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Cooling HDPLEX NUC KIT

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Goatee, 31 Jul 2019.

  1. Goatee

    Goatee Well-Known Member

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    Earlier in the year I acquired a eGPU box with the aim of making a 2 part gaming system for use when travelling.

    I had been searching for a while for a ITX motherboard with 40gb/s thunderbolt 3 compatibility but they don't seem to be around, so I ended up picking up a NUC.

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    The NUC is a NUC8i7BEH, which uses an i7-8559U CPU

    "Core i7-8559U is a 64-bit quad-core high-end performance x86 mobile microprocessor introduced by Intel in early 2018. This processor, which is based on the Coffee Lake microarchitecture, is manufactured on Intel's improved 14nm++ process. The i7-8559U operates at 2.7 GHz with a TDP of 28 W and with a Turbo Boost of up to 4.5 GHz. " Linky - WikiChip

    I was generally pleased with the out the box performance and the thunderbolt 3 works well with the eGPU.

    There were some issues, that I started to look to fix.
    1. Temperature - the CPU runs hot, I was regularly seeing temperatures up into the 90's (C not F).
    2. Noise - The little fan on the stock cooler makes a bit of a racket while trying to tame the CPU in BOOST mode.
    I'm not going to write tons of info about the stock performance, there are loads of reviews online if your interested.

    So I set about researching passive cases for the 8i7BEH. My options appeared pretty limited with the two main cases I was looking at being made by Akasa.

    The Plato X8 (~2.3l) or Turing (~2.6l).

    [​IMG][​IMG]


    The Plato still got to some high temperatures (users reported in some cases still getting high 80's) and the Turing was my only real option. I was about to pull the trigger when I came across a forum post elsewhere where someone had said Larry over at HDPLEX was planing to release a nuc conversion kit for his H1 case.


    While this is a bigger case at around 4.5l it would allow mounting of the AC-DC inside the case (meaning I wouldn't need a powerbrick). I also already had a H1, although an earlier V1 version.


    [​IMG]

    I contacted Larry and he agreed to sell me a development version of the NUC kit that he was developing. As I am using V1 of the H1 case, I would need to do a little modding to make it fit but this would not be necessary in the final commercial version of the kit.

    A week later a little parcel arrived. Inside was a 80W AC-DC unit, a collection of USB Cables, a 8th Gen NUC backplate and the HDPLEX 7th / 8th gen CPU block.


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    I stripped down my existing build in the H1
    [​IMG]

    Then fitted the new backplate, drilling and tapping a few holes to keep it in place as my V1 wasn't supported out the box.
    [​IMG]

    I then needed to tap a few holes on the CPU plate (only required because its a dev unit)
    [​IMG]


    Then fitted the CPU plate to the board, using some M2.5 screws provided
    [​IMG]
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    I then measured up for the new nuc standoff's on the case floor (I understand from Larry he will have these as part of the H1.v3 released later in the year), then drilled and tapped the holes to support the 17mm standoffs Larry had sent me.
    [​IMG]

    I fitted the AC-DC unit and the heatpipes and connected everything up.
    [​IMG]


    I'm currently waiting for some 5.5 / 2.5 male DC connectors to arrive to allow me to wire the AC-DC into the NUC board, so at the moment despite having it all in the case I am still using the external brick.

    The results!
    [​IMG]

    Temperatures:

    Desktop usage, general internet browsing and writing this forum post temperatures are stable around the low 30C (High 80's F).

    A 45 minute Prime 95 burn in gave stable temperatures in the low 60C (~150F)

    The initial turbo the chip runs for (~60 seconds) will take the chip into the 70's C (~170F)

    Noise: None!

    I will look to use the intel XTU software to increase some turbo durations and play around with the wattage as I have some significant thermal headroom to play with.

    Future stuff to follow:
    • Make a custom cable to use the AC-DC
    • Play with power settings and duration's
    • Do some benchmarking with the eGPU
     
    Last edited: 31 Jul 2019
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  2. Goatee

    Goatee Well-Known Member

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    My Nuc is now powered by the Plex thanks to a nifty little adaptor I knocked up.

    Or if you @MLyons its a self powering wonder machine.

    [​IMG]

    I'm just playing around with the intel XTU settings to see if I can get some additional performance out of it. I don't have a scoobies what I'm doing and I cant seem to get timestrike to run. It keeps hanging at discovering system info. (Apparently its a known bug)
     
  3. MLyons

    MLyons Half dev, Half doge. Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    power out goes to power in. Seems to pass the barrier on the doge scale to me so is therefore magic.
     
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  4. jinq-sea

    jinq-sea 'write that down in your copy book' Super Moderator

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    With all of that AC-DC, I'd say you're on a self-powered highway to hell.
     
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  5. Goatee

    Goatee Well-Known Member

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    After updating windows to the latest release I finally got 3DMark to run.

    NUC: Linky 1

    Left is stock settings, right is with increased turbo durations and wattage.
    ~15% increase in CPU performance, 7% GPU performance.

    NUC and eGPU: Linky 2

    Left is stock settings, right is with increased turbo durations and wattage.
    ~15% increase in CPU performance
     

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