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GPU and Case

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August 15, 2012 5:12:30 PM

Hello,

I am currently about to build a new HTPC build, however, I noticed that the case I picked out,

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and the GPU I picked out,

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

are nearly identical in height. If it fits, it will be just barely.

That said, my question and concern is this: If the top of the gpu touches the top of the case once i build it and boot it up, will this create any issues?

I know the motherboard should not touch the case, and common sense tells me I should not boot up the system if the GPU touches the case, however I would like to be 100% sure before i begin building this system.

More about : gpu case

a b U Graphics card
August 15, 2012 5:23:18 PM

if the gpu touches the top of your case it will be a problem because the power plugs for that gpu are on the top, it would be impossible to plug it in. also are you doing any gaming on this? i feel if its just an htpc you dont need a gtx 670
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August 15, 2012 5:24:33 PM

Yes, I do plan to game on this HTPC, since I will hook it up to my entertainment system.
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a b U Graphics card
August 15, 2012 5:25:51 PM

okay cool i was just making sure...but regardless you will need a card in which the pcie plugs are on the back end, not on the top. these will definitely conflict if the card is just as tall as the case
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Best solution

a b U Graphics card
August 15, 2012 5:25:55 PM

It will work, the case has a little clearance and the gpu shroud only sticks above the pci slot a tiny bit in the dimension that matters.

If any components touch ie gpu and case you will probably have vibration issues and a very noisy environment.
You're main problem will actually probably be cooling performance, if in any way your gpu is unable to receive proper airflow through the side vents you could have issues with overheating very quickly.
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a b U Graphics card
August 15, 2012 5:31:35 PM

kevin83 said:
It will work, the case has a little clearance and the gpu shroud only sticks above the pci slot a tiny bit in the dimension that matters.

If any components touch ie gpu and case you will probably have vibration issues and a very noisy environment.
You're main problem will actually probably be cooling performance, if in any way your gpu is unable to receive proper airflow through the side vents you could have issues with overheating very quickly.


im glad you knew that because upon further looking it doesnt look like any of the 670s have the option for pcie plugs facing the back of the card
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a c 275 U Graphics card
August 15, 2012 5:33:37 PM

I think you should return the graphics card.
It is 5.4" high, primarily because of the cooler. The top oriented power plugs may also be an issue.

A similarly priced card, the EVGA GTX670 FTW is only 4.38" tall.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The direct exhaust cooler should actually be more effective in a small case like yours.
It sends the graphics heat directly out the back of the case.
The Gigabyte card will cool the gpu fine, but will then heat up your cpu because the case cooling has limited ability to clear the hot air out.
And...the EVGA card is marginally faster 1084 vs. 1058.
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August 15, 2012 5:38:21 PM

Thanks for all the great answers.

Let me ask a theoretical question.

Lets say the power plugs were in the back, vibration and noise aside, heating and cooling were not an issue, and the top part of the gpu touched the top of the case, could this short out my system? In other words, could I damage my system in the same way a motherboard touching the case could/would?

Kevin83, I actually do have the same concern about cooling, there are two 120mm fans pushing in cool air through the left (if looking at the case from the front), and one 120mm fan on the right side of the case pushing hot air out.

The size of the card might mean that air might be trapped between the left side of the case and the gpu, and wedged in between is the CPU with an aftermarket Heatsink and fan. but I will definitely have to test temperatures and figure out if its cool enough to keep this card or having to return it for something smaller.

The biggest plus i see in this card is how quiet it is and how amazingly cool it stays based on reviews on various websites.

Let me know what you guys think.
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August 15, 2012 5:54:19 PM

kevin83 said:
It will work, the case has a little clearance and the gpu shroud only sticks above the pci slot a tiny bit in the dimension that matters.

If any components touch ie gpu and case you will probably have vibration issues and a very noisy environment.
You're main problem will actually probably be cooling performance, if in any way your gpu is unable to receive proper airflow through the side vents you could have issues with overheating very quickly.



Depending on how much clearance there is on top, this card will work as the fans will be able to push the hot air over the top of the gpu.

Some additional info on the case, there are many vents throughout the case, both sides, back and top. I have the case already in my possession and it impressed me how many ventilation holes it had. =)
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a c 275 U Graphics card
August 15, 2012 5:56:22 PM

Fatalis Fafnir said:
Thanks for all the great answers.

Let me ask a theoretical question.

Lets say the power plugs were in the back, vibration and noise aside, heating and cooling were not an issue, and the top part of the gpu touched the top of the case, could this short out my system? In other words, could I damage my system in the same way a motherboard touching the case could/would?

Kevin83, I actually do have the same concern about cooling, there are two 120mm fans pushing in cool air through the left (if looking at the case from the front), and one 120mm fan on the right side of the case pushing hot air out.

The size of the card might mean that air might be trapped between the left side of the case and the gpu, and wedged in between is the CPU with an aftermarket Heatsink and fan. but I will definitely have to test temperatures and figure out if its cool enough to keep this card or having to return it for something smaller.

The biggest plus i see in this card is how quiet it is and how amazingly cool it stays based on reviews on various websites.

Let me know what you guys think.


Looking at the gigabyte card, the part that would touch would be the cooling shroud, not something electrical.
I really doubt that anything bad would come of that.

The case description shows all 3 120mm fans as intakes. Of course, you can reverse them if you wish.
I think I would leave the single fan as intake to feed air to the graphics card, and perhaps make the two on the side as output fans.
It is the graphics card that will generate the heat. What cpu and cooler will you be using?

All of the 28nm based cards run reasonably cool. I would not put much value on the gigabyte cooler. Most tests are done in an open test bed, not in a case. And, certainly not in a airflow limited case like yours.
I also would not be too worried about graphics card temperatures. They do run hot, but are built to tolerate it.
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August 15, 2012 6:06:03 PM

geofelt said:
Looking at the gigabyte card, the part that would touch would be the cooling shroud, not something electrical.
I really doubt that anything bad would come of that.

The case description shows all 3 120mm fans as intakes. Of course, you can reverse them if you wish.
I think I would leave the single fan as intake to feed air to the graphics card, and perhaps make the two on the side as output fans.
It is the graphics card that will generate the heat. What cpu and cooler will you be using?

All of the 28nm based cards run reasonably cool. I would not put much value on the gigabyte cooler. Most tests are done in an open test bed, not in a case. And, certainly not in a airflow limited case like yours.
I also would not be too worried about graphics card temperatures. They do run hot, but are built to tolerate it.


Here is the Heatsink and fan

ZALMAN CNPS8900 Extreme

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU will be Ivy bridge 3770k

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I will try using the two side fans as outputs as well once built. That said, my original reasoning for using the two left side fans as inputs is to assist in cooling the CPU.

Any suggestions are welcome.
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a c 275 U Graphics card
August 15, 2012 6:12:48 PM

If your usage is gaming, then you can save $100 using a 3570K instead.
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August 15, 2012 7:38:12 PM

geofelt said:
If your usage is gaming, then you can save $100 using a 3570K instead.


I understand where you are coming from, but even with the 3770k, I will be dissapointed that it's not fast enough to meet my expectations. :wahoo: 

Ah well, all parts are already ordered and some I already have.

At this point, I can only wait, assemble, and test temperatures.

I like the idea of the two side fans assisting in cooling the CPU since many people report ivy bridge as getting hotter than sandy bridge and many newegg user reviews indicate that this GPU remains very cool even while overclocked.
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a c 275 U Graphics card
August 15, 2012 10:59:02 PM

Fatalis Fafnir said:
I understand where you are coming from, but even with the 3770k, I will be dissapointed that it's not fast enough to meet my expectations. :wahoo: 

Ah well, all parts are already ordered and some I already have.

At this point, I can only wait, assemble, and test temperatures.

I like the idea of the two side fans assisting in cooling the CPU since many people report ivy bridge as getting hotter than sandy bridge and many newegg user reviews indicate that this GPU remains very cool even while overclocked.

Let me explain:
Most games can use only two or three cores.
The 3570K and the 3770K are exactly the same chip except that the 3770K has hyperthreading and a bit more cache.
Hyperthreading makes use of unused core cycles to dispatch a second thread.
I have yet to see any benchmarks that document the value of the extra cache on the 3770 chips.
For gaming, they hyperthreads act like 4 additional cores, each of perhaps 1/4 capability.
But, since not even all of the basic 4 threads will be utilized, the hyperthreads are not of much use.
As to overclocking, both chips will overclock easily tp about the same limit.
But... if the budget is not an issue, and since you have already ordered it, there is no downside. Enjoy.
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August 17, 2012 5:40:38 AM

Major props to Silverstone for creating an amazing HTPC case.

Aside from two large 120mm fans as intake from the left side, there is also two spaces behind the case which can accommodate two 80mm fans to push hot air out of the space between the left side of the case and the GPU. This would eliminate any potential overheating issues from this case. (The center area where the CPU is located.)

Which brings me to a question. I am now in the market for two 80mm fans that are dead silent. I would like something without those annoying led lights and preferably black in color for the fan itself. I would also like fans with rubber, plastic, whatever material behind the fan to prevent vibration or noise. Price is not a big concern, but under $20 seems most reasonable.

I plan to research it tomorrow, but maybe someone can provide some suggestions between then.

Also, half way finished with the build, GPU does fit, but I will have to see if i can close the top with the power connectors in place.
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August 20, 2012 4:38:00 PM

Best answer selected by Fatalis Fafnir.
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August 20, 2012 5:16:48 PM

Just finished this build. Quite a challenge!

The GPU with the power connectors towards the top just fit, but I had to bend the connector power cable to allow the top of the case to fit into place. It touches the top, but fortunately it does not cause any vibration or noise after messing with it for a bit. The connector cable is also covered in wire mesh so I cant foresee any issues.

I also ordered two of these 80mm case fans to attach to the rear of the case to blow hot air out the back.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00066ISVG/ref=oh_deta...

These fans have a switch built into them that allow me to control the speed. I will simply set them to the lowest or middle setting to keep things quiet. But so far, I am starting to doubt I will need them. :sol: 

Additionally, I choose not to install a DVD Drive to the PC. The reason for this is because the top part of the heat sink and fan would have been about 1 inch distance from the bottom of the DVD drive and covered half of the heat sink and fan. This would create airflow issues and in addition would mean that the sata cable and power cable could potentially hit the heat sink fan. Not worth it for a DVD drive.

The other issue I had is with my ram. despite being low profile, the first ram slot was too close to the heat sink and the ram just too tall by maybe a quarter inch. I could have forced down the heat sink with bolts and made it work, but again, I didn't want to risk it. Ultimately, not wanting to waste my ram, I removed the heat spreader to allow it to be installed. The ram heat spreader looked to be held together with tape, so it came of easily. I could easily put the heat spreader back on and no one would know it ever came off. :) 

That said, this sucker is very quiet. My launch day 20gb Playstation 3 is just a tad louder. The GPU fans are the loudest things in this case and randomly would go into full blast. Once the graphics drivers were installed, the fans became very quiet.

The space between the left side of the case and the gpu that I was originally concerned about about it just not an issue without the DVD drive and there is plenty of space for airflow and I can feel nothing but cool air coming out the case. I will have to OC and play some GFX intensive games to see what happens, but the few games I have tried, well, my PC just laughs at them and the PC remains quiet.

Windows experience is 7.8 or above for all categories.

Here is the final build.
Case: Silverstone GD05b
Mobo: Asus Maximus V Gene
CPU: Intel i7 3770k
Heatsink: ZALMAN CNPS8900 Extreme
Ram: G.SKILL Ripjaws Z Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 1866 (PC3 14900)
PSU: OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W
SSD: Crucial M4 128gb SSD
HDD: WD 2TB Caviar Green
GPU: GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 670 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0
Thermal Paste: Artic 5 Silver

Thanks for all the help everyone!





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