CCD MI-6: Performance in a 6.7L MIcrotower

Discussion in 'Small Form Factor Systems' started by Firewolfy, Nov 23, 2015.

  1. Boil

    Boil [H]ard|Gawd

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    Now you need to update your sig...
     
  2. rfarmer

    rfarmer [H]ard|Gawd

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    Thanks forgot all about that. ;)
     
  3. Firewolfy

    Firewolfy Gawd

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    I've got a little design tweak I've been working on tonight. Because the MI-6 top exhaust flow area was sized using a 4-core i7, it seems to have higher temps with the i7-8700 type 6-core CPU. So I made a new top cover design that has 42% more total exhaust flow area than the standard one. Here is a comparison pic:

    It is the same overall size and has the same mounting hole pattern as the standard top cover. I'm going to get this quoted to see about having this as an option on the next batch. It would also be available a la carte to those who have a case already.

    Here is where I could use some help: I don't have a 6-core CPU to test the increased flow area, so if anyone has a 6-core or more CPU and could run a test for me, it would help me out.
    I'd love to get some temperature data on this change when running prime 95 version 26.6 with large FFT for 20 minutes.

    At first thought I'd drill out a top cover for more flow area and mail to whoever wanted to do the test, BUT I realized that the increased flow area can be simulated. The top cover just has to be loosened and shifted toward the GPU side, so there is a 5/8" gap (this is a bit conservative size since having a big open area flows better than a bunch of slots will).


    Thx
     

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  4. rfarmer

    rfarmer [H]ard|Gawd

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    I'll run the test when I get home from work tonight and let you know.
     
  5. rfarmer

    rfarmer [H]ard|Gawd

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    I had time this morning so I went ahead and ran the tests. Ambient 22C, 4.30 GHz at 1.146v. Prime95 26.6 with large FFT for 20 mins, below is a screenshot of the test with top panel in place.

    ac395c7b3e.png

    Next I ran the same test with the top panel moved over 5/8".

    38d7c1e811.png

    Almost looks like the same screenshot, max single core temp was 74C for both tests. Airflow does not seem to be an issue.
     
  6. Firewolfy

    Firewolfy Gawd

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    Wow, thanks for the quick test!
    It looks like the cpu is pulling 83W at stock settings so maybe Tekeverything was running increased V or overclock and high power to get his 90C?

    I emailed Jay, so maybe he can shed some light on the difference.

    Fire
     
  7. rfarmer

    rfarmer [H]ard|Gawd

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    Don't forget Fire that my 8700k is delidded, that will account for 20C improvement.
     
  8. Firewolfy

    Firewolfy Gawd

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    Yeah, that is nice delidding expertise man!

    BTW, I reviewed Tekeverything's video again, and Jay stated in there that he ran it overclocked at 4.5GHz to get the 90C at 100% load. 4.5 seems mild, but overclocking does make heat quick.
     
  9. Firewolfy

    Firewolfy Gawd

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    EDIT -- OVERCLOCKING TEST INVALID, SEE POST 1159.

    Post I made over on SFF:


    Ok, I ran my i7-6700K 4-core with a bit of overclocking. Here are the results:

    2mzyEWr.png

    I didn't bother trying to OC any higher than 4.3. Looks to me like the limitation is the CPU cooler, -can't get below 90C.

    Bottom line: MI-6 works great at stock CPU settings. For OC, I'm going to have to get busy on an add-on top to hold an AIO radiator/120mm fan.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2018
  10. rfarmer

    rfarmer [H]ard|Gawd

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    At stock clocks no top isn't doing a lot, seems to help with the OC, almost 10C.
     
  11. ReaperX22

    ReaperX22 Gawd

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    I don't think anyone buying this case expects miracles with overclocking head room. What I do expect is that any CPU I throw in (mainstream platform Intel or Ryzen), I expect to run at stock clocks without throttling. This case achieves that. I don't think (personally) if it's worth trying to add the ability for a 120mm AIO, as the footprint is so small I don't expect it.

    The max I'd consider putting in would be a i7 8700 locked CPU. Set turbo to always run at max where possible (boost for this chip is 4.6, but I don't expect that across cores, but does mean we have this room to play with turbo.) I'd probably try to run 4.2~ undervolted best I could and leave it as is.
     
  12. Ark :o

    Ark :o Limp Gawd

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    It's a shame I am not in the market for a SFF case at this point in time. The MI-6 is pretty awesome!
     
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  13. Firewolfy

    Firewolfy Gawd

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    EDIT -- OVERCLOCKING TEST INVALID, SEE POST 1159.

    Ok, for fun I ran a couple tests with a 120x25 CPU fan instead of the standard 120x12.

    MI-6 i7-6700K OC test1.png

    25mm fan is about 2-3 mm too tall to fit the cover on it, so this was just 'For Science!'
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2018
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  14. Firewolfy

    Firewolfy Gawd

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    Thanks for everyone's feedback and thoughts on this OC cooling issue. With the latest testing I think the dead horse has been beaten quite enough.

    So I'm not going to develop with the new 'high-flow' top plate idea. There is no benefit after all, -the standard top has all the ventilation needed for a <68mm HS/fan combo.
     
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  15. rfarmer

    rfarmer [H]ard|Gawd

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    Hmmm, I actually have a couple GamerStorm GS120 120X20mm fans. Would be able to fit them in, wonder if they would be too close to the side panel for turbulence? Might give that a try this weekend.
     
  16. Boil

    Boil [H]ard|Gawd

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    But are you going to develop a top that will fit a 120mm AIO...? Then one could squeeze a X299 system into the MI-6...!
     
  17. Firewolfy

    Firewolfy Gawd

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    That would be interesting.

    Yeah, top radiator still sounds interesting. I'll do some design work and post it here in a few days.
     
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  18. Boil

    Boil [H]ard|Gawd

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    Maybe think of moving the front i/o to the top as well, since there should be a bit of 'dead space' due to the chassis being longer than the AIO...?

    That would leave more space for 2.5" SSDs...
     
  19. Boil

    Boil [H]ard|Gawd

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    I wonder if the AORUS Gaming Box version of the Gigabyte GTX 1080 Mini GPU (aka the Hulk) would fit into the MI-6...?!?

    aorus-gtx-1080-gaming-box-egpu-130mm-fan.jpg

    That is a 130mm fan on there (as opposed to the stock 90mm fan seen on the GTX 1070 Mini to the left) and there is no shroud (unless you count the Gaming Box enclosure as the shroud)...

    This, with an AIO-enabled top section, and possibly a fan mount over the motherboard for pumping plenty of fresh air into the chassis & over the RAM & PCH, maybe a X299 system in a MI-6...?!?
     
  20. rfarmer

    rfarmer [H]ard|Gawd

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    Well you have 142mm to play with height wise so it ought to fit, I've seen one put in a Skyreach but not the MI-6.
     
  21. GermanDrifter97

    GermanDrifter97 n00b

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    Wow, I never heard of the AORUS Gaming Box version... this looks amazing. It seems to be the same heatsink as on the standard GTX 1080 ITX, but the bigger fan could really help with temps... Have you run any benchmakrs to proof that?
    For now I have attached a Noctua NF-A9x14 to my 1080, it fits perfectly in the area where the old fan was, and helps extremely with the noise level of the GPU. My temps are around 73 to sometimes 78°C, wich I consider still within acceptable limits.

    What about the width? Is the AORUS Gaming Box Edition thicker or thinner than the 37mm 1080/1070 ITX (would it still fit in the MI-6)?
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
  22. Boil

    Boil [H]ard|Gawd

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    I do not own the mentioned card...
     
  23. GermanDrifter97

    GermanDrifter97 n00b

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    Oh OK, sorry.
     
  24. Revenant_Knight

    Revenant_Knight Limp Gawd

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    Here are some tuning and thermal results for my system.

    System Specs:

    I7-8700 Non-K
    32GB Corsair DDR4-3200
    MSI Geforce 1070 ITX
    960 EVO M.2 SSD
    2GB Seagate HD in quick bracket
    Corsair 600 Watt PSU
    CPU FAN: Noctua NH-L12 with 92mm fan only.
    Case Fan: Noctua 92x15mm with LNA adapter.



    TUNING

    Coffee Lake runs nice and toasty. So here is what I did to get a rock solid 4.3GHZ turbo while gaming, and keep Encoding temps under control. Encoding I get about 3.8 to 3.9 GHZ. My system is currently been encoding for about 24 hours straight to archive some video.


    80 Watt Max Long Term Wattage.

    XMP DD4-3200

    VCORE Voltage Offset -0.100

    Stock 92mm Noctua CPU fan at 1600 RPM (Intake) when over 65C
    - Tuned for silence in normal tasks. 40% Fan speed below 60C.

    92x15 mm Noctua Case Fan at 1600 RPM (Intake) when over 65C (Low Noise Adapter) (Loudest Fan in the case)
    - Tuned for silence in normal tasks. 40% Fan speed blow 65C

    MSI ITX 1070 set for Fan 0 RPM below 50C.
    -Stock Fan speed
    - Overclocked by +200mhz (average between 2.0 and 2.1GHZ boost clock)



    TEMPS


    With this setup, you can expect:

    85C+- When doing Adobe HEVC Encoding. Handbrake was the same.

    75 to 85C When doing heavy gaming. BF1 pushes it as high as 90C.

    39-41C Mechanical Hard drive temps using the bracket.

    55C+- M.2 SSD for Asus Stryx boards with heatsink in place.

    4.3GHZ while gaming.

    3.8 to 3.9 GHZ while Encoding.


    I also conducted tests with and without the top on.

    While encoding in HEVC there was no difference on any temp sensor that wasn't margin of error (+- 1C). Now the case itself stayed cooler, but that's not an issue. The case getting toast itself is a by product of it functioning as a heatsink for the case interior. If the components inside show no temp difference, than the case is doing it's job perfectly.

    While gaming, I did see a difference.

    Test Setup: Geforce 1070 with I7-8700 tuned as above. Game was at 1920 x 1200 with VSYNC OFF and frame limiter set to 200. Ultra Detail levels. Play testing was done on 64 Player Conquest servers.

    Removing the top of the case yielded a few results.

    GPU Temp: I saw a 2-3C reduction in GPU temperature. However, the GPU MHZ did not deviate nor did the fan speed.

    CPU Temp: I saw a 3-5 C reduction in CPU temps. This did not change the Turbo of the CPU, which stayed at 4.3 GHZ the entire time.

    HDD Temp: I saw a 2C reduction in the temp of the mechanical HD in the quick mount slot. It's a Seagate 5400 RPM model.

    Overall: while the temp differences with the top off are measurable, repeatable, and tangible, they did not correlate with a change in performance on heavy gaming load. As such, I'll be keep the top of the case on.


    RECOMMENDATIONS:

    1. Manage your expectations. This case is well designed and built, but not magical.

    2. Swapping to a 2000RPM 92mm fan on the NH-L12.

    3. Running an Intake fan at the bottom.

    4. Getting custom length cables to keep airflow clean.

    5. Be careful of high ambient temperatures. I tested at 72F to 76F

    6. Understand that while the CPU may be sold as 65 Watts, Intel has designed them to Turbo at a higher wattage. I've seen up to 125 Watts stock for short bursts. This may be the cause of any initial bursts of throttling before the CPU settles in at it's long term wattage.

    7. Be ready to tune the BIOS.

    8. Consider delidding.


    CONCLUSION:

    Intel really made it a challenge to air cool these Coffee Lake CPUS in small form factor rigs. Anything smaller than NCASE M1 is going to require some tuning time. If you want a drop in and forget it, you might want to consider the T-Series of CPUs, or delid.

    The MI-6, when paired with a Noctua NH-L12, can absolutely be a nearly silent with the latest Coffee Lake CPUs. However, to get it there, you're going to have to put the work in to fine tune it. I got lucky with a CPU that can undervolt really, really well. Your mileage may very.

    The one caveat to this is the 8700K. That CPU will likely need more aggressive cooling as stock it's 95 Watts.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2018
  25. EnzoFX

    EnzoFX [H]ard|Gawd

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    Why do I stop getting updates on this thread? Have to come back in and comment?

    That 8700K TDP though. It's out of bounds for the practical limits of this case. IMO, but of course people here like to push the limits! Cheers! Ryzen is what's got my interest peaked lately, and I try to stick with 65W TDP, so that's probably where I'd end up with this case.
     
  26. Firewolfy

    Firewolfy Gawd

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    Below is an update regarding the MI-6 work going on. I sent it out as a short newsletter to website subscribers:



    Hi, I wanted to touch base with you and let you know where CCD is going with the MI-6 mini-ITX case, revisions and improvements planned and the next production batch.

    So with the first batch all completed in March I learned a few lessons. The biggest lesson was with the finish. The original plan for the outside surface finish was a challenge: the black anodized brushed finish proved difficult to get good quality appearance, and a customer option was added during the batch to select black powder coat finish instead. The batch was completed but several delays occurred in order to maintain a quality finish.
    I am working on a plan for a new exterior finish: Black powder coat with slight texture on the sides and front of the case, and anodized natural brushed aluminum on the top. I am still working out details, but this is a very nice look. I will have photos up on the webpageand at SFF and [H] in the next few days.

    Other Improvements Planned
    I am working on a minor case modification to support the cover and prevent it from flexing inward when gripped near the top. This gives a more solid feel to the case.

    image.png
    Another mod is to the rear PCI opening for graphics cards. It came up in a review by Tekeverything that video cables with thick connectors could interfere with the case opening. The opening has been enlarged the 1mm needed to ensure clearance.
    Some owners of the first batch mentioned difficulty in mating the GPU card into the PCIE riser connector. It looks like a tolerance issue, and I've made a dimensional adjustment to prevent this issue from coming back up.

    Still More Planned Changes to Improve the MI-6
    image.png
    The MI-6 can hold a 92mm slim fan in the bottom of the case, right in front of the PSU. This location is great for supplying cool air t to internal components such as HDDs. The fan mounting is flush against the bottom of the case ventilation slots and that generates some noise at medium and higher fan speeds. The fix? A fan spacer thick enough to raise the fan off the vents, but thin enough to not impact the PSU or front I/O board. The spacer is designed to match the vent slot pattern to the round fan for smooth flow.

    THE NEXT BATCH

    4batchsmall.png

    Timing is up in the air right now, due to the revisions and improvements going on, but I can say that the next batch size is planned for 100-200 cases. A lot of the manufacturing and assembly processes have been worked out and it makes sense ramp up a bit and be able to get costs down and reduce the case price. I've kind of let the cat out of the bag on the pricing, so I'll tell you that I'm getting new quotes from my suppliers and then can flesh out how much we can cut the price tag. -- To a less stratospheric price, if I say so myself.

    Thanks for your time, and let me know if you have any question s or comments.


    Fred
    CCD

    Edit -- The live newsletter is HERE
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2018
  27. Firewolfy

    Firewolfy Gawd

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    Okay, here are a couple quick pics of the new finish for batch 2. Black powder coat cover and natural anodized aluminum top:

    nat top pc sides 1.JPG nat top pc sides 2.JPG
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 29, 2018
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  28. Frazhna

    Frazhna Limp Gawd

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    I always love seeing more pictures. You have made such a beautiful case.

    I’m curious about how you are going to modify the support to keep the cover from flexing.

    I have a different case that is powder coated with a slight texture. It looks beautiful, but I find that the texture makes it more difficult for vinyl decals to adhere vs. brushed anodized. I suppose it would depend on how textured it is, but I still wonder if you will have a finish option that is not a textured powder coat.

    If the new Volta cards have a short GTX xx70 or xx80 I’m going to get one and be on your waiting list for the next production run.
     
  29. rfarmer

    rfarmer [H]ard|Gawd

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    If nVidia makes the same kind of improvements in Pascal vs Volta that they did with Pascal vs Maxwell I think we may see even more itx size cards. They reduced power usage and temps quite a bit, it they can do the same with Volta who knows might see a 1180 Ti itx. Man wouldn't that be something. :)
     
  30. Boil

    Boil [H]ard|Gawd

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    Still waiting on a Titan ITX...!

    Maybe another Star Wars themed one; this time, Yoda...!?!

    You know, because he is short, as are ITX cards... ;^p
     
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  31. EnzoFX

    EnzoFX [H]ard|Gawd

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    I think Fire just forgot to mention the white version that will for sure be in the next batch. Honestly though, not a big fan of the powder coat.. maybe it's something you need to see in person.
     
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  32. Boil

    Boil [H]ard|Gawd

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    White for the outer shell, Black for the top & inner chassis...
     
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  33. rfarmer

    rfarmer [H]ard|Gawd

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    When Fire first started talking about powder coat that is what I was hoping for. I think this case would look great white with a black top.
     
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  34. Firewolfy

    Firewolfy Gawd

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    For fun I had a top plate custom powdercoated this week...

    Picture3.png
     
  35. Revenant_Knight

    Revenant_Knight Limp Gawd

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    Needs a red and white racing stripe down the front. ^_^
     
  36. EnzoFX

    EnzoFX [H]ard|Gawd

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    White sides, wood top.
     
  37. Firewolfy

    Firewolfy Gawd

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    Hi,
    I'm working on several items in preparation for the next batch and wanted to get you an status update.

    Case Revisions:
    Here is what I have:
    • Added cover support to prevent flex.
    • Aligned GPU PCIE connector for better fit.
    • Larger PCI bracket back opening for larger HDMI/DVI/Displayport connectors.
    • Black powdercoat exterior cover, with natural aluminum top (anodized).
    Now those are the revisions most already know about. Here are a few more new ones:
    • Permanent-bonded feet (instead of adhesive foam tape).
    • Open-Access.
    • Top case fan expansion, Loft.
    The first one is self-explanatory while the last two are significant changes.

    Open-Access is a silly name I came up for the idea, but it makes the case super easy to work in. I removed most of the front of the chassis. No more front wall covering the MB side, so there is easy access to the MB components, cables and connectors.
    I am prototyping it now. When I was building in it today, It took me a minute to realize that without any front wall, installing the MB, the 24-pin, the USB cable, the pwr/LED/audio connections was simple.
    I didn't have to orient the case to get light in to the right spot, or contort my hands to hold screws or make connections. Here is a pic of my system that I transferred to the test case today.

    OpenAccess1c.jpg

    Now a concern was structure rigidity. After all, I'm removing a bunch of 0.080" thick main chassis material. Well, the top of the front chassis can twist a little bit more now, but not a big deal. It doesn't affect anything and still supports the cover and top plate.
    I am sold on this change.

    We do lose 3 potential mounting locations for quick release HDD brackets. The only spot left will be at the bottom of the case, in the case fan spot. I know, I know, this kind of talk is a bit heretical. I like the bracket, -it's pretty neat.
    But easy access to what you need to work on, is kind of a big deal.

    HDD/SSDs will still have the 'blade' style mounting, and it is getting easier. The simple holes are changing to keyholes, so no fumbling with trying to get M3 screws started inside the case and aligning the HDD at the same time.
    Just start 2 screws in the HDD, latch the HDD into the keyholes, then tighten the screws.

    HDD keyholes.png


    Loft:
    The top case expansion is not yet fully defined, but this is the sort of thing I have so far:
    Picture3.png

    This would be an add-on part to enable use of a 120mm or 2 92mm fans, up to 25mm thick. Let me know what you think.
    Before I detail this out and get quotes, I am going to do a bunch of torture tests with top fan(s) in a simulated loft, and verify thermal improvement. See what improvement there is in overclocking frequency, etc.
    Then decide if this makes sense, and maybe a larger size for a radiator.

    Other:

    I have 4 pre-production cases with custom colors that I am prepping to sell on the webpage in about 2 weeks. I will alert everyone on exact sale date. These cases were the final fabricator samples before the production run.
    The colors will be red, white and graphite grey powdercoat, and the 4th will be black anodized alum. The tops are TBD right now, and might match the cover, or natural alum.
    They have a few differences from the production run. I will post the details over the next 2 weeks, along configuration details.
     

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    Last edited: May 5, 2018
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  38. rfarmer

    rfarmer [H]ard|Gawd

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    Looks good Firewolfy I really like the open front and the new mounting for the SSD/HDD, make them easier to install and remove. I am looking forward to the results from the top expansion, if they prove to make a big difference would you sell the top expansion separately?
     
  39. Firewolfy

    Firewolfy Gawd

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    Ok, did some torture tests today to check the viability of the top expansion option.

    MI-6 Torture Test with Loft4.png

    5°C improvement with the loft and 120x25 fan, versus the standard top. Not as great a drop as I'd like, but measurable and useful.

    I included some overclocking to try to tax the loft and 120x25 fan. Temp came down 4C to 81C at 4.6GHz (max stable overclocking with 1.375V or less for long CPU life). 81C is not bad at all for a Prime64 8 thread torture. Got a 7% gain in Passmark CPU score.

    So the loft is a go. As I showed on previous posts, it will be able to hold a 120x25 fan or two 92x25 fans. I'll also work in second taller version for radiator/fan combos.

    One big issue I found: The previous overclocking I did (see posts 1129 and 1133) was done incorrectly. I had set a fixed Vcore of 1.375V, as max for long CPU life, but for some reason thought that the this was just a max, not fixed (even though it is called fixed). Anyway this much voltage generates a lot of heat for any OC freq. That was why it seemed even the 4.3GHz OC I had tried seemed to be too much. So disregard those test results. I'll put a note on those posts to that effect.
     
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  40. Firewolfy

    Firewolfy Gawd

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    I have finished readying the 4 MI-6 cases from the last production-readiness run and they will be available for purchase soon.
    Actually the date has been set and will be May 21st Monday starting at 9pm EST.

    If anyone is interested I put more info about them on the CCD front page News, and in the Answers page.