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SG02-F Casing - Intake or Exhaust for optimal cooling?

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November 5, 2010 3:25:41 AM

Hi guys,

I would like to seek your advice on this issue of cooling as I want to OC my year-old rig. :) 

My specs are:
Intel i3 550 (with stock cooler)
Gigabyte H55M-S2H
GeForce EN8800GT (old GPU from another rig)
460W PSU with 1 120mm intake and 1 rear 140mm exhaust

Hence, my question would be: How do you optimise airflow in SG02-F? Should there be positive pressure, or negative, for such a compact casing?

Thus far, I only have stock fans (PSU, CPU and GPU fans) and the included default fan (for HDD casing), how should I optimise the airflow to lower the temperature from an approximate idling 46c to a (as low as possible) suitable temperature?

PS: Temperatures at loaded peaks at around 60c.

PPS: From what I understand, the CPU stock cooler is an intake fan. Should I change to 3rd party fan aka Scythe Big Shuriken to become an exhaust fan so that it blows straight into the PSU's intake fan? If not, the original configuration would have the PSU fan competing with the Intel cooler fan for air, what with the CPU sitting directly under the PSU with only about 10mm of space in between.


To help you further, here are some photos of how my rig roughly looks like (my camera zonked out on me, thus attached photos are copied from overclockers.com, credits to zbo)



Mine didn't have the 2 extra 80mm fans mounted on top. If I want to mount those, they should be directing air out, or in?



Should I get a crossflow fan to attach at the back of the casing as exhaust fan? Or should I DIY 2 40mm exhaust fans to be attached at the vents just below the PSU?


Thanks guys! Really appreciate all your help and advice! :) 
a c 239 K Overclocking
November 5, 2010 6:00:27 AM

Positive-pressured cases have a larger intake than exhaust ! may be 80mm & Don't OC too Extreme with Stock Colling cause over heating CPU
a b K Overclocking
November 5, 2010 6:49:15 AM

I'd go negative pressure, rear exhaust. The heat is already at the rear of your case. Draw it out as soon as possible.

I'd go 2x40mm exhausing through the grill beneath your PSU. You must stick with the stock cooler (downdraft) fan. And I would only mount one fan (intake) at the top of the case, leaving the fan on the slanted frame-piece out.

I want to get all the air moving in one direction, not have fans blowing into each other.
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November 5, 2010 9:01:50 AM

Oh I see! Thanks henydiah and Twoboxer!

After what you had said, I decided to also test how high the temperature can reach when I am gaming, therefore I had Force Unleashed 2 (maxed visual specs) running for 30 mins. And I can feel the heat radiating from the cage where the GPU is situated. It feels too hot to maintain physical touching with the casing.

I ran RealTemp and the TMPIN0 and TMPIN1 fluctuates in the 40-50 ++ c. My TMPIN2 is 128c!

Any advice please? :) 
a c 324 K Overclocking
November 5, 2010 12:41:15 PM

You'd be better off finding panels (or modding your case) with meshed side and top panels to allow heat to flow out via convection. A huge issue with those SFF cases is that they rely on very small fans (40mm...biggest 80mm) to move air over components that normally are cooled via 120mm or 140mm fans in a normal case. This would be my course of action...or modding the panels to create 120mm intake and exhaust.

November 5, 2010 2:31:08 PM

Thanks rubix! Though modding is not really my forte, I see what I can do. But the preferred choice would be to use fans to manipulate the airflow.

I was wondering whether I should stick an intake 80mm fan at the side vents (CPU side), near to the stock casing fan for the HDD bay. It would then blow some cool air over the rest of the mobo before being sucked out.

After my experiment (gaming test) today, do you think I should mount 2 top 80mm exhaust fans to suck out the hot air apparently generated by my EN8800GT?
Theoretically, it would still have a single airflow direction, as there will be 2 intake fans (DIY-ed 80mm at CPU side and stock casing fan at HDD bay) and 5 exhaust (2 80mm top mounted, 1 120mm rear PSU fan and 2 40mm DIY-ed rear exhaust fans).

To illustrate my idea, here's a picture.
PS: I suppose with 2 top-mounted 80mm exhaust fans, there will be some suction action to draw in ambient cool air from the lower side vents?

PPS: The reason why there seems to be 2 conflicting streams of intake air at both side vents is because my EN8800GT forms a wall that separates the casing neatly into half - one side GPU and one side PSU+CPU+DVD/HDD bays. Therefore, it's like trying to cool 2 different partitions, each with its own cooling system.



What do you guys think?
a c 324 K Overclocking
November 5, 2010 2:36:36 PM

If you can mount fans, go that route before modding, if it isn't your thing. Just try to position your fans so you get cool air blown in, over your hot components and have it exhaust out the top or back...that being said, is there a link or diagram to show where they are?

Just remember to try and balance your in/out fans so you don't wind up making a balloon out of your case. (j/k) Airflow is key...
November 5, 2010 2:57:56 PM

rubix_1011 said:
If you can mount fans, go that route before modding, if it isn't your thing. Just try to position your fans so you get cool air blown in, over your hot components and have it exhaust out the top or back...that being said, is there a link or diagram to show where they are?

Just remember to try and balance your in/out fans so you don't wind up making a balloon out of your case. (j/k) Airflow is key...


Hi Rubix, thanks a lot! I just attached a diagram to my previous post. Hope it helps! :) 

Is intake more important to cool the card or is pumping out the hot air collected around the GPU more important? I seriously am confused over here... :( 
a c 324 K Overclocking
November 5, 2010 4:10:25 PM

Both are important, especially when you have a case that is limited on airflow. If you have a case with good openings/vents, like that mesh design, then exhaust would be your focus. But, most cases are somewhat enclosed, so both intake and exhaust are important. Exhaust fans need to be able to move hot air out, but you need to be able to replenish cool, external air to keep up if you case isn't vented well.

I'd say your diagram looks pretty good; just make sure you get good fans. If you don't mind noise, go for high RPM, high CFM fans. Otherwise, just find a good balance of CFM and noise levels.
November 5, 2010 4:18:21 PM

rubix_1011 said:
Both are important, especially when you have a case that is limited on airflow. If you have a case with good openings/vents, like that mesh design, then exhaust would be your focus. But, most cases are somewhat enclosed, so both intake and exhaust are important. Exhaust fans need to be able to move hot air out, but you need to be able to replenish cool, external air to keep up if you case isn't vented well.

I'd say your diagram looks pretty good; just make sure you get good fans. If you don't mind noise, go for high RPM, high CFM fans. Otherwise, just find a good balance of CFM and noise levels.


OH YAY! Thanks Rubix! For the sake of performance, I shall abandon aesthetics. :D 
I will probably get Zalman, Artic or CM fans then.. I had pretty good experience with their range.

I'm just worried over the GPU section. It's quite scary to see the amount of heat it produces. Shall get both 80mm fans to pump the hot air out! :) 
a c 324 K Overclocking
November 5, 2010 4:26:33 PM

Are all those fan openings for 80mm?

(I hope so...)
November 5, 2010 4:36:12 PM

rubix_1011 said:
Are all those fan openings for 80mm?

(I hope so...)


Yup, the top 2 openings are for 80mm. In fact, this case only supports a maximum size of 80mm. :??: 
a c 324 K Overclocking
November 5, 2010 4:49:48 PM

Correct...but most SFF cases also use 40mm or 60mm fans due to small space. These likely wouldn't move enough air.

Best solution

a b K Overclocking
November 5, 2010 6:18:02 PM
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OP: Your photo+arrows suggests something I missed - you put two exhaust fans on that case-frame plate; one on the flat part, one on the slant part (closest to the back of the case).

Try changing the fan on the flat part (closest to the front of the case) to intake. You might be able to get a circular air flow in from the fonrt of your vid card, and exhausted from the back. You may find it better to run the front (intake) fan SLOWER than the rear (exhaust) fan so that you don't affect the air fow on the other side of the case.

[Translation lol: Take the top-most red arrow in your drawing and reverse it.]
a c 324 K Overclocking
November 5, 2010 6:25:37 PM

"Here is what you should do:"

Quote:
OP: Your photo+arrows suggests something I missed - you put two exhaust fans on that case-frame plate; one on the flat part, one on the slant part (closest to the back of the case).

Try changing the fan on the flat part (closest to the front of the case) to intake. You might be able to get a circular air flow in from the fonrt of your vid card, and exhausted from the back. You may find it better to run the front (intake) fan SLOWER than the rear (exhaust) fan so that you don't affect the air fow on the other side of the case.


"Otherwise known simply as:"

Quote:
[Translation lol: Take the top-most red arrow in your drawing and reverse it.]


^ :heink: 

Awesome.
a b K Overclocking
November 5, 2010 6:54:19 PM

^ Yeah lol. Also, you may want to run that fan slower (less pushing air, more pulling) depending on what it does to the air flow in the rest of the case.
November 6, 2010 1:05:02 AM

rubix_1011 said:
Correct...but most SFF cases also use 40mm or 60mm fans due to small space. These likely wouldn't move enough air.


Twoboxer said:
OP: Your photo+arrows suggests something I missed - you put two exhaust fans on that case-frame plate; one on the flat part, one on the slant part (closest to the back of the case).

Try changing the fan on the flat part (closest to the front of the case) to intake. You might be able to get a circular air flow in from the fonrt of your vid card, and exhausted from the back. You may find it better to run the front (intake) fan SLOWER than the rear (exhaust) fan so that you don't affect the air fow on the other side of the case.

[Translation lol: Take the top-most red arrow in your drawing and reverse it.]


rubix_1011 said:
"Here is what you should do:"

Quote:
OP: Your photo+arrows suggests something I missed - you put two exhaust fans on that case-frame plate; one on the flat part, one on the slant part (closest to the back of the case).

Try changing the fan on the flat part (closest to the front of the case) to intake. You might be able to get a circular air flow in from the fonrt of your vid card, and exhausted from the back. You may find it better to run the front (intake) fan SLOWER than the rear (exhaust) fan so that you don't affect the air fow on the other side of the case.


"Otherwise known simply as:"

Quote:
[Translation lol: Take the top-most red arrow in your drawing and reverse it.]


^ :heink: 

Awesome.


Twoboxer said:
^ Yeah lol. Also, you may want to run that fan slower (less pushing air, more pulling) depending on what it does to the air flow in the rest of the case.


Hey guys, thanks a lot! I measured my rig and the size of the side vents (I want to try DIY-mounting the new fans with silicon fan plugs). It seems that the side vents can only accommodate a max size of 60mm fans. Damn.

Therefore, I decided to order from Newegg 2 MassCool 80mm fans, 2 EverCool 60mm fans (1 at each side vent to pull air into the case. Also, I realised that it has to be slim because there is very little space inbetween the mobo edge and the casing) and 2 40mm LinkDepot fans.

Ok, I will try changing one of the 80mm fans to intake. However, to run it slower, I have to vary the voltage. The thing is, my PSU has only 5 extra 4-pin molex connectors left. And they are split (i.e. 3 separate connectors stemming from 1 single connector from PSU). Does this mean that I have to run all fans at their full RPM? Or does it mean that since the connectors are split, the voltage is similarly decreased and therefore, all the new fans will be running at slower RPM?

Thanks guys! :D 
a b K Overclocking
November 6, 2010 1:12:24 AM

First, you can sort of test the theory that the one fan needs to be slow. by running the PC with that fan full on . . . and full off. If the max temps on both runs are close to each other, or if its hotter with the intake fan running full, then trying to slow it would be worthwhile.

If after playing with the configuration you decide to try slowing one fan, something like this should work:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
November 13, 2010 8:20:29 AM

Best answer selected by gnimiy.
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