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How many of you run your case with the side panel removed?

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July 12, 2008 1:13:02 AM

i know it leads to more dust. but I have always recorded the lowest temperatures while having my side panel off. but it could have been just a poor ventilating computer case also its a Thermaltake Xaser III fairly old.


just debating whether or not to get a new case. i use a industrial Stanley fan to blow directly into the side of the case which they a-lot better than any normal fan. and have way more airflow in a more concentrated area.

i just cannot see any antec 900 ect with 5 120mm fans(lol) in a enclosed case cooling better than a side open case with a bigger fan. of-course i dont mind the wind sound from the fan.

any opinions would be appreciated.

is there a certain kind of air dynamics in the new enclosed cases that just make them superior than just a big fan ?
July 12, 2008 1:24:48 AM

Not many people want a big, loud, unsightly fan in their living room, blowing into a dusty old case. :D 

But if it works for you, why not? :p 
July 12, 2008 1:41:48 AM

I just looked over at my tower and noticed i do this too :) . I have one of those old koolance PC2 cases and way too many harddrives to fit into the case properly so they have to sit on each other on the case floor and it generates a ton of heat :) .
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July 12, 2008 1:56:36 AM

wel i have side panel off. top panel off. and not sure what these industiral stanely fans are rated at cfm wise but its more than those generic big Box fans. right now on my athlon 64 3200 its showing the processor at 40c
meom0ry hub 29c, and CPU sensor 1 46c. when i have the fan turned off and the case together they all raise about 3-4 degrees celcius
July 12, 2008 2:01:38 AM

i do sometimes like if i am overclocking trying to beat my 3dmark record. i will upload a pic of a huge fan i used when i was overclocking like a mad man and needed to cool my system down.

July 12, 2008 2:06:15 AM

yea that fan multiply what it pushes by about x5 and thats what this stanely pushes ill try to upload a pic. I originally got this fan while i drag race to cool the engine.

i actually need to do a dusting. its been about 2-3 months. i just today popped the top of the case off for the first time sense i bought the case 3+ years ago

i will clean it all once i get my new setup. i dunno i wish i could find a cheap case that mabe had a side panel the same size as the suction area of this fan. its about 3x the size of the 120mm fans. then i could put it besides the comp and it could do a good of sucking out hot air. and help the other fans bring in cool air.
ohwell :p  disregard the tap on the PSU. and that its upside down. it would have overheated rightside up with the top on. sense i took it off today ill probly flip the psu around. though ill be getting a new psu ofcourse. but
ill say this. this cheap Dynex hasnt SKipped a beat

July 12, 2008 2:18:14 AM

You'll damage your components by forcing dust on them too hard with a fan like that :lol: 
July 12, 2008 2:46:48 AM

wow ill say this. in the 15 min i have taken the top part of the case off. which lets oyu pretty much look directly down to the entire inside. the Core temp has drop from 49c idle to 37-39c idle. heh mabe i will stick with this case after all. though its turning into a wire frame LOL
July 12, 2008 2:48:40 AM

I have my side panel on, and the case inside a tiny part of my desk with about 1/2 inch of airspace on either side.
July 12, 2008 3:04:17 AM

used to, not at the moment.
July 12, 2008 3:16:23 AM

randomizer said:
I have my side panel on, and the case inside a tiny part of my desk with about 1/2 inch of airspace on either side.


Same set up as me. I have a little more room on the sides, about 3-4 inches on each side but probably 1-2 inches is being used by foam sound absorbing material (looks like little cones all over it) my case fans all vent out the rear and my front fans suck air in from the front.

July 12, 2008 3:16:27 AM

The only time I remove the side panel is when I'm working on something. If you have enough fans and they are correctly positioned, they will cool better with the side panel on than with it off. Besides, having it off and a house fan pointed into the case just looks weird, besides probably blowing dust into places that were never meant to have dust.
July 12, 2008 3:17:43 AM

Ahhh would you guys walk around with your fly open......? Keep your case closed.........no one wants to see your stuff.
July 12, 2008 3:53:32 AM

Maybe you should want get a Thermaltake Armor + ?? this case have a pretty huge 25cm fan on the side pannel! And at least, it have a grill to filter dust! I think this should suit you well ;) 

I've put the same one on the side of my Armor Jr, and it's almost the size of the side panel! :p 
July 12, 2008 5:00:07 AM

I used to run my computer with the side panel off. This was about 3 years ago when i still had a 233MHz computer. It was pretty sad. Had to keep the side panel off, with a big fan blowing in unless i wanted BSOD every 5 minutes. This just delayed it to about every 3 to 4 hours.
July 12, 2008 5:22:05 AM

atekido82 said:
i actually need to do a dusting. its been about 2-3 months. i just today popped the top of the case off for the first time sense i bought the case 3+ years ago

i will clean it all once i get my new setup.


You may not need to dust if you keep that huge fan on it long enough. It should blow the dust off pretty soon - althought putting it back into the air. And if you fan is fast enough - it could give your board a nice sandblast cleaning with the dust in the air. I wonder if speedy dust is enough, over time, for the sandblasting to do more than clean.

Even if you don't have time to dust the rest of it now, you might consider at least getting a can of Dust Off and blowing it through your PSU. You might be surprised how much dust accumulates there in three years - and it could help the PSU run a little cooler.
July 12, 2008 5:34:41 AM

I used to have my side panel off when I used an 6800GT that kept overheating. I had an oscillating fan right on the video card and processor. I just hated looking at it so I placed an NV arctic cooler on it and that was that.
July 12, 2008 5:41:59 AM

I leave my side panels on for my 2 cases:



Heh... and speaking of dust, well that is what you going to get when you have airflow.

You'd need a server room, with dedicated air conditioning that is filtered for that particular room, with no carpets, to at least minimize dust.
July 12, 2008 7:05:30 AM

Close your case up and get two Scythe Ultra Kaze 3000RPM 120mm fans. They're rated around 133 cfm...which is quite overkill. I have them turned down for noise reasons and my PC wants to fly away when i turn them on full speed with my fan controller. $10 each and push LOTS of air.
July 12, 2008 7:58:00 AM

Grimmy said:
I leave my side panels on for my 2 cases:

http://members.cox.net/fade.2.black/temp/E4400-Q6600.JPG

Heh... and speaking of dust, well that is what you going to get when you have airflow.

You'd need a server room, with dedicated air conditioning that is filtered for that particular room, with no carpets, to at least minimize dust.


Grimmy, I seldom have cause to comment on your posts, but feel the need to do so here.

The reason good server rooms stay as dust free as they do is because of two important factors. One, you need very good intake filtration. Two, you need positive pressure ventilation, ie, more
CFM coming in than leaving.

If you treat your case as if it were a server room, (good filters on your intakes and more intake than exhaust) your case will stay relatively dust free. And coffee filters aren't good input filters... Look for something in the HEPA 3 or 4 range, make sure that it is high-flow material.

July 12, 2008 8:20:35 AM

If you people saw my case, I mean just the front of my case, you'd understand how little I care about dust. :lol:  Where's my camera? My cable management is kind of "unmanaged" too. Here's a pic of my old s939 rig that has since been dismantled and mostly sold on ebay.





Ain't PATA cables the shiz?
July 12, 2008 8:20:41 AM

I have the antec 300 with 3 extra yate loon medium speed fans so the case goes like this top 140mm exhaust back 120mm exhaust and side panel 120 exhaust so the two front ones are intake. The back and top fan come stock. So i did a test and when i took off ym side panel my temperatures dropped only a degree so its no worth it in my opinion because its also louder without the side panel. The antec 300 is a beast if you spend some time to actual wire your cables properly.
Here is mine no cables are over the motherboard and at the top left corner you can see my cpu power cable i ran it under the motherboard in the little channels it has. the rest of the cables are ran through the area next to the hard drive and then up through the optical drives bay.

*edit* Plus this case has fan filters for the intake so its very clean inside

July 12, 2008 8:55:32 AM

^ Nice picture. Your Antec 300 is very clean.

I run my case with side panel on.

I used to turn off the intake fans and run it with the side panel off for complete silence except that my stock intel HSF gets noisy when theres a cpu load. im replacing it with a AC freezer 7 pro which should cool better and be quieter. It's gonna arrive this monday from newegg, i ordered last wednesday.

-putting on the side panel helps reduce noise when you have alot of fans. i really hate 92mm fans because they run faster then 120mm for same cfm and seem to cause vibrations in my case. i cant stand noisy computers. Silence Is Golden.
July 12, 2008 9:03:00 AM

what i do is put some electrical tape around the fan mounting area and then tighten the screws really tight and that way i get zero vibrations and also my case has rubber feet.
July 12, 2008 9:16:06 AM

I need to find some electrical tape. Thanks for the good tip jpbg.
July 12, 2008 10:11:33 AM

croc said:
Grimmy, I seldom have cause to comment on your posts, but feel the need to do so here.

The reason good server rooms stay as dust free as they do is because of two important factors. One, you need very good intake filtration. Two, you need positive pressure ventilation, ie, more
CFM coming in than leaving.

If you treat your case as if it were a server room, (good filters on your intakes and more intake than exhaust) your case will stay relatively dust free. And coffee filters aren't good input filters... Look for something in the HEPA 3 or 4 range, make sure that it is high-flow material.


Well, I've been in different server rooms, not all are the same. All that I've been in (that share in common), don't have carpet, all had good AC (but if it went out.. it got very hot quickly), and hardly nobody was in there, unless it was part of an operation center for a network operators.

I'm just stating that since we pretty much live around our PC's, and that we use air to cool them, your going to have dust as a common problem. I really haven't tried using filters on my cases, but just accepted the fact that I need to do some cleaning every now and then. I've had grill meshed type filters, it seems to just reduce the CFM in my case.

It would be nice if we could put our PC's in a room that is dust free, and just have the Monitor/KB/Mouse where we normal sit at.

However, even in my room temps, 78-82F, my rig runs pretty cool for that type of ambient temp. Even when I check the temps in my case, its roughly 2-3F higher them room ambient, under reg load (gaming). So I'm not about to put filters in to reduce the dust for CFM. I mean, it takes awhile for dust to build up, and you still would need to clean/replace filters.
!