How to get the best possible airflow in the NZXT h440

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NZXT Cases Graphics Cards Cooling Components
eatmypie
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So I recently bought the NZXT h440 a few weeks ago and noticed that that case was very silent, but really didn't like video cards that depend on the case to blow the hot air out of the case from the video card, like ACX cooler from EVGA, or the 7990 stock cooler.


The ACX cooler just looks sexy which is what made me buy it. When I first bought my NZXT h440, I was in love with the silence, and the and the case anesthetics.


Aside from its amazing looks and silence I noticed that with my H100i, and my Noctua NF-F12's in pull to avoid having to take the fans off every time that I needed to clean my system, it kept my processor very cool not even going over 67c. Now my video card was getting a lot hotter than what it used to up to about 79c vs 72c in my old case.now 79c is completely acceptable, but the noise in my opinion is not. So I went into my corsairLink software and I changed it from quite mode, to performance mode, which can be done by right clicking the icon on your task bar and selecting performance mode. The game that I am playing is Crysis 3 to do these tests, I played the same level for about 15mins when ever I switched something. Now my temps went down to about 74-75c, even though I was still in performance mode, the fans didn't really make any noise at all. Now that was part one of the fix. part two was buying all new fans for the case, I bought 3 of my personal favorite fans, which are the Noctua NF-F12's, some people say that they are ugly, but you can't really see them at all in this case if you install them into the front of the case.


I tested both direct airflow fans, and static pressure fans as intake in the front of the case, and the noctua NF-f12's with their amazing static pressure beat all of my other fans including corsairs AF120mm, Corsairs SP120mm case fans. I always use quite fans that don't spin past 1500rpm even though after I bought all of my new fans I did use the 7v low noise power adapters on all of the Noctua fans. Now with adding those 3 fans to the front my gpu temps dropped from the 75c, to 70c with the low noise adapters. I believe the main reason was because these fans moved more air from the starved vents, so the air was able to move out any other vent holes in the case. Now for the final touch I installed one AF140mm quite edition fan from corsair as an outtake fan in the back of the case, this didn't really help my video card temps, but instead allowed me to tweak my front fans down even more to 7v. while still getting around 70c on the video card.


I did recently purchase another video card for sli, and my temps did go up to about 82c, but after adding the back plate from EVGA, the hottest card did drop down to about 80c.


So to wrap it up, static pressure is key for this case so make sure that you buy good static pressure optimized fans for this case, preferably 3 120mm for the front, not two 140mm fans I don't care what other people say I tested 3 120mm fans vs the two 140 method and the 3 120mm fans have better temps than the 2 140mm fans. For fans taking air out of the case, yet again 2 or 3 static pressure fans up top in pull vs push, push has no temp difference what so ever. and one nice 140m case fan pulling air out the back.

The links to everything that I listed
Notcua NF-F12 case fans http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00650P2ZC/?tag=pcpapi-20 $20

Corsair AF140m quite edition case fan http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835181028 $21 or cheaper

EVGA Backplate http://www.evga.com/Products/ProductList.aspx?type=2&family=Accessories+-+Hardware&chipset=Backplate

I personally would recommend getting the swiftech h220 water cooler, and 4 of the Silverstone AP 120mm case fans for push-pull for optimal cooling in this case.Unless you have a motherboard with the heat sinks very low down on the motherboard, you probably will need a slimmer fan the the AP's from Silverstone
AP fans can be bought here http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835220038

the swiftech cooler which blows any other self contained water cooler out of the water can be bought here. http://www.ncix.com/detail/swiftech-h220-quiet-power-plug-and-play-c7-79583-1070.htm

The power of the pump is 4 times greater than the corsair h100i, so think about how much more water it can move.

Just an update, if you are a silence freak like me, consider setting target temp on your video card to something like 70c if you are a Nvidia user. I noticed just a 7% performance decrease from time to time in some parts of games. But if you are running SLI maybe something like 80-85c which is hot, but I did manage to get into contact with a person at nvidia, and they said these cards are designed to be able to run at 85c all of the time just fine. The reason why I don't worry about my cards running a bit hotter than say with what someone running them cooler, but with the default loud fan curve. Is because a 7% decrease in performance to me really is worth getting that silence that you would expect to get from running a more silence optimized fan curve. I personally run both cards at 60% fan speed in sli and I notice little to no difference in performance.

But I recently just ordered all of my water cooling stuff from EK, and now I will be water cooling my whole setup to meet my needs. I would really recommend trying water cooling everything in this case. I would really only recommend running the whole system on water if you are an experienced builder. I really don't like how many people are afraid of messing something up while putting together their first custom loop water cooled system. Computers are expensive, but so are cars, and most of us drive one knowing the dangers and that getting into an accident can be expensive, but we do it anyways because we can't walk everywhere. So study for about 1-3 months, talk to some friends if you have any that have done water cooling, and figure out how you want to build your own custom loop. I recommend buying the fittings, and tubes last. One method that I like to use is I like to take a picture of the case, or find one, and then in paint I like make little boxes and fit them around inside the picture of where I want the rad pumps and res to go.