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Re-doing Corsair Air 540 cooling

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hi! biggrin.gif I'm re-doing my case's cooling: looking for any feedback you all have.

Old setup:



Pretty self-explanatory. Two AF140's for intake (with dust filter); not great pressure, but they work. Noctua NH-U14S with stock fan (AF15). One AF140 for exhaust. In general, the case can fit 120/140mm single rear, 2 120/140mm top, and 3 120 or 2 140mm front.

New setup:



The main change is the GPU AIO, an Arctic Cooling Freezer 120. It's massive: it actually is 99mm thick (49mm rad + 25 mm push + 25mm pull). I will have to remove one of the fans, just so it can fit. See this image here.

The changes, if you can't understand the picture:
  • Move the Noctua fan to the left side, to prevent stealing all airflow from the AIO rad and more clearance for the rad
  • Mount the AIO, exhausting out, at the top right.
  • Move the two AF140 intakes as VRM/VRAM airflow for the GPU, mounted in the PCIe slot

What I want help with:
  • Is that the best place for the AIO cooler? I definitely want it to exhaust out the case, right? If I put it in the front, either I exhaust hot air into the case or I try to fight a dust filter for an exhaust out of the case.
  • Should I put anything in that top-left slot, left of the AIO rad? Exhaust would be the only good option, right, to avoid an intake/exhaust circle with the AIO fan?
  • What do I do with intakes?! My current idea: plop the extra F12 in the bottom spot 120mm spot and use the top 140mm slot as an intake. But which 140mm fan?
  • Is it OK to put the rad and CPU cooler so close like that? Will they be fighting for airflow too much?

Is that enough intake? A single 120mm and a single 140mm? Should I just buckle down and get 3 x 120mm? I just had those and I didn't like it--I'm trying to go minimal and quiet here. But, if that's the only reasonable option... frown.gif And I already have an extra AC F12: that's a good static pressure fan, right, for going through a filter? What suggestions do you all have 140mm fans? I need the strongest, baddest 140mm that is quiet. Should I investigate 140x140x38 fans? I need something to feed air into that Noctua NH-U14S and that 49mm rad, right? I mean, they have fans already, but maybe they need more, right?
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post #2 of 18

Any cooler you have needs to get the coolest air possible (doyll harps on this a lot, and he is right). That means top intake.

 

To exhaust your case, remove the fan "grill." You might leave in the steel that surrounds the screw holes. That way you can choose between a quiet and effective exhaust fan vs no exhaust fan, which is quieter.

 

Leave your front fans as-is. They're fine.

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post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ehume View Post

Any cooler you have needs to get the coolest air possible (doyll harps on this a lot, and he is right). That means top intake.

To exhaust your case, remove the fan "grill." You might leave in the steel that surrounds the screw holes. That way you can choose between a quiet and effective exhaust fan vs no exhaust fan, which is quieter.

Leave your front fans as-is. They're fine.

OK, so reverse the radiator fan? But, then hot air gets put into the case and right into the CPU cooler: isn't that worse?

Radiator fan top intake:
Graphics: cool outside air
CPU: hot GPU radiator exhaust

Radiator fan top exhaust:
Graphics: lukewarm case air
CPU fan: lukewarm case air

Hmm...good point. From doyll's write-up, even this grill restricts airflow by 16%. I'm all for getting rid of fans, haha: so, then, the Noctua AF15 just exhausts straight out the case. I'm down for that. And I just saw the link in your signature: nice.

--

About the intakes:

True. They're OK, but since they aren't great at pressure, I had debated replacing them with something stronger. Not needed, you're thinking?
Edited by ikjadoon - 7/4/16 at 1:27pm
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post #4 of 18

Who cares if you blow hot air into the case? The AIO is handling the CPU cooling. If you back exit GPU's, put a partition in so that the GPU's input air from the front. GTG.

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post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ehume View Post

Who cares if you blow hot air into the case? The AIO is handling the CPU cooling. If you back exit GPU's, put a partition in so that the GPU's input air from the front. GTG.

Huh? I think maybe the picture isn't super-clear: the Noctua NH-U14S is handling CPU (same as always). The AIO is handling the GPU cooling; the purple lines start from the GPU. The Mod. That's what I'm trying to balance: CPU vs GPU cooling.

Because...unless I'm crazy: the NH-U14S either gets relatively cool air from the front ("Any cooler you have needs to get the coolest air possible.") or the NH-U14S gets hot GPU exhaust.

Yeah, but I think the VRAM/VRMs need a fan that's pretty close. A duct could work, sure, but I think it'll be less efficient than at least one fan in a PCIe slot blowing right onto the card.
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post #6 of 18
Will the CLC fit in the rear to exhaust out?
 
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post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radnad View Post

Will the CLC fit in the rear to exhaust out?

With a single fan, yup.

But, then the CPU fan is blowing hot air right into the GPU radiator...that doesn't sound healthy?

EDIT: Or maybe it's OK? I was under the impression that all hot air shouldn't be recirculated around the case and not into other parts' fins/heatsinks. Maybe I'm wrong here, as ehume suggested a similar idea.
Edited by ikjadoon - 7/4/16 at 1:42pm
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post #8 of 18

I'm back.

 

If you have in-case GPU exhaust, then no partition, just intake air from the front, and either an exhaust window or fan to pull air out of the case.

 

That rear grill tends to reflect exhaust. Once to take the fan away you can feel you heatsink fan not blowing air past it. When you cut the grill, you can cover the edges with report over spines so you don't cut yourself.

 

As for 120mm fans, I know a lot more about 140mm fans. I'd say use the ones that come with your AIO. The next best are Gentle Typhoons and Noctua NF-F12's. But there are a number of fans I know nothing about.

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post #9 of 18

So much for cross-posting. Yes. With the AIO handling the GPU, upgoing fans are best.

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post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ehume View Post

So much for cross-posting. Yes. With the AIO handling the GPU, upgoing fans are best.

OK, right. When I built this rig, I never thought about water-cooling, so I'm in some awkward situations, haha.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ehume View Post

I'm back.

If you have in-case GPU exhaust, then no partition, just intake air from the front, and either an exhaust window or fan to pull air out of the case.

That rear grill tends to reflect exhaust. Once to take the fan away you can feel you heatsink fan not blowing air past it. When you cut the grill, you can cover the edges with report over spines so you don't cut yourself.

As for 120mm fans, I know a lot more about 140mm fans. I'd say use the ones that come with your AIO. The next best are Gentle Typhoons and Noctua NF-F12's. But there are a number of fans I know nothing about.

Hey.

Thanks again for the help.

Oh, so mount the radiator in the front (though manage dust or deal with the lower pressure with the filter), use a partition to reroute the hot air around the VRM/VRAM, and maybe use a rear fan "against" the PCIe slot covers (like the top exhaust fan, just lower). OK, yeah: that would keep the directionality of "front to back".

Right? After I saw your thread, it makes a ton of sense. Luckily, this grill is the screw-on kind so easy to remove. I'm not sure why I had it in the first place.

Sure, sure. Well, haha, I'm down for 140s, too. I like quiet: very quiet. The AF140s run at 600RPM idle and 800RPM under load. So, I'd been looking at the Noctua P14S 900RPM one and maybe tune it down with PWM.
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Overclock.net › Forums › Cooling › Air Cooling › Re-doing Corsair Air 540 cooling