Has anyone seen a BTX case?

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

Hi, all ...

Yes, my latest quest at addressing the heat issues with my Prescott
core 3.4 GHz Pentium 4 chip are going from the sublime to the
ridiculous.

With the stock fan that came with the unit (a Powerspec 9262), when I
do DVD renders the CPU is popping above 75C with the other two sensors
in the 45 - 50C range for the 2.5 hour period that it takes to render
the DVD.

At idle (web surfing, etc.), the CPU bounces around 52C with the otehr
two case sensors at 32C or so.

Now, with this case being as small as it is, about the only thing that
can be changed easily is the case fan. Fortunately the case will
acomodate a 92mm fan but the stock fan was 80mm.

I have tried about five different variations, the most interesting
being an 80mm Vantec Tornado. It does keep CPU idle down to 45C or so
and loaded idle down to about 65C, but my GOD I have never heard
anything so loud in my life. It is right up there with a room air
conditioner badly in need of a tune-up or a vacuum cleaner.

Now I have a 92mm Vantec Tornado on the way along with their "Nexus"
controller, and I have high hopes this will allow me to strike some
sort of balance on the noise -- plus the 92m fan looks to be able to
draw about 20% more air per time period.

Now I've gotten to do some digging and have stumbled across this new
BTX design. Actually the Gateway 700 series that they have at
MicroCenter has this design and it looks like it has some potential --
HUGE "thermal module" heat sink mounted right at an intake ... and the
intake and exhaust fans are HUGE.

Of course I hate with a passion the notion of buying ANY sort of
proprietary machine -- particularly one that doesn't even come with
restore disks, although, taking a look at the model they had at
Microcenter, it looks like the components are reasonably generic enough
that one could probably successfully load other OS's on the box.

Question ... has anyone seen a BTX tower case? I have seen a couple of
places selling the Intel MicroBTX motherboards (and they're not
outrageously priced believe it or not), but I have not been able to
find one single place that has any BTX tower cases.

Also ... has anyone run thermals on these Gateways? Does the BTX
design actually address the heat situation?

Thanks!

Ax
7 answers Last reply
More about case
  1. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    axinar@yahoo.com wrote:
    > Question ... has anyone seen a BTX tower case? I have seen a couple of
    > places selling the Intel MicroBTX motherboards (and they're not
    > outrageously priced believe it or not), but I have not been able to
    > find one single place that has any BTX tower cases.

    The CoolerMaster Stacker case is a tower that can be either ATX (as
    shipped from the factory) or BTX (modified following included directions
    and parts).

    Scott
  2. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On 13 Jan 2005 09:37:29 -0800, axinar@yahoo.com wrote:

    >Hi, all ...
    >
    >Yes, my latest quest at addressing the heat issues with my Prescott
    >core 3.4 GHz Pentium 4 chip are going from the sublime to the
    >ridiculous.
    >
    >With the stock fan that came with the unit (a Powerspec 9262), when I
    >do DVD renders the CPU is popping above 75C with the other two sensors
    >in the 45 - 50C range for the 2.5 hour period that it takes to render
    >the DVD.
    >
    >At idle (web surfing, etc.), the CPU bounces around 52C with the otehr
    >two case sensors at 32C or so.
    >
    >Now, with this case being as small as it is, about the only thing that
    >can be changed easily is the case fan. Fortunately the case will
    >acomodate a 92mm fan but the stock fan was 80mm.
    >
    >I have tried about five different variations, the most interesting
    >being an 80mm Vantec Tornado. It does keep CPU idle down to 45C or so
    >and loaded idle down to about 65C, but my GOD I have never heard
    >anything so loud in my life. It is right up there with a room air
    >conditioner badly in need of a tune-up or a vacuum cleaner.
    >
    >Now I have a 92mm Vantec Tornado on the way along with their "Nexus"
    >controller, and I have high hopes this will allow me to strike some
    >sort of balance on the noise -- plus the 92m fan looks to be able to
    >draw about 20% more air per time period.
    >
    >Now I've gotten to do some digging and have stumbled across this new
    >BTX design. Actually the Gateway 700 series that they have at
    >MicroCenter has this design and it looks like it has some potential --
    >HUGE "thermal module" heat sink mounted right at an intake ... and the
    >intake and exhaust fans are HUGE.
    >
    >Of course I hate with a passion the notion of buying ANY sort of
    >proprietary machine -- particularly one that doesn't even come with
    >restore disks, although, taking a look at the model they had at
    >Microcenter, it looks like the components are reasonably generic enough
    >that one could probably successfully load other OS's on the box.
    >
    >Question ... has anyone seen a BTX tower case? I have seen a couple of
    >places selling the Intel MicroBTX motherboards (and they're not
    >outrageously priced believe it or not), but I have not been able to
    >find one single place that has any BTX tower cases.

    Someone posted this link to a microBTX review:
    http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1558,1727911,00.asp?kc=ETRSS02129TX1K0000532
    but there's not much data on perceived benefits.

    I haven't seen any tower BTX and, though I haven't been actively looking, I
    haven't seen any of the usual case mfrs mention BTX in their line-ups.

    --
    Rgds, George Macdonald
  3. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Thu, 13 Jan 2005 20:14:45 -0500, George Macdonald
    <fammacd=!SPAM^nothanks@tellurian.com> scribbled:

    [snip]

    >I haven't seen any tower BTX and, though I haven't been actively looking, I
    >haven't seen any of the usual case mfrs mention BTX in their line-ups.

    Gateway has been shipping BTX tower systems for a little while now, I
    took a look at one set up at a friend's workplace the other day - it
    just looks a little odd at first glance on the inside but is otherwise
    pretty uneventful. :)

    -Slash
    --
    "Ebert Victorious"
    -The Onion
  4. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Slash wrote:

    > Gateway has been shipping BTX tower systems for a little while now, I
    > took a look at one set up at a friend's workplace the other day - it
    > just looks a little odd at first glance on the inside but is
    otherwise
    > pretty uneventful. :)

    Actually I tooled into MicroCenter yesterday and popped open the
    Gateway 700GR which is based on a BTX board.

    I went into BIOS and noticed that the BIOS didn't have the temperature
    sensors like the ATX motherboard that the Powerspec 9262 uses.

    However, with the CPU being thrown into 100% mode in BIOS I DID notice
    the two 120mm case fans kick up to full speed.

    They are pretty loud at full tilt I can tell you ... on the other hand
    it is a very low pitched, airflow "white-noise" type of sound as
    opposed to that horrible buzz from the CPU fan and that skull-splitting
    whine from something like a Vantec Tornado.

    The "idle" speed of the fans is exceptionally quiet, however. I stuck
    my head up to the case and did some "ordinary" stuff like browsing
    through photos and the like and it sounds like the fans change speed in
    tiny, tiny increments every few seconds. Dunno if that in and of
    itself would become irritating after a while.

    The microBTX case is a little crampt, however ...

    There are 4 400Mz DDR slots, only two of which are occupied in the
    stock 1GB configuration.

    The real concern is the lack of space around the PCI-E X16 slot. The
    stock card is an ATI X300, which is a pretty small card. Probably an
    X800 or the bigger nVidea cards wouldn't fit.

    I THINK my Audigy 4 card will fit ... let's hope so anyway.

    Which brings us to the next concern on the Gateway design ... a
    whopping 300 watt power supply.

    Maybe they have some low consumption components.

    HOWEVER, I did verify that the power supply is standard ATX
    configuration ... although the cable bundle is on the opposite side,
    which is not a show stopped. My 550 watt PS with all the blacklight
    mesh ought to fit just fine (although you can't see the blacklight mesh
    in that case).

    Here's the question ... are there any third party utilities (or even
    the utilities from Intel) that would allow me to see the actual temps
    on this BTX motherboard Gateway is using?

    Obviously if this new design keeps the temps down with quieter fans it
    will be the way to go in the future, but without actual readings it
    will be hard to tell.

    Ax
  5. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Slash wrote:
    > On Thu, 13 Jan 2005 20:14:45 -0500, George Macdonald
    > <fammacd=!SPAM^nothanks@tellurian.com> scribbled:
    >
    > [snip]
    >
    >
    >>I haven't seen any tower BTX and, though I haven't been actively looking, I
    >>haven't seen any of the usual case mfrs mention BTX in their line-ups.
    >
    >
    > Gateway has been shipping BTX tower systems for a little while now, I
    > took a look at one set up at a friend's workplace the other day - it
    > just looks a little odd at first glance on the inside but is otherwise
    > pretty uneventful. :)
    >

    I don't know if it the distinction matters to the OP, but are the
    things everyone has seen so far actual towers, or are they merely
    mid-towers and mini-towers ?
  6. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On 13 Jan 2005 09:37:29 -0800, axinar@yahoo.com wrote:

    >Hi, all ...
    >
    >Yes, my latest quest at addressing the heat issues with my Prescott
    >core 3.4 GHz Pentium 4 chip are going from the sublime to the
    >ridiculous.
    ....snip...
    >I have tried about five different variations, the most interesting
    >being an 80mm Vantec Tornado. It does keep CPU idle down to 45C or so
    >and loaded idle down to about 65C, but my GOD I have never heard
    >anything so loud in my life. It is right up there with a room air
    >conditioner badly in need of a tune-up or a vacuum cleaner.
    ....snip...
    >Question ... has anyone seen a BTX tower case? I have seen a couple of
    >places selling the Intel MicroBTX motherboards (and they're not
    >outrageously priced believe it or not)

    The key word is Micro. Well, if you think you'll never need any
    expansion or memory upgrade...

    >, but I have not been able to
    >find one single place that has any BTX tower cases.
    >
    >Also ... has anyone run thermals on these Gateways? Does the BTX
    >design actually address the heat situation?
    >
    >Thanks!
    >
    > Ax

    New case (and it must be expen$ive one because of being the latest and
    greatest bleeding edge)... New motherboard... New HSF (pardon me,
    "thermal module", but the new name wouldn't make it any cheaper)...
    And no guarantee to work - the heat still must be dissipated somehow.
    Wouldn't it be easier to try something that's not hard to find,
    guaranteed to fit into tried and true ATX case, would not force you to
    turn on air conditioner in mid-winter, and performs substantially
    better at lower price point? Yes, I mean AMD.
    Good luck.
  7. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Fri, 14 Jan 2005 15:58:11 GMT, Rob Stow <rob.stow.nospam@shaw.ca>
    scribbled:

    >I don't know if it the distinction matters to the OP, but are the
    >things everyone has seen so far actual towers, or are they merely
    >mid-towers and mini-towers ?

    This is the system I was using, it's a mid-tower.

    http://products.gateway.com/products/GConfig/proddetails.asp?system_id=7200xl&seg=hm

    -Slash
    --
    "Ebert Victorious"
    -The Onion
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