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Overkilling AMD cooling (Or: Tool Time with Rougarou)

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Rougarou
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Overkilling AMD cooling (Or: Tool Time with Rougarou)

Post#1 » Mon Sep 07, 2015 3:39 pm

OK, for those that don't already know I'm running a double AMD system (Phenom II Black x965 OCed to 3.8 ghz + MSI r9 390x) and I really didn't want to liquid cool my rig. I did have some things lying around so I got to work. Awhile back I rigged up an industrial-grade air scrubber to deal with smoke/pet odors in my house. I've run this rig for close to 5 years, and I've only had to change the charcoal out once. Why not send that purified air into the case?

I'll try to simplify the rationale for the engineering aspects as much as I can. There's quite a few benefits to this rig with only a few downsides. Note: This is a whole (or at least half) of the house modification. The benefits to the computer is just a side-effect, a consequence of operation of the purifier. I had a lot of this stuff laying around but this can get a little pricey. Plan to spend $200. However, that $200 you'll find is the best money you ever spent.

Pro:
-Keeps case much cooler. Your PC is essentially an exhaust manifold and your ambient case temps will be several degrees below room temperature.

-You never have to clean your case again. Ever. That case was completely disassembled and cleaned 3 months ago. Look how dirty it is! Pets and computers don't mix well.

-No more fiddling with multiple case fans. You have your CPU cooler and your onboard GPU fans, and the Big Mama. If she goes out, you know it immediately upon entering the room. Hell, you won't even have to hear it. You'll smell it.

-Half of your house will be utterly odor free. I smoke (the crowd asks "smoke what?" and laughs) and this setup will completely annihilate anything you throw at it. Does wonders for pet odors, too. My Mom is a former smoker and is extremely sensitive to the odor of cigarettes. I can smoke a cigarette 5 minutes before my mother walks into the door and she can barely smell it. Seriously, an Ionic Breeze Quadra or Oreck purifier has got jack squat on this rig...for half the price.

Results: Right now, idle, puttering around making this post with 6 tabs open in Chromewith my home AC set on 77 deg F (25 deg C) my overclocked x965 CPU is at 57 deg C, and the video card is at 39 deg C. When I really work it I usually see CPU/GPU temps at ~61 deg. C....which is phenomenal for an r9 390x.

The Cons:

-It's a little louder than you liquid-cooling aficionados would like. That sound can be mitigated though, if you keep a few things in mind. The noise is a little deeper than typical case fan noise, and fan noise at that pitch I find blends easily into the background noise. Standard disclaimer: There is no way to tell how loud it will be until you actually implement it. Each individual setup will have its own airflow profile and that airflow and its associated turbulence is what makes the vast majority of the fan's noise.

-It's bulky. You may have to get creative with your setup. More on this later: Work In Progress *Reserved*

-No more air fresheners or incense. If you want to use these products you will have to do it with your computer off. This works just as well to eliminate smellgood as it does stank.

Here's the materials list. All is available from Amazon, and search terms are underlined.

*A 6 inch inline fan that is either this or some variation of this: (NOT THE GALVANIZED COFFEE CAN ONES: NOT ENOUGH FLOW).
http://www.amazon.com/Active-Air-400-Inline-6-Inch/dp/B00KWYJQYA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1441650930&sr=8-1&keywords=6+inch+inline+fan&pebp=1441650935515&perid=01FS598E1J32GFZHKR4W Highly advised you get one of the ones that has the "wrap" around the motor. That's noise suppression.

*A 6 inch carbon air filter. IMPORTANT NOTE AT THE END REGARDING THESE!Pretty much only one variation. Just search for 6 inchGet one that has the white prefilter around it. It will help your charcoal last longer. You can wash these things a lot before they have to be replaced. You can even take a pair of scissors to a household AC filter and get cutesy with the HEPA filters for further cleaning of the air. I've done both and don't notice much difference. When you're dealing with ~15 lbs of activated charcoal it's like killing a fly with a bazooka anyway. Anything else you do other than the prefilter is just more overkill.http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=6+inch+carbon+air+filter

*6 inch Duct + Duct Clamps Be cheap and used what I used or get the 6" insulated ducting. Insulated is more expensive but will be quieter. Sometimes the duct comes with the clamps. If not they should be available at Lowes/Home Depot but don't be surprised if they don't carry 6" clamps. Mine does, yours may not. 6" is big. Home dryers are usually 4". http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=6+inch+duct&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3A6+inch+duct

*Active Air Duct Fan Speed Adjuster Slows down your fan. That thing *is* a blower, after all. The slower you run it, the more the charcoal can absorb. Find the sweetspot between noise level, odor absorption, and exhaust temperatures. For me, when watching a movie, this is about 1/4 throttle. During heavy gaming sessions (I'm looking at you Star Citizen) about ~3/8ths throttle is best. It HAS TO BE THIS ONE. If you get one of the other ones the fan motor might buzz. Won't hurt it but it's annoying. This one won't make the motor buzz;I don't know why it just doesn't Why does the posi-trac rear end work? IT JUST DOES.http://www.amazon.com/Active-Air-ACSC-Speed-Adjuster/dp/B007TFTITS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1441651324&sr=8-1&keywords=Active+Air+fan+controller

*6 inch flange. I got the one 2nd down on the page, the white one. It ended up being metal. I used the inside flange plate as a template. Worked well.http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=6+inch+flange

ONLY IF YOUR CASE HAS A WINDOW IN THE SIDE LIKE MINE DID

*A sheet of something, relatively rigid. If you can find one big enough, a nylon cutting board would work well. Or an old, completely-not-stolen street sign of sufficient size. I had a spare sheet of scrap aluminum that we used. This isn't really load bearing so you can use whatever. Just keep in mind you want it thin enough to be able to close your case back up.

How Do?

OK, first thing you need to do is figure out where you're going to put this huge-ass duct. Easiest way to do this is to keep a few simple principles in mind.

1. Air is a liquid and will flow as such.
2. Fan blades don't move as much air if the air on the "intake" side of the fan is turbulent
3. Bends in the ducting reduces efficiency and creates turbulence, which has the side effect of creating noise.. The reduction in effiency also makes the fan work harder, which creates more noise. The straighter the airflow path, the better.
4. Don't be like me. Choose a power supply that allows you to remove un-needed cabling. If i had, I might have had much better results than the already awesome results I have now.

Flange placement
If you notice in this picture, the silver square thingy behind the glass is my CPU cooling tower. Front of PC is to the right of the picture. Notice that if I install the duct flange right here the CPU fan would be sucking in turbulent air from the duct? I moved the CPU cooling tower fan to the *back* side of the case, putting the tower in between it and the turbulent air. This is important, and if you notice CPU temps higher than you should, try flipping your fan to this configuration. Also, putting the duct where i did forces air to hit the Drive Bay bulkhead first. Only 2/3 of the duct surface there is open to the motherboard, and the air hitting the drivebay bulkhead first causes turbulence, but it also makes air move towards the back of the case. Air is a liquid, remember? Liquid can be diverted, as long as you remember that it will take the path of least resistance unless forced.
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Here's the back of the case. All that scratched/dirty plexiglas is coming out.
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We ended up just using the plexiglas as a stencil. Ladies and Gentlemen, give my grandfather a hand. This started out with me doing and him sitting and rapidly turned into him doing and me doing my level best to make sure he didn't fall.
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Smoothing out the edges. The hole was cut with a 6" hole bit, but those aren't the easiest thing in the world to come by, so if I didn't already have one of those laying about i'd have just used a dremel with a diamond wheel. You'll need to cut a 6" hole, regardless of what method you use.
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Marking the holes for drilling. It's starting to come together! I originally had the mesh screen installed behind the "Ultra" logo but we lacked the size pop rivets we needed to include it. Doesn't matter anyway because it ended up I needed that open for CPU fan monitoring.
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Everything is all riveted in! If you don't have a pop rivet gun they can be had at a hardware store for most of the time less than $20, rivets included. This was before painting.
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After painting!
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Here's how its sitting right now, next to my TV. I'm doing some things wrong in this picture and I'm in the process of rectifying them, as soon as I get off my ass and assemble this table. If you notice you see I have 2 140 degree bends in that duct? right now I'm creating a massive bottleneck in the air flow, which is creating turbulence and making the motor work harder. Eventually you want to have that hose as straight as possible or have no more than 90 degree turns in your flow.
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Usage

I have to replace my charcoal about once every 2.5 years. Now that's under heavy usage with all the smoke and the pets and the like. I have a lot of this charcoal so it doesn't cost me hardly anything to refill it, but those of you that don't have that resource will have to replace the canister at a cost of ~$50-70 USD when you notice it it smells a little less clean in your house.

IMPORTANT: If you choose to replace your own charcoal, place the refilled canister atop an AC unit for a few hours (the vibrations make the charcoal settle) and then run it off the computer with the fan turned up to full throttle for a couple of hours. IT IS A GOOD IDEA TO BLOW OUT THE CANISTER EVEN ON NEWLY PURCHASED CANISTERS. Why? Charcoal dust. Running the fan at full throttle for awhile blows all the dust out of the canister and safely into the air of your backyard..you did do this outside, right? You're going to be venting a honkin ton of charcoal dust into the air.

IMPORTANT #2: In case it wasn't immediately obvious, you have to remove all the exterior fans on your case. Don't get cute and use them to "help" You'll make more noise and you won't help at all.
Last edited by Rougarou on Tue Sep 08, 2015 11:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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ActionHirvi
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Re: Overkilling AMD cooling (Or: Tool Time with Rougarou)

Post#2 » Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:55 am

Ugly as fuck pipe. (A see through one would be less flashy.) Seriously speaking, this is very nicely done and I can see that it took some really creative thinking to figure out that such a system would actually work.

Like you, I don't have a modular PSU, but unlike you I was able to place all of the wires behind the motherboard in the free space in the case. If you can place the wires there, it would be really great just so the airflow is a bit better.
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Re: Overkilling AMD cooling (Or: Tool Time with Rougarou)

Post#3 » Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:09 am

ActionHirvi wrote:Ugly as fuck pipe. (A see through one would be less flashy.) Seriously speaking, this is very nicely done and I can see that it took some really creative thinking to figure out that such a system would actually work.

Like you, I don't have a modular PSU, but unlike you I was able to place all of the wires behind the motherboard in the free space in the case. If you can place the wires there, it would be really great just so the airflow is a bit better.


I started out that way. I ended up needing at least one plug out of all of them so they got pulled out from there. :|

Yeah, the pipe is ugly but remember I said I had most of this stuff laying around? I'll probably end up ordering a length of plain black insulated ducting to use that way it'll minimize noise as much as possible.

To be honest, Hirvi, I didn't think that it would work as well as it does. I estimated airflow would move much faster than it actually is so I was concerned about the amount of turbulent air the CPU/GPU fans would be pulling from. As it turns out my math was wrong and the airflow coming from the fan is more of a huge gentle push than a tornado. When I get my new CPU in I'll be able to tell you better how well it works. The cooler is a little dusty and I'm not able to take it off and clean it without risking damage to the cpu. That's how I bent all those pins on it last time.
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Thorslax
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Re: Overkilling AMD cooling (Or: Tool Time with Rougarou)

Post#4 » Tue Sep 08, 2015 5:47 pm

Firstly, thank you for posting all this! I'll be doing something along the lines of this eventually.

So the Charcoal filter has that one connector on the side via the big silver cylinder?
I'm not surprised.

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Rougarou
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Re: Overkilling AMD cooling (Or: Tool Time with Rougarou)

Post#5 » Tue Sep 08, 2015 11:09 pm

Thorslax wrote:Firstly, thank you for posting all this! I'll be doing something along the lines of this eventually.

So the Charcoal filter has that one connector on the side via the big silver cylinder?


Yeah, the thing with the holes. It works extremely well once you find the sweet spot on the fan controller.
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Re: Overkilling AMD cooling (Or: Tool Time with Rougarou)

Post#6 » Thu Sep 10, 2015 10:30 pm

Awesome ;)

looking forward to a long term test report
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Big_Johnson
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Re: Overkilling AMD cooling (Or: Tool Time with Rougarou)

Post#7 » Thu Oct 15, 2015 9:41 pm

do you use activated charcoal similar to the kind for fish tanks?
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Darkimpulse
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Re: Overkilling AMD cooling (Or: Tool Time with Rougarou)

Post#8 » Thu Oct 22, 2015 8:04 pm

Very awesome project, I would have expected the input side of air to be like a tornado as well.
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Rougarou
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Re: Overkilling AMD cooling (Or: Tool Time with Rougarou)

Post#9 » Tue Nov 03, 2015 4:00 pm

Big_Johnson wrote:do you use activated charcoal similar to the kind for fish tanks?



Same deal. The charcoal that i have was made to pull hydrocarbon vapors (i.e gasoline) out of soil. Charcoal is the same, though.
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Rougarou
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Re: Overkilling AMD cooling (Or: Tool Time with Rougarou)

Post#10 » Tue Nov 03, 2015 4:03 pm

60 day report: Still working great. Not one speck of dust on the inside of the case. Unfortunately, on the same week that my AMD 8370 and Samsung SSD was set to arrive, my PSU gave up the ghost. It was only 8 years old....

Replaced it with a Rosewill Photon 850w gold modular PSU. No more unneeded cabling woohoo!
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