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Looking for cheap cabinet fan method

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Last response: in Components
April 11, 2011 2:02:48 PM

I'll be building a new i5 2500K machine to replace my dell 6400 with an nvidea 6800GT OC. This thing sits in a cabinet of my desk that is "made" to house a PC. Problem is it has a front door that closes and the only way air moves in and out of this box is the rear, which is open but there's a wall there leaving only about 2-5" of space for air exchange.

I'm looking to drill through the lateral wall, which would be right next to my legs and out of sight, to place some massive, quiet outflow fans for ventilation. Was also thinking of placing an intake fan on the front door for cool air intake.

Does anyone have suggestions for a cheap method? I'm torn between USB and AC fans - thinking of dual 120mm with a manual speed control. The intake fan on the front panel I have no clue about.

Any suggestions for a cheap vendor online or retail? Looked at newegg, amazon and ebay and am coming up short. They seem to mostly have case fans and these don't seem like a good option.

This should be a fun undertaking and you guys have been great in planning my PC build. Lets see what we can do for this cabinet mod!

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a c 127 ) Power supply
April 11, 2011 3:21:19 PM

Unusual situations require unusual 'out-of-the-box' solutions. Instead of Newegg, ebay, Amazon, etc., look at Grainger's:

Look for a mini blower (not a fan). Check CFMs and dBA ratings. Select a blower with a round output, and connect plastic flex tubing to it. Use the blower to exhaust the air from the almost closed cabinet. Use DWV plastic (PVC) tubing, multiple pieces, to supply make-up air to the front of the computer case. Use elbows to direct the flow of the make-up air. Feel free to reverse the input and the exhaust if necessary. You can even place the blower in the next room if noise or vibrations become issues.

This should be a real fun project for you, and you will learn a few tricks too!
April 11, 2011 7:18:21 PM

I'm a little confused about the PVC tubing for make-up air to the front of the case. Does this mean just a tube that exits somewhere to draw in air? I think the open back would be fine for intake if that were the case.

Thank you for the website referral! That site looks like just what I was looking for.

So I'd like to ask your input... If the back is entirely open (and just not CIRCULATING air well because it's close to a wall) would I have a better effect if I created a vacuum situation like you're suggesting, or a positive-pressure scenario with the blower feeding a PVC tube from out to in with a 120mm AC vent fan on the top left blowing out toward my legs?

Also, regardless of which scenario to go with, does anyone have a referral for external fan controller?
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a c 127 ) Power supply
April 11, 2011 9:32:54 PM

The blower must be installed in such a way that it exhausts air from the back of the cabinet. The make-up air must me supplied to the front of the cabinet such that the computer front intake fan can pull this air inside the computer case.

The blower can be used either as a vacuum device or as a positive air pressure device. Try both and see which one works better. For the positive pressure approach, you can situate the blower in an adjoining room if you want to. And no, don't have air blowing constantly on your legs.

For motor speed controls, Grainger has some inexpensive ones.
April 12, 2011 1:17:49 AM

Does the i5 2500K with GTX 460 get hotter than a Pentium 4 with 6800 GT OC?
a c 127 ) Power supply
April 12, 2011 1:35:04 AM

Probably the same.