After reading the TR article on the Obsidian ( http://www.techreport.com/articles.x/17852
), I decided it was exactly what I was looking for. I just wish Joshua could of ran 1 more test on temp, with 3 120mm fans added to the top of the case, since most people will not leave the top open like that, and the included 140mm fans are very low rpm maxed out (900rpm), I may replace them soon, not many good newegg 140mm choices.
I also removed the bottom 140mm fan, that separates the bottom chamber with the upper, since I have 1-140 and 3-120s exhausting, and the single 140 would be a restriction and cause more negative pressure. Temps are the exact same as my P182 (with all fans replaced with scythe 1900rpm 110cfm fans, +1 in the optional front mount), except video card temp was a little warmer (2c) but I fixed that by adjust riva tuner to 2c lower target temp, fan runs about 50-55% idle for 55c target temp, max fan is set to 60c (default is like 70c, which is way too high imo).
The rear fan is controlled by system temp, which is really pwm (on at 40, full at 48), front-top radiator fan is controlled by NB temp (more or less water temp, on at 32, full at 38). The hard drive fan (max all the time, but is still inaudible), and other 2 radiator fans are controlled by the zalman controller on the front (set to about half, which is around 800rpms).
With this setup, while idle/gaming/prime, cpu = 32/38/45, system 40/45/48, NB = 32/36/38. Hard drives stay cool to the touch in the hot swap bay, and the computer is near silent at idle, and while gaming the loudest fan is the GPU.
The computer hardware specs:
DFI LP LT X48-T2R
Xeon X3350 (Q9450 equivalent)
GSkill 4x2gb DDR1066 (F2-8500CL5D-4GBPK)
OCZ GameXstream 700w (OCZ700GXSSLI)
Geforce 9800GX2 OC (bought from my roommate last year for $100)
2x Western Digital 640 Black edition (raid 0)
LightOn SATA DVD burner
Dtek Fusion waterblock
Swiftech MCW30 Chipset Cooler
Swiftech MCR320-QP radiator
Swiftech MCRES-Micro Reservoir
Petra DDCT Pump
CPUv= 1.18125 (undervolted due to 440/1760mhz is the max stable bus/fsb speed I could run)
NBv= 1.543 (I know this is high, but it runs cold and needed to run 440mhz bus)
Been running at with this hardware in the P182 since April 08.
Overall I am very happy with the build, its nice having a case without a backpack radiator on it, and should help keep the radiator clean. I do wish the filter came out of the front of the bottom of the case, not the back.
I forgot to take a picture of the P182 before I gutted, so I will throw in a crappy pic from a few months ago: