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GPU exhaust inside vs outside the case

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a c 639 U Graphics card
September 21, 2010 7:14:52 PM

Most of the stock video card coolers vent hot air outside the case. Most custom coolers blow hot air from the GPU around inside the case. It seems the custom coolers do a better job of cooling the video card at the expense of heating up everything else in the system.

I have not found any discussion of this issue. Is it a significant problem for other system components to blow 80c-90c hot air around inside the case versus venting it outside the case? Do you know of any articles addressing the issue? What is your personal experience?

Thanks.
a b U Graphics card
September 21, 2010 7:32:50 PM

Look in CPU and Components lots of disscussions on air flow.
Most new cases with the newer components address this. My graphics card vents out the back but the side fan blows into the video card intake and across the northbridge.
I have two fans in the back that draw air out and fans in front to draw air in as well as 1 on top pulling air out. I'd say no air circluates but flows. Room temp in, hot out.
for ref. I'm using the Antec 1200
Lets not forget that the power supply also intakes case air and vents out back.
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a c 130 U Graphics card
September 21, 2010 7:43:41 PM

You will get different answers from different people on this subject. Most cases have a good enough airflow through and around the case for it not to be a real issue. there is also the discussion as to is positive or negative pressure in the case better, again people differ on which they prefer.

Personally it dosent matter to me as long as the CPU/GPU etc are reading cool enough on CPU-Z/GPU-Z then all is good in the world. The referance coolers dont do such a good job as the other coolers and if it was a bad thing they wouldnt do it.

Mactronix
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a b U Graphics card
September 21, 2010 7:45:25 PM

I have a smaller mid-tower case that only supports one intake and one exhaust fan so I prefer vid cards that exhaust out the back. If you case has sufficient cooling I don't think it will matter as much.
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a c 236 U Graphics card
September 21, 2010 7:49:56 PM

every video card I ever owned (owned a lot) has had a cooler that moved air in the case rather then out the back. Never had an issue even with a 9800GT (80c at load) in a DELL case with just one fan. its an over-blown issue.
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September 21, 2010 7:54:58 PM

Hot air needs to exit the case somehow before anything geets cool and the sooner the better. GPU cards that provide a direct output are better, IMHO. The air they thus expel has already been pre-heated by other components so what's the point to continuing to recirculate hot air? The more air through the box the better any way you do it.
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a c 639 U Graphics card
September 21, 2010 8:13:55 PM

I have a tower cpu cooler blowing from bottom (near the video card) to top. So my more specific question is whether the custom cooler on a video card, blowing hot air just inches away from the cpu, will actually cause an increase in cpu temperature.

Even with good airflow, the air passing through the system is hotter, therefore less efficient cpu cooling, therefore less capable cpu overclocking. I really want to know if anyone has specific experience with this. Maybe someone who upgraded their video card recently. Maybe it's not an issue at all.
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a c 130 U Graphics card
September 22, 2010 7:22:24 PM

17seconds said:
I have a tower cpu cooler blowing from bottom (near the video card) to top. So my more specific question is whether the custom cooler on a video card, blowing hot air just inches away from the cpu, will actually cause an increase in cpu temperature.

Even with good airflow, the air passing through the system is hotter, therefore less efficient cpu cooling, therefore less capable cpu overclocking. I really want to know if anyone has specific experience with this. Maybe someone who upgraded their video card recently. Maybe it's not an issue at all.



As far as I am personally concerned your tower cooler is facing the wrong way. Take a look on line at pictures and you should find that most of then are blowing air towards the back of the case across the Ram.
Basically if im picturing this right your CPU cooler will be drawing air more or less directly off of the back of the GPU instead of from outside the case. In this scenario i would say the third party cooler would be better as it will keep what is basically the radiator (which your GPU may as well be know) below the CPU fan cooler so the air being drawn into the CPU cooler will be a few degrees cooler to start with.

Mactronix :) 
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a b U Graphics card
September 22, 2010 7:32:23 PM

Agree with Mac, all airflow should be directed front to back of the case, or at the very least in one consistent direction.
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a c 639 U Graphics card
September 23, 2010 12:18:36 AM

I don't currently have this problem with the GPU exhaust, as mine blows out the back of the case. In terms of the CPU cooler, it is oriented in a quite acceptable south-north orientation (aimed at the 140mm PSU fan at the top), as opposed to east-west (aimed at the rear exhaust fan). I selected this orientation out of necessity; the large cooler covered my Dominator heat fins in an east-west configuration. At the same time, I have read plenty about the south-north orientation offering benefits: allows gravity to work more efficiently on the fluid inside the heatpipes, the base covers more of the CPU surface area, and has the potential to suck up more cool air from the bottom of the case and vent it towards the top (as heat naturally rises). The heatsink orientation really depends on the individual airflow configuration of the case, but there are plenty of people that promote the south-north orientation as superior. I myself saw a difference of a couple degrees lower in my current configuration.

Back to my original question, I'm still wondering, if I were to switch to a video card with a custom cooler, would I be placing more strain on my CPU cooling, and if so, how much? I ask because, I don't think anyone has seriously studied this issue.
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a c 236 U Graphics card
September 23, 2010 3:02:05 AM

17seconds said:
I don't currently have this problem with the GPU exhaust, as mine blows out the back of the case. In terms of the CPU cooler, it is oriented in a quite acceptable south-north orientation (aimed at the 140mm PSU fan at the top), as opposed to east-west (aimed at the rear exhaust fan). I selected this orientation out of necessity; the large cooler covered my Dominator heat fins in an east-west configuration. At the same time, I have read plenty about the south-north orientation offering benefits: allows gravity to work more efficiently on the fluid inside the heatpipes, the base covers more of the CPU surface area, and has the potential to suck up more cool air from the bottom of the case and vent it towards the top (as heat naturally rises). The heatsink orientation really depends on the individual airflow configuration of the case, but there are plenty of people that promote the south-north orientation as superior. I myself saw a difference of a couple degrees lower in my current configuration.

Back to my original question, I'm still wondering, if I were to switch to a video card with a custom cooler, would I be placing more strain on my CPU cooling, and if so, how much? I ask because, I don't think anyone has seriously studied this issue.


heat may rise naturally but when airflow is added to the picture, heat goes where you push or pull it out

my cpu fan is aimed toward the disc drives just like in this PC built by Toms. The fact is you can have all the fans facing each other trying to make a mini-cyclone in your PC case as long as your temps are normal.

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a c 365 U Graphics card
September 23, 2010 3:22:17 AM

Generally speaking, I prefer video cards with a HSF that exhausts hot air out the rear of the case instead of into the case to keep the ambient temperature within the case a low as possible. I will also say that I typically stick with the default HSF.

The exception is my HTPC. I use a passively cooled 9600GT that comes with an Accelero S2 heatsink. I like my HTPC to be as quiet as possible, hence no fan. Of course, proper airflow is important especially when the Intel E6600 CPU is also passively cooled.
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a c 191 U Graphics card
September 23, 2010 7:29:05 AM

I used to be a little concerned about this myself, and always used cards with external exhausting coolers.
But I've just dropped a Zalman VF 3000A onto my HD5850 with little impact on the CPU temperatures, OK they're up a few degrees but only a few. The case and CPU cooler are nothing special either, just an Antec 200 with the stock rear/top fans (medium/low speeds respectively) and a Coolermaster Hiper 212+ for the CPU (fan 25% but it can run passive if I'm not playing with overclocks ;) 
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a c 639 U Graphics card
September 28, 2010 9:23:33 PM

Best answer selected by MattO17secs.
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a c 273 U Graphics card
September 29, 2010 6:29:44 AM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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