Hey Overclock.net, it's been 6 years to the month since I posted here, pretty wild. In 2008 I built a PC, and it lasted me pretty damn well all the way up until now, as I decided I needed something new to tinker with and keep me busy.
I've pretty much 'destroyed' this Lian Li case Here it is new
and have literally gutted it, tearing out it's demonic, screeching heart and throwing it across the room. I'm referring to the 6 year old pump, and 5 ball bearing fans watercooling setup. I'm all air now, baby, and never going back unless I move to... India. Or quad SLI, but that will likely never happen.
Anyhow I have a simple question. If you had this case in front of you with these 3 fans already installed; CPU, Rear Exhaust, and PSU...
Would you do this, close front intake? The drive bays are one big hole.
Or this, side intake on the GPU and main mobo heatsink?
I'm asking and not testing actual temps because if the side intake isn't an advantage over the front intake, I'd rather not spend time cutting a nice-as-it-can-be-with-a-skil-saw hole to later put cardboard over it if it's not in use. Also with my low temps I couldn't justify buying another fan to run front intake and side intake. The temp tests I was reading showed side intake as really good at cooling mobo and GPU, but front to back cooling makes intuitive sense to me.
Thanks ahead of time for your opinions!
This next part is not
relevant to my question so feel totally free to ignore it.
To answer any aside questions, here's my reasoning for several of the ???'s with this overall setup. Only the SSD of all those hard drives is being used, so they don't require a fan blowing on them, and the entire bottom, which is now the top as the case is flipped, is ported with a few hundred vent holes. The top of the case, now the bottom, has that big foot long hole where the radiator used to be, that I've just left open for more passive airflow. I'm not worried about dust as I'll clean this case monthly, and I have hardwood floors as you can see in the pictures, that I sweep daily.
The CPU cooler is mounted that way because of the way the CPU die sits when the CPU is mounted. If I turned the CPU heatsink so that the fan could blow through the radiator to then be pushed out by the rear exhaust fan, only 2 of the 6 heatpipes would come into contact with the CPU die. It's a i5 4670K Haswell which is a long rectangular shape that in the MSI GD65 mobo is mounted so that it is a vertical rectangle. So because of this I had to either push air up or down in the case, I chose up for two reasons. Hot air is less dense and rises, and if I chose down it would blow into the GPU. Also by flipping the case upside down I overcame a rather odd design feature...
The only intake fan on this case is at the bottom section, and the upper section is almost totally isolated from it.
"Three interior zones to isolate hardware for better heat dissipation" Ummm what now?
There's one opening that is taken up by all the cables. Originally, before doing anything else to the stock case, I just drilled a bunch of holes in that entire horizontal piece, hoping the air would rise into the mobo area to cool it off. Then I tried mounting a fan in the drive bay area. That worked pretty well, but once I got the new mobo and heatsink I had to decide to push air up in the GPU, or down into a solid piece of aluminum. So I cut out that piece of aluminum, so that the PSU would exhaust the CPU heat. Now I was just hacking left and right gutting the thing and decided to flip it entirely, and that's how it has stayed.