A-Tech Fabrication HTPC Case: update - Page 7 - AVS Forum
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Old 01-05-2003, 07:51 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Glenn_L
Thanks for the link Alex. The OCZ P4 Eliminator Passive looks interesting, I'll have to order one of those. It says it can run fan-less, but with the low profile design, there should be room for a large slow turning fan to use on hot chips. I did test the Zalman flower, it fit into the case, but ran too hot without a fan. The included huge 92mm fan could never fit into this case with the already huge flower heatsink.

-Glenn

I have tested the OCZ P4 Eliminator, and found that it doesn't really meet its claim of letting you run fanless. Even with a relatively slow/cool 1.6Ghz P4 in a cool room, the cpu temperature quickly rose to 60C (and climbing). At that point I dropped a fan on it.

It is still a pretty good heatsink for use with a fan. Especially if you need something that is fairly low profile.

--Jeff

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Old 01-05-2003, 08:10 PM
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Would a Swiftech MCX4000-B work for a FANLESS set up with e.g. P4 1.6-A?


Thanks!
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Old 01-05-2003, 08:49 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Glenn_L

The Zalman Flower HS does fit into the case if you intend to run it fanless. It is only the included fan that does not fit. I think it may work fanless up to about 2GHz. Beyond that you should look into a better heatsink.

Glenn, could you please specify exactly which model you tried, as there a whole bunch out there: Cu vs. AlCu; CNPS6500 vs. "smaller" models.

Thanks!!
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Old 01-06-2003, 11:13 PM
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The Zalman I tested was the CNPS 6500B-AlCu.

I doubt that either the Alpha 8942 or the Swiftech MXC4000-B would work well without a fan. However the more efficient the design the less airflow that is needed. Both these heatsinks should work well with a slow (practically noiseless) fan. The main advantage of both these HS's is that they can draw in air from all around the entire HS. A finned HS can only draw air from two sides.

I have now tested the 8942. At first I tried it with a 70mm x 15mm fan blowing down on the heatsink like Intel's HSF. In this configuration the CPU ran at 56 deg. C. This was much worse than the Intel HSF so I decided to follow the directions and install the fan blowing upwards away from the HS. In this configuration the CPU temps dropped to 44 deg. C and the case temp only 32 deg. C. All tests were done at full CPU load using Hot CPU Tester Pro with ambient air at 22-23 deg. C. I did not have the ATI 9700 Pro installed at the time so I can't really compare the numbers with my last test.

The fan up configuration works extremely well in this case. My theory is that with the fan blowing down, like in the Intel HSF, the CPU fan and the case fans are working against each other fighting for the same air to pull in. This could lead to cavitation and a reduction in airflow. With the CPU fan pointing up, the CPU fan is actually feeding the case fans with hot air to be expelled from the case. The cool air, down low in the case, is being drawn into the CPU HS keeping the CPU supplied with a constant source of cool air. It also helps promote linear airflow throughout the case. With the case fans mounted high in the rear of case, the hot air coming out of the CPU HSF is being expelled immediately keeping the case temps much lower. I am really excited about this new breakthrough in airflow for this case.

This first test was done with a 70x70x15mm fan running at 3300RPM. I ran a second test with a resistor that brought the speed down to 2000 RPM and the CPU ran at 48C with the case still at 32C. Case fans were being controlled by the new fan controller and ran about 1900 RPM.

I have ordered a Sanyo Denki 109P0812M701 80x80x15mm fan, 2000 RPM with sleeve bearings. I got the parts directly from Alpha. I think this fan will move even more air at lower RPM's. You can buy the whole combo here http://www.sidewindercomputers.com/alpalretbox.html

I will do some more tests with the Radeon 9700 installed after I get the new fan.

-Glenn

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Old 01-08-2003, 12:52 AM
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Glenn

Have you any pictures of a completed anodized ( Black) case with the "5 Facia Button" configuration you could post?

Paul.
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Old 01-12-2003, 12:00 PM
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Paul,

I should have some color samples posted tonight. Once the cases from the first batch are completed I will have many more pictures of the options. Right now only the computer rendering. The button for the DVD controls is the same as the reset button.

-Glenn

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Old 01-12-2003, 12:10 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Glenn_L
Paul,

I should have some color samples posted tonight. Once the cases from the first batch are completed I will have many more pictures of the options. Right now only the computer rendering. The button for the DVD controls is the same as the reset button.

-Glenn

looking forward to the Pictures...
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Old 01-13-2003, 06:33 AM
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Anyone have a heatsink recommendation for a > 2GHz Athlon? I was going to go with the Zalman CNPS6500A-Cu...
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Old 01-13-2003, 07:24 AM
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Quote:


Anyone have a heatsink recommendation for a > 2GHz Athlon?

I use a Thermalright AX-7 with a Panaflo 80mm fan(rated at 21db @ 23cfm @12v) but I have it running @ 5V (approx 750 rpm) almost dead silent, my 2400+ (2 gig Athlon) runs no hotter then 57C, most of the time it runs around 53C, no stability issues because of heat.

Jim

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Old 01-13-2003, 09:44 AM
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Curious, what exactly do you guys use the vfd for? Im looking at getting a case and trying to figure out all the options.

Funny, I used to think my 32" tv was big. Now my 92" screen is starting to look small !!
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Old 01-13-2003, 07:49 PM
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FYI: Glen posted a picture of the black anodization side by side with the clear anodization.

CV63:
Since none of us have our Atech case yet, we cant say what we are using the VFD/LCD for in this particular instance. Myself; this will be my first HTPC but from what I have read you can use this display for many different things. The people who have purchased the DIGN or the Digitalis cases post that they display various system info i.e CPU temp, fan speed, CPU usage. Others have programed it to display media info via winamp etc like artist/album/title or DVD title. Or you can display banner info. Sure it is an asethic luxury but it is a nice touch for those who are trying to visibly incorporate thier HTPC into thier audio rack. However, the Atech case has gone a step further by taking advantage of the push button programing capabilities of these displays. I don't know of another case that has tried this. It is through the display that the "DVD" buttons will work.

You can read more about the Matrix Orbital Displays here .

vfrjim:
I, like coppit, was planning to use the Zalman 6500b-AlCu. Do you think the Thermalright AX-7 with Panaflo fan will fit in the 3" space between the MOBO and DVD rack?

Patiently,
Scott

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Old 01-13-2003, 07:59 PM
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Where is that picture posted? I don't see it on the site linked from the first page of this thread.
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Old 01-13-2003, 08:17 PM
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Recommended fan heatsinks:

For P4:
Intel retail HSF
Alpha PAL8942
http://www.alphanovatech.com/cat_pfe.html
Swiftech MCX4000
http://www.swiftnets.com/products/mcx4000.asp
Fan - Sanyo Denki 80x15mm, 2000rpm, sleeve bearing


For Athlon:
Alpha PAL8045
http://www.alphanovatech.com/cat_pfe.html
Swiftech MCX462+
http://www.swiftnets.com/products/mcx462plus.asp
Fan - 80x15mm, you can try the Sanyo but I'm not sure if 2000rpm will be enough to cool a Athlon

Note- all these heatsinks are about the same height, a 80x15mm fan is the largest than can fit and still have good airflow. 80x25mm fans will not have enough space. Fan should be mounted with airflow upward, as I detailed in a earlier post, this configuration runs the coolest allowing for slower speed fan settings.

Glenn

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Old 01-13-2003, 08:19 PM
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the Thermalright website lists the AX-7 as 80mm x 80mm x 38mm
the 80mm Panaflo is 80 x 80 x 25mm

So if the fan rests on the heatsink the height would be ~ 63 mm = 2.49 inches, which would fit. However, if one was to employ the air thrust upwards technique, then this hot air would bathe the bottom of the DVD shelf. Since the DVD shelf is, itself aluminum, then I worry about the thermal detriment of the DVD drive. Is this concern unfounded....comments?

The Swiftech MXC4000 , which was rated higher than the Thermalright at SilentPC Review, is also 39 mm tall and can be fitted with any 70 mm or 80 mm fan.

Just food for thought.

Scott

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Old 01-13-2003, 08:25 PM
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I now have pictures and info for a fanless heatsink for ATI Radeon cards:
Mass-Air Heatsink System

and the new Fan Speed Controller

The picture of the anodizing samples is on the order form where color is selected.

-Glenn

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Old 01-13-2003, 08:26 PM
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Glen,

Sorry, I posted about a minute behind you. So, disregard the 25mm Panaflo fitting - as Glen states that it will not fit.

Cord:
Look at the HTPC order form page

Scott

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Old 01-13-2003, 08:27 PM
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I see that I am still about 1 minute behind...story of my life

Scott

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Old 01-13-2003, 09:57 PM
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I am using the AX-7 in my Digitalis Vision 2 with no issues, not sure how the A-Tech would trap heat near the HSF of the CPU, but as long as there is an exhaust fan near the CPU, you should not have a problem.

Jim

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Old 01-14-2003, 06:25 AM
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Glenn,

Just to clarify: motherboard fan control (e.g. on a Asus A7N8X) is just for the CPU, while your fan controller is also for case fans?

Also, a number of people have complained about the price of your cases, but I believe these are folks who would rather tweak and curse than buy something that just works. "I can't afford to buy cheap."

You've obviously worked hard on choosing the right components for your system. Have you thought about eventually selling complete systems based on your HTPC experience? While I don't mind using your helpful posts here to plan my machine, I know there will be a bit of hassle and a nontrivial chance of mistakes on my part...

Keep up the great work,
coppit
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Old 01-14-2003, 08:24 AM
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I bet once we start posting beautiful pictures of our anodized cases with our nifty VFD displays and a variety of front port/button configurations, people will realize that it's a worthwhile investment in a room where they've already spent far more than this.

- Chris
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Old 01-15-2003, 10:01 AM
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I'm more than willing to pay the price, as it should be the 'last HTPC case I will ever buy' .... iff I can get the button/control/io system the way I like it. The hang-up now is a combo of me not being 100% certain what I want and not being able to get the configuration I really envision.
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Old 01-20-2003, 03:52 AM
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Yikes guys! 11 pages of comments! Why don't we let Glenn finish the first batch of cases before we launch him into the turnkey HTPC business

I for one am trying to patiently wait for my case to arrive, Glenn, do you have an update time line for when you can ship the first ones out?

-Dave
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Old 01-20-2003, 07:41 AM
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I received they Alpha PAL8942 Heat Sink with Sanyo 80 x 15mm. Looks like it will do the job nicely. Sidewinder had it at the door in three days! The parts pile is every increasing.

Eddie
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Old 01-20-2003, 08:25 AM
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New hi-tech fan. Has anyone been able to try the KDE Fan Series in Sunon's fan? The technologies sound very hi-tech: vapo-bearing and magnetic-field impeller. I've read that there is no impeller vibration or sway when rotating at any angle with KDE fans. Is this true? They come in seven models with sizes of 40x40x10-20 mm and 50 x 50 x 10 mm. This fan operates at up to 8200 RPMs, with air delivery of 8.1 CFMs and at a static pressure of 0.19 (inch-H20).

Is this part of the answer to a silent HTPC?

Mike Zemina
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Old 01-21-2003, 12:43 AM
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I should start shipping in about 2-3 weeks. I will be doing the remaining work in smaller groups of cases and follow them through to shipping. They will be done in order based on date order was placed. I still have welding fixtures to build and I need to work out final surface finishing before anodizing. There is also some final machining to do after welding. Also smaller issues like shipping container and packaging need to be worked out. So there are still some unknowns that have a potential for delays. I am working 14 hour days, 7 days a week until they are finished. Most of my time is spent in manufacturing development, like building tools, fixtures, and working out the best approach to each operation. I am sorry for the delays the people in the first run are facing, but future runs will progress much quicker.

First order to go out?
Chris has the honor of case number one since his was the first order placed. He also provided me with a Holo3D card to test fit into the case. I want to take some pictures of the production case fitted with this card.

Holo3D card:
I do have some more information about the H3D card. Some of you may not know, but the card by itself requires a spare PCI slot in front of the card due to its over-sized component input connector plate. It states this on the install CD instructions. It will overhang the I/O bracket of the card next to it. This is OK for cards with a flat bracket, but a lot of cards have flanges on the I/O bracket that will interfere. The instructions recommend the bottom PCI slot (slot 6). I have also determined this the best position for the card, so I machined some extra clearance in the slot to ensure plenty room for the connectors. Not sure if grounding the outer sleeve of the RCA plug is a issue, but it would touch the case slot on other standard cases I mounted it in unless you push the card to one side when tightening the screw.

VFD and LCD displays:
Thanks to Henry at Matrix Orbital for sending out some displays to try out in the case.
This case will accept:
all VK204-25 4x20 VFD's
all LK204-25 4x20 LCD's
these models also have the 25 key input for use with the DVD control push buttons.

-Glenn

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A-Tech Fabrication
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Old 01-21-2003, 12:55 AM
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Mike,

Those new fans look interesting, however even the largest one is too small for use on a case or CPU. The 60x60x20 or 60x60x15 would work in the 2U power supply.
http://www.sunonusa.com/ms.htm

-Glenn

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A-Tech Fabrication
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Old 01-21-2003, 07:30 PM
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Glenn, you once said something about emailing people with some final options before assembly begins. Is that ready to happen soon? One of the things I have been thinking over is how to compensate for the black anodized case I would like and my inability to find a black PowerMate. The more I think about it, the more I think that if all of the buttons were silver anodized as well, it wouldn't look half bad at all. Will that be a possibility, or is it too late?
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Old 01-23-2003, 07:33 PM
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Color options:
I plan to send out those emails in the next couple days.

Powermate:
I may have a solution to the knob color problem. The only part that is visible from outside the case is the knob itself. This knob just pulls right off and has a plastic insert inside. I can probably have the knobs stripped and anodized in black. I will talk to the anodizer and see what they can do.

-Glenn

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Old 01-23-2003, 10:23 PM
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Sounds good. The more I think about it, the silver buttons seem attractive in a black case. Its high contrast, which is good for finding them. Once I get the case, I may see what it takes to backlight the buttons with blue LEDs to have them match the Powermate surround. Just got some sample blue surface mount LEDs at work that could do wonders in that arena. Drill a small hole in the center of each button, and epoxy the LED in the center, and I think it would make a nice effect. It all depends on how the button is constructed, of course.
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Old 02-01-2003, 10:36 PM
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Just posted some testing results for this case and the Mass-Air heatsink system.

Test results here

-Glenn

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