Production NFC Systems: S4 Mini

Discussion in 'Custom Cases & Projects' started by Josh | NFC, Jun 12, 2015.

  1. hat1324

    hat1324 SFF Lingo Aficionado
    Bronze Supporter

    I think your beset bet is to contract an acrylic shop and send them Josh's sketchup
     
  2. Josh | NFC

    Josh | NFC Not From Concentrate
    Thread Starter NFC Systems Silver Supporter


    This is basically what I would do. Might as well contact Delvie's or Tapp.
     
  3. hyperborea

    hyperborea Efficiency Noob

    Personally I feel the acrylic ruins the minimalist/rugged look I like so much about the N4 mini. I'm a big fan of the stock all black look but if I were to choose a second option the navy blue powder coat is nice. I'd like to see a plain silver version as well.
     
  4. lhl

    lhl Average Stuffer

    Hey Josh,

    Finally got back in the office and building my S4 (#005) system. Taking pics of the old system and new system assembly (and making notes).

    Was going to drop an email w/ some questions, but figure it might be better to post in case the answers are useful for anyone else:

    * I slapped the Zalman CNPS2X on my 4790K w/ a Scythe on top (w/ the grill facing out, is that the proper direction? does it matter? I tried with it reversed but the grill seems to interfere w/ the Zalman's fan). Performance is not great - idles at ~50C and shoots up to thermal throttle limits very quickly under load - mounting seemed secure, but Newegg reviews seem to show some people w/ good luck and some bad so maybe I'm just one of the unlucky ones. I wasn't expecting much from an 85g cooler, but curious if any else has had experience running this on a high TDP (88-95W) CPU? In any case, I've one-dayed the Noctua NH-L9i which I suspect will do better.

    * I pre-ordered before mentions of mods for the HDPLEX - I simply used a single screw for the backplate and it seems to be OK. Besides potentially affecting the finish or coming loose, there shouldn't be any problem w/ that, should there?

    * Since it wasn't prepped for the HDPLEX, I also have the center faceplate pegs - unfortunately, when unscrewing the nuts, I wasn't able to get those pegs/studs out - are they screwed in? Is it something I can just wiggle or plier out or is it threaded in? I actually have enough room to leave them in and with the copious amount of power cables, I'm sure I'd be able to wedge it in ok, but velcro or sticky pads would def be preferable if there's a secret to pulling them out easily.

    * Not a question, just an FYI (I'll have a pic up soon), but the Galax GTX 970 card I have, while not officially a mini-ITX card, fits perfectly w/ plenty of space to spare (especially since it's regular width). Sadly the HDPLEX ships w/ an 8+6 PCIe power cable by default instead of the 6+6 that the card needs, so I'm getting the right cable shipped. I have a Watts Up Pro and a Voodoo 350W PS and a high amperage DC source, so will post up numbers once everything is hooked up.
     
  5. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht FlexATX Authority
    Gold Supporter

    Short answers:

    1. The Scythe fan should face the same direction as the Zalman cooler's fan in order to support it. With your configuration, the two fans are going to fight for air, effectively suffocating each other.

    2. Yes, the pegs are screwed in. I think Josh posted a video here on how to get them out easiest.
     
    Josh | NFC likes this.
  6. Josh | NFC

    Josh | NFC Not From Concentrate
    Thread Starter NFC Systems Silver Supporter

    Thanks, iFreilicht!


    1.
    As he mentioned, lhl, you need the fan to blow air onto the CPU, not suck air out. 50C under load isn't horrible for an 88w TDP CPU at max load. Yeah, we are used to seeing temperatures much lower, but as someone who builds industrial systems that run at 75+ 24/7, you will be OK. What you need to be concerned about is RAM and Mobo temps, as they can fail from excessive heat (80C continuous operating) but reversing your fan to the proper orientation should help with that.

    2.
    There is nothing to worry about here other than damaging the connector from too much force. Be extra gentle and you should be golden!

    3.
    As iFreilicht mentioned, they are studs. Without the proper technique you will have a VERY hard time removing them, even with pliers! If you know how to do it, they should be able to be removed by hand.

    1. Loosen all the nuts (including the bulgin switch) and remove the nuts from the studs you wish to remove.
    2. Firmly grasp the stud with your fingers.
    3. Put pressure on the stud and "rock it" back and forth. You should feel the stud move laterally slightly.
    4. While rocking the stud, start to unscrew it.

    Without rocking you can't even remove the stud with pliers, but with the proper technique I've been able to remove every stud for customers with my fingers with relative ease. It is possible you have a really stubborn stud, and then you could try tapping on the stud with a hammer gently to free it up, but I haven't had to do that yet and I've done...30 or so? Good luck!

    4.
    Thanks for this confirmation!!!! It really super helps to have all the information I can get from my customers to pass onto others. I super appreciate you taking the time to post here and help us all out. THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <3

    P.S. here is a picture of the fan in the correct orientation:

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Josh | NFC

    Josh | NFC Not From Concentrate
    Thread Starter NFC Systems Silver Supporter

    I feel your pain. Here are a couple posts I made showing what I did to get my customer's HD PLEX mate with his 6+6 card, should you want to do it this way instead of spending more $$
     
  8. lhl

    lhl Average Stuffer

    That was 50C idle. With the Scythe pointing at the right way it's about 42C idle, but maxing out the CPU still sends it to 100C in about... 23 seconds w/ OCCT. I may disable turbo (it looks like if I keep it below 4GHz, it's just below thermal throttle), but the Noctua is probably a better bet. I would have liked to shaved the weight since I'll be backpack mounting this, but isn't too bad (will save 65g for the HD rack at least - if I want to really save weight, I could probably take off all the panels, but that'd be a shame :)

    I'll give the stud wiggle a try. I already gave the pliers a quick go the other night but those directions make a lot of sense and explain why things weren't working.
     
  9. CC Ricers

    CC Ricers King of Cable Management
    Silver Supporter

    Thanks for those renders, Josh! I see there would need more work for the panel that has the C-shaped bend around the top, though I would only be making one of the sides clear, and not both. It remains to be seen whether it will be the side exposing the GPU cooler or the motherboard.

    It's unfortunate to hear that they can't be custom ordered- guess it's off to send the acrylic to another shop as hat1234 mentioned. I would be using 50% translucent smoke black acrylic, for a better match with the black case.
     
  10. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht FlexATX Authority
    Gold Supporter

    That is way too much. Are you 100% positive that you've applied enough thermal paste and that there are no air gaps between the IHS and the bottom of the cooler?
     
  11. lhl

    lhl Average Stuffer

    I double checked - if anything, there was too much paste, I took some off, but yes, it was seated properly, cranked on tight, good contact. Couldn't find my IR gun, but some (very careful) touch tests on the heat pipes also confirms that it's moving a fair amount of heat around.

    Also could find my Watts Up (grr, office moves), but did manage to dig out a Kill-a-watt so could run some rough experiments.

    I'm running an i7-4790K on a Asus Maximus Impact VII w/ EPU and Speed Step enabled, no OC w/ the Zalman and a Scythe blowing in. Vertical/Horizontal doesn't seem to affect it much. Running w/ no DGPU and case open.

    * Idle is at 800Mhz, CPU temp is 42C, wall power is 40-45W (even idle, Win10 runs a crapton of stuff which makes it fluctuate).

    So here's the meat of it:

    * w/ Turbo on (stock 4.4GHz), as mentioned, we hit 100C and thermal throttling within 25s. Wall power maxes out a 173W, and then subsequently hovers between 150-160W, and sustained speeds of between 4-4.2GHz

    * w/ Turbo disabled (stock 4GHz), it runs 100% at 88-92C - high, but fine until I replace it. Now here's the interesting part - even w/ the same VCORE (nothing else changed but the turbo disabled in BIOS), wall power maxes out at 126W while running 100%. That's a 30W difference vs barely higher throttled speeds and almost 50W below when it's running at full-bore at 4.4GHz.

    Basically, the Zalman is doing a decent job, and would be fine for 35W or 65W CPUs, but it's still just like 60g of copper. What's surprising is just how much more power the turbo is drawing - far above Intel's published "TDP" numbers. This is without my GTX970 in at all (I'll probably Kill-a-watt it to a separate PS while I wait for proper cables just to test). Anyway, I'll probably just leave turbo disabled, but will also probably end up switching to the Noctua as well (Amazon 1-dayed on Friday).
     
  12. lhl

    lhl Average Stuffer

    A quick followup for those interested in how this does w/ a Galax GTX 970 OC runs in this system. Using SX600-G power supply to test since I'm waiting for my dual 6-pin cable for the HDPLEX.

    * Idle is 95W (about 50-55W for GPU), and running OCCT CPU is about 180W (so the math is about right from the 126W w/o the 970 attached)

    * Furmark (1088Mhz, 80-85C, 105% TDP, 85% fan, power limited) at 255W (CPU is about 65C, runs at 4GHz about 30% utilization)

    * Furmark + CPU Burner maxes out between 275-290W, both CPU and GPU around 80C.

    So, there should be plenty of wattage headroom for the Voodoo 350W w/ this setup. Also a potato cam pic of how much space is left over on the side of the video card. w/ PCIe power headers needed a bit of a shimmy to get it in, but clearance is OK:

    [​IMG]
     
    Josh | NFC likes this.
  13. Josh | NFC

    Josh | NFC Not From Concentrate
    Thread Starter NFC Systems Silver Supporter


    Just be warned that I changed the panel in the final design from that of the Sketchup. If you go to have it cut now, it could be different enough to cause you a big headache.

    I want to help you out here, but I'm just not prepared enough to facilitate this process with a .eps or something yet. >.<

    I am going to work on this, I just need to find the time!

    ------

    lhl, thanks for all the info. Let us know how your Noctua adventures go with your D.C.!
     
  14. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht FlexATX Authority
    Gold Supporter

    It's known that overclocking causes massively higher power draw, that was one of the key aspects of the war on CPU clock speeds between 1995 and 2005. But I wasn't expecting the power draw to be be so high.
    Keep in mind that wall power draw is not to be compared to the CPU TDP, though. You've got the efficiency of the PSU in between, and the RAM and chipset drawing some power, too, but even accounting for all factors, you're way above the advertised 88W TDP.
     
  15. lhl

    lhl Average Stuffer

    #175 lhl, Jan 25, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2016
    Below 100W the SX600-G, like most PS's has a terrible efficiency curve, but between 100-200W it's up at 85-90%, so the relative differences between turbo enabled/disabled are relatively stable - the most interesting point from this testing is that there's at least a 25W actual CPU power difference running at 4GHz no-turbo at 90C and 4-4.2GHz turbo at 100C for my chip, which seems high, but not astounding, and a 45W difference for full Turbo (also high, but makes sense if you think about it).

    Intel does not include TurboBoost in its TDP ratings (also their "TDP" defines average power usage under an Intel specified "high complexity" workload, hence the airquotes - there's no published spec on actual max power consumption), and power consumption for turbo is poorly documented, but I did see one forum post mention of hitting 160W TDP running Prime95 w/ a 4790K @ stock 4.4GHz turbo. For those interested, the whole thread is worth a read, but for my purposes, disabling turbo is just easier (+10% clock not worth +80% power consumption especially once I'm on battery).

    All this is I'm sure is also highly per-chip dependent based on silicon lottery and revision-specific tunings...
     
  16. EdZ

    EdZ Virtual Realist
    Gold Supporter

    To be pedantic: TDP is Thermal Design Power, the power you need to design a heatsink to dissipate. Power consumption averages to TDP over long periods, but the two are not completely synonymous. SDP (Scenario Design Power) is Intel's TDP variant for their mobile (non-desktop) chips that uses an 'average workload' rather than a full performance test to determine the design power.
     
  17. lhl

    lhl Average Stuffer

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  18. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht FlexATX Authority
    Gold Supporter

    Oh wow, I always thought TDP was the maximum heat output of a CPU. You learn something new every day, thanks for citing that!
     
  19. |||

    ||| King of Cable Management
    Moderator

    Essentially all power will eventually end up as heat. It has always bothered me when people are referring to SWaP-C as Space, Weight, Power, and Cooling...the cooling should already be accounted for in the Power figure (I always refer to the "C" as cost). TDP will not tell you the peak power draw, but it will give you a good maximum short-term average power draw. PSU's likewise can handle spikes in the power draw that exceed their rated power.
     
  20. hat1324

    hat1324 SFF Lingo Aficionado
    Bronze Supporter

    HAH. There's an actual technique to doing this? If only I knew...

    I spent about an hour hammering the top of the screw and then jamming solder into the nut to keep it in place XD. To my credit... it worked
     
    Josh | NFC likes this.