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Some questions regarding radiator placement

post #1 of 6
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Hello. These questions refer primarily to M8 or 10 cases.

First of all, how much clearance is there between the top of the motherboard and the inside roof of the case?

Secondly, the extended top has an inside clearance of 64mm. This might sound like a lot, but it doesn't allow for an XSPC (54-58mm) plus 25mm fans. And if one were just mounting fans in the extended top, then 64mm is excessive. Wouldn't it make more sense for the main case to be taller (i.e. greater clearance between motherboard and roof) and the extended top to be shorter? Or for the extended top to be 90mm in clearance (e.g. for a Phobya or Coolgate rad + 25mm fans)?

Speaking of the extended top, what provisions are made for routing cables and tubing out of there? I can't seem to find any good pics.

Finally, am I correct in thinking that the right side of the case (where the hard drives are mounted) is slimmer than the left side (where the flex bays are mounted). I prefer to mount my hard drives in hot-swap bays, which would need flex bays. It seems that if I don't want to use Case Labs' HDD cages then I have no use for that left side of the case (the front panel, I mean). Wouldn't it be better for both sides to be flex bays? That way I could mount hot-swap bays on one side and a front radiator on the other.

Thanks for your time.
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post #2 of 6
You can fit a radiator in the top of the case and still see the top of the motherboard, that is NOT counting fans. As well, if you buy and extended top, it would be best to keep your fans up there rather than the radiator.

The top of the M8 (and other CL cases) has a rectangular hole cut into the top (hidden by the regular or extended top) that is perfect for fan cables to pass through. Since you'll have your radiator's port pointing downward into the case, there's no need for holes for tubing.

As for flex/standard mounting. The larger side is for standard optical drives/controllers, etc. The Skinnier side can also be used for fans and harddrives. You CAN mount harddrives on the larger side of the chassis depending on the accessories you get.

The point of CaseLabs cases are flexability, and you can mount rads on the bottom, top, and front (not all at the same time, it's either top/bottom, top/front/, bottom/front if you want two radiators in one compartment).
post #3 of 6
so... would it be possible to fit a slim 360 rad in the top on both sides of a M8... (edit: Without the extended top)? Something like the Black Ice Stealth or SR1.

Would they fit in the bottom? I'd like to try and fit both radiators in roughly the same position if possible for airflow purposes.
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post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by spilltray View Post
so... would it be possible to fit a slim 360 rad in the top on both sides of a M8... (edit: Without the extended top)? Something like the Black Ice Stealth or SR1.

Would they fit in the bottom? I'd like to try and fit both radiators in roughly the same position if possible for airflow purposes.
The M8 has 100mm of clearance from the MB to the top of the frame while the M10 (and MH10) have 59mm. The M8 has enough room for a conventional radiator and fans. The M10 realistically only has room for fans. The extended top was made primarily for the M10 so that a full size radiator (say 58-60mm) could be placed on top with the fans underneath. If you want push-pull then you would use a thin rad (like Swiftech) with a bank of fans on top and another inside the case.

Mounting a radiator on the bottom of the PSU side is quite doable. The MB side is more restricted. You might squeeze something skinny in there, but it would be tight. The M10 has more room (if you're using a conventional ATX board) because of the two extra PCI slots.

I'm trying to err on the conservative side. I'm sure some people will find ways to "break the rules"

Best regards
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Zeus (X99)
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post #5 of 6
Thanks... I guess that seals it, I'll have to go with the vented top, I was kinda hoping I could get away with bottom intakes for the radiators, I figured with casters it would be enough clearance for decent air flow from the bottom up. Top down will work fine too, I'd just prefer not to have to use the top for air flow because I have a bad habit of setting things like CDs and manuals on top of my PC. I can break myself of this, but if I screw up I don't want to blow up my rig and I'm not really sure I'd have space for a pedestal (although it is tempting)

Would bottom mounting work with an inverted motherboard?

My goal is as close to silent as I can build it while still having good cooling for some overclocking headroom, although I generally don't push my OCs too much. I do about as much recording as gaming on my rig, hence my desire for a low noise signature. I'm hoping to do a single loop system set up like this: pump - rad - cpu - rad - gpu(s) - res. Ideally I can get a smooth air flow to avoid the background noise air turbulence can cause when fans are pointed at each other creating a cross wind. I know it's not much noise at all, especially with low RPM fans, but like I said, as silent as possible is going to be my goal. Ideally I'd need the indicator lights to tell that it is on.
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post #6 of 6
My M8 is actually a reverse-ATX, and so the motherboard is on the "wider" side of the case. My Swiftech 360 Rad fits just fine on the bottom with 3 120mm fans ontop of it, and I can access EVERYTHING on the motherboard still. I've done some testing and I'll be placing a 120mm rad on the rear exhause of the mobo tray as well, to that's two rads within that area.

I did the bottom-mount so it draws in fresh air from the bottom. My ambient temps go from 23C-28C depending on if it's really hot inside the house, and my CPU idle temps are sitting at 31C.
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