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Case air flow/temperature problem

Last response: in Overclocking
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September 25, 2003 9:32:45 PM

Greetings, I have been having temperature problems with my 2500+ Barton since I built the system. Idle temps are around 55c with full load around 62c. The CPU is not overclocked, and I am using the stock HSF. I have a front lower 80mm intake fan and a rear 80mm exhaust fan, plus the power supply fan. I have reset the heatsink and applied AS, and this only caused a degree or so of difference.

What does make a big difference though is removing the side of the case, this brings the temps down more then 10 degrees to what I would concider more normal levels. This implies to me that I have a case airflow problem. What I cannot understand is why. I have the cables carefully tucked out of the way, and I have those two case fans. I am not sure what else I can do short of drilling some holes in the case or using a Tornado (which I tried for about 5 minutes but could not stand the noise), or possibly just getting a new case with better air flow and more spots for fans. Just for an experiment today I tried reversing the rear exhaust fan so that it is pulling air in. Now I know this is a no no, but I just wanted to see what would happen. This cause my CPU temps to drop down to more "normal" levels (idle 45c), but as expected caused my case temps to sneak up a bit (30c). I am wondering if this would be an ok arrangement as long as my case temps do not get any higher? Remeber I do have that lower 80mm intake that does blow on my cards and HDs, so I am not overly concerned about those. The only other options I can think to try with this case is either making a blow hole in the side that will blow right on the CPU, or maybe try to rig up some sort of duct. I may get a new HSF at some point too, but if the problem is really airflow as I suspect then I don't think that would really address the issue. I would appreciate any input you guys could offer.
September 25, 2003 10:19:34 PM

If your temps drop that much when taking the side panel off, then your heatsink/fan combo doesn't sound like the problem - case airflow does. Does your case have room for any more fans?
A blow hole on the side blowing in would also certainly help, as would a duct from the 80mm at the back of the case to the heatsink itself. Both of those are a bit of a pain though - more fans would probably be your best option.

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this signature area is too dern short, no space to put your system specs
September 25, 2003 11:46:58 PM

Thanks for the reply LtBlue14, yes I am pretty certain it is an airflow issue as opposed to the HSF. Unfortunatly the case only has spots for a front 80mm fan and a rear 80-92mm fan. Adding anymore fans would require making some new holes, which I don't really have the tools required (I assume one would need a drill press and some pretty large bits?, or maybe just a hack saw?). I have a duct from an old PIII Dell computer, so I am not sure how much of a pain it would be to modify it for this case. I just can't figure out how the airflow could be so bad since I am pretty sure I have done everything right.
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September 26, 2003 12:18:56 AM

Just an update. Since I decided to experiment with reversing the rear case fan (it is now blowing in), I am seeing a 5-7 degree decrease in CPU temps, but a 7-10 degree increase in motherboard temperature. This is pretty much what I expected. With web surfing and some MS Office work my motherboard temp is at 33c. Now this is a little warmer then I would like, but I am wondering if it is worth the trade off to keep the mobo/case temps a little high to keep my CPU temps lower? I unscientifically felt around the case a bit with my hand and the only areas that felt warm were the northbridge heatsink and around the hard drive....
September 26, 2003 4:14:13 AM

no problem with case/mobo temps at that level. i'd keep the fan blowing in and use the PSU as my only exhaust

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this signature area is too dern short, no space to put your system specs
September 28, 2003 3:23:55 AM

33c is good man, wish i got that

AMD Barton 2500+
A7N8X Delux
Corsair Matched 256x2 PC3200 w/ Platinum Heat Spreaders
Saphire Radeon 9600 pro
Thermaltake X3
Thermaltake 420 PS
Western Digital 80 gig 7200 HD
!