Modding My Cooler Master NotePal U3 PLUS

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by XiCynx, Oct 7, 2017.

  1. XiCynx

    XiCynx Notebook Geek

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    I decided to make this thread because everything that I've been reading on here is roughly 2+ years old and looks stale or images aren't working anymore. I received my Cooler Master NotePal U3 PLUS (man what a mouthful) today. My other parts should be showing up either tomorrow or on Monday. This is what I chose for parts:

    Cooler Master NotePal U3 PLUS (Although I was HIGHLY considering the MasterNotepal Pro)
    Kingwin Four Channel Turn Knob Multi-Fan Cooling Controller
    Coolerguys 100-240v AC to 12 & 5v DC 4pin Molex 2A Power Adapter
    Noctua Fan with Focused Flow and SSO2 Bearing, Retail Cooling NF-F12 iPPC 3000 PWM (I went with these over the Vader for aesthetic purposes and I love Noctua fans)
    Silverstone Tek 120mm Ultra Fine Fan Filter with Magnet Cooling FF123B
    TP-Link 9-Port USB 3.0 Hub with 7 USB 3.0 Data Ports and 2 Smart Charging USB Ports

    Since this fan controller doesn't fit on the side in the back like the initial revision @Mr. Fox posted up, I'm going to see if I can get a little creative with this. I noticed on @Mr. Fox latest revision he built some wood bracing to go across the front of the laptop cooler. I like this idea because I'm not going to be using the keyboard on the laptop at all while it is on my desk so the angle doesn't matter to me. I also have this Scotch RF5761 Outdoor Fastener Velcro (Hold up to 5lbs), 1-inch x 15-feet that I can cut down place on the front and back of the controller to help keep it attached to the stand but also allow it to be easily removed.

    I want to try to make just nice little wooden pegs that go on the front of the stand and plastidip them in matte black to match the frame, then have the controller probably on the left side near the front of the stand pushed up against the leg so it doesn't get in the way of the 3 fans at the top. I'll take pictures and update as I progress on this. But I'm a stickler for nice looking things so I can't just get some crappy leftover wood and call it a day.

    The reason I chose the fan filters that I did is so I can place on on each side of the fan and screw them in without taking up anything more than a tenth of an inch in space. I'm not worried about airflow because if need be 3000rpm will push through any filter over top of them. These got really great reviews for keeping dust out, while sacrificing some airflow but taking up next to zero space, which is exactly what I want.

    The biggest question I'm having is whether I should have two of the fans pushing in and one of the fans pulling out or all going in or all coming out. I haven't really seen any temp tests on here regarding that so I might have to run my own to see what works best. Any thoughts or suggestions are welcomed!

    Got a couple updates. So I received a bit more of my items and I thought I was ready to put it all together. Well, it turns out that the Noctua Fans that that purchased have self tapping screws. While this is not an issue normally, the holes on the NotePal were not large enough to allow the screws to pass through them. So I had to order Anti-Vibration Fan Mounts instead. The best ones I was able to find were from over in the UK from a company called QuietPC. Below is a link to the fan mounts:

    Acousti Ultra-Soft Flush-Fit Silicone Fan Mounts AFM02B

    There were plenty of other options that were much cheaper, but I really liked the reviews and the other parts from this site. So I was willing to spend a little bit extra for not super fragile rubber that might break upon attaching them to the fans and/or case. I really wish I had my laptop but FedEx didn't knock hard enough when they attempted to deliver my laptop so now I have to wait until Monday.

    Another item that I am not 100% on after testing it is the Kingwin Fan Controller. It seems to have trouble supplying equal amounts of voltage (I think) to each fan. When I have them all turned on full blast, I was able to hear some slight differential hummer between them as if the power wasn't steady and it made me a bit weary of how long it will actually last. The other thing was, that when I turned the fan controllers all the way down, the fan that was first farther to the left always stopped, while the fans after it always kept moving. One would think that they either should all stop or all keep moving. So, just testing to see if it was that specific knob, I unplugged fan 1 which was stopping and plugged it into plug 4 and when I turned them all down, fan 2 completely stopped moving while 3 and 4 kept spinning. So in saying, that, I might look into a different fan controller option that isn't quite as cheap per say. I had my eye on this Scythe KQ01-BK-3.5, the only downside is that it is not fully enclosed so I would either have to roll with it like that or find someone to make a top with leave a slit fr the wires to come out of. I like how this controller does not have any LED indicators on it making it more discreet under the NotePal.

    Now onto the good stuff. The fans are absolutely gorgeous and I'm very glad that I went with them over the Vader. Having them on full blast still moves a great amount of air but the noise isn't crazy loud, but loud enough still to annoy someone who isn't use to it being in the room. I also receive the dust covers which are also great quality. They fit perfectly and the screws that came with them will blend into the Noctua's perfectly. Once I get the Anti-Vibration Fan Mounts we should be golden and finally be able to put everything together. Shipping time on those is... longer than I would like, upwards of 2 weeks through USPS Air Mail. But sometimes you just have to wait for the good stuff.

    Below are a few pictures of everything so far and my next update will be one I finally start assembling everything together.

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    Another Update.

    I just want ahead and installed one of the mesh fan filters on the fan and it seems like they were not made good enough to not allow any flex in the mesh so whenever the fans are up against the NotePal it sucks the mesh in due to the high static pressure and you can hear the fan center rubbing up against the mesh creating this horrible higher pitched rubbing sounds. Hard to explain but I immediately knew that I just need to not cut any corners on cost here and wound up getting 3 Silverstone Ultra Fine 120mm Magnetic Fan Filter (SST-FF123B) instead as I know these will be quality components that won't have any rubbing. I'm going to update the OP to reflect this change. The screws that came with the really thin mesh filters are great so I'm not really out any money since 40 nice screws for $7 isn't that bad of a deal either.

    LOOOONG time no update, this is definitely overdue. So once I found out that the mesh dust covers were not going to work and willing to spend a bit of extra money on the Silverstone Magnetic Fan Filter, I promptly purchased them from Amazon and boy is the difference in quality apparent.
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    But anywho, next on the list I needed to find a nicer way to support the front of the cooler using as little bulk as possible. So off to Home Depot I went, I spend a good 30-45 minutes trying to decide what knobs I wanted to use from their custom cabinet section. Eventually I decided on the ones you see below because of their minimal nature and rounded long edges for stability. Please take note of the little spike on the end of the knob (foot) as they did impede with trying to attach them to the cooler frame and I had to shave them down using the cement sidewalk outside my house (I wasn't prepared to sand anything down) but luckily the metal was rather soft and shaved down pretty quick, it just took a very steady hand to make sure it was shaved down evenly.
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    The screw that came with these knobs did not screw all the way down flush due to being used on drawers normally so to compensate for this I had to pick up some washes to fill in the game since the metal of the cooler was so thin. I used 4 washes total per each "foot" installed, one on the top and 3 on the bottom and it worked like a charm!
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    Once I had everything screwed down tight and seemingly straight to my eyeball, I flipped it over and basked in how nice it looked with those feet on it.
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    On to he next update! So now that I had a solid base going on, I felt that next it was appropriate to add the fans on to make sure everything fit as it should. I wanted to get them as centered as possible but also leave room for some cables to be routed through them so everything could come out of the back of the stand and not the sides.

    I placed my laptop on it's lid and put the stand on top of it, the reason for this it to see where the vents on the bottom of my laptop would be and I would want to situate the fans under those vented areas for the best possible airflow into the laptop. It's a little hard to see but in the upper left and right are the CPU and GPU fans and down the center is also vented slots to cool the chipset and m.2's
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    I marked the center of the stand with a piece of scotch tape and went to work on moving them around and counting holes. Eventually I ended up with the following resting place. Some people might look at this and notice that the fans aren't as far out as they should be to pump air into the GPU and GPU fans, but I did that intentionally. The reason is that only so much air can flow through those fans and pumping more into them will just go to waste, so instead I moved them in towards the center to help with cooling the pipes directly coming off of the CPU and GPU through the middle vented slots instead.
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    The biggest issue I ran into while trying to attach the fans to the stand was that the screws were self tapping and too large to fit through the holes already made in the stand. So not wanting to butcher the stand at all I went out and found some of the best rubber mounts I could fine. If I can recommend one thing it would be these, they were super pliable, very strong and held the fans in place without an issue. This would also step any sort of vibration from the hard plastic onto the metal reducing overall noise.
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    Once I attached the fans to the stand I put the dust filters in place (boy this is coming together nicely!)
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    Next on the list is the fan controller. These Noctua fans are loud and powerful and that is great when I will be playing games because I'll have headphones on and won't head them, But if I'm just going recreational work and don't need the extra cooling, I want a way to be able to quiet them down or turn them off.

    So I found the place where I wanted to mount the fan controller and due to the LED's being bright I didn't want them on the front of the cooler stand, it was also just a tab too long to fit there with the bottom fan being in the spot it is. So I decided to place it on the left side of the stand once it is flipped over facing away from me.

    I went ahead and grabbed my double sided Velcro and measure the proper length and then cut two pieces to fit. This stuff it strong and can take the paint off of the walls after it has been in place for a while so I knew it would hold these in place while flipped upside down. As you can see, it fits like a charm!
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    One of the sad things about the laptop I have (in my opinion anyways), is the lack of USB ports that are on it. Three is just not enough these days to have everything plugged in, Mouse, Keyboard, Controller, Sound Equipment, External Hard Drive, etc. So I was like, there is enough room on the other side of this laptop cooler to have a USB 3.0 HUB installed on it expanding my available USB Ports by 8! So, I used the same method as the Fan Controller to install the USB HUB.

    It took a little bit of time to route all the cables where they needed to go but that's just part of the process and didn't really involve a write up on it. Once everything was setup, this is how it looked from the top.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2018 at 11:25 AM
    Mr. Fox and kosti like this.
  2. XiCynx

    XiCynx Notebook Geek

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    -snip-
    Added to OP as a spoiler
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2018 at 7:32 AM
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  3. XiCynx

    XiCynx Notebook Geek

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    -snip-
    Added to OP as a spoiler
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2018 at 7:33 AM
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  4. Kaiz3n

    Kaiz3n Newbie

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    Thank you XiCynx , and please keep us appraised of how your mod is going, I'm interested in doing this one and really wondering about which parts to order...
     
  5. XiCynx

    XiCynx Notebook Geek

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    Thanks! I will definitely be sure to do so. I'm not sure if an @Administrator removed my reserved posts or not but it's kind of inconvenient to not be able to keep all the updates together and instead have the spread out through the talk if some eventually arise. Definitely seems like certain parts of the forums are much more active than others. If an Administrator reads this, is there a way for me to have 3-4 more reserved posts below my last update for future information?
     
  6. Papusan

    Papusan JOKEBOOKS = That sucks! Dont wast your $$ on FILTH

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    Meanwhile, insert spoilers in OP with updated info.
     
  7. ronferri

    ronferri Notebook Evangelist

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    Good job! Can you please update us on what you eventually achieved in temperature drop?
     
  8. a.Techie

    a.Techie Notebook Enthusiast

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    I'm interested in doing a similar build, but with two 120mm Noctua fans. My P775 has pretty good thermals as is, so my goal is to get a bit more air flowing over the heatsink and out the exhaust, while keeping noise levels reasonably low. Right now I'm debating whether it's worth going with the 3000RPM Noctuas that you use. I've watched some youtube reviews and, at full chatter, I believe those are too loud for normal computer use (i.e. not benchmarking). Apart from that, the 2000RPM F12s have a minimum speed of 450 RPM compared to the 750 RPM of the faster model, which would make them much more tolerable for quiet use.

    In your opinion, how loud are the 3000RPM fans, and would you consider them tolerable for everyday use? And on a more general note, do the 140mm fans not fit well at all? This guy managed to line up three holes; is that the best fit for that fan size?
     
  9. NIGHTMARE

    NIGHTMARE Notebook Evangelist

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    How about cosrair ML 120 pro ?
     
  10. aaronne

    aaronne Notebook Evangelist

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    I got the Corsair SP120L 2700RPM version, but I dont think they are effective as loud o_O
    but hey, after Mr.Fox Papusan Kosti and Xcinx and other dudes I did not remember, here my mod (Mainly sitted by Tornado F5)

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    At 1200RPM on the external fans and 1600RPM in the central one is quiet and more effective then nothing :)(lowering about 4/6°)
    but I'm looking to change these fans for more silent one soon.

    Best Regards to all
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2018
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