Page 1:ITX And DTX: When Less (Space) Costs More (Money)
Page 2:Motherboard, Graphics, And CPU
Page 3:Case And Its Accessories
Page 4:CPU Cooling, Optical Drive, And Power
Page 5:DRAM, SSD, And Mass Storage
Page 6:Assembly Part 1: Finding The Right...Saw?
Page 7:Assembly Part 2: Now, For All Of The Parts That Fit...
Page 8:Assembly Part 3: The Finishing Touches
Page 10:Test Systems And Benchmarks
Page 11:Results: 3DMark And PCMark
Page 12:Results: SiSoftware Sandra
Page 13:Results: Battlefield 3 And F1 2012
Page 14:Results: Skyrim And Far Cry 3
Page 15:Results: Audio And Video Encoding
Page 16:Results: Adobe Creative Suite
Page 17:Results: Productivity
Page 18:Results: File Compression
Page 19:Power, Heat, And Efficiency
Page 20:I Fought The Law!
Assembly Part 3: The Finishing Touches
At 6.25” deep, the modular power supply I chose is just a hair too large to easily fit inside the Prodigy’s mounting area. Holes on the sides of the bay would have made the insertion of a non-modular unit easier, since the cables of those parts exit at the side. But the added bulk of the extra cables also would have filled the hard drive cage, making a slightly shorter modular PSU the best solution. This one eventually fit with a little extra persuasion.
The video card vents heat out both the front and back, but its rear vents out of the case. A gap between the video card’s front vent and the case’s face panel would have allowed a rear exhaust fan to draw its hot air into the CPU zone. Knowing this, I planned this entire assembly with back-to-front cooling in mind. Cold air comes in through the radiator, blows past the voltage regulator only slightly warmer, and exits through the white fan in front. When gaming, I can feel the video card’s front vent exhausting directly through the front panel’s left edge.
The two factory-installed Prodigy case fans were removed, but not forgotten. There’s just enough empty space between the Kraken X40 closed-loop radiator and Asus BW-14D1XT optical drive to mount one of those fans, blowing down, to complement our back-to-front cooling path.
My biggest complaint about back-to-front cooling involves convection and dust control. The fans in this particular build are too close to the same height for convection to be a serious concern, and SilverStone’s 140 mm magnetic filter addresses the dust issue. Well done, if I may so so myself.
The filter simply sticks to the back, and the reversed fan draws it even more tightly into place. Were performance to have been below expectations, a graphics card intake gasket similar in concept to SilverStone’s solution could have been cut from a sheet of packing foam included in Newegg’s box.
- ITX And DTX: When Less (Space) Costs More (Money)
- Motherboard, Graphics, And CPU
- Case And Its Accessories
- CPU Cooling, Optical Drive, And Power
- DRAM, SSD, And Mass Storage
- Assembly Part 1: Finding The Right...Saw?
- Assembly Part 2: Now, For All Of The Parts That Fit...
- Assembly Part 3: The Finishing Touches
- Test Systems And Benchmarks
- Results: 3DMark And PCMark
- Results: SiSoftware Sandra
- Results: Battlefield 3 And F1 2012
- Results: Skyrim And Far Cry 3
- Results: Audio And Video Encoding
- Results: Adobe Creative Suite
- Results: Productivity
- Results: File Compression
- Power, Heat, And Efficiency
- I Fought The Law!