Patriot Viper Xtreme Series, Division 2 Edition 8GB
EVGA 550TI Fermi
Samsung Spinpoint 1tb
CPU-Stock(I know, you can slap me later)
3x120mm case fans, 1 on lower grill, 1 on front grill, 1 at back exhaust
I need suggestions to cool this system properly, taking airflow and fan placement into consideration. I would like low, med and high price range suggestions, and where to place the fans. I have been doing some research on how to cool this case and am finding a lot of conflicting information. I do not plan on doing benchmarking or serious overclocking with this PC. It is used to play BF3, as a media server/HTPC combo. I don't have a preference for water/air.
I know enough about computers to get by, but I turn to the pros for advice in areas of which I am lost. Thank you for your advice.
I had this case for my P4 internet beater and was using all Noctua fans except on the H50 and up top. I had 3 NF-P12s, one lower front intake, one on the side panel intake, and one on the bottom intake. I had an NF-P14 FLX jammed in three of the 5.25" bays as an intake. I found the Noctuas didn't make that annoying whine when placed close to the round grill perforations on this case. I'm was using the stock fan for the H50 and a Scythe 120mm x12mm slim fan up top in the forward placement. Regular 25mm fans usually don't fit up top because of RAM/CPU cooler clearance issues. With this configuration, I was able to fold on the power hungry/blazing hot P4 Prescott 3GHZ/HT and never got above 50c.
MWO pilot name: spjMrLahey
Yeah, it seems like they could have put about 5 seconds more thought into it and offset the upper openings away from the board chassis.
You could get creative and mount the radiator an inch closer to the door by drilling new holes and you'd get an H100 in there I'm sure.
I've been looking into other budget cases for my builds and what I've found is the Azza Triton 401 and Apex VORTEX3620 of course the old HAF 912 is always a good choice if you need space. I'd say try and return the case or sell it and go for a HAF or something that can be used for water cooling eventually. I'm not sure how valid my advice is though. If you stick with air in that case for a while maybe something new will show up that you have to have and you can upgrade. For now maybe air cool. As for the Azza Triton I haven't built from one yet but I plan on it in the near future.
@Buttermilk the A50 was one thought I had. The two CM coolers you recommended look too big for my config, wouldn't they protrude over the memory slots?
@Everyone, my mobo has 1xcpu header, 2xfan header, 1xpower fan header. Should I use a fan controller for the extra fans? Splitters? Full power to molex?
If it's a two stick kit of RAM you should have room. As for the roof you might even be able to get away with two 120s just measure and see if you have about 26mm to the roof from the mobo.
I personally like building more with the APEX Vortex than the v3 for the same size and price because it has a better look to it and 4 usb and esata on the front panel but there are no fan holes for the roof. If you wanted an overclocking case that isn't very big the bitfenix shinobi or the fractal R3 seem like better (more expensive) choices.
I think tall RAM and the mobo tray placement leaves much to be desired. Measure the clearance at the top for 25mm X 120mm fans. If you can get them in and face them blowing down you can force the heat out of the back and side of the case. The argument for hot air rising out of the case is valid but forcing air in with 3 X 120mm fans with only 1 X 120mm exhaust means there will be adequate pressure moving the hot air anywhere it can escape (side/back). The air cooler can be as tall as you want with a single fan really. You could probably fit a Scythe Ninja 3 and face one fan blowing across the tower to the back of the case and one sucking air down towards the bottom of the case (see below). If you had some high pressure and high CFM fans you can get alot of performance out of your case. The max cooling performance all depends on how much noise you can deal with having.