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The Big Air Cooling Investigation

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Nanu 12th February 2012, 09:51 Quote
First article I've read every word of in a long time on this site, great to see a return to investigative led posts, this must have taken you ages!

I didn't quite understand what was being said about the front roof fan though... it makes it sound like you only used it as an intake, whilst the rear was set as an exhaust, this seems pretty odd to me, did you try with both as exhausts?

I'm running a TJ-09 with 6 fans, just finished modding the front intake to a 180mm air penetrator, this article is making me wonder if a single air penetrator in the roof would be better than the two 120mm fans...
Xir 12th February 2012, 10:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
The one exception I've found is if you use filters on your fans. Set the case up with negative pressure, and you'll find every little hole in your case gets furry over time. Use positive pressure and the filters catch the muck.
Something that should've been i the article, really. ;)

Anyway this discussion is as old as building PC's is (well, my first ones didn't have fans...heck the first one didn't have a heatsink) :D

Think logically, try to visuallise the airflow, it's not that difficult.

The R3 for instance has it's entire front full of harddrivebays. No wonder the traditional Lower-front-in-high-rear-out doesn't perform well. The side intake cirkumvents this, and the results show this.

Buiding silent is a different show though, you'll avoid open grilles and top-vents as these usually point in your direction. You trade performance for sound, really.

The coolest PC I ever say had a side panel modded full of 30mm delta's. Amazingly cool and well audible through two closed doors :D
Material 12th February 2012, 14:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nanu
First article I've read every word of in a long time on this site, great to see a return to investigative led posts, this must have taken you ages!

I didn't quite understand what was being said about the front roof fan though... it makes it sound like you only used it as an intake, whilst the rear was set as an exhaust, this seems pretty odd to me, did you try with both as exhausts?

I'm running a TJ-09 with 6 fans, just finished modding the front intake to a 180mm air penetrator, this article is making me wonder if a single air penetrator in the roof would be better than the two 120mm fans...

Sorry, in truth I thought I covered this in there, but I cant actually see it - so much to say, something was bound to get lots I suppose. We did try the front roof mount as an exhaust, but it gave poor results as its positioned in front of the CPU cooler, so all it does is steal air from the CPU cooler fan.
alpaca 12th February 2012, 15:09 Quote
Nice article:) lovin you guys!
tonyd223 13th February 2012, 08:19 Quote
Y'know, bearing in mind the changes you guy have been through, you must be pretty happy with the feedback. Looking forward to the new edition of the magazine (which I haven't done for a long time).

Now, when you gonna do an article on FreeNAS and using old hardware...
[USRF]Obiwan 13th February 2012, 12:14 Quote
Remember the old BT days? Well this article reflects one of them!
Kris 13th February 2012, 14:00 Quote
Excellent article indeed.
after this review been slowly thinking into getting more fans, but i doubt it that i will go for the fullm monty of 4 additional fans. Perhaps two on the side as intakes should suffice.

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cases/2008/08/14/akasa-omega-review/3
Pazu 14th February 2012, 05:50 Quote
Very nice, apparently I'm not the only one who thinks this harks back to the days when I enjoyed reading bit-tech articles! Relevant, scientific and detailed.

Bravo, and keep it coming!
The_Beast 14th February 2012, 07:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by T2I3M
I have recently purchased an R3 due to all the positive reviews, and i was wondering what was the best fan layout! Good article.

Same here, I even asked here

http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?t=225934
Poacher886 14th February 2012, 17:16 Quote
While i really liked the article (any article about fans and cooling could save you money and wasted time), it did'nt unfortunately answer the only real question i had concerning case cooling.....

......Which way to have the side fan!! Intake or Exhaust????

You see, i also have a G-card (GTX570) similair to the one shown but with an un-cased Geild cooler on it. It spits all its 70º temp inside and around the case, clearly heating all it come in contact with.

Now i would have thought that a side fan acting as an EXHAUST, would collect the cool intake of the close sitting front fans and drawn the cool air over the card and exhaust the heat out the side of the case before it is even alowed to head up towards the CPU!!

Thus the CPU would draw cool air from the top front fan and exit at either rear or roof (or both) without using the heat from the G-card!

Basically i would like to see the same 4-5 fan test with the side fan acting as an EXHAUST.


P.s, A full / decent and comprehensive test of 120 / 140mm fans Including most of the well used / known / popular ones would be a seriously appreciated article. Its a complete minefield of info and counter info when trying to decide on which fans actually do perform, one say's its great, the next person say's avoid!!...and decent fans being £8-20 each...a potenially expensive mistake.!!

Oh and like other are saying...the same test with a Corsair H100 would be interesting now water cooling is becoming afordable and more mainstream.

Thanks
dogknees 17th February 2012, 15:11 Quote
Great article. This sort of formal testing really helps system builders even if they're not "modders".

One thing I've noticed(by it's absence) is that very few builders/modders use ducts to direct the air exactly where it's needed. I built a new system in a Define R3 about a year ago, and built a duct that feeds air from the lower of the 5.25" bays directly to the CPU cooler and the output air from the HS to the usual fan outlet above the i/o shield. So the CPU gets ambient air that isn't affected by the MB, and the exhaust doesn't touch the mosfets.

I've got a NOCTUA NH-U12P and am running the two fans on the LN adaptor. I didn't use a fan in the rear panel as the two on the Noctua do the job.

The lower standard fan at the front blows directly at the GPU, so it gets cool air. The top exhaust fan pulls air under the CPU duct from the top inlet fan so it's forced to flow around the RAM and mosfets. I'm running the case fans near the lower end of the built in controller.

The result is CPU core temps of 64-65 C in an ambient temperature of 35 C running 8 threads of Prime95 on an i7 870 at 3.2 GHz. It's virtually silent, and has good MB temps as it's not getting any hot air from the CPU cooler.

Not having the tools/skills/patience/.. to do it in acrylic, I built the duct from cardboard joined and reinforced with CA glue. Works great, was cheap to make, is surprisingly rigid and doesn't resonate like a metal one would.

I'm very happy with the result of what was a bit of an experiment. I'm sure those with the skills could take this idea a lot further. I'll try and post a few pics in the forums to better explain how it works.

Dogknees
User-sam 19th February 2012, 00:49 Quote
My pc is now running 5c cooler as a result of this article, that's a big happy face for me! Excellent work bit tech!
Anakha 26th February 2012, 22:50 Quote
I was a little disappointed to see no hard-drive temperatures reported. I'm pretty sure that would make something of a difference, especially with several drives. I think that would bring more credence to the "Front-to-back is best" arguments. Though, of course, hard-drives are a little less sensitive to temperature than other parts.
GoodBytes 27th February 2012, 00:50 Quote
Welcome to Canada! W000000t!!!!!11111111one one one one eleven eleven :D

HDD temps varies a lot from manufactures, and even models. And also how they are installed. Some HDD (7200RPM) NEEDS to touch metal of the case, to spread it's heat... some don't. Some heats up more under heavy load, while others can sustain somewhat their temperatures.
So I think, unless you have the exact same HDD on the review, it won't be helpful.
timevans999 1st March 2012, 09:15 Quote
200mm side fan or bigger will take 10 degrees off an overclocked 3930k @load. I've modded 5 kandalfs and armors with 200mm side fans by cutting the acrlyic with a jigsaw.
slothy89 5th March 2012, 20:44 Quote
Without reading past page 1 of the comments I have one little gripe with the article...

You didnt show the difference of rotating the CPU cooler to blow up, so both roof vents can do their intended jobs. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by the difference this can make.

After all, heat rises, so bottom front to top back, with a little more emphasis on the top part makes thermal sense :)
Splooshiba 4th May 2012, 14:39 Quote
i own this case, im confused as to why the front roof fan placement is described as troublesome?
rmxz 7th May 2012, 08:58 Quote
Hard Drive Temperatures were overlooked.

Of course the front intake fans don't have as big an impact on CPU and GPU cooling -- because much of what they're doing is removing heat from the hard drives.


Would love to see all those charts updated to show Hard Drive Temperatures in each configuration. They're reasonably likely to fail when they get very hot; and if a GPU fails I can simply take out the board; but if a hard drive fails I can lose data.
idontwannaknow 16th January 2013, 23:15 Quote
on my Lian-Li mid tower case i have found something interesting
got 2 front 140's 1HDD bay 7 1CD bay plus 1 roof 140 & exhaust 120.

when i mistakingly switch the roof fan to intake, it saved me much more cpu & mobo temps.
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