Very cool.

The options are endless... this could be a career field... lol. I'll keep looking I might end up with something better... because I ntoiced the case I'm currently looking at has only 2 fans...

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Hehehe.....

Well, glad ya enjoyed checking out the Xaser cases anyway Ruin lol :)!

They look even better sat in front of you than in the pics too I promise :)!

FYFI......You can probably get a Xaser II now for around $80-$90 which will save you a fair bit for other goodies and the extras it comes with are very good too, but at the same time it isn't turning you into a cooling freak like you were trying to avoid as it simply does the job for you, the Xaser II as a package means you don't have to go mad afterwards getting more extras and should meet your general needs :)!

Have a decent H/S & Fan combo to go in there with it as you plan and you are laughing m8 :)! The only 2 things I've done to further improve cooling to this Xaser II is Round IDE Cables (which I already had in my last PC anyway and just robbed them over when I built this hehe), and I also fitted the little Heatsinks onto both RAM modules which I did see a small difference from doing too, that only cost me £8 (around $10 lol)! You can see my sys specs in my Sig', for a rough idea of what to expect if you are interested....At idle I average around 30° C sys and 32° C CPU and at high load it's averaging 33° C sys and 36° C CPU now. All told it's not at all bad with nothing too extreme or specialised in there (that's also with the standard AMD H/S & Fan supplied with the XP2400+ too, which is the one other thing I "may" change in time lol, but there's no rush as you can see rofl)!

The Xaser II's look virtually the same as the Xaser III's you just viewed BTW, there's just some small changes to the exterior and the LCD readout/port panel at the top of the pics you saw is slightly different too, but obviously it also looks very good if you hadn't seen a pic of the II series :)!

If the case you are presently looking at only has the 2-3 fans then give the Xasers some thought m8, you certainly can't go wrong with one lol :)!

Edited by Urban_Tiger

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Thanks for the help guys, as of now I'm looking at:

Xaser II Case

ThermalRight SLK900

Galaxy LED Crystal Fan

Because the case aready comes with fans, I'll have to go with the cool neon lights later on... :)

I'm looking at the Round IDE cables now... I've always wanted them, just haven't had the $$ for it. lol.

About $27 extra for the cables.

My final total is $240

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In case you didn't know, those Xaser cases are the same as the Chieftechs and the Antecs and a lot of PC cases out there. They're made by the same no name company, same exact design, these companies just put a fancy cover on it and jack up the price (view the inside for proof). Even alienware uses the same case for their predator with a new exterior. Shows what a little bondo and paint can do :D Antec is the best deal here by far, offering their case with their brand named 430w TruePower psu for around $120. The PSU by itself almost cost that much. If going this route, be sure to check the model and see that it has the TruePower (I think it's the PerformancePlus series).

Tornados are the highest cfm fans in their classes: 80mm (mine), 92mm and 120mm. Thing is, like Stinger said, they're louder than a vacuum cleaner. Surely you can get a decent Sunon 40ish cfm 92mm for cheap? It doesn't have to be grand, just work :P Best solution would be to invest in a Tornado, but do as Stinger did and pay the $20 for a Vantec Nexus coontroller so you can control the rpm/cfm/noise. Best solution going. They also have an lcd readout I believe and come in different colors.

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Rook......Think I saw something in one of the above posts that said he already had his PSU, Ruin just needed a newer case to put it all in basically lol!!

Thought some of them shared the same design of case "structure wise" but it's all good isn't it lol. Even if they all designed their own there's not exactly too many configurations or too much you can actually do with the interior of one anyway is there lol. A case is a case and it's all fairly standardised. It's just what they do too make them look good on the outside and the extras they put in with it that makes the difference and makes some stick above the rest :)!

Ruin, if ya do go for the Xaser in the end then will look forward to what ya think of it when it hits ya doorstep anyway lol :)!

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Personally I'd save the $ on the case (what benefits does it have over a Cheiftec Dragon?) and then spend the extra $40 on LED fans. Round IDE cables are nice but in a case as large as a Dragon or Xaser you can just tuck them behind the HDD and optical drives and they wont mess up anything. I have them cause they look cool but there isnt any temp diff with them or the flat ribbon ones for me anyways.

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Practicality is often the better route before spending out $40 on eye-candy and frills, but obviously it's down to good old personal preference of which we all have our own :)! Ya kinda robbing Peter to give to Paul there tho Stinger lol!!

As per your point with the LED Fans, one case may be prefered for looks by an individual over another product too lol, so that kinda puts that into the equation as well. Why skimp on a structuraly solid and quality case that's going to last well and see good reliable service for the sake of LED Fans that do exactly the same job as normal fans but admittedly just look good doing it rofl???? That's provided you are looking down at your Case all the time! The LED Fans are just a bit of a general laugh with the novelty factor for those with a bit of spare cash to burn after their practicle needs have been met! Better to ensure that all your expensive components are safely secured away in a trusty case for their protection and quality first, and then tart things up later if it appeals to you. A case of some form is essential. LED fans are really just a gadget lol.

The round cables don't make a huge difference in the larger cases when it comes to actual cooling I agree, but they also help to minimise the clutter of cables in there. By the time you have hooked up 4 IDE devices and if you have Raid devices etc too, and then all the other usual mass of standard leads that float about in there depending on how much kit is plugged in it can very quickly become a big mass of plastic, the Round leads at least help to minimise some clutter too and sometimes those Ribbons can't be tucked away, they are a bit of a fiddle at best!

If you spend more time looking into the window of your Case like it's fish tank or something (if side window is applicable) then why build a computer at all, you can just buy those "Give up Smoking" video's or something with the weird subliminal patterns coming at you from the screen and stare at that all day hehehee :P;):P;) !

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