Another Coolermaster U3 & Bottom Tray Mod

Discussion in 'Alienware M15x' started by kosti, Mar 12, 2016.

  1. kosti

    kosti Notebook Virtuoso

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    I recently bought a Coolermaster Notepal U3 and decided to mod it with 12V fans like many others before me. I also modded my bottom tray and ran some tests. Thought I'd share for anyone interested in doing something like this for their M15X.


    Section 1: Notepal U3 Mod

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Fans are EK Vardar F4-120 2200RPM (Dual Ball Bearing/ 77cfm / 3.16 mm H20 / 33.5 dba /2.16W). As you can see three of them in a row line up perfectly with the holes in the cooler's base. They get quite loud at full speed but push a lot of air. I tried some 1000rpm fans before I got these and they were dead silent but hardly pushed any air. If you want the fans to make a real difference you're gonna have to accept some noise. Some fans are quieter than others but once you start pushing 1800+ rpm, they all tend to get quite loud. Look for fans with high static pressure ratings and either ball or fluid dynamic bearings. Try to avoid sleeve bearing fans for horizontal mounts like this.

    Fan Controller is a Zalman Fanmate 2. It's a decent fan controller rated at 6W so I'm a bit over its rating. The fans make a low humming sound when connected to the controller so I'm probably going to replace it. Power adapter is a 110-240V AC to 12VDC 1A (12W) adapter with 5.5mm plug.

    Here's a crude diagram for anyone interested:

    [​IMG]
    Section 2: Bottom Tray Mod

    Using my rotary tool, I cut out three sections from the tray. I then needed some metal mesh material to cover the openings. I had a cheap 10 dollar cooler that I sacrificed for this. I cut out the metal mesh and used epoxy to hold it in place. Thanks to King of Interns who's tray mod inspired me to do this :D.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    Section 3: Results



    Ok, so was this worth it? Let's see.


    CPU: Intel Corei7-920xm @ stock clocks and voltage (MX-4 Thermal Paste)

    GPU: AMD Radeon 7970m @ stock clocks and voltage (850/1200) (MX-4 Thermal paste/ Arctic pads)

    Power Supply: Dell PA7E Series 210W (Center pin intact)

    Ambient Room Temperature: ~19.6 to 19.8C

    Benchmarks Used: 3DMark06 Unlocked Full Version and OCCT 4.4.1

    REMARKS: Tests were done without fan controller. 12V test was done with direct current from adapter. 9V tests were done with voltage dropping resistors on each fan (22Ω 1W).



    3DMARK06 SETTINGS:

    Tests Used: ALL CPU/GPU Tests Selected

    Test Loop: Each test was run in a continuous loop of 5 runs per test

    Screen Resolution for testing: 1280x1024

    Monitoring Software: HWinfo64



    OCCT SETTINGS:

    Test Used: GPU DX11 Burn Mode

    Duration: 10 minutes per test

    Remarks: All default settings

    Monitoring Software: HWinfo64



    3DMARK TEST 1: COOLER FANS OFF / MODDED TRAY INSTALLED


    CPU MAX TEMPS:

    • CORE 0: 74C

    • CORE 1: 70C

    • CORE 2: 74C

    • CORE 3: 78C
    GPU MAX TEMPS: 73C



    3DMARK TEST 2: COOLER FANS @ 12V / MODDED TRAY INSTALLED


    CPU MAX TEMPS:

    • CORE 0: 69C

    • CORE 1: 66C

    • CORE 2: 69C

    • CORE 3: 74C
    GPU MAX TEMPS: 67C



    3DMARK TEST 3: COOLER FANS OFF / BOTTOM TRAY REMOVED


    CPU MAX TEMPS:

    • CORE 0: 74C

    • CORE 1: 69C

    • CORE 2: 73C

    • CORE 3: 78C
    GPU MAX TEMPS: 72C



    3DMARK TEST 4: COOLER FANS @ 12V/ BOTTOM TRAY REMOVED


    CPU MAX TEMPS:

    • CORE 0: 64C

    • CORE 1: 61C

    • CORE 2: 66C

    • CORE 3: 70C

    GPU MAX TEMPS: 63C



    3DMARK TEST 5: COOLER FANS @ 9V / MODDED TRAY INSTALLED


    CPU MAX TEMPS:

    • CORE 0: 72C

    • CORE 1: 69C

    • CORE 2: 70C

    • CORE 3: 75C

    GPU MAX TEMPS: 69C



    3DMARK TEST 6: COOLER FANS @ 9V / BOTTOM TRAY REMOVED


    CPU MAX TEMPS:

    • CORE 0: 68C

    • CORE 1: 62C

    • CORE 2: 68C

    • CORE 3: 70C
    GPU MAX TEMPS: 64C



    OCCT TEST 1: COOLER FANS OFF/ MODDED TRAY INSTALLED


    GPU MAX TEMP: 76C


    OCCT TEST 2: COOLER FANS @ 12V / MODDED TRAY INSTALLED


    GPU MAX TEMP: 65C


    OCCT TEST 3: COOLER FANS OFF / BOTTOM TRAY REMOVED


    GPU MAX TEMP: 75C


    OCCT TEST 4: COOLER FANS @ 12V / BOTTOM TRAY REMOVED


    GPU MAX TEMP: 60C


    OCCT TEST 5: COOLER FANS @ 9V / MODDED TRAY INSTALLED


    GPU MAX TEMP: 68C


    OCCT TEST 6: COOLER FANS @ 9V / BOTTOM TRAY REMOVED


    GPU MAX TEMP: 63C


    Well, as you can see results are pretty good, especially with the bottom tray removed. The surface of the U3 is quite restrictive. I think if bigger holes are cut out, air will flow much more freely, but I am not willing to do this (yet) because it will ruin the look of the cooler. From my results, even at lower rpms, you can see that these fans still push out plenty of air to make a difference. At 9V these fans could still be heard, but the sound level is quite acceptable. I think for people that game with headphones like I do, noise won't be much of an issue.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2016
  2. fatboyslimerr

    fatboyslimerr Alienware M15x Fanatic

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    Absolutely love the mesh mod to the bottom cover. That looks so professional! I just have huge holes in my bottom cover. Also nice work on all the wiring. What adapters are you using from 3-pins to your 12V DC? I've looked around and never found the right ones.
     
  3. kosti

    kosti Notebook Virtuoso

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    Not sure exactly which adapters you mean. I had a bunch of old computer supplies laying around so I made the harnesses myself from old parts and wiring. My harness is essentially like the one below.
    [​IMG]
    Here's a link for these harnesses.

    https://www.ekwb.com/shop/ek-cable-y-splitter-3-fan-dc-10cm

    From the Y-splitter to the power adapter I'm using another 3 pin male plug that connects to a 5.5mm jack (see pic below). I also have an on/off switch wired to the positive 12V lead.




    [​IMG]


    EDIT: I'll take some more pics tomorrow of the main harness as well as the harness for the voltage drop from 12V to 9V if you want.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2016
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  4. King of Interns

    King of Interns Simply a laptop enthusiast

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    Wow I wish I was handy enough to do this! Looks beautiful.

    It does show though that taking the access panel off is the easiest and most effective way to cool things.

    Iam working on a new mod shortly. If it works it will be the most effective air cooled solution to date :)
     
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  5. kosti

    kosti Notebook Virtuoso

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    Hey KOI, I edited my original post to thank you because it was your tray mod that gave me the inspiration to do this to mine :D So thanks! :) Looking forward to your next project.
     
  6. fatboyslimerr

    fatboyslimerr Alienware M15x Fanatic

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    We'll see about that. I'm also working on a new mod that may be the most effective non-air/non-water cooled solution ever....
     
  7. Rengsey R. H. Jr.

    Rengsey R. H. Jr. I Never Slept

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    The mod is excellent !!!
     
  8. King of Interns

    King of Interns Simply a laptop enthusiast

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    Oooh competition! Me likey ;)

    Then again your solution uses something else whereas mine literally only is air cooling.

    Ah modding is fun :) amazing and great how the M15x community is back to a buzzing state of life :D

    Kosti you flatter me. Dont think I deserve it. I don't have a delicate touch, just try to make things functional...at any cost even if it makes some cringe ;)

    Sent from my SM-A500FU using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2016
  9. alienisme

    alienisme Notebook Geek

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    excellent mod, kosti. :D I love the way you cut the bottom cover and adding those mesh :D it looks so professional and cool :D
     
  10. Mobius 1

    Mobius 1 nͫٴiͤٴcͫٴeͤ੮Һ૯ ცɿ૭ ૭คעٴٴٴٴٴٴٴٴٴٴٴٴٴٴٴٴٴٴٴٴٴٴٴٴٴٴٴ

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    I actually bought a used bottom panel for 8usd. Looking to do the same mod.

    Does anyone know where to buy plastic mesh, similar to the one that Kosti has?
     
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