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Question/Opinion: Which case provides the best air cooling?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
This may be a commonly asked question, but I have yet to see a sticky of a thread. Which case(s) provide the most CFM or the best airflow, I have looked into the antec 900, the Coolermaster 690, and more. In your opinion/knowledge what case provides the best air cooling stock, and th best possibilities for modded air cooling?

EDIT: I am currently looking for cases that support ATX sized motherboards.

Thank you Overclockers for your time.
Edited by Kp_Archangel - 7/5/08 at 3:40pm
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post #2 of 18
Not really sure, but a standard ATX case with the fans properly arrayed would be best I think. That's what I have, with Slotted 5.25" bay covers on my empty bays to install another fan there.
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post #3 of 18
Assuming a modest budget (no Stacker 832 or anything), there are three cases that bear consideration. The Antec Nine Hundred, Cooler Master RC690, and the NZXT Tempest.

Out of the box, I'd give the nod to the Tempest in terms of air cooling. It has all its fan slots filled (to the best of my knowledge), and while all the fans might not be of the highest caliber, you don't have to spend any extra money to really maximize the cooling the case can provide. Cable routing options and layout are decent, build quality is probably lowest out of the three. I believe the case is also ready for a 240mm radiator with a minimum of fuss, if you're into water-cooling.

The Antec Nine Hundred is a case I have a lot of problems with. It's well-built, but it's cramped, cable routing is a nightmare, and while the airflow is decent, it's not quite maxed out (there is room for a side fan), and the 200mm fan is going to be a pain in the ass to change if it fails. You can pretty much forget water-cooling in this case.

The RC690 is probably the worst case out of the box, but it has the potential to be the best with a clever fan setup. The case only comes with three fans, which is less than half what it supports, so if you want to really maximize this case you'll be spending close to as much as you would on the Tempest or Nine Hundred (if not more). Cable routing options are excellent, and the build quality is pretty good for a case of its price. Mounting a radiator is hit-or-miss in this case, I've heard of some people squeezing it in under the top panel, but it definitely won't fit inside the case proper without some serious modding.
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post #4 of 18
Imho, I would avoid any cases that have 80 or 90mm fan options.

That is not to snuff at those cases as there are some fine specimens, but 120mm fans have a superior cfm/dba ratio.

Some things to look for:
  • 120mm intake upfront and at the bottom of the case
  • Enough bays to include a second 120mm intake (Scythe Kama Bay [w/ fan upgrade])
  • 120mm exhaust
  • 120mm blowhole

Unidirectional airflow generally performs the best without excessive turbulence, but some peeps find that side intakes help with particularly warm-running systems.

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post #5 of 18
Try looking at something from mountain mods, I have this case right here and I have a dual core operton overclocked and i have this machine on about 16 hours a day and i never have any overheating issues. http://www.mountainmods.com/u2ufo-mi...-top-p-77.html
Edited by oneacn - 7/6/08 at 7:42am
post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Syrillian View Post
Unidirectional airflow generally performs the best without excessive turbulence, but some peeps find that side intakes help with particularly warm-running systems.

Side intakes can be a positive boon for people that prefer downdraft-style coolers. Nothing like getting fresh air from directly outside your case to cool your CPU, northbridge, MOSFETs, and such. I haven't fully tested it yet, but I've also heard that using a side panel as an exhaust next to a graphics card can sometimes offer better GPU cooling than an intake, since you're pulling hot air away from the card. I'll have to test that theory once I get a new GPU fan.
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post #7 of 18
I would have to say the CM Cosmos S, along with the Antec 900/1200 and Stacker 830/832. Cosmos S is the first I would go too, followed by the Antec's if you have a smaller budget, and the 832 for a medium budget, but is is more optimized for a heatsink that blows onto the motherboard.
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post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayvinAzn View Post
Side intakes can be a positive boon for people that prefer downdraft-style coolers. Nothing like getting fresh air from directly outside your case to cool your CPU, northbridge, MOSFETs, and such. I haven't fully tested it yet, but I've also heard that using a side panel as an exhaust next to a graphics card can sometimes offer better GPU cooling than an intake, since you're pulling hot air away from the card. I'll have to test that theory once I get a new GPU fan.
Well said.

I was careful to insert, "generally" as there are exceptions to virtually any rule.

The scenario that you present is indeed one such instance.

As for the side exhaust: Yes, Imho you are correct. I had a P180 (all-air-cooled) that had a GPU heat-issue. Because I was unwilling to cut on the side of the case, I installed a PCI slot exhaust that served a similar function as you stated, and it did help.

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post #9 of 18
of the 2 you mention i would say the 900 is better at stock but it is more limited than the 690. mod it to take another fan in the front and along with those in the bottom and side for in and the roof and rear for out you will be hard pushed to get a better case for airflow.
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post #10 of 18
You might want to take a look at the case I'm using.http://www.thermaltakeusa.com/Products.aspx?C=1274 a little pricey and quite large but cools very well and alot of potential for modding or watercooling.
Edited by toadman - 7/6/08 at 12:29pm
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