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Case fans and good airflow: Which is more important?

Last response: in Overclocking
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What configuration is best for good airflow

Total: 39 votes (25 blank votes)

  • Intake > Exhaust
  • 34 %
  • Exhaust > Intake
  • 47 %
  • Intake = Exhaust
  • 7 %
  • Doesn't matter
  • 14 %
June 8, 2010 8:41:25 AM

I have a Cooler Master 335 Elite case that came with a stock A12025-12CB-3BN-F1 120mm exhaust fan its specs are:

Speed: 1200 RPM
Airflow: 44.03 CFM
Noise: 19.8 dBA

I decided to add the optional intake fan, I used a COOLER MASTER R4-L2R-20CK-GP 120mm fan, which is similar to this fan just with a blue LED. The specs are:

Speed: 2000 RPM
Airflow: 90 CFM (Some people are saying that it is actually lower, like ~ 70 CFM, whatever it's still has a higher CFM than the exhaust)
Noise: 19 dBA


I was wondering what the best configuration is for good cooling and airflow.

Is the configuration I have now sufficient?

What is the best to have: a higher intake than exhaust, equal intake & exhaust, or a higher exhaust?

I would like to hear your feedback. Thanks :) 
a b K Overclocking
June 8, 2010 12:12:47 PM

My personal preference is to have what i call "Negative Pressure" In a setup.

What this entails is more Exhaust Fans Than Intake Fans Or in your Case (Excuse the Pun) The higher CFM fan Being used As exhaust.

I would Suggest You Save +/- $20 And GO out and Buy Your Self A Noctua UH12...

Use That As Exhaust And Use The other Fan To Pull Some Heat Out Of the Back Of Your Setup near The PCI slot (PM me If you Want to Find out more).
June 8, 2010 10:43:28 PM

The heat coming in isn't the problem, if the exhaust fans work absolutely perfectly, the computer should be at room temperature theoretically. If it really matters to you, open your case and leave it like that, if it is open it will be decently more cooler instead of you wasting 20 bucks on a fan.
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June 8, 2010 11:23:25 PM

Airflow: 44.03 CFM is fine. Don't really need anything more than that. Is that picture you have of your computer setup? It looks really good, cooling shouldn't be an issue at all for your computer. Infact what you could improve on is getting rid of that flat based cpu cooler and getting a tower cooler that blows air directly back at the 120mm exhaust fan. Although your motherboard would not receive cooling as effectively as it would with that flat base cpu cooler but still that doesn't matter alot. You also have your power supply fan as well, is it a 135mm fan or 140? That will also be excellent in removing hot air from your cpu cooler.
June 9, 2010 7:29:17 AM

Nashsafc said:
Airflow: 44.03 CFM is fine. Don't really need anything more than that. Is that picture you have of your computer setup? It looks really good, cooling shouldn't be an issue at all for your computer. Infact what you could improve on is getting rid of that flat based cpu cooler and getting a tower cooler that blows air directly back at the 120mm exhaust fan. Although your motherboard would not receive cooling as effectively as it would with that flat base cpu cooler but still that doesn't matter alot. You also have your power supply fan as well, is it a 135mm fan or 140? That will also be excellent in removing hot air from your cpu cooler.


Thank you for your response :)  . And yes, the profile pic is of my computer. The PSU fan is a 120mm ball bearing cooling fan. I live in a fairly hot climate and my idle temps are usually ~33/34 C and ~54-60 C when under 'stress'.

I was asking because I had picked up a cooler master fan (~$15), like the one I installed as an intake fan (90 cfm), for some one else and now they don't need it so I was debating whether to return it or keep it and install it in place of the 44.03 CFM one? If it wont make such a big difference then I am going to return it.

a c 190 K Overclocking
June 9, 2010 7:38:00 AM

Nice looking bit of kit man, :) 

I'd consider tidying up the cables a bit especially not wrapping the sata cables around the power cables :) 
If your concerned about enough exhaust, you could always Mod it up and install a 120mm or 4x80mm's in the roof in front of the psu.
Moto
a b K Overclocking
June 9, 2010 10:25:08 AM

Nice Looking Setup Man...

Just a Tip on SATA cable Management.;)

you take the cable, unplug it prom the HDD and mobo.
Grab a pen or pencil and wrap the cable around it by holding 1 connector firmly to the pencil and rotating it.
make sure the weave is tight or it will look spaz and you'll have to start again...
June 9, 2010 10:37:54 AM

fisshy said:
Nice Looking Setup Man...

Just a Tip on SATA cable Management.;)

you take the cable, unplug it prom the HDD and mobo.
Grab a pen or pencil and wrap the cable around it by holding 1 connector firmly to the pencil and rotating it.
make sure the weave is tight or it will look spaz and you'll have to start again...



Thanks! can post a pic of how it should look? I am not quite sure that I understand.
June 9, 2010 2:36:48 PM

Did this question come from getting hot temperatures from your processor? You will see a much bigger improvement if you invest more in the the cpu cooler than you invest in the rear fan. That fan that runs at 2000rpm might be quite loud as well. But i'm sure that that 120mm fan running at 1200rpm really aught to be perfect for exhausting the hot air from any system, taking into account that you have your psu right above the cpu cooler should also pull hot air from your cpu cooler with that 140/135/120mm fan that it has. lol looks quite awkward how you have a high end case combined with a really basic micro atx motherboard lol, i myself have a cooler master elite 342 matx case combined with a matx motherboard now that makes sense, your setup is fine obviously, but i'm sure that you can even get full sized ATX boards for the same price as that board seriously i've seen it before.
a b K Overclocking
June 9, 2010 7:07:30 PM

faune said:
Thanks! can post a pic of how it should look? I am not quite sure that I understand.


I'll post some pics up tomorrow if i find some free time!
a c 190 K Overclocking
June 9, 2010 7:46:27 PM

ok, i couldnt find a spare sata lead, but follow this guide and youll be good.

hold one connector onto your pen/stick,


Holding it firmly, start to wind the cable round the pen, keeping it fairly tight,



once done, pull it tight and if you have time, tape it up like that on the pen and leave overnight,


5 minute job, but you get the idea of what youll end up with,

have fun
Moto
June 9, 2010 8:36:57 PM

Nashsafc said:
Did this question come from getting hot temperatures from your processor? You will see a much bigger improvement if you invest more in the the cpu cooler than you invest in the rear fan. That fan that runs at 2000rpm might be quite loud as well. But i'm sure that that 120mm fan running at 1200rpm really aught to be perfect for exhausting the hot air from any system, taking into account that you have your psu right above the cpu cooler should also pull hot air from your cpu cooler with that 140/135/120mm fan that it has. lol looks quite awkward how you have a high end case combined with a really basic micro atx motherboard lol, i myself have a cooler master elite 342 matx case combined with a matx motherboard now that makes sense, your setup is fine obviously, but i'm sure that you can even get full sized ATX boards for the same price as that board seriously i've seen it before.



No, this was just a general question. Just wanted to know if putting a fan with a higher CFM rating would lower temps and by how much. And to make a long story short the mobo was a replacement for a different mobo in my old M-ATX case. After my previous mobo died and since I don't live in the USA, I didn't think I was gonna upgrade anything else and by me it costs an arm and a leg to get the oldest and crappiest parts... I went with what was on hand at the specific computer repair shop I went to. Then my old GPU went... got a new one put it in the M-ATX case and the temps were through the roof... finally I switched cases and now things are fine. As I have said, parts are overpriced by me, something like 1.5 to 2.5 times the price (except for my Cooler Master 335 Elite case which, oddly enough, was cheaper than on new egg)... consider yourself lucky :) 
June 9, 2010 8:37:52 PM

Motopsychojdn said:
ok, i couldnt find a spare sata lead, but follow this guide and youll be good.

hold one connector onto your pen/stick,
http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q172/Motopsychojdn/start.jpg

Holding it firmly, start to wind the cable round the pen, keeping it fairly tight,

http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q172/Motopsychojdn/halfdone.jpg

once done, pull it tight and if you have time, tape it up like that on the pen and leave overnight,
http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q172/Motopsychojdn/halfdone.jpg

5 minute job, but you get the idea of what youll end up with,
http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q172/Motopsychojdn/finishedcable.jpg
have fun
Moto



Excellent! Thank you very much for the tutorial!
June 9, 2010 8:39:00 PM

fisshy said:
I'll post some pics up tomorrow if i find some free time!


Thanks! but it looks like Moto beat you to it lol ;) 
a b K Overclocking
June 10, 2010 5:43:18 PM

^ damn...;)

Thanks Moto:) 

Enjoy bud...
You Think your Prices are bad... Try finding specialist parts in South Africa!
a c 190 K Overclocking
June 10, 2010 6:32:24 PM

No probs fisshy, i saw your post and I had time before work so :) 
Moto
June 17, 2010 12:59:12 PM

I think more intake is better choice.If you have more intake then the inside pressure of your case goes up and it will reduce dust penetration.Your case is not 100% isolated and there are some holes all over it , they will balance it ( Intake>Exhaust ).
a b K Overclocking
June 17, 2010 2:47:44 PM

I appreciate tidy cabling but it's NOT the primary issue in your case retaining heat. I agree with negative ([CFM] Exhaust > [CFM] Intake) pressure is better, BUT to obtain this you need to run both the Front & Exhaust Fan(s) as described which may NOT be the same RPM!!!

If possible using ties and tuck the extra cabling behind your 5.25" cage (if possible) and/or behind the 3.5" drive cage. For a better [look] I have used large diameter corrugated split tubing <or> non-ridged spiral wrap, w/ties above/below all protruding cables, and as an option zip tie mounts w/adhesive, for cases that don't have cable management.

Twisting cables in a curly-q traps dust.

If the temperature get too high and if you are handy I'd cut-out and add another 120mm fan on the side panel across from the CPU.
!