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03-11-2012 05:57 PM
I have a HP Pavilion Elite HPE-180t desktop PC with Windows 7 64-bit installed. I do a fair amount of gaming on my PC and over a year ago I upgraded my graphics card to a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 and my power supply to a Thermaltake TR2 RX 750W unit.
Since I crammed those two big upgrades into my PC I've been a little concerned about the limited space for wire management in my machine and the high temperature reports I've been getting from the "SpeedFan" software I sometimes run. I've posted on other forums before and the consensus I received was that my machine was pretty choked for air.
In summary, I want to give my PC some room to breathe and transfer all the components (motherboard, cd drives, power supply, etc) to a new case! I was specifically looking at: http://store.nzxt.com/product_p/cr%20tempest%20410
My big issue is that I don't know how to move everything out of my original case safetly, how to mount it into the new case, and if it will all even fit into the new case I have picked out. I hope so, because I'm trying to go bigger! Any advice or tips on how to go about this or if it's even possible would be immensly appreciated. Thanks for your help!
03-11-2012 08:47 PM
BPR5016, welcome to the forum.
After reviewing the specs of the case, it looks fairly good for the price. I don't know anything about the brand, however. Personally, I am not convinced that any mid-size case, regardless of the number of fans, makes a good gaming case. There is still only so much space for all of the cables. If the cables are in the way of the airflow, you will still have problems. The best way to eliminate the cabes is to use a modular PSU. In my opinion, it is still better to use full-size cases for gaming if using air cooling.
The one problem that you may have with any non HP case is the connections for the power button and other front panel items. I suggest going online to look for a video on moving components from one case to another. This would be to best solution for you.
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03-12-2012 02:32 PM
Hey geekster, thanks for the response!
What is it that makes a PSU "modular"? Is it the ability to remove the non-essential wires from the unit? I've done my best to arrange the wires inside my case but it's still looking a bit cramped. I'll open it up again and check to see if any can be removed after I send this post. Please check the image at the bottom of this post to see of my current wire set-up (what I'm working with).
Failing that, I'll look to invest in a modular PSU when I eventually pull the trigger on the "Full-Size" computer case. Speaking of which, thank you for that advice. I did some research and discovered the differences between full and medium sized computer cases (http://www.newegg.com/Product/CategoryIntelligence
Lastly, am I limited in choosing a new computer case based on the dimensions (form factor?) of my motherboard? Would this most likely be an ATX or a micro-ATX form factor? You mentioned that there may be problems with the connections for the power button and other front panel items when I switch the motherboard into a non HP case. I want to try to anticipate those differences so that I can purchase a computer case that everything can fit appropriately into! I found a similar situation on this forum where an individual did a successful case transfer with a similar PC:
Motherboard Specifications from Forum Discussion:
So my conclusion is that it is possible! I just want to do a little more research first. Please let me know what you think. Thanks!
My Wire Configuration / What I'm working with:
03-12-2012 05:32 PM - edited 03-12-2012 05:39 PM
You are having heat problem in your HPE-180t?
My HP e9280t is about the same as your PC with the exception of the model number. I have the same motherboard and cabinet. However, I am only using the GTX 460 which consumes about 55 watts less at full power compared to the GTX 470. Not much room for the 470?
How did you mount the Thermaltake PSU in your PC? Fan up or fan down? If the fan is pointing into the case then the PSU is mounted wrong. It needs to be mounted up so cool air is drawn through the top edge side vents.
I am surprised that your PC works with a 750 watt PSU as other HP PCs would not boot with a PSU over 650 watts. That's why I am using a 650 watt PSU. Away, good show with an excellent quality PSU.
I had to tuck the extra cable lengths into the spare bays to get better air flow.
What you want to do is possible. You might have an issue with the HP I/O plate. Keep track of the front panel connections so you know where to connect up to in the new case. Many of the retail mid-tower cases will accept both a microATX and ATX motherboards. The media reader and wireless may be another areas to look at.
03-12-2012 06:02 PM
Hey Big Dave,
You're right! After my last post I took the side panel off my HPE-180t to inspect the motherboard and noticed that yes, I had mounted my Thermaltake PSU upside down for far, far too long. After about an hour of fussing with it and re-positioning the cables, I got the PSU fan pointed up (out of the case). Hopefully that should help alleviate some of my heat problems.
With the fan pointing up and out of the case, should I leave the top plastic cover off of it to allow air to get into the case? Or does it not matter?
Also, I've never had an issue with my 750W Thermaltake PSU. Aside from an annoying noise it makes when it's under load, it runs fine and boots every time. I did what you did, tucking the extra cable lengths into the spare bays and tying them together with twist ties. And the GTX 470 fits tight, but its in there. Usually runs at about 85-95C when running a strenuous game (ie Skyrim). I thought the mid-90s range was a bit hot so I began investigating ways to cool my machine down. How hot does your GPU run?
Sooner or later I'm probably going to want to transfer my computer components into a bigger full-size case to help with air flow & space issues. I'm assuming my HPE-180t has one of those motherboards that you mentioned. Since most mid-tower cases will accept both a microATX and ATX motherboard, is it the same for full-size?
Thanks for your help!
03-12-2012 08:07 PM
My top is still on as I never thought about taking it off. My NVIDIA GTX 460 will shut down at 90 I think. GPU-Z will give you a good reading on temps (with a log) as will PC Wizard (temps and fan speeds). I don't push my card too hard but BF3, MW3 and HAWX 2 will give it some exercise. I don't use SpeedFan as it was way to buggy for my needs.
I am not into spending a lot for the cabinet as compared to internal components. I bought a fairly cheap cabinet for my custom system and it has four fans not counting the processor fan. It runs very cool and without a lot of fan noise even when I put the pedal to the metal.
A full size cabinet shuold be able to handle a range of mobo sizes.
03-13-2012 09:47 AM
Because the responses to my questions have been super helpful... kudos for everyone! (I just realized this is a feature of this forum)
I noticed that the plastic top section I mentioned has vents all down the side of it to let air flow into the PSU, even when it is placed over the vent. So it's okay to leave on! I only take it off to remove the side panel when I need to get into my machine, as it is in the way.
Thanks for the fan speed and temp software suggestions, I'll definitely check them out. I never really utilized all of SpeedFan's features and found it a little confusing. Although, the readings I got on SpeedFan last night were at ~88C after pushing it for about an hour.
I agree that picking a low-price computer case is good idea. I mainly want to spread everything out to allow room for future upgrades / better air flow. A couple extra fans and a full-size case would do wonders to help me out. My set-up (I think) has a fan in the PSU, a small one inbedded in the GPU, and then one down on the processor. Definitely think I would benefit from a few more, but I don't need massive cooling systems that the premium cases offer.
So I think I'm pretty close to a solution here, my next steps would be to pick out a reasonably priced, full-sized computer case and work with a friend of mine to (avoiding electro-static shock) transfer all the components into the new case. From what I understand, my HPE-180t mobo should be able to fit! What do you think?
03-13-2012 10:05 AM
The top side edges of the cabinet are slotted as a cool air intake for the power supply. This HP article explains the PSU replacement process. It's interesting to note the HP is using two different power supply orientations. The original 460 watt PSU in my cabinet was mounted fan up.
BTW, is the CPU heat sink in you PC a fanless model?
03-13-2012 02:24 PM
Hey Big Dave,
Wish I had that article yesterday when I was fighting with my cable arrangement. My PSU is hooked up just like in "Figure 2" (the low-power connector power supply) in that article you posted.
I do not have an inside bracket for my long graphics card like they describe in the article. This is most likely due to my upgrading the graphics card that came with my machine (which was small) to the GTX 470 card with a limited knowledge of what I should do or consider. Is that bracket necessary? I've been running fine for close to 2yr without one.
Please check-out the image I posted in my second post. It gives a good view of my fan/cable set-up within my PC. This was taken before I flipped my Thermaltake PSU around. The fan is now pointed up, away from my graphics card and the mass of cables coming out of the PSU are now up against the farside of the tower. Took a while to feed them around the drives without damaging anything. Looks like I have a fan on my heatsink (if I'm identifying it correctly). What do you think?
03-13-2012 04:01 PM
Ah yes, the longer cables that come with retail PSUs do present an issue for tucking then out of the way. You have done a nice job trying to maximize the air flow. I see the fan on your heat sink. Mine did not come with a fan but the heat sink is twice the size compared to yours. Perhaps it's near a horse-a-piece as they say.
Now that you have turned over the PSU you should be able to get some temperature readings and compare for differences.
Does the fan being up cause more heat inside due to less exhausting through the PSU? Does the PSU run cooler since cool air is being used for intake air?
A new cabinet with cable management would clean up the cabling and improve air flow.