SENTRY: Console-sized gaming PC case project

Cabblake

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Joined
Jun 7, 2017
Messages
29
Ah perfect! Just went through your post and seems like a cheap modification for a dip in temps. Any temperature reduction I will take to be honest. Might pick up some adhesive 1mm thick closed cell foam to seal mine up.

Do you have any pictures of how you sealed the compartment? Did you do a cut out for the PCIE cables to the GPU?
Here is how I sealed the gpu and CPU compartment. It not 100% bc there are other gaps in places but it's sealed enough to make a thermal difference.
 

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ZombiPL

Limp Gawd
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Oct 26, 2014
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449

Sentry manufacturing process - weekly update


We're in a half-way of assembling process of 6th transport Sentry cases. White units are almost finished (top covers need to be screwed) and at this moment we are working with black cases. By the end of this week we should start packaging process of all cases for this transport (6th out of 7).






Meanwhile we've noticed that last two weeks were also very busy for our supporters who already have their cases. We received many new photos with really nice builds and some of them we are showing below. We encourage everyone who still didn't send pictures of their new desk environment to post some photos in our forum topics or to send them directly to us, so we would be able to show them to other supporters. Many people need some motivation to start their PC assembling process, so you have a chance to help them :)

































 
Joined
Jul 16, 2016
Messages
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My build made it into the update. That's super cool! Thanks guys. Keep up the good work. I've been using you in conversation as an example of how a crowdfunding campaign should be done. Really appreciate the transparency with all the updates and the achievement of delivering a quality product that was clearly a labor of love. Great job!
 

SaperPL

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 31, 2014
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Can we put this in Sentry and water cool it?
If it's as small as R9 Nano, then it shouldn't be a huge problem to fit a 120 mm next to it, although there are no mounting points for the 120 mm fans in the GPU compartment and you might need to use a low profile switch without led. Some modding required, but still doable.
 

Cabblake

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Jun 7, 2017
Messages
29
How's the noise/temps with that card under normal gaming load?
During idle I have around 33-36c on CPU and around 43-47c on GPU.
Normal gaming. 1hr into playing ghost recon on ultra. 67-69 on CPU. And 74-78 on GPU.

For noise lvl during idle you can hear the fans on CPU even with all of them having the low noise adapter. It is minor but still not completely silent. These fans do no get any louder though even after hrs of gaming. The gpu does not spin during idle so you can not hear it at all. At gaming temps though it does spin up and makes some noise. It's not too bad though. I imagine between my open air card and blower card that the noise difference is very noticeable if you had them side by side.
 

Cabblake

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Jun 7, 2017
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Something else I didn't mention is that my Gpu never throttled back. I stay consistent at 1965mhz all the time. I never hit any thermal limits. This is why I wanted an open air from the start. The blower style cards from my research throttle constantly bc they have to reach there thermal temps so that there vapor chambers heat up and cool the cards. This making them also throttle there running speeds. Since my card never maxes past 78 there is still a lot of headroom. I have no overclock on my card or CPU. I have been thinking about it but I am still testing stock temps and speeds.
 

Gr8Scott

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May 24, 2017
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Something else I didn't mention is that my Gpu never throttled back. I stay consistent at 1965mhz all the time. I never hit any thermal limits. This is why I wanted an open air from the start. The blower style cards from my research throttle constantly bc they have to reach there thermal temps so that there vapor chambers heat up and cool the cards. This making them also throttle there running speeds. Since my card never maxes past 78 there is still a lot of headroom. I have no overclock on my card or CPU. I have been thinking about it but I am still testing stock temps and speeds.
My m.2 is hovering in the 40s/50s under load. However, I don't have my case yet! I'll report my temps when I get it.

As to Overclocking: I prefer to do a "really stable" overclock (I just made that up) which is OCing the CPU at it's stock voltage until it crashes and backing it up and testing/leaving it there. I know it's very safe to raise the voltage, but I was able to get my R5 1600 to 3.7 (I don't think it will crash even at 3.8) and never touched the voltage. As always with the silicon lottery, results may vary and others may like to work with voltage. I have found diminishing returns for 100-300Mhz gains over the life of my CPUs, so I don't mess with voltage anymore and enjoy it just fine. If you want to start out with a very safe OC, just increment up 100Mhz at a time until it crashes and back it down to stable (all the while running Prime 95 and/or Cinnebench R15 and keeping track of your temps with HWMonitor. Here's a really simple Ryzen OC guide by Overclockers to help in case you've never OC'd (with or without Ryzen) before. Happy OCing!
 
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May 24, 2017
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During idle I have around 33-36c on CPU and around 43-47c on GPU.
Normal gaming. 1hr into playing ghost recon on ultra. 67-69 on CPU. And 74-78 on GPU.

For noise lvl during idle you can hear the fans on CPU even with all of them having the low noise adapter. It is minor but still not completely silent. These fans do no get any louder though even after hrs of gaming. The gpu does not spin during idle so you can not hear it at all. At gaming temps though it does spin up and makes some noise. It's not too bad though. I imagine between my open air card and blower card that the noise difference is very noticeable if you had them side by side.
Thanks for the info! If Vega doesn't perform well, then I'm sold on the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti SC Black Edition GAMING (or most likely EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti SC2 GAMING).

Also, in the instructions for the NH-l9i they said if you have problems with heat, try not using the low noise adapter. I'm not using one and I don't hear it.
 
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St1X

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Mar 27, 2017
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Also anyone wondering about m.2 temps on motherboards. I have not seen temps over 67 degrees. X370 asrock r5 1600. Ssd stays about 10c cooler
my Crucial MX300 1TB m.2 was around 63C on idle, so yesterday I added some cooling to it - three 15x15x1.5 mm copper shims attached with thermally resistive adhesive (so it has a bad heat transfer) and a thermal pad on top of it, to connect this to backplate of my case. Now my idle temps stay at 50C.
 

Ej24

Gawd
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Jun 11, 2016
Messages
613
Also anyone wondering about m.2 temps on motherboards. I have not seen temps over 67 degrees. X370 asrock r5 1600. Ssd stays about 10c cooler
Don't worry about m.2 temps. That's almost certainly the controller temp, it will throttle long before it damages itself. The actual flash chips are probably quite a bit cooler than the temperature you see. As for the flash memory, it benefits from higher temps. With ssd's, data retention and longevity is better when written at higher temps and then stored off at cooler temps, 25C or less, so room temperature. Granted, the +/- 10% lifespan from maintaining optimum write temperatures is probably negligible for consumers, it's more important for enterprise. All these m.2 heatsinks are pointless. Unless your drive is hitting 100C or more. Or unless it helps you sleep better at night like most of our obsessive tweaking and optimizing haha.
 
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rfarmer

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Don't worry about m.2 temps. That's almost certainly the controller temp, it will throttle long before it damages itself. The actual flash chips are probably quite a bit cooler than the temperature you see. As for the flash memory, it benefits from higher temps. With ssd's, data retention and longevity is better when written at higher temps and then stored off at cooler temps, 25C or less, so room temperature. Granted, the +/- 10% lifespan from maintaining optimum write temperatures is probably negligible for consumers, it's more important for enterprise. All these m.2 heatsinks are pointless. Unless your drive is hitting 100C or more. Or unless it helps you sleep better at night like most of our obsessive tweaking and optimizing haha.
I have a MyDigitalSSD M.2 which uses a Phison memory controller, when I first installed it and saw 60C temps I was freaking out. I did some research and this controller is rated at 125C and the SSD itself won't throttle until it hits 85C. Even knowing that my OCD wouldn't let me leave it alone. I got an aluminum heatsink and with bottom intake fans on my Ncase it lowered the temps to 48-50C, which helps me sleep better. :p

But you are right, these are designed for high heat so there is no reason to worry.
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2017
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Edit: Oops, I thought DHL was delivering my Sentry. It's not that; it's the custom cables from CableMod. Doh! *shakes fist*

Thanks so much to Cabblake for the tips and pics. I'm hoping to try something similar to seal off the GPU compartment. :)
 
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Ej24

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Jun 11, 2016
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I finally decided to delid my 4790k. Temps are NOT bad by any means. I've posted on my temps with my -0.05v undervolt (still 4.4ghz on all cores) and LP53 + noctua NF-a9x14 several times. Temps are almost always below 74C during normal gaming. Its mostly because I can't seem to leave things alone for very long. Everything has been working flawlessly in Sentry for about two months now. I just can't seem to stop wanting to tinker with it though. I should probably not try to fix what isn't broken. I'll probably either put high end thermal paste, or liquid metal on my 1080 Founders Edition too... I just can't help myself.

I'll probably do the delid this weekend. I'm tempted to blow up my Windows install too and start from scratch. That honestly scares me more than deliding haha.
 

riba2233

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May 7, 2017
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All these m.2 heatsinks are pointless.
I don't agree because my intel 600p 512 gets to 70°C pretty fast while transferring lot of data (it's ok if it doesn't last for too long), and then it throttles and slows down the transfer. I bought a fast drive to cut down on transfer times, so I would be much happier with cooler and without throttling :)
 

Ej24

Gawd
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Jun 11, 2016
Messages
613
I don't agree because my intel 600p 512 gets to 70°C pretty fast while transferring lot of data (it's ok if it doesn't last for too long), and then it throttles and slows down the transfer. I bought a fast drive to cut down on transfer times, so I would be much happier with cooler and without throttling :)
That is up to the drive manufacturer to set the throttle temperature for the flash controller. Intel must have set it to 70C. Samsung drives don't seem to throttle until much warmer. Again, the flash memory is not that warm, it's fine. It's the controller. If anything, the aluminum and/or copper strips on some motherboards that cover the length of the drive are probably conducting the heat from the controller to the flash IC's. You'd be better off with a single 5mm thick thermal pad between the controller and your motherboard tray/case (if it is on the back side of the motherboard) or if it is on the top of the motherboard some simply copper heatsink like the included image, adhered to the flash controller. You could put them on the flash IC's too if you really want.

IIRC, GamersNexus has covered m.2 heatsinks/covers/heatspreaders several times and they almost always make no performance difference or even make it worse rather than helping.



Edit: also the 600p from Intel uses tlc nand right? That could also be why you see what looks like throttling. The controller probably uses a pseudo-SLC cache that once it runs out causes massive decreases in write speed and much higher controller temps as it struggles to shift around three bits per cell rather than one. So far Samsung is the only company that has tlc drives and controllers that impress me.
 
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blaight

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Mar 24, 2017
Messages
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I finally decided to delid my 4790k. Temps are NOT bad by any means. I've posted on my temps with my -0.05v undervolt (still 4.4ghz on all cores) and LP53 + noctua NF-a9x14 several times. Temps are almost always below 74C during normal gaming. Its mostly because I can't seem to leave things alone for very long. Everything has been working flawlessly in Sentry for about two months now. I just can't seem to stop wanting to tinker with it though. I should probably not try to fix what isn't broken. I'll probably either put high end thermal paste, or liquid metal on my 1080 Founders Edition too... I just can't help myself.

I'll probably do the delid this weekend. I'm tempted to blow up my Windows install too and start from scratch. That honestly scares me more than deliding haha.
I tinkered around with the liquid metal and decided not to use it between the CPUs HS and the cooler. I dellided some CPUs myself and liquid metal is great to use in this case, but it is a little messy. Would use it on a GPU though. The Kryonout did help the temps of the CPU but the delta is difficult to estimate because embient temperature was not constant. I guess 2 Kelvin when compared to the MX-4.
 

Ej24

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Jun 11, 2016
Messages
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I tinkered around with the liquid metal and decided not to use it between the CPUs HS and the cooler. I dellided some CPUs myself and liquid metal is great to use in this case, but it is a little messy. Would use it on a GPU though. The Kryonout did help the temps of the CPU but the delta is difficult to estimate because embient temperature was not constant. I guess 2 Kelvin when compared to the MX-4.
Well, I'll be sure to report my results in thorough detail here. I got Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut for the cpu die. And I'm going to try perhaps both the standard Noctua NT H1 and the unfamiliar (to me) Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut for the cpu cooler. We'll see which one performs better. Some reviews online indicate the Kryonaut achieves ~2-3C better than NT H1 which is already top notch thermal compound.

You've used the Conductonaut on gpu's? Does it make a big difference? I'm concerned about the cold plate on the 1080 Founders Edition. I think it's nickel plated copper. I've seen people put gallium based TIM on Titan Xp which should have the same cooler. So it seems it's not aluminum. I may go with non-conducting thermal compound for the gpu. Should see a few degrees better anyway.
 

kyjol

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May 6, 2017
Messages
61
So I finally ordered all the stuff for the Sentry build. Final part list:

Corsair SF600 (taken from old PC) with CableMod cables (hopefully the lengths will work in the Sentry... need to test it)
Ryzen 7 1700 (picking up tomorrow)
Dynatron T318 + Noctua NF-A9x14 (picking up tomorrow)
ASRock X370 Gaming ITX (picking up tomorrow)
G.Skill FlareX 2x8GB 3200MHz CL14 (picking up this week)
2x2TB Seagate Mobile 2.5" HDDs (shucked from Backup Plus Slim external drives)
Samsung 960 Pro M2 (taken from old PC)
EVGA GTX 1080 SC2 Gaming ICX (picked up today)

I deciced to go with the FlareX because I'm not really arsed to deal with memory compatibility issues. Hoping to run this on advertised speeds. Went for the EVGA open-air 1080, because it should fit (PCB is not oversized) and the FTW2 I have now in the Sugo SG13 with similar cooling (ICX system) is great, although due to oversized PCB I can't take it onto the Sentry. I expect the SC2 Gaming to perform better than a blower in the Sentry in terms of the performance/temperatures/noise ratio, plus you have to love the legendary EVGA customer support.

Depending on whether the CableMod set I have will fit, and how fast I deal with making a bracket for the T318, I might build next weekend. Can't wait :)
 

Docholphan

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Jul 25, 2017
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Alright guys!

As promised I have made a build log for my Sentry. Please note that I wrote the build log geared more towards someone who has no idea about this case rather than people from this community. (because I will be sharing the link with several people outside this community)

Anyways here is the link - http://imgur.com/a/hdPXS - Any feedback you guys have is appreciated :)

That being said there are a few things not mentioned in that build log that are more for this forum and I would like to mention real quick.

1) I found the riser to be a pain to install (even with the instructions in the online manual) as it would not slide into the slot. I used a screw driver to open the gap just a little bit and that solved that problem.
2) The rear IO doesn't align 100% with the rear IO panel. It is just a little bit to the side, I don't know if this is just my case and/or motherboard but is not really a big deal as its just barely off center and I can still plug everything in, I just have to be a little rough with it.
3) The top right screw for the motherboard was really hard to screw in. I had to loosen up the power connector so that my screw driver could reach straight in.
4) The right USB port on the USB header appears to be broken as nothing I plug in seems to be recognized, the left one however works just fine. I'll probably just replace it at some point.

Beyond that the build quality is amazing and the case is gorgeous. I really love how sleek it is and how well all the space inside it is used.

Lastly, to the entire Dr Zaber team and anyone else involved in the making of this case - Thank you very much, the case is fantastic and I look forward to tanking it to LAN parties.
 

Ej24

Gawd
Joined
Jun 11, 2016
Messages
613
Alright guys!

As promised I have made a build log for my Sentry. Please note that I wrote the build log geared more towards someone who has no idea about this case rather than people from this community. (because I will be sharing the link with several people outside this community)

Anyways here is the link - http://imgur.com/a/hdPXS - Any feedback you guys have is appreciated :)

That being said there are a few things not mentioned in that build log that are more for this forum and I would like to mention real quick.

1) I found the riser to be a pain to install (even with the instructions in the online manual) as it would not slide into the slot. I used a screw driver to open the gap just a little bit and that solved that problem.
2) The rear IO doesn't align 100% with the rear IO panel. It is just a little bit to the side, I don't know if this is just my case and/or motherboard but is not really a big deal as its just barely off center and I can still plug everything in, I just have to be a little rough with it.
3) The top right screw for the motherboard was really hard to screw in. I had to loosen up the power connector so that my screw driver could reach straight in.
4) The right USB port on the USB header appears to be broken as nothing I plug in seems to be recognized, the left one however works just fine. I'll probably just replace it at some point.

Beyond that the build quality is amazing and the case is gorgeous. I really love how sleek it is and how well all the space inside it is used.

Lastly, to the entire Dr Zaber team and anyone else involved in the making of this case - Thank you very much, the case is fantastic and I look forward to tanking it to LAN parties.
Looks really good! Haven't seen many rgb leds in Sentry yet. That's amazing the 7700K, delidded, still throttles under full load. You have it at stock clocks and voltage? You could probably get away with a cpu vcore negative offset of -0.025 to -0.075 (depending on silicon lottery) without losing any performance and save a ton of power/heat. I did that with my 4790k and rarely see temps above 74C in Sentry while gaming. With synthetics it will still hit 89-90C in Sentry. Give undervolting a try if you haven't already!
 

ZombiPL

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 26, 2014
Messages
449
Alright guys!

As promised I have made a build log for my Sentry. Please note that I wrote the build log geared more towards someone who has no idea about this case rather than people from this community. (because I will be sharing the link with several people outside this community)

Anyways here is the link - http://imgur.com/a/hdPXS - Any feedback you guys have is appreciated :)
Great build log! For many people it will help a lot. Thanks for taking your time to make it :)

Alright guys!
That being said there are a few things not mentioned in that build log that are more for this forum and I would like to mention real quick.

1) I found the riser to be a pain to install (even with the instructions in the online manual) as it would not slide into the slot. I used a screw driver to open the gap just a little bit and that solved that problem.
2) The rear IO doesn't align 100% with the rear IO panel. It is just a little bit to the side, I don't know if this is just my case and/or motherboard but is not really a big deal as its just barely off center and I can still plug everything in, I just have to be a little rough with it.
3) The top right screw for the motherboard was really hard to screw in. I had to loosen up the power connector so that my screw driver could reach straight in.
4) The right USB port on the USB header appears to be broken as nothing I plug in seems to be recognized, the left one however works just fine. I'll probably just replace it at some point.

Beyond that the build quality is amazing and the case is gorgeous. I really love how sleek it is and how well all the space inside it is used.

Lastly, to the entire Dr Zaber team and anyone else involved in the making of this case - Thank you very much, the case is fantastic and I look forward to tanking it to LAN parties.
I will try to answer to all of the points you mentioned point-by-point:

1. Sentry is very close to hand-made product. It means there might be some places where things aren't ideal. The riser mounting is such a place where sometimes you have to additionally bend steel mounting edge at the bottom, because it might not be 90 deg but 89.5 deg because of the steel flexibility while bending, or also because there could be a little bit more of powder coating. It happens with 1/20 cases and it is easy to fix during assembling process but we are thinking about improving it in the future.

2. With some motherboards the rear IO shield turns out to go a little bit to the left and with some a little bit to the right. Everything depends on the mobo manufacturer. We made a hole for IO plate bigger to fit all types of IO shields, but it looks like some of them are a little bit bigger in one direction which is very random. We will try to improve this in the future (if it will be possible).

3. Many motherboards have different layout of components, so in some cases you may have to unscrew the IEC power socket. It may be a little bit hard because of the tight fitting of rubber sleeving, but just like you wrote, it is doable.

4. We do not agree on such thing like "one usb socket isn't working, but do not worry, the other one works fine". If something isn't working like it should you should write us a message to our email, so we can solve the problem. Your USB cable should be fully operational. If it's not, please contact us and we will solve the problem. We're not making this product in the way you will have to buy components for it to replace them once you found you received something not working. That's not the point of this whole game. Maybe you damaged some pins in your motherbourd USB socket while installing the plug or maybe 1 out of 1000 cables was damaged. We have to check it. Please write us an email about it. Thanks.
 
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getsurenka

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Joined
Jul 18, 2017
Messages
3
Finally my Sentry is built. Below are photos of the build and the specs:

Specs
CPU: Intel - Core i5 7500
Cooler: Intel Stock
Mobo: MSI - B250I Gaming Pro AC
Mem: Corsair DDR4 Vengeance RGB PC24000 16GB
GPU: Zotac GeForce GTX 1060 AMP Edition
PSU: Corsair - SF450
SSD: Samsung - SSD 850 Evo M.2 500GB
HDD: 2x 1 TB Toshiba

Photos
upload_2017-8-1_15-2-13.jpeg
upload_2017-8-1_15-3-49.jpeg
 

Rysen

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 10, 2017
Messages
407
Finally my Sentry is built. Below are photos of the build and the specs:

Specs
CPU: Intel - Core i5 7500
Cooler: Intel Stock
Mobo: MSI - B250I Gaming Pro AC
Mem: Corsair DDR4 Vengeance RGB PC24000 16GB
GPU: Zotac GeForce GTX 1060 AMP Edition
PSU: Corsair - SF450
SSD: Samsung - SSD 850 Evo M.2 500GB
HDD: 2x 1 TB Toshiba

Photos
View attachment 32049 View attachment 32050
Is that an office or home?
 
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blaight

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Mar 24, 2017
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Well, I'll be sure to report my results in thorough detail here. I got Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut for the cpu die. And I'm going to try perhaps both the standard Noctua NT H1 and the unfamiliar (to me) Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut for the cpu cooler. We'll see which one performs better. Some reviews online indicate the Kryonaut achieves ~2-3C better than NT H1 which is already top notch thermal compound.

You've used the Conductonaut on gpu's? Does it make a big difference? I'm concerned about the cold plate on the 1080 Founders Edition. I think it's nickel plated copper. I've seen people put gallium based TIM on Titan Xp which should have the same cooler. So it seems it's not aluminum. I may go with non-conducting thermal compound for the gpu. Should see a few degrees better anyway.
I cannot share my results of my different cooler configurations and thermal pastes. I just had to much shift in the ambient temps.

Watch this. He has several videos up showing how big an effect the liquid metal has on GPUs. Do you have the 1 g syringe of Kryonaut? the 5 g syringe does have special applicator cap, really easy with it. One thing to help is to warm the Kryonaut for some minutes in your hand/trouser pockets. If yozu want to apply the conductonaut I suggest cleaning the nickel with acetone, if available. I tried Isopropanol, acetone free nail polish cleaner and acteone and after acetone cleaning of the CPU IHS the LM stuck best to the nickel. If you delid you have to also apply the LM to the IHS, not just the DIE.

My delidded 4790k with LP53 and Eloop 120 mm fan didnt throttle under heavy prime load, but that was in a Node 202 obv. I am still looking for an option to get a Sentry asap. Also I sold the 4790k. I want USB type C and m.2 one the long run. I think an i3 of the upcoming coffee lake could be interesting. They need to compete with ryzen, and I dont need to overclock. Since my only work heavy tasks are gaming I dont need too many cores/threads just yet. I went back to my i3 with 3.7 Ghz, which is perfectly fine. Its the graphics card, which does the heavy lifting in games anyways.

Would this fit in a sentry? https://www.arctic.ac/de_en/accelero-twin-turbo-ii.html Get rid of the stock fans and put two of these below
http://noctua.at/en/nf-a12x15-pwm.html?___from_store=de
 

kyjol

n00b
Joined
May 6, 2017
Messages
61
Can anyone tell me if the Noctua AM4 mounting kit comes with a backplate? Context: I was wondering whether this kit would be a good source for at least the backplate to use with the T318. Would be one part less to have to craft.
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2017
Messages
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Can anyone tell me if the Noctua AM4 mounting kit comes with a backplate? Context: I was wondering whether this kit would be a good source for at least the backplate to use with the T318. Would be one part less to have to craft.
Yes, it comes with an AM4 specific backplate
 

St1X

[H]Lite
Joined
Mar 27, 2017
Messages
106
You can use mini flat file to make a cut in screw's head and than use flat-blade screwdriver to unscrew your screw
 
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Jun 18, 2017
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Hello, i'm the 390 :), i have a small problem, the hex key span the screw. Now how do I open the case?
I would suggest once you get this off is to use a bit H2.0 bit with a screwdriver. The included hex key was over tightening the screws for me and led to one of mine almost stripping. Now that I use a screwdriver I haven't had any issues.
 

Ej24

Gawd
Joined
Jun 11, 2016
Messages
613
I'm not sure if it's been mentioned here but, currently the Thermolab LP53 cpu cooler is available on Amazon from a third party seller, fulfilled by Amazon. So free Prime shipping for those in the US and most likely cheap international shipping for those outside the US.

It's a little more expensive than some sellers on eBay but keep in mind, this includes free two day shipping versus eBay where you may pay $10 for 8 week shipping like I did.

Perhaps someone with a proper engineering background or a pro tinkerer could come up with an am4 mount for it. The new amd platform could use more, good cpu coolers.
 

ZombiPL

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 26, 2014
Messages
449

WARNING: DO NOT USE THE INCLUDED ALLEN KEY TO ASSEMBLE YOUR SENTRY CASE!


Section One: Screws
Sorry for the over-dramatic attempt to catch everybody's attention there, but I felt this one was important. I had a significant issue with one of hex screws on my Sentry case which stripped. Badly. Considering that I discovered this when I went to remove my friend's graphics card after troubleshooting it... it ended up being something of a nightmare.

During my attempts to free the screw, my hand slipped, which unfortunately both marred and dented my beautiful Sentry - it took two days and eventually resorting to (very very nervously) drilling out the head of the screw in order to be able to extract the body with pliers. I got very lucky in terms of which screw had an issue; had it not been the screw that it was, I wouldn't have been able to get the outer paneling off and would have been in an even worse position.

Unfortunately, I was so stressed, that I didn't take pictures of the stripped screw. Suffice it to say that the hole was practically round, at least after several increasing attempts to remove the screw without the use of power tools.

So why am I blaming this on the included allen key? For those of you who are familiar with hex-head screws, you'll know that one of the primary reasons to use them is that they are designed with extremely tight tolerances, and simply do not strip. However, after more people have gotten their hands on the Sentry, I wasn't the only one who had issues with a stripped case screw? Why is that, you ask?

Take the included hex key and insert it into a screw that you're holding fast with a pair of pliers. Now try wiggling the hex key from side to side and twisting it. You may find that there's slippage. That should not be there in a properly manufactured screw with a properly manufactured wrench. You shouldn't be able to get any movement whatsoever. So what's the issue? At first, I suspected that the company supplying the allen keys had messed up, and shipped imperial-measurement wrenches, rather than metric ones, but after some testing, I found that no, they were simply poorly made.

Long story short, if you use the included allen key (or, I suppose, unless you're extremely extremely gentle with it), your case screws will strip, you won't be able to remove them, and you'll be in for a very frustrating time.

However, there is good news. You can pick up a set of very good quality metric wrenches for about $5 USD in any local hardware store. I purchased mine in the fastener store were I bought new screws. I strongly, strongly recommend that every Sentry owner does this; not only does it remove the possibility to screw everything up (I'm sorry, I couldn't resist), but it also provides a better handle and makes disassembling and reassembling the Sentry faster and more comfortable.
I think you didn't investigate the problem right.

Tolerances between allen wrenches and hex screws aren't as tight as you think. With higher screw diameter those tolerances looks very tight, but when you go lower with the size, then you will see those numbers becomes quite big in comparison to the size of the hex socket of that screw. It means, with smaller hex screws the allen wrench in socket can be a little bit loose. The reason for that is to be able to insert the allen wrench at all. With such small screws depending on the manufacturing method their hex socket could be not so perfect. If you would have to use force to insert the wrench inside then you could damage the screw. With bigger screws there is no such problem, because even if the socket isn't as ideal as it should be, you will use a little bit more force and screw won't be damaged. With smaller screws you have to be careful.

I just tested few randomly picked allen wrenches which we are sending to our backers with 4 types of M3 hex screws from 3 different manufacturers (3 pcs of each). I compared those wrenches with 3 different hex bits (2 from YATO and one from some unnamed company). In all of those combinations there always was a little bit of clearance between hex socket and the tool. We know there might be some manufacturers who are making those allen wrenches with some different, tighter dimensions and you found one of them with your set of tools, however I think you shouldn't make such statements like the one above which is based on only one situation that occurred for you.

From our side, in numbers it looks like that:
- we already sent something like 700 pc cases,
- with those cases was sent something like 60 000 screws with hex socket,
- from all of those users who already received their cases only 3 (including you) reported that they had problems with one screw which they damaged.

We think it is to early to scare people to not use the allen wrench which we are giving them basing only on such small amount of data. The better statement would be to use less force and be more careful while screwing and unscrewing everything.
For comparison i can ask you about a standard philips screwdriver. How many philips screws did you damage in your life because you used to much force? Probably more than one. Was it always a reason to change a tool and use a screwdriver from a different company, or maybe you just changed the screw for a new one and you were screwing it more gently? With Sentry we are giving everyone a lot more screws than most of people need. We know such situations might happen, but once you will damage your screw by using too much force for such small screw, next time you will be more careful and everything will be fine.

In spite of all, your point was written down and we will consider changing the type of the screws in the future in after campaign units :)

As always, thanks for support :)
 
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