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post #1 of 28 Old 05-22-2012, 07:06 PM - Thread Starter
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My HTPC has been running pretty well now for a couple of months, but as the summer season begins the HTPC is beginning to run warm in the TV stand where it sits. The HTPC is not in an enclosed case, the front is open, but it in in a cubby in a TV stand. I had slowed the fans in my silverstone case down to 7V and I am concerned about the noise of the fans at 12V. I am going to put them back to 12V tonight, but I am curious as to what others are doing to keep their HTPC's cool, yet quiet. Perhaps I need to take it out of the stand and put it on top of the stand?
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post #2 of 28 Old 05-22-2012, 07:46 PM
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I would try moving the htpc to the top shelf first and see if that helps . If not , then you will need to raise the fan speeds . Another thought would be to replace the fans with quieter ones that can be ran at full speed . I believe Nexus comes highly recommended for this purpose . Also , make sure the vent holes in the case are free of dust . When we get all hemmed in during the winter months the dust can build up and we sometimes forget to do a good cleaning with some soft compressed air .
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post #3 of 28 Old 05-22-2012, 09:16 PM
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When you say warm, are you referring to monitored temps or just warm to the touch? If you haven't already, check the temps of your components. Even with a warm case, they may well be running within normal parameters.


Generally speaking, opening the cover of a case can impede the airflow design of the case and can do more harm then good.
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post #4 of 28 Old 05-22-2012, 09:27 PM
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Case fan and PS fan will create noise. You can eliminate the PS fan by using a fanless PS. For the case fan, please make sure use 80MM+ since anything smaller than that it will create noise. There are plenty of 120mm fan out there under 20db and pull a lot of air to the unit. If you case only have smaller than 120mm fan case opening, there are different adapter from something like 80mm to 120mm out there that you can use.
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post #5 of 28 Old 05-22-2012, 09:53 PM
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I'd go with the quieter fan approach. Get yourself some good Noctua or Scythe fans that run at 900-1200 rpm and you won't hear them but they'll move plenty of air.

While that will take care of the indside of the case, is your cabinet enclosed completely on the back, sides, top and bottom? If so, there's no place for the hot air to go. You may need to vent the back of your TV stand. You could cut a round hole and mount a 120 or 140 mm case fan on the cabinet itself and power it from the htpc so that it shuts off when the htpc shuts off, and that will get the hot air out of the cabinet. If the only opening is in the front, the hot air is just building up behind the htpc case with nowhere to go. This is especially true with most Silverstone cases which are designed to exhaust the hot air out the back.

And fanless PSUs are quiet but they still produce heat. If you are already having a problem exhausting heat, getting a fanless PSU isn't going to help your heat situation any.
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post #6 of 28 Old 05-22-2012, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post

I'd go with the quieter fan approach. Get yourself some good Noctua or Scythe fans that run at 900-1200 rpm and you won't hear them but they'll move plenty of air.

While that will take care of the indside of the case, is your cabinet enclosed completely on the back, sides, top and bottom? If so, there's no place for the hot air to go. You may need to vent the back of your TV stand. You could cut a round hole and mount a 120 or 140 mm case fan on the cabinet itself and power it from the htpc so that it shuts off when the htpc shuts off, and that will get the hot air out of the cabinet. If the only opening is in the front, the hot air is just building up behind the cabinet with nowhere to go. This is especially true with most Silverstone cases which are designed to exhaust the hot air out the back.

And fanless PSUs are quiet but they still produce heat. If you are already having a problem exhausting heat, getting a fanless PSU isn't going to help your heat situation any.

Noctuas is nice but overpriced, imo.
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post #7 of 28 Old 05-22-2012, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Noctuas is nice but overpriced, imo.

They are significantly cheaper at Amazon than NE by the way. I guess though, that when you're sinking several hundred dollars into a nice system, it might be worth three $15 fans that are quiet and move a lot of air and last a long time. Fans seem to be one of those things where you get what you pay for. And while I really like Noctuas, I've found Sythe to be just as good, although I'm not sure they're any cheaper.
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post #8 of 28 Old 05-22-2012, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post

They are significantly cheaper at Amazon than NE by the way. I guess though, that when you're sinking several hundred dollars into a nice system, it might be worth three $15 fans that are quiet and move a lot of air and last a long time. Fans seem to be one of those things where you get what you pay for. And while I really like Noctuas, I've found Sythe to be just as good, although I'm not sure they're any cheaper.

Nexus can't be beat for the money. I actually prefer them over Noctua.
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post #9 of 28 Old 05-22-2012, 11:40 PM
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Originally Posted by jbilliel View Post

My HTPC has been running pretty well now for a couple of months, but as the summer season begins the HTPC is beginning to run warm in the TV stand where it sits. The HTPC is not in an enclosed case, the front is open, but it in in a cubby in a TV stand. I had slowed the fans in my silverstone case down to 7V and I am concerned about the noise of the fans at 12V. I am going to put them back to 12V tonight, but I am curious as to what others are doing to keep their HTPC's cool, yet quiet. Perhaps I need to take it out of the stand and put it on top of the stand?

If you are a "Do it yourself guy", I stumbled on a low cost thermostat

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...=5336055023-20

You can grab power off a 12V rail, run it to one side of the switch, the power than goes on to 120MM fan(s) in the back of your cubbyhole. The ground goes from your fan back to the negative on your power rail. Or you could use a wall wart to power the fans and use it to control heat from your entire Entertainment center, The nice thing if you go that way is that it's entirely passive. It's an easy one hour or so install.
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post #10 of 28 Old 05-23-2012, 03:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars99 View Post

When you say warm, are you referring to monitored temps or just warm to the touch? If you haven't already, check the temps of your components. Even with a warm case, they may well be running within normal parameters.


Generally speaking, opening the cover of a case can impede the airflow design of the case and can do more harm then good.

This.


This isnt a tweaked and overclocked powerfull desktop machine, or rather shouldnt be anyways. There isnt any need to have the same mentality with cooling on HTPC's as people often do with that stuff. Having a quiet machine will mean higher temps in most cases, without going to extremes. As long as temps are within spec for your components, that is all that matters. If knocking the temps down a few degrees further when everything is still running within spec is worth the extra noise and effort to you, so be it, but it's not really doing anything for you.
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post #11 of 28 Old 05-23-2012, 04:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbilliel View Post

My HTPC has been running pretty well now for a couple of months, but as the summer season begins the HTPC is beginning to run warm in the TV stand where it sits. The HTPC is not in an enclosed case, the front is open, but it in in a cubby in a TV stand. I had slowed the fans in my silverstone case down to 7V and I am concerned about the noise of the fans at 12V. I am going to put them back to 12V tonight, but I am curious as to what others are doing to keep their HTPC's cool, yet quiet. Perhaps I need to take it out of the stand and put it on top of the stand?

Measuring the temperature inside a PC is often really easy - just load Speedfan (freeware) and interpret the results.

If there isn't already a temperature sensor built in, you can get cheap dial thermometers at car parts stores and tool stores.

Harbor Freight has a fast-responding electronic dial thermometer for about $10. I bought a IR thermometer at Micro Center (now out of stock) for a similar price, but they usually run about $30.

Your goal in life is to keep as much as you can under about 110 degrees F.
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post #12 of 28 Old 05-23-2012, 05:16 AM - Thread Starter
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I have been running harware monitor and its not crazy hot yet (running in high 50's), but the summer is not even here yet! Basically at idle its running in the high 30's to low 40's and the moment the HTPC is used the CPU fan is speeding up to keep the temps managable in the high 50's, but thats really pretty warm IMO.

I have the silverstone GD05B case with 3 120mm fans, but Zon is right. Only the front is open and I did drill large holes in the back of the cabinet for more ventilation. It's better, but still not really great.
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post #13 of 28 Old 05-23-2012, 09:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hlkc View Post

Case fan and PS fan will create noise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hlkc View Post

make sure use 80MM+ since anything smaller than that it will create noise.

A fatal logic error was detected...

One of these statements has to be false as they both can't be true.
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post #14 of 28 Old 05-24-2012, 08:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Last night I swapped the fans to run at 12V and its certain louder, but still managable. What is interesting is to many of your points its still running warm. Better than prior, but not great... Certainly appears to be an issue with the airflow and where I have it located. I will have to explore some more options...
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post #15 of 28 Old 05-24-2012, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbilliel View Post

Last night I swapped the fans to run at 12V and its certain louder, but still managable. What is interesting is to many of your points its still running warm. Better than prior, but not great... Certainly appears to be an issue with the airflow and where I have it located. I will have to explore some more options...

If you've cut some ventilation holes (or a single larger hole) in the back of your cabinet, you might want to consider something like this to get air moving out of those vent holes:

Thermaltake USB Powered 12CM Adjustable Speed Fan

or

Cabcool USB powered component cooling fan

Just put it in the back or mount it to the cabinet and plug it in to a usb port on the htpc. Simple.
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post #16 of 28 Old 05-24-2012, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbilliel View Post

I have been running harware monitor and its not crazy hot yet (running in high 50's), but the summer is not even here yet! Basically at idle its running in the high 30's to low 40's and the moment the HTPC is used the CPU fan is speeding up to keep the temps managable in the high 50's, but thats really pretty warm IMO.

I have the silverstone GD05B case with 3 120mm fans, but Zon is right. Only the front is open and I did drill large holes in the back of the cabinet for more ventilation. It's better, but still not really great.

By the way, I have an HTPC in a GD04 case (identical case other than the front panel). I put slow quiet Noctuas in the left side and the front right fan locations, but I put a PWM fan (a Scythe Kama Flex SA1225FDB12H-P) in the right rear spot that blows onto the CPU so that if the CPU warms up the motherboard can speed up the fan accordingly and provide some extra cooling. (Mine never does speed up, but then my equipment shelf provides lots of ventilation, and I'm using an i3 with no discrete video card so the thing never warms up.) Assuming your motherboard has PWM control, that might be something to consider. Although I think your real need is to vent the back of your equipment cabinet.
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post #17 of 28 Old 05-24-2012, 10:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post

If you've cut some ventilation holes (or a single larger hole) in the back of your cabinet, you might want to consider something like this to get air moving out of those vent holes:

Thermaltake USB Powered 12CM Adjustable Speed Fan

or

Cabcool USB powered component cooling fan

Just put it in the back or mount it to the cabinet and plug it in to a usb port on the htpc. Simple.

Thanks for the links. I did put 4 - 2" holes in the back of the cabinet to try to get some cooling, but the silverstone cases does not blow the air out the back, rather to the side so the hot air hits the side of the cabinet and never is able to easily get it out of the cabinet.
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post #18 of 28 Old 05-24-2012, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by jbilliel View Post

Thanks for the links. I did put 4 - 2" holes in the back of the cabinet to try to get some cooling, but the silverstone cases does not blow the air out the back, rather to the side so the hot air hits the side of the cabinet and never is able to easily get it out of the cabinet.

It should pull in air from the 2 sides and exhaust it out the back. That's the way its designed.
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post #19 of 28 Old 05-24-2012, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbilliel View Post

Thanks for the links. I did put 4 - 2" holes in the back of the cabinet to try to get some cooling, but the silverstone cases does not blow the air out the back, rather to the side so the hot air hits the side of the cabinet and never is able to easily get it out of the cabinet.

I have an nMedia case that has "transverse" air flow path. I cut a 4" or5" hole in the back of the entertainment center and put a 120 mm fan in. I am powering it off an old cell phone charger at 7 V.

Mind that the entertainment center we have is open to the front, but the heat generated by HTPC was just pooling on top of the machine and not escaping fast enough. With the fan on, there is a positive flow of heated air out the back, and positive flow of cooler room temperature air from the front.

I did notice that yesterday when it was 86°F outside (air is not on, yet) the HTPC CPU fan was running at full power (I could hear it from 3 feet away) when it is normally silent.

I guess it is time to turn the air back on, 88° expected this weekend.

6 TV's in the house on FiOS and we only pay $4.99/month to connect them all!!! Power to the CableCard and WMC7!!!
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post #20 of 28 Old 05-24-2012, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by assassin View Post

It should pull in air from the 2 sides and exhaust it out the back. That's the way its designed.

+1. All three 120mm fans should blow inwards. If desired, one or two 80mm exhaust fans can be installed in the back, but it's usually not necessary to do so.
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post #21 of 28 Old 05-24-2012, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by assassin View Post

It should pull in air from the 2 sides and exhaust it out the back. That's the way its designed.

Agreed. Usually, the power supply fan is supposed to provide much of the rear-facing flow. Perhaps he's got the side fans reversed? There are some power supplies that have very little air flow through them. Increasing the flow through the power supply with a faster PS fan may give the air flow some needed orderliness.

I'm a bit concerned about the other rear vents - they may allow air to recirculate. Usually, one pass through and done is the way to go. It might be easiest and best to first fill the fan slots back there, as others have already suggested.
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post #22 of 28 Old 05-24-2012, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Agreed. Usually, the power supply fan is supposed to provide much of the rear-facing flow. Perhaps he's got the side fans reversed? There are some power supplies that have very little air flow through them. Increasing the flow through the power supply with a faster PS fan may give the air flow some needed orderliness.

Actually, unless you use an old style PSU like an Antec Earthwatts (or mount your PSU upside down), the PSU in that case normally draws air from the bottom vents included just for that purpose and not from the inside of the case. Silverstone calls their design "positive pressure" and the air pressure from the three inward-blowing fans should be enough to force air out the back vents.
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post #23 of 28 Old 05-24-2012, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbilliel View Post

I have been running harware monitor and its not crazy hot yet (running in high 50's), but the summer is not even here yet! Basically at idle its running in the high 30's to low 40's and the moment the HTPC is used the CPU fan is speeding up to keep the temps managable in the high 50's, but thats really pretty warm IMO.

I have the silverstone GD05B case with 3 120mm fans, but Zon is right. Only the front is open and I did drill large holes in the back of the cabinet for more ventilation. It's better, but still not really great.

Those temps are fine. Are you running this thing outside? I mean your home's interior temperature is at most going to be 10F hotter than in winter.

I would take the do nothing approach and just monitor the temps. I'd say 65C internal would be fine.

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post #24 of 28 Old 05-24-2012, 11:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Living in NE where it has not even gotten hot yet the temps are getting to low 60's in the case (HD, etc) and mid to high 60's for the CPU. When I pull the HTPC out of the TV stand the top of the case/stand are very hot so the air is just getting hung in the cubby and recirculating the hot air, etc... I bought a fan to mount in the back of the TV stand and will see if that improves things! Thanks all for your help!
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post #25 of 28 Old 05-25-2012, 08:22 AM - Thread Starter
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When I mount the cabinet fans I am assuming I should mount them at the top of the enclosure where all the hot air will rise to?
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post #26 of 28 Old 05-25-2012, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbilliel View Post

When I mount the cabinet fans I am assuming I should mount them at the top of the enclosure where all the hot air will rise to?

Personally, I'd mount them based on appearance and WAF. If you're blowing the air out of the back of the enclosure, it should work regardless of where exactly you place them because you'll be creating an air flow.
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post #27 of 28 Old 05-25-2012, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbilliel View Post

Living in NE where it has not even gotten hot yet the temps are getting to low 60's in the case (HD, etc) and mid to high 60's for the CPU. When I pull the HTPC out of the TV stand the top of the case/stand are very hot so the air is just getting hung in the cubby and recirculating the hot air, etc... I bought a fan to mount in the back of the TV stand and will see if that improves things! Thanks all for your help!

What type or should I say , what quality of wire management is being used ?

I know that in a htpc case this is even MORE critical than a normal tower where you have more room to work with. Meticulously folding and zip tying wires and tucking them carefully into obscure areas will provide the best air flow .

Don't be offended but:

Some where down the line you are skipping a step or two and it is biting u in the butt.

Poor fan choice or worn / dirty fans
Improperly placed fans or air flow going the wrong direction
Unit crammed into a confined space with little or no air flow
Poor wire management

Honestly , there is just not to much more to than that .

How about pulling the top cover off . Don't touch anything inside the case and snap a pic and post it up ?
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post #28 of 28 Old 05-25-2012, 06:00 PM - Thread Starter
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The wire management was decent, but I zip tied even more. The HTPC when not in the tv stand runs nice and cool. The issue is my tv stand with little to no airflow which makes it run hot. I have not permanently modified my tv stand yet, but just putting the fan is the cubby to get the air to move us already helping a LOT!
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