TheInternal

Trash Compacter
Original poster
May 27, 2016
53
13
Greetings everyone.

Well, I decided to try to address some ongoing issues with my initial node 202 build. Namely, the CPU temps and the noise being higher than I would prefer.

In the process, I decided to upgrade to a i7 7700k processor and swap one of the two 850 evo 500GB drives for a 2 terabyte firecuda storage solution.

I'm also trying out a new CPU Cooler, the cryorig C7, in the hope that it might be a little quieter than my scythe shuriken big.

My first day of tinkering yielded me some positive results, though the biggest gain was possibly from one of the most bone-headed things ever.

My CPU was running extremely hot at stock speeds with my initial configuration where I had the case vertically-oriented with the GPU at the top and the CPU at the bottom. By flipping the case orientation 180 degrees I lowered the CPU temperature a good bit while keeping the GPU temperature still well within thermal tolerance. The reason I feel so dumb about it is that it looks so obvious if you just eyeball the case. There are large vents at the top of the case if you have vertical orientation with the CPU at the top. The GPU has much smaller ventilation at the top If running the case GPU-up in vertical orientation. By flipping the case, I was hitting low 90s C after sustained BIONCing, but it wasn't SUPER loud... I do want those temps lower though. I was also able to get two runs of the latest Futuremark Time Spy stabiliy / burn in to go off without a hitch... Just from flipping over the case.

I'm experimenting with undervolting today, in an effort to lower overall CPU temperatures. I manually set my CPU down to 1.2v vcore down from the stock 1.26. I've only done some mild overclocking in the past, so undervolting isn't super familiar to me. Lowering vcore by .06 volts, from testing I'm doing while typing this, have so far been positive. Temps seem down around 10C lower than before in BOINC (peaking around mid 80s), and I'm running the same Futuremark Time Spy stability / burn in test now to see if I get any blue screens. It aced one run already, but I forgot to have up temperature monitoring software, so I'm running it again.

I would be curious to get feedback from other node users on a few things.

If anyone else is running a 7700k in the Node, what sort of temps are you getting (particularly if you are using the Cryorig C7 and/or are undervolting)? For fellow 7700k owners, what sort of undervolting have you been able to do stably at stock speeds? Do many folks have luck doing small (100MHz or so) to moderate overclocks while undervolting in thier SFF builds?
 
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fminus

Cable-Tie Ninja
May 14, 2016
225
123
I have/had a Node 202. By default, the airflow on this case is a joke. There are some mods you can do to it to fix this:

  • Remove SFX PSU replace with HDplex. Use that space to add a fan or if feeling adventurous, a AIO
  • Cut vent holes in the top where the GPU is.
  • Use an ITX GPU. Use extra space for another intake fan.

I have replaced the SFX Psu with an Hdplex. Nice to have a bit more in there for cablemanagement.
 

TheInternal

Trash Compacter
Original poster
May 27, 2016
53
13
So... Wow... Admittedly, the ambient temps are probably 2-5 F lower than last night, but going down to low 70Cs on Time Spy stress test just happened. From a measly .06 vcore lowering. I wasn't expecting such a drastic thermal shift. Does that correspond with anyone else's experience, or is there likely another factor at play (I always worry I use to much thermal past)?
 

zovc

King of Cable Management
Jan 5, 2017
852
602
So... Wow... Admittedly, the ambient temps are probably 2-5 F lower than last night, but going down to low 70Cs on Time Spy stress test just happened. From a measly .06 vcore lowering. I wasn't expecting such a drastic thermal shift. Does that correspond with anyone else's experience, or is there likely another factor at play (I always worry I use to much thermal past)?

Undervolting can tremendously lower your heat and power consumption. I have an i7-4790K that was pulling between 30 and 40W from the wall while playing a game with the iGPU. I underclocked it to take it's voltage down pretty signficantly, but compared to the ~90W(?) TDP that's like 1/3 the power consumption.
 

TheInternal

Trash Compacter
Original poster
May 27, 2016
53
13
I have/had a Node 202. By default, the airflow on this case is a joke. There are some mods you can do to it to fix this:

  • Remove SFX PSU replace with HDplex. Use that space to add a fan or if feeling adventurous, a AIO
  • Cut vent holes in the top where the GPU is.
  • Use an ITX GPU. Use extra space for another intake fan.

I have replaced the SFX Psu with an Hdplex. Nice to have a bit more in there for cablemanagement.

Yeah. Shit airflow for sure. Alas, This is functioning as my high-end living room 4k gaming machine (and I just blew my four year computer upgrades budget on a new i7-6850k workstation I'll be building in a few days), so I'm not sure the HDplex PSUs would provide adequate power for my setup. I know they make some itx 1080s now, but due to having blown my money on the new workstation, I don't think I can justify another 1080 outside of an SLI setup. :(

The GPU temps have never been an issue on my current build. The ASUS ROG STRIX series GPUs have a damn impressive heatsink. The fans only spin up when I'm doing BOINC or high end gaming. The cooling block is so solid on it, that fan spin simply isn't needed for basic computing tasks (word processing, netflix, internet browsing, etc.) I originally wanted to go with the Gigabyte Windforce series (having had great luck with previous models), but only went with the Asus due to product availability. I've been okay with the results.

Node 202 current specs:
- Fractal Node 202
- intel Core i7-7700k
- Cryorig C7 CPU Fan
- Gigabyte Z170N-Gaming 5 motherboard
- Corsair Vengeance LPX 2 x 16GB DDR4 3200 RAM
- ASUS ROG STRIX Geforce 1080 GTX OC
- 512 GB Samsung 950 Pro NVME M.2 SSD
- 500 GB Samsung 850 Evo 6GBs SATA SSD
- 2 TB Seagate Firecuda 6GBs SATA SSHD
- 2 x Gentle Typhoon 120mm case fans
- Corsair SF600 600 watt SFX PSU

As for temps... after over an hour of BOINC in a room with 74F ambient temps, CPU has gone as high as 87C at sustained 100% load at 1.2V. So... more like 7 to 8C temp drop. Still, under 90. I don't like going into the 90s.
 

TheInternal

Trash Compacter
Original poster
May 27, 2016
53
13
Undervolting can tremendously lower your heat and power consumption. I have an i7-4790K that was pulling between 30 and 40W from the wall while playing a game with the iGPU. I underclocked it to take it's voltage down pretty signficantly, but compared to the ~90W(?) TDP that's like 1/3 the power consumption.

How did you go about undervolting? Manually set the VCORE? How much of a reduction did you set it to while remaining stable?
 

zovc

King of Cable Management
Jan 5, 2017
852
602
It's honestly been a long time since I fooled with it. I can try to dig up the google doc I recorded my changes in later today.

The good news is that you shouldn't be able to damage (I.E. burn up) any of your hardware while playing with undervolting/underclocking, because you're just giving it less juice than it normally gets.
 

zovc

King of Cable Management
Jan 5, 2017
852
602
Okay, I looked it up. The changes I finalized with were:

-OC
CPU Cores Fixed: All Cores
Multiplier: 36

-FVIR Configuration
CPU Vcore Voltage Mode: Override
Vcore Override Voltage: 1.070

Fan Speed: Performance Mode

CPU Input Voltage: Auto

I also later overclocked the iGPU.

My average core max temperature (average of the four cores, over four tests) went down 7C from stock with these changes running GeekBench4. This was inside of a mini-box M350 with a NH-L9i on cooling duty and a SSD in there. It was very cramped.