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What case to choose with regard to air flow

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Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
January 1, 2010 7:06:06 PM

Going to build a new computer, have decided on a build and cooler for the CPU since i will be doing some moderate overclocking on an i7 860.

The question though, i had initially decided on a CORSAIR FULL TWR OBSIDIAN SERIES 800D PC CASE but got told it wasnt so good with regard to the air flow/ventilation. So, hopefully someone can help me choose a case that will give me adequate air circulation.

First of, i have decided to buy a full case (big tower). Is this in itself a positive or negative thing with regard to airflow?

I have the following candidates, but feel free to give other alternatives if you feel it is much better.

1) CORSAIR FULL TWR OBSIDIAN SERIES 800D PC CASE (CC800DW)
2) COOLERMASTER HAF 932
3) COOLERMASTER ATCs 840 Black

4) THERMALTAKE Armor+ Super Tower Black m. vindue (VH6000BWS)
5) Antec Twelve Hundred Big Tower Sort
a b B Homebuilt system
January 1, 2010 7:20:58 PM

There is an experiment online that seems to indicate that our common-sense ideas about case cooling do not correlate well with reality. I have a big, giant full tower with a zillion fans, but it looks like leaving the side off would have been just as good. Convection works wonders all by itself. I think your criteria for case selection should be number of bays; portability (if needed); appearance; and number, type, and placement of USB, firewire, etc. Any case will have adequate air flow.
January 1, 2010 7:38:14 PM

Antec 300 would be good enough for your uses as your considering a armor+. However, if you go with the antec 300, you need all the 120mm slots filled fans that have 30cfm+ (real cfm not rated)or it won't be comparable to the armor.
Edit: or going with Petrofsky's way of doing it, leaving the side panel open. If you leave it open, it will be louder as the side panel helps in muffling/damping the sound.
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Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
January 1, 2010 7:49:23 PM

Well, my original reason for choosing the corsair 800D was design, so if that one does have sufficient airflow i guess ill just go with it. The other 2 i really like due to design are the Antec Twelve Hundred and the THERMALTAKE Xaser VI.
a b B Homebuilt system
January 1, 2010 8:06:38 PM

The greatest factor in case selection is that you gotta look at it so aesthetics, cooling and what it fits are the primary selection criteria. The HAF has a lot of the features I like but the Antec 1200 is the case I choose for the following reasons:

1. It comes from a company with great customer service and support.
2. Built in speed adjustment on all fans.
3. Dust Filters
4. It fits the CP-850 PSU....BIG !
5. Can turn LED's off if you don't like the blingy look.
6. With optional fans, it provides the most flexible cooling options.

Again real big here is the fact that it fits the CP-850. The only better PSU out ther eis the SG-850 but the SG is almost twice the price. The Corsair HX-850 is a match for the CP electrically but the CP is much quieter and the HX costs more. The CP is about $118 at mwave.com ...about $172 for HX where it's in stock
January 1, 2010 9:37:47 PM

HAF932, Antec 1200(Fans are adjustable) are my personal choice. Go for Corsair HX series supply.
January 1, 2010 9:49:16 PM

antec 900 or 1200 I love my 900 temps dropped big time. my gpus was heating my case like an over the 900 fixed that..
January 3, 2010 6:12:22 AM

Petrofsky said:
There is an experiment online that seems to indicate that our common-sense ideas about case cooling do not correlate well with reality. I have a big, giant full tower with a zillion fans, but it looks like leaving the side off would have been just as good. Convection works wonders all by itself. I think your criteria for case selection should be number of bays; portability (if needed); appearance; and number, type, and placement of USB, firewire, etc. Any case will have adequate air flow.


A lot of that turbulence caused by the side fans can be used up by a bottom mount PSU and blower type graphix cards, plus a the higher up side fan would blow nice fresh air of blower type video cards that exhaust heat.

A good balance of intake and exhausts is about one more intake than exhaust. Plus you have to take into account how much air each fan is moving, a 8cm fan does have the potential to move as much as a 12cm fan, but at the cost of noise. I've learned though that if you keep the top and the rear of the case as exhaust sides you can keep a good airflow through your case. Especially since mainstream coolers tend to exhaust towards these directions.

Also, fan control is very helpful, either through third party software or a fan controller panel, however the addition of wires from the controller may slow airflow, and the controller makes heat as well. But, your computer won't be tied up by running extra software.

Choosing a case is based on your needs and where you want it to go in the future, as well as budget. I buy cheap Rosewill cases so that I have money left over for thermal management. That's just my preference though, you can always get a pricey full tower w/ all the trimmings but you will pay (literally) for it all being pre-designed.
January 3, 2010 6:15:27 AM

Also, check into XClio, a friend of mine referred me and they seem to do justice. Just stay away from the ones w/ giant fans, they are not as readily replaceable.
!