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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a tendency to over-think things and create so many scenarios and possibilities, my brain feels like that chalk board in the original version of The Day The Earth Stood Still with scribbling everywhere.

I am adding another 360mm radiator to my loop. This project, involves the consideration of adding a pedestal for my CaseLabs ST10. Otherwise, the two 360 rads will be on intake and fighting each other for air space from the front and bottom of the case and the 480 atop the case gets preheated air. I shudder to think of the turbulent vortex amid the case swirling around and around.

This seems like reason enough to buy a pedestal. The plan is to install the two 360's in the pedestal and install intake fans in the case front. Here is where the over thinking comes in. The pedestal will have either ventilated psu covers or a 140mm fan hole in the back and a ventilated 120mm Flex Bay fan mount in the front.
I will probably earn me a smack up-side-the-head for asking, but I find myself confounded by my own thought processes.

When installing the radiators in the pedestal do I:

1) Install the rads pulling air from the outside in (toward each other sort of) and use the 140mm and 120mm fans as exhaust?

-OR-

2) Install the rads exhausting air from each side of the pedestal with the 140mm and 120mm fans as air intake to the pedestal?

-OR-

3) Forget both the 140mm and 120mm fans, get a pedestal with the ventilated psu covers on the back (leaving most of the back open), utilize the Flex Bay on the front as a no-fan ventilated Flex Bay and install the rads exhausting out of each side of the pedestal pulling air in through the ventilated covers?

This is like going to the grocery store when you're hungry! So much food....so many choices....

*DISCLAIMER: I swear on Scouts Honor I searched the forums using several terms to find an answer before posting this.
 

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I would go with scenario 1.

The reason being, with 6 fans pushing in and two exhausting, you should end up with a net positive pressure system, which helps keep dust out of the pedestal. With 6 fans exhausting, the 2 might not be able to feed the system properly, creating negative pressure, which draws in dust and air through cracks in the chassis to feed all 6 fans.

TBH... not sure it matters, but that's what I'd do if I worried about min/maxing
thumb.gif
Good luck amigo!

edit: This also operates on the assumption that you have filtered intakes!
 

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I'm just going to tell you what I am doing with my STH10. And hopefully that will further mess up and cluther up your great chalk board in your head.
tongue.gif


I have 3 480 rads and 1 360 rad.
In the top chamber, two of the 480 rads in p/p.
In the bottom chamber, a 480 and the 360.
I had to install a 360 there in order to leave room for the PSU.
All rads are intaking, sucking air into the case.
Active exhaust is via 3 120 fans in the front flex bay, one 1 x 120 fan in the back I/O panel, near the socket, and tge PSU fan will also be set to exhaust case air.
Passive exhaust is done via the 3 vented PSU covers, the vented top, and vented available PCI slots (probably 2-3 of them, no more).

If this configuration doesn't offer sufficient exhaust, I'll install more exhaust fans in the PSU covers, and in the top cover.
I am doing it this way thinking that this will offer me good possitive pressure, with a fairly ballanced air in/out ratio. Hopefully, not too much of the air pushed out of the front and back will get caught back in by the top rads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by PepeLapiu View Post

I'm just going to tell you what I am doing with my STH10. And hopefully that will further mess up and cluther up your great chalk board in your head.
tongue.gif


I have 3 480 rads and 1 360 rad.
In the top chamber, two of the 480 rads in p/p.
In the bottom chamber, a 480 and the 360.
I had to install a 360 there in order to leave room for the PSU.
All rads are intaking, sucking air into the case.
Active exhaust is via 3 120 fans in the front flex bay, one 1 x 120 fan in the back I/O panel, near the socket, and tge PSU fan will also be set to exhaust case air.
Passive exhaust is done via the 3 vented PSU covers, the vented top, and vented available PCI slots (probably 2-3 of them, no more).

If this configuration doesn't offer sufficient exhaust, I'll install more exhaust fans in the PSU covers, and in the top cover.
I am doing it this way thinking that this will offer me good possitive pressure, with a fairly ballanced air in/out ratio. Hopefully, not too much of the air pushed out of the front and back will get caught back in by the top rads.
Man I a chalk board eraser.....
biggrin.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdon View Post

I would go with scenario 1.

The reason being, with 6 fans pushing in and two exhausting, you should end up with a net positive pressure system, which helps keep dust out of the pedestal. With 6 fans exhausting, the 2 might not be able to feed the system properly, creating negative pressure, which draws in dust and air through cracks in the chassis to feed all 6 fans.

TBH... not sure it matters, but that's what I'd do if I worried about min/maxing
thumb.gif
Good luck amigo!

edit: This also operates on the assumption that you have filtered intakes!
Yes, I will have Demciflex filters all around. I was leaning toward scenario 1, which is why it is, well...the #1 scenario! This seems to be the way both or going or flatly suggest. It will most likely be the way I go with it. Thanks for the input.
 

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Now it's not really clean to me. How much raddage do you have now? And how are they configured? And the pedestal, will it offer feee airflow between it and the rest of the case? I don't have a pedestal, so I can't quite visualize how it's airflow would interact with the rest of the case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by PepeLapiu View Post

Now it's not really clean to me. How much raddage do you have now? And how are they configured? And the pedestal, will it offer feee airflow between it and the rest of the case? I don't have a pedestal, so I can't quite visualize how it's airflow would interact with the rest of the case.
Three radiators:
An AX480 p/p top exhaust
An AX360 p/p in front intake
A new AX360 p/p w/o a pedestal in the case bottom intake
Installing the 360 in the bottom moves PSU to upper mount about 6" below the 480 at the top of the case as exhaust
A 120mm fan mount on the in the back is/was intake (when using just the one 360 at the front of the case), will be turned to exhaust if second 360 is in the case bottom

Goals:
Keep the PSU in the bottom mount position if at all possible.
Orient the 120mm case fan in whatever capacity it best serves.
Keep a positive air flow in the case

Potential Negatives:
While the case is set up to mount up to 480mm radiators top, bottom and front, as CaseLabs states, "It may not be practical/possible to use all mounts at the same time depending on rad size and other factors." I physically can use the top mount for the 480, the front for a 360 (the case came with a 120.3 Flex Bay Rad Mount - special edition package) and a 360 in the case bottom all utilizing push/pull.
Mounting all the radiators inside the case poses the follow possible issues: PSU in upper mount works, but is close to 480, exhausting and not block, but obstructing air flow to the last two fan-sets of the radiator. The 120mm fan at the back of the case is immediately below the PSU air intake, keeping it as an intake will cause a continual PSU exhaust-fan intake loop of air already heated by the PSU.
Adding the new 360 radiator inside the bottom of the case as an intake puts the air flow of the two 360s in conflict as one will be blowing across the others air stream inside the case.

Hence the pedestal solution:
The pedestal allows the PSU to stay at the bottom exhausting, the 120mm fan at the back to turn to exhaust and 3, 120mm fans to be mounted in the front as intake. So then, how to orient the radiator airflow in the pedestal? The pedestal has options for either the 140mm fan mount, two PSU hex mesh covers, or solid PSU covers in the rear and the option for a 120mm solid (closed off) cover, a ventilated cover or a Flex Bay fan mount in the front and up to two 480 rads on each side on their side.
From the main case itself, it is possible to remove any of the four 120mm covers (allowing for a rad install in the bottom of the case) and have fans mounted in the best orientation, leave them on sealing off the pedestal from the main case or whatever. Removing the two rearmost covers puts in the PSU into play as a possible exhaust point from the pedestal.

That muddy it up enough?
tongue.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

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How long is your PSU?
Aside from the 360 rad up front taking up 10 flex bays, how many free flex bays do you have?
And I'll assume they are all push/pull, how thick are your rads?

Air flow design throught the whole case is probably the most important part of your loop's performance.
I think the way I did it brings the maximum amount of raddage at best air flow possible for that case. But my idea probably won't work in yours.
Never the less, I think we can greatly improve your cade flow, fresh air intake into your rads, and possibly make room for an other rad 480 or 560 rad. And all that before getting a pedestal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quote:
How long is your PSU?
7.48" - Seasonic X1250
Quote:
Aside from the 360 rad up front taking up 10 flex bays, how many free flex bays do you have?
10 free of the14 total bays. However 4 bays are being used by bayres/pumps, fans controller and temp readouts.
Quote:
I'll assume they are all push/pull
Yes they are all utilizing push/pull
Quote:
How thick are your rads?
XSPC AX Series rads are 40mm thick with a 21mm core and 16 split fins = 32 fins per inch.
Quote:
Air flow design throughout the whole case is probably the most important part of your loop's performance.
Agreed! I understand the pedestal may not be the only answer. It does however allow for a lot of flexibility in component placement. For example, the current PSU upper mount interferes with air flow to approximately the last 1/5 of the top mounted 480mm radiator. Moving it down to the lower mount allows the rear 120mm fan to become an air intake and three 120mm fans to be mounted in the front flex bays as air intakes. I already have the 120mm flex bay fan mounts; I bought them with the case purchase.

*It should be noted that I already have the third radiator on hand. It is also an AX360. That does not rule out the purchase of another (4rth) radiator though. But, that is probably as far as the Boss (Read: WIFE) will let me go.

I believe that answers all your questions and I have given some other pertinent information.
 

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Okay, follow me on this as I think it could work just beautifully.

You can pretty much do the same as I am doing, except you don't have to cut out the sides as I did to let your rads stick out. On account that your rads are thinner than mine and should all fit well inside the case.

Take your two 480 rads and put them in your top chambers. That should leave about 3" (75mm) of space in between the two rads.
They both pull in fresh air. And exhaust out the top and two vented PSU covers. And I might get 3x 180mm fans in the top cover grill but I don't really think I need them.
Or can you see any reason why you wouldn't be able to fit two 480's up there? I can't really understand why you only have one when you have room for two. You might have to move your slimner 5.25" bay components to the top with the rads up there.

Than the bottom chamber will have your other 480 and your 360 as well. They are both also sucking in fresh air.
Your PSU will be right behind your 360. And the fan for it facing your 480.
They don't really obstruct each other because the rad is blowing onto you PSU fan, and you PSU fan is pushing that air out to the back of the case.

You'll have to be creative to push your 360 forward as far as possible to make room for the PSU
Here is what I had to do in order to fit my Alphacool rad as far forward as possible.
The ports on the rad were too thick so I made holes in the bracket to allow the ports to stick out a bit. In hind sight, I shoulda just grinded 2mm off of the plugs and it would have fit perfectly.

Doing this gives me 9"1/4 behind the rad for the PSU. I figure a 7"1/2 PSU will have almost 2" of room for cabling. A little cramped but I think.I can fit it.
Now, you might get more or less room than me depending on your 360's thickness in the butt. Does your wife/gf rad have a big ass?
biggrin.gif


By now you gotta be wondering where those two bottom rads will vent out.
Well, a little bit of it gets vented out via your PSU. Than your flex bay rad grill gets to be used with 3 exhaust fans in.place of the rad you have now, which is gone to the basement.
You also have a 120 exhaust fan at the back, your bottom free PSU vented grill, and all free PSI slots getting used as vents as well. I am considering putting a few PCI slot fans back there. I don't know yet.

This way, all your rads get fresh air. Not hot air getting sucked back in, or recycled.
And you fit your 4 rads inside the case without the need for a pedestal. Still, you'll probably end up getting one anyway.
All your rads get fresh air from the sides, and all hot air gets pushed out front, back, and top where it won't get sucked back in by the rads.

I've considered getting a pedestal, but if I do, there is just no way I can do it without recycling that air into other rads.
 

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One more thing. The pic of that bottom bracket with the 360 pushed forward. I did the same thing with my two top 480 rads to give me 4"1/2 space up front for fan controller and FrozenQ double bay res.

And you should have a total of 17 flex bays, not 14. So if you are using 4 of them, that leaves you 13 flex bays for more exhaust fans, or 4 more flex bays of passive exhaust with that 360 front fan bracket.

But with what I described above, you get all 4 rads fitted inside your case. No air recycling, all fresh air to all your rads, a little bit of positive pressure if you want filters on your rads, and probably the best cooling performance set-up you could imagine.

The only little bit of air recycling is throught your PSU. But with that much raddage, it becomes extremely difficult to have no recycling at all.

Anyway, that's my suggestion: 2x480 up top, a 480 and 360 with PSU in the basement, all rads pulling in fresh air, and every case opening, and case fans used as exhaust.

You most probably can fit your fan controller and temps readout in the top flex bays in front of your 2x480's. I have my FrozenQ res up there and my fan controller. They fit pretty snug in front of my rads too..
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I will get back to you - we have had bad weather here - freezing rain.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Questors View Post

I will get back to you - we have had bad weather here - freezing rain.
Here we call that "snow"
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
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Originally Posted by PepeLapiu View Post

Here we call that "snow"
biggrin.gif
There is snow and there is freezing rain. They are not the same thing. Freezing rain causes ice build up, snapping power lines, downing trees and make 4 wheel drive seem like Crisco roller skates in a hot pan. I spent a lot of today trimming trees and carrying off what seemed like billions of branches.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I have about 6 more trees to deal with...some other day. I am now no good for tomorrow or any of next week! I thought after surviving a military career of being shot, stabbed, blown up and live to finally retire meant no more work!
redface.gif
Hell no! It meant more Honey-do! Okay...Back to the topic!
Quote:
Take your two 480 rads and put them in your top chambers. Or can you see any reason why you wouldn't be able to fit two 480's up there? I can't really understand why you only have one when you have room for two.
You bring up something very interesting, too bad I didn't think of it sooner. My Merlin ST10 is a single wide case. It was a special limited time package offered by CaseLabs a year or so ago called the Merlin ST10X - Extreme (maybe "Xtreme" I don't recall exactly). At any rate it was a great value for a CaseLabs chassis so I snagged it. It included upgrades that normally cost much more in a lesser package price. The 120.3 Flex Bay rad mount for instance, the 120mm ventilated top cover and I am pretty sure the 120.4 top drop-in mount were part of the package. Had I realized at the time, I could have bought the SM8/ST10 with two pedestals since they can be used on the top as well. Physically, there is room for two rads mounted at the top on their sides. I would have to cut the sides out of the 120mm top cover, which I really do not want to do. I have modded cases with some coming out nicely and some not (RE-DO!). While I don't mind drilling a hole or two for tubing and wire pass through, I really don't want to carve this case up. That was the big reason behind buying such a configurable case. However, If I can find an aluminum fabricator locally, I would not be opposed to have them cut or punch out 8, 120mm holes in the sides of the top cover. Hmmm....that's an idea to think about!

Quote:
Your PSU will be right behind your 360. And the fan for it facing your 480. They don't really obstruct each other because the rad is blowing onto you PSU fan, and you PSU fan is pushing that air out to the back of the case.
The pedestal I ordered does not have the psu mounts, just the 140mm hex mesh fan mount. I am on a budget and if I intend on sliding another 480 in this build with 8 more fans...I am pushing my budget a tad over the edge as it is. The PSU mounts might be another issue to address if I find a machine shop or aluminum fabricator that will do custom outside work. A lot of them around here won't as they are committed to supplying a particular product to a specific company.
Quote:
Does your wife have a big ass?
No, as a matter of fact she has lost 35 lbs and didn't need to from the start. Darn it, I can't find her half the time now she is so small!
mad.gif
That's a pain the butt!
Quote:
By now you gotta be wondering where those two bottom rads will vent out.
I was until I remembered, that my pedestal will only have the 140 fan mount in the back and 120 ventilated bay in the front. I will have to put the covers back over the 360 mounted to the case bottom when it gets moved so I can move the PSU down. The rads in the pedestal pull in air and exhaust it out the back with the help of a 140mm fan and out of the front ventilated flex bay with the help of a 120mm fan. That is unless leaving the case bottom hole covers off gives me more air flow through the case.
Quote:
All your rads get fresh air from the sides, and all hot air gets pushed out front, back, and top where it won't get sucked back in by the rads.
That is actually a great plan! I am not set up for that type of configuration though. As I mentioned, I don't want to hack this case all to smack, certain small mods for necessities sake yes, but anything bigger than that is going to have to be done at a facility that can do it smooth, easy and professionally. Or when I have some more "computer money" I may buy another pedestal, put it on top and slap two rads in there!
Quote:
And you should have a total of 17 flex bays, not 14. So if you are using 4 of them, that leaves you 13 flex bays for more exhaust fans, or 4 more flex bays of passive exhaust with that 360 front fan bracket.
I have 4 triple flex bay covers and two singles. So, (3 * 4) + 2 = 14.
Quote:
Anyway, that's my suggestion: 2x480 up top, a 480 and 360 with PSU in the basement, all rads pulling in fresh air, and every case opening, and case fans used as exhaust.
It is a great plan and has solid merit. I like it and thank you kindly. I will be using some of your suggestions and the setup will be a variation of the entire idea until I can fund more expansion. I will have to experiment with the case bottom fan hole covers that can link open air to the upper case or close it off, whichever works best for now.

Thank you to the folks who gave a hand to help me out and especially PepeLapiu!
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Here are some links so you can get a pictorial view of what we have been jawing about for a week.
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http://www.caselabs-store.com/merlin-st10-case/
http://www.caselabs-store.com/sm8-and-st10-top-cover-120mm-ventilated/
http://www.caselabs-store.com/sm8-pedestal-assembly/
 

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Dammit!
That was a lot of possibly wasted efforts.
I realize just now that you have a ST10, while all my suggestions are based on my STH10.
So maybe most, if not all of my suggestions won't work at all for you.
mad.gif


Edit: Dude! Don't even worry about chopping up some parts of your case. That's how CL designed them. With the ability to destroy any part of it. Everything can be replaced with parts from their store, and I mean everything. It's very very modular.

So chop away if you want/need to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Quote:
Dammit! That was a lot of possibly wasted efforts. I realize just now that you have a ST10, while all my suggestions are based on my STH10. So maybe most, if not all of my suggestions won't work at all for you.
Untrue my friend! It was not wasted effort. Though I did list my case as the ST10 in an early post in the thread, a lot of what you suggested is viable. It can be applied in a slightly different way. IE: I would need to use different case upgrades or hack and chop, but still, the vast amount of your ideas are usable for my application. I appreciate the effort greatly as it has given me possibilities to work with now and implement more of them in future. When I say future, I mean sooner than later.
Quote:
edit: Dude! Don't even worry about chopping up some parts of your case. That's how CL designed them. With the ability to destroy any part of it. Everything can be replaced with parts from their store, and I mean everything. It's very very modular.
So chop away if you want/need to.
Two things:
1) This is a budgetary thing. The wife and I run our household on a budget. We budget for everything including hobbies. So, while I may not be able to do exactly everything I want right now, including buying a new top cover if I screw it up, eventually I will be able to.
2) Essentially, I was trying to get the right air flow for the time being with what I had. However, buying another 480 rad (I wanted to anyway), was a good idea and I intended on buying a pedestal at some point as well. This seemed like a good time. Especially with the ideas you were giving me.

I hope you change your mind about feeling this was wasted effort. I felt it was very helpful and worthwhile or I would not have kept the thread going. As I said, I can do pretty much all of the things you suggested, just not all right now.
Again, I thank you very much for your help and taking your time to converse with me about this project. It has been a BIG help so far and will be even more help to me in the long run.
 

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Great.
Now if the Merlin is as long as the STH10 and you can fit the lenght of two 480's up there, you should consider doing what I did with my fans sticking out on both sides. I think I already shared a pic of that. Outside of the spray paint, that mod cost me about 15$ for the aluminum channels and maybe 2-3$ for the rivets.
And that's the only way you can fit the thickness of two 40mm rads in p/p up there.

But I am getting confused. You have the Merlin? Or the ST10? Or are they one and the same?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Quote:
But I am getting confused. You have the Merlin? Or the ST10? Or are they one and the same?
The Merlin and ST10 are one and the same. The Merlin Series from CaseLabs has 3 models. The models are the SM5, SM8 and the ST10. I do not know if other model lines are the same, but in the Merlin line the number indicates how many pci slots the case has.
 
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