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Side Panel Fans

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  • Heatsinks
  • Cases
  • Fan
  • Overclocking
Last response: in Overclocking
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February 22, 2010 1:31:33 PM

It has come to my attention recently that i may have my side panel case fan pushing its airflow in the wrong direction. At the moment it is acting as an intake but im starting to question whether or not it should be an exhuast fan. I have consulted a few of my knowledgable friends but none of them appear to agree. Can anyone provide any good advice on this matter or any good places to look? I've attempted to find a good diagram that can explain the advantages/disadvanatges of both configurations but unfortunately it was a fruitless endevuor :( .


Thanks in advance

Bamb00zle

More about : side panel fans

a b K Overclocking
February 22, 2010 2:17:11 PM

bamb00zle said:
It has come to my attention recently that i may have my side panel case fan pushing its airflow in the wrong direction. At the moment it is acting as an intake but im starting to question whether or not it should be an exhuast fan. I have consulted a few of my knowledgable friends but none of them appear to agree. Can anyone provide any good advice on this matter or any good places to look? I've attempted to find a good diagram that can explain the advantages/disadvanatges of both configurations but unfortunately it was a fruitless endevuor :( .


Thanks in advance

Bamb00zle


If side panel fans are necessary, they should never be used as an exhaust point unless they're in the upper 20% of the case (near the top). If an exhaust point was introduced at the side panel, it would suck valuable air to cool the CPU, RAM, and Power supply with. Basically the air brought through the front would be sucked up by the side panel exhaust fan configuration before it is used for cooling the system.

They can be used as an intake however understand that it probably will disrupt air flow inside the case. It's better not to have side panel fans, unless your overclocking very high and require massive heat dissipation. Such as overclocking an i7-920 on air, and overclocking a heavy GPU such as an HD 4890 or better.
a b K Overclocking
February 22, 2010 7:32:23 PM

I have had cases with and without side panel fans. It doesn't seem to make much difference for the typical user/gamer.

You could satisfy your curiosity by trying it both ways while monitoring temperatures during a stress test. That way you can find out what works best for you. I absolutely positively 100% guarantee individual results will vary.
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February 22, 2010 7:44:28 PM

Thanks guys, I tried with the fan acting as an intake and not present at all, it really seemed to make no difference (talking 2/3 degrees) but in my opinion changes that small may have been due to other factors (how long the system had been switched on etc.). I'm going to leave it in as an intake (mainly because it looks nice) . Thanks again to both of you I can now go on with a little bit more knowledge under my belt :) .

Bamboozle
a b K Overclocking
February 23, 2010 4:52:30 AM

bamb00zle said:
Thanks guys, I tried with the fan acting as an intake and not present at all, it really seemed to make no difference (talking 2/3 degrees) but in my opinion changes that small may have been due to other factors (how long the system had been switched on etc.). I'm going to leave it in as an intake (mainly because it looks nice) . Thanks again to both of you I can now go on with a little bit more knowledge under my belt :) .

Bamboozle


If your case allows it, putting an bottom intake fan can be very beneficial. I got my gpu a couple degrees cooler that way, and also my PSU is a bit cooler, however I cannot confirm if that's because of the side panels or bottom mounted fan.
a b K Overclocking
February 23, 2010 4:24:22 PM

Also - if the case does not have a front intake fan or has room for and does not have a top exhaust fan - then you'd probably be better served moving the side panel to either of those locations instead of the side panel !! (Personally - I like having the side panel air holes in the case but leave it without a fan so when the GPU is running under stress it can pull more fresh cool air inside the case as needed but do not like to have a fan there blowing the air into the case disrupting the overall airflow.)
February 23, 2010 5:47:28 PM

Well my setup is as follows; Zalman CNPS 9500 on the CPU, a 120mm intake fan on the lower of the front, a 120mm exhuast fan on the upper rear and a 92mm intake fan on the side panel (pretty much directly opposite the CPU). The case doesn't allow for a top fan or anymore side or front panel fans. The setup seems to work fine but i am trying to just make it as efficient as possible.


P.S. my case - http://uk.thermaltake.eu/product_info.aspx?PARENT_CID=C...
a b K Overclocking
February 23, 2010 5:57:06 PM

Looking at the Link you posted under thermal management - they even mention the Side panel as a ventilation opening (so it is not really designed to be a fan intake or outtake) - it is just there to let the CPU and GPU pull cool airflow into the case if needed when running under stress and the fans on them speed up.
February 23, 2010 6:30:08 PM

Yeh i did think that but its the perfect size for a 92mm fan :S. In that case which fan would be better for the rear? A generic 120mm fan running @ 1700rpm (molex connection so its not controlable, i think) or an enermax 92mm @ 2000rpm with 4 connector so its controlable. Bear in mind i never lower them the noise of the pc does not bother me one bit so i just have them all on max.
a c 171 K Overclocking
February 24, 2010 1:10:07 AM

Think about this....you have a case w/ a single slot GFX card and standard inlet / outlet fans and the system is all balanced. Now you add a dual slot card w/ a fan pushing air outta the case .... with all that new air going out , where's the balance of it coming in ?

Now you add a 2nd twin slot card in SLI / Xfire.....the side panel fan mounts are there to add inlet air if necessary for GFX cooling.
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