The air cooled solution has led to (what I pray is) a final version of my new comp.
With the exception of the heatsink, all of the major parts are the same as the last version...some have moved and some have been modded a bit.
Here are two views of the general layout of the case interior. A huge amount of effort has gone into the wiring/cable management. I've tried to keep the airflow in the case as unimpeded as possible.
The HDD has moved to a horizontal position on the front of the floor.
This puts it right in front of the lower front case fan and the temp stays within 2-3 deg C of ambient case temp. Right now it is at 27c ( ambient is 24.7c).
Here is a view of the casefront. All of the Thermaltake decoration has been removed and the resulting opening has been screened and grilled. This gives the front intake fans good access to fresh outside (of the case) air.
I also think that it is less garish than the as delivered look, but that is just me...
Next is the front with the bay door open.The picture ain't so hot, but there isn't really that much to see anyway. From the top I have the stock Thermaltake display (temp) which is basically just taking up space till I get my Audigy Platinum sound rig. Below that is the DVD reader. Third is the infamous smart card reader ( which works just fine now, thank you), flanked by two large red buttons. The switch on the left forces Windows to open the SmartCard reader and the righthand switch clears CMOS. The clear CMOS switch is a fairly easy modification that is almost mandatory if you are considering overclocking at all. A real timesaver. Finally is the (beige, ugh) CD-RW which will go away after Christmas and be replaced with a DVD burner.
Next is a view of the case roof...
The main point here is the extractor fan positioned on a Thermaltake DuctingMod tube which pulls hot air from the rear grill of the PSU. Also visible is the new 120mm fan that I put in the bottom of the PSU. This fan, coupled with the extractor fan and the fan on the back of the PSU has dramatically lowered the temps around the power supply. Measured on the side of the PSU right next to the big capacitors, the temp in this area is also just barely above ambient case temp. The back part of the roof of my case, which used to be relatively warm is now cool to the touch. This is also a pretty easy modification to make and I would recommend to anyone.
Finally is the heatsink...
This is just a standard (old style) AMD heatsink with a 60 to 80mm fan adaptor mounted. As soon as I can con my buddies down at the comp store out of the newer "microfin" AMD cooler, I plan on trying that out. It looks to be more effective. Even so, this setup is as good, if not better than the $50 Zalman that I had previously. With the fans in silent mode my idle temp is 44-45c and it will rise to 48-50c under load. With the fan cranked up, temps drop about 3-5 degC. While I was in the area I added a fan to the stock Asus chipset heatsink. Can't say I've noticed much difference in my motherboard temps (they were pretty low to begin with), but what the heck, I like the look and it sure can't hurt. I also have the stock 60 mm AMD heatsink fan laying on the heatpipe assembly mounted to my video card. I haven't had a chance to monitor temps here yet, but I'll get around to it sooner or later.
And that's about it.
I've tried all the ideas that I can come up with for the moment, and frankly, I'm tired of fucking with this thing.
Now it's time to just enjoy it for a while, gather up my thoughts ( and money) and plan for the next go-round.