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Considering Ducting (mostly out of boredom)


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I received my P160 last December, and it's served me well so far. Considering swapping the Antec window for a flat plexi one, so I can put an etching style logo on it. The LED's will be changed to red soon and I might put another exhaust fan on the top.. it might get some pin striping too.. :D

 

The temp sensors rock, I have one superglued to the side of my cpu's ihs! The other is stuffed into the gpu's hs fins, to get an ambient read from there. The Ultra-D is right at home in there.

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Damnit now I'm worried. As a test run I turned my 80mm fan around in the backpanel and turned it on to simulate when it will be on when attached to the cpu ducting. After about a minute I felt the FRONT side of my case and it was warm. So yeah its getting its air directly from the PSU exhaust. Great :(

 

I guess I'll have to go for plan b and use my top exhaust fan and turn it around to suck in air. The only problem with that is because of the somewhat stupid design on thermaltake's part. The holes are pretty small so I'm not sure how well its going to take in air but at least it wont be hot. Thermodynamics get the best of me once again!

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I got some pic's of my modded top vent, when I get home I will post. SanguineI: do you have any unused drive bays in the front?(I removed my 80mm from the rear because I wanted more air going through the PSU for cooling that part) SanguineI: I have a red plexiglass side panal with a 120mm hole cut into the side (and a filter screen to fit) that will fit your armor side panal ( you do have the window version, correct ) You can have it if you want. ( we live in the same state ) just PM me if your interested. Here's a pic:

 

120mmhole9di.jpg

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Nah I actually just flipped that upper rear 92mm fan back to exhaust and then flipped my 92mm in the "ceiling" of my case to intake. Its pretty much useless as exhaust because the 120mm exhaust pulls away all the heat so it doesn't rise all the way up there. The dots on the top vent actually dont seem to bee to big of a problem. I compared the rear 92mm exhaust and the top 92mm intake (with the high tech method of putting a hand by where the air was moving) and it seems like the vent in the top doesn't hinder the new intake fan. So pretty much I'm just going to suck in cpu air from outside the ceiling of the case. No sources of heat up there so its cool air. It should work.

 

I really hope I get my ducting tomorrow so I can just get this over with lol.

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I don't know if you mentioned this before but did you remove the upper-remote HDD bays. It seems to restrict air to the PSU? What I did for those small holes on top was to drill them out bigger, took my time on it.

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Yeah I got rid of that remote hard drive cage. It seemed like an exceedingly silly place to put hard drives.

 

I'm really going to avoid drilling anything in this mod. Call me chicken but its just something I'm not too comfortable doing.

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Ok good and mediocre news. The good news is that my duct fit without any sort of special taping or anything. I think the fits 60mm, 70mm and 80mm thing was just for the cpu side or something because it fit my 92mm fan like a charm.

 

The mediocre news is that once I got my duct hooked up to my top fan and I think that the plastic "grill" sort of thing on the top of my case is a little more constrictive than I thought. The holes might be a little too small so I'm going to see if my dad has a dremel I can use to maybe make them bigger. I think that coupled with that rather hard bend that the ducting makes to get to the CPU might be hindering the performance. It only dropped my temperature about 1 or 2C consistently, which is fine for 8 bucks and giving me something to do for an afternoon :P

 

Obviously I'm going to see what I can do on this though. Perhaps if I open the holes up a little bit on top I'll see a little more of a difference. Heres a picture of when I got it hooked up to show how I set it up.

 

duct5qh.jpg

 

Edit: Oh yeah and I forgot, on the plus side also is that the cpu fan is now almost completely inaudible when it spins up to 100%, whereas before it was very audiable. Thats cool. Also I was thinking and I think the somewhat unimpressive drop in temperatures might have to do with my fan settings. Before I idled at about 41 or 42C and i set it so the cpu fan would spin up to 100% at 44C so whenever it would get up to like 46, as long as I wasn't stress testing, the fan speed would keep it hovering at about 44C or 45C. I'm not quite sure but maybe this would be cooling down my cpu more if my regular idle temps were lower. I'm thinking that this duct is making it so that my fan doesn't have to spin up to 100% as often, and because the fan isn't at 100% when below 44C, no matter what I do (shy of getting a new heatsink and fan) will keep my temps not too far from about 41C.

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Is that a computer or a Dryer? J/K. drill the solid cover behind the holes also? take your time on the holes. ( start with a small bitt and work your way up until you get the size you like)

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I was pretty sure its that metal honeycomb pattern behind the top plastic part with the holes and those are plenty big. I just don't know why on earth thermaltake would put all this effort into making a well ventillated case and then put tiny holes over the exhaust. Quite silly.

 

Do you think the bend the duct has to make has anything to do with it. Also would it benefit from stretching out the bottom part of the duct so that they are less accordian-folded?

 

lol yeah the duct kind of reminds me of a dryer. It looks like crap in that picture but it doesn't look to bad with my case lights on and everything.

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Please don't take this the wrong way but!!I think you are making this harder than it needs to be. the top grate is for a blow hole which really dosen't do much, and your trying to make it a supply port for your cpu, then your going to find that your sucking too much dust into your computer. If you want to lower your temps inorder to push you OC a little higher then you should go watercooling or your gonna have to spend a little time on modding your case. I really think you need to step back and plan how your going to cool your case. (clean up your wiring, replace chipset fan, replace stock cpu HS, add another fan in the front, install a 80mm exhaust fan below and to the rear of your v-card"just remove the pci port covers)

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Ok, you have the supplies and the motivation to make a ducting system. Let's conduct this as an experiment that is repeatable and think about the major factors that can contribute to the success or failure.

 

You need an external thermal probe to take ambient room temperatures, case temperatures, CPU temps (internal probe for this step), and PSU exhaust temps. We know that the length of the ducting can be a factor as restriction and that the intake and exhaust holes can be a restriction. We also know that fan settings can be a factor if they are not the same in the before and after tests. We also know that the amount of time hot exhaust from GPU and CPU is dumped inside the case can play a factor.

 

Step 1 is to know ambient room temperature and internal case temperature at idle and full burn. Make sure fan settings are setup and do not change during the experiment. Record idle and burn-in temps. Burn-in should be conducted for a fixed , generous amount of time (Maybe 30 mins or 1 hour for temperature stablization)

 

Step 2 install ducting and redo step 1.

 

Step 3 modify intake/exhaust and redo step 1.

 

Step 4 organize and compare data. Formulate conclusion.

 

If you only see 1~2` Clesius drop than I can postulate that your internal ambient case temperatures were already cool or that the CPU intake specifically was not receiving hot exhausted air from other components. However, without seeing all the data it would be hard to say that is true after 1 hour of burn-in since by then the internal case ambient temperatures could rise significantly which would adversely affect the CPU intake.

 

I already had a side panel duct to route fresh air directly to my CPU but I then used ducting to route the exhausted CPU air over the system ram and PWMIC and then had an exhaust fan on the rear side of the case to pull the hot air out. Here is my sample data:

http://www.dfi-street.com/forum/showthread.php?t=41049

 

Temperature readings before modification using Compu-Nurse probe running Prime95 after ten minutes using an 80mm PSU fan, 80mm case exhaust fan, and 92mm CPU intake fan (no other fans in my computer):

 

PSU: 37` Celsius

Ram: 39` Celsius

CPU: 40` Celsius

MOSFETs: 41` Celsius

Case ambient temp: 31` Celsius

Room ambient temp: 25` Celsius

 

Temperature readings after modification using Compu-Nurse probe running Prime95 after ten minutes is:

PSU: 36` Celsius

Ram: 36` Celsius

CPU: 40` Celsius

MOSFETs: 32` Celsius

Case ambient temp: 29` Celsius

Room ambient temp: 26` Celsius

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Ok well a quick update for you all. I was taking in some of the advice I heard here and especially the part about how case air pressure should be neutral or positive. Well I got to thinking and 1 of my 92mm fans was being used to pull in air for my cpu but 1 was in the back as exhaust just blowing out cool air (all my hot air gets sucked out of my case before it rises) and wasn't doing a whole lot but presumably making my air pressure negative (which as we all know now is bad).

 

I also removed my duct from the cpu side so it was just the intake fan and open on the other end, started my computer and felt and it seemed like the intake fan wasn't pushing air through the duct very efficiently through the duct. One thing is that this duct doesn't truely fit 92mm fans becase it doesn't have a tapered "funnel" type adapter, the duct is only a little wider than 60mm no matter what. So what I did was I took my previously useless 92mm fan thats been sitting in the upper back of my case and mounted that to the other side of the duct and orientated it to so that it would continue to pull in air the same direction. Its now mounted right above my cpu's 60mm fan. Heres a super duper text-based diagram:

 

AIR---->[92mm])))))))))))))))[92mm]|[60mm]->cpu

 

And whaddya know. Even without drilling, my idle temps have dropped about 3 or 4C more because the air is getting through the duct efficently. The only hard part was that I didn't have the appropriate screws so I had to rummage through the garage for some that would work.

 

So now my temperatures are actually exactly where they were prior to my overclock! Oh and it seems to deal with being at load a whole lot better. With the duct that I had before with 1x92mm and 1x60mm, running superpi on each core of my X2 could get my temperatures up to about 50C sometimes 51C briefly.

 

Now with the 2x92mm 1x60mm it gets up to 45C and because my cpu fan is set to spin up to 100% at 44C, it stays there until superpi finishes and then drops back down to idle temps promptly. This is all without drilling the top vent. My cpu fan still remains virtually inaudible even at load now.

 

So yeah I'm proud of myself for thinking of this idea. I understand it seems kind of silly and could be overkill when I could just get a new cpu cooler, but you can't argue with getting an overclock you're happy with and keeping the same temperatures that you got without it. Plus if I wouldn't have done this, my extra 92mm would have been useless anyways.

 

I may or may not widen the holes at the top of the case, I found out my dad has a dremel but he only has a grinding bit for it and I'm pretty happy with the results.

 

Edit: Oh and my PWMIC temps are down about 7C or so. That has to be good. Not sure how it happened though. :confused:

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