I decided to get two 120mm side fans, but my results were discouraging no matter what setup I used...
Both intake - temp increased by 5 degrees over no side fans
Both exhaust - temp increased by 5 degrees over no side fans
Top exhaust, bottom intake - temp increased by 3 degrees over no side fans
Bottom intake, top unplugged - no change in temp over no side fans
so I guess my question is... with 2 top fans, 2 side fans, a front fan, and a back fan what is the optimal setup? all fans are molex
You want a smooth flow from the front intake to the top/rear exhaust fans. Unless you are trying to cool the graphics card, I would avoid the side intake fans. They will tend to disrupt the flow of air though the case.
To improve the cooling , I would advise a better fan on the front intake.
Having that many fans blowing air in a bunch of different directions can create pockets inside your tower, whereas you need the air movement to flow through it.
1 intake lower-side panel is enough for that panel.
1 rear exhaust
1 front lower intake
As for the last one, either top front intake or top rear exhaust would be good...however its really important to be able to track the airflow as it moves through your tower.
Usually people use dry ice, a bit of cigarette smoke (not to condone smoking) would work too.
Either way, being able to see where the air is flowing and where its forming pockets is essential.