Apologies for the length of this post, but I wanted to make sure I get everything down on paper.
I've been using my TT Armor case now for about 4 years, and unfortunately some of the fans have started rattling, while others are getting louder and louder... I've therefore decided to replace all the fans, however I have very little fan knowledge, and since I'm building quite a powerful computer this time around, I want to do my best to achieve good cooling performance.
My problem is that despite 10+ years of assembling and repairing computers, I have basically NO experience when it comes to fans.
I've read through several guides to try and educate myself on the topic, but I still have quite a few questions that I simply cannot find decent and/or consistent answers to.
What needs to be cooled? Well, my build is going to look like this: Thermaltake Armor VA800BWS
ASRock Z77 Extreme4
4x 4GB G.Skill Ripjaws
2x Gigabyte GTX680 4GB SLi
X-Fi Fata1ty Pro w/ Front bay
2x Samsung 830 SSD in RAID0
2x Seagate 2TB (not SSD)
I will use two frontal hard drive cages (TT iCage), which each come equipped with a 120mm Blue LED intake fan (TT 1225). The bottom cage will hold the SSD's (one in the top slot, one in the bottom slot, middle slot free for airflow), while the cage above will hold the non-SSDs (one in the top slot, one in the bottom slot).
Both these fans will need replacing, and I would like them both to be blue LED, like the standard Thermaltakes.
There's another 120mm fan (same as the iCage fans) at the rear, under the PSU, for exhaust. Here I would prefer blue LED, but it's not a dealbreaker.
As well as this, there are two more exhaust fans, both 92mm (TT-9025a), both plain without LED.
Not to mention the gigantic 250mm fan in the side window!
To be honest I wasn't planning on replacing this (it's quiet and nice), however having Googled around a bit, it seems the advertised 67,7 CFM airflow is far from correct, this guy is claiming that it's only pushing about 10!! Does anyone have any more info on this?
Now, I am focusing on building negative pressure in my case (for best cooling performance), meaning exhaust must be higher than intake. Dust isn't a problem; I'll happily open and clean my case once a week if need be
Finally, what is most important to me? Quiet fans - and I'm willing to pay a bit extra for them.
So, below are my suggestions and questions. I've listed the fans' capacity, so as to ease the calculation of achieving a negative pressure inside the case.
2x 92mm exhaust fans
I figured I can go with Noctua NF-B9. They come very highly rated wherever I read about them. 2 x 37.8 CFM = 75.6 CFM exhaust
1x 120mm exhaust fan (preferrably with blue LED)
I have my eyes on the Noctua NF-S12B-FLX-1200rpm, but it doesn't have any LED. I would really like LED on this one, however if there aren't any great options, I'll stick with the Noctua. 59 CFM exhaust. -- but I am looking for options here!
2x 120mm intake fan (with blue LED)
I've no clue what to go with here. It's important to keep in mind that the airflow of these fans will be 'obstructed' on both sides: on the front of the cabinet by mesh grills, and on the rear by the harddrives themselves. Therefore, I guess I'll have to subtract some of the CFM-ratings for these fans?
1x 250mm intake fan
I'm not sure if this needs replacing... However, if some comments I have read are indeed true, and this fan produces FAR less airflow than the specified 67.7 CFM, it will be very difficult to calculate airflow correctly, in order to get a negative pressure in the case. Perhaps it's just better to swap it, just in case? I have no clue... LED on this fan doesn't matter one way or the other.
As mentioned previously, I want to go for negative case pressure. What I want to know is how negative should I go? How many more % exhaust than intake is a good rule of thumb?
What about the fans that are being obstructed, how can I calculated how much air they move?
I think that should cover everything...
Again, sorry for the long post. I hope someone can enlighten me!