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Noob question on airflow/fans

Last response: in Components
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December 2, 2008 6:19:20 AM

Hi im in the process of building a comp for the first time and was wondering about fans, I have read throughout the forum and theres not much on cooling for the nub, more top end stuff. I read somewhere here that good airflow can make all the difference and since I wont be OC any components whatsoever it should be more than enough (if any aftermarket cooling is needed at all)?

My Q's are how to get best airflow, should i leave the side fan alone and replace the front and back? If so does the front fan intake while the back one pushes out.. how do u control this? Or do i just replace all 3 plug them in and viola.
I'll be running a 4870 (single) with a E8500 and probably 8gig of 1066 ram in duel if that helps to decide whether i need aftermarket cooling at all or not.

Any help would be greatly appreciated sry bout the wall of text
December 2, 2008 6:50:23 AM

imo, side fans disrupt the airflow. front fans @ intake and back/top for exhaust.

You're looking for more exhaust CFM than intake CFM for optimal airflow. this removes any "Dead spots" and makes sure there's no air from the intake just swirling around inside...

In a cheap case, a single front fan and a single exhaust fan should work, since there is the PSU and possibly GPU exhausting air as well.

In a good case, two fans at the front @ intake, 1 fan at the back @ exhaust, and one or two fans at the top @ exhaust.

another method (which i have used... i may take a pic and edit this with it lol) is to ghetto attach a fan to the drive bays (or motherboard heatsinks if they overheat, OR ram... or anything really it's up to your imagination) with zippy ties. now while this does not provide optimum airflow (ie not being close to outside air like a front fan is) it does concentrate air on specific hot spots. such as your graphics card or RAM...
a b ) Power supply
December 2, 2008 6:58:22 AM

Before you go replacing fans, what case or fans do you already have? Some cases come preinstalled with some very good fans.
Related resources
December 2, 2008 7:39:58 AM

*cough*
a b ) Power supply
December 2, 2008 8:20:52 AM

*sneeze*
December 2, 2008 8:27:38 AM

Actually it also depends on the case... I actually prefer full closure so that I can do a few mods to create negative air pressure.
a c 87 ) Power supply
December 2, 2008 8:37:27 AM

As some of you may know, I'm now a big fan of the blow hole. Either buy a case that has one, or do what I did and cut a hole in the top of your case. Attach a 120mm fan sucking the air out, and you should be good. I also advise a front intake. If you have one, feel free to put in an upper exhaust fan blowing out. (between the CPU and PSU.) Side fan isn't really needed, though if you do use one make sure it blows air in so that it helps cool your GPU.

Don't worry about fan controls or any special yet. Only worry about that if you have a fan thats noisy.
a c 87 ) Power supply
December 2, 2008 4:49:03 PM

Most people use a fan controller to slow a fan down, making it quieter. I wouldn't worry about this until after you've bought the fans, and determined that they are to loud. If you pay attention to the dba ratings before you buy, this shouldn't even be an issue. (stay under 30 if you can, don't go above 35.)
December 2, 2008 4:55:30 PM

The fan will only push/blow in one direction, so in order to change which way it does this (ie, in or out of the case) you would have to physically reverse the fan's direction.

I'm not exactly sure how many fans that case comes with. It supports 3 120mm fans (back, rear, front) but it seems the front may require a special "thin" fan - though comments on Newegg suggest a regular 120mm fan will fit - which leads me to believe one is not included. Might want to look into this!

If you do not plan to overclock then generally the fans that come with a case are enough. I would say bare minimum is 1 front (intake) and 1 read (exhaust) and they would come installed this way IF included with the case.

Make sure your cables are managed nicely; zip tie them together, ideally our of the way of how you would visualize the air flowing through your case from front to back so they aren't blocking it.

If you want/need to buy 120mm fans, there are different options in terms of CFM (how much air the fan can 'push) and Static Pressure (how much 'force' the fan pushes with, for example this is better for a CPU cooler fan that is pushing thru grills or sometimes on the front of a case where the air is 'pushed' through a tight dust filter). There are also Ball Bearing, Sleeve Bearing, and Fluid Bearing fan types and some are suited better for different positions - You don't likely need to worry about any of the things in the paragraph since you aren't going to be overclocking and generating extra heat in the case, this is just FYI.

Also, because you aren't overclocking, just buy DDR2-800 memory. 1066 ONLY means you can overclock your processor further, it's not actually 'faster'. Faster would be the timings, such 4-4-4-12 is faster than 5-5-5-15, so save yourself some $ there and get DDR2-800.

I'd email that company or google around more and find out what fans exactly come with that case. If you're going to have to buy a separate front fan, consider adding that price to your case budget and get one that includes front/rear fans to make it easier on yourself.

Don't need aftermarket cooling for the CPU.

Good luck!
December 2, 2008 7:23:26 PM

well you pretty much covered everything thank-you and thanks to other posts as well appreciate it heaps.
!