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Proper air flow in new case

Last response: in Overclocking
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August 21, 2012 12:27:29 AM

I recently changed from a small form factor case (Silverstone SUGO SG02) to a NZXT Source 210 and am curious about the optimal air flow for my components in their new home.

Here is a picture of how the case is setup, please note this is how it is normally orientated, on its side. I have it setup so air flows left to right.



Here is the environment it is in, on a soild flat glass surface just above the floor.



The fans I have installed are as follows:

Left intake - NZXT 120mm 1200RPM (Came with case)
Front intake - 2x Cooler Master R4-S2S-124K-GP 1200 RPM
Right exhaust - 2x Cooler Master R4-S2S-124K-GP 1200 RPM
Heatsink - 2x Cooler Master R4-L2R-20AG-R2 2000 RPM in push pull configuration

Is this an optimal setup air flow wise?
Would it be better to take out the right exhaust next to the heatsink so that a 2000 RPM fan is not blowing in to a slower 1200 RPM fan?
Should I take the 2000 RPM fans off of the heatsink and use those as exhausts and the 1200 RPM ones for the heatsink?
Should I remove any of the fans and leave just the vents? Remove fans and block some vents?

My hottest core idles at 37c and after 1 hour of Prime95 blend my hottest core gets to 63c. I don't think they sound extremely impressive, but are they bad?

I am using Dynex Silver thermal paste (was in a pinch and it was all I could get a while back), would it be worth it to get some Arctic Silver 5 or MX-2?

I have two fan locations left I can populate, or move fans to, if it would be beneficial, I have noted them with the yellow stars. One is on the back of the case and the other would be on the top of the case above the graphics card (side if the case was upright).

Any suggestions or opinions are appreciated.

More about : proper air flow case

a b K Overclocking
August 21, 2012 1:25:14 AM

Is this an optimal setup air flow wise? Directionally, yes. But I would relocate one of the fans.

Would it be better to take out the right exhaust next to the heatsink so that a 2000 RPM fan is not blowing in to a slower 1200 RPM fan? Probably. I would definitely try/test it. (maybe move it to the "star" location in the top right of your pic.)

Should I take the 2000 RPM fans off of the heatsink and use those as exhausts and the 1200 RPM ones for the heatsink? Not if those are the fans that came with the heat sink. They are probably well suited for the resistance the heat sink presents. I have tested this theory by installing a higher CFM fan on my 212+. I don't remember the exact temps now, but the result of the test was me returning the higher CFM fan and going back to stock.


Should I remove any of the fans and leave just the vents? Remove fans and block some vents? Maybe just the one mentioned in your second question.

My hottest core idles at 37c and after 1 hour of Prime95 blend my hottest core gets to 63c. I don't think they sound extremely impressive, but are they bad? That depends on what CPU you have. It's a bit hot for a phenom II, for instance.

I am using Dynex Silver thermal paste (was in a pinch and it was all I could get a while back), would it be worth it to get some Arctic Silver 5 or MX-2? I would try this if removing/relocating that fan doesn't improve temps.

I have two fan locations left I can populate, or move fans to, if it would be beneficial, I have noted them with the yellow stars. One is on the back of the case and the other would be on the top of the case above the graphics card (side if the case was upright). I would try the location of the star in the top right first.

The other star location will be a good place for an intake fan if your video card gets hot.


August 21, 2012 2:35:02 AM

Z1NONLY said:
Is this an optimal setup air flow wise? Directionally, yes. But I would relocate one of the fans.

Would it be better to take out the right exhaust next to the heatsink so that a 2000 RPM fan is not blowing in to a slower 1200 RPM fan? Probably. I would definitely try/test it. (maybe move it to the "star" location in the top right of your pic.)

Should I take the 2000 RPM fans off of the heatsink and use those as exhausts and the 1200 RPM ones for the heatsink? Not if those are the fans that came with the heat sink. They are probably well suited for the resistance the heat sink presents. I have tested this theory by installing a higher CFM fan on my 212+. I don't remember the exact temps now, but the result of the test was me returning the higher CFM fan and going back to stock.


Should I remove any of the fans and leave just the vents? Remove fans and block some vents? Maybe just the one mentioned in your second question.

My hottest core idles at 37c and after 1 hour of Prime95 blend my hottest core gets to 63c. I don't think they sound extremely impressive, but are they bad? That depends on what CPU you have. It's a bit hot for a phenom II, for instance.

I am using Dynex Silver thermal paste (was in a pinch and it was all I could get a while back), would it be worth it to get some Arctic Silver 5 or MX-2? I would try this if removing/relocating that fan doesn't improve temps.

I have two fan locations left I can populate, or move fans to, if it would be beneficial, I have noted them with the yellow stars. One is on the back of the case and the other would be on the top of the case above the graphics card (side if the case was upright). I would try the location of the star in the top right first.

The other star location will be a good place for an intake fan if your video card gets hot.


Haha, knowing what parts are in my system is a good thing. I had no idea my signature was not working, here are my system specs:

Processor: Core i7 950 @ Stock - Cooler Master Hyper 212+
Motherboard: MSI X58M
RAM: 3x2GB DDR3 1600 Corsair XMS3
Videocard: MSI GeForce GTX 480 1.5GB @ Stock with Zalman VF3000F
Storage: 1TB Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAE​X
Optical: 22x Samsung SATA DVD/RW
Case: NZXT Source 210
PSU: Antec NEO ECO 620W
Display: Panasonic TC-P42S2 42" 1080p Plasma
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium

I will try to move that fan, that is actually the idea I had as well, i just didn't know if the perpendicular airflow direction might be an issue.

The heatsink only came with one fan, and I am not using it, I swapped it for the two mentioned. Your suggesting maybe I just use the one that came with it instead of push/pull with the new fans?

I am moving to an X58 Sabertooth in the next week, so I may pickup some different paste since I will be reinstalling my heatsink anyways. Is Arctic Silver 5 or Arctic Cooling MX-2 still among the best? I seen a deal on .99 1.5g tube of MX-2 the other day.

I also will play with maybe taking one of the front intake fans (the one not blowing on the hard drive) and mount it above the graphics card. Currently it idles at 34c and under load in MSI Kombustor it reaches about 70c.

Eventually I am hoping to get my CPU at or around 4GHz and my graphics card overclocked as well (not sure where I can take it yet).

I appreciate your time and advice. I know most of this is just playing around and seeing what works, but I like to hear from others as far as why something may be better.
!