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zillatron

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More on that purple soon :)

In the mean time...another mini update:

The Metis has some questionable design choices when it comes to air flow and cooling
The side panel vent is actually behind the motherboard tray, I can understand this was likely cost driven but the reality is that those vent holes are largely useless behind the motherboard tray. So I flipped the side panel to put the vent behind the other end of the tray:


'But Dan, that's even worse! o_O' - It sure is!

But I like to think there's nothing an angle grinder can't at least contribute considerably to fixing....

Quick lick of matte black:

Better! :cool:

This vent will now be at the front of the case in the cavity between the PSU and side panel, I hope *crosses fingers* that this will provide another avenue for air to escape the case so I'm not only relying on the PSU exhaust fan to expel hot air.

Dan
 

iFreilicht

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I would imagine it actually worsens performance of the PSU as an exhaust fan because it will draw cold air from that vent as well. We'll have to see, though, I'm not a fluid-dynamics engineer.

But yes, the thermal design of the Metis is one of it's biggest problems.
 

CC Ricers

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Nov 1, 2015
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Didn't expect the Metis' front panel PCB to look so "80s". I mean, yes, front panel inputs aren't very complex things to make but it doesn't even look like it was made in the last 20 years lol.

I'm curious to see how you improve the Metis. I wanted to do something like that to improve airflow if I made a build with it. Pretty neat case otherwise.
 

zillatron

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I would imagine it actually worsens performance of the PSU as an exhaust fan because it will draw cold air from that vent as well. We'll have to see, though, I'm not a fluid-dynamics engineer.
Neither am I! haha The PSU doesn't have a vent on that side, my hope is that with enough positive pressure (the intake fan will far exceed the PSU fan, and it's very likely I'll use the XT140 in the top panel as an intake) that won't be much of a problem. I'm more concerned that the only way anything could escape the case is though the PSU, if the PSU fan isn't spinning that *seems* like a worse situation.

We'll find out soon enough!

I'm curious to see how you improve the Metis. I wanted to do something like that to improve airflow if I made a build with it. Pretty neat case otherwise.

Yeah that PCB is pretty retro! :cool: The good news is it's simplicity probably works to my advantage.
Hopefully I'm improving things, this will be a test for the next build in this case (Zen+Fury Nano? :eek:) that will be at least partially water-cooled...

Dan
 

zillatron

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These little guys arrived the other day...


They fit perfectly into the spot vacated by the USB 3 cables


Modification: complete!


I'll have to take it back out at some point to attach a usb2 header to the board, but that's fairly low on the todo list.

Major update on the way...hint: my computer is a lot smaller now :eek:
 

zillatron

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Finally, last weekend, I had some time to sit down and execute part 1 of the transplant into the Metis! *happy dance* :thumb:

Side panel off, with the SX500-LG installed:


That's a pretty small tiny PSU (compared to the AX 760i) - still looks big inside this case!

My vent mod, behind the PSU. My intention is to try and keep this relatively clear of cables:


Mobo transplant success!


Slight change of plans with the CPU cooler, ended up with a C1 instead of a C7. The heatsink pretty much covers the entire board which means it has to come out for anything to go in.


Fans installed and SSD on the outside mount. Everything is super snug:


Speaking of things being snug, despite my front USB header changes the GPU still didn't quite fit. I had to take the fan shroud off...and to do that, disconnect this:


After that...it fit...just:


The thing I'm least happy with is the craptastic PSU cables. They are all the wrong length or have to bend the wrong way...it's a mess.


At this point I'm just trying to prove that it works, still undecided on how exactly to solve this. The GPU makes things extremely tight, where I can I've tucked the extra length between the 'top' of the PSU and the front panel.

Last but not least, the NZXT Grid+ V2, because:
1) The Corsair commander mini is way too big and a PITA to use.
2) The sys_fan header on the motherboard is PWM so I had no easy way to control the Corsair AF 120 (not PWM) and it sounded like a vacuum cleaner.
3) Depending on how well it can dissipate heat, I'll likely end up with the my Cryorig XT140 in the top panel.



It's actually quite small! The included 3M dual-lock pads work perfectly for mounting out of the way. Integration with CAM is excellent. Corsair could learn something from how well this works!

I'm nit picking, but the one thing I don't like about it is the custom power connector with a Molex plug on the end. Which meant I needed to add another cable into the PSU, just for this. I'll get a Molex to SATA power adaptor, but I really think it should have just been a data connector to begin with.

It lives!


By and large things went to plan, only 2 snags:
- The GPU fan shroud
- PSU cables, particularly the ATX and CPU ones aren't long enough to be routed out of the way.

Some notes on performance:
Things work better than I expected in a case this small, idle temps are a respectable 40-42 at idle and between 55-65 on the CPU under gaming load. The GPU sits 38-40 idle and 70-75 under gaming load (Elite: Dangerous) But the fans don't spin on this card until it cracks 50.

I'm actually quite surprised how the GPU performs, in the Prodigy the GPU fans were facing a side panel vent. Even then the card would reach similar highs under gaming load, anecdotally it looks like it's about 3-4 degrees warmer now.

Under constant 100% load on both the CPU and GPU things get a little wild, the GPU tops out at 75 and the CPU a 71. A little high for my liking but that's not really a fair test. The intake fan gets a little noisy at this point, too.

During the setup of the Grid+ I noticed that there was a bigger impact to cooling by running the CPU fan faster from earlier - the good news is that the fan is pretty much silent even at full speed. So I've gone with a more aggressive curve to try and stay in front of the load.

The AF 120 at 900rpm is quiet, not silent. I think carving out the vent in the panel and just using a less restrictive grill will help keep the noise down. That said, in all my tests, I noticed that running it faster/louder compared to slower/quieter made very little difference to the overall temperature.

At 40 degrees the PSU fan kicks in (also silent) and starts to pull hot air out of the case - A feat it does surprisingly well considering the couple of centimetres it has to vent into under the case. Also the side panel vent mod seems to work really well, a lot better than I expected. Regardless of if the PSU fan is running the pressure of the intake fan (even at low speed) and the CPU fan blowing in that general direction, is enough to keep hot air exiting the case.

Remaining todo's:
- Better PSU cables
- Dismantle the case so I can paint the outside panels :)
- M O A R LED's!

Dan

Edit: Actual temps. Fixed borked image links.
 
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iFreilicht

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Love the progress! Some pictures weren't embedded correctly, maybe try to fix that.

I'm very impressed with the GPU temps. So many people understandably had issues with those in the metis, and some just drilled holes in the top, but the combination of your mods to the GPU and the case seem to have alleviated that problem.

Have you thought about using a differently lit fan? These four LED fans always look awful in my opinion, I like the newer ring-lit types much more.
 

zillatron

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Love the progress!
Thank you!

I'm very impressed with the GPU temps. So many people understandably had issues with those in the metis, and some just drilled holes in the top, but the combination of your mods to the GPU and the case seem to have alleviated that problem.
I'm as surprised as you! I'll update the gaming temps a bit later tonight for completeness..but so far it's had no real trouble dealing with anything I've thrown at it.

Have you thought about using a differently lit fan? These four LED fans always look awful in my opinion, I like the newer ring-lit types much more.
I like the ring lit ones, but I already had this one :) Are you talking about the Termaltake ones?

Some pictures weren't embedded correctly, maybe try to fix that.
Yeah, with the first 5 the media tags added by themselves, I went back and added the rest manually but I got a 'no more than 5 images' error. Is there a better way to embed them?
 

iFreilicht

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Yeah, with the first 5 the media tags added by themselves, I went back and added the rest manually but I got a 'no more than 5 images' error. Is there a better way to embed them?

You should be able to use the "image" button left to the media button to embed images, but you'll have to insert a direct link to the image.

I like the ring lit ones, but I already had this one :) Are you talking about the Termaltake ones?

Jup, the Riing things. I thought corsair had something similar, but apparently they don't.
 
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zillatron

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It's been a little white since I've posted an update..had some time over the weekend so I got to work on this part of my remaining todo list:
- Dismantle the case so I can paint the outside panels

So, here we go!


I *really* didn't want to have to pull the whole machine apart, thankfully the outside panels can be removed and you can leave most things 'in place':


A Force wielding wife is also helpful:


With the panels off, it was time to made the 140mm top panel modifications I'd originally planned:


After a fair bit of grinding and sanding, it was time to start prepping:


..and prime:


First coat on top of blue, looking pretty wild:


2 coats on, looking slick.


Matte top coat drying and you can see how different lighting makes the purple look totally different:


Left it overnight for the topcoat to harden, going back together (different light again):


Reminder: This is a pretty snug toaster.


Time to put my cunning cooling plan into action:


Grille and filter to come, but I'm calling that a win (different light again).


Done (for now)!


Results of adding the top fan and the modified side vent:


I can run both intakes at around 30% all the time to keep the noise down. CPU idle is slightly higher than this pic, typically around 42c. GPU wins the most here, 34c Idle and 60-65 under load with a peak of 68c. My last post I said it was 70-75 under load, with more game-time under my belt since then I'd say it was more like 75-80c (Battlefront). Also, with the extra positive pressure the modified side panel vent is working *really* well.

Considering it's only marginally louder, I'm really happy with the results.

That's it for this update!

Remaining todo list:
- Power button touch up
- Fan grille/filter
- Custom PSU cables
- MOAR LED's

Dan

edit: After an hour of Elite: Dangerous, see if you can spot when I stopped playing...
 
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Phuncz

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The color looks quite good, well done ! The added airflow really helped too !
 
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zillatron

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The color looks quite good, well done ! The added airflow really helped too !
Thank you! I'll see if I can get some slightly better photos to show what it *actually* looks like.

What software is that?
It's CAM from NZXT: https://camwebapp.com

The paint job looks great!
Did you use a drill to cut out the fan hole? it looked pretty rough at first.
Thanks!

Once I marked out where the hole needed to be I drilled holes to 'rough it' in. I was going to use a small cutting blade (air grinder) but the shape and thickness of the material made it super awkward...and it was taking ages. So I drilled out a couple of holes big enough to fit a tungsten carbide hacksaw blade, which cut though the aluminium like butter.

The finish was pretty rough so I used a rotary sanding drum for the air grinder and a de-burrer to clean it up (and adjust the shape of the hole). Came up Milhouse :)

Dan