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Cooling For Mini-ATX Box

By Space_Cowboy · 6 replies
Jun 2, 2007
  1. Anyone ever installed a Peltier based CPU (Socket 775) cooler in a Mini-ATX box? If so, what brand/model did you use?

  2. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    zzz, not another topic on TEC cooling.

    Low powered TECs are crap, but there are a few guys around here that would testify against it. Check out the thread "Q6700 stress test" for why I say they're crap, and the links to sites which show they're crap.

    You're much much better off with a good watercooling setup, which should end up to be cheaper as well.

    If you're still going to go ahead with it, make sure you watercool the TEC, not aircool it, for obvious reasons. If you did watercool it, you wouldn't see any difference between it being in a Mini-ATX and a full sized ATX, unless you're trying out something funny like having the radiator in the box itself.
  3. Space_Cowboy

    Space_Cowboy TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 34

    Okay then (sorry to bore you), but if I did go water cooled, what system is small enough to go in an micro-atx box that wont take up a drive bay. Most of the water cooled systems I've seen are too freekin big.

  4. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    If you bore me, I wouldn't reply to the thread. I'm referring to the fact that the last TEC discussion got a little heated.

    Watercooling is generally for people who are after lower temps than aircooling, so they generally are big.

    However, depending on your mATX box, you should be able to fit everything internally. You will NOT be able to get the lowest temps possible, and it will get pretty noisy because the TEC generates a heck lot of heat. To get rid of that heat, AND fit all your watercooling components into an mATX box, you'll have to put in a high cfm 120mm fan. Even then, I got doubts on how well that will work out.

    I'm talking about you being able to get your hands on a 320W TEC or similar (225W on 12V). If you go for anything much lower than that, you might as well stick with just watercooling. Don't forget that TECs generate their own heat, as well as sucking up the heat from your CPU. This is why low powered, 50W TECs which are generally in complete TEC systems don't work all too well.

    As for the watercooling part, you can get pretty much any WC system at all. The reservoir just has to be a small one (or just use a T-Line instead). You might have to be a little creative on where you put the pump, but they can get as small as a cigarette pack, so placement isn't much of a problem.

    I like the Swiftech WC kits, but they are alot more expensive than some other kits. However, you do get what you pay for, the other cheaper kits usually perform only just as well as the best aircooling solutions, but at much steeper prices. The Swiftech ones perform much much better. They have one with a TEC, I think a 230W TEC (I'm assuming this is on 12V), which would be perfect for your needs.
  5. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    yes, most pre-made kits are bigger than they have to be. which is one [of many] reasons why not to buy one.

    just make one yourself, it couldn't be much easier to make and since you pick out the components then you can make it as big or small as you wish. in it's simplest form; all you need is a: pump, radiator, reservoir/T-line, and tubing/fittings/clamps. (oh, and some water might help too ;) ...then simply connect it all in a continous loop.

    since you'll be installing it in a SFF case, space is limited. you can get pumps as small as 2"x2"x1", you can get radiators as small as 80mm which you can easily mount inside the case wherever there's an 80mm fan location. you can buy a small reservoir, make your own (you can make a reservoir out of almost any container), or not use one at all. waterblocks are all relatively small, chances are any one you pick will fit fine but if space is very tight then you can get one with 90° hose barbs (or simply add a 90° fitting inbetween the waterblock and the hose barb). remember to choose a tubing size first, then buy your parts. (you may want to go with 1/4" tubing since space is limited).

    cheers :wave:
  6. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

  7. Space_Cowboy

    Space_Cowboy TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 34

    Although its not a Peltier system, I've ordered the GIGABYTE GH-WIU02 3D Galaxy II Liquid Cooling System. Came across it was NewEgg. We shall see how it works out.

    Thanks for all the posts
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