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Pulled the Trigger on my build - Need Fan Placement Advice...

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July 6, 2010 9:22:17 AM

Hey guys,

I wasn't sure where to post this, but here goes...

I just bought the parts for my build, and I'm just going over my fan placement ideas, and which route to take.

First - my build is primarily for video editing, working on Premiere, Photoshop, and other CS5 programs.

Therefore, thanks to Al's recommendation, I went with the GTS 250, plus, I wanted this to be a fairly quiet build:

i7 930 + Asus P6X58D-E
SSD: X-25M 80GB ( boot )
HDD: 1TB Samsung F3 Spinpoint ( storage )
RAM: 6GB OCZ Platinum ( 7-7-7-24 )
GPU: Zotac GTS 250
HS: Noctua NH-D14
PSU: Corsair 650W Modular 650HX

Case: 690 II Advanced

PSU placement, what would be ideal? Should the PSU be facing down?

I plan to model this air cooling set up, but I've gotten 3 separate opinions so far, and yet, I am asking for some more. :) 



FANS: I bought 2 x Noctua NF-P14 FLX 140mm Case Fans ( 2 top fans )

1 x Noctua NF-P12-1300 120mm ( REAR )

That's as far as I got with the fans, and I'm willing to return these for a better fan layout. I had to purchase the build to take advantage of rebates with some items, and I ran out of time and steam.

Now, the parts are here, and I'm trying to figure out which way to move forward, I don't want to put anything together until all fans are in place.

Should I get 2 x 120mm fans for the front, Plus, 1 x 120mm fan for the bottom as intake?

Will this give me a proper air flow? If not, which front and bottom fans should I get, that will go well with these Noctuas?

The following fan options are somewhat loud, and I'm looking for some other options for high performing quiet fans, that cost no more than $15 each. Possible?

I could also match the Noctua fans ( if necessary ) but just need to know which ones and how many.

Option 2 & 3 Fan Placement:

2 Top Exhaust
1 Rear Exhaust
2 Front Intake
1 Bottom Intake

6 of these fans - Ultra Performance 120mm
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/searchtools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5598837

Fan Speed: 2100 RPM
Noise Level: 33.6 dBA
Air Flow: 79.3 CFM

Option 3:

Buy 6 Scythe Ultra Kaze 120MM High Static Pressure Fan 38MM 3000RPM
133.6CFM
45.9DBA
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=14110AC5417

Option 4: Please suggest a better fan layout, and fans. :) 

Thanks in advance!
July 6, 2010 10:58:12 AM

The layout you suggested is great for max airflow, apart from one thing, the PSU orientation. The PSU fan should be facing down, as it intakes cold air, and exhausts out the back of the case.
If the psu fan is upward facing, then
a) it is drawing in hot case air onto the PSU components, and
b) it is running the opposite direction to the second floor intake fan, thus causing more turbulence.
(Hence why there is a grille at the bottom of the case where the PSU fits for the PSU fan)

The scythe ultra Kaze fans have a very high airflow rating, but are extremely noisy
A better choice for all the case fans would be
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=14110AC0944&v...
These have comparable airflow ratings, but are nearly 10 Dba quieter (becasue dba is a logarithmic scale, in reality the Ultra Kaze fans are nearly ten times as loud (40dba being ten times louder than 30dba))

Hope this helps!
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July 6, 2010 10:59:46 AM

also, if you get a good fan controller, then your pc can have multiple fan profiles, i.e. quiet for general use, then louder for gaming, heavy tasks etc.
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July 6, 2010 7:48:44 PM

Thanks a lot for that feedback.

My goal is maximum air flow, as quiet as possible. :) 

Realistically, I don't see this system running that hot.

I will have a moderate overclock to 3.8 - 4.0

Plus, the GPU runs at 40C to 50C at full load.

These fans don't state how loud they are at 2000 RPM
http://ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=29530&vpn=NEXUSP...

....

The fan placement is as important as the fans, and that's what I want to finalize.

How does this sound?

2 top exhaust fans ( 120mm )
1 rear fan 120mm
1 front intake ( 140mm )
1 bottom intake ( 140mm )
PSU facing down
and MAYBE another 120mm front intake?

................

Also, the following set up was recommended on another forum, but I don't really have time ( or desire ) to mod my case right now.

For quiet and good airflow I would do this

1 x140 intake floor (get a good mesh filter for it)
1x 140 intake front
1x120 exhaust rear

1x140 exhaust top rear mounted out side chasis
1x140 intake top front mounted inside chasis
Like this:



Cool air in front top and bottom and remove rear top. It's natural.

80mm fan at back of cpu socket to keep cool whilst under load.

More fans in than out = higher case air pressure. Meaning air/dust will not be sucked in through any gaps or unused fan holes in the case.
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Best solution

July 6, 2010 8:22:49 PM

kg2010 said:
Thanks a lot for that feedback.

My goal is maximum air flow, as quiet as possible. :) 

Realistically, I don't see this system running that hot.

I will have a moderate overclock to 3.8 - 4.0

Plus, the GPU runs at 40C to 50C at full load.

These fans don't state how loud they are at 2000 RPM
http://ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=29530&vpn=NEXUSP...

....

The fan placement is as important as the fans, and that's what I want to finalize.

How does this sound?

2 top exhaust fans ( 120mm )
1 rear fan 120mm
1 front intake ( 140mm )
1 bottom intake ( 140mm )
PSU facing down
and MAYBE another 120mm front intake?

................

Also, the following set up was recommended on another forum, but I don't really have time ( or desire ) to mod my case right now.

For quiet and good airflow I would do this

1 x140 intake floor (get a good mesh filter for it)
1x 140 intake front
1x120 exhaust rear

1x140 exhaust top rear mounted out side chasis
1x140 intake top front mounted inside chasis
Like this:

Cool air in front top and bottom and remove rear top. It's natural.

80mm fan at back of cpu socket to keep cool whilst under load.

More fans in than out = higher case air pressure. Meaning air/dust will not be sucked in through any gaps or unused fan holes in the case.


Fan layout is spot on, i wouldnt bother with the second suggestion for not that much extra performance in the grand sceme of things. You still have a 5 fan system, with 3 exhaust fans, aswel as the cpu cooler. And the system will not be that hot at all.

On the nexus fans, i wouldnt get those, as the CFM is 40 below the Scythe Slipstreams i suggested, and the RPM is 100 more, so they will be similar in volume if not slightly louder, as scythe make some of the best fans
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July 6, 2010 9:19:29 PM

Thanks for that feedback, I want a nice balanced air flow, with 10%-20% more intake, and of course, as quiet as possible. I don't expect things to over heat in there.

Also, will I need a Fan Controller - if so .. any recommendations?

........

On a side note: I noticed in your rig you're using the Gigabyte X58A-UD3R - it was a toss up for me due to the issues the board has, have you found or run into any issues with it?

More specifically the hissing sound coming from near the CPU, did you experience any of that?
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July 6, 2010 9:49:54 PM

I was aware of some hissing sounds, but i've learnt its down to something with different PSUs, certainly i haven't had any.
I think there is a Rev.2 version out now, not sure what it addresses though

I would go for the Gigabyte, as its cheaper and overclocks slightly better.

On the fan controller front, i've got the Lamptron Fan-atic 5port controller.
http://www.lamptron.com/products/view/Fan-Atic:_5-port

I got it, not becasue my fans are loud, (on the contrary, large 200mm slow coolermaster ones), but becasue of the amount of air that is shifted, a low wooshing sound is made as the air is pushed over very square components.

Many people use controllers with dials, as they give precise adjustment, ,but i didnt like them, as it is a huge pain in the ass to move loads of dials everytime you want more airflow. Mine has two profiles, whisper quiet for everyday use, and full airflow for gaming etc.
Makes it very easy to flip the profiles, and the switches have the best action to them!

(Lamptron make great controllers, mainly becasue they have high voltage rating, so you can chain lots of fans per channel, in the event that you have more fans than controllers)
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July 6, 2010 9:58:49 PM

Thanks for that feedback.

I already have the Asus board, and actually have all parts here except for the Samsung F3 - the only thing remaining was the fan layout. The combo with the i7 was only a $5 difference.

I think I'm going to return the Noctua fans, and just get other fans so all fans can have a more consistent airflow. ( Plus, those 3 fans are EXPENSIVE! lol )
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July 6, 2010 10:03:02 PM

No worries, hope it all helps!

Yeah, Scythe are the best imo, and its nice to have all the same fans in a case, so there isnt an annoying slightly louder one lol!

If u liked my feedback, you could select it as the best answer, earns me a load of points hehe, cheers!
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July 7, 2010 12:23:20 AM

Finally, CFM has no direct bearing on cooling, which is measured not by airflow but by a drop in temperature, usually in a device in the PC. Without the benefit of a thermal engineer's knowledge and detailed parameters about the components and conditions, CFM might as well be APH (angels per pin head). The relationship between CFM and cooling is at least as complex as that between SPL and perceived noise. The CFM value has no real meaning beyond itself. In contrast, with a bit of experience, 30 dBA/1m does have some meaning. Still, DIY computer tech geeks want to compare fans by their CFM rating, and in the SPCR (and other PC tech web) forums, some have gone so far as to specify what CFM rating they believe is needed for their application. This is a reliance on CFM numbers that has obfuscated the role of airflow in cooling. It's not really a surprise; CFM is one of the very few performance specs that fan manufacturers make available.

Over the years, we have observed one clear phenomenon about fans and cooling: The relationship between airflow and temperature invariably becomes exponential at some point. Increase airflow from nothing to something, and the drop in temperature can be dramatic. Keep increasing airflow, and the cooling improvement becomes less and less significant, until at some point, the temperature hardly drops at all. The trick, for the PC builder who seeks both good cooling and low noise, is to find the point where any decrease in airflow (or fan speed) effects a significant increase in temperature, while only a very large airflow increase effects a significant temperature drop. In other words, once you have enough airflow, additional airflow has very little cooling effect, so all you're doing is increasing noise. "Enough airflow" is not a constant, of course, it varies for each system of components.

read up on fans and what high cfm fans do which is nothing but adding noise

http://www.silentpcreview.com/Fan_Test_System_2010
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article63-page1.html
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July 7, 2010 1:47:56 AM

Best answer selected by kg2010.
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July 7, 2010 1:49:32 AM

Hey, that's quite the analogy, I wanted to select that as best answer as well, I thought I could?

This is a best answer worthy post.

I will go ahead and read those articles.

So... after having said all of that - what is your fan placement recommendation, along with type of fans?. :) 
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July 7, 2010 7:51:11 AM

kg2010 said:
Do you know if those lights can be turned off?

I'm not into the blue led's coming from the computer. :) 


They are not very bright, the grille covers alot of the outgoing light. The red is less bright again. But i think if you really want to, you can open it up and cover the LEDs with black marker pen or something, i wouldnt disconnect them, as they could be part of the fan circuits...
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