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Step-by-Step: How to build a cheap and quiet AMD dually.

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cmcquistion

IT Director Senior
Joined
Oct 15, 2001
Location
Tennessee
Update: I ordered a "LX-6A19" version of that case from www.axiontech.com a few days ago. It was delivered today. I keep this post updated, regarding the quality of the case.

Axion was really lean on information and pictures, so I was hesitant to order from them. I'll find out, tonight, if the case is what I'm hoping for. I would have ordered from CoolCases, but they were more expensive and I already have the supplies to do the modding, myself. The case cost $68.87, after shipping. Definitely not a bad price, considering it comes with one 120mm fan and a 300 Watt PSU (which I'm sure isn't powerful enough for a dually, but a good freebie.)

I was really pleased with the time it took to ship this order. I ordered it Wedensday. It was delivered Friday and I only requested UPS Ground (Texas to Tennessee.)

*EDIT*

Well, I just got home and found my case. It is exactly as I had hoped for, and more. After messing with it for a while, I've decided I like this Compucase LX-6A19 more than the Antec ALK3700AMB version. Its front grill is built differently and makes cleaning the front fan filter MUCH easier. I like the fact that it doesn't have a door, like the Antec. Some people like doors, some don't. Personally, I find them a nuisance, especially when the power and reset button are behind the door, as the Antec is. The side panel opening mechanism is much easier to use, on this case, then the Antec.

Most everything else is the same as the Antec. The PSU that came with it is an HEC-300AR-T. The 120mm exhaust fan (it only comes with one fan, just like the Antec,) is a Globe Fan Sleeve Bearing, model S1202512L-3M. I'm going to look up this PSU and fan and see how good they are. I'll update this post, when I find out.

*EDIT 2*

Well, the best info I could get about the PSU is a blurb from CoolCases. This is what they had to say:

"The factory pack case comes with the installed PS--an AGI (HEC-300AR-T) PS. I chased down the specs on this PS, and it is an excellent 'entry level' PS: AMD and P4 rated, 185 w. total power output, 100,000 MTBF rating. The fan is neither noisy or quiet. This is apparently the same PS as the best value-type PS noted in PS review at Tom's Hardware in the summer of '02."

As for the fan, the manufacturer has these specs for it:

Model B/S1202512L, Rated Voltage 12 V, Operating Voltage 6-13.8 V, Rated Current 0.18 A, Starting Voltage 6 V, Rated Input Power 2.16 W, Max Airflow 67.28 CFM, Max Static Pressure 4.31 mmAq, Noise 34.0 dBA, Rated Speed 2000 RPM.

*EDIT 3*

I spent the evening moving everything from my full tower Antec dually to my new Compucase LX-6A19. I love this case. It is working out really well and I don't even have two 120mm fans in it, yet. I ordered some Panaflo L1A OEM 120mm fans (these are supposed to be quieter than regular Panaflo L1A 120's). I haven't got them, yet, so I am using the stock 120mm fan for exhaust and a sinlge 80mm fan, suspended in the front 120mm hole, cooling my hard drives.

The temps are good and the noise level is good. I use a four pot rheobus, to adjust all my fan speeds. I bought a yard of 7/16" carpet foam and I'm using it as sound insulation all over the inside of the case. It makes a little difference. Nothing earth-shattering, but a good deal for $2.50 worth of material. I used Velcro to attach the foam to the case. It was a lot easier to work with, then spray adhesive, like I've used in the past.
 
Last edited:

docwax

Registered
Joined
Oct 7, 2003
never thought too much about getting a duelly before. wow that changed my mind. definate idea for next time.
 

cccary

Registered
Joined
Oct 3, 2003
Location
Atlanta
Pin mod for Barton XP 2500

Chris,
I recently completed my L5 mod on the newer Barton chips with the thicker coating. It was fairly straightforward using a magnafying glass, needle and some conductive paint.

My question relates to the pin mod trick: I have been reading the instructions that you refer to at

http://www.ocinside.de/go_e.html?/html/workshop/pinmod/amd_
pinmod_howto.html

My initial understanding of the pin mod trick was that all you had to do was to connect the indicated pins for the sought multiplyer using wire or conductive paint between the pins.

However, these instructions state that you also have to cut the L11 bridges if you would like to select a Vcore (other that default?). IS this true? If so, could you elaborate of completing this for the newer Barton (2500 and up) cores.

Coudl you please help clear this up.
 
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cmcquistion

IT Director Senior
Joined
Oct 15, 2001
Location
Tennessee
I don't know what they are talking about on the Vcore, to be honest.

I have never cut all the L11's for any reason and haven't discovered a need to, yet.

On the MSI K7D, you have full control of Vcore in the BIOS, anyway, so there is no need to worry about it, at the socket level, unless your chips won't POST because they aren't getting enough Vcore.

I have seen this happen. It seems that the initial POST is dependent on the chip's default Vcore, not the setting in the BIOS. I had a pair of T-bred A's (default Vcore of 1.5) and one would not POST after having its multiplier set higher. I pin-modded the socket for a higher default Vcore and the problem went away. The chip worked fine, after that, so I did bridge modification on it, for a higher default Vcore. (I was sending these chips to a friend and didn't want him to have to do the pin-mod for Vcore, although it isn't very difficult.)
 

cccary

Registered
Joined
Oct 3, 2003
Location
Atlanta
Thanks - that clears up some confusion on that page. Can I trust the pin mod guide on ocinside.de though? I want to mod for a 15x multiplyer and do not want to lose a chip. (I lost one this weekend making a very careless mistake. I am just hoping I did not damage my mobo as well. Maybe you have some insight. I successfully tested my first chip for the L5, and then carelessly placed it in socket 2 without heatsink while working on chip two. When I turned on the power to test my L5 mod on the second chip, the chip in socket 2 burnt up within seconds - I nearly cried).

Lastly, what is your preference for the pin mod trick? The wire in the sockets method or using paint to connect the pins on the underside of the chip as described in one of your links.

Thanks again for all you help.
 

Deathknight

Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2002
Location
Chicago
cccary said:
Thanks - that clears up some confusion on that page. Can I trust the pin mod guide on ocinside.de though? I want to mod for a 15x multiplyer and do not want to lose a chip. (I lost one this weekend making a very careless mistake. I am just hoping I did not damage my mobo as well. Maybe you have some insight. I successfully tested my first chip for the L5, and then carelessly placed it in socket 2 without heatsink while working on chip two. When I turned on the power to test my L5 mod on the second chip, the chip in socket 2 burnt up within seconds - I nearly cried).

Lastly, what is your preference for the pin mod trick? The wire in the sockets method or using paint to connect the pins on the underside of the chip as described in one of your links.

Thanks again for all you help.

Yes the pinmod guide on ocinside.de is accurate. My personal preference is to use the wire in socket method. It especially makes alot of sense when talking about setting multipliers because if you decide your system is unstable at a certain mult and you want to lower it, or if you want to shoot for more, it is so simple to change it.
 

Deathknight

Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2002
Location
Chicago
cmcquistion said:
I spent the evening moving everything from my full tower Antec dually to my new Compucase LX-6A19. I love this case. It is working out really well and I don't even have two 120mm fans in it, yet. I ordered some Panaflo L1A OEM 120mm fans (these are supposed to be quieter than regular Panaflo L1A 120's). I haven't got them, yet, so I am using the stock 120mm fan for exhaust and a sinlge 80mm fan, suspended in the front 120mm hole, cooling my hard drives.

I ended up going with this case as well. Its unfortunate that I did not buy it when I first found it at directron :( Anyways I agree with your assessment of this case. Its fantastic. The paintjob on the slk3700 is great but I like the black bezel with no door on it as well. While a silent pc pureist might like the door for soundproofing I like having no door for things like fan controllers and lcd displays.

The thing that I think I like so much about this case is that for its moderate size it has plenty of room to work with and plenty of room to route and hide cables. I think they have done alot with the room they had. For instance there is a little gap in the far left left top corner. The gap is small enough to run wires up to the far side of the PSU. Worked out perfect to route the wiring for my rear fan. I am using JMC fans in there and they sound great :D

Between this case and my wife's slk-3700 I am becoming a quick fan of this design. I get asked to build alot of systems for family and friends and I am going to recommend the few bucks extra cost over the ultra generic garbage cases. The 1 120mm fan is much more quiet than most garbage case's 80mm fans, the case looks good and well my other motivations are obviously selfish - its just so much easier to work on then the junk I have had to use in the past!
 
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cmcquistion

IT Director Senior
Joined
Oct 15, 2001
Location
Tennessee
cccary said:
Thanks - that clears up some confusion on that page. Can I trust the pin mod guide on ocinside.de though?

Lastly, what is your preference for the pin mod trick?

My advice is the same as Deathnight's, above. I will add that I am personally running dual Barton XP2500's with the pin-mod (on the socket) for 15X, and it is running perfectly.
 
OP
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cmcquistion

IT Director Senior
Joined
Oct 15, 2001
Location
Tennessee
Deathknight said:
Between this case and my wife's slk-3700 I am becoming a quick fan of this design. I get asked to build alot of systems for family and friends and I am going to recommend the few bucks extra cost over the ultra generic garbage cases. The 1 120mm fan is much more quiet than most garbage case's 80mm fans, the case looks good and well my other motivations are obviously selfish - its just so much easier to work on then the junk I have had to use in the past!

Me, too. I love this case and I will continue to use it for any new duallies I build. I did remove the stock hard drive rack, from mine though, and I put in one of my shock-mount hard drive racks. It doesn't make a huge difference in noise level, but it does make a little difference.

For single-CPU machines, I still love the Evercase 4252, but it doesn't have the necessary airflow for a duallie.
 

cccary

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Oct 3, 2003
Location
Atlanta
Got my rig going last night. K7D master L, 2 x 2500 bartons, good L5 mods.

What would be the best way to flash the bios if I do not have a floppy drive in my system? I have two optical drives and a WD 120GB HD. Currently running at 100FSB and 12.5X, about 43C and 50C temps. Just sucessfully installed XP, sound card and graphics card drivers. Prior to ramping this puppy up to its potential I want to make sure that I have the latest bios, drivers etc.

Sorry if this is a basic question but I am new to this and want to get it right.

Thanks.
 
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cmcquistion

IT Director Senior
Joined
Oct 15, 2001
Location
Tennessee
Go here and read Jon's BIOS update instructions.

Now, he is assuming you have a floppy. If you don't, do you have access to a computer that has a floppy drive and a CD-burner? If you do, then create the boot floppy on that machine, put the flasher and bios on it, then burn a bootable CD with the contents of the floppy. If you Nero, creating a bootable CD is pretty straightforward. You just tell it to create a bootable CD, it asks you to put in a bootable floppy, to read boot files from, then it gives you an opportunity to put other files on the disk. Once you have your boot CD, go pop it in the machine you need to flash, boot up from it, and follow Jon's instuctions.

Also, before you flash the BIOS, it seems to work best on the K7D if you reset the BIOS to "failsafe defaults" first.
 

Gnerma

Senior Member
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Aug 9, 2002
Location
Bakersfield, CA - USA
One thing you don't mention Chris is VGA cooling. I've been looking at one of these massive Zalman ZM80C-HP sinks. Have you used one of these before? How about on a K7D? The thing I'm worried about is the tall mosfet sinks right above the AGP slot getting in the way of the back side of the sink.

If you have not used one of these, what do you do to quiet your video cards?
 
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cmcquistion

IT Director Senior
Joined
Oct 15, 2001
Location
Tennessee
Gnerma said:
One thing you don't mention Chris is VGA cooling. I've been looking at one of these massive Zalman ZM80C-HP sinks. Have you used one of these before? How about on a K7D? The thing I'm worried about is the tall mosfet sinks right above the AGP slot getting in the way of the back side of the sink.

If you have not used one of these, what do you do to quiet your video cards?

Actually, yes. I'm running a very similar model to the one you listed. Mine is the ZM80A-HP, which, I think, is the precursor to the ZM80C-HP. It is running on my GF4 Ti4600 and I don't have to run a fan on it, at all. Of course, if I wanted to get the maximum overclock, I would run a fan, but right now my case airflow is good enough to keep the thing cool.

Thanks for bringing this up! I guess I should have included it in one of my articles.
 

Gnerma

Senior Member
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Aug 9, 2002
Location
Bakersfield, CA - USA
cmcquistion said:
Actually, yes. I'm running a very similar model to the one you listed. Mine is the ZM80A-HP, which, I think, is the precursor to the ZM80C-HP.
Yeah thats the earlier more flamboyant model :D So that mosfet sink does not get in the way?
 
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cmcquistion

IT Director Senior
Joined
Oct 15, 2001
Location
Tennessee
Gnerma said:

Yeah thats the earlier more flamboyant model :D So that mosfet sink does not get in the way?

Nope, there is nothing in the way. I think the heatsink is touching (only touching) one of the capacitors one the motherbaord, but that is the only thing.

One other issue, of course. This does block one of the 66 MHz/64 bit PCI slots, but I'm sure you noticed that.



P.S. I like the new model, better, because it has some support brackets, to stabilize the two giant heatsinks and help keep them from moving. It has an optional fan (sold separately), but I'm sure you could zip-tie a regular 80mm fan to the thing with little or no fuss.
 

Gnerma

Senior Member
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Aug 9, 2002
Location
Bakersfield, CA - USA
Great thanks.

cmcquistion said:
I like the new model, better, because it has some support brackets, to stabilize the two giant heatsinks and help keep them from moving. It has an optional fan (sold separately), but I'm sure you could zip-tie a regular 80mm fan to the thing with little or no fuss.
The better stability of the new model is totally worth the extra 5 bucks for me. Something that big should be secure. I have a 80mm side intake that came built into my case blowing right at the AGP and 66mhz PCI slots, so I'm good without the fan. People seem to prefer the universal Zalman FB165 anyway since you pretty much get the same thing but can use your own fan.
 
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cmcquistion

IT Director Senior
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Oct 15, 2001
Location
Tennessee
Gnerma said:
People seem to prefer the universal Zalman FB165 anyway since you pretty much get the same thing but can use your own fan.

Yeah, I have the Zalman FB123 (fan bracket), but I'm not using it now that I realized I don't really need it.