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Micro ATX Case, CPU cooling, lack of room 150mm height restriction

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July 1, 2013 6:22:54 PM

Hi o/

I have an i5 3570, no plans for overclocking of course but its temps on the stock cooler are frightening me. Summer's approaching and its rather noticeable it seems! The case is an NZXT Vulcan with a window installed in the side panel instead of the mesh. I move the pc around a lot and the mesh let in a lot of dust so I installed a 2mm clear acrylic window. It's left me in a bit of a pickle with CPU coolers and the restricted airflow is something I'll be fixing too

System Setup: -clicky-
EVGA Intel Z68 SLI (Socket 1155) DDR3 Micro ATX Motherboard
Kingston 240GB HyperX 3K SSD 2.5" SATA-III
Kingston Hyper 2X4GB 2133MHz DDR3 CL11
Intel Core i5 3570 3.40GHz Socket 1155
Zotac GTX 560Ti
1x 120mm intake fan
2x 120mm top exhaust fans
1x 92mm rear exhaust fan (coming soon)

If the picture is clear enough you can see its a very compact layout; tall RAM, top fans encroaching on the motherboard with the grills (removable if needed). The window is the thinnest I could find but it chops the available height for a CPU cooler down from 175mm to just about 150mm with the tape measure, best guess. Typically, all the coolers I've looked at are averaging 160mm :ange:  so I'd like some advice on which are good for:

- keeping air in the case flowing effectively (I don't want the graphics card to eat stagnant hot air)
- cooling the CPU down as much as possible, any surrounding stuff is a bonus!

Watercooling isn't an option, I've got some radiators/pump etc lying around and they wont fit right with fans and the fans are needed!

The stock cooler isn't helping move air out the case at all, I've seen my CPU hit 73c and the graphics card 85c while messing around on games. I reckon that's far too high, so what'll it be?

?- -Zalman 9700-
?- -Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme-
?- -Zero Infinity Shiva-
?- -Arctic Freezer Xtreme-

If they're terrible post your suggestions! Thanks :) 
July 1, 2013 6:31:58 PM

Does your side window panel have any holes through it? Also, by looking at the case it looks like the air flows through the front and exits through the back, you can try to change your stock CPU fan and the fan on the front face of the case, and do you have a fan at the back of the case?
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July 1, 2013 6:37:01 PM

Verzy said:
Does your side window panel have any holes through it? Also, by looking at the case it looks like the air flows through the front and exits through the back, you can try to change your stock CPU fan and the fan on the front face of the case, and do you have a fan at the back of the case?


No holes in the window sadly. It has the front 120mm, top 2x120mm and a (in the mail) 92mm rear fan. A CPU cooler would help push the air through better, I'm hoping
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July 1, 2013 6:40:44 PM

aids40k said:
Verzy said:
Does your side window panel have any holes through it? Also, by looking at the case it looks like the air flows through the front and exits through the back, you can try to change your stock CPU fan and the fan on the front face of the case, and do you have a fan at the back of the case?


No holes in the window sadly. It has the front 120mm, top 2x120mm and a (in the mail) 92mm rear fan. A CPU cooler would help push the air through better, I'm hoping
Would the CPU fan just push the air towards the side of your PC? It wouldn't really help the air flow through the front to back. But, I guess you can put the mesh side back on and put a dust filter on the back of it so there won't be any dust going in your PC.

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July 1, 2013 6:52:51 PM

Verzy said:
Would the CPU fan just push the air towards the side of your PC? It wouldn't really help the air flow through the front to back. But, I guess you can put the mesh side back on and put a dust filter on the back of it so there won't be any dust going in your PC.

Ok from the picture I posted, the air would be moving from the right to left, so a CPU cooler like I've asked for suggestions on would facilitate the air movement out the back of the case compared to what it is now? I've considered covering the mesh with a filter but its shape is awful, far from flat or square hence the window panel. It's not a perfect solution but it keeps all intakes dust-filtered
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July 1, 2013 7:02:22 PM

aids40k said:
Verzy said:
Would the CPU fan just push the air towards the side of your PC? It wouldn't really help the air flow through the front to back. But, I guess you can put the mesh side back on and put a dust filter on the back of it so there won't be any dust going in your PC.

Ok from the picture I posted, the air would be moving from the right to left, so a CPU cooler like I've asked for suggestions on would facilitate the air movement out the back of the case compared to what it is now? I've considered covering the mesh with a filter but its shape is awful, far from flat or square hence the window panel. It's not a perfect solution but it keeps all intakes dust-filtered
I would just take the dust filter route, might look ugly but it gets the job done

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July 1, 2013 7:06:24 PM

I'd pick a Thermalright True 120M for your need to cool down your CPU, and maybe OC-ing too. Get over the fancy but crappy ones posted above.

As for your card, it's the 448 cores version I guess? 85 degree is pretty normal for that card according to TPU's review : http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Zotac/GeForce_GTX_56...

If you want to cool it down, you'd better get an aftermarket vga cooler from Arctic cooling.
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July 1, 2013 7:35:07 PM

Madn3ss795 said:
I'd pick a Thermalright True 120M for your need to cool down your CPU, and maybe OC-ing too. Get over the fancy but crappy ones posted above.

As for your card, it's the 448 cores version I guess? 85 degree is pretty normal for that card according to TPU's review : http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Zotac/GeForce_GTX_56...

If you want to cool it down, you'd better get an aftermarket vga cooler from Arctic cooling.


Yep, that'll do nicely! I was losing hope for finding a decent but short cooler hence the list of 'they fit' ones I posted. Also the graphics card is the 448 core version so I'll look into an Arctic cooler if I can't improve the airflow enough

Thanks for you help guys!
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