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Pro/Mini Pro/Mini Rev 2 - Lan Box Revisited
Date Posted: Feb 25 2001
Author: Joe
Posting Type: Article
Category: ProCooling Projects
Page: 1 of 3
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Pro/Mini Rev 2 - Lan Box Revisited By: Joe

Pro/Mini - Rev.2

This is a continuation of the original Pro/Mini articleIf you haven't read it please do, or else this may all be a bit confusing

The original Pro/Mini article showed what could be done in a short period of time to build a small water cooling rig for a LAN.   Well another Lan is coming up next weekend ( MidWestFrag ), and I wanted to get the Mini updated and fix some of the issues I had with it.  The main one was big temp swings on the core temp between Load/Idle.   The second was Coolant temps being too hot, and the Third was the VisionTek GeForce2 Ultra Core getting too hot ( 115+ Deg F)  So I let loose on the Mini and fixed all the issues.

Radiator Upgrade -

Pro/Mini used a 4x4" stacked plate radiator first. Because a 4x4 was smaller then a 120mm fan it was baffled to suck all the air it could through the radiator and not around it. This worked OK... but really couldn't keep the coolant cool enough to keep the CPU at a more constant temp.

Old 4x4" Stacked plate

I have said it before in the ProCooling Forums, and I will say it again. Stacked plate radiators may not have been the best form of cooling but they worked darn nice for their size, and were one of the only compact radiators available for some time.   Some critics of them have questioned the use of them in computer cooling as they are not as efficient as some designs out there. Well, as I said months ago, If it works I will use it, and when something better comes along I will use that.  One fact is, the 4x4" would have a hard time handling a Tbird and a higher watt pelt.  The coolant was already at almost 90+DegF (before the radiator) in a 75Deg ambient environment with the 130watt ( @15.4V so its prolly around 100 @12v) and the P3 850@ 1037 1.95Vcore)

That allowed the core to reach nice and cold ( around -15C with ambient of 75DegF when its Idle), but once the core was active the temp in the coolant and the core would shoot to almost 16DegC in a min or so.  Showing that the power output reached a threshold that maxed what the Radiator could dissipate. So I needed to get a better radiator or something as the coolant temps were disturbingly high.

Chip at Overclock-Watercool.com just so happened to have a prototype of the new "Black Ice" radiator to send to me to try.

New - 5x5" Black Ice Radiator

The Black ice is special in the fact it was designed from the ground up for PC applications. Its a 4 pass, all copper finned radiator.  Very close to some car radiator designs, and some very high end oil cooler designs, its a total departure from the stacked plate design.  It is perfectly sized to fit a 120mm fan completely. ( as seen below).

The issue rapidly turned out to be "How to I fit it?"  I mean its thicker and bigger in almost every way from 4x4" stacked plate cooler. I had to mess with designs and stuff for days.  I pulled the Pro/Mini cooling system completely from the machine and worked on reengineering it to work with the much larger radiator.

At first I thought I could put it on the exhaust of the duct so that I could use the 4x4" AND the 5x5" black ice. But it turned out that the plumbing would just not have worked as it was too complicated for such a small space.  Also it was too big to fit in the area between the duct and the side of the case.   This stumped me for a day... I was very much questioning the possibility of me being able to get this radiator to work with out doing case cutting. So I have to reengineer the whole front duct.

More Duct Tape action come'n yer way!

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