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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last week I finally got fed up with my Boxee Box freezing after being left on for 2 days, or running sluggish, or not being able to do anything other than play media (no gaming, no browsing, etc etc). So, I did a bit of research here and bit the bullet, and here's the result.


Per another post in the Moneual MonCaso 312 case thread, I had a few main criteria for this HTPC (I have another HTPC in the living room, but this one is for the master bedroom). The criteria were:


1. Silent operation.

2. High performance (super fast boot/OS load, snappy operations, etc).

3. Gaming capabile

4. Sleek look (ie small home theater equipment look)

5. Power on via remote (from power OFF not just sleep).



The rest was pretty easy. I have a lot of experience with water cooling and it was clear that the only way I was going to get a gaming capable, silent and small (ie half height) HTPC was to use watercooling. Anything else would require fans. This case has zero fans (although I may add a few super quiet 40mm rear exhaust fans IF vid card temps warrant during gaming). So far however while streaming blu-ray's there's been no heat issues whatsoever.


I should state that yes, this is an expensive build, and what most would consider overkill for an HTPC. But not for a gaming capable HTPC. I don't mind splurging


The build: ( more shots here )

Very pleased with the results! Pretty much 99% silent, running cool (cpu at around 20c, video at around 55c idle - livable). Boot time is something like 10 seconds (need to actually time it) to the desktop. MediaCenter is a few seconds behind that.


What's really cool is being able to power the system on from complete power off using the Harmony One (programmed via the MonCaso's remote). The case has an IR sensor that integrates with the power switch in the system, and is fed constant power via the MB main cable (5v I believe)... So you don't have to sleep the device. And as stated before power up is pretty quick.


Still need to OC and do some misc tweaks. But overall it's so much better than a media player.

Misc Parts:
System:
  • Moneual LAB Black MonCaso 312B (blue ring also on it's way)
  • ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
  • CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM 1600
  • Intel Core i7-2600K 3.4GHz
  • 2x HIS Radeon HD 6570 (will run in crossfire.)
  • OCZ 120 GB Vertex 3 SATA III 6.0 Gb-s 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive
  • Seasonic 560W 80 Plus Gold Power Supply - X-560 SS-560KM
  • Koolance 120mm radiator
  • Koolance PMP400 pump w/50mm res kit
  • Koolance FM 17 flow meter
  • Koolance TMS-200 controller card (pump, flow meter and radiator fan)





Checking space and determining component placement:





Components in place for the most part. Filling and testing the water cooling loop.





Final build (WC installed, controller attached to lid, etc):

The Corsair Vengeance memory is low profile (with integrated heat sinks) and fits right under the Blu-Ray drive. The SeaSonic 560 Gold PCU fits almost corner to corner with the Lite-On blu-ray drive. The pump/res unit in the front right of the case has it's coolant tubes running under where the PSU and blu-ray drive corners meet. There's just enough room
Obviously the right side drive cage was removed to install the WC unit.


Notice the dual 6570 cards, running in crossfire.




 

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So what's the GPUs' temperature at gaming? Are they running stable? (I don't ask you to run FurMark, that's dangerous without proper cooling.
)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx /forum/post/20851961


So what's the GPUs' temperature at gaming? Are they running stable? (I don't ask you to run FurMark, that's dangerous without proper cooling.
)

Actually I think I will run Furmark today and see what I get
I need to find out what the safe ceiling is for the 6570's, anyone know?


Going to run some Witcher 2, Crysis 2 and Vantage today and get some temps. Need to figure out how to turn on logging since I only have one monitor
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by santiagodraco /forum/post/20852617


Actually I think I will run Furmark today and see what I get
I need to find out what the safe ceiling is for the 6570's, anyone know?


Going to run some Witcher 2, Crysis 2 and Vantage today and get some temps. Need to figure out how to turn on logging since I only have one monitor

I would not push them past 80c.. My 6950 will crash around 83c.


Why did you go crossover 6570's as opposed to a single 6850 or 6870?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfrog /forum/post/20852664


I would not push them past 80c.. My 6950 will crash around 83c.


Why did you go crossover 6570's as opposed to a single 6850 or 6870?

Cool job; very nice. The above would be my question, too. Is a space issue on length? What's the component set on the front left, the single SSD? If so, possible to move it around and put in a longer card?


Or would it be to keep everything fanless knowing a bigger card will start spinning loud?


--- edit nm, I just looked up that HIS and its fanless, so I think that's a smart way to go! How are the crossover benches?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfrog /forum/post/20852664


I would not push them past 80c.. My 6950 will crash around 83c.


Why did you go crossover 6570's as opposed to a single 6850 or 6870?
Quote:
Originally Posted by sippelmc /forum/post/20852763


Cool job; very nice. The above would be my question, too. Is a space issue on length?

Heh come on now, they need to be Low Profile... we're talking about a Moncaso 312B here lol.


Very intriguing setup you've made santiago. If there were more games I'd like to play on my TV vs. regular desktop config, I would highly consider going the route you have. I currently have a 312 build based around a i530 cpu. I too am concerned about heat build up within the tiny chassis though. Those GPU's are going to pump out a lot.


At the very least I would get the most effective 40mm fans you can find for the back. I have Mini Kaze Ultra's in mine but i'm not sure what is available for you now (I completed my build 2 years ago).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by drealit /forum/post/20852807


Heh come on now, they need to be Low Profile... we're talking about a Moncaso 312B here lol.


Very intriguing setup you've made santiago. If there were more games I'd like to play on my TV vs. regular desktop config, I would highly consider going the route you have. I currently have a 312 build based around a i530 cpu. I too am concerned about heat build up within the tiny chassis though. Those GPU's are going to pump out a lot.


At the very least I would get the most effective 40mm fans you can find for the back. I have Mini Kaze Ultra's in mine but i'm not sure what is available for you now (I completed my build 2 years ago).

Yea I didn't pay attention to that the first time around, saw the pic of the low profile case when I visited this thread again. Micro stutter would be enough to keep me from running a crossfire setup, hopefully it will work well for the OP.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·




Yeah, low profile. Severely limited my graphics options. However it also allowed me to go with fanless cards.... I going to pick up 4 (I think it holds 4) 40mm fans today at Frys and install them. I want to see how they do in keeping the card temps down.


Once I have those installed I'll use the Koolance fan controller to test the temps with no fans running and with fans running. Ie silent vs. almost silent.


I should also add that I could very well add the two cards into the WC loop as an alternative. I wanted to see how this plays out first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by sippelmc /forum/post/20852763


Cool job; very nice. The above would be my question, too. Is a space issue on length? What's the component set on the front left, the single SSD? If so, possible to move it around and put in a longer card?


Or would it be to keep everything fanless knowing a bigger card will start spinning loud?


--- edit nm, I just looked up that HIS and its fanless, so I think that's a smart way to go! How are the crossover benches?

Thanks. It was a very satisfying project. Still have tweaking to do.


In the front left, in the drive cage, is the OCZ Vertex 3 SSD, correct. Front right is obviously the pump/reservoir for the WC loop.


Still need to benchmark and test. Finished this at 3am Saturday night and was out all day Sunday
But did it all in one day (including OS/software installation, MC configuration and such). So this week will be the tweaking and testing.
 
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