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Burning Barracudas

Discussion in 'Recording' started by David French, Nov 5, 2004.

  1. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    My two Seagate Barracuda SATA drives are just too hot. During operation, you cannot leave your hand in contact with them for more than two seconds without getting burned. Naturally, I am worried about them. I have worked very hard to ensure that my PC is extremely quiet, so I want to avoid installing a third fan at all costs. The only alternative I see is something like this. Does anyone here have any experience with these or similar products? Will they get me into safe temperatures in a low airflow environment? I am using the Nexus Breeze case and my drives are stuck up in the 5.25" bays, suspended in ubber bands right now to keep the noise down. :shock: Anyone?
     
  2. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Big_d, have you seen this? I was hoping to get your input namely.
     
  3. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    Yeah David I saw your post I'm doing a little research to find the best way to deal with your problem. The heat pipes have been known to work but I'd like to see if there is a better way without heat pipes or fans. I'll get back to you on it.
     
  4. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Thanks D :) I don't mind heatpipes, but it sounds like you do. Is there a reason I should avoid this approach if possible? What other method could there be? Also, do you know if heatpipes depend heavily on airflow or might they work in an area such as the one I have described?
     
  5. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    Airflow certainly helps, that's why I'm looking into this. I know of several ways to handle this but I want to find the best way for your requirements. I looked at your case and am wondering how the drives are arranged. Let's call the top bay #1 and bottom #5 how are your CD/DVD/HDD's arranged.
     
  6. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    Airflow certainly helps, that's why I'm looking into this. I know of several ways to handle this but I want to find the best way for your requirements. I looked at your case and am wondering how the drives are arranged. Let's call the top bay #1 and bottom #5 how are your CD/DVD/HDD's arranged.
     
  7. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    Airflow certainly helps, that's why I'm looking into this. I know of several ways to handle this but I want to find the best way for your requirements. I looked at your case and am wondering how the drives are arranged. Let's call the top bay #1 and bottom #5 how are your CD/DVD/HDD's arranged.
     
  8. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    Airflow certainly helps, that's why I'm looking into this. I know of several ways to handle this but I want to find the best way for your requirements. I looked at your case and am wondering how the drives are arranged. Let's call the top bay #1 and bottom #5 how are your CD/DVD/HDD's arranged.
     
  9. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    Airflow certainly helps, that's why I'm looking into this. I know of several ways to handle this but I want to find the best way for your requirements. I looked at your case and am wondering how the drives are arranged. Let's call the top bay #1 and bottom #5 how are your CD/DVD/HDD's arranged.
     
  10. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    Airflow certainly helps, that's why I'm looking into this. I know of several ways to handle this but I want to find the best way for your requirements. I looked at your case and am wondering how the drives are arranged. Let's call the top bay #1 and bottom #5 how are your CD/DVD/HDD's arranged.
     
  11. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Dude, the same $*^t just happened to me! I only had a triple post, but then the whole thread disappeared! This place is haunted!

    Anyway, I have a CD burner in the top 5.25" sopt, then the remaining 5.25" spots are open for the two SATA drives. That's all I have.
     
  12. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    Oh man I thought I deleted your post somehow. I was trying to figure out how I was going to explain that. That was really strange. I had another thing happen, I joined the RO club on Wednesday, up until then I was getting PM's then as soon as I signed up I get a message that I'm in a restricted area and can't recieve PM's because it's only for club members. Go figure, I sent an email to the admins I'm sure they'll straighten it out ASAP. It's Halloween a week late.
     
  13. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

  14. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    Ok David I have some ideas for cooling your drives and I think the heat pipes are a good starting point. I'll get back to you Sun. afternoon as I'll be out in the morning. I'll give you the details then.
     
  15. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Thanks a bunch, D :D
     
  16. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    Hey David, sorry it took so long to get back to you. I wanted to get some good info on your case as it's an unusual design. I found what I was looking for and more. The problem isn't so much the airflow into the case as it is where the air is going and how much is being purged from the case. I suspected that the incoming air never reaches the drives and that was confirmed in a review by my most trusted site.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/howto/20041020/case-13.html

    It seems to be a very well built case but airflow to the drives seems to have been overlooked. They did a great job of balancing the airflow by using a 120mm in and 120mm out and sealing the case to maintain the flow. The 36cfm for fans in a system that isn't running a super fast 3D video card is decent for a low noise system. IMO 2 - 120mm ins and 2 - 120mm outs or even 80mm's with a speed controller would have been a better for this case but I didn't design it so it's all academic at this point. Nexus didn't give us a way to get air to the drives in the best way and you want to keep it quiet so you are left with 3 options.

    1. Liquid cooling, The best and totally silent but expensive and would require a slight mod to your case. The other plus is you could do your whole PC and eliminate the bottom fan on the case.

    2. Heat Pipes, They should help reduce the drives temperature but I can't guarentee it will bring it down enough without some airflow also. The other plus to this is that the heat pipe mounts are also drive isolators so they reduce drive noise and you can get rid of the rubber bands. Drives spin up with a considerably amount of torque and the rubber bands can't control that. Drives should always be mounted securely and that includes CD/DVD as well.

    3. You guessed it Fans, but with some control (that's how I do it). I have 5 fans plus 2 in the power supply but they are on a speed controller. I run them very slow when recording and run them at 70 to 80% when mixing. After I'm done or between sessions I run it at full speed for 5 or 10 minutes before shutting down. You could also shut the drive fans down when recording to keep your system as quiet as it is now. The fans I'm suggesting for you are made for cooling hard drives and use a 5 1/4" faceplate with 2 or 3 40mm fans pulling air in. Some even have massive heatsinks like these.

    http://www.crazypc.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=120199&Product_Code=5226

    As a first step I would suggest either the Heat Pipes or a fan designed for HDD's. No matter which you choose I would suggest a fan speed controller with a temperature readout like these.

    http://www.crazypc.com/products/fans/fanaccessories.htm#accessories

    With the heatpipes you wouldn't need the speed controller unless the heatpipes don't solve the problem but the temperature readout would tell you the drive temps at a glance and you would know if the heatpipes are working. I would suggest getting one even if you go with the pipes. This one is made by Nexus and has 3 temp probes so you could monitor your CPU and 2 Drives.

    http://www.crazypc.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=120199&Product_Code=8298

    If the heat pipes don't get the temp as low as you would like (mine barely get warm) you could add 2 of the drive coolers and I'm sure that would do the trick. Plus you would already have the speed controller to keep them nice and quiet. The drive cooler I showed was just an example and would not work with the heatpipes as the heatsink would hit the pipes. If you want to use the drive coolers I can send you other links to sites that carry a ton of that stuff including very low noise units.


    I didn't mean to sound like I think they are a bad idea I just am not sure how effective they will be in your case (no pun intended).
    Your case draws air from the bottom center and then out the back. It leaves the area where the drives are with no airflow and since hot air rises I'm sure the heat just sits there. I'm just not sure if the pipes will work as intended in that environment. They could work great, then again they may not. I checked every reliable source I could and most felt some airflow would make them far more effective which is how I feel also. It can't hurt to try and if they don't work the way you want just add the drive fans and you'll be fine.

    I would only suggest the liquid cooling as a last resort. It is by far the best cooling you can get but if you've never dealt with it before it can be a little tricky not to mention the fact that it can turn a PC into a paper weight if it springs a leak because of a poor connection. I gave my liquid cooling system to my son for his gaming rig but my fans work great on my DAW so I think I'll stick with them for now. Let me know what you think and I'll send you links to anything you like.

    Hope this helps, Don
     
  17. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Hey D. Thanks so much for the effort you put forth. I really appreciate it. You know, the Nexus Breeze may not be the perfect case, but I found most of the comments on Tom's Hardware to be nitpicky. I'll tell you one thing... the only noise that excapes from that thing the way I have it set up is the noise that comes from the power supply vent. It does a great job for what I need it to do. So you think it may be to hot inside some parts of my case? I have very carefully placed all cables and such as to keep thinks streamlined and since I have been running S2kControl ( remember talking about that a little while ago?), the ambient temperature in my case, as reported by my A7N8X-E ( I have no idea where that sensor is) basically just mirrors my room temperature. Perhaps you're right that there's not enough airflow near the drives. Actually, I know you're right, but heatpipes would still be increasing the radiating surface area, so I think I will try that first. I really don't want to add more fans, so i'm crossing my fingers that the Zalman heatpipes will be enough. Unless you have anything else to say, I think i'm gonna order me a couple and see what happens. As for fan speed controllers, that's definitely a good idea to have one there and andjust it based on what you're doing at a given time, but I am a certified noise Nazi. I hate noise and I find that it damages other activitied besiders recording such as listening (due to a decreased dynamic range since the low level material is masked by the noise) and also to just plain thinking ( i've got attention deficit disorder something fierce) Oh, you wanna hear something funny? Of course you do. I'm already using a fan speed controller on my Nexus AXP3200 CPU cooler... it's called a 47 Ohm resistor! :shock: That's right, I cut the cable and soldered the thing right on there! You might think this was a bit rash or primitive since you can buy proprietary fan speed controllers, but it knocked the noise down to the perfect level and only cost me about 2 degrees on the CPU. And, it only cost be 15 cents. How's that for crazy? :?
     
  18. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    David, Glad to help. I totally agree with you that the heat pipes will increase the surface area for heat disapation and it would be a great place to start. From what I understand they work by conducting heat into the runners on the sides. Those runners are filled with a liquid which when heated turns to a gas and rises up the pipes carrying the heat with it. When it reaches the top of the pipe where it is cooler the gas condenses releasing the heat into the copper pipes for disapation and the liquid falls back down to the runners completing the cycle. The physics sound solid so I hope it works as advertised. I have seen tests on their VPU coolers and they do work but the addition of a fan made them about 5 times more efficient. I'm hoping that with proper drive placement combined with the Zalmans we can get your drives into safe temperatures with no additional noise. If you are willing to do a little testing you can find the best placement for your drives by opening the left side of the case and starting at the bottom move your hand upward across the drive bays and feeling for where the air from the bottom fan has the most force. This is where you will want to place the drive that gets the most work. You will probably want to keep 2 bays of seperation between the HDD's and also your CD burner to ensure enough airflow around the drives. This will involve 1 HDD in one of the 5 1/4" bays and 1 HDD in one of the 3 1/2" bays but the more space you give them the better they will cool.

    When I mentioned getting a fan controller it was more for the temperature readout and sensors for the drives. This would make it easy to keep tabs on your HDD temps and would verify if the Zalmans are doing their job. I will look around to see if there are any out there that are just readouts with sensors and no fan controls to save you some money but I would highly recommend getting one if you can. Think of it as your lab results and insurance all rolled into one.

    I agree your case is very nice and does it's job well. I think Tom's feels the same as they pointed out it's great construction (heavy = well built in cases). But in doing reviews they have to point out the bad as well as the good and heat buildup could be a problem. But all in all I think it's the best quiet case made and I think they would agree.

    You are not the only noise hater here. Kurt and Xavier both bought that case silencer and I'm sure many others are bothered by it also. It is not as much of a distration to me as I work in computer rooms all day and have learned to tune it out over the years. Just so you know fans do not have to be noisy. The more fans you have the larger they are and the slower they spin will make a system that is far quieter than one with one or two. My system has 5 plus the PS with 2 and it is very quiet. My meter only goes to 30db and I can't even get a response from it from 1 foot away. I have a friend who has a meter that goes much lower and we're going to test my rig with it (we think it's below 25db). I always knew slowing fans down made them much quieter but Steve (Knightfly) explained why.

    "BTW, slowing things down works mainly because noise that's a function of air velocity is roughly proportional to the 4th or 5th POWER of the velocity; so even a small decrease in velocity makes a VERY noticeable difference in the air noise... Steve"

    I don't blame you at all for wanting silence, my old water cooled setup was so quiet you could hear a pin drop, but my new setup is mighty quiet also I really have to listen to hear it. I think that if you want a PC you can't hear then that is what you should have and I will try to help you attain that. When I move into my new house next year I will build a proper studio in the basement from the plans Wes and Ethan provided and it will include an equipment closet with it's own ventilation fan to remove the heat (you see I'm crazy about cooling) so I'll finally have great accoustics, cool running equipment and silence. My perfect little world. So you make your world as quiet as you like and be happy! :D

    Crazy, I call that inventive, ingenious, using your noodle. As the USMC says adapt and overcome. Nice job David! Now why didn't I think of that?

    Let me know how you make out. Don
     
  19. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Hey Don,

    Well, I finally got SMART ;) and set up the built in temperature sensors in my drives to work with Motherboard Monitor 5. What I found is that the NExus Breeze's hard drive bay area is a little heat box! With the top and sides of the case off, my drives were reading 114 F and after an hour or so with the sides and top on, 134 F :shock: is the highest temperature I saw. Seagate says 140 F is considered overheated so yeah, I definitely need to do something. I guess the fact that the case is so well sealed is its strength and its weakness. I am now convinced that the heatpipes will work for me and will order them soon. At first I thought that they wouldn't work without extra fans, but then I realized that the way my drives are set up now (in the rubber bands) there is no conduction to the case. I found data that suggests that this case conduction can make drives run 10 or so degrees cooler as compared to a drive floating in space. This is becuase the case acts as a heatsink. Using the heatpipes will give me a heatsink plus the extra few degrees that the heatpipe alone should provide.

    And yes, I remember that quote form Steve... good stuff.

    Thanks again, D. You're a pretty COOL ;) guy! :lol:
     
  20. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

    That's awesome that you can monitor your temps through the MOBO. If your at 134 then then the heat pipes should give you enough cooling without any fans to stay well within the saftey zone. The other plus is they are drive isolators so you should get less noise from the drives as well. I knew the case would conduct some heat away from the drives but it sounds like it's more than I thought so if you add the pipes IMO you'll be in great shape. You should post your numbers of before and after so it's documented for searches. I think it would help others who have similar requirements for a PC.

    Right back at ya man!

    PS. I will be posting in your forum soon for some help on Halion. I'm such a newb when it comes to samplers.
     

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