Project: FFF (Form Follows Function)

Weeth

Gawd
Joined
Sep 7, 2011
Messages
662
Almost all my pieces have arrived so it's time to start the worklog on FFF: The Form Follows Function project. Although it's not going to be a ghetto build, it's not designed to impress the ladies at the LAN party. It's a system built for as much quiet as can be reasonably expected. The key to the build is big fans moving slowly to keep the noise down while pushing through enough air. And I'm throwing in some lights because everyone needs a little bling! :D

So the first thing I did was remove all the stupid junk from my new Xclio A380. The side fan got ripped out and I'm keeping it as a spare as I'm aware that the Xclio 25cm fans have the half life of Darmstadtium 267:

2j65qib.jpg


Then I removed all of the incredibly ignorant sheet metal plunked right in path of 100% of the airflow from the front 25cm fan. (This pic is not from my build but identical):

cimg1742gh6.jpg


Not only is there a whole barely perforated HD stack, but there is an entire cover for what seems was (at one point in development) a 120mm or so fan! When they replaced the 120 with the 250 they left the cover alone. So of the full 250mm diameter, almost 2/3rds of it is blowing onto solid metal. What's the point of a huge fan blowing onto a small metal colander? Xclio's engineers should have their heads examined!

So all this crap got ripped out and this is what the case looks like now:

20np8z.jpg


There are still some more very unconventional airflow mods coming!

I'll keep you posted as I'm hoping to get this rig finished this weekend (knock on my wooden head!) :)
 

mannyman

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 12, 2011
Messages
2,854
xclio cases always have over kill fans with poor planning but I like the cool box, Also like the darmstatium 267 joke but I wasn't sure about how long its half life was so i had to look it up.

Its longer than the Hl of Copernicium 285.
 
Last edited:

Weeth

Gawd
Joined
Sep 7, 2011
Messages
662
Cool, subbed! I love a good case mod. :)

Thanks! :)

xclio cases always have over kill fans with poor planning but I like the cool box, Also like the darmstatium 267 joke but I wasn't sure about how long its half life was so i had to look it up.

Its longer than the Hl of Copernicium 285.

Well, the Xclio fan life expectancy isn't that bad, it's halfway between Darmstatium 267 and Copernicium 285! :)

The fan mounting on this case is totally ridiculous. The side fan sticks inwards so far that it would hit the top of the Noctua NH-D14 and not allow the door to be closed. It can't be mounted on the outside since it interferes with the edge of the side scoop. This looks like a case that was designed on the "earn while you learn" program.
 

(sic)

n00b
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
35
Subbed.

Made the mistake of purchasing this case for one of my builds several years ago. It's definitlely a POS without modification.

Looking forward to progress.

Good luck!
 

Weeth

Gawd
Joined
Sep 7, 2011
Messages
662
The case is total garbage, but the only reason I bought it was to take advantage of the 250mm fan flowing front to rear. I had the whole thing planned out in my head before I purchased it, so once it's done it should be a helluva wind tunnel! And a quiet one to boot! :)
 

teletran8

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 12, 2011
Messages
2,220
I don't want to sound like a dick, but buy a Lian Li next time. Or maybe Corsair. Good luck.
 

Weeth

Gawd
Joined
Sep 7, 2011
Messages
662
I don't want to sound like a dick, but buy a Lian Li next time. Or maybe Corsair. Good luck.

Yeah, but I wanted the big 250mm front fan, and none of the others had that feature.

Anyway...

Saturday morning and the assembly begins. Here are all the bits:

2usj5ed.jpg


Everything is going along swimmingly until the NH-D14 that was absolutely positively going to fit as long as I removed the 120mm side fan was nowhere near clearing the Corsair Vengeance heat spreaders. Oops. Here it is in just an 8GB configuration with the A DIMMs taken out.

mlf7q.jpg


I considered going with this for all of a nanosecond before figuring out that I had to do something drastic as I wasn't about to wait another week to replace the RAM with something more low profile. So with a little gentle prodding and some careful bending, I took the bottom fin on that side and bent it 90 degrees so that it now points straight down.

16h6d1w.jpg


I know that this isn't the most elegant solution, but I had to get this PC running by Monday morning for work and it's not meant to be a bling build anyway. It's FFF Project: Form Follows Function in the most absolute of terms. But hey, it fits! It's hard to see from this fuzzy pic (camera can't focus that close even on macro setting) but it's actually clearing the top of the heat spreaders by a millimeter... maybe less!

imnh1z.jpg


I said it wasn't a bling build, so instead of having some custom piece machined at a cost greater than my 2600K a quick run to the hardware store produced a rubber vent flashing for a roof. With a bit of trimming, I ended up with the perfect fit and the perfect angle!

wtt0yx.jpg


Screwed the roof flashing piece to the hole where all that nasty barely perforated sheet metal was, added a four inch plastic water tube that I cut to size and screwed to the rubber flashing, wrap around a string of lights for bling, and I have a very strange looking but extremely functional air duct from the 250mm intake front fan of the Xclio right into the maw of the Noctua!

1zl845v.jpg


I had a horrific runin with Microsoft Stupidity when I couldn't load Win7 since the OS turned off the USB just before the first installation load screen. The silly details are here:

http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1640345

Fortunately I figured it out (disconnect and reconnect the USB keyboard and mouse while AT the installation load screen) but I lost three hours. By now it was late and I really had no choice but to just throw the rest together so that it would work until I could get back to it in a few days, get all my stuff loaded on Sunday, and be ready to work on it by Monday. So I temporarily abandoned my plan to build a really nice mounting bracket for the two SSDs, so I just screwed them to an old 80mm fan. It aint fancy but it works. FFF again!

auv5tu.jpg


Here is the result as of Saturday evening. I still have quite a bit of work to do, cables to hook up and route, etc. but it's not bad if I do say so myself.

2z6xa9f.jpg


Here it is with the door closed.

2j5eh1.jpg


It is incredibly quiet! Even with no other noise in the room it's barely audible from four feet away! That's what I wanted! :D

Well, I got it to the point where I can work on it this week, but by next weekend I have to put in at least another couple of hours on it to tidy it all up! I'll post more pics then!
 

Weeth

Gawd
Joined
Sep 7, 2011
Messages
662
Looks like this weekend is going to be filled with work and baby stuff instead of playing with my case. So all I did was to hook up the front panel (I was turning the system on by the red button on the Asus mobo) and at least I'm happy to announce that the system is working perfectly. With the 250mm, 140mm and 120mm fans set to absolute minimum, I'm getting idle of 29C, have yet to see 40C under regular loads, and the whoosh is only barely audible from my position 4 feet away if the room is perfectly silent and even then it can't be more than about 32 decibels if that. It seems to have met all my expectations! Thank goodness! :)
 

knaSen

Gawd
Joined
Mar 17, 2002
Messages
631
Are you running those m4:s in ahci or raid mode?

If I remember correctly the garbage will stack up pretty fast on those without TRIM-support...
 

Weeth

Gawd
Joined
Sep 7, 2011
Messages
662
I'm running AHCI on strictly default settings on the Asus UEFI. In checking around the net I didn't see anyone recommending that I change those settings. The suckers are crazy fast. I had a Velociraptor boot drive in my old system and it was about 4x slower to launch Win7 and also Photoshop. Amazing. Don't tell me I can get more speed out of them as I am already amazed at the velocity. What about the garbage though? Should I concern myself about that?
 

Weeth

Gawd
Joined
Sep 7, 2011
Messages
662
Actually there is no fan on the Gigabyte card, it's fully passive. Temp has never exceeded 50C yet and every fan in there is set at the absolute minimum speed! :)
 

mannyman

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 12, 2011
Messages
2,854
I said its below it not on it lol It has 2 ssd's mounted to it.

I do know the power of a good fanless gpu cooler my 5770 never exceeds 50c either.
 

Weeth

Gawd
Joined
Sep 7, 2011
Messages
662
I'm really impressed with that fanless 6770. It's running as cool as if it had at least one fan and the performance is more than I need since I don't game.
 

knaSen

Gawd
Joined
Mar 17, 2002
Messages
631
I'm running AHCI on strictly default settings on the Asus UEFI. In checking around the net I didn't see anyone recommending that I change those settings. The suckers are crazy fast. I had a Velociraptor boot drive in my old system and it was about 4x slower to launch Win7 and also Photoshop. Amazing. Don't tell me I can get more speed out of them as I am already amazed at the velocity. What about the garbage though? Should I concern myself about that?

Since you are running AHCI the TRIM is activated. TRIM is not supported while running the SATA-controller in RAID/IDE. So don't worry about garbage then.
 

Weeth

Gawd
Joined
Sep 7, 2011
Messages
662
Since you are running AHCI the TRIM is activated. TRIM is not supported while running the SATA-controller in RAID/IDE. So don't worry about garbage then.

Yeah, I had believed that the best thing to do is to just leave the UEFI settings alone for the SSDs, thanks for confirming that for me! :)
 
Top