Case cooling: efficiency, noise, benefits.

Hey everyone! Not sure that this is the right section to post in but as usual it seemed like the most logical.

Let me set the scene. I have an NZXT Phantom 410, i5-3750k @ 4.4 GHz and currently have no graphics card due to issues that ended in having to send it back to Amazon. Within a week or two, I can add a GTX 670 to the above list. My CPU is cooled by a Noctua NH-D14 with Arctic Silver 5 rather than the stock thermal paste. PSU is the SeaSonic X-760. I think those are about all of the relevant specs.

My question really is about overall case cooling. I've read a few articles and many posts but I still don't entirely understand how to set up the case in the most efficient manner. Currently I have the stock case fans with a bit of rotating to try to maximise airflow: 120mm intake at the front, 140mm exhaust at the top and 120mm exhaust at the back. My NH-D14 pulls air from the front of the case and exhausts out the back in order to avoid drawing in warm air from the GPU. CPU idles at high twenties to low-mid thirties depending on the ambient temperature of the room. GPU idles at the warehouse, but it's the ASUS CU II if it's worth anything. Oh, and the PSU is mounted upside down as it has fanless operation when the temperatures are low - this lets the hot air escape through the fan grill when it's not spinning, correct?

I kept money aside from my budget for the purpose of buying solid case fans and I thought I'd consult the guys who always have the answers before wasting my money.

To save your time, here's what the case supports:

FRONT - 2x120mm or 1 X 140mm - bottom of the front of the case.
REAR - 1 X 120mm - top of the rear of the case.
SIDE 1 x 120mm or 1 x 140mm - ~middle, above graphics card though unsure about clearance with the new card.
TOP - 2 X 120/140mm - rear of the top of the case.

I'm really looking for the optimal setup that combines fantastic case cooling with minimal noise and I have no idea where to start. What sort of CFPM should I be aiming for; what ratio of intake/exhaust; what position for the fans?

Thanks in advance, everyone! :D
6 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about case cooling efficiency noise benefits
  1. I have that case and similar components. I filled all fan slots with NZXT fans purchased from amazon. The 120 mm push around 47 CFM and the 140 mm push around 62 CFM. The fans were $6.99 and $8.99. There is good air flow with this set up. If you're willing to spend more money you can get fans with higher CFM.
  2. 1. Before you do anything, post pictures of your rig and your CABLE MANAGEMENT. This is crucial, because cables can block fans and screw up airflow.

    2. Is there any reason why you want to replace the NZXT fans? They perform perfectly fine. Any specific colors for fans?

    3. Exact budget please.
  3. I won't be home to get a picture up for a few days, but I recently tidied the case. Every cable is routed through the back of the case and back to the front at the closest opening to its destination. Only exception to this is the PCIe cable because of its position in the case. I'll throw a picture up on Friday or so if still necessary.

    Why do I want to replace them? Honestly, because I assumed stock would be mediocre at best compared to the high end case fans. Wrong assumption? You both seem to think the stock NZXT fans are pretty solid. As I mentioned, my knowledge of this area is close to zero.

    And at this moment in time my budget sits around £100, which is probably overkill, but that's what's left.

    Thanks for taking the time to reply guys. Much appreciated.
  4. Best answer
    You shouldn't need to upgrade, NZXT fans are great performing fans. What I would throw the money on is a fan controller ;)
  5. A fan controller it is, then - and perhaps a few more NZXT fans for the sake of maximising airflow. Thanks to both of you for the input!
  6. Best answer selected by DevenneyEU.
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