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Simple mod to greatly improve front fan cooling efficiency

Last response: in Components
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May 14, 2006 8:24:20 PM

I originally posted this on the D 805 overclocking thread, but felt it should also be here in the case mod section. This is a simple modification that will make your front case fan really come alive! Other than the work involved, it's free. All you need are some simple tools and you'll improve your front fan's cooling. It's like putting your front fan on turbo boost!
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Hi Plekto and All,

I don't agree with you that the front fan is useless, there is a better solution. The problem is that airflow is restricted AND doesn't have the correct direction. That means that when the front fan sucks air, it can be coming from either the outside, or the very inside of the computer. It has no direction!

I do take my cases and remove the manufacturer's stamped fan covers, those are useless and do restrict airflow. I cut them off and go and get the grill type. It does improve airflow. But that's not all I do. Read on:

These are the other steps I take:

a) I buy 4 rubber bottom furniture legs (an inch tall), like for office equipment. They have a threaded middle rod and will bolt right up to the case. Remove the little factory rubber pads and you just simply install them there. Now your case sits about an inch from the ground.

b) I remove the plastic front cover from the computer box and enlarge the little factory air intake slot (between the 2 front rubber legs or pads). I cut away on each side and on the middle to make it as big as I can without damaging the looks of the case. I then install some medium mesh window screen as a pre-filter for the fan. 3 little wood screws with a little hold down tab work just fine (the pre-filter covers the area of the factory slot you just enlarged, not the fan itself!). The pre-filter is really needed because the next step will greatly improve its useful air movement.

c) I now now look on the inside of the plastic computer case cover, between the area on top of the front fan and the start of the floppy drive area. Notice there isn't any natural separation there?

The way to remedy that is that I take a piece of cardboard and measure it to follow the contour of the inside of the front of the case cover. Once I'm done, I have a piece of cardboard that fits very snug between the case cover and the metal chassis of the computer case front. I hot glue the cardboard to the plastic case caver. I then proceed to seal off any other stamping or factory holes left in the area between the cardboard and the bottom of the case metal chassis.

The end result:
If you have followed me this far, you'll notice that once you put the computer front cover back on, there's only one area for the front fan to suck air from: ------> the enlarged and screen mesh covered intake slot on the very bottom of the plastic case cover! We now have direction!

Upkeep:
About once every so often you'll have to remove the screen mesh and clean it. However, it will keep your fan free from hair and other household debris.

Your computer will have much better airflow and your temperatures will be better. Now your front fan will ONLY be able to circulate cool exterior air, since it no longer has access to the inside case air. Your front and rear fan will now both work about the same (if they are the same size and rating, of course!).

Buzz_X

May 14, 2006 9:12:20 PM

pics would be nice so we can follow what your saying.
May 14, 2006 9:40:06 PM

Quote:
pics would be nice so we can follow what your saying.


That was a consideration but I don't have a working digital camera. I'll be glad to answer any questions you have though.

Just take your time and read it, it's not all that complicated.

Buzz_X
Anonymous
a b ) Power supply
May 14, 2006 10:25:01 PM

Quote:
pics would be nice so we can follow what your saying.


I am very interested in this little technique you suggest here. But unfortunately without pictures it's not very helpful. Why don't you get a cam from a friend or something? That can't be to hard can it? Otherwise we won't be able to appreciate your input here...
May 14, 2006 10:56:27 PM

OK folks,

I posted a home made sketch, not the greatest but it does get the point across.

Buzz_X
May 14, 2006 11:38:01 PM

Hi StrangeStranger,

Yep, you got that right! Matter of fact, since I'm an old-timer that just about includes all my cases!

I wanted to overclock an Athlon Barton and I knew I needed all the cooling I could get. I was amazed at how well it worked. I've had the Barton running overclocked for a couple of years and never had any problems.

Buzz_X
May 19, 2006 5:40:23 AM

Hello Buzz_x
From an ex-car mechanics view, it looks like you made yourself a little fan shroud. Excellent way to direct the air coming into the case from the outside. Your right about front case fans-they are not useless as some folks think. The incoming flow of fresh air into the case along with a rear exhaust fan keeps the entire case cooler...Good Job!
May 19, 2006 10:27:10 AM

Nice one.... :trophy:
Even though I am a modder steps d and e are 2 interesting simple mods that I haven’t tried yet. Thanks (b and c I always do)
May 19, 2006 2:07:40 PM

Hi Folks,

For those of us without big bucks for fancy cases, it sure as heck works! The rubber furniture legs also help to elevate the case and give you extra clearance for air intake.

You can most definitely call it a shroud, since it does direct the fan to only receive air from the cool exterior, not all mixed with warm case air. The reason rear fans are known for good cooling is that the case makes the shrouding for them, they have no choice but to pull air out of the case.

Buzz_X
!