|27th Nov 2012, 13:12||#81|
Join Date: Jan 2012
Sounds like fun! That was my initial plan aswell, but after a while I decided to cut and fix some things because of how I wanted things to look and act
Have fun with yours! It's really fun and you do learn a lot!
About the PSU and so on it's hard to tell without knowing what brand, wattage and so on. I asked my partners Fractal Design about the maximum temperatures and so on, and from there I made my decision. Due to the fact that my PSU is at 1000W and my computer maybe doesnt even use 150W at the moment, there is no problems cooling it with 2 fans.
About the noise/sound of the fans you could control them via different ways. Thru a external fan-controller or computers software.
About the PSU-setup it's really nice to fit it inside the original G5 PSU-case. It looks soooo much better than just putting a regular PSU in the case.
I wish you good luck with yours! .
An update will be coming up very soon! Maybe today if I manage to!
|27th Nov 2012, 15:53||#82|
Join Date: Jan 2012
Benchmark/Review of Crucial M4 128GB
Here I am with an update with tests and benchmarks. Product presented by:
Crucial M4 128GB
I will in this update do a review of Crucial M4 128GB and show results on the tests I've done.
This SSD has been talked about when it came out and for a while after when it was released. This SSD was one of the more stable SSD's (SandForce was very buggy before) and was cheaper than the Intel equivalent (which cost much more but similar in stability). It is based on the award-winning predecessor, the Crucial c300 which in turn was very good. Therefore, the Crucial M4 is a perfect choice for those looking for a quick and stable SSD.
Crucial M4 comes in a rather handsome and nice packaging. I have been provided the "Data Transfer Kit" edition, a package that contains a number of other stuff to help transfer data from an existing hard drive to the new SSD.
What distinguishes this package from a standard "SSD Package" is the accessories that will help you transfer your existing data.
The package contains:
The dimensions and details of the Crucial M4 128GB:
Read & Write speeds Crucial M4 128GB:
Crucial M4 128GB, according to technical specifications, manage a "sequential read" up to 500 MB / s and a "sequential write" up to 175 MB / s
Simply put, this SSD read data (such as the use of programs and files) for up to 500 MB / s and write data (eg install) for up to 175 MB / s
To make sure that the SSD performs as it should according to information on paper I will test it with three different programs that will test the SSD's read and write speeds.
Programs I will use for benchmarking:
There programs will measure and tests in different ways. The program that you "should" use to get the right results is ATTO. Seems like this is the application that the manufacturers use when they are to specify their SSD's read/write speed. The programs use different measurement techniques and tests, and therefore the results can vary depending on the program. They can also be measured in various ways (compression vs. Uncompressed data).
We start by measuring the Crucial M4 128GB speeds using ATTO.
ATTO Disk Benchmark:
Here are the results and we see that the program tests the reads/writes speed anything from 0.5 KB to 8192 KB (8 MB). The reason that the rate gradually goes up and gets higher is because the 0.5 KB is such a small file that the SSD can not come up to speed before the file is fully transferred / written / read.
This can be compared with a metaphor:
For example, if we measure a Ferrari's top speed. We want to know what the car's top speed is but the distance is only 10 meters. Because the distance is so short (0.5 KB) we can not see the car's (SSD) speed before the test is over. We need a longer distance (larger file transfer / read / write) to see a top result.
We therefore continue to check the results and see that it starts to balance out at 128 KB with reading speed while the write speed has been the same ever since 16 KB.
If we check the actual speed of the axis of the graph we see that the maximum speed I achieved with this test are:
Note that I am running the latest firmware (010G)
The results were shown to be surprisingly good with ATTO's test, so now it's time for the next named AS SSD.
AS SSD Benchmark
As we see, this test looks a little different compared to ATTO.
We test with AS SSD's tool and look at the first line where the figures are the results for "Seq", ie "Sequential Read & Write" that was promised up to 500 MB / s and 175 Mb / s
We get a result of:
Here we can see the access time of the SSD, ie the time it takes for the SSD to locate where the data is.
The access time is usually the "wow feeling" when buying an SSD if you're used to have a mechanical hard disk.
An access time of Read: 0136 ms (milliseconds) is extremely fast as compared to a mechanical hard drive 7200 RPM where access time is usually around 4.16 ms.
This means that a solid state generally has a latency that is over 30 times as fast of a mechanical drive.
Read / Write is usually the most common measuring of the SSD's, but there is also something called IOPS. IOPS stands for "Input / Output Operations Per Second" ie how many instructions that are made per second. The higher the faster and that we can measure this in AS SSD Benchmark.
Crucial M4 128GB promise "4KB Random Read: Up to 45.000 IOPS" and "4KB Random Write: Up to 35.000 IOPS".
AS SSD gives us the ability to measure IOPS, so let's do it!
Since Crucial specifies that the Crucial M4 128GB max IOPS is at "4KB Random Read and Write" we look at those results.
Crucial promised up to 45.000 Read and I got over 55,000. This is a result of over 20% higher than SPECIFIED. Is it the latest firmwares that have increased this or? Anyway, the result is good! (If I've done this correct).
Crystal Disk Mark
Now we will try the SSD's performance in the last, but not least, Crystal Disk Mark.
Crystal Disk Mark is a benchmark / test program that looks small, compact and easy. As we see, the results are very easy to read and and the test is very easy to start.
Here we see everything from the "Sequential", 512k, 4k and 4kQD32. One can also, as in the other programs select other settings.
We get the following results:
As we can figure out ourselves this is a very good result as it is in compliance with what Crucial specifies (Read: 500 MB / s, Write: 200 MB / s) and is only a few digits from the "maximum value".
Accurate results and no problems or errors at all!
Data Transfer Kit
This SSD package contains something called "Data Transfer Kit", a couple of extra stuff to transfer data. This is very convenient and easy and something you can get great benefit from the purchase of an SSD.
The included stuff is a USB-SATA cable and drivers.
So how do we get it to work? We can start by inserting the supplied CD or download the program called "EZ GIG IV".
After that we will connect the SATA connector to the SSD and then put the other end into any USB port on your computer (to the computer from you would like to take data.)
Once this is done, it will pop up a box saying that a new device has been found. In my case, this unit (the SSD) is my primary hard drive in my desktop computer and therefore there are a number of files/folders on it right now.
Let's say that the SSD has never been used, then it will be empty.
Let's imagine that I have a desktop computer and I bought a Crucial m4 128GB with Data Transfer Kit. I want to get over all the data from my current hard drive to my new SSD, this is entirely possible, and it is included in this package!
We start up the program EZ GIG IV and met this welcome screen.
Here we can choose if we want to start the program or write down the program on a portable medium. (such as a DVD)
The program is very simple to use and it is obvious how to get on. The creators of the program have a full guide on how you use the program completely, so therefore, I find it quite unnecessary to display the exact same thing. Instead, I will link to their official guide and show you a few pictures of what it looked like to me.
Here you will find their guide if it interests you:
EZ GIG GUIDE IV
Below are a few pictures from when I tested the program.
Selecting the disk to copy from
Selection of disk to write to
After the selections, we will be able to select "Advanced Options" and "Data Select".
Data Select - Here we can exclude files that we do not want to transfer
Data transfer/copy started (picture taken from EZ GIG GUIDE IV)
In addition to transferring the operating system/primary disk data to your new SSD I came up with a very good thing. One can use the SSD as a portable medium. Using the supplied SATA-USB cord can bring their primary disk and transfer files "on the fly". This can be extremely useful as it can quickly connect/disconnect from a computer. Though of course there are USB flash drives that can transfer files between your computer, but this way you eliminate one "stop" in the procedur, let me demostrate.
When transferring via USB you have to go the following way:
Computer - USB - Computer
So, first you insert the USB into a computer, transfer the file to the USB and then remove the USB.
Then you plug the USB into another computer and then transfer the file.
With a USB-SATA cable and a portable SSD you can reduce the steps, then you'll need only two steps.
Computer - Computer
Because the file is on one computer, you can directly transfer it to the SSD via the cable. Then you only need to plug in the SSD in your computer and the file is on your computer. This eliminates one step.
I thought this was very good and I find it very useful, eg When I want to transfer a file from my laptop to my desktop, but it takes too much time over the network or USB. Then this SATA USB technology is very useful to me! (I just tried it and it was less of a pain. The only negative thing is that the main computer has to be shut off because the SSD has been removed, but with a SSD like this the computer will boot/turn on in no time again!)
So you can use the included "Data Transfer Kit" and transfer existing data / OS to your new SSD, or use your SSD as a portable medium. (No software is required for transfer).
We have now, with three different benchmark / testing program found and seen that the Crucial m4 128GB is performing as it should. (and in some cases even better)
It keeps promised speeds and sometimes even more than what is promised. It is also one of the more stable SSD's which is something to value! Even though it has been around for a while, it is still an option among all SSD's available
As many people will notice when they compare SSD's that they want to buy, it is that the Crucial M4 has a write speed of 175mb / s, which is a bit lower than other competitors. Personally it is not something I usually think about when choosing a SSD or prioritize for that sake. The reason is that you do a lot more reading from an SSD than you write to it. Writing will occur for instance during installations and transfering of data. Reading on the other hand will occur when you are using programs, start up games and anything else that needs to be "read in". I personally prioritize stability before speed aswell
The "Data Transfer Kit" is very good and can fill different purposes. For me this little can be effectively used and therefore I take it in mind when choosing a SSD.
My review for the Crucial m4 128GB :
Compared with mechanical harddrive :
The only "negative" with SSD's compared to mechanical hard drives is the price for each gigabyte.
In the current situation the price is so low that there is no reason not to buy an SSD, it's probably one of the best upgrades you can do to your computer.
Once you get a SSD you never go back!
The amazing speed will be enjoyed. It's not only when you boot your computer as some might think. It's everything basically.
This was my little update on Crucial M4 128GB. Next update will be about the product I have been provided with from Antec and it will be one of the final updates in this project before it is completely finished! After the next review / benchmark, only the final assembly of all components is left and then the project is finished.
Then I will start a new project that is waiting eagerly!
Will be posted here on this forum as well.
Have a nice day and thank you for reading
|10th Dec 2012, 16:38||#83|
Join Date: Jan 2012
Test / Benchmark of Antec Kühler H₂O 920
Here comes an update, which also is the second last of this project, with testing and benchmarks of a product from my partner:
Antec Kühler H ₂ O 920
This update will focus on Antec Kühler H₂O 920. I will show pictures, test it and show off features and such stuff that this cooler brings in it’s package.
A while ago Antec jumped on the wagon with a compact water cooling system with the Kühler series (at time of writing there are Antec Kühler 620 and 920).
The CPU cooling solution is made by Asetek (a major manufacturer that manufactures compact water cooling system to many companies like Antec, Corsair, etc.).
Antec Kühler 920 in this case is a compact water cooling system with a radiator of 120mm with 2 supplied fans 120mm each.
Let's test it!
The package for this product looks like. ( To see more pictures of the package and unboxings look at my previous update "UPDATE 15/6 2012 ").
What contained in the package and information:
Antec Kühler H ₂ O 920 is a CPU cooler with water to cool the processors very efficiently. Water has a better ability to absorb heat than air is which in turn says that water will give better results than air cooling. We see this even if we look at the real water cooling, but which is more expensive.
A compact water cooling system is maybe the best of two worlds. You get water cooling which is theoretically better (depends on models compared) than air (theoretically, there are air coolers that are damn good) while you avoid all the work behind a real water cooling setup (as many different components to be picked up, entertainment of the system, replacement of fluids mm) and the cost.
Before I begin testing the CPU cooler and its capabilities, I want to go through the features included in the software named "Chill Control V".
Chill Control V is a software developed by Asetek where you get opportunities to set very useful settings on your Antec Kühler.
Lets go through the application step by step!
This is how Chill Control V looks when you open it. It is a program with a very simple graphical interface and very easy to navigate in and change things.
Here at the " dashboard " tab of the program, we can see very interesting and useful values (minumum and maximum) such as:
The next tab is " graphs " and here we can see how the water temperature and the fan speed has changed over time.
We see that in this particular case, the water temperature had a constant value of 30c while the fans have gone from about 750 RPM - 1000 RPM.
Very good feature if you want to keep track of the water temperature and fan speed while doing different things.
Note: The water temperature is not the CPU/Core temperature. The water temperature is the temperature which the water inside the compact water cooling system has.
The third tab is named " Fan Control " and here we have the opportunity to change some things.
The first title is called " Liquid Temperature Fan Control " and using the values here, we can regulate how fast we want the fans to spin at a certain temperature.
In this picture you can see " Fan Ramp Start temp " on 25c and " Fan Ramp Speed Temp " on 40c.
This means that when the water is 25c the fans will start to increase in speed, and when the water temperature reaches 40c, the fans spin at maximum speed.
Very good feature when you can find himself a very good "sweet spot", ie values that have a very good balance between noise and cooling ability.
We also have a box with the title " Notifications ."
Here we can set to include the program to warn us / notify when a certain value is reached.
Something that appears at the top right corner of the application is the three different profiles you can have for this cooler.
These are termed " Extreme ", " Silent " and " Custom ."
During last but certainly not least the tab named " Settings " we find some fun things.
Here, we first choose if we want to display temperature in Celsius (c) or Fahrenheit (American system).
We can then choose whether we want the program to start in the background and at startup. We can if we want, let the program write a log every X seconds and statistics of X minutes.
At the bottom of the page we can select the color of the LED on the cooler block. This was a feature that I thought was lovely which you can match with your computer's colors.
The colors are added using the RGB color scale . RGB consists of 3pcs main colors - Red, Green, Blue, and the values range from 0-255.
If you want a completely red color so it should stand as on my picture, 255 in Red and 0 on the rest. If you want a different color, such as Yellow, it is 255 for Red, 255 for Green and 0 on the Blue.
To find the RGB values for your desired color look up your desired color, then find the RGB values.
Photos of how colors look on the CPU cooler is shown below.
Last but not least, we can change "Skin" on the program, and you can choose between " Night " and " Ocean ."
Ocean gives a blue color theme.
Here we have an image of what the program looks like when it runs in the background and when you have it in a tab.
The program can be set as a icon in the side at the bottom right, which I think is useful, while it shows the current water temperature in the cooling system.
LED on the CPU Block
I showed you a moment ago that you could, using the supplied software, choose any color LED on the CPU block to have.
I thought I could show you a number of colors I tried to show you how it might look.
Here we have a red color that is attractive to all motherboard / graphics card with red accents.
Here is a picture with a couple of other colors I've tried. Being able to choose exactly what color you want is a big plus, and could probably be hugely valued by some people. (note however that the light does not get the same kind of "spread"/glow around them in reality, this is made by the camera).
As I said I controlled colors using the RGB color space, so just experimenting with colors and / or enter the RGB values for that color you want! Very neat to have the right color to match your PC build.
Obviously it will be benchmarks of the CPU cooler. No cooler's worth watching if you do not mention how it performs, and relate to other coolers.
Since this is my only cooler apart from the one you get with an Intel processor, so I will compare Antec Kühler H₂O 920 with Intel's stock cooler.
I will use Intel Burn Test to stress the CPU as much as possible. Intel Burn Test get your CPU much hotter than Prime95 capable of, which is good for testing and to check on the temperatures under extreme load.
To measure the temperatures I use both Real Temp and Open Hardware Monitor .
Real Temp can read the processor speed and load while the Open Hardware Monitor can read voltages and other relevant values.
The benchmarks will be done on a system with Intel Core i7 3770k on an open test bench where there are no other fans. The processor runs at stock settings, which means a turbo of 3.9Ghz
Here's how it looks before the test. ( Yes, the hard drive is located on top of candles, works great!
We start by running a round IBT (Intel Burn Test) with the profile " Silent " to see what we get for results.
Silent is as I said the profile for optimal silence and does not take very much into account to get good temperatures, but for optimal silence it’s great.
We can use the screen shot to see that the maximum temperature on the processor has been 77c .
We also see that the temperature of the water is 40c . Something that is important to consider in this case is that the test is performed on an Intel Ivy Bridge processor, and these processors have problems transferring the heat from the cores to the surface of the CPU casing, which can cause high temperatures and / or that the cooler is not able to get all the heat (because of the processor, not the cooler).
We also see that the fan speed is very low 600-700 RPM , which is very quiet and therefore the profile is named "Silent".
We drive another round of IBT but this time with the profile " Extreme ."
Extreme is the default profile that does not take into account the noise level but cools extremely .
We take a look at the screenshot and see major differences from the profile "Silent".
The processor highest temperature is 63c , which is 14c cooler than the profile "Silent".
Note again that there had been another processor where the heat transfer is optimal differences had probably been different.
We see fairly big differences in the other values as well. The water temperature is down to 29c ,compared to 11c lower than before. However, the noise and the fan speed increased enormously - Entire 2200-2300 RPM - Over three times as fast as the profile "Silent".
Last but not least we go with another round IBT with the profile " Custom ."
As I mentioned earlier, it allows the "Custom" profile us adjust how and when we want the fans to start spinning, which can lead us to find a good balance between noise and cooling performance. As we looked at a picture before my settings were "Fan Ramp Start temp ' at 25c and ' Full Speed Fan Temp" at 40c.
This gave me a good Balance between noise and performance. What values that suit you is different and may depend on several factors, such as tolerance to sound, how good cooling you want, how cold your room is / computer chassis etc.
We read of the values at the screenshot below and see that the maximum temperature had been achieved during the test is 67c . This is only 4c hotter than the "Extreme" profile. The water is also at 32c , only 3c warmer than last.
We can also see that the fans have gone in 1300-1500 RPM , which is a full 800 rpm lower than in the "Extreme"!
Noise difference between 1500 RPM and 2300 RPM is huge! Sure, the 1500 RPM is not as silent as the profile "Silent", but much quieter than the Extreme.
I thought this was a good balance because it became only 4c hotter than the Extreme, but without the extremely high noise. With this custom profile, I can actually sit at the computer at full load without irritating me at the noise level.
Performance against Intel bundled/stock cooler
Now, we have tested the Antec Kühler 920's three different profiles due to software Chill Control V
We have received the results of the temperatures during tough load, but how do we know if these temperatures are good?
I take and run the same test but with Intel's stock cooler supplied instead.
It's a small cooler with a small fan.
The stock cooler is the cooler that comes with most CPUs in the purchase. These coolers are no performance monster, but they usually manage to cool the processors reasonably good, often at the cost of noise. Should I overclock or want a quiet system, an aftermarket cooler is almost a must ( Antec Kühler 920 is an is an aftermarket cooler ).
We run the same test again, but now the difference is that we replaced the Antec Kühler H₂O 920 with Intel's own included stock fan.
The processor comes up in scary high temperatures and I turn off the test before it is finished running. Temperatures are almost harmful and nothing I would expose my computer to. We see that the processor reaches a temperature 92c and had probably gone higher if I let the CPU load even more. The fan is running at 2100 RPM (something that seems to be the maximum value of this cooler?) However, the cooler is pretty quiet for being a stock cooler, but what does it do when the temperatures are soaring? The fan is self-directed and therefore I can not affect it without third party software.
Results Intel "stock cooler":
Difference between profiles and cooler
To compile the results between Antec Kühler 920's of different profiles and Intel bundled CPU cooler I have made a small bar graph.
We see in the graph which profile / coolers that run and what the temperature has been under heavy load of the processor using Intel Burn Test (the program can be used on AMD computers, do not let the name fool you).
We see that the difference between Intel's bundled cooler and Antec Kühler 920 on "Extreme" is 30c. This is a huge difference. The difference between the stock cooler and the profile "Custom" is 26c, a very big difference there as the "Custom" profile has a very tolerant noise level.
"Silent" profile is both quieter and performs better than the Intel stock cooler. It is 16c cooler while it is quieter at the same time!
Here we can easily see how much difference there can be in the supplied cooler and if you buy another one, especially if it is a good model, like the Antec Kühler H₂O 920.
|10th Dec 2012, 16:39||#84|
Join Date: Jan 2012
We have now tested Antec Kühler H₂O 920 and all its functions. Everything from different profiles to control how the fans behave, to features such as changing the color of the LED lamp, graphs of water temperature, etc.
I am very pleased with the cooler and its features. It was easy to install and get running and never had any problems with it (the software is stable, never crashed). And that is whips stock cooler is not something I'm surprised, but it's always nice and fun to confirm that it can be so huge differences in temperatures depending on the cooler you have
Thanks to an aftermarket cooler I can maintain temperatures at comfortable levels and the noise level as well. It also allows some overclocking because of the improved cooling ability compared with the supplied stock cooler for the processor.
For those who are looking for overclocking, a quieter system or a colder system / processor then the Antec Kühler H₂O 920is an excellent choice. That it is a compact water cooling system makes it even more interesting, especially if you are interested in water cooling. Being able to change the color to any such on the block of the cooler is something I think a lot of great value when you can match it to the color theme of the computer. I myself thought at first that it would not be very useful, but once I tried it was actually a very nice feature.
The cooler can be installed without problems as an exhaust in the back of the chassis or the intake, try what works best. Can also be placed on the top if you have air vents there.
I think the cooler is very nice to have and it has to do with both how it performs and the included software is actually really good.
I believe that Antec Kühler H₂O 920 is a very good and competent cooler that probably suit most people's needs.
Are you looking for water cooling at a price that does not cost a fortune (real water is much more expensive), it's definitely an option to have the binoculars when looking for coolers.
I give Antec Kühler H₂O 920 4.5 / 5 cakes .
The only minus is that the price can be fairly juicy. The CPU block also has a small buzzing sound, but this is the pump working and unable to depart. There is only if you have your ear close to the CPU block and can not be heard when the computer is in the chassis.
This test and little review of Antec Kühler H₂O 920was the second last update of this project before I'm completely done!
Next update will involve installation of "MacBuntu" and photographs of the chassis with its contents.
I thank you for reading and if you have any question, point of view or comment, feel free to write!