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

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I just reinstalled my OS and set up raid 0. When setting up motherboard monitor, I noticed that My Vcore 2 reading was 2.48V versus Cpu 1 at 1.55V. I have pin-modded for 14X at 1.575Vcore.

Is this something to be concerned with? Cpu 2 always has a temp of about 4C higher, my operating temp range is consistently betwen 48C and 55C and when Prime is running up to 59C. I know that the temps are not a problem from reading the board but if anyone has some feedback onm the Vcore reading I would appreciate it.
Excuse my ignorance. Here is my own answer from CMC's guide:

"Core 0 voltage reports your Vcore (same Vcore for both CPU's.) Core 1 voltage reports your Vmem, NOT the Vcore of CPU2. It should be around 2.5."
Can someone tell me if the mp mod is still possible with the new packaged athlons? Is it alot harder, Ive looked at the new packaging and it looks like I could still do it, but the bridges just appear smaller.

Should I just shoot for 2100's instead? Im starting to put together cash for a dualie and ill probably have it done by the end of the month.
If you are reffering to the bridges that are under the thick plastic coating all you need to do is fill in the pit with conductive paint/ink. I believe if your chip was manufactured after week 24 of 2003 that is all you need to do.
I thought I would post some pictures of my modded CompuCase LX-6A19, with some instructions for modding it for low noise and high airflow. The picture quality isn't very good, but it was done with a borrowed camera, which I had to return.

Here's a pic of the front of the case, as it comes stock:


Here's a side view:


Here's the back:


Here's the side, with the door taken off:


Here's the front part of the case, where the drive sled is located. Notice that this case has the same drive sled as the SLK-3700. It has rubber grommet mounts for hard drives. These help a little, with lowering hard drive noise, but they don't hold a candle to the kind of noise reduction possible with an elastic suspension method (more on this later):

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Let's start modding this case...

First step, remove the drive sled:


The drive sled is removable, but I chose to also remove the drive sled anchor, since it was going to be in my way, when it was time to put in my elastic suspension hard drive rack.

The first step to removing that part is to put the case on its top and take a look at the bottom of the case:


There are three rivets that hold that drive sled anchor in place. These can be easily removed by drilling out one side of the rivet, using a drill bit. I used a 1/4" bit in my trusty cordless drill:


After 30 seconds of work, they're gone:

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Here's a shot, inside, with the drive sled anchor removed:


Next, I remove the fan holder. These hard, plastic fan holders are convenient, but bad for noise, and the front intake needs some work, so it has to go:


Here's a shot of the front of the case, with the plastic bezel removed:

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I really like the bezel design of this case. It is far better to work with than the Antec SLK3700. Here are some shots of it, and how it goes together.

First, the whole assembly:


Next, I've removed the detachable section, which is easy, with this case, since you just reach underneath the bezel (while it is still attached to the case) and press on a release button. This allows you to remove the whole section. You can't do this with the Antec case. Antec makes you take the whole bezel off, just to get to the dust filter (a big incovenience):


And here is the dust filter removed, which is done just by unclipping it.


What I really like about this process is the simplicity of removing these parts for routine maintenance. You don't need any tools for this and you don't even need to turn off the computer.
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Now, I've taken the front off, but the front of this case needs a little modding. These swiss-cheese fan holes aren't good for airflow or noise. Any fan sitting close to a swiss-cheese fan grill, will exhibit higher noise and lower airflow, then if the grill was wide-open, or had a simple wire grill.

If you compare this picture:


with this picture:


you will notice a problem. The bezel has an opening that is directly in the center of the case, but the metal case's fan opening is a bit off center. I wasn't happy with this and I was going to chop out a big hole, anyway, so i decided to use the bezel as my guide and cut out as large a hole as possible. With my plan, the exhaust fan is going to create a negative case pressure. Air will be sucked through the front, if the front is open. I don't really need a big intake fan. The exhaust fan will take care of that.

The first thing I did was put the bezel on the case, remove the fan filter assembly, and use a Sharpie to mark on the metal case, where the airflow could go. I didn't take a picture of that, but you'll get the idea. Next, I cut out that large hole, except for a few holes that I left, for mounting the hard drive cooling fan.


You'll notice in this picture that I have an 80mm fan (Panaflo L1A), suspended, using elastic, from four mounting holes. The elastic eliminates transferred vibration from the fan, thereby making a quiet fan even quieter. This fan doesn't act as a case intake fan, which is why it isn't important for it to be sealed against the case. It is only there to cool the hard drive. This case is going to be home to a 15K.3 Seagate SCSI drive. This drive runs really hot, so I want a fan blowing some airflow across it. For any other drive, I would not use a fan in the front of the case. It isn't necessary. I've built several other systems with this case, but different hard drives and they didn't need a fan in the front, at all. With this case, in this arrangement, the front is a passive intake. Air is sucked in through the front of the case, by the negative pressure created by the exhaust fan and power supply fan. For for most hard drives, this passive air being sucked through the front provides good cooling. I recommend using a hard drive temperature monitoring program, such as HDD Temp or Speedfan to show you the temp of your drives. If they are running cool (under 40C) then they are fine.

Here is a shot, with the front bezel reattached:


You can see in this picture that I now have a gaping hole, with nothing blocking potential airflow. This will be important for overall case airflow. If the front has low resistance (as it does, now), then overall case airflow will increase. This will lower temps, allowing higher overclocking and less fan speed to keep the system cool.
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The next mod is to the rear exhaust fan. It, too, has a plastic fan holder and a swiss-cheese fan grill:


First order of business is to remove the plastic fan holder. I also removed the plastic expansion card holder. I've never been a big fan of these. They don't hold an expansion card as securely as I like and they actually interfere, with some devices:


I cut out the whole grill, using a scroll saw, then cleaned up the edges, using a dremel (I'm too impatient to use a dremel for cutting.) Afterwards, I decouple-mounted the exhaust fan. In decoupled mounting, you don't mount a fan directly to metal. You use some means of keeping the vibrating fan from transferring its vibration to other surfaces, such as the case. In the front of the case, I was able to suspend the fan, using nothing but elastic. That was fine, there, but for the exhaust fan, I need a tight seal. I need the case airflow to be such that air is forced out the back and sucked through the front. Any holes, anywhere on the case, other than the front bezel, must be sealed. For that reason, I use foam weather stripping on the inside of the case, where the exhaust fan meets the case. To attach it, I use elastic cord, again. If I were to use screws, then those screws, themselves, would transfer the fan's vibration to the case. This is why I use elastic. It looks a little weird to use elastic and foam weather stripping to attach a fan to a case, but it works very well, for reducing noise levels.

Here's a picture, from the inside of the case:


Here's a picture, from the back of the case:

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Now, the fun part. To further reduce vibration and noise, I use a two-pronged approach. First, I employ "70 mil Polymeric Mastic" available from www.mcmaster.com (part number 9709T19). This is vibration absorbing material and it comes in rolls of 32" x 54":


The material is rubber based and has an adhesive back. You can cut it with scissors. I cut out pieces to fit each surface of the case, that I can use it on:





Alternatively, you can use "Roofer's Tape" available from many hardware stores. It is asphault based, a little thinner, has aluminum backing, and is a little messier to work with, but it works well and is better for comforming to irregular surfaces.
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Finally, I do the side and door panels.



Now, I line the case surfaces wherever I can with Sound Absorbing foam, also available from www.mcmaster.com (part number 9710T44). This is attached using 3M Super 77 Spray Adhesive. This foam absorbs noise waves, while the Polymeric Mastic absorbs vibration. Using both, in combination, is the most effective noise reduction strategy that I have found.

First, I door the door panel:


Now, the other side panel will not get the full foam treatment, because it wouldn't be able to close if it did. I did use a strip on foam on it, for the part of the panel that goes beyond the motherboard try and sits behind the Optical drives and hard drives. I forgot to take a picture of that particular piece, but you'll see it in the upcoming pictures.
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Next, I do the rest of the case (the bottom, top, parts of the back and side):



Well, that is it for the mods to this case. I put my AMD dually rig in here and it is fantastically quiet. I use a four channel Sunbeam rheobus to adjust fan speeds and I have an elastic suspension hard drive rack, in the front. Here is a picture of the elastic hard drive rack, mounted in my case, with two hard drives in it. It supports up to four drives.

*EDIT* New pic, below. I now have a single P4 rig in this case and a single hard drive. The PSU is a modded FSP-300 and the exhaust fan has been replaced with an Evercool 120mm Aluminum exhaust fan (model AL12025). I no longer use the Sunbeam Rheobus. I built a Fan Voltage Controller Strip and use it along with Asus' Q-Fan. This yields an incredibly quiet computer.


This hard drive rack is just a slightly modified version of my original hard drive suspension rack. The overall dimensions have been changed to 6.75" high, 6" long, and 5.5" wide. This makes the drives fit more snugly in the unit, but they are still contacted, only by elastic, on every side. With the reduced size, in can be mounted 90 degrees off, from the old design (if you like your drives to be sideways, hiding cables and taking up less space.)
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I finally have an AMD duallie that I can sleep in the same room as :D

I only have 3 fans running in my system. They are all Panaflo 24MA 80mm - 2/3-pin connector - 14dB(A) 17cfm fans [ i removed my north bridge fan]

Two are on my AX-7 heatsinks and one is in my psu.

My cpus are xp1700s and my voltages are untouched. My max temp readings under load are reported to be around 55c.

Even if that is not true the system is rock stable which is all i ask of it.

I just love what you have done with your hard drive cmcquistion and may attempt something similar.
Chris - I put a piece of foam on the back side panel. It required a bit of pressure to close up that back panel, but I feel very comfortable that having done this produces even more sound insulation.

Also, what is your view of using a program like Speedfan to control your fan speeds instead of having to do this manually with the rheobus?

BTW - Thanks for this excellent guide. I have not built the hard drive rack yet, will venture into that soon.
i was wornding if any one has tryed dynomat to keep the sound down in the cases. It can be picked up at Curcit City or most car audio stores. I have used it in cars to damping road noise and improve sound it works wornders
Excellent guide man. Thanks for spending the time and writing this up for everyone else's benefit.

i was wornding if any one has tryed dynomat to keep the sound down in the cases. It can be picked up at Curcit City or most car audio stores. I have used it in cars to damping road noise and improve sound it works wornders

The mastic from mcmaster.com that cmcquistion mentioned is identical to dynamat, but it is A LOT cheaper and comes in big sheets, the only differentce between the two is dynamat says dynamat all over it.

On this same topic. Chris mentioned roofer's tape is messier but conforms to corners easier. Listen up guys, The mastic we are talking about HAS TO be heated, a heat gun preferably, then rolled with a wooden roller. A hair dryer will work but takes longer. Oh.. and try not to burn yourselves.. crap gets sticky and hot, like wax. It will become super moldable. All those little bumps and holes and pins sticking out will be sealed all around, instead of having a 'tent' of mastic over them.

The real purpose of this stuff is as follows: When a bass note(low frequency note), is played at high volume the thin metal plates like your license plate, trunk lid, plastic panal supports, the inside of you car door shell, will resonate. Basically when your car goes bump, bump the thin metal goes buzz, buzz. By melting that mastic(dynamat) all over the thin metal, it adds support and weight and prevents the metal from resonating. This only applies to LOW mid bass and all sub bass, i would say lower than 170Hz. There is nothing inside a computer that can create a powerful enough bass sound that would cause the panels to resonate. However, transferred vibration from drives, fans, etc. will be smothered some by this stuff. But it must touch, seal, as much of the surface as possible, so you must melt it some.

Now onto the sound abosobing foam. This stuff is the opposite of the mastic. This stuff slows down sound waves and reflects them somewhat. The foam only helps higher frequency sounds (squeals, squeaks, buzzes, whirrs, much more appliable in a computer environment. Basically this stuff keeps those higher pitched noises inside your computer and prevents them from traveling through the case to your ears.

Using these both together will work very well, and will run you about 40 bucks. But, im not finished yet. In a computer there is something else this stuff can do for us. You can actually seal the computer, completely airtight, other than intake/exhaust. This will create the perfect push/pull airflow we want. To do this one more product must be added, some rubberized undercoating (yep for cars) Comes like spray paint and is very cheap, after you melt on the mastic, evenly spray the undercoating all over case, especially the corners. I would use 2 separate coats to ensure a perfect seal. Use toothpicks to keep open the screw holes you will use for drives etc. Just do a light coat on mobo tray. Once completely dry, add your acoustic foam and then your gear, should be worth your time.

The only areas that need some real thought are the back of your pci slots and mobo ports, especially the ones your using. To seal these areas you will need to be very creative.

Just wondering what kind of performance increase i could expect off a dually like that using say two 3ghz chips.

I need it for music recording. My current system:

Intel Motherboard D845GBV2
P4 2.4 b ghz proc. x86 Family 15 Model 2 Stepping 7 (currently running at 30-32 degrees)
System Bus 533
System Mem 333

Mem = 1024 MB (2x 512 Corsair DDR333)

Chipset = Intel 845G/GE/GL/GV/PE

80 Gig Seagate Main Drive
160 Gig raid system secondary Hard Drive (for recording)
LynxOne audio card
Mackie UAD-1 DSP effects card
NVIDIA GeForce4 MX graphics card
Networking Card
CDRom Drive
CDWRiter Drive

Running Windows XP Professional

It runs pretty fast, but once the CPU meter starts getting above 50%, the system is prone to hanging and my audio latency goes right up.