A different sort of mod...

Rory Buszka

Partition Master
Well, since the completion of my new main desktop rig is all but certainty at this point, I've taken the old components out of my previous desktop machine and put them into the PC that serves music to the stereo in my dorm room (I'm a college senior). The heat-producing components are a GeForce MX440-based video card, the Via KT266 chipset on the Asus A7V motherboard, and an AMD Duron 1GHz processor. The chipset and video card already had passive heatsinks installed. I had a nice passive heatsink from a late Compaq Deskpro that I decided to use on the CPU here. It's so big that it almost touches the heatsink on the northbridge. It was big enough to passively-cool a Celeron 500MHz processor, but the Duron has nearly double the TDP, which was cause for some initial concern. I decided to try the heatsink alone, letting the big 120mm fan in the power supply, but within ten minutes of monitoring it in the BIOS, it stabilized at a red-hot 88 degrees C (over 190 deg. F)! Obviously this would be unacceptable if I wanted any sort of reliability from this machine. My next solution was to build a duct over the PSU fan and the heatsink using the thin Mylar from some inkjet overhead projector slides. I integrated a smaller airflow guide which directed all the inlet air over the CPU's heatsink before it could enter the larger chamber coupled to the PSU's fan. This worked, and the machine idles at 61 degrees C and runs under load at 65 degrees C. These temps are high, but this hardware isn't as important to me anymore as it used to be. And now it's dead silent.

Here's some photos:

The case is an In-Win A500 from back in the day, though it lends itself well to an airflow scheme of this type. In the last photo, the system is upside down, to show the entrance of the duct which passes over the CPU's heatsink.
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The One, The Only...
If and when i get around to building my music only rig, it will be made of wood. And the screen may very well be apart of the case.


The One, The Only...
interesting idea. I like the idea of wood though as I can carve just about anything into it, perforrate it for airflow if needed, and last but not least: design it to any shape or size wanted/needed.

I like the standard computer case, i do. But i think after so much time, technology changing in shape and size, we can do better than the standard verticle tower.