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Fractal Design Define Mini Cooling question

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hey! Title pretty much states the intent of this thread (unsure if this is really the right spot to post this ((this is also my first time posting anything on the forum!))

Planning a new build using the Fractal Design Define Mini, but I had some questions regarding cooling

504

H70 up top is set to a push pull config, pulling cold air in from outside with the second fan pushing it into the case with the top case fan immediately exhausting out (this is the are of the case im most confused on.)

I know I want the 2 front fans pulling cold air in from outside as well as the bottom fan pulling cold air in as well to help keep my GPUs cool (running 2 HD 7950s in here ((probably not the most amazing idea but I have 2 of them so why not?!)).

Basically what are your guys thoughts on this, and if it is jacked up what would guys suggest???
post #2 of 9
With an H70 in there, CPU temperatures shouldn't be much of a problem (although the noise will be) What about a good air cooler, for the noise/cooling ratio?
So i would make cooling the GPUs the top priority. Keeping that in mind, i would go for the classic front/bottom intake, top/back exhaust.
Two 120s as front intakes might be enough, needs testing though. Then use the H70 as an exhaust in the back and a good 140mm fan as a top exhaust.
I did some testing with airflow in an Define R3, and found that a "throughflow" setup like that produced far better GPU temperatures then a positive pressure setup. It seems that positive pressure requires cases with more open/mesh panels then the Define series.

PS: Do the two 7950s actually fit? They are supposed to be about 270mm long including the cooler. The Define mini is only supposed to accept cards up to 260mm with the HDD cages installed. So for two of those cards you might need to drill out the bottom HDD cage.

PPS: Have you decided on the fan-type yet? For a setup like this, i think a high airflow/noise ratio would be important. Something like Scyte Slipstreams up to 1200rpm or Enermax Cluster fans.
Edited by Stompy - 2/28/12 at 9:24am
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
As far as I can tell 2 HD 7950s should fit. This is purely base on a couple random photos and stuff i've seen around.

http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1670916 (build with 2 HD 7970s which are slightly longer than the Ref Sapphire 7950s I have, althought the guy did have to dremel part of the lower HD cage off)

And http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/microatx-gaming-overclocked,3039.html (build with 2 GTX 580s which are 10.5" cards that are also longer than the 7950s I have. Although this build is in the Arc Mini, which to my knowledge uses the same chassis as the Define Mini)

I planned on replacing the stock fans on the H70 with 2 Noctua NF-P12-1300 fans since I know they run quiet and push a solid amount of air.

I thought the idea with the H70 Rad was to pull cool air through it from the outside to help cool the water inside of it down, so if its purely setup to be exhaust that means hot air from inside the Chassis will be getting pulled through the rad instead? Feel free to correct me if i'm wrong. I only bring that up because I would like to slap a semi decent OC on the CPU (planning on i5 2500k in a Maximus IV Gene-z/Gen 3 Mobo).
post #4 of 9
your rear intake is simply drawing in all that heat from the 7950's exhaust back into the case. you'd be better off duct taping that hole rather then drawing hot air in.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Fair point, I suppose I hadn't really thought of that! tongue.gif So would I be better off setting up the H70 as an exhaust along with the top 120MM fan port as exhaust as well with the 2 front fans and the Bottom fan as intake? More or less what Stompy already suggested.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stompy View Post

With an H70 in there, CPU temperatures shouldn't be much of a problem (although the noise will be) PPS: Have you decided on the fan-type yet? For a setup like this, i think a high airflow/noise ratio would be important. Something like Scyte Slipstreams up to 1200rpm or Enermax Cluster fans.

Yes i have decided on fans. I went with http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835608004
post #7 of 9
The H70 will not run as efficiently when acting as an exhaust, that is true. So generally i would agree with using the radiator as an intake. The problem is that the fan to the rear does not make for a great intake location if there is only one top exhaust. Plus, there will be no dust filter for that intake, which is pulling air from the already more dust-prone rear into the radiator.
If the tubes are long enough, it might be nice to use the H70 as an intake at the front of the case.

I'ts still a tossup between good CPU and GPU cooling. With that kind of hardware, i would think that the GPUs will be more prone to overheating, which is why i suggested the above solution.

[Edit:]Great choice of fans. Didn't even think of them. A friend of mine uses them for all his case fans and they perform very well. Keep in mind that the top mount can accept a 140mm fan.
Edited by Stompy - 2/28/12 at 10:32am
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
That's an interesting thought! It would definately come down to if the tube are long enough, and possibly if the HDD cages might get in the way if i were to use the H70 as a front intake. I'm going through the list of possible locations I can put the H70... IE The front intake area, the side panel fan location, the top exhaust location (probably not a great idea!). I'm stil leaning towards just having it in the rear position exhausting out of the case. CPU temps might be a bit higher, but if you can attain 4GHz on the 2500k with a stock intel cooler then I should be able to still push a bit passed that. I guess my real primary concern should be the GPU temps as they will be sandwiched uncomfortably close together in a small case.

All in all, I definately appreciate the feedback and suggestions you've given me thumb.gif
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Small update on this. I e-mailed Fractal-Design just to be sure that my 2 HD 7950s would be able to fit into the Define mini and this is what they sent me in reply

FD-CA-DEF-MINI-distance.jpg 119k .jpg file

Just in case someone was wondering about a Crossfire/SLI setup in this case as well.
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