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Is This A Good Airflow Setup?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I'm just trying to find out if I could do this better.

My case is a Cooler Master Stacker 830 SE.



Here's how my airflow is setup.

There's two fans at the lower/mid front as the intake. Air passes over four hard drives before getting to the interior. It's an old photo so excuse the slight dust, but it's set up the same now.



Here's the overall interior for more visual reference (sorry for blurry/sharpened picture).



The CPU blows towards the back which also has a rear case fan exhausting. The PSU has a rear 80mm fan, not a bottom mounted 120mm fan, also exhausting. There's also a top mounted fan exhausting. The GPU exhausts some air out of the case, but not all of it.

In addition to what's not seen in the picture, there's a side door that can house four fans, 120mm or 140mm. I have three 120mm fans on it (the spot above the CPU fan is not populated and it won't fit with my CPU cooler).

I hope I explained that well and you have an idea of my cooling.

My question is, is this good? Here's my "typical-ish" idle temperatures.



That's a good picture as it's a middle range. It can idle cooler and sometimes idles slightly warmer (if the heater's on/the window isn't cracked).

The only one to ignore is the GPU. That was my old GeForce 8800GT. My new GeForce GTX 560 Ti idles lower, but tops out higher than my GeForce 8800GT did. So, my thoughts are that the card itself is responsible, but with everyone else getting phenomenal temperatures on these video cards, and summer coming, it makes me ask, is there a big error in my cooling somewhere?

For final reference, stability is good. The CPU loads probably ~55C-60C, and the Northbridge can get almost as warm at load. The hard drives don't budge much, but the GPU can get into the mid 80C range playing Crysis. I don't ever really notice a loudness change, so I don't think any fans ever noticeably spin up (save the GPU one, I think that ones does). I don't really have any "concerns", per se, with these temperatures. I'm just wanting to gather opinions/feedback.

Also, the PC was just detail cleaned.

Don't fix what isn't broken, or can I improve upon what works?
Edited by Princess Garnet - 4/1/11 at 11:34pm
post #2 of 18
fans pushing warm air out the back correct?

If so I think your good to go!
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i5 GTX 690
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post #3 of 18
looks fine, nice cable management.
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post #4 of 18
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post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
So if temperatures are alright, ignore the aspect that it's five intake versus only two exhaust (three and a half if you count the PSU and part of the GPU exhausting)?

I was wondering if there was a inefficiency in airflow itself anywhere, since I'm not a scientist in this regard.
post #6 of 18
That is really nice cable management and makes me want to stop being lazy and do my best to hide all of my "mess".
post #7 of 18
Ah, so you're looking for pressure differentials. That looks to me (although my eyes could be playing tricks on me) to be a mesh siding on the case. Pressure differential-fed backflow in aerodynamic flows require just that - pressure differentials. Airflow won't stagnate if it doesn't have to, i.e., your mesh siding absolves you from having unusual pressure gradients in your case.

In an all-solid case, you're right. Input cfm would ideally need to be output cfm.
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post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
Yes, it's mesh. So don't worry about pressure and focus on feeding cool air where it needs to to keep things cool? It seems that's how the case was designed, but I just realized "2 vs 5" and was wondering if it had any adverse effects, such as my GPU temperature skyrocketing on load but being fine at idle.
post #9 of 18
Everything in aerodynamics is pressure-fed. And I mean everything. People seem to have this kneejerk reaction to think "hot air rises" - which isn't actually the case, almost ever. That's assuming zero velocity - as well as well-defined temperature differentials in the area being described.

While blowing hot air on an object is obviously a concern, it is easier to see the problem of the situation by doing a control volume analysis - "black box" engineering. Air in the box versus air out. That's what we're really going for. The air outside is the cold, the air inside is the hot.

But, just my

Edit: aerospace engineer by day
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post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Sorry for the ignorance, but you lost me a bit.

Are you saying not to put much stock into the aspect of intake vs exhaust, that is "pressure", at least in a case like mine, and just worry about there being overall flowing of the air (so CFM/amount of air flow per given time has some priority then?)?

You're also saying the whole "hot air rises" rule has next to place being considered? How come cases are arranged a bit around that with front (usually lower) intake and rear (usually higher) exhaust?
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