Hi Stardog, hi all,
Although the posts on this thread stopped in 2014 I decided to have a try and post my experience here with the E-I7. I should say first that I do not have the Realan model since you cannot find this brand in East Europe but the same case licensed probably by a German company Inter-Tech.
So here it is my current build (2nd iteration):
- MB: Asrock H67M-ITX - it only takes Sandy and Ivy Bridge CPUs but has been rock solid until now, has 2 USB 3.0 ports, full PCIe 2.0 x16, 2 SATA 3 ports.
- CPU: Intel Core I3 3220T - max TDP 35W, dual core, 2.8 GHz, HD 2500 integrated (at the beginning I only wanted a low power CPU but a Core I not Celeron or Pentium since I really need the QSV in HandBrake to rip my blu-ray collection, and I did not pay attention to the integrated graphics too much ...)
- 2 x 4GB RAM ultra low profile Kingston
- PicoPSU 160xt + 192W external power brick (96W on the 12V line)
- 120 GB Intel 530 series SSD
- Noctua NH-L9i for the CPU
- dedicated GPU: Zotac GeForce GTX 750 TI, Low Profile
- 4 case fans: 2 Noctua NF-R8 redux-1200 (on the outside of the case as intake) and 2 Noctua NF-A8 ULN (on the inside of the case also as intake)
- ODD: Panasonic Blu-Ray RW UJ265
Initially I wanted to have 2 HDD 2.5 type in the case, a SSD for Win 8.1 and a 500 GB HDD as a place to store temporary files or install games. So I have taken a side by side mounting plate from an old case Antec ISK 100 and mount it below the ODD cage, the screws holding one of the HDD were also holding the plate so normally the other HDD was positioned next to it in the right part of the case looked from the front but this way there was no possibility anymore to mount a 2nd fan on the side.
One Noctua fan was mounted as intake on the rear right side of the case.
No dedicated GPU so far installed...
I was perfectly happy with the HTPCH I had until I have discovered madVR ... and things changed. I quickly realized that the integrated HD 2500 was not up to the task and since GTX 750 TI was already out and it only consumes 60W at load (no additional power connection) I decided to put one into the case. Normally I needed a LP one with 1 bracket - unfortunately there is no such thing out there until I have found the Zotac option somehow similiar the Galaxy one (very popular but difficult to find in Europe). It still has 2 brackets size with the heavy / bulky cooler but it only has 1 bracket shield and ... it does fit into the case.
Power was not an issue since the PicoPSU can deliver 96W on the 12V line which equals more or less the max TDP of the GPU: 60 W + max TDP of the CPU 35W. Of course there are also the fans, the SSD, the RAM and the MB itself but even in the most demanding games it's hard to hit the max TDP for both CPU and GPU.
But there was a problem ... heat and here come in the 4 Noctua fans. I decided to drop the 2 HDD option so that I could make some place for the 2nd fan on the right side, so mounted the 2 Noctua NF-A8 ULN to intake however I still felt that it was not enough. Consequently I have mounted also as intakes 2 Noctua NF-R8 redux-1200 on the outside of the case on the left side in front of the GPU exhaust holes.
In order to test the stability of the system I decided to run Prime95 4 threads (to occupy 100% the 4 threads of the CPU) and Furmark 4 MSAA.
The temps were measured for GPU with HWInfo, Zotac own tool and GPU-Z, for CPU with HWInfo, RealTemp and Asrock AXTU tool.
I left the 2 stress tools above run for approx. 1.5 hour and recorded the following results:
- power, no issue here, neither the CPU nor the GPU did not throttle because of lack of it (reminder: 5 fans were also spinning at their full speed...). No restart, no sudden shut-down, everything was still working during the 1.5 hrs stress test.
- thermal: GPU stabilized at 80C (my guess is that it was self throttling to avoid reaching higher temps), CPU cores varied between 67-70C. Temp in the romm was about 25-26C. I have also discovered with GPU-Z that the sweet spot for the GPU to not throttle is to keep the temp < 80C, even at 78C the Perf. CAP in GPU-Z was green, at 80C it turned purple showing problems.
Reading the first posts of this thread I have noticed that you advise to have the fans as exhaust. I'm going to try the following: leave the 2 outside fans in front of the GPU as intakes and reverse the inside fans as exhaust. Do you think this is the best solution?
Another option would be that on each side to have 1 fan as exhaust and 1 as intake. Would this work better than the above solution where the GPU would block somehow the intake flow?
Because this case is not a normal tower case where you put the intake fan at the down part of the case and the exhaust at the upper part of the case I really need some advise on the best solution for my case.
Last edited by ionutm80; 01-21-2015 at 02:31 AM.