How much space do I need for proper side fan ventilation?

I have two computer sitting side by side, one on the left for gaming and one on the right for work. There is about 1/2 inch open space between the two computers, and due to space limitations I can't really spread them much farther apart. I feel like the one on the right isn't getting enough air flow from the front and rear fans - the 9800 GT card is running consistently around 70 degrees just doing basic Windows tasks like Office and web browsing. I thought I might install a side fan to try and cool it down a little more, but is 1/2 inch clearance enough for that fan to pull in the proper amount of air? If that won't work, what about skipping the side fan and putting in 140mm top fan - would that be enough to cool down the card? I'd prefer not to put a top fan on this computer, but if that's what it takes then I'll do it. Thanks for any advice.
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More about space proper side ventilation
  1. The side fan will be a good idea and will work because that half inch of space is on the front , top and rear so it adds up to a good amount of space. Plus the side fan will be blowing directly onto the video card area.
  2. I have an inch between the edge of my desk and the side fan and have never had a problem. Inzone is right and I'm sure some engineering genius could tell you that cubic inch airflow squared to the derivative of the co-efficient must be equal to the fan intake max CFM at optimal ambient air temp blah blah blah....

    That was fun to type, short answer, you're fine...
  3. Thanks, guys. I guess my main concern is whether the fan will be effective with that amount of space, or if it will be working its butt off for no results because it can't pull enough air, resulting in me having wasted the money to buy it. I have a 140 top fan coming in today for my gaming rig. I'm going to stick it in my work computer first and see if top cooling will work. If it doesn't then I'll just go ahead and get a side fan for it and see how well it works. Thanks for the answers!
  4. Best answer
    Having good air flow inside the computer is important when cooling is done by heatsink/fans so a supply of fresh air is important and the exaust of the heated air is equaly important. Some cases have the capacity for two front fans and some two top fans and all have the rear fan , one of the important places is the side fan because it blow directly onto the motherboard and not from a side angle that blows over the top of it. The side fan will make the most difference. I have water cooling and just for looks I added a side fan and it even lower the temps a bit with water cooling. The 1/2 inch space is going to be enough room to supply air to the side fan and will make a good improvement to your air flow.
  5. Sounds like a winner! I found an older 100mm fan from another computer that will work with my side panel and got it installed. It's a bit loud, but it brought the temp down to about 62 and it didn't cost anything, so I'll deal. Thanks again.
  6. Best answer selected by cm72.
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