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Cooling/Fan upgrades
#1
Hello. 
I have a Dreamcade Replay which seems to be very similar to the AK1. I have seen a video where a user added some thermal paste and a coin to keep things a little cooler. I would not want to go that route. However I was hoping to replace the stock cooling with a low profile heatsink with a better fan to keep things a little cooler, and ideally clear the top cover.
Has anyone else tried this? If so what model did you use?
Thanks
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#2
Reading your question forced me to finally test the Noctua NF-A4x10 FLX fan. The size fits perfectly to the original fan: 40x10mm.
I will soon check the correct operation after the modification, with the hood removed, if the fan is actually mounted correctly. I have a doubt after the first tests, while the device seems to heat much more than before! ...
I stuck my ear to the device to make sure of its power during the quick test, it seemed to turn, and I feel now to have a fanless device as it became perfectly silent! !

Some pics:
[Image: 1534109095-p1050508.png]
[Image: 1534109095-p1050509.png]
[Image: 1534109095-p1050510.png]
Core temp while testing
[Image: 1534109263-while-testing-with-crystaldiskmark.png]
5 min after testing
[Image: 1534109278-5-min-after-testing-with-crys...ll-hot.png]

1st Update 40 minutes after the end of the bench: I am reassured, the temperatures have recovered to their minimum values.

[Image: 1534110135-40-min-after-testing-with-cry...skmark.png]

2nd updateTo dispel my doubts, I uninstalled and reinstalled Coretemp. This time, the temperatures recorded are more consistent.

[Image: 1534111897-while-testing-with-crystaldiskmark-2.png]

[Image: 1534112066-5-min-after-testing-with-crys...t-temp.png]
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#3
(08-12-2018, 09:26 PM)actiftech Wrote: Reading your question forced me to finally test the Noctua NF-A4x10 FLX fan. The size fits perfectly to the original fan: 40x10mm.

Thank you for taking the time to do this. I made a note of the fan you mentioned and will link this thread over to Replay Central so other users can take a look. I did not even think to just swap the fan.
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#4
Hello.

I also don't like the noise of the fan, so I decided to do something about it. Today I ordered the Noctua NF-A4x10 FLX fan, to test it out. I will also post my results. Thank you actiftech, to share this with us!

Though this is a good solution, I still want to change the whole cooler. For that I have to know, what chip I have to cool. I wrote to the ACEPC staff (info@iacepc.com), but they gave me no response (very dissapointed!). They could at least respond that they don't want to tell me, or they don't know.

So... does any of you know, which chip should I cool with the cooler? I made a photo of the chip-s that are connected to the coller now and gave them numers (link: https://ibb.co/dx83aK). But I am not sure, if all of them need to be cooled? I definitely know the processor chip (1) has to be cooled. What about 2 and 3? Is there a way, that I can figure that out myself?

After I will have an answer, I will order a copper cooler and copper plates, to connect the copper cooler with the chip-s, because now there is a thick thermal pad in between. There is a lot of choice on ebay or aliexpress.

WheatPasta mentioned that there is this guy who replaced the thermal pad on the processor with a coin. I saw that video. After that he replaced the coin with the copper plate (link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pD9cjnd3w8g). I know he does that real bad, but he claims, that after that the fan did not have to turn on, because the copper plate transferred the heat much better, than the thermal pad. I would really like to test that if it is true :-)
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#5
I love your compilation of different heat dissipation processes. My choice of the Noctua fan was to get rid of the low noise of the original fan. I did not control precisely if the temperatures really went down.
The sharing is stimulating, I am very interested in what you plan to test!
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#6
(09-06-2018, 10:30 PM)OmeyOcan Wrote: Today I ordered the Noctua NF-A4x10 FLX fan, to test it out. I will also post my results. Thank you actiftech, to share this with us!

Though this is a good solution, I still want to change the whole cooler. For that I have to know, what chip I have to cool. I wrote to the ACEPC staff (info@iacepc.com), but they gave me no response (very dissapointed!). They could at least respond that they don't want to tell me, or they don't know.

I ordered the 5 volt version since the original Replay fan is 5 volts. (NF-A4X10-FLX 5V) It also seems like these connectors will fit the fan socket on the Replay, and I would imagine the AK1 uses the same connector. This way you don't have to hack up your stock fan for its connector. 

I also contacted Ace PC and did not get much of a response. I was considering replacing the entire cooling set up, but I was not sure about clearance so that I could keep the top on, and a way to direct the air out to the vent like stock. 

The stock fan has one side closed off to help direct airflow. I might place a piece of tape to create the same effect on the Noctura
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#7
Just to clarify. If the fan runs always full speed - there is no sense to change thermal pad to copper plate.
Only fan + pad change makes sense.

Or can the fan be stopped depending on cpu temp?
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#8
(09-13-2018, 02:17 PM)WheatPasta Wrote: I ordered the 5 volt version since the original Replay fan is 5 volts. (NF-A4X10-FLX 5V) It also seems like these connectors will fit the fan socket on the Replay, and I would imagine the AK1 uses the same connector. This way you don't have to hack up your stock fan for its connector. 

I also contacted Ace PC and did not get much of a response. I was considering replacing the entire cooling set up, but I was not sure about clearance so that I could keep the top on, and a way to direct the air out to the vent like stock. 

The stock fan has one side closed off to help direct airflow. I might place a piece of tape to create the same effect on the Noctura

WheatPasta thank you for the hint about the connectors. I was also looking into that, because, like you said, whith a cable like that I would not need to cut the original fan cable. I don't think you linked the right connector because this one is 3pin. ACEPC AK1 fan uses 2pin... at least that's what I saw, when I disassembled mine ;-) The main problem is that I don't know how to measure this 2pin connector, which one to order. This 2 pin connector is not a regular size. It is smaller than regular. Maybe I will look into that more.
After today, I am not sure what to do. 

Today I recieved my "Noctua NF-A4x10 FLX" fan and inside of it I received "OmniJoin Adaptor Set" (link: https://noctua.at/en/omnijoin_adaptor_set). This set lets you really easy connect 2 cables that are cut. You don't even need to peel the cables. So in a seperate small bag I recieved one alleady cutted 2 pin connector and four "3M SkotchlokTM connectors". All you need to do is put unpeled cut cables into these "3M SkotchlokTM connectors" and press it together, like it is shown in the Installation Manual. These "3M Scotchlok connectors" cut into whole cables themselves, and connect them. So I think I might do it like that. Will inform you what I did :-)

The original fan takes air on top and blows it sideways. Noctua fan takes air from top and blows it down. Or from bottom to top. Depends how you turn it. In my eyes, these are the only two options that this fan gives, if you place it where the original fan is. So I was also a bit worried about the airflow. actiftech did a good job with the tests that show that the airflow is ok. WheatPasta where do you intend to place the tape?

(09-14-2018, 08:34 AM)shwed.berlin Wrote: Just to clarify. If the fan runs always full speed - there is no sense to change thermal pad to copper plate.
Only fan + pad change makes sense.

Or can the fan be stopped depending on cpu temp?

The original fan from ACEPC AK1 turns on and off and also changes speed depending on the CPU temperature.
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#9
(09-15-2018, 02:26 PM)OmeyOcan Wrote: I don't think you linked the right connector because this one is 3pin. ACEPC AK1 fan uses 2pin
For the Replay It looks like it is a 3 pin, and that the center pin is not used. I believe the Replay does have it's own main board, and does not use the one out of an AK1.(It also has a VGA connector instead of a type C) So it is possible that the fan connector is different. Unfortunately  I don't own an AK1 to compare it to. 

Here are some pictures.
[Image: Pygg5hYt.jpg]
Full size picture

[Image: 7IgfQDft.jpg]
Full size picture

:EDIT:
Just got the wires in.
[Image: qn7Afh2t.jpg]

[Image: 2dHOW8Tt.jpg]
The one without a middle pin in the one going to the stock fan. Hopefully I can get it tested in the next few days here.

(09-15-2018, 02:26 PM)OmeyOcan Wrote: inside of it I received "OmniJoin Adaptor Set"
My 5 volt version did not come with this, and a quick Amazon search makes it seem like I can not buy it seperatly. I was just going to do it the old fashion way, but I am curious of your results.

(09-15-2018, 02:26 PM)OmeyOcan Wrote: WheatPasta where do you intend to place the tape?
When I first looked at the fan I thought only the side opposite of the way the air directing shroud goes was closed. Now that you asked me, and I took a better look I can see that the three sides are closed. Now I might not put any tape and just let it be. I'll have think about it and be and see if it would be better to close off all three sides or just leave it all open.  
What do you think?
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#10
Alright so let me be the first to say I have completed everything talked about in this thread and ill share my process step for step as well as the end results

First of all let me say that i believe i received a defective fan in my pc which is what lead me to this post. My original fan (stock blower that comes with AcePC ak1) was ridiculously loud. It has 3 settings. The low setting was always on and easily noticeable in the dead silence (at night or early morning when room is quiet). The medium is noticeable regardless of what was going on in the room (tv etc). The high setting was just insane for a fan that small, none of my full tower 140mm intake fans are that annoying at full speed. It must have been defective as I can't believe anyone else would want a PC that loud. So there lied the reason I came to change the fan. Lastly, I took no pictures during my process because I wasn't sure if it was going to work, good news is we have that Russian guy's video if you want to see what I did in a different language.

Prologue: Using Speedfan I got 2 temp readings. My Temp1 (ACPI) was 50 idle and 85 max load.
                                                                     My CPU cores average was 35 idle and 78 max load.

1)  The first step is to replace the fan for maximum noise reduction (Note, this will barely lower temperatures if at all).
This was the hardest part but thanks to this thread I got the right parts to make it work. Get the Noctua A-Series (NF-A4X10-FLX 5V). MAKE SURE IT'S THE 5V & NOT THE 12V. Unfortunately in my case the link I provided does not come with the Omnijoin adapter set which is required to splice the wires together. You can also get your own solder-less wire connector instead of the omnijoin if you know what you're looking for. 
1-1) You will need to open the case, unscrew the CPU fan radiator and remove the entire radiator from the case.
1-2) take the top off the radiator so you have access to the blower fan.
1-3) Cut the wires from the blower fan leaving at least 2 inches connected to blower fan itself. (You won't need the fan anymore but leaving enough wire connected to it to splice it back together in the case that your new fan doesn't work is always a good idea.)
1-4) Take the Omnijoin adapter cable and connect it to the now free 5v header black and red wires using the supplied cable joiners.
1-5) Connect the Noctua A-Series to the Omnijoin adapter cable. Place into the radiator housing making sure the arrows on one of the sides of the fan (showing which way the air is directed) line up to push the air out the same way the blower was pointing.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NEMGCIA/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 (Noctua I used)

2) Now in my case the temps dropped to ACPI idle at 48 and 84 under max load
                                                          CPU cores average at 33 idle and 75 max load.
Not much of a difference but now it was completely silent. So here is where the Russian guy using a coin and and crazy unnecessary amount of thermal paste come into play.
2-1) Open your case yet again and remove the CPU radiator (you don't need to take the fan out, just get to the CPU). In my case there was a single pad of thermal padding under the radiator placed on-top of the entire CPU bracket. This pad is way too thick to properly dissipate the head from the cores and mostly just acts as a protection to keep the CPU from cracking in the case that you move or shake the Mini-PC too violently. I don't intend to ever move the PC and therefor don't need the protection over the cores.
2-2) Remove the pad carefully and place in a plastic bag where it wont get dirty (in the case you mess up and need to place it back on the CPU you will need it to be in perfect condition otherwise you will be in worse shape than before you took it off.
2-3) Place a copper shim, (i.e CPU Thermal Heatsink Copper pad) over the CPU and replace the radiator carefully on top of it making sure it is completely flat.
Here's how I did it.
2-3 Explained...) First clean the CPU with isopropyl alcohol (anything between 70-99%. However, the closer to 99% the better). Then do the same with the bottom of the radiator and the copper pad. place a small dot of thermal compound on the cpu itself and rub it around with either a coffee filter or a plastic bag. Make sure not to let your finger touch the CPU or the thermal compound as your finger has oils on it that will mix into the compound and create air bubbles. Once the cores have been completely covered by a very THIN layer add another small dot of compound to the middle of the core. Now take the copper pad and do the exact same to the side that will be touching the radiator, you don't need to do this to both sides of the copper pad since the cpu will already be covering 1 side. Now place the copper pad flat on top of the CPU and and place the radiator on top of it. MAKE CERTAIN that it does not move from where you place it down. Screw the radiator back down semi-tight.
2-4) Turn the computer on and immediately check the temperatures.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01E5PU7RQ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1 (Copper Pads I bought, I used the 15*15*1.2mm).
https://www.amazon.com/ARCTIC-MX-4-Compound-Performance-Interface/dp/B0795DP124/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1539552390&sr=1-3&keywords=thermal+paste  (Thermal Paste I used)

With the new fan and copper plate my new temperatures are
ACPI idle: 40      (originally 50)
ACPI max: 72     (originally 85)
CPU idle: 32       (originally 35)
CPU max: 51       (originally 78)

And that is with a COMPLETELY silent fan even on its highest setting (Although it doesn't use its highest setting until it hits 60-64 which is has yet to do.) Now I do concede that these temperatures are the temps after 4 hours of stress testing. On max load after around 24 hours they will have climbed another 4-6 degrees up from 51 to 56-ish, but the high fan speed setting doesn't kick on until CPU hits 60-64, which it never does with the new setup so I'm sure if it was running at max speed such as the original fan did, the temps would max out at 60. 
Hope this helps anyone that has a fan that was as loud as mine and doesn't want to return the mini-PC without trying to replace the fan first.

(Disclaimer; cutting the wires on the fan as well as replacing the fan itself and the thermal padding probably voids a warranty somewhere, so do this knowing full well if you mess up and break your computer-whether you get an RMA/refund is up to the terms and conditions.)
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