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Does it matter which way a CPU cooler faces?

Last response: in CPUs
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April 13, 2010 8:04:47 AM

I intend to pick up a CM Hyper TX3 for my i5 750. I don't intend to OC at all...I just want a cost-effective improvement over the stock cooler. Anyway, most pictures I've seen show the cooler positioned such that the fan should blow out the back of the case. I've only seen one picture where it was positioned so that it would blow out the top.

Is there any reason other than the specific case that most people have it blowing out the back? I've got a CM HAF 922, so it would seem to make more sense to have it blowing out the top (more ventilation, bigger fan, heat rises anyway). I'd also think that it couldn't hurt to help move whatever heat is coming from that side of the GPU out of the case anyway.

So would I be fine positioning the tower horizontally (in relation to the mobo) to make the fan blow air out the top?
April 13, 2010 8:42:32 AM

Looking at the base of the Hyper TX3, I don't think you have a choice of either aligning the heatsink so the broad side is either horizontal or vertical.

You *might* be able to mount the Hyper 212+ from CoolerMaster so it blows out the top. I think you can, but someone confirm this to make sure.
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April 13, 2010 8:52:39 AM

The main reason for choosing the orientation of the cooler is the direction of airflow you want. This is as you said pretty much case specific as you said. There aren't that many cases around with top exhaust fans that are positioned just right (concerning the cpu cooler). Also there is no point in blowing the hot air from your cpu cooler to the power supply, in case it's in the top of the case, if you can just blow it straight out from the back of the case as the rear exhaust fans are usually aligned with the cpu socket. The placement of your case might also be a factor if you only have a limited space for your pc case. Also some motherboards might have obstructing heatsinks for example that will limit your choices on the cooler orientation.. this problem is usually just with the bigger air coolers.

So are you fine with positioning the cooler to blow upwards? If it fits that way and the airflow is good.. Definitely.. it's just a question of aesthetics at that point.
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April 13, 2010 9:04:55 AM

Looking at my case, it seems the rear exhaust fan would be a bit better positioned. Kind of a toss-up at this point I guess. It's between the top 200mm fan which would be a bit offset from the cooler (not by too much, though) and the 120mm rear exhaust fan which seems like it would be aligned more closely.

I actually found a picture that has basically the same mobo and it's oriented to blow air out the top, so I know it would be (the cooler mounting areas for 1156 chipsets look to form a square, so it shouldn't matter).

Guess I'll wait until I get the cooler to decide then...just see what I think will work better. The PSU is mounted at the bottom so no worries there.



EDIT: Just in case anyone else wants to comment, here are a few pictures. They're kind of crappy since I didn't want to open my case just to take the pictures, but they should still do a good enough job of showing the location of my CPU (w/ stock fan) relative to the case exhaust fans.


Rear exhaust:

http://img695.imageshack.us/img695/9545/rearexhaust.jpg


Top exhaust:

http://img708.imageshack.us/img708/9905/topexhaust2.jpg
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