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Project Solace: extremely quiet SFF

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Captain Slug, 21 Apr 2004.

  1. Captain Slug

    Captain Slug Infinite Patience

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    Well, I've done some more poking about on eBay and I'm about to close on an auction for a Mini ITX board at a ridiculously low price. Thus I have my wheels spinning as to how I want to best utilize my new toy.

    [​IMG]

    On closer inspection the heatsink on the integrated processor is attached via two plug holes. This is something that has intruiged me for quite a while, but in my opinion ITX boards were never worth the extra money. I never felt justified in shelling out $100 or more for a "cute" little mobo when it's as weak (or weaker) than most Pentium II setups.
    However upon finding more inexpensive and lesser-known boards, my old idea came back to life.

    Basically, the C3 series is praised as being easy to cool. From most test results that has proven to be somewhat inaccurate when real-world heat output was on a similar level as the first generations of FC-PGA Pentium IIIs and Celerons. Unfortunately, since the C3 is embedded and the heatsink mounting is not on a standard similar to other available products, many people have heat issues.
    On the other hand, I figured out some alternatives.
    I want a really large heatsink to facilitate better dissipation, but I don't want to occlude any connectors or make the board too much larger.

    Enter, the Zalman ZM80C-HP.
    [​IMG]
    (just imagine that's a dinky motherboard and not a video card)

    It's variable clips and support mechanism should allow me to stack both heatsink arrays on-top of each-other, or on opposite ends of the board. All I need to do is drill another set of holes in each lyaer to mount them in a more central location over the motherboard. Then reverse the mounting arrangement so that the taller piece is resting on the die of the processor.
    A seriously slow fan will then be positioned to the side of the motherboard so that it blows over the length of both arrays. I will probably be using a 60mm vantec stealth or a 7V-reduced 80mm fan indirectly cooling the heatsinks by forcing air to exhaust around it. Either way I shoul be able to cool the entire machine with less than 18dBa.

    I'll figure out the specifics when I have the required parts in my hands.

    It's going to replace my laptop as a File Server/MP3 stereo and might double as an emulation arcade box.
    Essentially I'm hoping to make a machine I can leave on 24/7, and not worry about it when I lug it around to conventions. While my Flamcube is portable enough to take with me to conventions, I was suprised by how un-nerving it was for me to be toting around a $1300 machine that I can't easily replace if it were to be stolen or broken.

    Having something smaller, light, quieter, and cheaper should ease up my conscience a little so I can enjoy the conventions more.
     
  2. Captain Slug

    Captain Slug Infinite Patience

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    Here's a conceptual image of the case construction. I had to visually identify the measurements on the Zalman ZM80C-HP in order to make this.
    This will clarify things, hopefully. The finished machines should measure 8" x 8.5" x 3"
    [​IMG]
     
  3. whiteagle

    whiteagle New Member

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    I think I know why it was so cheap. (check image hosting :worried: )

    Just teasin' ya. I like the sketchup stuff, and I really love the use of heatpipes. Keep up the good work. :dremel:
     
  4. acidbrain

    acidbrain New Member

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    If you want it quiet, these 60mm fans are the best choice.
    I would try one huge 120mm fan on top, running at 5 V.

    Or just go for complete passive cooling :naughty:
     
  5. Shadowed_fury

    Shadowed_fury Active Member

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    very interesting idea with the zalman, good luck with it...
    is this completly fanless? if not i suggest 2x vv'd 80mms, one either side. :D

    Otherwise Keep modding
     
  6. Gordy

    Gordy Evil Teddy

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    I've seen this down with the zalman before it look very nice :)
     
  7. Captain Slug

    Captain Slug Infinite Patience

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    Where?
     
  8. Gordy

    Gordy Evil Teddy

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  9. whiteagle

    whiteagle New Member

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    BTW, I checked out the auction on ebay. I don't know where you got the form factor for sketchup, but considering you did it for a mini itx, you are going to get to do it again. The one on ebay is a microATX, he even says so in the auction. Not a big difference as far as most things go, (mini itx = 170mm^2 and microatx = 244mm^2) but it is enough to throw off sketchup plans.

    Also, you are currently being outbid. I hope you are getting ready to snipe. :naughty: If not the guy has another one with a buy it now for $30.
     

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