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Case Mod - In Progress Streacom DB4 - Clean & Simple

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Lee.iii.Will, 21 Sep 2017.

  1. Lee.iii.Will

    Lee.iii.Will New Member

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    Hello Bit-Tech community,


    I've had my Streacom DB4 in its current state for about 7-8 months now and figured it was about time to share progress and my experience! I set my expectations for this build pretty high and, so far, I've yet to be let down! This setup needed to cover quite a few bases: 24/7/365 up-time, silent operation even under load, aesthetically pleasing, strong performance and acceptable thermals alongside that!


    Let’s start off with the Strong Performance category before we jump into pictures so you know what parts I’ve been using!

    • CPU: Intel i5-4690K
    • GPU: Nvidia GTX 960 2GB SSC ACX2+
    • Motherboard: Asus Maximus VII Impact
    • RAM: Corsair Dominator Platinum 1866MHz(2x8GB)
    • OS Drive: Samsung PM951 256GB M.2 NVMe
    • Fast Storage: Crucial M500
    • Slow Storage: 2x 2.5” 1TB Seagate SSHD
    • PSU: HDPlex 250W HiFi DC-ATX + Dell 330W OEM Brick


    On the topic of Aesthetically pleasing – I’ll just leave these here:
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    Oh yeah, we’re working with the DB4, so aesthetics come with the territory! I really can’t say enough about this case – it’s well built and easy on the eyes from 360 degrees! The criticism I see most with this case is that the I/0 is all downward facing and hard to access but I haven’t really had any problems with that. In fact, I think part of the modern artistic beauty of this case comes from the fact that you don’t see USB ports at first glance, like most cases! I use this in combination with my LG 34UM95 and they seem to pair quite well. I’ve only got 4 cables plugged into the DB4 in most cases: 1x Display Port, 1x Ethernet, 1x power and 1x USB. I use the built in USB3 hub on the monitor for accessories and when I need dedicated USB transfer speed I’ll use the two downward facing USB3 ports on the corner of the case. A good trick to this is using your fingertip at the tip of the USB to guide and feel where the port is;):oops:. After a few months of using the case it’s almost second nature!

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    Part of the aesthetics for me is cable management and sleeving: I’d like the inside of the case to be as beautiful as the outside! I used MDPC-x sleeving for both the PSU cables as well as the Sata cables. I choose Diamond-Red because it’s not overly bright and it matches the motherboard accents. The other color I chose was Titanium Grey, which I feel is a happy medium between the silvers and blacks, blending/tying the color combinations in the case together!

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    Those of you with a DB4 will notice the custom case power button/light cable. This is my one complaint to Streacom with this case, the cable is WAY too short and can’t easily reach the top of the motherboard without putting excess stress on the bins on either board! Finishing out the aesthetics – here are some more pictures! (I’m working towards a better photography setup but this is what I’ve got now.)

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    In terms of 24/7/365 Uptime and reliable thermals – I love the fact that It’s passive!

    I leave this on for the ability to remote in when away from home for file access or local network access as well as for a local file server for media. Over the last seven months I’ve had the occasional reboot and every now and then a power outage but it’s been rock solid in terms of performance! The thermals are great(keep in mind passive thermals, not active).


    GPU Temps:
    • Ambient: 22C
    • Idle: 33C
    • Regular Use: 50-58C
    • Heavy Use: 74-78C
    • Synthetic Bench: 74-78C


    GPU temperatures are to be expected since it’s not fully passive(yet). With the stock cooler the fan doesn’t kick on until 60C and is inaudible until 75C. I haven’t really been extremely motivated to mod the GPU to use the other two case panels yet, but that is the next step with some extra parts on the way from Streacom(Thank you Streacom!) as well as some straight heat pipes on the way from China! I’ve lacked the motivation because when the GPU fan is at its loudest I can still hear a 2.5” HDD spin up louder than the fan(Yes, the stock cooling is that quiet)!


    CPU Temps:
    • Ambient: 22C
    • Idle: 29-32C
    • Regular Use: 46-50C
    • Heavy Use: 60-65C
    • Synthetic Bench: 70-73c


    CPU Temperatures have been consistent over the last seven months and I’ve only noted a few C fluctuations when ambient temps change. I have a small undervolt on the CPU(I believe -.007 or -.07?) It does help with thermals by about 5C in my testing. Under heavy multitasking loads, as seen above the highest I’ve ever noted the CPU temp was 65C, never the 73C reached with synthetic stress tests. Keep in mind that the 4690K is an 88W TDP Processor so it’s well within Streacom’s ratings for two panel cooling(105C).

    I’m sure some of you may have already noticed from the above photos, I’m not using the stock LH6 heatpipes. Since I wanted to use the Impact VII and it’s large power ‘daughter card’ I was going to have to find another solution to the LH6 heatpipes.

    Here are the stock LH6 heatpipes(USB for Scale):
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    Here is one of the stock CPU Heatpipes:
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    Here is my first Mockup/custom LH6 replacement:
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    I didn’t like this design because there wasn’t enough contact on the CPU heatsink OR the side of the case. Since I was going for maximum surface area I went back to the drawing board.


    Here is an extra (worst quality) of the current LH6 replacements:
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    This is the variant I choose to use after thinking things through. It allows > 114mm surface contact (both LH6 contacts) on the side of the case(centered as well) AND full contact on the CPU side without interfering with the power daughter card on the Impact VII.


    Here is a shot of them all together (minus the stock LH6 pipes since they are still unopened):
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    The plan moving forward is to mod the GPU to make it completely passive, as I’ve seen in the other DB4 builds here. After that upgrade I’d like to experiment with the idea of more than six heatpipes coming from each heat source(CPU / GPU) over a larger surface of the side panel to see how much real world (thermal)performance can be gained. I’d love to upgrade the hardware to possibly a z270 setup with an i7, the HDPlex 400W and some 5TB Seagate 2.5” drives or 1TB+ SSD’s.

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    Stay posted for modifications to the cooling and possible hardware changes!
     
  2. Lee.iii.Will

    Lee.iii.Will New Member

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    Small Update:

    Got some parts in from the awesome team over at Streacom! This will be the start of the upgraded cooling and the conversion of the GPU to make everything passive!

    Streacom sent me over seven(!) more side panel heatsinks as well as another CPU block/shim setup! I plan to use the extra CPU block for the GPU and the extra contacts should allow me two contacts per side! Lots more surface area for heat transfer!

    Here's some more pictures that I took if you're into that kinda thing!


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    Thanks again for looking and stay posted for more updates!
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  3. kim

    kim Active Member

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    not so simple IMO, but absolutely clean that's a fact, great build sir
     

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