PC Arcade cabinet CPU heat issues

Started by Mr-Megalo, April 24, 2005, 09:07:53 AM

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howdoo chaps

not very often I find myself stood scratching my head with no clue whatsoever - but its MAME cab time and MAME/PC's always gives me a headache.

I've done the whole MAME cab thing before and have done it several ways now, each time I have done it I have been less than happy with the overall results.

I'm currently working on a Capcom MiniCute cab being my online SFA3/kawaks  machine, I am faced with the same problem this year as what I was faced with twice last year.

CPU/system cooling inside a cabinet - gimme some ideas cos I am not happy with my CPU idling at 61 ! ! ! ! ! !

I've measured up and what have you for my Shuttle XPC to sit nicely in the bottom compartment of the MiniCute, all is very neat - I've even fitted a 120mmx120mm fan in the cab to suck hot air out, doesn't seem to be working too well tho as my CPU is still running hotter than before.

so guys - what d'ya reckon . . ? fit another fan so I've got one sucking cool air in and one pulling hot air out  and treat this cab as if it was a giant server case ?

I've allready considered mounting a PC mobo/hard drive/PSU inside the cab without having any kind of PC case, but when I did this in the Megalo 2 I still had the exact same issues even tho the PC was not in a case

if anyone has any ideas then throw em my way as I am open to suggestions



Have you run the PC outside the cab to verify it'll cool itself properly when the cab's not part of the equation?

Are you sure the temperature's accurate?

Is it an AMD chip or Intel?  I know my AMD chip thinks 60C is a happy low temperature, and AMD's chips are often rated for ~80C max.


Shuttle boards run pentium 4 exclusively if I recall correctly. And 61C is about normal for a Pentium 4. What exact core are you running and at what speed? Btw, why are you using such an expensive barebones for a mame cab?
forgive my broked english, for I am an AMERICAN


Hiya Lawrence -

sorry yes should have mentioned it is an AMD XP2400+ 266 FSB

I have had the Shuttle XPC for over a year, when it isn't inside the MiniCute it idles at around 55.

I've been looking into some sort of conduit piping on the advice of one of the chaps on Build You Own Arcade Controls forums but I am still very much open to suggestions

heres a pic of the W.I.P


Hi Atom,

this is the 2nd cab I've used a shuttle XPC in - my reasonings are actually quite simple - they are small and IMHO relatively cheap. The last cab I did with the shuttle idle'd at around 57/58 and was between 61 - 63 under load (playing SFA3 on Nebula emulator) of course the cab I was using was considerably bigger


That is pretty hot for an XP. Bringing cool(er) air in should be better then blowing hot air  out, remember its the cpu thats too hot not the case. I am almost going to suggest buying some new thermal compound and re-applying your heatsink. This stuff is considered the best: http://www.xoxide.com/arcticsilver5.html If your compound wasnt applied right the first time that could be why your cpu isnt cooling off, it cant transfer the heat properly to the heatsink without a smooth contact (more surface area means more conduction).

And btw, since I am a big fan of MAME type projects post some glory shots of your cabinets. :) In a side note I am coding a multi-emulator frontend, maybe you could send me a PM with some features you you wish you had in a frontend.
forgive my broked english, for I am an AMERICAN


My AMD chip used to run 69C as its idle temp and rocket up to nearly 80 under load.  60C doesn't strike me as very hot.  Check the datasheets for the CPU, you might find that's right in the comfort zone.


thanks for the replys  8)

Lawrence, a couple of my freinds have said the same, but outside of the cab it rarely goes over 60 and its using standard fans.

I had a mobo/cpu die on me last year in the megalo cab when it went over 66
it just died *clicks fingers* just like that

had some idea's on this one,

modding my shuttle with new fans (gonna be as quiet as I can get !) similar to something shown here


but I'm going to incorporate it into the cab aswell via some ducting and making use of the grills in the cab allready. Will post once I've ironed it all out.


Bah 61C! I need to learn to read. I was thinking of 71c. My AMD runs at 41c :)
But yeah 61C is right smack dab at normal, the only danger is when it gets hot enough to melt the cpu or anything else... but it will shut crash before then. The PC Modding community puts way to much emphasis on cooling. If you have a motherboard just completley die all the sudden, check your power supply! If its a cheap POS then toss for something a little more solid. I am not saying you need a fancy one like modders use but  something more then 30 dollars and doesnt come in a comp case.

I have checked your link out and I like the shuttles heatpipe cooling. I bet if you turned it on its side it would go up a few degrees.
forgive my broked english, for I am an AMERICAN


I've just been looking at a very nice water cooling system that looks like it was almost designed for SFF PC's (it was in a shuttle idetical to mine too) wonder how that would work out inside a cab tho


I wouldnt waste your money, if your computer runs fine whats the big deal? I wouldnt want icicles growing off my mame cab.
forgive my broked english, for I am an AMERICAN


first, put a fan blowing into your cabnet at the bottom, and another blowing out at the top, hot air rises type principal. second, turn of the thermometer youre getting your readings from, and be done with it.


I know I am really picking at other peoples help but you could actually just make a vent in the top since the heat rises out on its own. Remember, its about getting the cool air in contact with your heatpipe cooler, not dropping the heat in the whole cabinet.
forgive my broked english, for I am an AMERICAN


QuoteRemember, its about getting the cool air in contact with your heatpipe cooler, not dropping the heat in the whole cabinet.
Atom - I hear what your saying, but I personally feel it would be best to try and do both, cool the PC and move the warmer air out

I totally agree about putting a fan in the top half of the cabinet to suck the warmer air out, and another one at the bottom half of the cabinet bringing some cooler air in, but if I can also give the shuttle an extra helping hand so to speak and add a fan and some ducting from the bottom fan to the back of my shuttle then that should help alot brings nice cooler air in direct to the CPU fan. I think for the sake of �20 or so its worth doing to see if it does improve airflow. I think once thats done it will give me a little peace of mind and I can do as phreak97 suggests and forget about it and just use the damn thing !


Ducting is a phenomenal way to reduce heat.  Adding a duct to my CPU directly from outside dropped the temperature 10C without affecting the rest of the components.


Right, my cpu is ducted as well and its temp is 40c, rivals watercooling and its even overclocked.
forgive my broked english, for I am an AMERICAN


well i dont even know how to check my cpu temperature.. so there :P

edit: i found some program to do it..  my cpu is running it 35C. i have a p4 2.4GHz
and i have added no cooling at all:P though my pc doesnt have sides on it:S so that might have something to do with it..