What is a Superpuppy?

Discussion relating to Socket 7 hardware.
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Jim
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What is a Superpuppy?

Post by Jim »

Well it is a kind of AT computer; and therefore a dog by definition; but such nice dogs.

In The Beginning:

When I go "dumpster diving", I look for a particular type of AT case.
Image

I like this kind of case for a couple of reasons. First, it is the best engineered AT case that I have ever seen, coming with just about everything but the 5.25 bays designed to be "clip in".
Image

Here we see 1) The "clip in" front panel leds and switches - (which clip to the case so there are no wires running to the actual front panel); 2) The "clip in" HDD mount; 3) The "clip in" Floppy mounts; 4) The "clip in" Front Chassis Fan and Speaker mount; 5) A choice of 2 different not bad looking "clip on" Front Panels; and 6) The "clip in" Mobo Tray. (Pulling the handle down disengages the locking teeth, allowing the tray to be removed).

The second reason I like these cases is the HDD mount location.
Image

I use 7200 RPM HDDs and they run HOT !! The further they are from the processor, the better I like it. The location used in this type of case, up at the top in the back; immediately under the power supply is what I consider to be Ideal; because it allows me to make cooling arrangements that evacuate all heat generated by the HDDs from the case without it ever affecting other components.

Here we see a rear view of, (left to right), Superpuppy 1, Superpuppy 2, and Superpuppy 3. Note that Superpuppy 1 & 2 only have exhaust fans for the HDDs, while Superpuppy 3, (and 4, not shown), have "ducted" exhaust fans. This business of putting in exhaust fans for the HDDs, entails cutting out the original com port slots, and either fabricating a fan mount plate, or a duct. Both; but particularly the latter, entail a great deal of measurement w/ a vernier caliper.
Image

Here is a front view of the same 3 machines, (again left to right), Superpuppy 1, 2 & 3.
Image

All Superpuppies get a "Superpuppy Kit" for the chipset. Here we see the spare board for Superpuppy 2 (ASUS P5A-B Rev 104).
Image

The chipset fan/heatsink combos, which are readily available locally, are of riveted construction, with the clip that holds the fan in place, mounted on the underside. This means that they must be removable as a unit for replacement purposes.

That necessitated a rather mickey mouse mounting system. What I did was first file a diagonal relief at the corners where the mounting bolts go. (The heat sink has an approximately 2.5mm thick aluminum base, so there is room to remove some material).

I then took a pair of nuts for "#4-40 half inch machine screws", (actually very small finely threaded thin bolts), and roughed up one side with a file. Having done that, I then used my dremel to cut a thin groove around the outer circumferance of each nut, nearer to the roughed up side.

Once that was done, I took 2 "#4-40 half inch machine screws" coated the tips w/ vaseline, passed them through the mounting holes on the fan, and threaded the nuts on roughed up side down. Next I placed the fan on top of one of the chips in the chipset; and adjusted its position till it was where I wanted it, making sure that the nuts were not contacting any mobo components; and that the fan/heatsink combo was sitting on the chip, as opposed to the nuts. (That was the purpose of filing reliefs at the mounting bolt corners of the heatsink.)

I then took careful note of where the nuts were on the board, removed the fan, put a drop of crazy glue where each nut rested; and then zapped the fan back into position, taking care to see that the bolts stood perfectly upright, till the glue set. Once the glue set, I unscrewed the bolts, removed the fan, then screwed the bolts back into the nuts glued onto the board.

Next I mixed up a batch of epoxy, and embedded each nut in a small blob, again taking care not to cover any mobo components. While that was setting, I dug out some matching old ball point pen springs from my spring collection, and cut them to a suitable length. Then when everything was solidly set, I unscrewed the bolts, stuck a washer on each, slipped a spring on, passed them through the, (precoated w/ thermal transfer compound), fan / heatsink combo, compressing the springs as I did so; and screwed the fan down to the board.

Repeat process for other fan; and you've got that part done. Next is the problem that the plugs on these fans are TINY!! Search as you will, you won't find receptacles for them, - (At least not in Toronto), so the next step is to make some.

That entailed first cutting out a piece of header strip for the power in connection, then the fabrication, of two suitable connectors for the fan plugs. Get that done, then solder the whole mess together into 2 common lines, + & -, then fabricate a plastic housing for it all, get it put together, epoxy fill the thing for both strength, and insulation, then rig up some method of mounting it on the mobo. (For P5A-Bs the method is double sided adhesive, for K6BV3+/66s it gets bolted down by one of the mobo mounts)

Here we see a shot of Superpuppy 2 w/ the hood off. It is not one of the "Good" cases, so it has been modified to install the "clip in" type HDD mounting rail from a scrap machine. The single HDD mount has been converted to a double simply by creating stainless steel extension plates, and bolting them onto the HDD carrier.

Note: ALL Superpuppies, including the ones I build for other people have at least 2 HDDs. I like my critical stuff to reside on 2 separate drives.

Note: One of the luckiest discoveries during all my "dumpster diving" was to find 2 ugly 3x5.25 bay towers, that had 3 of this type of "clip in" HDD mounts each. They were far too ugly to ever build; but those six extra HDD carriers; and the six sets of mounting rails have been very useful.
Image

Another modification to this machine is the 2x486 front chassis fans seen, which were originally put in to cool the HDDs because I first built this one as a Celeron machine; and since AT Intel 370 socket boards seem to invariably have the processor located top centre, I had to put the HDDs up front.

Further modifications to this machine include: relocating the speaker to its current position from the main front chassis fan position; creating and installing a front plate, (which in turn allowed me to put in a front chassis fan), because this case was mostly open at the front originally; The installation of the 2x486 rear HDD cooling fans, (which were there in the Celeron too; but serving as exhaust fans at that time); Fabricating the receptacles for the fan wiring; (one seen bolted down at the front at one of the Floppy mounting points, the other not visible, though the plug that goes into it is, up top near the back of the power supply ); and the creation of the wiring looming seen along the top rail.

The next shot is one of Superpuppy 1. Built on one of the good cases, this one is a purpose built Dualboot NT4 machine. I used The only FIC_VA503+ board I have left in it, because at the time, I could not get any other operating system to shutdown properly when running on an FIC. MulviHill, (a member here, - Thanks again MulviHill), taught me how to solve that problem; but by then Superpuppy 1 was already built. It is a waste really because the FIC is supposed to be the best memory performer of any Super 7, so I may eventually change it.

Another oddity about this one is that I knew about the 8 Gig max HDD recognition limitation of NT4 when I built it; but I didn't know that it could be circumvented by using an overlay. So feast your eyes on a mini tower w/ 3x8Gig & 1x5Gig HDDs in it. With six IDE devices, it had to have an IDE controller card, so I planned it so that one of the boots was totally secret.

What I did was put The 5Gig as mobo primary master, w/ 1 of the 8Gigs as mobo primary slave. The CDR/RW/ROM & the DVD/ROM are the mobo secondary master and slave. The remaining 2x8Gig drives went on the primary channel of the controller card. What I did not do was load the IDE controller card driver on the mobo "C" drive; but I did load it on the IDE controller card "C" drive.

This meant that if you booted from the mobo primary master, Windows did not see the controller card or the drives on it. But if you entered the right password, and went into the bios; and reset the boot to SCSI, it would boot into the hidden boot on the controller card's primary master, which could see everything but the mobo primary master "C" drive.
Image

Here you see my usual "Superpuppy Kit"; but with a difference. What I did was scrape the adhesive thermal transfer compound off a couple of heat sinks and reuse it. I had not developed my current method at the time I built this one.

The machine does illustrate the versatility of these cases clearly however, because it is obviously very easy to add at least 2 extra "clip in" HDD bays, and a third extra is, as shown, possible. You can also see one of my custom made fan plug receptacles at the top of the left side of the main HDD mount.

How that last extra "clip in" HDD mount is contrived, is the subject of the next shot. Remember me saying how lucky I was to find those two ugly 3 bay towers?
Image

A bit of work w/ a hacksaw, a dremel, a drill - and voila! a "clip in" HDD mounting rail that bolts to the bottom of the "clip in" Floppy mounts.

Now having bored those who are not fanatics to the point where they have long since stopped reading, we will get on to the main event. Superpuppy 3. My "Numero Uno Pooch". The first shot shows a front view of the stripped down modified case shown next to an unmodified one.
Image

The first thing you will notice is that the crude original front chassis fan grill is history. It has been replaced, (as it is on ALL Superpuppies), w/ a fine steel mesh grill that is held in place by the single machine screw at the bottom. Take that screw out; and it slides out from underneath the 2 custom made retaining plates mounted on either side of it. I have not yet done it; but the plan also provides for a further dust filter, fashioned by using a set of dividers to deeply scribe 85mm circles in 2 square pieces of sheet plastic, until I can snap out the circles, then gluing a section of pantyhose between the two sheets, thereby creating a removable washable filter, which fits between the steel mesh and the case. (Note: the mesh alone catches a lot of dust; but not all of it.)

Look carefully; and you will also notice that the hole for the "clip in" Floppy drive mounts, has been deepened on the modified case, so as to allow the "clip in" Floppy drive mount to be inserted w/ an HDD mounting rail attached.

I also used electrical tape to cover unused holes that come in these cases so as to help prevent the Front Chassis Fan from drawing air through the holes from inside the case. I want it to be drawing in fresh air, not recirculating the air that is already in there. Should also mention in passing that since the air intake slots are very small on this machine; and it has a recessed grab area at the bottom of the front panel, (for ease of removal), I cut a large air intake slot in the recessed area too.

Next is a nice shot of the case interior showing: 1) The "clip in" Floppy mounts in place, w/ the front "clip in" HDD mounting rail attached. 2) The rear "clip in" Hdd mounting rail. 3) The "Superpuppy chipset Kit" as applied to a DFI K6BV3+/66. 4) The duct for the rear HDD mount. Note the blue rubber flange on the entry side of the duct, which allows the HDD mount to slide past; and provides a reasonably good seal once it is past.

The heavy black cable running to the rear of the case is the USB connection for the Floppy's built in card reader and memory stick reader.
Image

Now here is the rear HDD mount. I figured that the centre part of the fans would not be moving much air, so the fans are mounted centred on the top drive. That way the top part of the fans draw air across the top of the top drive; while the bottom part of the fans draw air across the top part of the bottom drive. There is no where else they can draw air from.
Image

It has a set of my standard 2 drive stainless steel extension plates; and a homemade copper back box. I used copper because the shape is a bit more complex than it looks; and I wanted a pretty good air seal. Hence something you can solder. The dimensions were critical to get a good fit, so I took a lot of measurements w/ my vernier caliper, then scribed lines on the piece of sheet copper I was using to show exactly where I wanted it to bend.

Once I had that done, I set up my dremel in a "drill press" w/ a thin cutting wheel mounted. Next I set the height of the tool so that when I slid the piece of sheet across the "drill press" table, the cutting wheel would be exactly on one of the scribed lines where I wanted to bend the sheet. Then I passed the sheet back and forth over the wheel, slowly cutting a groove along the line; but not cutting it through.

Once I had done that to all the lines where I wanted it to bend; and cut out those parts that I did not want, I stuck the sheet in a vise, which I had used double sided tape to stick a couple of pieces of smooth .25 inch plate to the jaws of. I adjusted everything till a groove on the sheet was exactly in line w/ the edge of the smooth steel plate, then did my bend. All of them that way. Once I had it shaped, I used solder to fillet the bends for strength. Where the shape was exceptionally complex, I soldered in separate pieces.

Note: This thing fits the duct so snugly that I had to put electrical tape over the fan wires to hold them down so as to prevent them from being cut and shorting.

Here is another view of it, this one showing the homemade receptical for the fan wire plugs.
Image

Here you see it w/ both HDD mounts installed. Note that the blue rubber flange seals the gap that would otherwise exist where the fan bolts enter the duct. Also note that what appears to be a misfit, (dark area) is actually the end of the piece of electrical tape holding the wires down.
Image

Here are a couple more close up rear views of the ducted fan setup attempting to show how good the fit of this thing is.
Image
Image

Note : Before I did this I noticed that 7200s run HOT !! MY 2 WD 40 Gigs were running up to; and possibly over 77C. Now they never exceed 35C. (The 20 Gig Maxtor 7200 up front, which gets a fair bit of draft from both the CPU fan, and the Front Chassis fan runs at 43C.)

And finally, I think she is a handsome little mutt too. ATs FOREVER !! Buck Rogers Sucks !!
Image

I obviously don't have this picture posting thing down pat yet. :oops: :oops: Image shack did say something about "Hotmail" which I use, but what they said was greek to me. Help anyone? I just hope I can get it working w/out having to retype the whole thing!

Edit: I think this is going to work now. --- Thanks Nohr.
Last edited by Jim on Sun Sep 04, 2005 1:28 pm, edited 10 times in total.
Superpuppy 3
K6-3+ 450 ACZ (6x100)
DFI K6BV3+/66 Rev B2 (2 Meg) w/ 2x28mm Chipset Fans
2x256 Meg PC 133 Hynix SDRAM
1x 20G Maxtor (7200)
2x 80G Maxtor (7200) Ducted w/ 2x486 Fans Mount
52/24/52/16 LG CDR/RW/DVD
8/4/3/12/24/16/32 LG Super Multi
ATI 9000 aiw Radeon AGP
SB Audigy 1 MP3 Sound
CMD 649 IDE Controller
NEC USB 2 Card

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Nohr
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RE: What is a Superpuppy?

Post by Nohr »

Do you have links to your pictures?
Last edited by Nohr on Sun Sep 04, 2005 10:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

Jim
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Posts: 1745
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Location: Toronto

RE: What is a Superpuppy?

Post by Jim »

Well, I have the original files, here on Superpuppy 3, and there are copies of them posted at image shack us, and I know the names of them there; but as for links, I am not sure what you mean. I was hitting your img key then typing "http://imageshack.us/sp013oz.jpeg" then hitting the img key again, but without the quotes. For me to get to them at imageshack.us, I have to click on a link they stuck in an email they sent me when I registered., which opens my gallery there. That is about all I can tell you.

(BTW "sp013oz.jpg" is the name they assigned my first pic. The others each have their own names assigned.)
Last edited by Jim on Sun Sep 04, 2005 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Superpuppy 3
K6-3+ 450 ACZ (6x100)
DFI K6BV3+/66 Rev B2 (2 Meg) w/ 2x28mm Chipset Fans
2x256 Meg PC 133 Hynix SDRAM
1x 20G Maxtor (7200)
2x 80G Maxtor (7200) Ducted w/ 2x486 Fans Mount
52/24/52/16 LG CDR/RW/DVD
8/4/3/12/24/16/32 LG Super Multi
ATI 9000 aiw Radeon AGP
SB Audigy 1 MP3 Sound
CMD 649 IDE Controller
NEC USB 2 Card

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Nohr
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RE: What is a Superpuppy?

Post by Nohr »

I haven't used Imageshack myself so I'm not much help, but your link should look more like this:
http://img332.imageshack.us/my.php?imag ... 3761cz.jpg
Last edited by Nohr on Sun Sep 04, 2005 11:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

Jim
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Location: Toronto

RE: What is a Superpuppy?

Post by Jim »

what Is the "img332" ?, what is the "my.php" ? and finally is "dsc023761cz.jpeg" all part of the sample filename that you are giving, or is "dsc" something that has to be appended to the filename? Thanks
Superpuppy 3
K6-3+ 450 ACZ (6x100)
DFI K6BV3+/66 Rev B2 (2 Meg) w/ 2x28mm Chipset Fans
2x256 Meg PC 133 Hynix SDRAM
1x 20G Maxtor (7200)
2x 80G Maxtor (7200) Ducted w/ 2x486 Fans Mount
52/24/52/16 LG CDR/RW/DVD
8/4/3/12/24/16/32 LG Super Multi
ATI 9000 aiw Radeon AGP
SB Audigy 1 MP3 Sound
CMD 649 IDE Controller
NEC USB 2 Card

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Nohr
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Post by Nohr »

Okay I just went and used Imageshack. When you upload the image you're presented with several different links. "Thumbnail for Websites", "Thumbnail for forums (1)", "Thumbnail for forums (2)", and so on. The one you want is "Direct link to image" near the bottom.

My example: [img]http://img220.imageshack.us/img220/2166/dragon9ev.jpg[/img]

I didn't bother registering. I just used the browse thing on their front page to find the image I wanted to upload, then clicked "host it".

Jim
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Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2004 7:10 pm
Location: Toronto

Post by Jim »

K, that should do it; though given my incompetence w/ software you never can tell. Thanks, will try to re-enter them now. Smoke break first though.

Edit : well I re-entered all the file links in my post, using the format :
[img]http://img###.imageshack.us/img###/####/filename[/img]

But it still isn't working right. I copied the numbers and such from the "Direct" entry, so I thought I had it done right; but apparently something is still wrong. I don't know, is there something I have to do there at their end to get the link to work at this end? You said something about clicking on "host it" which I did when I entered them in my gallery there; but not when I entered links to them here.
Superpuppy 3
K6-3+ 450 ACZ (6x100)
DFI K6BV3+/66 Rev B2 (2 Meg) w/ 2x28mm Chipset Fans
2x256 Meg PC 133 Hynix SDRAM
1x 20G Maxtor (7200)
2x 80G Maxtor (7200) Ducted w/ 2x486 Fans Mount
52/24/52/16 LG CDR/RW/DVD
8/4/3/12/24/16/32 LG Super Multi
ATI 9000 aiw Radeon AGP
SB Audigy 1 MP3 Sound
CMD 649 IDE Controller
NEC USB 2 Card

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Nohr
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Post by Nohr »

Woo I see pics! :banana :banana :banana :banana :banana

Jim
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Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2004 7:10 pm
Location: Toronto

Post by Jim »

Yeah, thanks for that, but the key "Q" is : Do you like what you see?
Superpuppy 3
K6-3+ 450 ACZ (6x100)
DFI K6BV3+/66 Rev B2 (2 Meg) w/ 2x28mm Chipset Fans
2x256 Meg PC 133 Hynix SDRAM
1x 20G Maxtor (7200)
2x 80G Maxtor (7200) Ducted w/ 2x486 Fans Mount
52/24/52/16 LG CDR/RW/DVD
8/4/3/12/24/16/32 LG Super Multi
ATI 9000 aiw Radeon AGP
SB Audigy 1 MP3 Sound
CMD 649 IDE Controller
NEC USB 2 Card

User avatar
Nohr
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Post by Nohr »

I don't share your love of AT but it's nice to see what you've done with it. I'm not too sure I'd look forward to having to work on one of those, looks cramped! I don't think I've ever seen so many expansion slots filled, heheh. Now you just need to find space to jam a couple 120mm fans in there and you'll be set. ;)

Jim
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Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2004 7:10 pm
Location: Toronto

Post by Jim »

Ha! Ha! :P -- This thing would drive TA152H nuts. It makes a not too loud high pitched whining sound like a jet engine's. It has 8 fans in it already. As for the cramping, why do you think I like everything "clip in"?
Superpuppy 3
K6-3+ 450 ACZ (6x100)
DFI K6BV3+/66 Rev B2 (2 Meg) w/ 2x28mm Chipset Fans
2x256 Meg PC 133 Hynix SDRAM
1x 20G Maxtor (7200)
2x 80G Maxtor (7200) Ducted w/ 2x486 Fans Mount
52/24/52/16 LG CDR/RW/DVD
8/4/3/12/24/16/32 LG Super Multi
ATI 9000 aiw Radeon AGP
SB Audigy 1 MP3 Sound
CMD 649 IDE Controller
NEC USB 2 Card

User avatar
Nohr
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Post by Nohr »

My main computer is fairly loud but it's more of a woosh sound than it is high pitched. 10 fans total.

I remember my old 286 having clips like that. Just press a little tab and out slides the hard drive or floppy. You can get tool-less ATX cases nowdays that have sliding retention mechanisms for drive and locking tabs for the expansion cards. Of course you have to pay a little bit of a premium for such features.

Jim
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Posts: 1745
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2004 7:10 pm
Location: Toronto

Post by Jim »

Like mine, you could probably stick a hose on it, then cart it around to vacuum the house. :P The catch to the new jobbies, apart from always being obsolete 2 months before you buy them, (at a price I can't afford anyway), is that they take more space than I have. My desk is narrow, jammed between my bed and wall mounted bookshelves, w/ more bookshelves over it, and there just isn't room for an ATX in the space I have for my comp. Too high, (bookshelves), and too wide, because the desk has room for an AT and a 17 inch monitor side by side, w/ the keyboard in front of the monitor; and the m/pad in front of the comp.
Superpuppy 3
K6-3+ 450 ACZ (6x100)
DFI K6BV3+/66 Rev B2 (2 Meg) w/ 2x28mm Chipset Fans
2x256 Meg PC 133 Hynix SDRAM
1x 20G Maxtor (7200)
2x 80G Maxtor (7200) Ducted w/ 2x486 Fans Mount
52/24/52/16 LG CDR/RW/DVD
8/4/3/12/24/16/32 LG Super Multi
ATI 9000 aiw Radeon AGP
SB Audigy 1 MP3 Sound
CMD 649 IDE Controller
NEC USB 2 Card

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Cthulhu8u
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Post by Cthulhu8u »

Very cool pictures, Jim! That's some great work on customizing the AT's for your needs. I didn't read your post completely yet, but I waded through some of it and let the pictures do the talking ;)

Something you may want to consider for SuperPuppy 4(?): If you find the sound of the fans too loud or whiny, install a couple of 120mm's as Nohr suggested instead of so many smaller ones. They move more air with less noise (lower RPMs).

Also, I was just remebering an old thread you had about power supply problems... that many small fans taxes your power supply quite a bit. If you can't use a bigger PSU, then consider replacing those fans with just a few 120's to keep your voltage levels more steady.

BTW, any hints where you went dumpster diving for this stuff? :P
ASUS P5A-B rev 1.04 (bios 1011 beta 02)
AMD K6-2+ 500
256 Mb RAM
3Dfx Voodoo 4 4500
Maxtor 6Gb HD
LG 52x CD-RW
SyQuest EZ 135 internal drive
D-Link DFE-530TX+ NIC
Generic PCI Soundcard
Lots of stickers...

Jim
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Location: Toronto

Post by Jim »

Hi Cthulhu8u ; THANK YOU VERY MUCH for your response!! I was wondering why nobody was responding to some of my posts. I guess I'll have to ease up on the "HOW TO" element of them.

I do most of my "Dumpster Diving" in Markham. Sheilds Court; Riviera Drive; and 14th Avenue all have a number of computer places on them. Also "Uptown Computer" at Oakwood & Rogers. The Power Supply problem, I was having, was just a defective supply. Remember, these are mostly used supplies, salvaged from dumpsters. The chipset fans come from Above All electronics, on the north side of Bloor St, a little over 1 block west of Bathurst.

As for cooling, you are right about 120mm fans moving more air w/ less noise; but I think Nohr was kidding. Keep in mind :

1) SP3, (as Nohr pointed out), has a very crowded case w/ poor general air circulation.
2) 7200 HDDs generate a lot of heat.
3) Heat rises.

What I didn't want was a situation where I was moving a lot of air through the case; but still having local hot spots, because the flow pattern was such that that air was entering at one point; and exiting at another, without ever passing by some other points. I do it the way I do because of that; and because I have 3 boxes of 486 fans that came w/ the stuff I got from QDI, (which fit perfectly in the space between the power supply and the slots, - up at the top, where heat collects from the RAM and HDDs).

And THANKS again, for taking the time to respond.
Last edited by Jim on Sat Sep 10, 2005 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Superpuppy 3
K6-3+ 450 ACZ (6x100)
DFI K6BV3+/66 Rev B2 (2 Meg) w/ 2x28mm Chipset Fans
2x256 Meg PC 133 Hynix SDRAM
1x 20G Maxtor (7200)
2x 80G Maxtor (7200) Ducted w/ 2x486 Fans Mount
52/24/52/16 LG CDR/RW/DVD
8/4/3/12/24/16/32 LG Super Multi
ATI 9000 aiw Radeon AGP
SB Audigy 1 MP3 Sound
CMD 649 IDE Controller
NEC USB 2 Card

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