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My XPC - SCSI, cooling, etc. (updates)

Wed Nov 27, 2002 10:04 am

External. Standard SS51G, Pentium 4 1.8A, 2x256 standard Crucial memory. The CPU is currently running 2.16GHz. I backed off a bit from my previous 2.3GHz after I added the SCSI drive, fearful that powering it all might become an issue.

Front. I have two drives in the system. The IBM SCSI 10k 36GB below, and a Seagate Barracuda 7200 IDE 80GB on top. Yes, they're right on top of each other, no I'm not worried about it, and no I don't care if you think my computer is going to blow up.


IBM 10K RPM U160 drive SCA (they're dirt cheap)
SCA to 68pin adapter
Adaptec 29160

The Adaptec is a 64bit full length card, but it fits even with the CMOS battery in its current position. It's a loaner card. I'll probably replace it with a 19160, as I obviously don't need two channels, nor do I need 64bit.

The cable is also eventually going to go or be cut down.

That's a Gainward Geforce 3 GS VIVO. With the infamous VIVO that doesn't friggin work (supposedly only work with THEIR included software which refuses to install, not generic WDM) and Gainward won't return emails. At least the card works great otherwise. Ok, end rant.

You can also see my Ghetto-Fabulous (TM) fan setup. It will eventually be mounted to the external chassis piece once I get around to buying an appropriate hole saw or just dremel it. The fan is a 60mm Globalwin fan off one of my old socket 370 heatsinks. It is hooked up to the front 3 pin fan header with a resistor. Pretty quiet setup.

You can see the resistor here. It is from the Zalman 5000 I have in my previous Athlon system. It cuts flow by almost half, but the fan is semi-high output. The reduction in noise is worth it.

I have attached a 60x60x10mm Alpha style mini-heatsink to the drive cage directly behind the fan. It is attached with a zip tie and a generous load of silver thermal compound that I spent way too much money on two years ago. I would like to solder it on at some point, but for now it works wonders. It really does keep the drives cool. Also of note, the drives have thermal paste smeared across the sides on the inside of the drive cage. Messy but effective.

Some of this is temporary, but for the most part it is set. Future plans include the addition of a 100W book PC power supply, a smaller SCSI cable, permanent mounting of the fan (possibly 80mm), and a new graphics card.

Updated 12-07-02:
SCSI cable replaced with three connector (adapter, drive, terminator) round cable. It is actually a standard black, round, 68pin, 5 connector cable cut down to the bare minimum I need. It is also U160 LVD compatible, unlike the previous cable which was limiting me to 40MB.

The CD Burner has been moved to an external USB 2.0 exclosure. The enclosure has its own power supply, lightening the load on the Shuttle's 200W unit. Because of this, I bumped up the clock speed on the CPU back to 2.28GHz. I'm going to wait a week to try 2.4GHz. I also bumped the RAM settings up to "Turbo." The RAM is normal CL2.5 Crucial PC2100. Bus speed is 127MHz with 127MHz memory bus.


I really like the USB2.0 unit. It was cheap at about $50 shipped and looks like it belongs with the Shuttle box. The only problem is the included 40mm fan. It was *way* too loud, so I just disconnected it. The burner should be fine without a fan. I might buy another one to put a DVDROM in there, although I rarely use my computer to play DVDs anymore.

The locations of the IDE and SCSI drive have been swapped. The SCSI drive is now on top of the IDE drive. The 5.25" bay above the SCSI is empty, leaving plenty of room for cooling. The 3.5" external cover is still off, leaving an air intake directly in front of the SCSI drive.

The 80GB IDE drive is now the only IDE device in the computer. The extra IDE cable has been removed. Overall cabling is now back to a reasonable level as far as airflow. The SCSI terminator is just above the processor and in front of the fan which isn't optimal, but it is much better than large lengths of flat ribbon cable. Overall the inside of the PC is pretty much done. The only final mod I would like to make is permanent mounting of the extra side fan.
Last edited by Freon on Sat Dec 07, 2002 7:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: My XPC - SCSI, cooling, etc.

Wed Nov 27, 2002 12:31 pm

Eeech!? Those drives are right on top of each other! I'd worry about that if I were you. I'm afraid your computer is going to blow up!
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Location: North Dakota NoMoah!

Wed Nov 27, 2002 9:56 pm


If you could take the front faceplate and drill some holes into to improve airflow, that would help the exterior looks while not sacrificing cooling too much.
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Wed Nov 27, 2002 10:07 pm

Very nicely done. Kudos to you for doing quite a bit in such a confined area. That looks like it would be a great LAN rig, but I personally still need a roomy interior to work with. I guess I'm just not brave enough to do a job like that yet. :)
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Thu Nov 28, 2002 12:36 am

you redefine the power of small computers

i cant stop laughing at the fact that you have two 10k scsis in that small case.... hehehhahaha

its great man... loads of laughs but people will underestimate your lunchbox computer and that can be fatal at lan partys >:]
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Fri Nov 29, 2002 1:45 am

Very nice setup! 8)
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