I pulled off the stock CPU cooler and replaced it with a jerry-rigged Scythe Shuriken (quieter). I've basically tried to cram as much performance as possible into a slim desktop as possible while keeping it quiet and relatively inexpensive (~$850 total). Unfortunately, it's a bit hot. Too hot, IMO. I've narrowed it down to 4 possible problems. The primary one mentioned in this thread is that the Sparkle card puts out some serious heat, and it's only being blown right into the PSU. I'm thinking if I could redirect that exhaust it might help some, but no one seems to make something as simple as a bolt-on aluminum air duct that enhances, rather than replaces, existing cooling solutions. Any advice?
And while I'm at it, I think these are the other problems:
1. Insufficient air flow due to masses of power cables. There are some nice slim cables on the market but I need to remove my existing ones first. I think this would involve either splicing some wires or opening up my PSU, and I'm not inclined to do either. The worst offender is the big 24-pin mobo cable and I haven't seen any "slim" solutions for that damn thing.
2. Too much thermal paste on the processor. Simple fix.
3. The Seasonic is simply a hot PSU. It's supposedly the best and most reliable 300W TFX device so I'm not sure what I could do to improve it/make it run cooler.
I'm running Linux Mint 6 w/ Fluxbox and my Conky temps are typically:
Core 1: 58C
Core 2: 48C
Core 3: 53C
Core 4: 47C
Core 1 spikes to ~66C sometimes when I run 3D games (parts of Dominions 3).
You feel like cutting 120mm holes in the case cover on the side? Thought about buying some massive HS loud fans? Not much you can do on the cheap besides buying a Walmart $19.99 house fan, pull the side cover off and blow the fan in there on high.
I feel your pain. You push the envelope, something breaks. It's your wallet.
Please look at the Antec 900, a great air cooled case.
I did well on it as so is my son on it. E6600 GT8800 with a Thermalright HR03? on it, overclocked to the max and up to 27C ambient.
There are many more good cases, the Antec 900 or 1200 is really just a good case design.