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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I've an Arc Midi with a 2500K 4.4GHz cooled by a Thermalright Macho (TY140).

In the beginnig I had only a 6850 (mild overclock at 850/1150) but recently somebody gave me an extra one (both Asus EAH6850 DC) and corssfiring (yuk !) them made temps go high. No wonder
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I first experienced with the 3 stock fans of my Arc Midi. My test procedure is fairly simple: run MSI Kombustor for 10 minutes and log everything with HWInfo.

The case have the following fan positions:
  • 2 front (upper and lower), with filter
  • 1 bottom/floor, with filter
  • 1 side panel (homemade filter, vandalizing wife's pantyhose)
  • 1 rear (no filter)
  • 3 top (rear, middle and front), with filter
You can see a pic of the setup (stock fan config, config 01) here below. Notice that the GPU spit hot air in the case (not really out of it at the back, due to the cooler design).

6850 Crossfire :)

I tested 4 fans config (each config with the case fans at MIN and then at MAX, they are connected to a NZXT Sentry Mesh fan controller):
  • Config 01: 2 front intake, 1 rear exhaust (stock config)
  • Config 02: 1 bottom intake, 1 rear and 1 top-rear exhaust
  • Config 03: 1 side intake, 1 rear and 1 top-rear exhaust
  • Config 04: 1 side intake, 1 bottom intake and 1 rear exhaust
GPU temps are my main concern (PC is for gaming, CPU stress is not major).

Of the 4 configs above, the most satisfactory one is the 4th.

Then I decided that temps after 10mins of Kombustor were a bit too high (80+ for the hottest GPU) so I bought a pair of Corsair AF140.
I tried these two additional configs (fans with * are the af140):
  • Config 05: 1 side, 1 bottom and 1 front (lower) as intake, rear* and top (rear) as exhaust
  • Config 06: 1 side, 1 bottom and 1 front (lower) as intake, rear* and top (middle) as exhaust
To my surprise, config 5 and 6 did worse than config 4 on the hotter GPU (but they cool better the cooler GPU)
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First thing, I'm going to re-do the test for config 04, as in the while (between test of 04 and 05/06) I've updated my Kombustor version (I don't think this is an issue) and AMD drivers (that can be).

Out of curiosity, what would you try as fan setup ?

I was thinking some unusual stuff like:
  • Put an horizontal cardboard or plastic sheet to "isolate" the CPU area (between the sound-card and the Macho, up to the bottom of the front bays). Does this sound good ? Idea is to avoid GPU hot air reaching the CPU area and eventually to better "guide" the airflow in both areas.
  • Alternative 01: in the CPU area, keep only the rear exhaust. In the GPU area, 1 side panel exhaust, 2 front and 1 bottom intake.
  • Alternative 02: in the CPU area put a top intake in middle position (i.e. before the TY140) and keep the rear exhaust. In the GPU area, 1 side panel exhaust, 2 front intake.
  • Alternative 03: in the CPU area put a top intake in middle position (i.e. before the TY140) and keep the rear exhaust. In the GPU area, 1 side panel intake, 2 front exhaust (not sure about this one, seems worse).
  • Alternative 04: in the CPU area put a top intake in middle position (i.e. before the TY140), remove the rear exhaust (eventually putting the TY140 in pull mode at the back of the macho, it will be facing the rear grill almost exactly). In the GPU area, 2 front intake, 1 bottom and 1 side exhaust.
MaX.
 

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im going to be honest, i didnt read your post. but what i always do for my cases, ive done this with my last 4 builds, i have EVERYTHING as intake, except for the top as exhaust. ive tried every possible configuration, and ive found that this is what works best for me...
 

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I am not sure a physical barrier isolating the CPU from GPU areas will work. However, a short air duct mounted to one intake leading directly to the CPU might work. Consider flipping the rear fan to an intake, mounting a duct to it like the one I linked, and either leaving the exhaust end open or ducting to the roof to let the heated air vent up.

For the GPU, something like this would be ideal, but you'd need to add more venting slots or holes on the side panel. When I have some time I'm going to draw one up and see how practical it would be to fabricate a mount like this for a single or two 120mm fans. There are several popular cases out there with vertical expansion slots so it might even be marketable (if not, someone like Dwood would probably be able to do it).

I'm no longer convinced that the front fans are providing that much air to the rest of out systems. At <1500rpm, the fans just aren't moving air far enough; Silverstone Air Penetrators or similar fans might work but I think it's a smarter idea to localize fans to the components that need cooling instead of adding them haphazardly around the case.
 

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This set up is similar to how I have mine set up and it made a vast improvement over my prior fan set up with a lot lest dust;

Front: Inake
Bottom: Intake
Top Front: Intake
Top Rear: Exhaust
Side: Exhaust
Rear: Exhaust

I switched the side fan to exhaust and it really helped with my GPU sucking up tons of dust from the side intake, filter or not filter, it will still suck up more dust than with the side fan as exhaust. The Front top fan as intake so that it sucks cool air into the heat sink and the rear top fan for removing hot air from the heat sink. This set up will force the air up and out the rear. It is also not a bad idea to remove some of the PCI slot covers to allow more air to move around the GPU. A fan with good static pressure on the bottom front would help move air through the HDD cage as well as possibly investing in new fans all around the case may help with the air flow overall. Cheers.
 
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I have 7 fans installed on my Arc Midi. All fans are 140mm except as noted.
Top: Exhaust (rear), Intake (front)
Rear: Exhaust
Side: Intake
Bottom: Intake 120mm
Front: Intake, both slots.'

If I were to have only 5 with a crossfire arrangement, I would have two front as intake (with the second HDD cage removed). One on bottom and one on the side. All of those fans would be intakes.

As for the 5th fan, the configurations I would test are the following:
Rear: Exhaust as per normal
Rear: Intake (reverse CPU airflow direction, i.e., CPU fan is in the back of the case and blows towards the front)
Top: Exhaust (rear spot)
Top Exhaust (middle)

Personally, I would think that reversing the CPU airflow will have the best performance of these arrangements. Also, using an AF140 on the side should increase airflow directly on the top GPU (which is also likely the hottest).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for al the answers !

One thing I have verified is this: my home made side panel dust filter (pantyhose) makes a huge difference on temps: almost +10C on the hottest card !! (I'm speaking form memory, I'm on vacation and I don't have the data at hand, but i'm fairly sure). I'll probably end up with a proper dust filter, like this one (should work OK on the side of Arc Midi, hopefully): Silverstone FF143

@Droviin: I've thought about reversing the CPU cooler flow, but in that case I would think about using no rear fan and putting the TY140 on the other side of the CPU cooler, between the case rear opening and the cooler, pushing air towards the cooler (towards the front of the case). This way, the TY140 would act almost as an intake (hopefully) and I could put the remaining fan as top (middle) exhaust, to help the hot air quitting the case.
Another thing I may want to try is to use the upper front as exhaust, as I've noticed that when that emplacement is not used, I can feel hot air coming out from it. Maybe something like side, lower front and bottom as intake + upper front and rear as exhaust (or top mid exhaust, with reversed CPU flow and no rear fan)...

@boxwunder13: I had a lot of hope when I tried to put the side fan as exhaust, especially when I noticed the side filter had a bad impact (no need for it in exhaust case), but my tests indicate it doesn't help. I may want to dig this further, but thinking about it, intake makes more sense. The gpu spits air at his back (front of the case): the side exhaust would try to suck this out, actually recirculating the hot air towards the GPU fan, not good. Also, the side exhaust would be competing against the GPU fans.

Anyway, +rep for all the replies: my initial post was freakin' long, thanks for reading through ! Sean, you didn't rear through, no +rep
smile.gif


MaX.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi all, just to let y o know I've found a GREAT solution !

I've swapped the 2x6850 with 1x7950 (Sapphire Vapor X) : more power, less noise, less heat.

So I can now spend my time playing instead of testing fans configs.

MaX.
 
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