My existing setup as per my present computer details is in a Lian Li case, a Lancool PC-K7B. I’m replacing the motherboard, the RAM and the CPU. I selected a AMD six core CPU, an AMD Phenom II X6 1055T Thuban 2.8GHz CPU,the lower priced version of 6 core AMD CPUs. I’m using a Gigabyte GA-890GPA-UD3H motherboard. Also adding 4GB Mushkin DDR3 PC1600 RAM.
Since my primary encodes are using the H.264 codec, more cores should help shorten the encoding time. This PC presently has a Intel Q9550 CPU overclocked from its stock speed of 2.83Ghz to 3.4Ghz. RAM is also OC’d. My CPU temps are about 62C - 65C during a four core H.264 encode. I would like them lower. I’m using a fairly large CoolerMaster CPU cooler, not sure the model. Directly behind it is a 120mm case exhaust fan. The North Bridge also runs warm, +55C during the long H.264 encodes. I have a Nvidia video card that outputs VGA to my LCD monitor and HDMI to my video projector. It produces quite a bit of heat and noise.
Cost of the project, about $560US.
I was going to keep the Raptor 10K RPM HDD for boot for the new setup, but then I would lose my MS W7 license. I decided to buy a second 150GB Raptor for the converted PC and install W7 on it. The Raptors aren’t as fast as a RAID or SSD setup, but they are proven and are quiet and run cool. IMHO, 150GB is optimal for a OS like Vista or W7. One reason I don’t use my OCZ SSD for boot is it's way too small. I plan to install the Q9550 CPU, MB and RAM into a new case and use the existing Raptor for its boot drive. I ordered a Antec 300 case for this. But that’s later.
A quick look at the parts. The main one is the Corsair H50 liquid CPU cooler. This is the first time I have used liquid cooling. This is an entry level setup, but I’m not into massive plumbing and extreme overclocks, so this should be some improvement over air cooling of the CPU. I will install it with two fans in a push-pull setup. Corsair recommends blowing in outside air for the best cooling performance, but I don’t want to clog the Corsair’s radiator with dust. I’ll use a dual exhaust fan setup with two 120mm PWM (Pulse Width Modulated) fans from Gelid. I have a 4 pin PWM fan splitter cable to distribute the fan power. I’ll cut the RPM sense lead to one of the fans so I get accurate RPM readings.
Both will plug into the MB CPU fan socket. The fans will use internal case air. I’m hoping that the absence of the video card and the heat radiated from the present CPU cooler will lower the case temps enough to make a difference. The North Bridge chip on the old MB is also a source of heat. This new MB has a larger NB HS and a heat pipe from the NB chip to the VR (Voltage Regulator) heat sink. That makes it difficult to change the coolers out to a higher performance version. But the OEM design improvements should help cool the NB. The other parts are the Gelid PWM fans, the Gelid thermal compound, the fan splitter cable and the Mushkin DDR3 RAM.
[Attachment 2280 - Click to enlarge]
The PC before the MB change. The SATA cables are a bit jumbled as I had changed things around a few times. Since the new MB has on-board video with a HDMI socket, I won’t need the large video card. The bottom cables to the left are for eSATA connection. There is also a Promise TX4 300 SATA controller in the bottom PCI slot as I ran out of SATA connections with this motherboard.
[Attachment 2281 - Click to enlarge]
The case cleaned out with all the cables out of the way. I don’t need to remove any of the drives.
[Attachment 2282 - Click to enlarge]
The Gigabyte GA-890GPA-UD3H motherboard. I need to remove the CPU cooler mount and backing plate. The MB is sitting on a anti-static foam and the anti-static bag it came in. The humidity around here was about 3 percent, so static electricity is a big problem.
[Attachment 2283 - Click to enlarge]
I normally use one of these static discharge wrist bands. It plugs into a standard 110V AC line cord. Yeah I know, I don’t like that much either. Instead I usually just take my shoes and socks off and work on the PCs in my bare feet. No static buildup that way. I do touch the metal case to equalize any charge and my workbench has a piece of plate glass for insulation.
[Attachment 2266 - Click to enlarge]
This is the backing plate for the Corsair cooler. They also include one for Intel CPUs. The metal ferrules pop into the holes and the plate is held in place with two pieces of double stick tape to allow you to put it back in the case.
[Attachment 2267 - Click to enlarge]
A picture of the Corsair H50. From left to right, the hold down screws and plastic screw holders. There are adapters for AMD and Intel CPUs. Next is the toothed cooler retainer ring. The cooler has the same tooth spacing, so the cooler can be rotated to about any orientation. The teeth on the retainer go into small slots on the cooler teeth to lock it from any rotation after placement. The radiator is very similar to a auto radiator. It has a solution of ethylene glycol antifreeze to prevent corrosion and water. It’s totally sealed and good for 5 years or so. The end caps of the radiator are expansion tanks for the coolant. To the extreme right is the pump header. It uses a regular 12VDC fan connection. Make sure that fan connector is not speed regulated as the pump needs 12VDC all the time.
[Attachment 2268 - Click to enlarge]
A close up of the retainer ring and cooler. I will remove the thermal compound with 99% isopropyl alcohol and use the Gelid extreme compound instead.
[Attachment 2269 - Click to enlarge]
The CPU cooler that came with the hex core CPU. Actually fairly good quality with a solid copper base, heat pipes and a PWM fan. Probably will use it on another AMD project.
[Attachment 2270 - Click to enlarge]
The cooler with the original thermal compound washed off and the Gelid compound with the applicator. This stuff is really hard to work with. You need to get it spread very quickly or it won’t smooth out. It’s also a bit toxic, though non-corrosive. Wash your hands after use. It’s also a bit pricy, about $13US for the tube here. But it’s supposed to come close to diamond dust compounds for efficiency and rates quite a bit better than Arctic Silver. The surface of the cooler isn’t mirror smooth, but that’s what the compound is for. Most important is if it’s flat. Milled heat sink surfaces warp after a while. If you reuse a heatsink, copper or aluminum, check it with a straight edge and level it with some fine grit sandpaper. I use 1400G, 1200G, 1000G, 800G, and sometimes even 400G wet and dry sandpaper if it’s really warped. Start with the finest and use a piece of plate glass and lots of water with a drop of dish soap. That will show you how warped it is without damaging it. If you need 400G to level it, it’s badly warped. I see that more with solid aluminum HSs.
[Attachment 2271 - Click to enlarge]
The motherboard mounted in the case. I installed the I/O plate that came with the MB and mounted one of the exhaust fans. It’s easier if you temporarily put two fan screws into the fan to hold it in place so you don’t have to juggle the fan and the radiator at the same time. The CPU is also in place. This is one of the few coolers that installs easier when the MB is in the case. In fact I wouldn’t install the cooler when the MB is out of the case as you risk damaging it or the radiator.
[Attachment 2272 - Click to enlarge]
The radiator and cooler attached. Place the retainer over the CPU. You can put on the thermal compound first, but better to do it after the retainer is attached so you don’t drop any dirt on it. Just put the screws in a couple of turns, enough to hold it. Mount the radiator to the fan. It uses four 6-32 screws 1 1/4” long and four washers. The radiator can be mounted in any direction, but the hoses would be close to the power supply the other way. It’s taller than it’s wide, so sideways may be difficult. After the radiator is mounted, then make sure the CPU surface is clean and apply the thermal compound evenly.
Holding up the retainer ring with one hand, position the cooler through the teeth, not touching the thermal compound, and rotate it so the retainer teeth go into the slots on the cooler teeth. Then set it down on the CPU and tighten the four screws. That’s it. Very easy. Next I attached the second fan with four more 1 1/4” 6-32 screws and washers that I got at a hardware store. I used lockwashers on these screws. Probably not necessary, but I don’t plan to check them and the outside ones are very accessible, so no lockwashers needed there. I ran the fan leads with the CPU power cable and cut one of the fan sense leads and plugged the splitter cable into the CPU fan socket. The pump lead was plugged into a nearby power fan socket that doesn’t have speed control.
[Attachment 2273 - Click to enlarge]
A close up of the fan and radiator assembly. Normally Corsair suggests the these fans be set as intake. But I figured the radiator would end up being clogged with dust. The case air is warmer, but I do have two 120mm filtered intake fans on the front of the case. And without the big aluminum CPU cooler and the very hot video card, the case temps should be low enough. I have AC in my home and the temp is set at 80F, so it’s cool enough. (It was 110F outside when I was putting this project together.)
[Attachment 2274 - Click to enlarge]
The case with the wiring managed. I still had some work to do on the cabling behind the HDDs, but that was done before the case covers were installed. I also installed my Promise TX4 card and the PCI eSATA adapter sockets. The small gray coil of wire at the bottom left is part of a S/PDIF to coaxial adapter. The MB has optical audio, but my switcher uses coaxial. I made the adapter out of spare parts. The case has a LG BD ROM optical drive, a Pioneer BD burner and a Sony DVD burner. Below them is a OCZ 60GB SSD drive, then the WD drives, a 320GB, 500GB, 1000GB and the 150GB 10K RPM Raptor for the boot drive. The SSD is much too small for boot with W7, so I use it for the OS page and temp files.
[Attachment 2275 - Click to enlarge]
A shot of the BIOS screen. The CPU is running at 33C and the case temp at 38C. When the OS is running, it will be lower. It showed about 21C at idle with the OS running, but that’s with all the power saving features on. I don’t expect the normal idle temps to be really low like that, but when the CPU is running at 100% on all six cores, there should be a big improvement over air cooling.
[Attachment 2276 - Click to enlarge]
I added this fan bracket from Zalman ( ~$4US) to blow a little air on the NB, the VR heatsink and the RAM. May not do much as it’s a ‘silent’ fan, but I thought there should be at least a bit of air there that the CPU cooler normally supplies. The bracket uses the PCI slot screws to attach, which takes a bit of juggling, but it works well enough. I can add just about any fan if needed. There’s a spare case fan connector nearby also.
[Attachment 2277 - Click to enlarge]
This shot is of the transplanted Intel MB in the Antec 300 case. Not a lot of room for cable management, but it should work OK. I added two front 120mm intake fans to the case. With the Antec fans on high, it is noisy, but it will be in my workshop, and it’s still quieter than my video servers. One thing worth mentioning, if you install a bottom mounted power supply with the fan on top, put a piece of paper or cardboard over the fan while assembling the PC. I didn’t drop anything like a screw in there, but if you did, have a fire extinguisher handy. If it shorts out the primary AC, it will likely do some major damage.
[Attachment 2278 - Click to enlarge]
I ran graysky's H.264 benchmark with these results:
Results for x264.exe v0.58.747
encoded 1442 frames, 77.22 fps, 3905.43 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 76.58 fps, 3905.43 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 76.84 fps, 3905.43 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 77.48 fps, 3905.43 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 22.83 fps, 3965.50 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 22.92 fps, 3965.50 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 22.89 fps, 3965.50 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 22.78 fps, 3965.50 kb/s
Results for x264.exe v0.59.819M
encoded 1442 frames, 77.09 fps, 3892.19 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 70.74 fps, 3892.19 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 76.20 fps, 3892.19 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 75.77 fps, 3892.19 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 24.53 fps, 3972.58 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 24.51 fps, 3972.58 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 24.58 fps, 3972.58 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 24.55 fps, 3972.58 kb/s
I'm very happy with those results for a stock setup. With a bit of overclocking, those should improve even more.
This is a shot of the temps during the encode with the H.264 benchmark, all cores at 100%:
[Attachment 2279 - Click to enlarge]
It maxed out at 36C with 100% on all six cores. The idle temp was about 20C. With a overclock to about 3.4Ghz, should still be fairly cool.
I hope all this gives you some information or at least some idea or comments.
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żis there a good reason for limiting the length of the title of a thread to only 75 characters?
Last edited by Marsia Mariner; 16th Apr 2017 at 23:12. Reason: many people love to misunderstand everything I say.
Hmmm, I have just checked Doom9's forum, and there the limit is 85 characters per title.
Therefore there is no good reason at all... or at least I think so
vBulletin Options -> vBulletin Options -> Message Posting and Editing Options -> Maximum Characters Per Thread/Post Title
Enter a number between 0 and 251.
Last edited by Marsia Mariner; 15th Apr 2017 at 20:05.
I prefer a single line of text for titles. Easier to read and easier to search.
Last edited by redwudz; 15th Jun 2017 at 23:01.
Last edited by redwudz; 15th Jun 2017 at 23:00.
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Last edited by redwudz; 3rd Aug 2017 at 16:48.