Saturday, February 28, 2009

A failed Hybrid Cooling Project

The hybrid cooling project, I got this idea when I saw Dell using their H2C cooling system in their XPS series. What is a hybrid cooling system ? Well, its basically a cooling system that based on water cooling and peltier cooling.

In conventional Water Cooling System, the liquid is cooled by the radiator before returning to the reservoir. The hybrid cooling system basically are based on the same concept but instead of cooled by only the radiator, the liquid cooled by TEC units before radiator. A high wattage TEC module could easily cool a CPU below ambient, so when things cooled below ambient, we have condensation problem. Theoritically with the hybrid cooling concept, the radiator will make sure the temperature of the coolant will stay around ambient temperature.

Here is a quick peak of the Dell H2C:

And here is my own custom built with the same concept but with some low end feature without any sensors nor controllers. But its based on the same concept of the H2c, the liquid coolant ( instead of H2C's gel alike coolant) flow from pump to CPU Waterblock, cooled by the TEC module, then by the radiator and flow back to the reservoir. The hotside of the TEC module were cooled by CM Hyper 212 Air Cooler. TEC used were 90watt peltier if I not remember wrongly.

The time I built this, I was on C2D e8400, i got 2-3c lower only with the TEC module on, and nowhere its near the ambient, so I guess its a failed project.

Major factor of the failure:
-Not enough cooling surface for the coldside of the peltier module, should have gone for dual peltier in parallel setup with a huge copper plate linked to at least 2 or more waterblocks so that the cold side have sufficient contact with the loop.

-The radiator are pulling hot air from inside of the system, and bringing up the temperature.

-Maybe I need higher wattages peltiers.

Lets Built A Silent PC, Sound Insulating My PC

Recently I've been annoyed by the sound generated by D4 pump and cooling fans of my PC, especially when the ceiling fan in my room running in low speed, the "humming" and "whinning" sound make me uneasy with it.

So I've came out an idea to silent the noise generated while not sacrificing too much cooling performance by using industrial grade sound insulation foam and downvolting the fans.

Pictures above shows that the sound insulation foam I am going to use on the project.

The foam attached to the side panels.

The foam attached to the bottom part of the system.

The concept of using those sound insulation foam is to prevent noise generated by vibration. As we know, vibrations generated by pump and fans tends to generate noise when came into contact with metals. The sound insulation foam's capabilities of absorbing those vibrations will definately making sure that there are no noise generated caused by vibrations.

Next we proceed to downvolting part. As we know, our Power Supply Unit(PSU) used for our PC able to provide 12V,7V, & 5V DC voltages.

From the pic, we can see that there are 4 wires in our standard 4 pins molex which used in every PSU.

To work with 5v mode, we connect the red wire(+) of the cooling fan to the red wire and black wire(-) to the black wire of the molex.

To work with 7v mode, we connect the red wire(+) of the cooling fan to the yellow wire and black wire(-) to the red wire of the molex.
I tweaked mine to 7v mode so that I get decent air flow and low noise from the fans.

Fans tweaked were 2x2000 RPM which cooling the radiator. The intake and exhaust fan were controlled by a fan controller which come with PC-A6010.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Overclocking of The Intel's Core i7 920

The new i7 CPU are quite a good overclockers, here are some rough OC i done this weekend, havent run any benchmarks though, but just to shows that its easily reaches these clocks and stable for 30mins of Prime95 Small FFT rough stability test.


The screenshot above shows the i7 920 can easily reached 3.2Ghz with ease, what we need to do is just bump up the BCLK, to 160 with a multiplier of 20 (160*20=3200), do note that clocking of i7 are different from the old Intel Core series, thare are no longer headaches of GTL references etc, but on come a new problem with the value i7 920 series. The Core i7 is a modular design with two main areas, the “core” and the “uncore”. Inside the chip, the actual execution cores that do the heavy lifting are treated as the “core.” The other parts, such as the integrated memory controller, L3 cache, and the Quick Path Interconnect are treated as the “uncore.” Since they’re separate entities, you can overclock the execution cores without overclocking the uncore to the same degree, in theory. This should let you hit higher speeds, since you wouldn’t be running the QPI, memory controller, or L3 quite as hard. In reality, however, it doesn’t work that way. Intel’s non-Extreme Edition Core i7 CPUs offer limited control over the uncore multiplier, so a boost to the base clock boosts the uncore speeds as well. Hence, I need to bump the QPI voltage while i increasing the QPI voltage to 1.275V to maintain stability for the QPI as well as set the DRAM frequency to DDR3 1600 in BIOS. My chip did 3.2ghz no sweat with stock vcore.


The screenies above show another run in this morning, I was able to push to chip towards 3.8ghz with HT on with vcore of 1.35v, QPI voltage of 1.425v. Passed 30mins Prime95 Small FFT for rough stability test.


The overclockability of i7 are quite suprising me, after reaching 3.8GhZ, i tried to OC further, with HT off, i manage to obtain 30+ mins small FFT prime95 stable with clockspeed of 4Ghz, with Vcore of 1.4v and VQPI of 1.54375v, its quite high to run 24/7 but its up to your call, u can try running this clockspeed and voltages settings 24/7 as i saw bunches of people leaving such settings for 24/7. The Core i7 920 definately worth the buck among the top end CPU market considering you can obtain 50% or more performance through overclocking.

* Note that those OC are not yet run full stability test with Orthos Small FFT priority 10.
More benchmarks coming soon... stay tuned !!!

i7 built...

After long months of funding and selling of my old rig, finally got a chance to built a new Intel Core i7 rig. The Core i7 are Intel's latest Quad-Core microproccesor based on Nahelem Microarchitecture. Unlike its predecessor the new i7 chip no longer rely on the ancient front-side bus that connect all of the current-gen intel CPU cores. Instead, cores will connect and communicate via a high speed interconnect, also noticable changes are outs of the needs of external memory controller, which Intel relied on gluing two dual cores chip together under the IHS to make its quad core cpu in the past, now they are placing all four cores on a single die.
The most noticable changes and significant improvement for the i7 are the built in memory controller. Instead of memory access going from CPU through Motherboard Chipset, now with the IMC, it eliminated the needs of front side bus and external memory controller, the result is dramatically lower latency compare to the older Core 2 and P4 based system.

The i7 CPU is designed to be very wide chip of capable of executing instructions with far more parallelism than previous designs. But to keep the chip feeding, the i7 feature an intergrated tripple channel DDR3 controller.
Another feature of the new Core i7, the Hyper-Threading. The Hyper-Threading partitioned the CPU's resources so that multiple threads can be executed simultaneosly.

With an improved loop detector routine, the i7 will save power and boost performance by detecting larger loops and catching what the program asks for. Besides that Intel also polished its branch prediction algorithms, Branch predictions are those yes/no questions faced by the CPU, if the CPU guess wrongly, it has to drain its pipeline and restart the process. So with the improved algorithm, its offering incredible performance improvement. (Reduced delays in fetching data with the new IMC and Branch Predictions algorithm)

References from Maximum PC issue Dec 2008.

Enough of Crapping, lets show off some of my built.

The spec of my built is:
Intel Core i7 920
Asus P6T
TeamXtreem DDR3 1600 CL8 x 3
GeCube ATi Radeon 4850
Corsair TX750W PSU
Lian Li PC-A6010 Casing

Cooling Gears:
D-Tek Fuzion v2, Swiftech MCR220QP, Swiftech MCP-650, Swiftech Micro Reservoir.
Scythe Musasshi

The overview of the new system.

The internal view of the system.

The top view of the system.

Cooling Concept of My Built

The case cooling are base on passive air cooling concept, which a case cooled by more intake fan then output fan. The blue arrows in the picture above represent cool air or cool liquid while the reds represent hot air or hot liquid.
In genaral, Liquid Cooling consist of several components, they are Waterblock, Pump, Reservoir or T-Line andRaditator. The waterblock are cooling plate that transfer heat into the loop from the Intergrated Heat Spreader of CPU or GPU. The pump are moving the liquid inside the loop and the Radiator transfer the heat from the loop into the air with the help of cooling fans. The reservoir and T-Line basically are for bleeding purpose.
So how a liquid cooling system works ? From reservoir or T-Line, the liquid sucked into the pump, then pumped into the waterblock and absorb the heat from the CPU or GPU or other components, depends on what block we are using, then the heat were released to the air around by the help of cooling fan by radiator then the cooled liquid move back into the Resevoir/T-Line.


Welcome to my blog... this is the first blog entry that i created... just wanna say Hi and Thanks for visting for any visitors...

*sry for my bad english and grammer mistakes... LOL