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deruberhanyok
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Re: build log: low profile ITX steam engine (i3, B85, ISK 30

Mon Jul 07, 2014 1:40 pm

I was looking at the wrong page for BIOS updates before - looks like I'm on F1, which is the only normal release for this board, and there's an F2a beta. Apparently the regular Phoenix (there's a model the exact same, but without the wifi) has different BIOS versions. Go figure.

At any rate, I swapped the Xigmatek back in and tried booting in to Windows to see if it would alter fan speed or affect the PWM noise - no dice. I installed their tweaking utility to see what it would come up with and saw this:

Image

It seems to think the CPU is running at 22C, and the system at 30C, which is sort of the opposite of what I'd expect. If the higher one is correct (I'm guessing it flip-flopped which is which) that means the CPU is idling at 10-15 F above ambient - very nice indeed.

After I ran the "calibration" routine in the software it corrected the fan speed to a much more expected 1450ish RPM, but a reboot cleared all of that out. The chirping is still there, though it's much less noticeable. The software needs to be manually started at each boot to automatically adjust the fan speed down to the expected level.

It also leaves me no recourse for Linux short of manually controlling the fan speed, which is like, dark ages stuff. So I may just stick to the Intel HSF since it won't require any maintenance on my part. But I'm e-mailing Gigabyte to see what they say before I swap the heatsinks again.
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Re: build log: low profile ITX steam engine (i3, B85, ISK 30

Mon Jul 07, 2014 2:55 pm

I'm probably missing something, but does your motherboard have a custom fan profile you can create? I was able to go into my Asus board and adjust threasholds for fan speed changes. The "silent" on mine was louder than it should have been. I suspect the default profiles are designed for the stock HSF and my 120mm fan didn't need to spin as fast as it was at a given temp.
 
deruberhanyok
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Re: build log: low profile ITX steam engine (i3, B85, ISK 30

Wed Jul 09, 2014 8:21 am

I was looking for a feature like that Monday after I saw your post, LG04. I've just recently assembled another system - this one with an Asus Z97I-Plus - and I was absolutely blown away by the capabilities that exist in that board's UEFI. It had features that I only saw from the Gigabyte windows-based "easytune" app, including the ability to alter fan profiles, with the graph and charts and all that. Of course, that system is in an SG05, with the Zalman CNPS8900 Quiet that I posted about earlier, so I didn't really have much tweaking to do there for fan speeds.

This is my first Gigabyte board, that I can recall, at least - in the past I'd stuck pretty closely to Abit and Asus - and while I was impressed at first with the UEFI interface, that Asus board showed me that it was lacking pretty severely. I wasn't expecting such a large disparity there. I've gone back and looked at some TR reviews to see what their UEFI looks like on other boards, and I noticed that the screenshot at the bottom of that page in the Z87X-UD3H review mentions switching the look of the BIOS. The BIOS on the Phoenix doesn't say anything about switching to Windows mode, and the manual makes no mention of it, so I'm guessing that even though this board seems geared towards some overclocking and case-mod types, they decided it didn't need the fancy UEFI features.

Anyways!

No, sadly there does not appear to be a way to set more detailed fan configurations from the UEFI menus. That last BIOS screenshot I posted, where it lists the fan speeds and has the options for changes the presets (or setting to manual) is the only place to change anything. I can choose from two presets (normal and silent) full speed, or manual, and if I select manual, all it does is allow me to select a value ranging from "0.75 PWM value / C" to "2.50 PWM value / C".

I've plugged the Xigmatek fan into the SYS header and set that one to "normal" while I wait for a response from Gigabyte. That's kept the fan speed more reasonable and is keeping the noise down, for now.
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deruberhanyok
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Re: build log: low profile ITX steam engine (i3, B85, ISK 30

Wed Jul 09, 2014 10:17 pm

Well, reply from Gigabyte when I asked about the misreading temperatures in easytune and the fan adjustments:

It appears to be within range and is not any forms of overheating, any issue you are encountering?
There are no fan adjustment available on this model


So... I guess that's that. I'll have to keep the Xigmatek on the SYS header and see how it does.

I haven't had a chance to hit a craft store to pick up an orange translucent yet, maybe this weekend. I want to get some final pictures posted and that's the last thing to do.
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rwpritchett
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Re: build log: low profile ITX steam engine (i3, B85, ISK 30

Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:20 pm

I'm really liking your build log. Thank you very much for the pictures. When I was researching parts I could not find any good pictures of #1 a PicoPSU 160 install, and #2 aftermarket CPU heatsink fitment. I built a very similar setup a couple years ago for my son to game on:

ISK 310-150, Intel i3-3220, Gigabyte H77-WiFi, 7750LP

He likes blue so it has blue LED fans and lights everywhere.

It's still going strong, though I'm thinking it's about time for some upgrades. I was wondering if you had any luck finding a video card? I'm glad I snagged up the Sapphire LP 7750 when they were available as they seem to be exceptionally rare now. I was thinking of going GTX 750 or 750 Ti and swap out the cooler for a single slot one. I can't believe there hasn't been any advancements in low profile, single slot cards in the last two years.

Anyway, please keep us updated on your project... especially if you try any other CPU heatsinks or find a LP video card.
 
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Re: build log: low profile ITX steam engine (i3, B85, ISK 30

Fri Jul 25, 2014 1:15 pm

Lacks a 'real' GPU. Therefore not impressed.

rwpritchett wrote:
I was wondering if you had any luck finding a video card? I'm glad I snagged up the Sapphire LP 7750 when they were available as they seem to be exceptionally rare now. I was thinking of going GTX 750 or 750 Ti and swap out the cooler for a single slot one. I can't believe there hasn't been any advancements in low profile, single slot cards in the last two years.


The advancements have come in case design, where you can now get PCI-Express riser adapters which will allow you to mount the Graphics Card parallel to the motherboard. In that light, I would not have picked the ISK 300 but rather one of these new vertical cases so you could get a full-size GPU. An example is the Alienware X51 case but these types of cases are starting to appear on the aftermarket.. for example:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811517029
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Re: build log: low profile ITX steam engine (i3, B85, ISK 30

Fri Jul 25, 2014 1:52 pm

Meh. Too ugly, too big IMO, although the Silverstone Raven is nicer to look at with the same layout... but it's still pretty big. Nothing new about riser cards, but point taken. Actually, I think the Antec ISK 300/310 is borderline too big. It would be nice if they came out with a new version without the optical drive, get rid of the internal PSU, and shorten the case by 10cm.

I think case design has stagnated. Black is the new beige. The most exciting thing to come to ITX case design by far is the NCASE M1. Lian Li has sure had some interesting designs but they typically favor form over function.

Take a step back and put things in perspective. The 7750 is more powerful than a 9800 GTX+, which I had back when I played games. Just imagine the graphics muscle they'll be able to cram into a tiny low power card 5 years from now. Of course, we'll be at 4K then and a 780Ti won't be considered a 'real' GPU anymore.
 
deruberhanyok
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Re: build log: low profile ITX steam engine (i3, B85, ISK 30

Fri Jul 25, 2014 2:52 pm

Hey guys - I haven't had a chance to get to a shop recently to pick up some transparent plastic for the lambda, but I have had the system running for a couple weeks now without issue with the Xigmatek cooler running off of the "SYS" header. It's not ideal, but it works. Very disappointed that Gigabyte would put together a board like this, with tweaking options for K series processors, LEDs on the board, etc, and not bother to include some kind of fan profiling in the BIOS.

Anyways, the onboard video isn't bad, and for lower res, lower power stuff (like Diablo 3 at 1280x960) (yes, I've got it connected to 4:3 monitor), it's passable. But I still want to get a video card in there.

rwpritchett, I've actually been keeping track of low profile video cards in this thread for a few weeks now. The best options I've found in the current generation of cards is either a GK208-based GeForce 730 with 64-bit GDDR5 or an R7 250 with GDDR5 (and I think the R7 is the much better option). Having 20mm - maybe 21mm - clearance really limits the options. And as you mentioned, there hasn't been any real advancement in low profile, single slot in the last two years.

To be cheeky, this is because there haven't been any new video cards in the last two years 8). We're still using nvidia's Kepler and AMD's GCN 1.0, both of which were introduced in 2012.

I'm going to be holding off until I see what the low end in the next generation brings us. Maxwell on the NVIDIA side could bring some real nice performance increases to 830/840 level cards, and probably fit into a thermal envelope which would allow for easy use of low profile single slot cooling. And AMD is already doing well in this area with R7 250, so perhaps the R7 350 (or whatever they call it) will be a nice bump. Since my existing configuration is sufficient, I'm watching the marketplace, but not making any purchases right now.

JdL - I think you're talking about a different class of system than what I intended to build with this one. That case you linked is quite a bit bigger than the ISK 300.

I did want a system capable of higher-end gaming, and to that end, I also built a system in a Silverstone SG05. That was kind of a standard, boring build, though, so I didn't bother documenting it (although the m.2 slot on the bottom of the Asus Z97I-Plus was kind of interesting). The only real limitation I had was that I couldn't put a video card in there longer than 10". I've got a 560Ti in there right now and will probably wind up with Maxwell / GCN 2.0 in it whenever those refreshes happen late this year / early next year.
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Re: build log: low profile ITX steam engine (i3, B85, ISK 30

Tue Jul 29, 2014 7:06 am

deruberhanyok wrote:
The best options I've found in the current generation of cards is either a GK208-based GeForce 730 with 64-bit GDDR5 or an R7 250 with GDDR5 (and I think the R7 is the much better option). Having 20mm - maybe 21mm - clearance really limits the options.


Have you been reading this thread, too? Pretty much the same problem - very limited space; must be half-height AND must be single slot, very limited power available.

Oland XT seems to be the most GPU that meets those requirements (R7 250's 384SPs is the fully-enabled silicon, based on half a 7790 Bonaire, and not a die-harvested Cape Verde which is 640SPs in the 7770 and 512SPs in the 7750). If you buy a DDR3 variant you can expect identical performance to the IGP in an A8-7600, which is around 2x the power of your i3's HD4400.

If you buy a 1GB DDR5 variant, you should see 3-4x the performance of the 4400, in fact, if your PicoPSU permits you to overclock a DDR5 R7 250, you can (in theory) get 7750 performance out of it, which is impressive for a half-height, bus-powered, single-slot card. The only issue is spotty availability of DDR5 in the half-height, single-slot options. I think it's because DDR3 uses less power circuitry and therefore requires less cooling and PCB area. Half-height, single-slot, DDR5 variants do exist though.
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deruberhanyok
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Re: build log: low profile ITX steam engine (i3, B85, ISK 30

Tue Jul 29, 2014 11:43 am

Indeed! I've been tempted to pick up Visiontek's R7 250, as it fits with the color scheme, but I'm also a bit hesitant to sink $100 on it. If the price was closer to, say, $75 I'd have bought one already.

I've been trying to hold off on a video card purchase until the fall/winter refreshes from AMD and NVIDIA, as I expect it will make for some significant changes in this area, but if I can find a good deal on one I may just go for it.
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Re: build log: low profile ITX steam engine (i3, B85, ISK 30

Tue Jul 29, 2014 12:47 pm

It's odd that GM107 isn't available yet in half-height, single-slot, since the TDP of 55W would be possible in that form factor.

GM108 (or whatever the baby version is going to be called) may not be any faster than a R7 250, since the full-fat 750Ti is only twice as fast as a R7 250 and Nvidia's usual strategy for their baby chips is to halve the number of everything for the next size down.

Actually, GM108 is already out in the mobile space, and it's a 384 shader cores, 24 TMUs and 8 ROPs (64-bit interface) solution. If they don't fix the memory bandwidth for the desktop product, an R7 250 will be quicker even after all that waiting.
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Re: build log: low profile ITX steam engine (i3, B85, ISK 30

Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:54 pm

deruberhanyok wrote:
JdL - I think you're talking about a different class of system than what I intended to build with this one. That case you linked is quite a bit bigger than the ISK 300.


Yeah that AZZA case is pretty big - 13.50"x4.40"x17.30" - didn't look at the specs originally :-/ 17 inches deep is definitely too big. I was thinking more like the Alienware X51, which is 13.504 (H) x 12.52 (D) x 3.74 (W)

I keep referring to the X51 as a proof-of-concept build. It could actually be smaller, probably shaving 1 inch off the depth & height and 0.5 inches off the width. As it is I'm able to fit 3 hard drives, a 10.5" full-size GPU, and desktop-version i7 CPU in the case. (Don't need blu-ray or DVD anymore) I modded mine to have direct air intake over the CPU, and replaced the HSF with a Zalman CNPS 8000 + resistor which fit perfectly and makes zero noise.
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Re: build log: low profile ITX steam engine (i3, B85, ISK 30

Wed Jul 30, 2014 4:08 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:
It's odd that GM107 isn't available yet in half-height, single-slot, since the TDP of 55W would be possible in that form factor.


Right? Figuring the power draw of it, I really thought we'd see a down-clocked single slot version of the 750, which would be ideal for this build (especially from Zotac, because, well, black and orange). I mean, the 850M is rated for a 40W power draw, and that's a full GM107. Maybe it's still just a ways off while companies work on different PCB designs, or maybe NVIDIA vendors are content to let AMD have the lead in that segment?

I hadn't though about the GM108 in the mobile space. I figured we'd see a cut down GM107 for an 840 part, or the 750 version with lower clock speeds. Although even with the existing version of GM108 it'll be faster than a GeForce 730, as long as they don't limit it to DDR3 memory like the 840M. So that's an improvement, I guess? We'll know when the desktop 800 series line launches towards the end of the year.

If they don't fix the memory bandwidth for the desktop product, an R7 250 will be quicker even after all that waiting.


I hadn't really thought of the logic that way - it's possible the R7 250 (or whatever the rebadge is called) will be the best option in this space through the next generation, too. Though I'd hope for a GCN 1.1 or 2.0 part to replace Oland whenever AMD does the Rx 300 series refresh.

JdL wrote:
I keep referring to the X51 as a proof-of-concept build. It could actually be smaller, probably shaving 1 inch off the depth & height and 0.5 inches off the width. As it is I'm able to fit 3 hard drives, a 10.5" full-size GPU, and desktop-version i7 CPU in the case. (Don't need blu-ray or DVD anymore) I modded mine to have direct air intake over the CPU, and replaced the HSF with a Zalman CNPS 8000 + resistor which fit perfectly and makes zero noise.


That's pretty beefy for a small form factor setup! Do you have pics of the modifications anywhere?

I probably could have gotten away with a regular spec i3 in here without stressing the Pico PSU too much more - realistically I'd be looking at a combined 115W of power with an R7 250 (ish) card. (Admittedly I'm kind of tempted to sell the 4130T and put an i3-4340 in it, but I don't know that the boost in Hz would be worth the effort / added heat output.)

I think an i7 might have push it a bit too hard, though, and while I've seen some successful flex ATX modifications for the ISK 300, that would be far beyond my original goal.

Those extra few inches on the X51 make a pretty big difference for installing higher end parts. When I was part shopping I saw several cases with a different orientation, some of which were really long and had room for larger power supplies, but they were all bigger than I'd have liked to have sitting on a desk / in the entertainment center. I also couldn't see building a system with a 300W (or bigger) SFX power supply, only to run a 50W video card and sub-40W processor in it.
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Re: build log: low profile ITX steam engine (i3, B85, ISK 30

Fri Aug 01, 2014 2:21 pm

You're right, I do need to post some pics. But it's not much different from what's here: http://www.theverge.com/2012/2/3/276835 ... x51-review

As stated, I cut a hole in the side (made it match the design), but beyond that this case is nice. The drives were 2.5" btw. I added a 2x 2.5" drive bay where the 3.5" drive normally goes.
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Re: build log: low profile ITX steam engine (i3, B85, ISK 30

Fri Nov 14, 2014 7:17 pm

Awesome post! Thanks so much for sharing all the details :)

I'm building a very similar machine:
  • Antec ISK-300-150
  • ASRock B85M-ITX
  • i3-4130T (2.9Ghz@35W)
  • 2x4GB 240 pin RAM (1.35V)
  • 120GB SSD (Kingston V300)
  • 512GB SSD (TBD, whatever goes on sale on black Friday)
  • (Hopefully) MSI N750ti-2GD5TLP GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB

I was hoping you could help me answer the following questions:
  • 1. Will the low profile MSI card you mentioned fit in the Antec ISK 300-150? If not, is there a way to swap out the stock heatsink for a custom one that might fit?
  • 2. What do you use to measure power consumption? I know there are wall socket tools you can buy but are there also BIOS/OS level tooling that do this? Will I have enough power with the stock 150W PSU or will I need to upgrade to a pico one?
  • 3. Will the stock fans be 'enough' or will heat likely be an issue? What tools do you use to measure/evaluate potential heat issues inside the case?

Thanks again!
 
deruberhanyok
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Re: build log: low profile ITX steam engine (i3, B85, ISK 30

Fri Nov 14, 2014 10:06 pm

Hi david! Thanks!

Looks like you're putting together a very similar setup. I haven't gotten a video card for mine yet - I'm just going to wait until the new generation of cards are all available - but I think I can help you with some answers.

1) Sadly, no. I asked on Newegg and got back a response that the heatsink is 38mm tall - definitely a double slot solution. There's only 20mm of clearance for a heatsink in the ISK 300 - maybe 21mm thanks to the vented bump-out along that side of the case.

I've seen a few solutions for replacing a 750ti heatsink with a low profile one, but I've never tried it myself. They all involve getting the heatsink from a workstation card - a Quadro K620 or FirePro V3900 - and trying to get it in place. Unfortunately it's entirely dependent on the dimensions of the heatsink mounting used on the video card, as vendors aren't all using a "reference" design when it comes to low profile 750/750ti. From what I've read, these solutions work, albeit with a louder noise level than most would like. I think combined with a down-clocked GPU it might be better. (The K620, for instance, is rated at 45W, so decreasing a 750Ti's clock by 10-15% might get max power consumption into that range, especially if you can decrease the voltage the GPU uses).

Which is a nice segue to:

2) There's probably a million ways to measure power consumption, but the one I'm most familiar with is a kill-a-watt meter. They're basically dummyproof. :)

However, you could also use a digital multimeter to get a feel for current. It doesn't provide a measure of power consumption, but you can use it to measure the flow of power on the 5v and 12v lines coming from the PSU. It's similar to the readout you see in a BIOS or an OS motherboard utility that shows the 12v voltage, 5v voltage, etc. Large variations away from spec (I think the ATX standard allows for a +/- 3% from spec) usually mean your system is trying to pull more power than the PSU can keep up (or that the PSU is just crappy).

Obviously this can lead to lots of issues, including an overheating power supply. And you never want that - it's likely to take out the whole system if it lets out the blue smoke. For the hardware you are putting in the system, 150W will be enough - the 750ti is rated at 60W, your processor at 35W, and you're unlikely to see them drawing that much power outside of benchmarking to fully load both CPU and GPU at the same time. But even if you were, it still gives you plenty of headroom for the motherboard and your SSDs.

Keep in mind that a pico PSU isn't really an "upgrade" for power output from the stock PSU included with the ISK 300 - even the highest output Pico PSU is rated at a sustained 160W, so not much higher than the 150W of the Antec. However, tests have shown that the stock PSU is pretty inefficient - like, pre 80plus days type of efficiency - and that generates a lot of waste heat. The Pico PSU's advantage is in efficiency. The AC-DC conversion happens at the external power brick, which, in the 160W kit I picked up, is listed with an average efficiency of 87%, so the Pico PSU itself is just doing a DC conversion to 5v where needed. This means the internal unit doesn't do much to contribute to the heat inside the case, and in a small form factor, that can make a world of difference.

3) Speaking of heat, I see only two potential issues with heat in the ISK 300, and I've not really been able to test them since I don't have a video card for mine. First is the stock power supply. Issues with efficiency and waste heat aside, it takes up a significant chunk of internal volume in the case, blocking airflow from the vent on the left side, the front one. Here is where the Pico PSU has a huge advantage. Or is it a "small" advantage? har har.

Without a video card in the system, or the PSU, and with a pair of 80mm fans on the side acting as exhaust, you'll get air being pulled in from the left side of the case, right across the motherboard and CPU and right out of it. If you have the case vertical it's even better, because the warm air is already going up. It's super effective for keeping a system cool. But, install a video card and you're going to block a lot of that airflow. I don't know how it will affect overall system temperatures, since there is enough venting that (with the case horizontal at least) heat from the video card may stay near that one side.

As far as evaluating heat issues within the case... really, monitoring CPU and GPU temps is your bet bet. And make sure you have both 80mm fans set to exhaust.

The longer I wait on the GeForce 900 series / Radeon Rx 300 series low end parts, the more I'm convinced that this case is ideal for an AMD APU. It neatly sidesteps the problem of having to find a video card and keeps the expansion slot empty so you have nice airflow through the system.

Also, speaking of fans, after running the Stealths through a voltage step-down thinger to run them at 5v, I think I'm just going to buy a second tricool from Antec and run the pair of them on the "low" setting. And if it takes long enough for the video cards to come out, I might just replace the guts of this system with a Kaveri or Carrizo part. I'd lose the black and orange motherboard, but in sticking with my theme, I'd just have to break out the paintbrush and get a few designs done on the ISK 300's shell.

Good luck with your build, and share pics!
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deruberhanyok
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Re: build log: low profile ITX steam engine (i3, B85, ISK 30

Thu Dec 18, 2014 10:47 pm

Time for an update!

Been pretty busy since the last time I did any work on this box, and with a little spare cash in the paypal account I picked up a few things. First, I happened upon a Xigmatek Praeton, the heatsink I was originally trying to find, at NCIX' US store, of all places. Dunno why I didn't think to look there when I was shopping before. Even better: it was all of $15. Even better (ish?), I was looking for the Janus, it's big brother, for the other system I was putting together, and they have it for $25 right now. It is easily the best heatsink you can buy for $25, outperforming several other models that cost twice as much (the Praeton is equally awesome at $15). Annoyingly I had already bought one for $45, but I thought I'd point it out in case anyone else was looking.

I had a scary moment when I installed it. It uses the same method as the Janus for retention - these screws are threaded through the mounting holes on the motherboard, and then you use little plastic washers (which were pre-applied with the sticky ends in place on the Praeton; they weren't on the Janus), and then you have a nut on the back end of the motherboard that needs to be tightened to secure the thing. So as I'm tightening these, using the conveniently supplied, super cute tiny wrench, my hand slips and I hear the grinding noise of the PCB getting gashed. Panic! I'd scored it right along one of the traces going to a DIMM slot (ack!) and figured I'd just ruined the board. (I tried to get a picture of this, but I just couldn't get it without so much glare that you couldn't make out the scratch - I really need to clear a small area on my desk I can use for better lighting for photos).

Thankfully the system passed memtest about a dozen times (I had to test some other DIMMs anyhow, so it worked out I needed to test a motherboard too), and I used some clear nail polish to seal it up - I didn't want to leave the trace exposed to the elements. If you happen to do this and don't have nail polish available, an overcoat pen could be a handy tool to keep in the parts drawer. Possibly a conductive ink pen, too, but I don't know if that would work to fix a damaged trace.

Anyhow! The fan is nearly a perfect match for the motherboard:

Image

It also doesn't seem to have the warbling PWM noise that the Apache did, which is great! And, bonus, with this heatsink design, the thing can be oriented so the fins are directing airflow straight into the 80mm exhaust fans on the side (more on that in a minute). I also picked up the orange G.Skill Ares RAM:

Image

While it isn't quite the right shade, the black PCB and rust orange heatspreaders work better here than the gold-orange on the Ballistix. And yes, the voltage is 1.5v instead of 1.35v, that bugs me a little, but the alternative was trying to peel the heatspreaders off the Ballistix, and I did not relish the idea of trying that. Plus, how often do you see RAM with orange heatspreaders?

It's not low profile, but still fits in the ISK 300 easily. It is kind of a close fit with the Pico PSU if you've got the second peripheral power cable:

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But it all still fits. :)

While doing a little shopping with some friends at Microcenter (you know where this is going) I picked up some parts on sale, one of which happened to be an i3-4370. I know, I know, I had the lower power proc in there and it was fine, but I couldn't pass up the price ($100). It's rated at 54W, has the HD 4600 graphics (which, depending on the source, has 4 more EUs than the HD 4400 and a higher clock speed), and is nearly a full 1GHz faster: 3.8GHz vs. the 2.9GHz of the i3-4130T. With the Praeton I'm still able to run the system eerily quiet.

And speaking of quiet, along with the new heatsink, I switched around the side fan config:

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I bought a pair of the clear Antec TriCool fans to replace the Stealths, figuring it would save me a lot of excess cabling inside the system (and it did, all of the extra peripheral cables and splitters are gone now, much tidier on the inside). I've only got the one installed right now and temps are great. I could have just gone with the black one that came with the system, but the clear one lets much more light through, and since I'm only using one, I was able to move the lambda cutout into the vacant 80mm fan spot, where it's more secure and gets a better glow behind it. I'll get a few more pictures of it once I'm done tidying the box back up.

A few other notes:

- Both fan speed controls are set to "normal" in the BIOS and the TriCool is at the middle setting (at the low setting it wouldn't always start up). The TriCool hovers around 1200rpm at this setting, and the Praeton's fan seems to sit around the same. Temps idle around 34C, although if I'm in the BIOS it rolls up to 40C ish.

- Linux note! I mentioned that you can switch on the proprietary wifi driver in the LiveCD environment, but for some reason, after installing, you can't. It turns out that it won't install a required package (not really sure why) so you're stuck without working wifi and, if wifi is your only connection to the internet, no way to download the package and enable it. Worry not! The files you need are on the install disc, in /pool/restricted/b/bcmwl and /pool/main/d/dkms. You'll have to install the dkms one first (just double-click it) and then the bcmwl one.

- Been watching the add-in card market for low profile, single slot cards, and while the R7 250 is quick enough, I don't think it's worth the cost for the performance increase over the HD 4600. It might have been worth it over the 4400 (which, depending on where you read, has only 16 EUs, not the 20 that Intel claims), but I'm still waiting to see what the GeForce 900 and Rx 300 series brings to the single-slot low-profile form factor.

- Haven't remembered to check temps after heavy gaming, however I'm happy to report that the HD 4600 can handle left 4 dead 2 at 1280x720 pretty competently. So that wait for the new generation video cards isn't going to be too bad. :)
<3 TR

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