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Cube to the MAX!

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Hi everyone, my third Cube build is officially on order. I'm calling it 'Cube to the MAX!' because at this point in time, I think its final product will be about as fast as a G4 Cube could possibly be built to operate within the confines of it's tiny shell. To be truthful, I don't even know for sure if it's going to work well or overheat, but I'm rolling the dice and putting my cash down to say it'll be a go.


Components:

1. Intel DQ77KB mainboard
2. Intel i7-3770S 65W processor
3. 16GB DDR3 1600 Vengeance RAM
4. 256GB Crucial mSATA SSD
5. Gelid Slim Silence i-Plus CPU cooler
6. Three interior Case fans (as shown below)
7. Apple BT and Wifi
8. Edisen MT0.2-ST-NR-N Touch Sensor
9. Two top-mounted USB 2.0 ports
10. HD4000 onboard graphics


Why is this a Cube to the MAX?

1. CPU is max speed supported by the mainboard
2. RAM is max supported by the mainboard
3. 65W CPU is max supported by the Gelid Cooler
4. Gelid Cooler is the max size that will allow top mounted USB ports
5. Case fans will be max size possible for Cube interior

What are the goals?

1. To surpass the 11,000 level in Geekbench on a G4 Cube
2. To run Prime95 for Mac indefinitely without overheating
3. To maintain a highly effective 'wind-tunnel' cooling design
4. To have a virtually silent i7 Cube, same as i3 build quietness.


These are some fairly agressive goals given the size restrictions of the G4 Cube. Only time will tell if they are all achievable or not, in full or in part. I've included a couple of pics below (taken from my second Cube build, then enhanced) to illustrate the cooling plan I have for this i7 Cube project. The goal as stated above is to implement an effective and efficient unrestricted 'Wind Tunnel' flow upwards through the system.

It will utilize the following components:

1. A 92mm Noctua PWM intake fan.

This will fill nearly the entire floor of the cube between the 2 handle support rails and back to the space previously occupied by the DVD drive. PWM control will provide a highly adjustable intake flow and noise level adjustment through BIOS.

2. A 60mm Noctua exhaust fan

This fan will be throttled by a Noctua Fan Speed Reduction cable to reduce noise. Two choices of speed reduction are available.

3. A vertically mounted 80mm Noctua 'CPU Helper'.

This fan will be mounted in the previous location of the DVD drive. It will sit 90 degrees to the intake and exhaust fan, and effectively blow fresh air across the vertical wind tunnel directly towards the Gelid CPU cooler. This will hopefully provide assistance to the Gelid Cooler that will be running at maximum capacity to cool the 65W i7-3770S under loaded conditions.

4. Gelid Slim Silence i-Plus

Vertically mounted in a position that will seat it within 1mm of a handle support rail, the 75mm fan will be about 2/3 open to the additional airflow provided by the fan (3) as described above. PWM control will allow flexible cooling options for a reasonable compromise between noise and cooling capacity.



Cooling Plan Diagrams

Horiztonal View





Vertical View






Of course, I'm open to the comments and direction of other forum members. The parts ordered will take a couple of weeks to arrive. Will add to this post as the build takes flight. It's going to be interesting to see where this project eventually ends up, because at this point, I'm not really sure of it's outcome.

Regards,
Ersterhernd
 
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Good luck!
Should be totally do-able I think. For a while I had an i5 2500k processor in my Cube (tdp 95w) and it pulled over 10K on Geekbench so with your spec.s, the improved efficiency, your modding skills and cooling plans my money is on you succeeding.
Will keep watching.:thumbup:
 
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I love your optimism Minihack! Hoping for the best with this one.


Got the old Cube all ripped apart this afternoon. Just the barebones left to begin the project when the goods arrive...






Ersterhernd
 
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Got the intake fan installed. A 92mm Noctua PWM secured to aluminum flatbar JB Welded to the Cube floor. It's the largest fan that would fit. Just barely cleared inside of the two support rails and goes all the way to the front wall of the Cube.









Ersterhernd
 
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Of course, I'm open to the comments and direction of other forum members. The parts ordered will take a couple of weeks to arrive. Will add to this post as the build takes flight. It's going to be interesting to see where this project eventually ends up, because at this point, I'm not really sure of it's outcome.

Regards,
Ersterhernd
Hi Ersterhernd. What a great challenge, to get a fast i7 to work in the G4 Cube, definitely of interest to me.

What has been demonstrated quite dramatically by Rossi (Cooling the Cube) is that cooling is about effectively get air through the computer.

Based on your last photos my suggestion would be to make the following additions:
  • Seal the base of the fan to the bottom of the case with a gasket, to prevent air being sucked in laterally through this gap. This idea comes from TheMacTester's current build.
  • Completely seal ALL (except those under your fan) of the air vents at the bottom of the Cube. This could be achieved with clear plastic glued over the vents, so outwardly you wouldnt see any difference.
This will mean that the lower fan will only draw air from the outside of the case, and that all air must exit through the top of the cube (it has no where else to go). If this works out then you may no need a top mounted fan, as it's capacity to suck air is much less than the lower fans capacity to blow. :silent:

Hope this helps.
 
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Hi Kiwi, I will be using your suggestions in the extensive heat testing phase of this build. I will likely use temporary measures first (clear tape and foam rubber) to seal the intake fan off and all the excess holes on the Cube base. I will be using many sets of fan speeds, from slow to fast and recording all results. There's literally an infinite number of combinations I can use with 4 interior fans.

Of course, each test will require running Prime95 for a while, so it'll be a lengthy process, but one I look forward to completing. I have all the interior fan mounts done now, the JB Weld will be dry tomorrow so will post pics of the completed 'Wind Tunnel'. With the exception of the Gelid Cooler, all fans are Noctuas so hopefully very quiet even at speed.

It'll be interesting to see if your suggestions of isolating the intake will make any difference in the outcome. Time will tell.


Cheers!

Ersterhernd
 
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Three case fans installed. Positioned them to minimize airflow interference with each other. The Gelid CPU cooler is still to go.


Three fans front view




Rear view




Inside view

 
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DQ77KB mounted into four threaded aluminum blocks.
No CPU yet, hasn't arrived.



 
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Very nice.

So........are there plans to fill that space underneath the mobo with something?
 
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I can't believe, that you 've started your 3rd Cube project in this short time. :rolleyes: Good luck with this one!

Do you really think, that you need so many fans? The TDP of the i7 is only 10Watt more than the i3's. I think, that especially the top fan is not necessary, because the only way out for the warm air is the top grid and the intake fan produces an overpressure in the case - if there are gaskets as kiwi wrote.

MacTester
 
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