How do i know if i need a blow down cpu cooler or a tower cooler?
i know tower coolers are better at cooling your cpu but blow down cools other stuff. My north bridge is a little hot but its not that close to my cpu anyways. I dont know that my VRAM or anything needs cooling.
whats your case??? How many chassis fan do you have and in what sizes??? Tower coolers are better for the CPU which is the main heat generator in a rig... you should go for top down if and only if you have a height issue (width of a tower case)... a good airflow will take care of the other heat sources...
I have a P182 case so size of the tower is no issue. I strive for a quiet computer cause i use it mostly for a home theatre.
If i get a tower my plan is to:
put 2 fans on my tower and baffle it directly out of the case.
Put a fan for case evacuation (P182 has a top exhaust i would use for this).
Baffle my 5570 to seperate my cpu from my gpu and have an intake/exhaust fan for that "chamber"... but i dont know if thats helpful
And the PSU and harddrives are on thier own in another chamber.
I believe Antec P182 comes with one 120mm fan at the top and one 120mm fan at the rear for exhaust and one 120mm fan at the lower front for blowing air to the PSU as standard... You need one more fan at the front to blow in air to the main compartment...
The case is 210cm in width... thats enough to work with for a tall cooler... and since you wouldnt OC (you use it as a HTPC)... you dont need any heavy duty cooler... slap in a Cooler Master Hyper 212+ with one fan for now (its come with one decent PWM fan) and remember to add one more fan to the case front for air supply... i think you are good to go with this setup...
No need to separate a new "chamber" for the gpu... the airflow i suggested above is sufficient fotr your needs... unless... you need to OC!!!