Originally Posted by Shobai
If you're willing to hear a little crazy talk, I've had a few thoughts.
Firstly, I think you're on the right track with more intake fans than exhaust, considering the size of area above the IO ports - you're not going to fit a reasonable fan in there nicely. I think there are a few options, though, once you cut away as much metal as you reasonably can from that area:
Rely on the pressure from the intake fans to move air out there, as there will be little resistance in that path.
Or, depending on how good your metal work skills are (or how 'ghetto' you're prepared to have the case looking) create a simple duct from the opening out to an externally mounted 120mm fan.
I'd probably go the 'duct' route, if I was in your position, but I enjoy making cardboard contraptions
Secondly, you've shown a single 120mm fan on the front panel, but is there any particular reason you couldn't use two? How many drives are you planning to mount in the case? If you're planning a few, would you consider relocating their cage to, for example, the bottom of the case? This would allow a second 120mm fan on the front panel and improve your intake situation.
Finally, this case is absolutely /begging/ for a PSU chamber! You're replacing the PSU, which probably means you'll end up with one with a large fan in the bottom; this is fine. Mount it upside down in the PSU area [bear with me] and create a top chamber in your case by blocking off any openings into the top area. The intake for the PSU will now be through the front panel 5 1/4" bays, which you could either leave open or block with something that will allow the PSU to breathe. Obviously, you'll still need to get power cables into the lower chamber. The benefit of doing this is that your PSU will stay cooler, by only getting near ambient temp air, which helps it stay quieter. It can also mean that the PSU stays in the more efficient regions of its power curve.
So, to recap, try for 2 intake fans on the front panel. Consider separating the PSU chamber from everything else - if you're keen, consider how you could install all your drives up there, out of sight and cooled by roughly ambient air. Finally, rely on the intake fans to generate front to back airflow, and open up the back of the case as much as possible. If you go for 2 intake fanse, you could even compartmentalise further and have the lower one feed air into a GPU/expansion cards 'compartment' and the upper fan feed air across RAM and CPU. You'd need to remove any expansion area blanking panels you didn't need in order that the warm air had somewhere to move to.
Thanks. I'm going to be relying on the PSU to move some hot air out of the case. Yeah, this will increase the units heat, but the PSU I plan to use shouldn't get too hot anyway. It SHOULD be a Corsair TX650. Older unit, but still new in box. I say SHOULD because my homie hasn't actually sold it to me yet, ha ha. It'll do a 600w load easy, and the rig will only need 350 or so under load. The GPU isn't powerful (7900GT), and the dual core s939 setup will most likely be a little OC'd, I don't see load on the PSU being that bad to need to stay as cool as possible. Especially since I'll be relying on the PSU to move hot air out.
I've already contemplated cutting the back panel for a 80mm fan. The stock size is for a 60mm fan, and those are loud and move zero air. At least a single 80mm I can have some decent options. I'll look into relocating the drive bay for two 120mm intakes in front, BUT, the case front panel would have to be cut to get the airflow, and I don't think I have anything to nicely cover the cut out so it doesn't look like trash.
I do have some hex mesh, but that will "go against the grain" if you will of the look of the case overall. I'll have to investigate deeper.
I also plan to do some hand-me-down PC part swaps soon. So this s939 machine might end up getting a huge 3 pci slot taking, GTX 260 w/ arctic accelero cooler. Making putting the drive bays in bottom of case near impossible if you look at the placement of the 16x PCI-e slot on that mobo in the case. Its all about limits. lol
And i think I've decided on green for sure. I'm trying to match the AMD green of the s939 CPU box I got sitting here. On Krylons website, I'm looking at an Emerald Green Gloss, (I think they called it.) Its a primer + color combo spray can. Probably pick that up today, and do a little work. Of course, pics will commence by tonight of any progress I make. I REALLY need to do cuts before paint, BUT, I can always skip painting things that need cuts, and paint everything that doesn't get cut, so w00t w00t.
EDIT: Thanks for all the subs so far! This is no high end, sponsored build, but I appreciate everyone interested in watching a beige box go from bleh-to-beast, eh-to-extreme, meh-to-medievil... mwah ha haaaa