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Recommend Location for Case Fan......

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January 23, 2010 7:01:18 PM

I modified my Antec Sonata II to have a window on the side. Now I need added cooling so I am going to add an intake fan on the side as well. I am going to drill a hole and mount the fan on the plexi-glass.

I cant decide between adding a 120mm fan in the middle of the glass (above the video card) or adding two 80mm fans side-by-side on the bottom of the glass (below the video card).

Please take a look at the pictures and help me decide. Thanks!!!

http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f77/mattd860/P1020069...


http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f77/mattd860/P1020068...





Computer Specs:
Asus Maximus III Formula
Intel Core i7-860
8gb Corsair XMS3
Thermaltake Toughpower XT 750w
PNY GTX 260 XLR8
Windows 7 64bit
Antec Sonata II

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a b ) Power supply
a b U Graphics card
January 23, 2010 9:53:43 PM

I am guessing apart from the mounting holes on the Plexiglass you'll add ventilation slits, or holes?

I would be very careful when adding fans to a Plexiglass window in terms of the screws used.. Also the fan/fan cable would be highly noticeable, which could detract from the aesthetic element or actually add to it if that's how you like it..
I would recommend using a rubber lock system to hold the fans in place instead of the more traditional screw mount. The way you would do this is by cutting out a peanut shape recess. A large hole that diverts into a smaller hole to lock in place with rubber grommets with a screw through it to attach to the fan, similar to the Dragonlord K62's fan installs. This type of installation would be a bit more difficult but totally worth it (see installation of Lancool Dragonlord K62 stock fans). As you know fans cause vibrations, since Plexiglass is easily scratched by a metal screw it could damage (crack) the window, see picture below. Let's not forget Plexiglass can be loud when vibrated so rubber paddings would help with vibrations there..

Plexiglass damage from screws:
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Lancool/Dragonlord_K...

For other locations:
I would recommend cutting out ventilation holes on the case on the bottom, as well as mounting holes for a 120mm fan, I am pretty certain the Sonata II has the dimensions for one.. Finally add some thick rubber pads to increase the gap between floor/bottom case to allow room for air to be taken from the bottom by the bottom mounted fan (if you have carpet your going to need to use slightly bigger rubber paddings and an absolute MUST HAVE fan filter.).

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a c 144 ) Power supply
a c 269 U Graphics card
January 23, 2010 10:32:03 PM

It would be a shame to mar the looks of a nice window with a fan.

In my experience, side fans are not very effective; they tend to disrupt the normal air flow.

How much of a cooling problem do you have? If you remove the side, do things get much better?

Do you have a good fan mounted in front?

How much do you value quiet?

Could you fix cooling problems with higher capacit(and louder) fans?

In general, you want about the same amount of fan controlled airflow coming into the case as going out.

Also, I think the slot fan might be more effective if it were mounted just under the vga card, so as to thke the vga heat out of the case directly.
Where it is, it is exhausting come of the front cool air.

If you have three 5.25 bays available, you might want to try a Scythe Kama Bay fan for additional intake:
http://www.scythe-usa.com/product/acc/008/sckb1000_deta...
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January 24, 2010 12:22:25 AM

Thanks for the recommendations. At the moment, my only goal is to actually just mount a fan filter(s) to the side of the case to provide for extra air inlet. The Antec Sonata II only has a single FANLESS filtered inlet on the front but it is not enough. My 120mm exhaust fan running at 2400rpm in the rear is causing too much negative pressure due to the lack of enough intake. There is so much negative air that air is being sucked into the case through the video card AND the PSU. However, as you know, the video card and the psu fans are supposed to blow air OUT of the case. This situation cannot be good for either the fans on the gpu or psu because the air is flowing opposite to the direction the fans are blowing.

I like the idea of cutting an inlet on the bottom of the case. I would do this asap but I really don't feel like taking apart my case yet again because I've taken it apart twice in the past three weeks already :) .

I also LOVE the idea of the Scythe Kama Bay inlet/fan however my case has a door that covers the 5.25" drive bays. I suppose I can just leave the door open or cut a whole in the door but I will have to think about that one for now. The door has a lock and key on it which is essential for keeping my little kids fingers from messing with the power/resent buttons :) 

If none of the above work, I think I'm going to just install two 80mm inlets below the video card.
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a c 144 ) Power supply
a c 269 U Graphics card
January 24, 2010 12:27:04 AM

It is my understanding that your case has a place to mount a 120 mm intake fan in front of the drive bays. Check your case instruction manual.
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January 24, 2010 12:37:02 AM

geofelt said:
It is my understanding that your case has a place to mount a 120 mm intake fan in front of the drive bays. Check your case instruction manual.


The 120mm fan can only be mounted after the drive bays (HDD cage) and between the cage and video card. As you can see in the pics, there isn't even 1cm of space between them. I could mount the fan inside the hdd cage below the hard drive butr regardless, this will not provide the additional air intake that I need. The physical size of the Antec Sonata front intake coupled with a filter is just not large enough to move the necessary amount of air needed to cool properly.

The real problem is that the design of the Antec Sonta II was to be a Quiet Case, not very efficient cooler. So I'm trying to re-engineer the case instead of spending $200 on the case I want (Silverstone FT01-bw) that will meet my needs. I really need a case that provides for exceptional air flow yet is entirely filtered. I live in an older farm house in the middle of a lot of open land so there is an abnormal amount of dust that I need to protect the internals from.
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a c 144 ) Power supply
a c 269 U Graphics card
January 24, 2010 1:05:12 AM

I think I would try to mount a 120mm intake fan on the bottom. If you can't cut a neat hole there, at least it will be hidden. You can get grill filter covers for it.

I had an Antec SOLO which was also a quiet case, and I had to snip off 1/4" of a drive bay to fit a GTX260. It cooled fine though. changing to a5870 was too much so I got a Antec 902. All the Antec cases have intake filters which is great. Even the 300 would cool well for you.
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January 24, 2010 1:20:24 AM

Honestly, the case is doing quite well with cooling as it is. However to achieve the cooling I need the psu and video card have become "intakes" when air is supposed to be exhausted through them. So I am more concerned that the psu and video card fans will burn out since air is flowing in the opposite direction.

My Antec Sonta already has beefy rubber feet so cutting a whole on the bottom will be ideal I think. Then I'll just mount a 120mm fan filter there to prevent dust.

I also want to convert the 4" and 5.25" drive bay covers into bay filters similar to the Scythe Kama Bay fan however the Kama won't work since I only have 3 5.25" bays and I need two of those for dvd/blu-ray players. I just want to convert one 5.25" bay and two 4" bays into inlet screens/filters with no fans. I'm having trouble finding parts like that however.
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January 28, 2010 11:09:32 AM

AsAnAtheist - I took your suggestion and cut a 4.25 inch hole on the bottom of th case just behind the hdd cage. It lowered GPU temp by 7°C during idle and impoved case air flow. It also saved me from having to put a fan over my nice window I just installed. I'll take some pictures tonight. THANKS
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January 28, 2010 11:09:47 AM

Best answer selected by mattd860.
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a b ) Power supply
a b U Graphics card
January 28, 2010 6:01:35 PM

mattd860 said:
AsAnAtheist - I took your suggestion and cut a 4.25 inch hole on the bottom of th case just behind the hdd cage. It lowered GPU temp by 7°C during idle and impoved case air flow. It also saved me from having to put a fan over my nice window I just installed. I'll take some pictures tonight. THANKS


Mhmm any time. Glad* it worked out.
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a b ) Power supply
a b U Graphics card
January 29, 2010 4:40:21 PM

mattd860 said:
Picture are below. I also added an 80mm case fan near the front intake to keep air moving in the right direction.

http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f77/mattd860/P1020075...
http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f77/mattd860/P1020075.jpg

http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f77/mattd860/P1020077...
http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f77/mattd860/P1020077.jpg

http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f77/mattd860/P1020080...
http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f77/mattd860/P1020080.jpg

Tonight I am removeing the case feet and installing 1.25" feet to improve air flow under the case. Oh and apparently I need to clean the foor :) 


Okay very smart of u to install the fan filter. Yeah 1.25" inch spacers will definitely improve air flow/reduce dust build up.
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January 29, 2010 4:48:18 PM

AsAnAtheist said:
Okay very smart of u to install the fan filter. Yeah 1.25" inch spacers will definitely improve air flow/reduce dust build up.


Yeah being that my house is in the middle of a 3 acre field down a long dirt driveway dust is a HUGE problem. In the warm seasons it's much worse when the windows are down. All the computer intakes are filtered and I even squeezed dust filter paper between the drive bays yet dust still finds its way into the case.

Now that I have my fill of computer case modding, I think I might upgrade to the Silverstone Fortress FTO2 case in the next couple months. But I will enjoy my creation for a little while.
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