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Intro to Air Cooling part 2: Fans

 

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Ok, so after a short break from Dream Build, we’re back with a vengeance! But today I would like to add to my previous ‘intro to air cooling.’  Previously, I went through the general method to optimal case air flow for maximum cooling. So now that we have determined how we want our air to flow, we will chose the fans to get that air a-flowin’!

In my mind, the most important aspects of a fan are (in no particular order): fan size, amount of air flow, and noise generated by the fans. Features like LED’s and fan color are more for your personal taste. Manual speed control of the fan is also a great feature!

Size:  The general rule of thumb for fan size is smaller fans push less air and are more noisy (which is no good, right?), while bigger fans push more air and are quieter (which IS good).

Amount of Airflow:  This one should be pretty self explanatory, but the more air being pushed (or pulled), the greater the cooling power. Airflow is often measured with the units CFM, or Cubic Feet per Minute.

Noise:  Story time!  When I built my first computer (many moons ago), the biggest fans that I had were 80mm, and I had about 5. Then I added hard drive coolers (more small fans), and a few more 80mm fans because I had no idea what I was doing. When I turned on my computer, it sounded like a hair dryer. I thought that it was worth it because I had so many fans, and thus more cooling. But my airflow design (reference Intro to Air Cooling) was very, very poor, so I could not even reap the benefits of all of the fans. Anyway, moral of the story, no one wants to be around a computer case if they can’t even hear the music, games, etc over the case itself. Less noise is better.

I would like to introduce you to two friends, the Thermaltake ISGC fan, and the Enermax Everest Twister fan.  Both of these are 120mm fans with maximum air flow from 46.1 CFM to 58.3 CFM with a noise rating of about 16 dB and about 10 dB respectively (Click on the links above  for full specifications).  The Thermaltake fan has adjustable speed, while the Enermax fan controls its speed on the basis of the temperature sensor that is on the fan itself (you can’t disable this unless you cut the wires leading to the sensor and use some electrical tape to connect the wires).

I personally bought 2 of the Thermaltake fans for a few reasons; 120mm, low noise, black and white [because I recently painted my case with a black and white theme], and amount of airflow. These two are mounted outside of my case on my radiator (see Intro to Water Co0ling) so it looks just right!

I hope this has shed some light on fan selection and the factors going into choosing the right fan!

-Da DreamBuild Crew

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September 2, 2009 Posted by | Case, Cooling, DreamBuild | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Minority Report

Ok, so who hasn’t seen Minority Report? (probably some people, but just play along anyway)  Do you remember when Tom Cruise was wearing gloves and was moving stuff around in the air? (ya, it’s been awhile since I’ve seen it, give me a break) Well, the good guys and gals over at Oblong Industries Inc. have started a computer revolution with their ‘g-speak’ technology. As explained in the link, one of Oblong’s founders was one of the science advisers to the movie Minority Report, and he based the design in the movie directly on his early work at MIT. Do you remember our post about the ‘mind controlled computer?’ Do you remember how amazing that was? (Me too!) Well, our mission is to bring you the latest and greatest in the technology realm, so we OBVIOUSLY had to tell you all about it!

To see a few demo videos about the g-speak technology, click the link above (if you haven’t already).

April 22, 2009 Posted by | Display, DreamBuild, The Future | Leave a comment

Intro to Water Cooling

An example of a liquid cooled computer.

An example of a liquid cooled computer.

Finally, right? I know – if you’re into overclocking (and I know you are!) and into performance (and I sure hope you are…) then water cooling is for you! It is a well known fact that the cooler your computer is, the faster and more efficient it can run (hence extreme overclockers using liquid nitrogen, for example, to cool computers; like the people at AMD who overclocked their… well, just watch).

Liquid cooling is far more efficient than air cooling, albeit more expensive (but expensive for all the right reasons). There are a lot of components to water cooling, but this is just an intro, so I’ll keep it simple. Also, there are various tube sizes (and coolers, even UV reactive and glow in the dark for all of you crazy cats out there), so you must be consistent with the tube sizes – I recommend 1/2″ tubing because of the high amount of flow.

Water block: Copper is an amazing metal to use for the water block because it can absorb and radiate heat extremely well. Surface area is important, because more surface area means more points for heat exchange exist. Often within water blocks, you will see pillar-like structures, or in the case of EVGA’s “Hydro Copper 16,” little “E’s” to increase the surface area (how hardcore awesome is that?).

Pumps: Basically the stronger the pump, the more flow you are going to get, which is good – the more flow, the more heat exchange (which is the whole point!)

Coolant: Water can absorb a lot of heat, without changing its temperature very much so water is an amazing coolant. Of course, there are additives-such as anti-corrosives, chemicals that improve the cooling performance.

Reservoirs: Another aspect of cooling, a reservoir helps in filling your cooling system as well as protecting from nasty, nasty air bubbles (everyone, let’s boo air bubbles! C’mon! “Boooooo!!!”)

Radiators: Oh sweet radiators! The radiator is where the coolant dumps its heat and cools down in order to suck out more heat from your processor, graphics card(s), etc.

Water Block: GPU – look up your gpu, because gpu water blocks are very,very specific – and CPU also varies from socket type to socket type, so just keep what I had to say in mind, and you’ll do just fine.

Reservoir

Radiator

Pump

April 14, 2009 Posted by | Cooling, Water Cooling | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Antec Skeleton

Antec Skeleton

Have you seen your pitiful little case recently?  I laugh at your plastic window, and your red/blue/green LED lights.  It’s time to step it up, and become a man.  In the computer world, I believe it’s called a keyboardmitzvah, and it involves one thing – buying the Antec Skeleton case, the first open air computer case.  This beautiful experiment in casing comes with a front 92mm fan, and a top (three speed) 250mm fan with multicolor LED customization.  Just imagine the next time you go to a LAN and whip this bad boy out.  “Is that 4 drive bays I see?” Your friends will ask as they stare longingly at your new set up. “Yes,” you’ll reply, “and room for three 11′ graphics cards.”  That’s when all the girls will flock to you from all directions, screaming and grabbing at your clothes.  “Calm down ladies, There’s enough of me to go around, just like there’s enough room inside my case to fit a Standard, Micro, or mini ATX motherboard in that case.”  And that’s when things will really get out of control.  Admit it – you want this case, and at $179.95 how can you possibly resist?  Pretty easily, but still…  Oh and if you feel like you need a little extra protection for your components, a mesh cover is available for the mere price of $59.00.  A little much for a case that probably won’t improve the cooling of your CPU? Maybe, but a steal when considering the perks of having the coolest case at any LAN.

Best Deal: ($138) http://www.provantage.com/antec-skeleton~7ANTG05A.htm

Best Review: http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,2845,2332330,00.asp

Best Video Review: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6dX2K8ydDo

April 14, 2009 Posted by | Case | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sweet deals!

Ok, so we’ve told you about Newegg.com before, but for some reason forgot to inform you about one of the best features (one of many) about the site: Shell Shocker. Newegg.com’s Shell Shocker is a special sale on one item (which changes daily – from printers and fax machines, to motherboards, hard drives, and processors). The discounts can range from 10% off to even 30% off, most including free shipping. The deals are ‘while supplies last,’ so act quickly, because they sell out pretty fast. The Shell Shocker is definitely worth checking out, especially when you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg to get your computer parts! (It is also worth while to check out Newegg’s combo deals, linked below. There are hundreds of deals, so luckily they provide numerous means to narrow your search to find exactly what you are looking for).

Shell Shocker deal: http://www.newegg.com/Special/ShellShocker.aspx

Combo Deals: http://www.newegg.com/Special/Combo.aspx?name=Combo-Deals

April 14, 2009 Posted by | Deals | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Save money by Folding @Home (A DreamBuild PSA)

Hopefully, all y’all know what Folding @Home is, so I’m not going to go into detail about what it is, but for anyone out of the loop here’s a summary of it: Folding @Home is a program that once installed, uses spare CPU or GPU power to simulate protein folding, and then sends the information to a database in Stanford University which will help scientist better understand the role of proteins in diseases like Alzheimers, Huntington’s, various cancers, etc.  It’s a pretty utilitarian project, or at least it was, until EVGA decided to take things up a notch.  You see, with Folding @Home you can either give data as an individual, or join a team (such as EVGA’s) and donate as a team.  Not much comes from having a big team except bragging rights, bragging rights that EVGA seems to desperately want.  So desperately in fact that they are giving away “EVGA bucks” (Money that can be used to buy EVGA products from their website) and 10% off the b-stocks, which are better than the title suggests.  Want in on this action? Here’s the link http://www.evga.com/folding/promo.asp.  You’re gonna have to register with the EVGA website, and download the GPU version of Folding @Home.  There are some requirements: A CUDA-class GPU’s for NVIDIA (primarily G80 and later) and R6xx or later GPU’s for ATI, as well as WINDOWS (Ominous Music).  If you can play TF2 I think you should be okay in both of these categories, but maybe you should double check.

Guide to joining the EVGA Folding @Home Team: Link

Stanford University’s Foldin@Home website: http://folding.stanford.edu/

April 12, 2009 Posted by | GPU, Motherboard, Other | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Geforce GTX 275

Click the picture for specs.

Click the picture for specs

A while ago Nvidia announced and released a new video card, the GTX 275.  This graphics card is a beast, no doubt.  This new card is the fastest single GPU card on the market, outpacing the ATI Radeon HD 4890, which is ATI’s fastest single GPU card.  How does it stack up to Nvidia’s line of cards though?  Not surprisingly it is faster than the GTX 260, but not quite as powerful as the GTX 285.  Want more?  Engadget has a good little review round-up of it as well as the ATI Radeon 4890. By the way, the best price is only $20 less than Newegg.com which has much better customer service – your call.

Best Review: Engadget’s Review Round-up

Best Price: ($241) http://www.eworldsale.com/bfg-bfgegtx2851024oce-geforce-gtx-285-1gb-gddr3-pci-e-20-x16-video-card_5871_30380.html

April 11, 2009 Posted by | GPU | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Intel Core i7

Once you go Extreme Edition, you never go back.

Once you go Extreme Edition, you never go back.

This is our first post about a CPU, which I find strange, because it may be the most important part of any dream build.  Right now, there is only one obvious choice for a processor in a top of the line PC and that is Intel’s Core i7.  This is soon to change, with the advent of Xeon processors, which are just one evolutionary step above the Core i7(although it does use the same architecture), but sadly, they are not available quite yet.  The Core i7 promises large speed increases over the previous generation of Intel processors, the Core 2.  I’m not going to mention some other processors because honestly, they don’t belong in your computer unless you happen to be reading this from the year 2000.  For our dream-build I am going to suggest the Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition 965 simply because it is the fastest processor that money can buy.  The 965 is a 3.2 GHz quad-core 45-nm processor, with 4×256 kb L2, and 8Mb L3 cache.  It also uses QPI(QuickPath Interface) as apposed to FSB(Front Side Bus) which gives it a huge performance increase over any non-Core i7 processor.   Sounds good, no? But if your thinking of an upgrade, make sure you check if your motherboard has the correct socket for Core i7 processor, because chances are your going to have to upgrade your MOBO too. OUCH! Don’t worry, we got you covered, just check out our motherboards category to find a suitable one…

Oh right… reviews and such…

Best Review: http://www.techspot.com/review/124-intel-core-i7-920-940-965/

Best Video Review: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydwSXvMboQU&feature=related

Best Price: ($930.00) http://www.smksuperstore.com/products/viewproduct.ashx?ID=46257&ref=5f45ff19e0d19b1ee8a0f90d83287eaf

April 10, 2009 Posted by | CPU, DreamBuild | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stumble us.

We’re a simple website, with a simple goal.  Please, take a moment to stumble us.  It’s really simple, just click the button(You need to have a stumbe upon account, but you really should already have one).  As for a new post, I have been searching the web for news on some new hardware, but today seems pretty sparse.  Instead, I will probably just do a little post about some hardware that I wanna buy.  Hopefully it’ll be up soon.  If you guys find anything interesting – just comment it to us on any post, and we’ll get it.  Now, while your waiting for us to update, why not just click that little button at the top of this post?  Come on, you know you want to.

April 10, 2009 Posted by | Other | Leave a comment

Another Post…

The Future

SSD: Solid-State Drive.  Doesn’t have quite the ring to it as hard disk drive I.M.O.  but get used to it, they’re coming, and they’re here to stay.  Believe it or not, hard drive disks are quite a bit older than personal computers.  And while most components in PCs have evolved many times throughout their history, the architecture of a HDD has stayed pretty much the same since its conception.  Well, a change is beginning to occur, and it’s going to be to drives what multiple cores were to computing: the Solid-State Drive.  These new drives have already become very popular on technology sites and blogs, because they don’t rely on any physically moving parts, which makes them much faster and durable than our current drives that use a mechanical arm to track and read a spinning disk to retrieve data.  SSDs are being adopted by the hardcore users, and if you own a netbook, chances are that it contains a SSD.  SATA ports simply can’t keep up with the I/O power of SSD’s, and I believe that soon a new port will be added to motherboards which will allow higher read/write speeds.  Already manufacturers are building SSDs that connect via pci-e to get around the limitations of SATA.  The biggest obstacle in the adoption of SSD as a standard is price, and capacity.  I have been closely monitoring the prices of SSDs since they entered the market, and the strides they have been making in both of these categories is remarkable.  Now with the advent of Windows 7 and Snow Leopard, which both promise better SSD support, it is a more enticing time than ever to upgrade.  I set out to introduce  the Super Talent RAID Drive but instead I wrote a little opinion piece.  I would still strongly reccomend it, or any SSD that is connected via pci-e, because of the higher input and output, which is what your buying it for anyways aren’t you? Oh and the title? Just read the post below.

April 8, 2009 Posted by | Hard Drive | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment