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Air cooler air flow - bottom to top, or front to back?

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  • Heatsinks
  • Cooling
  • Overclocking
Last response: in Overclocking
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March 5, 2012 2:36:24 AM

Quick question. I'm installing an NZXT Havik 140 air cooler onto an Asrock Z68 Fatal1ty Professional mobo. This cooler is a metal heatsink with a 140mm fan on either side.

If I mount the cooler where the fans are blowing across the cooler front to back, the preferred method and the only way I've seen it installed, I can't quite center the heatsink over the CPU, although the heatsink will fully cover the CPU, and the front fan is right up against my first stick of RAM. It fits, but it is just touching that first stick.

If I rotate the cooler 90 degrees where the fans are blowing across the heatsink from bottom to top, there is plenty of clearance between the fans / heatsink and my RAM, and I can center the heatsink on the CPU.
This is an AZZA Hurrican 2000 case, so there are 2 fans in the top of the case carrying air out.

Which way is better for this scenario? Front to back, or Bottom to top?

Tx

More about : air cooler air flow bottom top front back

a c 183 K Overclocking
March 5, 2012 2:49:15 AM

Whichever works best for your rig!
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March 5, 2012 4:20:36 AM

Well, bottom to top isn't really an option because the heat pipes would block the bracket that holds the heat sink on. Although you probably could rotate the braces the bracket attaches to to accomplish bottom to top airflow.

But in the end, the solution for me was just to slide the front fan up over the RAM. These fans are mounted onto the heatsink with RUBBER BANDS which I thought was serviceable, but kinda ridiculous. UH-UH...the rubber band straps are GENIUS because it makes adjusting your fan A) possible and B) super easy!

Now I see why they opted for the bands instead of metal clips. Infinite fan adjustment to get over any obstacles. And you don't have to worry about metal fan clips popping off and frying your GPU.
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March 5, 2012 4:43:22 AM

The whole bottom to top rule is based upon the notion that Heat Rises. The location of the pipes on the Heat sink does not matter. All the fans are attempting to do is displace the hot air comming from the CPU/GPU and replacing it with the cold air (that is generally coolest on the floor) Since Warm air rises, it makes it easier for it to be pushed out from Bottom to the top. If you attempt to push it from the front/back/side, it will not be displaced as effeciently which will result in higher temps. Hope that helps, Good Luck!

edit : Spelling/grammar
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March 5, 2012 4:57:02 AM

aviconus said:
The whole bottom to top rule is based upon the notion that Heat Rises. The location of the pipes on the Heat sink does not matter.


Not true. Not on this cooler. The mounting bracket passes through the space between the pipes. Then you screw the bracket down. So if you rotate 90 degrees, the bracket can't go through and you can't mount the thing. Looks like you PROBABLY could change the position of the metal braces you screw the bracket to, but I'm not sure. But, as is, the heat pipes will prevent you from just rotating the thing 90 degrees.

Problem was solved by just sliding the fan up over the RAM. The rubber straps are genius.
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Best solution

a b K Overclocking
March 5, 2012 5:19:42 AM

aviconus said:
If you attempt to push it from the front/back/side, it will not be displaced as effeciently which will result in higher temps. Hope that helps, Good Luck!


Not true. convection is a very minor force when compared to the fans. Front to back is almost always the correct way to mount them. If you do it bottom to top you just suck heated air off the GPU and the fan airflow is blocked and all that heat either gets trapped in the top of the case or shoots into the PSU. Even with a top fan its a very poor way to set it up due to the GPUs. Cold air should enter bottom
front and exit top back in a normal case.
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March 5, 2012 6:50:01 AM

Best answer selected by roscolo.
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