Log mATX media server / future NAS (SAMA IM01)

hrh_ginsterbusch

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Current status (as of September 2023):


Media Server and OBS Streaming system, in vertical "mode"; have added a "top" exhaust fan, on the outside of what originally was the back, which has lowered the temps under full load to 49 C max.

WIP: If adding the WiFi/BT card - Inter-Tech PowerOn DMG-36 - is going to hinder airflow for the GPU. If so, might go for a USB option or rearrange the GPU to vertical (or slighty insane option: rizer the WiFi card XD). Update: Ordered BT / WiFi USBs, just in case. Decided to use the USB options, for now. Update #2: They're still garbage. What a blunder ("100% supports linux" - yeah, but NO WIFI! now I own TWO BT USB devices 😭 🤬). But with the GPU gone, I can install the Inter-Tech Wifi/BT card as planned :)

Current specs:


Case: Inter-Tech Pocket IM-1, vertical stand AND reconfigured "upside down" (works just the same as with the NR200)

CPU: Intel Core i5-12400
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D9L + additional NF-A9, set to exhaust
MB: MSI MAG B660M BAZOOKA DDR4
RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3200 CL16
Storage: Transcend 220S 1 TB M.2-2280 PCIe 3.0 X4 NVME Solid State Drive
GPU: Asus Phoenix GeForce RTX 3050 8GB none; has been moved to the Meshlicious Streaming System
PSU: FSP Group Dagger Pro 850 W 80+ Gold

Case Fans:
Top: 2x Scythe Kaze Flex 92 mm, zip-tied to the mounting bracket, set to exhaust
Bottom: 2x Scythe Kaze Flex 92 mm RGB, with the half-zip-tied hack, too; set to intake
Back (= "top"): 1x Scythe Kaze Flex ARGB 79.76 CFM 120 mm, set to exhaust Artic P12 Max, set to exhaust
Side panel: not in use.

Also see the current PC Part Picker list: https://de.pcpartpicker.com/user/fwolf/saved/6RY9K8

Thermal situation:​


After 4 1/2 hours of OBS w/ 1080p, Project M ("cream of the crop" selected presets, approx. 2000), VLC as audio loop, the temps were hanging around the following numbers:

- CPU - 57 °C (compared to the 64° C it reached with the same amount of load w/ regular case orientation)
- GPU - 40 °C (just NVenc, not much to do)
- NVME - 37.9 °C
- ambient temp: 23° C

Idle state temps:

- CPU - 33 °C
- GPU - 30 °C
- NVME - 32.9 °C
- ambient temp: 19° C

With additional P12 Max on "top":

- CPU: 49 °C
- GPU: 39.5° C
- SSD: 31° C

P12 Max on top (improved fan curve):

It became annoyingly loud and had a bit of a pulse to it, so I softened out the steep fan curve. Much calmer now, with only a 2° C increase for the CPU.

- CPU: 51° C
- GPU: 40° C
- SSD: 31° C

Change of plans: Because of being waaaay too busy with work, so I cannot really build my Mesh-mATX before like .. mid December I guess - but I still needs to scratch that SFF itch - I decided to skip my mAPU build for reusing of what I already got.

This means, its downsizing time: My current main system. From a Phanteks P360A to something more SFF-sized. With the requirement of just plopping in the mainboard, add SFX PSU, the current GPU and sprinkle some Wifi / BT card magic on top. Well, and a few case fans plus maybe a smallish (A)RGB controller.

Turns out, my very very original plans with doing a NR200P mATX mod wasnt that far off - going a bit bigger, for one of the many SAMA IM01 licensed clones, ie. the Inter-Tech IM-1 Pocket (also see kikimaru024's thread).

Current system specs:
- Case: Phanteks Eclipse P360A
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 3700X
- MB: MSI B450M Pro VDH-Max
- GPU: MSI GTX 1660 (non-super and non-Ti)
- RAM: 32 GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200
- Storage: 1 TB m2 SSD (Seagate Firecuda)
- CPU Fan: LC-Power Cosmo Cool LC-CC-120 CPU cooler, which had a horridly rattling CPU fan, and thus was replaced with an Arctic P12 PST CO
- OS: Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

Components prepared:
- Case: Inter-Tech IM-1 Pocket
- Wifi/BT: Inter-Tech PowerOn DMG-36 - thats a Wifi 6 + BT 5.3 PCIe 2.0 x1 card
- Case fans: 3x Scythe Kaze Flex 120 ARGB 1800rpm, 2x Arctic P14 PST CO (originally planned for the P360A, but I never got around to install them, so they're surplus)
- PSU: wanted the Cooler Master V550 SFX, but as usual, not available (from reliable sources); figured out you just can flip the case upside down, tested with a spare ATX PSU, and then decided to go with the Seasonic Focus PX 80 PLUS Platinum instead :)
- ARGB controller(s) - see my lengthy post
- Fan splitter cables, because the MSI board only comes with 3 fan headers (Noctua + EK WB)

Future extensions:
- maybe a replacement for the CPU fan, not yet sure (the Arctic is doing its job very well)
- RAID 10 with 4x 1 TB SATA SSDs, something with a nice high TBW, for 24/7 / NAS usage (ie. workstation / server)
- replacing the current m2 with a 250 or 500 GB m2 with similar high TBW like the Firecuda, and installing MX Linux, when I'm done building the Mesh-mATX (obviously, because that is going to be my future main system)
- replacing the GPU with an RX 6400 or smaller
- half jokingly: Raijintek Orcus 140 RBW, one of the few 140 mm AIOs - for side-mounting it, making the system slightly less noisy

cu, w0lf.
 
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hrh_ginsterbusch

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Update: The case, the fans and the WiFi-Addon card have arrived.

Also, the side panels weigh a .. wagon ... load. Damn. 720 g per side panel, bottom + top ~ 510g, and the front panel is 526g. So, 2 x 720 + 2x 510 + 526 = 2986 g, nearly 3 kg! Without them, the case feels actually quite nice and portable!

Already did a test fit with my spare mATX and ATX PSU; seems to work nice.

And if one doesnt care for going the ways one is supposed to, but positions the PSU on the bottom (still upright, oc), then we still are able to add two 120 mm fans on top. Of corpse, one cannot fit a massive GPU inside, but I didnt plan for that in the first place. My current GTX 1660 should fit well enough with at least 3 - 4 cm of space between the end of the GPU and the PSU.

Thus, as soon as I've managed to untie / remove the cable ties, that some helpful idiot seems to have overdone quite a bit (the one in front is sooo tight I'm fearing for accidently damaging the cables!), I'm going to test if the PSU extension is long enough to reach down to the "floor" position.

Then I could just go with my current ATX power supply, and be happy ever after.

Pictures gonna follow in a bit :)

cu, w0lf.
 
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hrh_ginsterbusch

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Ok, wow - this is such a faithful clone / extended mATX version of the NR200P - I totally forgot that you can flip the case, move the power button etc. panel, too, and then everything works out perfectly - ie. no space issues, and no need to like .. improvise with the PSU position.

Really, this is such a nice case to work with - sure, its no Lian Li or Phanteks, quality-wise, but its still very solid quality, and super versatile, and you can get everything easily fit, if you think not too hard. I'd go as far and say: It's the near-pertect SFF beginner case, esp. if you want to introduce your siblings or teenage children to PC building :) <3

cu, w0lf.
 
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hrh_ginsterbusch

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And Caseking seems to have finally managed to send out the rest of the parts I need - at least there is a "status change" of my order, and a DHL package has been "electronically announced".
OT: I gonna rant about their rather annoying order status system elsewhere (the fediverse).

Ordered parts:
- PSU: Seasonic Focus PX 80 PLUS Platinum
- Kolink Inspire L1 3-Pin 5V ARGB Controller
- Lamptron CFP30 ARGB Sync Fan / RGB-Controller
- a few fan splitter cables (Noctua and EK WB)
- Kolink 1-to-6 ARGB splitter cable

About the controllers: We're gonna see which one works better for my purposes. I guess the Kolink Inspire is enough, and the Lamptron is going to be used for my Mesh-mATX build, but you never know. At least the case has enough space to support it, too.

Why do I need them? Mostly because I'm not into fancy ARGB light shows, and I'm running Linux as my primary OS, so there is next to no support, anyway. Thus "hard-coded" ARGB control mode it is. Has been working nice with the Phanteks P360A so far, too :)

cu, w0lf.
 

hrh_ginsterbusch

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So, Caseking and DHL decided to combine their best behaviour, and now the stuff I ordered on Saturday very early morning is still not around. Apparently the DHL delivery guy had either an accident or worked too long. Lets just hope its gonna arrive tomorrow *sighs*
.. cause I really need something to make my day brighter.

cu, w0lf.
 

hrh_ginsterbusch

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Package actually still arrived on Friday. I'm going to figure out a new space to drop images, as I made plenty so far. My original image gallery installation recently turned out to be security-hole ridden like a particular Swiss cheese (Emmentaler), so I removed it, but didnt have time to cobble something acceptable together yet.

cu, w0lf.
 

hrh_ginsterbusch

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So I now got much more options: Ordered additional fallback options for our future main workstation, including the i5-12400 and a MSI Tomahawk B660, plus my first ever Noctua, the NH-D9L (first, at least in terms of CPU coolers). The i5 is for if the BIOS of the MSI Mortar Z690 is not yet up-to-date, and refuses to run with the 13700k. Better be safe than sorry.

TL;DR: I could now build a true APU system again, as originally planned.

cu,. w0lf.
 

hrh_ginsterbusch

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Another update: The Artic Liquid Freezer II 240 deffo does NOT fit in the case! Yes, it does, but with so few clearance, at least with an mATX board, that you'd have be VERY creative with the PSU placement. Read: Put it outside the case ...

Hence I ordered a different case for the main workstation, the Asus Prime AP101, and build it in there. The music server / NAS / micro surfstation is going to be build in the SAMA01 instead, with the components described in the posts before :)


cu, w0lf.
 

hrh_ginsterbusch

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And fast forward another week: Been building the NAS / media server last weekend. System is up and running (quick test with MX Linux Live usb drive), temps look good, and now I'm in the process of ordering a few more parts, including lots of slim fans, because the regular Kaze Flex RGB are a very tight fit, blocking off too many connectors and sockets of the mainboard.

.. And, uh, because I misplaced some more important parts (specifically the SFX PSU cage) and cant find / figure out decent replacements, reordering the very same case once again *sighs* (I mean, its great, I might use it for something else, too). 😅

Preparing huge image dump, too.

Current specs:
- CPU: i5-12400
- Mainboard: MSI Tomahawk B660
- RAM: 32 GB DDR4 Corsair Vengeance LPX
- CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D9L (single fan; second fan yet to be attached)
- Case fans: Scythe Kaze Flex 120 mm Slim (1800 rpm; bottom intake), 2x Scythe Kaze Flex 92 Slim (2300 rpm; as top exhaust)
- PSU: FSP Dagger Pro 850 Gold
- Storage: Transcend MTE220S SSD, 1 TB

The FSP Dagger Pro is a leftover, and absolutely nasty to build with. Waaaay too long cables, stiff, rigid, and prone to break. Thats also why I'm reordering the case, because I had to attach it to the ATX mounting bracket, using the supplied SFX-to-ATX adapter. Its a very tight fit, and cable management is a total PITA.

Even with the SFX PSU cage, its going to continue to be a PITA - although its going to allow me to add another fan on top, and maybe declutter a bit of the cable pile, that I had to stuff underneath the PSU, to at least attempt a bit of order over chaos.

The rest was really easy to work with - I'd love to see Arctic taking over the simple, but effective "this side to the top" engraving thats done to the socket 1700 backplate of the Noctua NH-D9L.

Still left to do:
- install OS (MX Linux 21.3)
- replace regular case fans with slim ones - done; added a slim fan as bottom intake, and 2x 92 mm Scythe Kaze Flex as top exhaust; its now a fullsize 120 mm fan though :)
- maybe add a rear fan duct to the Noctua NH-D9L (its set up as rear intake) - added a slim 120 mm fan as side intake (the one originally sitting in the bottom)
- move the PSU to the SFX PSU cage (when the reordered case arrives) - done; and after cleaning up parts of my room, I stumbled upon the missing one *sighs*
- figure out whether to stick to software RAID (RAID 10) or go with a controller-based option (eg. 4x 2.5" SATA or m.2 SATA)

cu, w0lf.
 
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hrh_ginsterbusch

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Notice: The two sets of identical fan .. brackets? is, that if you did things right, you can immediatedly switch bottom and top, if you want to do "the flip" (of the i/o, which works identical to the NR200).

Also, the new second case arrived. Just took out the SFX PSU cage, and am in the planning stages of re-arrangement.

cu, w0lf.
 

hrh_ginsterbusch

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Update on temps (now pimped with side intake):

Idle - 29 C
Full Load - 62 C

Thats 7 C less than my original main system (which is mentioned in parts above) :)

cu, w0lf.
 

hrh_ginsterbusch

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Next upgrade is waiting dutifully in its box - and thus, a bit of a turn into a different direction, ie. now this is going to be more than just a music / multimedia server + surf station: An Asus Phoenix RTX 3050.

The M2000M in my P50 recently started to drop nearly 1000 frames during my last stream (OBS), and as there had been no ISP connection issues, I got worried. Also, the fans did run pretty loud lately, so I guess its time to do a lot cleaning, cleaning, cleaning and reapplying thermal paste.

That would have left me without a properly setup streaming system - and as I already wasnt able to do my strims before, thanks to more than 4 weeks of ISP jitter issues, I didnt want to get back into the same hellish nightmare. After all, web (radio) DJing has been and still is my means of meditation and self therapy for the last 20+ years.

cu, w0lf.

ps: on the pictures topic, when I selected enough usable stuff, I'm just going to drop it into my blog and repost a few here plus back link the respective gallery post :)
 

hrh_ginsterbusch

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Preparing for vertical stand, with the front facing downwards. Did a quick test run and the temps didn't change much (CPU went up by 2 - 3 C in idle, should get better with setting the CPU Cooler fan(s) to exhaust instead of the current intake configuration).

cu, w0lf.
 

hrh_ginsterbusch

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Work on the BT / WiFi issue continues.
Arriving today: USB options for BT and WiFi. Already around: PCIE x1 to x1 Riser cables.

Also arrived yesterday: 3x Scythe Kaze Flex 92 mm RGB. Could care less for the RGB, but they were the only decent fans with a proper delivery time, and I figured they should be somewhat equal to, or at least not much worse than the non-RGB versions I've already got.

One of the two slim 120 mm fans I've got sitting around and didnt use yet, is going to be installed on the top; it fits snuggly between both the regular layout PCIE slot cover holder and the top vertical one. The holding screws of the latter need to be removed though, they're hindering making the fan sit flush to the case. In theory, it might even be okayish to remove the slot covers, because the fan is getting a protection in terms of a SilverStone fan dust filter from the top.

cu, w0lf.
 

hrh_ginsterbusch

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Ok, this is how I decided to set up the airflow for now: Former top fans keep exhausting (to the side now, that is), bottom fans pull in air, too (but from the other side), side bracket fan(s) pull in air as well, and the only thing thats reailly changing is the CPU fan and back panel section - re-configured to exhaust.

Did a quick sketch in Inkscape:



cu, w0lf.
 

hrh_ginsterbusch

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Current setup: Everything BUT the side panel intake and "top" exhaust (what originally was the back). Might still add the top exhaust, because it could improve temps under 100% / near full load.

Update on the temps:

After 4 1/2 hours
of OBS w/ 1080p, Project M ("cream of the crop" selected presets, approx. 2000), VLC as audio loop, the temps were hanging around the following numbers:

- CPU - 57 °C (compared to the 64° C it reached with the same amount of load w/ regular case orientation)
- GPU - 40 °C (just NVenc, not much to do)
- NVME - 37.9 °C
- ambient temp: 23° C

Idle state temps:

- CPU - 33 °C
- GPU - 30 °C
- NVME - 32.9 °C
- ambient temp: 19° C

cu, w0lf.
 
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hrh_ginsterbusch

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Latest update: Added the "outbound" fan today. Ordered three Arctic P12 Max, and one is more or less a fallback / leftover, so I decided to add it to the "top". Is a bit loud, but when DJing, I mostly dont hear it.

When doing live streams with OBS Studio, temps before hit up to 67 C in regular position and 57 C in vertical mode. Now, with the added fan on top, its been staying at 49°C max! (with CPU usage steadily at 70%).

So, if you're considering doing a vertical "mod" of the Sama IM-01 / Inter-Tech Pocket IM-I, its TOTALLY WORTH IT.

cu, w0lf.

ps: some pictures I posted on Mastodon: https://kosmos.social/@ginsterbusch/110623607194379051
pps: GPU sticks to 40/41 C
 

hrh_ginsterbusch

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Did replace the P12 Max with a Silverstone Air Penetrator 120i Pro, because of its integrated fan grill (so no stuff may accidently fall onto the fan blades, and also supposedly being less noisy), but had to increase the overal fan speed / change the fan curve to a more aggressive one, to keep the temps down to the level before.

After this weeks show, and the slightly annoying noise level, I've decided to switch back to the P12 Max - gotta order a fan grill next week and then this topic should be done, too. My guess is, the general noise level vs. performance was better before, because of the overall better performance and also the 0-db mode of the P12 Max.

Guess I gonna use the Air Penetrator elsewhere at some point - its not a bad fan, just not as good for "outside usage" as expected :)

cu, w0lf.
 

hrh_ginsterbusch

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Note: If you want to REINSTALL one of the dust filters of the SAMA-IM01, make sure to use those "prying" tools to flatten the filter so it slides back into the VERY low ridges / bends of the resp. panel. Been a total PITA before, but I thought I'd give it a try with one of these (got the iFixit "max pack", so everything but the kitchen sink included). Pressure works very well.

cu, w0lf.