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Cooling a Fractal R3: amidoingitright?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I have a Fractal R3 which is a great little case (although I'm regretting not having known about the Arc midi when I got it!), but I'm struggling to find an acceptable cooling solution.

I'm not doing any overclocking: I'm only looking for a silent, easy to manage configuration for everyday use and light gaming (BF3, Skyrim).

Rig:
Fractal R3
Core i5-760 on P7P55D
Hyper 212 + CPU cooler
GTX560ti Hawk (HOT!)
Lower drive bay full of HDDs

Cooling (all 120mm fans):

1 x AP-15 Gentle Typhoon as front intake (in front of the HDD drive
1 x AP-15 Gentle Typhoon as rear exhaust
1 x side intake (some blue CoolerMaster fan)
NZXT Sentry 2 fan controller (all fans connected to it except CPU cooler, to PWM input)

I have as spare:
2 x Fractal case fans
2 x AP-15 Gentle Typhoons

So I'm keeping a constant positive pressure. When I'm not gaming I basically only turn the front intake on. Otherwise they're all on at about 50%.

The Sentry only allows me to go from 0% to 40%; unfortunately I believe that for me the sweet spot would have been 20%! It's not a huge deal but well... it doesn't make a lot of sense.

So I was wondering what you'd advise would be the better cooling option for my case, considering silence and tranquility are the most important facors here.

Thanks!
post #2 of 3
Stick the other 2 GTs in, one in the bottom and the other in the front. Take out the rear exhaust and let the intakes push the air out. Replace that coolermaster with the other gt. So you have all intake and no exhaust, tons of pressure to push out hot air. Also remove the pci slot covers on your case above and below your gpu.
 
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Media Server
(12 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
i7 4770K MSI Z97S Krait XFX RX 480 Black Edition XFX RX 480 Black Edition 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
G.Skill Trident X 2666mhz Intel 530 Sandisk Extreme Pro LG WH14NS40 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
LG WH16NS40 Noctua NH-D14 Win 10 64-Bit BenQ XL2730Z 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech G710+ Seasonic Platinum 1000w Fractal Design R5 Zowie FK1+ 
Mouse PadOtherOther
XTrac Ripper XXL  4 x Vardar F-4 120mm (2x NH-D14, 2x Bottom Intake) 3 x Vardar F-3 140mm Intake (two front, one side) 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Celeron J1800 QNAP Proprietary  Intel HD Graphics Crucial 8GB Kit 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
4TB Western Digital Red Pro 4TB Western Digital Red Pro 4TB Western Digital Red Pro 4TB Western Digital Red Pro 
CoolingOSPowerCase
Stock Embedded Linux External, 96 W, 100-240 V TS-451 
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post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
AH! Did some work today. I didn't add any fans as I didn't want noise. I had bought some extensions for my PSU cables and re-wired the whole case.

The one bad thing about the R3 is the VERY limited space between the mobo tray and the back panel, in part due to the isolation that's stuck to the side panel. But i do love the silence. The big motherboard power cable can't fit in between so I had to be sneaky about it and fit it mostly in the HDD tray via the cable management holes. It doesn't look amazing but it clears up airflow.

As I yanked the side panel too strongly, I un-soldered two wires out of my CoolerMaster fan I had there. I can easily re-solder it but it gave me the opportunity to use a Gentle Typhoon instead. Much quieter now! I also re-tightened everything and the vibrations are all gone.

I have all three fans on 40% when in manual mode and I can't hear a thing with moderate volume music on. Just what I needed smile.gif
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