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Dave's new Mini ITX Silent PC/HTPC build thread - Page 3

post #61 of 68
T cpus are almost impossible to find
post #62 of 68
i7-3770S comes pretty close -- probably close enough for normal usage. Even among the non-K, T, S, etc. idle and low-end power usage/temps are very similar. It's only at load it makes a big difference -- which makes sense since TDP is a maximum.
post #63 of 68
Thread Starter 
Well, bit the bullet and decided to buy this beast instead :

AFOX Radeon HD 7850 (low profile)

It's the fastest low profile card available, as far as I know.

I have now installed it in a standard configuration and have been running some tests on it.
To keep the system power below 150W (my current power supply) I had to dial back the GPU, memory and power control settings in AMD Catalyst.
This will be remedied once my new 200W power brick arrives.

Even in this handicapped setup, it easily outperforms the Intel HD4000 graphics I've been using.

The fans are noisy, even when dialled down to minimum speed. Unacceptable for me so a silent solution is in the works. Heatpipes and 75x50x15mm copper bar is on order - the plan being to either mount the board directly onto the chassis heatsink (via a flexible PCI riser) or run heatpipes to the heatsink.

I had to remove the drive and the bracket for now to enable the card to fit.

Also, with the power connector located on the top side of the card, the top cover on the case does not close. I'll have to install a different power socket or solder power cables directly to the board.

Edited by scanspeak - 4/13/13 at 6:24am
post #64 of 68
I'm thinking of doing something similar with a Haswell build, perhaps with an Nvidia low profile 7x0 coming out. (I have an AMD GPU and loathe the 3D support on it -- or lack thereof)

Nice build though...
post #65 of 68
Thread Starter 
Have been a bit busy with work lately but finally found some time to tinker.

Things have taken a turn into a different direction. I have ditched the PicoPSU which was complaining a little when under heavy load. The total system power usage is about 200W under maximum loads . I've now installed an external Seasonic 400W fanless power supply for ample power reserves.

I found that trying to use a riser and mount the graphics card against the side of the case was too messy and a difficult fit in the low profile case. Same goes for running heatpipes to the side of the case.

Then I thought why not just connect the GPU to the top of the metal case which itself should make a pretty good heatsink? So that was the next strategy.
I bought a solid 500g copper ingot and bolted it to the GPU. After installing the card I fit the cover and screw it to the copper heatsink . What could be simpler?

Some testing has shown that the top of the case is now getting very hot under heavy load so the theory is working as expected.

Unfortunately the heat is still not dissipating fast enough, causing GPU temperatures to hit 90 deg C (when running 3DMark).

Further heatsinking will be required which I will mount on top of the enclosure. I've also removed the top-mounted power connector (which was preventing me from installing the top cover) and wired power directly to the board.

Stay tuned ...
Edited by scanspeak - 6/5/13 at 5:46am
post #66 of 68
Thread Starter 
I've now attached a Nofan CR-95C passive heatsink to the top of the enclosure and installed a Noctua 92mm fan running in silent mode (min 100rpm /max 1700rpm).

Thermal performance is now satisfactory. Running 3DMark, maximum GPU temperature is 68 deg C and max CPU temperature is about 50 deg C. This is with everything set to default settings.
Took a lot of work but I'm very happy with the end result.

post #67 of 68

I like the case. Do you know of any motherboards that will work with that are both 64 bit and has 2 intel pro ethernet ports. I'm looking to build a firewall computer with one of these. 

post #68 of 68
Nice setup. Man I am trying to find a higher end low profile card and not much luck. The AFOX Radeon HD 7850 (low profile) would be nice but doesn't look like it is availabe in the US.
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