Saturday, June 9, 2012

Silencing the PC (part 2)

First of all, if you haven’t already, read the part 1 here.

So I decided to buy a fan controller, no thanks to the amount of fans I have installed in the PC and no thanks to the crappy fan controller on the ASRock Z68 Extreme4 (non-gen3) motherboard.

Whom did I turn to? Scythe. They have the cheapest accessories in Japan, because Scythe is a Japanese brand. But which model? I had a tight budget, so I could not go with fancy touch screen control stuff. (I don’t think Scythe made such models, but if they did, it would be outta my budget.)

I went with the Scythe Kaze Master Ace. I bought it off Amazon for JPY3,437 which was reasonable for a 6-channel fan controller. Sure, it doesn’t have PWM support, but I don’t have any PWN fans anyways so no big deal.

image

Installing the fan controller in the Raven RV03 case was a real pain, because I used the top most 5.25” bay and you cannot easily push the cables through the gap. I have two intake fans right below; that’s why the room is right. Remember, this is 6 fan cable, 6 temperature sensor cables and then the power cable. Good thing there is enough room behind the motherboard tray for the cable management.

I installed the temperature sensors in the following manner.

  1. On the radiator wall
  2. On the motherboard’s VRM heatsink (the front intake fans are blowing air towards this area)
  3. On one of the HDDs behind the motherboard (the side panel fan behind the motherboard blows air towards this area)
  4. On one of the RAM sinks (the front penetrator fan blows air towards this area)
  5. On the rear fan wall (the GPU air intake area)
  6. On the GPU heatsink (the rear penetrator fan blows air towards this area)

Fan controller installed

There are few problems with the controller though. You can change the fan speed easily with the 6 knobs on the bottom. But it only shows two temperatures at one time. You have to use the top two knobs to change the LCD reading. They are hard, because they stop at 3 discrete positions, but they have no grip at all. So changing the position can be a real pain at times.

While the following is not directly a problem with the fan controller, I forget to turn up the fans when I am playing games. I turn the fans to inaudible levels (see the pic on the top – radiator fan at 1140RPM and air penetrator fans at 600RPM) when the PC is at idle or not doing anything big (which is like MOST OF THE TIME) and those speeds are not enough when playing games. I probably should have spent a bit more and bought something that would auto control the fans according to the temps. Oh well…

I am still thinking of buying the highspeed radiator fan – namely the Scythe Gentle Typhoon 3000RPM fan. Of course there is no gentleness about the noise at full blast. But the fan controller would take care of the noise (I hope). But I really don’t need it right now. Will wait and see if summer brings the real need.

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