I just bought a new system and I am trying to figure out the optimal cooling layout. My system is still being shipped, so I am just speculating based on what I have read. Specs:
i5 2500k with Hyper 212+ (dual fans)
MSI GTX 570 Twin Frozr III PE/OC
8GB Corsair Vengeance 1600 Mhz (2x4GB)
Corsair Professional Series HX850
Crucial M4 128GB SSD
Hitachi Deskstar 1TB HDD
1) How good is the stock fan configuration in the 932?
2) Should I add/replace any case fans? Such as 4x 120mm fans on the side instead of a single 230mm, or a single fan on the bottom next to the PSU?
3) Which way should I orient my heatsink? Fans blowing upward or backward? (Will both ways fit with my ram?)
4) My PSU has a 140mm fan on the top, which I think is an intake. Should I have the PSU upside down, so that it sucks air underneath my case? Or from inside the case?
1. Very good.
2. No need to replace new fans, but you can populate all fan spots with the appropriate fan should you wish.
3. Fans blowing backward is the norm, as most cases facilitate the movement of air from front to back. The top fan is also an extraction if I'm not mistaken.
4. The PSU should face downward, sucking air from the bottom of the case. The case will have grooves lifting the PSU a little to allow for air to move into it. This helps two things: Cooling the PSU by not taking warmer air from the case itself and also it ensures that the graphics card cooler has enough air to perform at its best. Also for this issue you can install a fan on the side panel as an intake to provide fresh air to the GPU as well.
Any other tips:
1. Get a fan speed controller. When watching a movie or something the PC generates little heat, and then you don't want all the fans spinning at full speed. Turn them down to save on the noise, as fans spinning at 100% always make a lot of it.
2. Get fan filters. If you don't want to buy the flimsy crap, make your own from pantyhose and stick it over the fans to keep dust out.
Any other comments regarding which direction I should position the CPU fans? The top exhaust is a larger fan than the back exhaust, but it would be sucking air from on top of my GPU into the heatsink if I position it upward.
that position is best...but you could position it to push out the rear fan. This is usually only the SECOND BEST OPTION though. having your HSF for the cpu is best aimed directly out the top, since this is the second hottest component in your case.
A couple of years ago I just happened to build two pc's using Cooler Master HAF 932 cases and Cooler Master 212 cpu heatsinks. One was a custom mod and one was my personal rig. I also happened to do some experimenting with them. Some of the verterans from a few years ago might remember the photos of the upside down case resting on four soup cans.
1. The stock Cooler Master fans are quite good.
2. It is not necessary to replace the stock 230mm fan on the side panel.
3. The cpu heatsink and fan should be oriented so that the cpu heatsink fan is blowing toward the exhaust fan on the rear panel of the case. The exhaust fan on the rear panel and the cpu heatsink fan(s) form a jetstream effect to quickly move hot air out if the case. The larger fan on the top panel operates at lower rpm that does not match the cpu heatsink.
4. It does not matter which way you orient the power supply at the bottom of the case because the overall case cooling, airflow, and ventilation of the HAF 932 is outstanding. In my cases cooling was so good that I mounted the psu fan side down so it could suck in cool fresh air from the outside and cool itself without any help from other fans.
Eventually I did make one interesting modification. I purchased three Scythe S-Flex 1600 rpm fans and a Coolermaster 4-in-1 drive bay device. I mounted one fan on the rear panel, one fan on the cpu heatsink, and one fan on the drive bay device. I installed drive bay device so that fan lined up exactly with the cpu heats sink fan and the fan on the rear panel. Wound up with one heck of a jetstream.
Memory modules with those extra tall heatspreaders that look like a comb can interfere with the cpu heatsink. By and large those heatspreaders are not necessary. Consider them an advertising gimmick.
Install the memory models before installing the cpu heatsink because it's difficult to install the memory module closest to the heatsink if the heatsink is already installed.
Fan filters are a mixed bag. Although they do help keep out dust you have to remember that the 932 has an awful lot of mesh on the front, side, and top of the case. In addition, the fan filters restrict airflow. Once the dust builds up the restriction can be quite significant. I always prefer performing regularly scheduled maintenance and cleaning.
The reason I ask about the heatsink orientation is because I have 2x sticks of Corsair Vengeance ram. It is not low profile, and I have purchased a second fan that I might add to my heatsink. I am not sure if I can fit it with the ram though. Another option is to instead add the second fan to my GPU duct (HAF 932 Advanced), but that is mainly useful for SLI configurations. I can also put it on the bottom next to my power supply, which will blow air directly into the dual fans on my GPU.
If only two sticks of Corsair Vengeance, then you may be in luck. You could probably install them in the two memory slots furthests away from the cpu and heatsink. Memory in those two slots are typically clear of the cpu heatsink and fan. Consult your motherboard manual to determine if the memory modules will work correctly when installed in those two slots. Just depends on the motherboard memory configuration.
ok johnny, so i have a zalman 9900, would you recommend adding a 2nd fan to that, one on my HDD bay, using the 2 top fans as intake, and placing a pci-e fan for my gpu? ive posted on many other threads about my air-flow, but i figured id keep this to the thread with the related question.
thats the reason for the extra fans. not sure i want to drop $600 for the water cooling yet. trying to squeeze out another .2-.5 GHz on my processor by being able to drop the temps. they are at the highest i feel comfortable at with full load (58c).
Honestly, if i can get my CPU to drop another 5c+, i can dramatically increase my OC. Right now, to keep my temps under 60c with a stable 2+ hours on Prime95, i am at my max. Its all about the pride, and i want to do the best i can with this OC.
Hmmmm...errrrrr....ummmm I'm not exactly telling you to install as many 1,600 rpm fans as possible. I'd say install one on the cpu heatsink and one on the rear panel to act as an exhaust. . Don't forget that case is well ventilated with a lot of perforated mesh. Try that first and see what happens. That's one of the great things about doing it yourself. You can experiment and see what works best for you.
I didn't know those Zalman 9900's could accomodate a second fan. Do they?
not conventionally...heh. I have some duct-tape and a plumbers helper though *cough cough* and i think i could manage it "if" needed. My first idea is to take the top fans and turn them into intakes, attack a 120mm-140mm fan on the HDD Bay towards the HSF, and put a pci-e fan in for my GPU. I think this will allow me to utilize the most "jetstream" capacity my case can handle. Noise is not as much a concern for me as the cpu temp. My apartment runs a varying ambient temp in the fall, so it drives me nuts. The summer and winter are basically the same, and the spring a close second. Fall is when it gets ridiculously hot, and ridiculously cool in my apartment, due to my landlords wife changing the heat all the time.
This approach, from what ive been reading in the forums, sounds like it will have the best benefit for me. ill keep you posted.