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Two case airflow options for my new build, which will be better?

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a b à CPUs
May 1, 2013 12:25:43 PM

With my new build, the orientation of my Coolermaster 212 EVO cpu cooler will drastically affect the airflow in my case. Each orientation seems like it has a negative and that is causing me to be unsure as two which I should go with.

Vertical orientation:


With this mount, the cpu cooler blows cooler air over the fins but I am afraid that the 200mm fan up top will cause some turbulence (green arrows show where I think it will occur). Note the blue circle with the arrow in it represents the side intake fan.

Horizontal orientation:


With this mount, there will be no turbulence up top, but the cooler fans will bring warmer air over the cooler's fins because the air it pulls through will come from the area around the graphics card.

Which mounting option do you all think will be best for keeping everything cool?
a c 172 à CPUs
May 1, 2013 12:27:38 PM

the cooler should blow air towards the back of the case.
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a b à CPUs
May 1, 2013 12:45:30 PM

Well, seeing that it's only the CPU cooler you're concerned with, I would test it in both orientations and see what the difference is. I would expect vertically would provide the best overall CPU cooling, but I doubt the difference will be more than a few degrees, at best.
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a c 172 à CPUs
May 1, 2013 12:48:06 PM

bigpinkdragon286 said:
Well, seeing that it's only the CPU cooler you're concerned with, I would test it in both orientations and see what the difference is. I would expect vertically would provide the best overall CPU cooling, but I doubt the difference will be more than a few degrees, at best.


The correct orientation will be front to back. This will pull cool air from the front of the case. These are never usually installed vertically. Take a look in the system gallery.
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a b à CPUs
May 1, 2013 12:50:00 PM

The correct orientation or the popular orientation? Hot air rises faster than it moves sideways. I suspect you'll remove more heat from the entire system with a vertical orientation than a horizontal one.

If you have charts with numbers, I'm game.
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a c 172 à CPUs
May 1, 2013 12:51:02 PM

bigpinkdragon286 said:
The correct orientation or the popular orientation? Hot air rises faster than it moves sideways. I suspect you'll remove more heat from the entire system with a vertical orientation than a horizontal one.

If you have charts with numbers, I'm game.


Moving the hot air up and out is good, bad for CPU cooling. You want the coolest air to be pulled into the cooler. Not the hot GPU air.
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a b à CPUs
May 1, 2013 12:57:48 PM

How much hot air is his GPU going to produce that we need be concerned? And for that matter, how can you be so sure there will be more heat from the graphics card seeping into the air stream going over the processor as from the installed RAM? For that matter, the reduction in temperature from the chipset under the CPU socket may result in better overall system stability. I still say test with both orientations and remove all doubt. While we're at it, we could reverse the rear fan to pressurize the system more, and see if injecting that much more, cooler outside air, would further increase overall cooling efficiency.
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a c 172 à CPUs
May 1, 2013 1:00:16 PM

ddr3 RAM doesn't get hot even to the touch. Barely warm at all. The heatsinks on modern ram are for show.

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a b à CPUs
May 1, 2013 1:10:58 PM

I would disagree, but what's the point! Anecdotal evidence abounds. I'm not saying the RAM is getting hot to the touch, which is also vague, although from my experience it can get plenty hot, with or without superfluous heat sinks. The real question was, are we going to get more heat from the graphics card than the RAM, although that overlooks the obvious chipset below the CPU, which will likely add more heat than either of the other two components.

My goal is the overall cooling efficiency of the entire build not just the CPU. If the CPU goes up 1 or 2 degrees Celsius and the entire system goes down by a greater degree, such as the chipset, graphics card, etc., it's a win in my book. If the graphics card is dumping so much heat you're afraid of it getting to the CPU cooler, I think you have bigger issues, as eventually you'll saturate a large volume inside the case and waste heat will likely get to the CPU cooler anyway as it moves around the outsides of the enclosure. The faster you remove the heat from the entire unit, the more efficient overall, and for longer periods of time.

... and I still see no hard evidence the CPU will end up warmer in a vertical orientation than horizontal. Surely Tom's has an article on this somewhere!
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a b à CPUs
May 1, 2013 1:42:56 PM

Just in case it helps, here are the components of my system that would impact this the most:
- Asus Z77 motherboard
- I5-3570k CPU
- MSI Geforce 660 Twin Frozr
- Coolermaster hyper 212 evo cpu cooler
- Ripjaws X ram (2 sticks)
- Front case intake fan: CM megaflow 200mm
- Top case exhaust fan: CM megaflow 200mm
- rear exhaust, side intake and both cpu cooler fans: 120mm Cougar turbine
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