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Help w/Case Fan Config

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September 25, 2010 12:45:27 AM

Hey, all,

If anyone can give me some tips on the proper config for the best air circulation for my case, I would appreciate it. My idle temps are ridiculous, and core load temps are breaching 70c, which they hadn't until recently.

I've got a Cooler Master RC 690, with 7 case fans. 2 on the left side are intake (Masscool 120mm) blowing on the CPU and VGA. 1 in the front is intake (Antec TriCool 120mm). 1 on the bottom is intake (Cooler Master 120mm). 1 on the right side is intake (Hiper 80mm) blowing on the under side of the mobo/CPU. 1 in the back is exhaust (Cooler Master 120mm). 1 on the top is exhaust (Cooler Master 120mm).

My concern is with how I have them configured. Are there any that you feel I should reverse and make an intake or exhaust fan? Will it make that much of a difference?

Also, I have an AC Freezer 7 Pro rev.2 on the CPU and my GPU is an MSI N460GTX Hawk, which has the Twin Frozr II cooling system on it, but exhausting in to the case for the most part.

Any thoughts??? I posted about this before, but received no response, so I thought I'd try again, and hopefully get a different perspective on the issue.

Thanks!

More about : case fan config

September 25, 2010 1:16:50 AM

Are you sure your HSF is on correctly/tight enough? It could be you have too much air blowing into the case and not enough blowing out. How high above ambient are your idle temps? Try taking off the left side of the case. How are temps then?
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
September 25, 2010 1:18:19 AM

Some thoughts:

1) The case has lots of fans, but not a great airflow pattern. You ideally want intakes low and in front, and outputs high and in back.
Side fans mix up the airflow.
2) The gpu should be the direct exhaust type, particularly if the case does not have great airflow.
3) I see lots if intakes, but not much output. You might try reversing the side fans from intake to output and see how you do. The main intakes would be the front and bottom fans.
4) Is your cpu cooler well mounted? Try taking off the side covers and directing a house fan at the innards. That is what great case cooling will do for you. If your temps are still high, then there is a problem with the cooler, or, more likely, the mounting.
Did you use lots of thermal grease? If you did, that is bad, it acts as an insulator. You want to use only enough to fill in the microscopic pits in the surfaces. It is hard to use too little.
5) What rpm fans are you using? At the expense of more noise, a higher rpm fan will improve your airflow.
6) How hot is the room? Can it be cooler?
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September 25, 2010 4:25:42 AM

Thanks to both of you for the responses. I should definitely re-seat the HSF, and I've thought about checking it before, but I remember thinking something was about to bust when putting it on. I'm fairly certain that was all in my head, since the core temp dropped 3-4c immediately after install. I cleaned the AS5 off the CPU using Arctic Silver's cleaning liquids, being very careful, and the Arctic Cooling HSF had MX2 pre-applied, so I'm fairly certain I left that alone.

Ya, my main concern was not enough heat exhausting, but I wasn't sure if I should just get another fan to add to the final spot (exhausting at the top of the case) or re-organize and configure the fans that I currently have. Guess the first thing to try, other than checking HSF install would be to flip the left side fans around and see what happens.

Oh, to answer one of the questions, I'm currently at about 56c on the core... idle... seems insanely high to me. Over 10 degrees higher than it use to be. Only thing to recently change was the addition of the graphics card, and my new desk. The case now sits in a "cubby" in the desk, though I removed the front door, and the back is mostly open. Also there is about 5-6" of clearance on each side and about 8-10" above it. After these changes I only had a temp increase of about 3-4 degrees, and within the last couple of weeks it has spiked... no other changes in that time.

The PC is on the 2nd floor of the house and I'm in CA, but temps in the area have dropped to the low-mid 80's in the last few weeks, and without AC running that is what this room sits at.

The Masscool's are 60CFM, 1500RPM. Antec is set to high 2000RPM, 79CFM (although behind the HDD cage I'm not sure how much good it is doing). Hiper 80mm is 2000RPM, 21CFM. The other 3 are Cooler Master fans that came with the case, and I think they top off around 1200RPM.

I'll remove the side panel and see where it bottoms out at. I've done it a few times recently, and I think that it drops 3-4c on the core, but let me confirm and I'll post my results.
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September 25, 2010 5:00:28 AM

You've got a lot of things working against you, between the CA weather, the 3rd floor, and the 'cubby' desk. Let us know how it goes with the side off. Also, as a second test, if you have a box fan, or any other fan, try pointing it at the front of the desk to see what the added circulation does. Also be worth comparing to temps if it was sitting on top of your desk. Use a room thermometer before each test to measure room temperature as it's the difference over this ambient that will really tell you if you've found a condition in which it improves.
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September 25, 2010 5:01:33 AM

46c with the left panel removed and the machine mostly taken out of the cubby. I put the panel back on and it appears to have topped off at 49c. All this is idle. So, it appears my big issue is the cubby that it is in... agreed? Any advice? Is 46c a decent temp, considering what is known about the setup? Room temp is in the mid 70's right now.
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September 25, 2010 5:39:31 AM

ekoostik, since we were writing at practically the same time, I didn't see your response until just now. Refer to my last post for some of the test and results. That's a great idea. I have a small room fan (not the tiny desk fans, but definitely smaller than the average room fan) in the office now. I will give that a try in the next little bit and post the results.
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Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
September 25, 2010 2:01:49 PM

Hi brandoncatz, what do you use to measure the temperature and speed of the fans? Something like HW Monitor? I have that but is there something better?
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September 25, 2010 2:36:07 PM

Quote:
Hi brandoncatz, what do you use to measure the temperature and speed of the fans? Something like HW Monitor? I have that but is there something better?


Case1, I do have HW Monitor installed, but I more often use SpeedFan simply due to the fact that I am more familiar with it. I know HW Monitor does give me a bit more info in terms of temps, though.
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September 25, 2010 4:41:55 PM

Do HWMonitor and SpeedFan agree? I had an issue with SpeedFan reporting 10C higher for a time due to an incorrect default setting for my chip which I believe has since been fixed. But if they are off that would be good to know.

What does you GPU idle at? Based on some reviews the 460 in general should be around the 34-38 range although your card is different and with airflow issues we'd expect it to be higher.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-460-gf1...
http://www.anandtech.com/show/3810/nvidias-geforce-gtx-...
http://www.anandtech.com/show/3809/nvidias-geforce-gtx-...

I don't know what the back of your cubby looks like, but if you can force air out and away so that it doesn't just come back in the case and heat the air around your rig then that should help. I've used fan setups such as the following in closed containers, with holes in the bottom to draw in air and the fans forcing air out the back top to get the heat out - always on: http://www.coolerguys.com/840556087922.html
Temp based: http://www.amazon.com/Coolerguys-Cabcool1202-Cooling-th...

Other questions - have you tried lowering the Vs being supplied to your CPU? See if you can get it stable with less V, then you'd have less heat. Also, is your CPU OCed?
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September 25, 2010 10:09:57 PM

The 2 apps (SpeedFan and HWMon) seem to be in perfect sync. AMD OD agrees, as well. Currently showing 57c on core and 38c on GPU. GPU has been at around 34c at idle since I got it a couple weeks ago, but has recently been idling higher, along with the CPU, as previously mentioned. And I got the desk at the same time as the card (system was on the floor, but in the open previously) and it was good for a while.

I went ahead and switched the 2 Masscool fans around so that they are now exhausting some heat. One thing worth mentioning is that I bought 2 120mm filters a few weeks ago when I got these fans, and I noticed that they were a bit dirty, but air flow was cut down to almost nothing. Only reason I got them was because there is a known issue with my case that when putting fans on the side panel as intake it causes a really annoying whining sound. In any case, they are now idling at about 53c, GPU at 40c. Better, I suppose, despite GPU increase... man, I can not win.

I'm not very experienced at OC'ing, so I never touched it, despite the BE processor and the GPU that was meant for it. Guess I could try dropping Vs on the CPU, but I would hate to do that for a few different reasons, the main being my lack of OC knowledge and time (2 kids and a wife taking up a lot of my oh so precious time). Maybe I'll try it as a last result.

Well, I don't want to take up too much more of our time, ekoostik. I'll monitor the temps and system habits and try to isolate the exact issue. I like the look of that CabCool cooler. Maybe I'll get one of these after confirming a few more things, including proper seating of the HSF. Thanks for all your time! You've been a big help and given me a lot of options... oh, one question for you. I do have a couple of the fans on a 3-pin splitter cable (Y adapater, whatever you want to call it), since I only have 3 fan headers. Since that is essentially splitting the 12v, am I losing RPM on each of the fans that are setup like that? I'm fairly certain (not opening the case again at this moment) that the fan on my CPU heatsink is plugged in by itself, but I will confirm. I wasn't sure if I was losing anything by setting the fans up this way, other than wonky RPM display in SpeedFan. Let me know what you think on that. Maybe that could be the key.

Anyway... thanks, again!
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Best solution

September 25, 2010 11:31:47 PM

The 3-pin splitter shouldn't be causing a problem, unless the power supply is somehow not able to keep up with draw which is doubtful. Keep up with experimenting with the fan positions, and even removing some, and let us know if you find a particular config that makes a big difference. Sounds like getting air through and especially out of the desk is going to be key. If you had extra fans and power adapters you could always put your own together and not bother with the pre-built cabinet coolers. But in either case they'll really only be helpful if they get the hot air out and away from the cabinet. I don't know how big the opening in the back of the desk is but if it's a pretty decent size then the fans might move the hot air out only for it to come back in if there's no where else for it to go. If you try something like this, try first with the fans at the top of the opening so hot air doesn't creep back in over top. Anyway, I hope you find something that works.

Best of luck.
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September 26, 2010 1:44:07 AM

Best answer selected by brandoncatz.
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