Currently, I have my PC in the upstairs part of my townhouse and Thursday was a about 87F. I became a little concerned on that Thursday, thankfully it has cooled to about low 70's as of late.
I originally built this computer back in January, and here in Wisconsin its colder than a witches titty. Computer temp was never a concern. On that Thursday I was recording Idle temps on my E6400 of 47-51C and the cores around 60-61. On a 75% load I was reading up to 56C on the CPU and up to 65C on the cores. I'm concerned about the rest of the summer. I have no AC in the currenty PC room and a window and a fan is like a fart in church. I also reinstalled my PCI Slot fan under my 8800GTS, an extra 80mm and retro fitted 2x50mm fans on my northbridge (we all know the northbridge runs pretty hot on the Asus P5N-E SLI). During this time I recorded AT MOST a 2C drop in system temp and no decrease on CPU/Core.
My current cooling setup:
2 x 120mm intakes (one on side and one on front)
1 x 120mm exhaust in back
1 x 80mm exhause at top of the case
1 x PCI slot fan
2 x 50mm on the heatsink
1 x 80mm kind of underneath the DVD drive (intake)
Stock Intel HSF E6400
Stock Speed at the moment (due to hot weather)
1 x 140mm exhaust fan on Xclio Greatpower PSU 600W
Exhaust fan on 8800GTS
The airflow in my case could be better (especially if I removed the Audigy Drive (only use it as a headphone jack) because it uses a flat ribbon cable to connect it to the sound card. Otherwise I just round cables for IDE and use SATA cables for the hard drives.
This is the most number of fans I've ever had in a computer case at one time. The sensors (from the case) are recording mid 40's C on the surface of my HD's (running RAID 0, don't want to strain the disks, back up is not a worry).
Is water-cooling my only effective cooling option (even at stock speeds)? The hot fans are just pushing more hot air around because the ambient temp of the room is quite warm (the intakes are just drawing in more hot air). If water cooling is my only option, suggestions? Sub $200 range. Overclocking not a priority at the moment. Water cooling is virgin territory for me, always scared me a bit with install etc. (even though I've been building comps for myself and friends for about 8 years).
WC will only help keep the system closer to ambient temps. A couple of suggestions for keeping ambient temps low:
1. Eliminate sunlight in the room with blinds/curtains
2. Open windows during the night to let cool air into the room and then close them when the outside air starts to warm up. Use fans to get good airflow in the room when the windows are closed.
3. Turn off the PC and all electronics when not in the room.
Beyond that I would hesitate to go to WC just to drop the load temps. I would get a good aftermarket HSF for the CPU. Something like a Thermalright Ultra 120 (or Extreme), a Tuniq Tower 120, or a Thermaltake Big Typhoon VX. One of those will keep your temps closer to ambient than the stock HSF.
Thanks for the info. What I think I'm going to do is order a new HSF and remove my Audigy Platnium Drive - I know the flat cable blocks a far amount of air flow. I may move an 80mm near the HD cage. I've got 2 LCDs and I'll start sticking to using one unless I really need it when its hot.
I was wondering if one of those peltier equipped cooling solusion wouldn't be a good idea in this situation? I haven't got any kind of experience with it, but I've heard it should be able to drop the cold side 20C below ambient or something crazy like that.
Yes this would help the cpu cooling but the case temps is really the biggest thing, if you can cool down the parts in the case the cpu will stay cooler I've proven this with my build, and tools build. wind tunnel is good for this
Think of this you are driving on a hot day open one window and you are a bit cooler but open the other side you feel the cool air.
One issue that is often overlooked pertains to the amount of heat contributed by the power supply. For instance, I noticed that the 480 watt Antec NeoPower PS seemed to be blowing out a lot of hot air. When I took the side panel off and felt of the PS, it was quiet warm. I changed over to a Corsair 520, which runs much cooler, and noticed pocessor and motherboard zone temperatures were running 10 degrees F cooler, at idle and under load. I hadn't realized that a "hot burning" PS can contribute so much to interior case temperatures.