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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Hardware
Quicktest: passive graficschip cooler, and several fans
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MU


Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 13644
Location: Karlsruhe, Germany

PostPosted: Tue 27 Jan 2009, 11:56    Post_subject:  Quicktest: passive graficschip cooler, and several fans
Sub_title: how to get a almost quit system for 30 Euro
 

This thread documents, how I tried to get an almost silent computer.
I'll post links to products, that were interesting, and also to ones I finally bought.
Read the last message to see the conclusion.
You will need around 30 Euro to achieve this.

The other messages document the temperature values I measured, and describe my subjective impression of the noise I heard.

*******************************************************************

I had received a graficscard sapphire Ati 4850 "DualSlot" as a present this month.
http://www.kmelektronik.de/main_site/static/products/18/0_yes_0_19718_newprod_detail.stat.php
It is extremely fast, and works well with the propriatary drivers in Newyearspup (xorg 7.4).
Just games in Wine using pixelshaders do not work, a problem with the fglrx driver in general.

The card has a very loud fan, so I looked for more silent solutions.
After reading some reviews, I bought:
Arctic Cooling Accelero S1 Rev.2
http://www.kmelektronik.de/main_site/static/products/84/0_yes_0_16284_newprod_detail.stat.php
The sapphire 4850 "DualSlot" is not officially supped, but works, despite the fact, that it uses a non-standard layout.

I also bought an addon with 2 small fans:
Arctic Cooling VGA Turbo Module for Accelero S1
http://www.kmelektronik.de/main_site/static/products/96/0_yes_0_15696_newprod_detail.stat.php
As the 4850 is a "high end chip", it uses a lot of power, and I was sceptical, if a passive solution really would not become too hot.

I have read, that the small coolers for the RAM chips sometimes fall down, so you should buy cooling-GLUE (what is something different than cooling-PASTE).
I could not get this here, so tried it using the orginial included strips only.
Until now (3 days) they hold, but do not give a stable impression.
So I will buy the glue later for long term stability.

Values:
with the original cooler, the temperature is 31 to 39 degree in an open case (I made no tests yet in a closed case).
With the passive cooler, it goes up to 65 degree (playing Riddick in wine).
With the Turbo module, it ranges from 29 to 39 degrees.

Using the fglrx driver, the temperature can be controled with this command:
while [ 1 ];do aticonfig --pplib-cmd "get temperature 0";sleep 1;done

The 2 fans from the turbo module are not loud, even with the open case. You an hear them slightly, but the improvement to the original cooler is extreme.

As they are cheap, I highly recommend to use them, as they reduce the temperature to half the value than running without them (please also read the next messages for alternatives).
I am very happy with this solution: not that expensive (several active coolers cost more), and the computer is pretty low noise now.

Positive:
cheap, good values for temperature, almost silent.
Recommended Smile

Negative:
Just check this before you buy it:
the cooler is so huge, that it may cover the SATA connectors on the mainboard.
On some boards, you might need a 90° adapter to be able to use them.

Mark

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MU


Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 13644
Location: Karlsruhe, Germany

PostPosted: Wed 28 Jan 2009, 09:57    Post_subject:  

the loudest component is the CPU cooler.
The 2 fans from the turbo-module are not completely silent, but make less noise than the CPU-cooler.

I made some more tests, now using a closed box, there are just holes in the side/back of the case, intended to be equipped with fans.

I run no fans for the case, so the only active components are the CPU-fan, the power supply fan (pretty silent), and the turbo-module fans.

By reducing the turbo-module to 5 Volt, they can be heard even less.
This can be achieved, by replacing 1 pin in the adapter for the Floppy-Plug.
It has 4 plugs: yellow (12 V), black (mass), black (mass), and red (5 V).
So I've torn out the pin for the yellow plug, and then stuck it in the red one.

Here are the temperatures:

Quote:
closed box, room temperature 20°:

+turbo 12V desktop: 33°
+turbo 12V Riddick: 48°

+turbo 5V desktop: 39°
+turbo 5V Riddick 57°

no turbo desktop: 53°
no turbo Riddick: over 76°, stopped


So I was right, that a pure passive usage is not recommended.
Sometimes you read that gamers have over 80°, but this certainly will shorten the lifetime of the graficscard massively.
For this reason I stopped my test at 76°.

I plan to buy a new processor cooler, and maybe such an ultra-silent fan to replace the turbo-module then:
Noctua NF-S12-1200
http://www.kmelektronik.de/main_site/static/products/53/0_yes_0_13353_newprod_detail.stat.php
I would run it with 5 V, according to reports, it is unhearable if you are more than 30 cm away from it.
Or better this one, costs just the half:
BN Noiseblocker Black Silent XL1R 120mm
http://www.kmelektronik.de/main_site/static/products/70/0_yes_0_13470_newprod_detail.stat.php
Or 2 of these:
Arctic Cooling FAN AF 8025L 80x25mm
http://www.kmelektronik.de/main_site/static/products/40/0_yes_0_14440_newprod_detail.stat.php
The cheapest, very positive comments

So if I also get a maximum temperature of 57° then, everything should be fine.
I play games very seldom, if I really would have a time playing more, I might increase the temperature up to 12 V (so maybe buy a regulator).

Looking for CPU-coolers, I found 3 models of interest:

Thermalright IFX-14 (60-80 Euro)
http://www.kmelektronik.de/main_site/static/products/59/0_yes_0_15659_newprod_detail.stat.php
It might work passive, there are different reports.
For the Athlon 5050e it might not work.

Thermalright HR-01 Plus + Fan = 60 Euro
http://www.kmelektronik.de/main_site/static/products/44/0_yes_0_16244_newprod_detail.stat.php

Scythe Kama Angle Universal (34 Euro)
http://www.kmelektronik.de/main_site/static/products/79/0_yes_0_20979_newprod_detail.stat.php

The last seems to be the most reasonable.
If the IFX-14 will not run without fan, there is no advantage, but it would cost twice. It also might be mechanically incompatible with my Mini-ATX mainboard.

The HR-01 could be equipped with a fan of free choice like the NF-S12, while
Scythe Kama uses an own construction.
So I am not certain yet, what I will choose.

Mark

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MU


Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 13644
Location: Karlsruhe, Germany

PostPosted: Wed 28 Jan 2009, 19:39    Post_subject:  

ok, was in the shop.
I think I found a cheap solution.

The Athlon 5050e uses a 7 cm fan.
I replaced that with a standard 8 cm fan.
Only the fan, not the whole cooler (the metal base remained).
As the metal base has no holes, I could not use screws.
So I used cablebinders to connect it to the metal mechanism, that snaps the cooler on the board.

The temperature is higher now, and I have reduced the values in the bios, when the fan starts to get more voltage.


running "sensors" (an addon pet):

Original AMD fan:
Code:
k8temp-pci-00c3
Adapter: PCI adapter
Core0 Temp:
             +15°C
Core0 Temp:
             +27°C
Core1 Temp:
             +29°C
Core1 Temp:
             +16°C


With the new Enemax fan:
Code:
k8temp-pci-00c3
Adapter: PCI adapter
Core0 Temp:
             +30°C
Core0 Temp:
             +34°C
Core1 Temp:
             +31°C
Core1 Temp:
             +28°C


Playing Riddic, they increase up to 45°.
I am not certain, what the first and last value stands for (14/16°).
The new values look not critical, though.
And this solution is less disturbing, as the new fan misses the high frequencies I heard with the original fan.
For better results it seems, I really would have to invest in one of the "really big" coolers with heatpipe.
This is the fan I currently use:
Enermax Cluster Lüfter 80mm TwisterTech
http://www.kmelektronik.de/main_site/static/products/37/0_yes_0_19537_newprod_detail.stat.php


I also bought a 12 cm fan to replace the tubo-module of the passive graficscardcooler.
Enermax Everest Lüfter 120mm TwisterTech
http://www.kmelektronik.de/main_site/prod_detail/detail.php?ArtNr=19539&Shop=0

The comments say, it is quiet even at full speed.
I cannot confirm this, it is louder than the turbo-module then.

With 5 volt, it seems to be less loud though, and gives comparable results.
I now run it with 7 volt (connected to the yellow and red pin of the molex-adapter).

Temperatures like this:
Enermax 7V desktop: 36°
Enermax 7V Riddick: 59°

It has a temperature sensor, that I connected to an outer border of the big passive metal cooler.
When I had attached it directly on the heatpipe close to the chip, the cooler always ran full speed.
Now it turns low when I run standard desktop applications, and turns up when I play a game. It then is still acceptable, if you take in account, that games usually have sound, which is much louder.
With the 7 volt, it also is not annoying then as with 12 volt.

Conclusion:
Maybe slightly better results can be achieved with 12 volt, using a voltage regulator.
9 Volt might be a best compromize concerning cooling and noise.
Or I should try to add a second one. It has maybe 60% of the size of the passive metal cooler. As it is pretty quiet at low speed, the second fan might not be louder, but help to lower the temperature again by 5 degree or so.

I have the impression, that now using standard desktop applications, the power-supply is the loudest component.
Before, it was the most silent one.
So the subjective impression confirms, that the new fans are an improvement.

More expensive solutions would not make it more "quiet" I think, but could reduce the temperature further down to get the origial values.
The computer now is more silent than the "virtual" noise I often hear (tinitus), so pretty good to live with Smile
Mark

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MU


Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 13644
Location: Karlsruhe, Germany

PostPosted: Thu 29 Jan 2009, 16:42    Post_subject:  

more results:
In the bios settings, I reduced the temperature settings for the fan to 10/10°.

Now I get:
Code:
Enermax Cluster Lüfter 80mm TwisterTech

k8temp-pci-00c3
Adapter: PCI adapter
Core0 Temp:
             +16°C
Core0 Temp:
             +22°C
Core1 Temp:
             +21°C
Core1 Temp:
             +16°C


You now sometimes hear the fan turning up for some seconds, but this is not too disturbing.
Concerning reliability this certainly is better.

I also tried a cheap 3 Euro fan.
It has no PWM, so always runs at full speed.
It blows so good, that I attached it instead to 5 or 7 volt.
Result comparable to above, with 12 volt, even slightly lower temperatures are reached.
It can be heard very slightly until a distance of 1 m or less, further away I cannot hear it.
Arctic Cooling FAN AF 8025L
http://www.kmelektronik.de/main_site/static/products/40/0_yes_0_14440_newprod_detail.stat.php

It is definately worth a try to test the PWM version, I will buy it in the next days:
http://www.kmelektronik.de/main_site/prod_detail/detail.php?ArtNr=14441&Shop=0

I will also try, how it behaves as a replacement for the turbo-module later.
Mark

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MU


Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 13644
Location: Karlsruhe, Germany

PostPosted: Thu 29 Jan 2009, 19:19    Post_subject:  

Ok, replacing the turbo-module with two Arctic Cooling FAN AF 8025L works great.
I run them with 7 volt.

Code:
Arctic Cooling FAN AF 8025L 7 volt desktop: 37°
Arctic Cooling FAN AF 8025L 7 volt riddick: 54°


Very quiet.

I also tried the big one I had before, now with 12v, and the temperature sensor outside the case, so that it ran with reduced speed.
This gives similar results, it might be slightly louder, but this is hard to say.
As the two 80 mm fans together are cheaper, they should be the better choice.

As I have just 2 of them, I had to use again the expensive Enermax Cluster Lüfter 80mm TwisterTech for the CPU.
It turned out, that the noise it makes is really annoying, when it turns up.
So also here, Arctic wins.

Conclusion:
I could have saved over 30 Euro, for two enemax fans, and the turbo-module.
All three can be replaced by the very cheap Arctic Cooling FAN AF 8025L
http://www.kmelektronik.de/main_site/static/products/40/0_yes_0_14440_newprod_detail.stat.php
Running at 7 volt.

For the processor, the PWM version might be suited better, I will check that next week:
http://www.kmelektronik.de/main_site/prod_detail/detail.php?ArtNr=14441&Shop=0

So the complete upgrade to get a almost silent system would just cost around 30 Euro (20 for the passive Accelero S1 rev2 graficscard cooler, 10 for three Arctic Cooling FAN).

As I now have a 120 mm fan without usage, I placed it on the side of the computer case.
So it directly can blow out hot air from the graficscardcoolers.
It runs with 12V, the temperature sensor outside, so with reduced speed.
The power supply plug I placed in the rear, outside a free slot, so I can plug it in, just when it might be needed (playing games on hot summer days).
Temperatures like this:
Code:
desktop: 30°
riddick: 47°

It is not loud, but slightly hearable and unneded under normal conditions, so it will be switched off by default.

Mark

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Hannah06

Joined: 19 May 2009
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Tue 19 May 2009, 22:00    Post_subject:  

MU wrote:
Ok, replacing the turbo-module with two Arctic Cooling FAN AF 8025L works great.
I run them with 7 volt.

Code:
Arctic Cooling FAN AF 8025L 7 volt desktop: 37°
Arctic Cooling FAN AF 8025L 7 volt riddick: 54°


Very quiet.

I also tried the big one I had before, now with 12v, and the temperature sensor outside the case, so that it ran with reduced speed.
This gives similar results, it might be slightly louder, but this is hard to say.
As the two 80 mm fans together are cheaper, they should be the better choice.

As I have just 2 of them, I had to use again the expensive Enermax Cluster Lüfter 80mm TwisterTech for the CPU.
It turned out, that the noise it makes is really annoying, when it turns up.
So also here, Arctic wins.

Conclusion:
I could have saved over 30 Euro, for two enemax fans, and the turbo-module.
All three can be replaced by the very cheap Arctic Cooling FAN AF 8025L
http://www.kmelektronik.de/main_site/static/products/40/0_yes_0_14440_newprod_detail.stat.php
Running at 7 volt.

For the processor, the PWM version might be suited better, I will check that next week:
http://www.kmelektronik.de/main_site/prod_detail/detail.php?ArtNr=14441&Shop=0

So the complete upgrade to get a almost silent system would just cost around 30 Euro (20 for the passive Accelero S1 rev2 graficscard cooler, 10 for three Arctic Cooling FAN).

As I now have a 120 mm fan without usage, I placed it on the side of the computer case.
So it directly can blow out hot air from the graficscardcoolers.
It runs with 12V, the temperature sensor outside, so with reduced speed.
The power supply plug I placed in the rear, outside a free slot, so I can plug it in, just when it might be needed (playing games on hot summer days).
Temperatures like this:
Code:
desktop: 30°
riddick: 47°

It is not loud, but slightly hearable and unneded under normal conditions, so it will be switched off by default.

Mark

I just wanna say thank you for the information that you have been shared. Hoping that this will not be the last post that I could be read written by you. Wait? Can I know the characteristics of this Arctic Cooling Fan?




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