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Tower cooler myth or not? Which is the ''best''?

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
Hello OCN!
I've been out of the air-cooling scene for a while (lol) and I need some help. I am writing this quite extensively because I want extensive answers. I've provided some basic info about my plans and numbered each of my questions to make it easier to answer.
The Plan
I'm going to buy a case and a cooling configuration for it. But this time I'm going all air-cooled and for now the Phanteks Enthoo Pro seems like the case I'm going to go with.
I will cram these components in the case:
-5960x
-Asus x99a-II
-4/8x8/4 RAM kit, Corsair vengeance (low profile).
-Zotac AMP! extreme 1080 or Gainward Pheonix 1080. Haven't decided on which one but these are the best 1080 that I've seen (performance and dB).
(Other things I already own)
-4 noctua industrial fans (non pwm)
-1 Phanteks fan hub

The Myth
Big-multiple-fan CPU tower coolers are unnecessary. The ones like DH-15 or Phanteks PH-TC14PE because the fans in the middle of the heatsink blow hotter air through the other heatsinks and therefore the performance is only marginal.
Question 1:
So is this true? Would it matter much if I were to go with a U14s or a dh-15? A bigger heatsink makes more sense but just adding more fans will only increase dB levels. Am I wrong for believing this ''myth''.

The cooling config

This is the case in question and how it looks. In the front we can see a big 200mm fan and in the rear a 140mm fan (both are included with the case). We can also add up to either 3 120mm, 3 140mm or 1 200mm fan(s) in the top. In the bottom of the case we can add either 2 120mm fans or 1 140mm fan. And now you thought it was over and done but we can even add more fans! You can add 2 120mm fans at the hdd cage.

(Worth mentioning)
The case supports up to 193mm tall CPU coolers!

Question 2:
So what should I do? The obvious would be to place 2 of my 120mm fans up top and 2 at the bottom. Top exhausting air and bottom intake. This would in theory create positive airflow postive:200+120*2=440mm Negative: 140+120*2=380mm

Question 3:
Are the phantek's fans included with the case good or should I replace them? As for the 200mm fan some people seemed to recommend this one over at the LTT forum. And I suppose I could replace the rear 140mm fan with a nf-a15.

Question 4:
Then considering question 1 which tower should I go with? Recommend me some! I prefer silence and performance! (Hello captain obvious)

Question 5:
What thermal-paste is the best or the most value? I see many recommending noctua's or Arctic silver 5.

Question 6:
Although i already have a phanteks fan hub but it's pretty basic. Alternatives would be Corsair's Commander mini, Nzxt Grid+ v2 or recommend me something else. I also like 5.25 bay stuff:)

Question 7:
As I've read through @doyll's tips to better air cool I saw that he did mentioned ducting. The idea to lead the air from like a big Tower air cooler and then build an air duct (Like a funnel) from the end of the Cpu heatsink to the rear fan. But why? So the hot air will escape directly out of the case instead of it just a percentage of it doing so.
Is it worth it? Have you measured any overall temp drops in your case?

That's all... for now. I would be extremely happy if you could help and answer any of the questions or maybe even everyone of them! I hope it wasn't too unreadable; English isn't my first language exactly.
Have a good one!
post #2 of 41
The Myth:Q1:
Yes this "Myth" (Not sure where you even heard it) is wrong. The warmer air coming trough the first tower of a dual tower heatsink still has plenty of a temperature delta to still carry heat out of the second tower.

Q2:
Stick with Phanteks 140mm fans, they're good. 2x in the front, 1x in the bottom, keep the one in the back and 2x in the top.

Q3:
As I said, the inculded 140mm fans are good. The 200mm fan, like all others is rather poor, get rid of it.

Q4:
Cryorig R1 or Noctua NH-D15(although the D15 looks rather ugly in a windowed case.)

Q5:
The noctua stuff is good, and i still like my Artic MX-4 which has always served me well.

Q6:
As far as fan controllers go, aside from the ones you mentioned, which are decent. The Aquaero 6 is about as good as it gets but with a price to match.

Q7:
Shouldn't be necessary if your airflow is good.
Edited by Gilles3000 - 9/5/16 at 6:42am
post #3 of 41
Q1:
  • It's just a myth. If the hypothesis was true, only the first row of heatpipes in any cooler would be supplying the cooling.
  • Single or double fan makes little difference in noise levels. With good fans it makes little difference in cooler's cooling.


Q2:
  • Airlfow from front to back. Using top vents in middle or toward front of case pull air up, meaning GPU heated exhaust is moved up around CPU cooler making it warmer and meaning it does not cool CPU as well. Case need more intake airflow potential than exhaust airflow potential. This way the filtered intakes supply a little more air then exhaust fans are taking out and the slight difference means a little air flows / leaks out vent without fans and holes in case .. rather than unfiltered air leaking in these holes bringing dust into case..
  • Also we want the airflow to be as smooth as possible. Fans should flow air in only one direction as much as possible to avoid turbulence.
  • 2x front and 2x bottom intakes speed controlled in sync wiht CPU and GPU cooler fans should work very well.


Q3:
PH-F140SP are good, but PH-F200SP is not. Replace it with 2x PH-F140SP fans.


Q4:
NH-D15S, PH-TC14PE, Le Grand Macho, Dark Rock Pro 3, and a few others all have about the same cooling ability. Their fans & fan speed combined with case airflow is the difference. The True Spirit 140 Power and True Spirit 140 rev. A and Macho 140mm fan models are also very good. True Spirit 140 Power is actually a couple degrees better than NH-D14 with same fan /fans. Independent testing of NH-D15 against NH-D14 with same fans showed D14 at least as good and maybe 1c better, Read #5 in'Ways to Better Cooling'.


Q5:
What thermalpaste is used make little difference. Top 3 are liquid metal and 1-3c better, but very hard to apply and get good seat .. meaning often do not perform as well as they should. Next 20-30 TIMS are all within 2-3c of each other. Supplying components with cool air make way more difference than which TIM is used. Read #10 & #13 in 'Ways to Better Cooling'.


Q6:
Use what you have. The Phanteks PWM controlled hub is fine .. or use motherboard fan headers and fan software. Most good motherboards have plenty of headers and decent fan control software.


Q7
The key is to supply a smooth flow of cool air to components with none of their heated exhaust being allowed to mix into this cool airflow. To do this sometimes requires dividers between component (GPU) heated exhaust and cool intake. This can be a divider between GPU and CPU from about 30mm in front of front of GPU to keep heated GPU exhaust separated from cool CPU intake airflow; a cooll air intake duct from front intake to CPU cooler; CPU exhaust duct; GPU cool air intake duct, etc. #5 in 'Ways to Better Cooling' gives basics of case airflow, Other post give other info. Much info is not there. tongue.gif Yes, #2 post is what I use to monitor case airflow temps. Monitoring case airflow temps has to be done to know what the air temp of air going into components is. If we didn't monitor them we would never know how warm the are. buttkick.gifbiggrin.gif
post #4 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilles3000 View Post

The Myth:Q1:
Yes this "Myth" (Not sure where you even heard it) is wrong. The warmer air coming trough the first tower of a dual tower heatsink still has plenty of a temperature delta to still carry heat out of the second tower.
a2:
Stick with Phanteks 140mm fans, they're good. 2x in the front, 1x in the bottom, keep the one in the back and 2x in the top.
a3:
As I said, the inculded 140mm fans are good. The 200mm fan, like all others is rather poor, get rid of it.
a4:
Cryorig R1 or Noctua NH-D15(although the D15 looks rather ugly in a windowed case.)
a5:
The noctua stuff is good, and i still like my Artic MX-4 which has always served me well.
a6:
As far as fan controllers go, aside from the ones you mentioned, which are decent. The Aquaero 6 is about as good as it gets but with a price to match.
a7:
Shouldn't be necessary if your airflow is good.
Sorry for being a pain in the butt but I'll follow up with some more questions!

Reasoning behind myth. A site called ''Techbuyersguru'' was the one with the statement and I also looked on some benchmarks such as this one showed there really aren't that big of a temperature difference but I might be totally out in the dark about this.

a3; Really? Isn't a bigger fan spinning at lower rpm better? Okay then, I guess I will purchase 2 additional 140mm noctuas for the front.
a4: OK I will go with Cryorig R1 ultimate (if universal isn't better). Or Thermalright's LE grand macho RT looks nice but it only has 1 fan would adding a second noctua nf-a15 make a considerable difference? And how would you even mount it?eh-smiley.gif
a5: I've also read on some different IHS and Arctic silver 5 will be my choice.
a6:Still not sure which fan controller, I will decide later. However I will at least have 8! chassi fans and maybe even then if I had hdd fans(prob won't) and not many fan hub can support that. Or I might just stick with phanteks hub
a7:OK.biggrin.gif

So to summarize 5 noctua nf-a14 140mm fans + Phantek's rear fan. CPU cooler either Cryorig r1 Ultimate, Le Grand Macho RT (+an extra a15 fan) or the phanteks one(Won't bother writing it's overcomplicated name).

Thanks for all the help guys. I will ask again if anything comes up! and I will also be sure to read the rest of your guide @doyll, it's extremely helpfull. You truly are an air cooling guru!thumb.gif
Cheers,
post #5 of 41
First, nice case choice. The Pro has very good airflow (once you replace the 200mm with a pair of F140SP as @doyll mentioned), great build quality and very flexible design. As for the myths.....

The first myth is that the Noctua iPPC fans don't have incredibly irritating motor noise, and that they aren't substantially louder than standard Noctuas. If you don't already own these, look elsewhere. There are far better fans out there, especially with the cost of the iPPC.

The second is that AS5 is still a relevant TIM. That hasn't been the case since.....I don't know.....too long ago to remember. I actually find it hard to believe that they still make the stuff. Horrid to work with, poor performance compared to today's TIMs, needs curing time and has a bad habit of drying out. Get yourself some GC Extreme, NT-H1 or MX-4, get better performance and avoid the other aforementioned issues.

As far as what tower, I am with @Gilles3000 on the D15 in a windows case. The R1 and TC14PE are going to give you the same performance with just a touch more noise (that you would never hear through those iPPC fans, anyway tongue.gif ) and would look a whole lot better doing it. The Dark Rock Pro 3 is an incredible looking cooler that is also the quietest of those mentioned, but it also has issues with X99 CPUs when OC's (there is that other myth about the X99 platform getting you any gains over Z170 except for a larger cash outlay....X99 is made for workstations, CAD, rendering, etc, outside of that Z170 systems are every bit as fast).

Q6 - The Commander Mini is a really cool piece. It's unfortunate that it relies on Corsair Link to operate, and that functioning correctly is always a challenge. The Grid+ V2 works a bit better, but still has that issue of not allowing fan speeds below 40%. When used correctly, Phanteks hubs with ASUS FanXpert work very, very well. While you say it is basic, 2 or 9 of them paired with FanXpert aloows incredible possibilities.

And, yeah....I'm not as delicate or PC as @doyll or @Gilles3000 these days.
post #6 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by ciarlatano View Post

And, yeah....I'm not as delicate or PC as @doyll or @Gilles3000 these days.
Oh yes you are! poke.gif
'PC' stands for Personal Computer .. and that's what you use. tongue.gif
post #7 of 41
Thread Starter 
So many Pros responding. A big thank you to everyone.biggrin.gif
post #8 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee0 View Post

Sorry for being a pain in the butt but I'll follow up with some more questions!

Reasoning behind myth. A site called ''Techbuyersguru'' was the one with the statement and I also looked on some benchmarks such as this one showed there really aren't that big of a temperature difference but I might be totally out in the dark about this.

at3; Really? Isn't a bigger fan spinning at lower rpm better? Okay then, I guess I will purchase 2 additional 140mm noctuas for the front.
a4: OK I will go with Cryorig R1 ultimate (if universal isn't better). Or Thermalright's LE grand macho RT looks nice but it only has 1 fan would adding a second noctua nf-a15 make a considerable difference? And how would you even mount it?eh-smiley.gif
a5: I've also read on some different IHS and Arctic silver 5 will be my choice.
a6:Still not sure which fan controller, I will decide later. However I will at least have 8! chassi fans and maybe even then if I had hdd fans(prob won't) and not many fan hub can support that. Or I might just stick with phanteks hub
a7:OK.biggrin.gif

So to summarize 5 noctua nf-a14 140mm fans + Phantek's rear fan. CPU cooler either Cryorig r1 Ultimate, Le Grand Macho RT (+an extra a15 fan) or the phanteks one(Won't bother writing it's overcomplicated name).

Thanks for all the help guys. I will ask again if anything comes up! and I will also be sure to read the rest of your guide @doyll, it's extremely helpfull. You truly are an air cooling guru!thumb.gif
Cheers,

First of all, you seem to have a bit of an obsession with Noctua fans, they're not as magical as some people would make them out to be. They're just good high end fans, but these days, there's a lot of choice in that segment, and Noctua hasn't been very competitive in terms of pricing and looks.
The PH-F140SP is fine as a case fan, and much more affordable than any Noctua alternative.

a to a3: Not necessarily. As far as consumer grade fans go, there aren't any good 200mm ones.
a to a4: Ultimate or universal depends on your motherboard and ram, Cryorig has the specs and technical drawing to base your selection on on their website. You can't fit a second fan on the Grand Macho RT and the one thats on it is just as good if not better than the A15.
a to a5: As @ciarlatano mentioned, AS5 isn't a great TIM, it used to be good back in the day but isn't relevant anymore.
Edited by Gilles3000 - 9/5/16 at 8:52am
post #9 of 41
Thread Starter 
Sooooo Fans
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilles3000 View Post

First of all, you seem to have a bit of an obsession with Noctua fans, they're not as magical as some people would make them out to be. They're just good high end fans, but these days, there's a lot of choice in that segment, and Noctua hasn't been very competitive in terms of pricing and looks.
The PH-F140SP is fine as a case fan, and much more affordable than any Noctua alternative..
Well there one simple reason for that. From all the old tests reviews I've read noctua always came out on top from the performance/ silence raito (not cost though and certainly not aesthetically ). But as you seem to be saying that i'ts not the case anymore. But are really those Phanteks case fans better? They are only ~6 dollars cheaper where I live. Price is not really of the essence when it's only regarding 5 fans. What other good fan choices are there? be quiet! silentwings 2 pwm? Those are ~5 dollars more expensive than the noctuas. My whole plan is to run many fans (with positive airflow) on low rpm or rather at a low dB level. I started reading the thread ''What is the best 140mm fan'' but then got even more confused.upsidedwnsmiley.gif But what do I know (not a lot actually tongue.gif )
Cheers,

(@ciarlatanoYou also seemed concerned about this)
Edited by Lee0 - 9/5/16 at 9:50am
post #10 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilles3000 View Post

First of all, you seem to have a bit of an obsession with Noctua fans, they're not as magical as some people would make them out to be. They're just good high end fans, but these days, there's a lot of choice in that segment, and Noctua hasn't been very competitive in terms of pricing and looks.
The PH-F140SP is fine as a case fan, and much more affordable than any Noctua alternative.

a to a3: Not necessarily. As far as consumer grade fans go, there aren't any good 200mm ones.
a to a4: Ultimate or universal depends on your motherboard and ram, Cryorig has the specs and technical drawing to base your selection on on their website. You can't fit a second fan on the Grand Macho RT and the one thats on it is just as good if not better than the A15.
a to a5: As @ciarlatano mentioned, AS5 isn't a great TIM, it used to be good back in the day but isn't relevant anymore.

Glad you said it....but, if you are going to get on a hype train, at least Noctua is a lot better than Corsair.

And the AS5 really needs to go. It's like going out and buying a Motorola flip phone.
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