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[TS] Puget dissects vertical vs. horizontal chassis cooling

post #1 of 93
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We've seen an influx of desktop computer cases that claim to offer superior cooling by rotating the system's internals and embracing the natural occurrence of convection. Silverstone's Raven series immediately comes to mind as we've reviewed two of them this year. Although we can personally attest to the Raven's incredible cooling capacity, how much of it is attributed to the vertical orientation? That's precisely what Puget Systems has attempted to answer.

The company examined the thermal dissipation of two popular chassis: the Antec P183 V3 with a conventional horizontal arrangement and the Silverstone FT02B-W with its newfangled vertical voodoo. To be clear, Puget didn't pit the enclosures against one another, but they physically rotated each case to record temperature differences between horizontal and vertical orientations. Both were outfitted with top-end hardware and a couple different cooling solutions.

The conclusion? Flipping your hardware by 90 degrees offers no discernable thermal advantage. Two of the four tests resulted in a tie, one gave a minor edge to the vertical orientation and another favored the horizontal configuration by a few degrees. Puget found that convection plays a minimal role (if any) in desktop cooling because even the weakest fans impose far more force on a case's hot air than its natural buoyancy. There's a full equation here.
Source

Link to the original source

Convection is only a significant factor with no forced airflow in a desktop (no fans). They should also test with top intake and bottom exhaust to see if there is really a difference.
Edited by Riou - 8/10/11 at 3:24pm
post #2 of 93
Well now, I was hoping to mod my Solano 1000 to a Vertical style tower, to aid in cooling and just to be different, not sure if its worth the time/money to do it if the results will show no difference at all, I'll have to do some mock-ups to see if the trouble will be worth the look...

I'm kind of disappointed...
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post #3 of 93
noooo, my raven 2 goes to waste!



j/k cooler than most cases

Edit: 'cooler'
Edited by Krud - 8/10/11 at 2:30pm
    
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post #4 of 93
Hopefully this stops some of the responses such as "BUT HOT AIR RISES" whenever someone recommends to use the top as intake. You're golden as long as you have a source of airflow cooling your components within the closest possible range - and thats one of the reasons why the FT02 cools so well.
post #5 of 93
Here is where I laugh at all the noobs that told me that having my top fans intaking air is bad.....

Physics and thermodynamics people, this is common sense
 
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post #6 of 93
Convection cooling isn't significant till really high temperatures anyway. Convection plays a huge role at 450 degrees farenheit but not 160.

At 1800 degrees steel actually radiates more heat than it conducts in an air environment.
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post #7 of 93
It's about time someone comes to their senses. The whole "hot air rising" thing only matters if you're trying to go fanless, otherwise it's all about the flow from the fans.
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post #8 of 93
I'm glad they experimented to prove this so this issue will hopefully be put to rest.
 
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post #9 of 93
Hot air rises but not when it being directed by 3 - 6 fans. If you think about the rate that air moves at through a 120mm bottleneck at 100CFM, I doubt hot air would even have the time or resistance to rise if a case has any type of air pressure.
Edited by pengs - 8/10/11 at 4:04pm
post #10 of 93
Interesting read, thanks for that!
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