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Thoughts about fan placement using a H80 corsair.

post #1 of 2
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Have read volumes on how air moves and how to move air in cases.Positive air pressure, negative air pressure. Gosh what's a low budget geek to do? Like to offer another view. Or at least my view. Have the H80 cooler working on an i5-2500K oc'd to 4.6GHz. My CPU is not a wunderprocessor and so am content with the mild overclock.

This is where it gets a little interesting. I live literally in a country that by definition is classified as tropical rainforest. Outside, although the temp is 97F, it feels like 109F (yes I know "feels like" temperatures only apply to human perception of discomfort). Humidity is crazy high. Air conditioning is not standard where I live, a tiny window unit does not much to cool an apartment but serves to dehumidifyt. Did I mention that insulation is unheard of? Most of my work is done from 9pm to 6am when it is at least cool outside, high 70sF, and if lucky there is a bit of a breeze. Back to harsh reality. Really have to revisit my perception of "harsh".

During the time I prefer to work on the computer, the ambient temperature in my office/living room is still 30C or above... like upper 80's to low 90'sF. This IMO must be taken into account when figuring the target temps when setting up the fans in a case. I have a NZXT Phantom 410 in red...a Ferrari Enzo by any other name. But I digress. Look at the way the case is made. Swiss cheese. The idea that you can set up a decent air flow is more of an exercise in faith. There are holes..cooling?..drilled everywhere. How do you set up an airflow sans a pressure constrained vessel? Right now I have two Aerocools sucking cool air in and over the SSDs and HDD. There are two fans, 140mm and 120mm exhaust fans on the top of the case. Also a 120mm intake on the side cover. Plus the two 120mm fans of the H80 and the video card that exhausts to the outside of the case. The way that is shown to set up the H80 is to pull outside air (cool?) into the case. AGAIN, the design of many modern cases is to provide extra cooling holes drilled everywhere. Positive OR negative air pressure has no meaning! UNLESS you defeat what must have been good intentions. Admittedly many just use a cool case and don't consider the factors that affect air flow. Inattention to that detail can lead to wasting money. Money I would gladly accept as your present to me allowing an upgrade to my video card.

Now take into consideration the room ambient temperature. 30 to 33C and force a bunch of hot air from the H80 into the case and I can bake cookies in my over..er case..prefer chocolate chip. If I were in the wilds of Minnesota, then perhaps the case interior is an icebox and any warmth welcome (I have lived there and it is MOST welcome). Not here. Will note that the video card does a nice job pushing hot exhaust out the back of the case.

My solution. where appropriate close off most..all?.. of those vent holes. Keep safety in mind on your method of closing off those holes. The idea is to direct cool air from the bottom front and exit as warm (hot) air to the top rear. Blow through a screen is not unlike forcing air into a modern case, you get the idea. The air is lacking in direction. Have to create a directed airflow. Now take into consideration ambient temperatures...not mentioned nearly enough and decide whether an inflow or outflow of the push-pull of the H80 is going to make the case interior cool or toasty. My rig seems to prefer cool, as cool as I can get it given my budget. Yes I'd love a compressor to make the whole thing into an icebox. Not this fiscal year.

Last point. internal case pressure. My vote is negative pressure. get the biggest possible fans to suck every bit of air out of the top and back of the case. The fans that push air in are placed, within some reason, to make sure cooler outside air hits the important equipment like SSDs and HDDs, memory and video cards.

Have I harped on this enough? AIRFLOW combined with AMBIENT TEMPERATURE combined with efficient adequate CPU/Video /memory cooling can make for a happy computer. This is true in the tropics and frozen tundra. Warm air can keep icicles from forming on the capacitors after all. The H80 is a massive heat source. Do you need to add that heat source to ambient room temps to insert into the case? Or do your best to get rid of it. For me, good air flow and decide on what the interior components of your case can handle. Again IMO with the advent of SSDs and using a video card designed to exhaust heated air to outside of the case, the air in the case shouldn't get that hot as to be a negative. The H80 can make a big difference. For me, suck out, don't blow in.
Edited by OldGeek - 3/11/13 at 3:31pm
post #2 of 2
Haha! I like the way you talk, but I really wouldn't know what would be best in your situation. I say give it a try, check the temps, rearrange, and check the temps again. If it was cooler on your parts the way you suggested, then that's clearly the best setup. biggrin.gif
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