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Air Intake for new build with AIO

dave343

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Apr 24, 2010
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15
Looking for suggestions on fan placement for good airflow intake/exhaust on my build.

A bit of back story, was using the Corsair 275Q case, with the 3700X and slapped on the Wrath Prism Cooler. Additionally, I was only using the stock 2 120mm fans Corsair included with the case. Within starting R6 Siege, after about 5-10 minutes, my CPU temps if they are accurate, were north of 82C. I don't want to imagine what the temps would be running Prime95 etc, but 82C after 5 minutes in R6 Siege it's scary enough.
Yes, I double checked the heatsink was sitting correctly ;) Paste I used was whatever AMD had factory applied. Even with an aggressive fan curve, the 3700X was idling around 55-60C, and even just launching R6 Siege and sitting at the main menu spiked the temp to over 80c.
So, fast forward, I decided to shotgun the issue. Instead of going with the Corsair 275 Quiet, I'm using a Fractal R6 from a previous build, picked up 4 Noctua NF-P12 Redux 1300rpm PWM fans, the H150i AIO, and went with some Arctic 5 I still have. As you'll see in the pic, it's currently setup with the Gigabyte Master z390 board, I switched it up to Intel, but I'm going to stick with the 3700X, so same board (x570 version) and the x3700 I'm going to drop in.

As per the pic, I've already got the AIO mounted, but I've only installed 3 of the Noctua fans. They apparently have a good static pressure, and so because of this, I only used 3 since I'm using the stock corsair fans on the AIO for front air intake. Instead of using the 4th Noctua fan on the rear exhaust, I wanted to even things out... maybe, and just used the stock R6 Fractal 140mm fan on the rear. And to even things out more, I was thinking about mounting either a 2nd Fractal 140mm fan, or the Noctua, on the bottom for additional intake... This way I have 4 pulling in, and 4 exhausting. But, just looking for idea's and suggestions of the placement, or if I'm disrupting good airflow with the current config.

Any idea's suggestions welcome. Thanks,

If you're curious why I swapped for the Intel setup, this is 110% for gaming, nothing else, but decided I'll stick with the 3700x.

Other parts going into the system:

2x PCIe M.2 drives
2x 7200 Spinners
the 2080ti shown
16gb (2x8) 3600 corsair

IMG_20190916_234650.jpg
 
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JD

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I'd say put the Noctua's on the radiator as they're likely better than the Corsair fans that were included.

Does the radiator fit up top? I'd run that as your exhaust instead, and at the front have 3 fans as intake for the GPU. Right now, you are blowing hot air over the GPU, not really ideal.

Also Arctic Silver 5 isn't that great of a paste compared to more modern ones. Might be worth switching that out too if you're looking to lower temperatures as much as possible.
 

Lysrin

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I don't have a whole lot to add except to say that I agree with JD's suggestions. Exhausting from the top has always been the AIO option I've used. I used the same set up in my current custom loop too, and that dumps a lot of heat out the top! Granted that is after cooling my GPU and CPU. But if similar to what I see in my system, you'd want to get that heat out and away from the GPU. Realise you are not complaining about GPU temps but it is good point to consider. Then you can have some fans in the front bringing in unobstructed cool air for the GPU.

And as JD said, consider the Noctuas on the AIO, or at the very least compare the static pressure values to the Corsair. If you are just using them to move air their higher (if so) static pressure is wasted.
 

Bond007

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Obviously you should have good temps with your setup. Really it is going to be about playing with it to fine tune, or accept how it is. A few options:

1. All tests I have ever seen minimize temps from a rad with having it as an intake, vice exhaust. Some people still prefer to put the heat out vs in.

2. Make sure your rad has minimal restrictions. The r6 is a bit choked off at the front IMO.

3. Lots of people swear by way more intakes than exhausts (for example a single exhaust and 4+ intake).

If it was my build I would trial a top mount rad as intake, bottom intake to blow air towards gpu, rear exhaust, and the front intakes (prioritizing the bottom first if you are short any fans, since that again goes towards the gpu).
 

dave343

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Apr 24, 2010
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Does the radiator fit up top? I'd run that as your exhaust instead, and at the front have 3 fans as intake for the GPU.
I don't have a whole lot to add except to say that I agree with JD's suggestions. Exhausting from the top has always been the AIO option I've used.
Mounting the AIO at the top was my primary choice, but the problem is the AIO screws, they prevent the top air filter from being closed on the R6. Corsair includes round headed screws to mount the rad, but anything higher than flat and the top air filter won't snap back on. It's really stupid... but it's just where Fractal placed the screw holes, ANY screws will interfere with the airfliter. I tried other screws I had, smaller one's like the motherboard size, but those too prevent the top air filter from snapping back on. Since the top can mount wider rads then my 150i, I could potentially move it over more center. But then I have the issue of my ram being too tall... arg! Even still if my ram wasn't tall, any screws besides flat really prevent the top filter from snapping back on. I've read other's having the same issue... but I know most poeple install the rad top mounted on the R6, at least from the reviews I've seen... so I dunno... I just can't get the top air filter back on if I mount the rad up top.
As for the Noctua's, static pressure is 1.68 mm H2O and Corsair fans are 0.2 - 3.0 mmH20.

As for the 4th fan (intake) should I mount it on the floor infront of the PSU?
 

clshades

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I'm surprised people still want to exhaust water cooling. A few of us have proven many times this is not the best way to decrease water temps.

The best overall water temps always come from fresh air outside the case not the hot air from inside the case.

Exhausting rads is just a waste imo.
 

clshades

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Also... Most water cooled CPUs never get over 40c under load and this heat goes away pretty fast. I'd be blowing 6 fans in with one rear exhaust. Vid card is also an exhaust fan, typically.

If I understand the picture, the OP has 3x fans blowing in and 5 x exhaust fans (including vid)?? I'd be flipping the top fans to blow in or putting the rad up top blowing in. With three front mounts blowing in. Hoping all the fans are filtered of course. Keep in mind if the top fans blow in fresh air it cools the vrms better. Hot air is just gonna leave the case where ever there's an exhaust or holes.

I'd be interested to see how a fan cooled card responds to my suggested setup. I know my water cooling setup had outstanding temps.

Positive pressure for the win.
 
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dave343

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Also... Most water cooled CPUs never get over 40c under load and this heat goes away pretty fast. I'd be blowing 6 fans in with one rear exhaust. Vid card is also an exhaust fan, typically.

If I understand the picture, the OP has 3x fans blowing in and 5 x exhaust fans (including vid)?? I'd be flipping the top fans to blow in or putting the rad up top blowing in. With three front mounts blowing in. Hoping all the fans are filtered of course. Keep in mind if the top fans blow in fresh air it cools the vrms better. Hot air is just gonna leave the case where ever there's an exhaust or holes.
Yeah, I've always thought having it front mounted was better, but everyone says top mount it. Either way, I can't, so it's definitely staying on the front.
As for the fans, yes, I have 7 fans currently installed. 4 exhausting, and 3 for intake, but because the fans are different, the air flow is different as well, so I'm just trying to balance that out. The AIO fans being stock Corsair.
The video card, although having 3 fans, do not exhaust air outside the case. AFAIK, they just blow *case temp air* onto the card, or pull it away... but either way, the card's fans are dumping it's hot air into the case. That's why my idea was to have the 3 Noctua fans that move more air, exhausting. I want to get the hot air in the case exhausted as quick as possible, although I know I need to be pulling room temp, or cooler air in just as fast. I can possibly add 1-2 more fans on the bottom floor of the case, and since I still have 1 more 140mm fan, I could use that, or maybe fit 2 120mm fans, either config for additional intake.

Appreciate all the feedback.
 

JD

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I'd be blowing 6 fans in with one rear exhaust.
I run mine the same, top rad blows in, front case fan blows in, rear case fan is the only exhaust. My bottom rad is in a chamber so it's just cross-airflow in/out. However, my case temps are by no means "cool", that top rad dumps a ton of heat into my case. This is with a 6850k and 2080 Ti both watercooled. I can't imagine running an air cooled GPU when the case temps are noticeably warm.

With an aircooled GPU in the mix, I think there should be some fresh air going to it, rather than preheated air from the rad being it's only source. Kind of tricky though with the rad in the front as I don't think the top as intakes would reach it, guess it depends on the speeds and amount of heat the rad is putting out.
 

dave343

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Apr 24, 2010
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I'll just add a 140mm on the bottom, pointing towards the GPU, when the system is assembled fully I'll let you all know the temps I'm seeing. Thanks again for the feedback.
 
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