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Txmstrjoe's Push-Pull Experiments with a Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
For the past couple of weeks, I've been conducting some cooling experiments, just to see if some ideas work better than others.

One of these ideas is using two 120mm x 25mm fans on a Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme in a push-pull arrangement.

I experimented with various pairs of fans with varying CFM ratings. Moreover, I also experimented with differing fan speeds, with one fan on constant speed (basically full speed, plugged into a motherboard fan header) and its partner hooked up to a fan controller, to both fans in the pair controlled by the fan controller on one channel (spin-ups and spin-downs synchronized).

My informal testing revealed that no matter which fans were paired, and no matter how much CFMs were moving through the fins, the temperature readings were more dependent on the ambient temperatures than anything else. The hotter the ambients were, the higher the core temperatures.

There was one obvious effect and advantage to a push-pull setup, though: Cool downs were substantially accelerated. Within three seconds of terminating a full-load stress test program, the temperature readings settled down onto "idle" conditions.

Here are the various fans and configurations tested:
Silverstone FM121 120mm x 25mm (paired) - By far, the noisiest pairing
Thermaltake Blue LED A2018 120mm x 25mm (paired) - Very effective
Thermaltake Blue LED A2018 120mm x 25mm (push) + Silenx Ixtrema 120mm x 38mm (pull) - Noisy because the Thermaltake at full-tilt is quite loud
Silenx Ixtrema 120mm x 38mm (push) + Thermaltake Blue LED A2018 120mm x 25mm (pull) - Not very effective in terms of temperatures
Thermaltake A2029 120mm x 25mm (paired) - A little whiny, but is the most effective by a shade over its Blue LED sisters

I've included some pictures, which show how to transform a single-fan Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme to accept two fans: Zip-ties!

Hope someone finds this useful.


    
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post #2 of 18
Nice little experiment, was thinking about doing it myself.
Question, Say I don't have 2 identical fans for the set up, where should the higher CFM fan go, push side or pull side?

Thanks
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post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by grunion View Post
Nice little experiment, was thinking about doing it myself.
Question, Say I don't have 2 identical fans for the set up, where should the higher CFM fan go, push side or pull side?

Thanks
Per my experiment, I've found that you'd get better results with the more powerful fan doing the pushing. The SilenX fan was doing the pulling at the time, and it was also the one hooked up to the fan controller; the Thermaltake A2018 was on full power whilst hooked up to a fan header on my board.

I don't quite know if these results would be consistent if the CFM ratings of the fans were closer to each other than these two fans' were. That is, I'm not sure how the results would be influenced if, say, the Silverstone FN121 was the push fan, and the Thermaltake A2029 was on pull. Cool down was slowest, though, when the SilenX was on push duty, even when its pulling counterpart was on full power.

Hope this helps!
    
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post #4 of 18
Do you have any temperature data?
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post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post
Do you have any temperature data?
I did collect data, but my findings were that the results were really not that significantly different compared to single-fan configurations; in other words, push-pull did not cool any better than single-fan push setups. Temperatures were more dependent on ambient temperatures.

Cool-downs were accelerated, though, with push-pull. The best-case scenario (with the paired A2029s) beat a single-fan (SilenX 120mm x 38mm) push by almost four seconds.
    
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post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by txtmstrjoe View Post
I did collect data, but my findings were that the results were really not that significantly different compared to single-fan configurations; in other words, push-pull did not cool any better than single-fan push setups. Temperatures were more dependent on ambient temperatures.

Cool-downs were accelerated, though, with push-pull. The best-case scenario (with the paired A2029s) beat a single-fan (SilenX 120mm x 38mm) push by almost four seconds.

Temperature is always dependent on ambient (when using passive cooling).

The issue then is that the HSF is not efficent enough. I posted a push-pull experiment a few weeks ago using a quad 120mm heatercore. Temperatures varied by 1-3C.
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post #7 of 18
How about dedicating the pull side directly ducted to the case exhaust fan. A couple cut up and glued 2 liter pop bottles work wonders
    
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post #8 of 18
Just wanted to do it myself, now I don't have to Good work. +rep
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post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post
Temperature is always dependent on ambient (when using passive cooling).

The issue then is that the HSF is not efficent enough. I posted a push-pull experiment a few weeks ago using a quad 120mm heatercore. Temperatures varied by 1-3C.
Duckie, I can't seem to find your push-pull thread. Mind if you post a link to it?

Thanks!
    
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post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by txtmstrjoe View Post
Duckie, I can't seem to find your push-pull thread. Mind if you post a link to it?

Thanks!
Just found it: http://www.overclock.net/water-cooli...ghlight=random

It was 1C difference with push-pull. A 6C delta....
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