Modding an XCase Q-Pack for quiet running

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Modding an XCase Q-Pack for quiet running

Postposted on Thu Aug 23, 2007 6:39 pm

Hey all. I have a QPack with the specs in my sig and I wanna quieten this baby down, at this stage on a minumum budget. So I thought i would post here with pictures for anyone who is interested, plus to ask for help!

At this stage I have pulled apart the standard PSU and switched the fan with a Vantech stealth with a variable resistor to change its speed. The 120mm from the PSU is currently running at 5V on the exhaust with a standard AMD CPU fan. The PSU fan is definatlly the loudest part, except for the hard drive when it is seeking.

Hence my plan at this stage is to thermally (and audially) isolate the PSU/graphics card and northbridge, which has a tiny passive heatsink. Both the GPU and Horthbridge currently idle at around 50 degrees (according to Nvidia monitor), but get pretty hot under load. So I will put a small 60mm fan running reasonably slow inside the PSU zone to help the northbridge.

Then a similar setup will be used to cool the hard drives (with space for a second drive), again isolated.

Will be back soon with pictures, any suggestions are very welcome.
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Postposted on Thu Aug 23, 2007 8:03 pm

Here are some initial pics:

Case:

Image

From side:

Image

Basically I want to enclose the corner with the PSU and gfx card so the PSU fan isn't very audible from the front or side of the case.

And o yer, I'l be tidying up cables while I am at it :P
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Postposted on Mon Aug 27, 2007 1:55 am

Well I just made a major step towards (near) silence today by getting a cheap Antec Neo HE of the local version of Ebay. Just put it in now, much quieter already. Really need to cut down the seek noie of my hdd now, the Seagate 7200.10 is really loud especially with my thin case material.

To that end I have been making some ducts:

Image

This is the start of what will be the hard drive duct. Unfortunatly a saide effect of my new PSU with its new fan configuration is a rethink on how I will do some of the ducting.

Here is what I have done so far for a duct for an extra fan to help cool the graphics card:

Image

Image

It is very ugly I know, Iv done this extra cheap with cardboard and foam I have lying around. But I reckon once the whole thing is covered and painted black it will fit right in though.
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Postposted on Thu Sep 06, 2007 7:10 pm

You might want to avoid fully enclosing your PSU and GPU. That will cut their ability to circulate air, and the excess heat that generates will shorten the life of the components. Of course, being an enthusiast isn't always about doing what's smart. ;)

If it were me, I'd make an aluminum box lined with soundproofing to enclose the parts, and mill or drill vents on two opposite sides of the machine, wherever airflow is best. You might want to use rubber bolts on your fans to cut noise a bit more, as well.

How do you like the X-QPack, by the way? I'm about to make a MicroATX machine for a friend, and he likes the look of that case. Any oddities the buyer should be aware of?
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Postposted on Thu Sep 06, 2007 7:42 pm

You could just put the whole thing inside an old-fashioned printer enclosure. :lol:
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Postposted on Thu Sep 06, 2007 7:49 pm

Yer I hadn't got round to updating this thread, I've had to make some changes now that I have a Antec Neo HE PSU, which has a single exhaust fan and doesn't draw heat from the bottom like the old one. The original plan was to enclose the PSU graphics within the case, leaving an inlet and seperate exhaust through the dual slot cooler. Anyway thats out the door now.

I do like the X-QPack, it allows enough space for what most people need without being too big, I like having the computer on the desk for easy access and its nice to have the smaller box for that. I would just suggest not using the standard 120mm exhaust fan, its got a blue LEDs and reasonably loud which I don't like, but thats personal preference. Other than that its good though.

I will further update this thread with pics when I get home, I have made some ground with a temperature controlled exhuast fan and now a whole of smaller fans inside the case moving air at low speeds (thanks to lower voltages).

And I think I prefer the look of my case to a old printer!
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Postposted on Thu Sep 06, 2007 7:58 pm

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Postposted on Fri Sep 07, 2007 9:04 am

Thanks for the advice on the X-QPack. I'm already planning to replace the PSU and 120mm case fans with Cooler Masters or Panaflos I have lying around. You might try the same thing I am - padding the inside of the case with acoustic dampening material. Frozen CPU gives you enough for a whole ATX mid tower for $19 before shipping, which leaves you with enough to double up on the side of the case that usually faces the user. Rubber screws on your fans can also make a surprising amount of difference.
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Postposted on Fri Sep 07, 2007 9:25 am

I removed the stock PSU, put in my old 430w Thermaltake PurePower, removed the fan inside, added two old Pentium II heatsinks to the two inside (the long black ones), and put a 5v fan on the outside of the case. Swapped out the rear 120mm fan for a Nexus fan @ 7v. Using a Zalman 7700 inside with the fan unplugged. It's a bitch of a fit, as the motherboard tray is useless with a heatsink that large.

It's a X2 3800+ in there. Two fans cooling an entire system with the CPU never reaching above 50C.

Oh, and I also "over" underclocked the system. Here's the trick: It's still at 2.0GHz, but I raised the HTT base to 250MHz and dropped the multiplier to 8x. It allowed me to drop the voltage to 1.136v easily. Probably would've done further. I also used the crystal cool and quiet, where I could set my own throttling levels to further minimize heat output.

Oh, and has a X800GTO² unlocked to 16 pipes and clocked XTPE levels (above, I think, can't recall), with a Arctic Silencer with fan on lowest.
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Postposted on Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:28 am

any suggestions on a cpu cooler that will fit this case before i buy it, preferably a performance cooler.
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Postposted on Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:10 pm

I am also looking for a better cooler to replace the standard one, although my CPU stays cool the fan is definatly the loudest component in the PC now and I want to replace it. What I am thinking is a passive cooler ducted directly to my exhaust fan, something like the new Scythe Ninja Mini if it is ever avaliable in NZ. Am definatly open to suggestions on this though, I jjust don't want to spend too much money.

What I have got is a temperature control on the 120mm Vantec Stealth fan, so that the fan starts off but at about 30C its starts up very slowly. It will then ramp up to a very high speed, pretty much max, once I start gaming or the like. The below photo's show how it looks now.

Image

CPU side.

Image

PSU side.

The hard drive is sitting on a peice of foam in the front of the case with an 80mm fan @ 5V cooling it. Dunno what the brand is but it doesn't make any noise at that speed. The hdd is still audible but not too bad, might do something about that yet.

Finally its a bit hard to see, but i have sectioned off the area between the back of the graphics card and CPU area of motherboard, where a Evercool 40mm fan @ 7V is keeping the chipset cool, and I have tucked a lot of the cables. There is some foam in there to absorb the sound that fan does make so thats not an issue
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Postposted on Thu Oct 18, 2007 6:14 pm

Well I am going to bring this thread back up coz I need some help. This project is still definitely unfinished: the CPU fan and hard drive still make too much noise so I would like to deal with these in one go. The picture below should give some idea of what I am talking about.

Image

So its pretty rubbish (good ol' paint) but hopefully it shows what I mean.

What I want to do is mount the hard drive right at the top of that space (it just fits, as long as I can get all the cables in) with the circuit board pointing downwards, exposed. Then with a new (maybe) heatsink, low speed fan and the temp-controlled 120mm on exhaust keep all this stuff cool. It will be ducted up so that the air is forced to enter through the heat sink, to help cool the memory and capacitors dotted around.

Now to my question: what to use for a heatsink and fan? i have considered the Scythe Ninja Mini when it is available here, but its fan points sideways and I really need the air going up, past the hard drive and out of the case. So I can get a CNPS7000B AlCu for around the right sort of price ($NZ58) but it seems to be a pre-AM2 design, is AM2 CPU retention different to the old S939 and S940 sockets?

Any other ideas on a decent compatible cooler in that price range? Or maybe the standard cooler will do, with the duct and quieter fan? I should note I don't need the CPU (a 65W model) any cooler, just less noise. Thats the point of the duct, enclosing the hard drive should reduce the seek noise I hear.
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