I went to bed last night thinking about the ultimate cooling soution and I thought about using a test bench instead of a traditional case. Other that aesthetics, what would be the advantages or disadvantages, as far as cooling, of using a test bench rather than an actual case?
If your just after CPU and GPU temps then its probably not an issue, but the lack of any airflow over the mobo heatsinks will lead to higher temps on the VRM's and North Bridge. That being said, passive cooling is probably sufficient.
As for the test bench you will have no issues with airflow, but also no protection from dust.
For an ultimate cooling solution, you want to be running a custom water loop cooled by Peltiers.
How about a hybrid? Test benches often suffer from no real direction of air, and also dust annoyances. Not to mention accidents happen. A lot.
The Antec Skeleton series is good for that - one big overhead fan, and a test-bench like design.