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Discussion Starter #1
Many thanks to the people who helped me select the parts for my new computer. It works fantastically.

Now I'm wondering about the cooling system on my Antec Sonata II case. It doesn't seem to be getting very hot, but I just looked at the back while the computer was on and saw that the power supply fan wasn't spinning. I assume the PSU fan is always on, even when the case is cool. At the very least, it should be spinning. Did I miss a connection? Shouldn't the PSU fan run whenever the computer is on?

I'm also debating removing the air duct from the case to provide more airflow to the graphics card. The CPU is an X2, but as I understand AMD CPUs run cooler than Intels, and between the heatsink fan and the case fan it seems like it would be fine. On the other hand, I can't even tell if there's an airflow problem in the first place.

Thanks for your help again.
 

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@ MalachiConstant
The SonataII comes with the SmartPower 2.0 450W PSU. Its quiet design includes two 80mm fans. One is an intake fan at the front of the PSU and operates all the time with a temp sensor. The exhaust fan on the back only operates when the temps reach a certain level, and it is a high level as I have a Smartpower 450 and the outer exhaust fan has yet to come on...nice job Antec!! More about this excellent PSU here.

There was also a small problem concerning the early versions of this PSU about the fan connector. It seems when the fan lead from the PSU is plugged into the motherboard, the fan would run at the full 2500-2800RPM!! The fix was to not plug the fan lead into the motherboard and the fan would operate properly, but you will be unable to monitor its rpms. I have such a fan and I don't plug it in to the motherboard and the fan/PSU is working properly but i cannot monitor the rpms. I believe this was an issue with earlier versions and have since been fixed...do you notice this condition?

As for the duct, if you are getting OK temps and the duct is not creating excessive noise, keep it in. If it is the source of noise, then try removing it and monitor your temps for a week or so. I doubt your system will crash-and-burn without it, but it would be interesting to see if it makes a difference.
 

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Hi,

Just wanted to bump on the nice explanation that Please gave you about the Sonata II. I too have that case and the second fan has never had to come on mine because of heat. I am running an Athlon 64 San Diego 3700+ and it keeps things cool even with the PCI-e video card. About the duct or baffle, I would leave it in. If you notice there is a nice air flow from the rear of the case, up the baffle, and down on the CPU to cool the cpu. If you simply (and I did not install the optional duct fans) place a paper tissue near the back of that duct, you will see the air pull the tissue to the case indicating cool air entering the case. This is a great feature and if your 2nd power supply fan is not coming on, it is doing the job it was intended to do. What a great case this is.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
On the Duct

Thank you for the information, Please. That really is an extraordinary feature. Sometimes I wouldn't even be able to tell if the computer was on if not for the subtle lights and a very quiet high-pitched hum which I believe is coming from the SATAII hard drive. And there's a built-in air filter on top of that. Really amazing case, all told.

I'll try going into my monitoring tools tonight and checking all the temps to be sure everything's working well. I might try removing the air duct and seeing what it does. A little experiment never hurts.

Well, not when you're smart about it anyway.

I mean, not usually...as long as you're smart about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Been almost a month, and I finally got around to checking the temps with and without the duct.

To be honest, there really isn't that much of a difference. My GPU temps went down a couple of degrees, and my CPU's idle temp didn't really change, but the CPU's operating temperature seemed a little more volatile--going to 39C on an operation that might only have taken it to 35 or 37 before. I didn't push it with Half-Life 2 or any kind of stress testing, but initial observations are enough for me.

My video card temps max out around 57C at the moment, if I run the FEAR demo (which, by the way, seriously underrates Radeon cards with its automatic detection feature--I have it smoothly running at Medium settings in 1024x768, but it detected my card as a Minimum to Low).

The CPU doesn't go above 50C--ever--with the duct, but the video card will hit 52-55 regularly with Half-Life 2, Bet on Soldier, or other graphics-intensive applications, and currently idles around 42C (which is the hottest component in my system).

Thought about installing another fan at the front of the system, but it's really nice that it runs so quietly, and nothing in my system ever hits 60C, so I'm not terribly concerned. Maybe if I overclocked, but I'm not really an overclocking kind of person.
 

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Hi,

Isn't this case and power supply great? They are a real bargain at the price you pay for them with this power supply already included. What I did with the fans is I put another (variable speed) 120mm fan in front and then set both to the lowest possible speed instead of monitoring with the MB or case program. That way, no fan going off or on, very quiet with the fan running on the slowest speed, and rear power supply fan has yet to come on. Everything stays real cool and quiet, just the way I like it. Oh, one other thing, I broke a front door hinge and Antec was so great to ship one out free. The break was my fault (bumped my chair against it), but they replaced it free anyhow. How is that for service with the merchants of today?
 
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