Hi there. My apologies if I picked the wrong forum for this. I'm wondering if anyone could help me with possible cooling solutions for a mini-itx case. I finished the build yesterday and the CPU temp is running a bit hot at 55C-60C idle.
I've never done a build at this small of a form factor before, so I feel as if I'm in uncharted territory in terms of cooling options. There is no room for a case fan. The CPU cooler is a low-profile aftermarket that seemed well reviewed for core2duo's. The stock Intel cooler would have fit...but just barely & there were risks of it touching the NB chipset.
It seems like my only options for this case is a PCI fan (there is one PCI x16 slot on the board not being used) or a 3.5" bay solution. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of experience with either...so I'm hoping to get some advice on what would work better and/or specific product suggestions. This is a budget htpc solution (sub-$500)...so I'm trying to keep costs (and fan noise) down.
I've outlined the specs of my system below.
Purpose & Uses:
Budget Mini-ITX HTPC for bedroom.
No overclocking needs.
No hard core gaming (maybe secondlife).
Will mainly be used for browsing & streaming music/movies (avi) from my server.
Netflix streaming & Hulu.
Thanks so much for the feedback! I'd used SpeedFan for the temp readings. Sorry for not including that info in my initial post. I just tried CoreTemp and it looks as if the readings are pretty consistent between the two.
I ended up finding a Rosewill PCI slot cooler that I forgot about from an old build. I set it up to blow air out the back and it's keeping the cpu temps at around 40C at idle, 50C-55C at 60% load and around 65C-70C at 90%+ load. Without the PCI fan...it was running 55C-60C idle, 65-70C at 60% load and from 75C and up at 90% load. So the PCI fan has definitely helped. In truth, I was actually quite surprised it was this effective...as I didn't think it would do much where it was positioned.
The only downside is that the system is now a little louder than I would have liked (it was near-silent before I put in the pci-slot fan)....but still not even close to as loud as the xbox 360 I was using previously as a media center.
BTW, the case doesn't come with any fans, though is pretty generous in terms of side/back vents. It looks as if I'd be able to use the side vent by the cpu to mount an 80MM or smaller fan - though it would be tight. I wanted to test this out...but all I had laying around were 120mm...which were too big and would hit the copper tubing on my heatsink. I was also wrong about having the option of a 3.5" bay cooling solution with this case, as that space is being used by the hdd. ( I had been looking at it from the outside when the idea came to me and wasn't thinking about the internal layout)
So I'm going to leave it as-is for now. I wish it were a little cooler...but at least it shouldn't burn out now.
Thanks again for the help & suggestions. Much appreciated!