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HAF X Air Flow Suggestions.

Last response: in Overclocking
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July 7, 2012 3:47:33 AM

I'll be short and to the point: This will be my first gaming PC build, I think I have everything figured out for my budget of $1600. If you care, http://pcpartpicker.com/p/bwB6. If you want to make suggestions on changing something, I would appreciate it but that is not why I am posting. I am more concerned with the air flow and how to best optimize it.

I plan on using either the Corsair H100 or Thermaltake Water 2.0 Extreme (W20E), and place either of them at the top of the HAF X.

Without adding any other fans this case has (except for one that isn't there, but i'll buy anyway) (to Keep them organized I shall number them)
1. 230mm (front panel, bottom).
2. 200mm (side)
3. 140mm or 120mm (rear, close to top)
4. 200mm (top, front of case)
5. 200mm (top, rear of case)
By installing the H100 or W20E, I shall get 2 more fans, one under 4 and 5
6. 120mm (top, front of case)
7. 120mm (top, rear of case

So here are my questions (I do plan on OC'ing, thus my focus on this). #2 is my main question.
1. 7 fans are a lot, I get it. But is it overkill? Is there such a thing as too many fans?
2. Whether or not I can use all 7 fans, what is the best air flow setup and why? I'm currently learning about negative/positive pressure.
Example: #1 and 2 are intakes. #3, 4 5 6 and 7 are exhausts, this is negative pressure because...blah blah.
3. Should I replace the stock fans? Which fans and with what? I hear fan #3 sucks, and I don't mind loud, but what about replacing it with the Scythe "Ultra Kaze"?

I am very much a noob, and would appreciate your help and input. I've been doing as much research as I can but my mind has been filled with too much too fast XD
P.s. I do have an edited photo of the HAF X case i was gonna upload, to make it clearer (I edited it on paint), any idea how I do that? I only see url related options. Thanks!
July 7, 2012 3:58:53 AM

Okay, found my old photobucket account, hope this works.

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a c 150 K Overclocking
July 7, 2012 5:50:22 AM

Go custom watercooling! It's about $20 more than the H100 but you get roughly 50-70% better performance!
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Related resources
July 7, 2012 6:15:18 AM

Which one do you recommend?

I'm not to sure about custom water cooling, because i can be clumsy and I want to feel a little more...confident in my PC building abilities haha.
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a b K Overclocking
July 7, 2012 2:53:59 PM

elijahsearle said:
I'll be short and to the point: This will be my first gaming PC build, I think I have everything figured out for my budget of $1600. If you care, http://pcpartpicker.com/p/bwB6. If you want to make suggestions on changing something, I would appreciate it but that is not why I am posting. I am more concerned with the air flow and how to best optimize it.

I plan on using either the Corsair H100 or Thermaltake Water 2.0 Extreme (W20E), and place either of them at the top of the HAF X.

Without adding any other fans this case has (except for one that isn't there, but i'll buy anyway) (to Keep them organized I shall number them)
1. 230mm (front panel, bottom).
2. 200mm (side)
3. 140mm or 120mm (rear, close to top)
4. 200mm (top, front of case)
5. 200mm (top, rear of case)
By installing the H100 or W20E, I shall get 2 more fans, one under 4 and 5
6. 120mm (top, front of case)
7. 120mm (top, rear of case

So here are my questions (I do plan on OC'ing, thus my focus on this). #2 is my main question.
1. 7 fans are a lot, I get it. But is it overkill? Is there such a thing as too many fans?
2. Whether or not I can use all 7 fans, what is the best air flow setup and why? I'm currently learning about negative/positive pressure.
Example: #1 and 2 are intakes. #3, 4 5 6 and 7 are exhausts, this is negative pressure because...blah blah.
3. Should I replace the stock fans? Which fans and with what? I hear fan #3 sucks, and I don't mind loud, but what about replacing it with the Scythe "Ultra Kaze"?

I am very much a noob, and would appreciate your help and input. I've been doing as much research as I can but my mind has been filled with too much too fast XD
P.s. I do have an edited photo of the HAF X case i was gonna upload, to make it clearer (I edited it on paint), any idea how I do that? I only see url related options. Thanks!


1. Yes 7 fans is overkill. There is such thing as too many fans if noise bothers you. In regards to specifically case fans - Once you get to over 4 case fans the temperature drops aren't as dramatic but the noise level raises with each added fan.

2. Start simple and work your way up. Lets start with Front(intake) to Back/Rear(exhaust) airflow. The first most important fan of the first 4 is the exhaust then the intake. So we have two fans used up. Now lets put 2 more on the top for exhaust. Boom, you have your 4 key fans set up. I'm not a big fan of side intake fans, they can screw up airflow and add more noise. I suggest the testing temperatures and noise level without the side intake and then if you don't like your temperatures go ahead and test with the side intake fan on.

The setup mentioned above is a negative air pressure setup. I used a negative air pressure set up in my HAF 922 for a couple years with no ill effect. Even dust wasn't that bad. I have since moved to a different case and have set up using positive air pressure. And regardless, the HAF X doesn't make setting up a positive pressure very easy as you need more intake then exhaust to set up positive pressure.

3. This is hard to say. Those big 200mm and 230mm fans run at such low RPM that they should be very quite. But should also move a lot of air do to their size. You could go ahead and replace the 120mm in the back. Go with something that is 140mm to move more air. The thermalright TY-140 is a nice fan.

- Overall what I have learned personally is that I had to test a lot of fan configurations myself to find the best fit for me. Everyone's desired constant temperature and noise level is different. So if you have the funds and time in the future I'd say go ahead and test different configurations until you find what works best for you.

Good luck.
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July 7, 2012 4:51:26 PM

Noise, isn't too important for me. I say that now, but I may be wrong when I actually build it.

All that said thanks for your response, but let me ask.

So with the radiator on top, (where fans 4,5,6,7 are) for the best CPU cooling it should it be intake or exhaust?

One of my friends (physics major, but only sophomore year mind you) says to keep of fans even. He recommended i take the shroud off #2 but install a 8th (but strong) fan by the VGA. So this was his recommended setup.
A. 1, 2, 4,5,6,7 were intakes. 3 and 8 (rear bottom, above PSU, in VGA slot) would be exhaust but very very powerful fans (like the scythes).

His hesitation was that he doesn't know how powerful 4,5,6, and 7 will be altogether. So he said to try something else.
B. Intake: 1,2,3 and 8(but 8 isn't necessary anymore in his mind, but would prefer 8 to be stronger than 3)
Exhaust: 4,5,6 and 7.

He says, with that setup, I may lose a few degrees for the CPU, but since heat rises and the CPU is water cooled and most of the air coming in will force it's way up anyway...so no reason to fight the physics of it. By having 3 as an intake it'll help balance the CPU temp since it's getting fresh air.
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a b K Overclocking
July 7, 2012 5:11:29 PM

elijahsearle said:
Noise, isn't too important for me. I say that now, but I may be wrong when I actually build it.

All that said thanks for your response, but let me ask.

So with the radiator on top, (where fans 4,5,6,7 are) for the best CPU cooling it should it be intake or exhaust?

One of my friends (physics major, but only sophomore year mind you) says to keep of fans even. He recommended i take the shroud off #2 but install a 8th (but strong) fan by the VGA. So this was his recommended setup.
A. 1, 2, 4,5,6,7 were intakes. 3 and 8 (rear bottom, above PSU, in VGA slot) would be exhaust but very very powerful fans (like the scythes).

His hesitation was that he doesn't know how powerful 4,5,6, and 7 will be altogether. So he said to try something else.
B. Intake: 1,2,3 and 8(but 8 isn't necessary anymore in his mind, but would prefer 8 to be stronger than 3)
Exhaust: 4,5,6 and 7.

He says, with that setup, I may lose a few degrees for the CPU, but since heat rises and the CPU is water cooled and most of the air coming in will force it's way up anyway...so no reason to fight the physics of it. By having 3 as an intake it'll help balance the CPU temp since it's getting fresh air.


For best CPU temperatures in your situation you would want the radiator and its fans set up as intake. This will allow the cool ambient air to flow in and over the radiator instead of the warm internal air. Keep in mind you will want that air to be exhausted some how. So you should set up the front bottom fans as exhaust to remove the hot air. Also keep in mind that other components in your system will receive much warmer air now such as your GPU, Hard drives, and Mobo.

Yes heat rises. But a fan pushing the air is going to push it in whatever direction the fan is placed to push it. What I'm trying to say is not to worry about air rising because once you start pushing it with a fan it doesn't really matter anymore. The only thing that matters is that the air is being pushed to a properly placed area where it can be exhausted. Heat moves based on temperature difference.

On a side note, if your not sold 100% on the H100 there are some stellar air coolers out there as other options.
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July 7, 2012 7:14:01 PM

Okay, so intake for radiator. Gotcha.

So you would say setup A? I'm just concerned with having enough exhaust.
As much as I want/like the idea, maybe it is more realistic to have a fan and heat sink. That means more research haha. Would that be fine for OC'ing? What do you recommend, and based on that, fans 6 and 7 disappear but I assume that I'll either want the fan exhausting out the top or rear. And by having that VGA fan, I should be able balance intake and exhaust.
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a b K Overclocking
July 7, 2012 7:29:10 PM

Air cooling is fine for overclocking. And in the H100 price range you can get either a Noctua NH-D14 or a Thermalright Silver Arrow with the new 150mm fan. Those are the big boys of air cooling though so make sure you have enough clearance, RAM specifically.

The fan list is kind of confusing me (more so me just being lazy =)). But if you go radiator and want to make that intake I would do top/back intake and front/bottom exhaust. If you go with air cooling the cpu I would stick with traditional Front/bottom as intake and top/back as exhaust.
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