How important are side fans?

I read a lot in tech and buyer reviews about how great cooling they get with side case fans. My question is are they really necessary for someone not super overclocking or SLI/Crossfire?

I have purchased most of the components for my new cpu, but still haven't figured out which case to buy and am debating between getting one of the "quiet" cases or if I really need to get something with side fans. I am running an I5-2500K with aftermarket cooler and a GeForce 560ti. There is an outside chance I might SLI in the distant future.

I have been trying to exploit the sales on Newegg and was leaning towards the Corsair 500r (
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More about important side fans
  1. I have read both articles in the series, which are great. The discussion in there is more theoretic though and I was hoping for some real world experience.
  2. I would say to go ahead and get a case with a nice fat mount on the side.
  3. My opinion , from my personal experience ,for the best air cooling is a case the most importants are the front,bottom ,rear and top fans. For a good temperature the outake must be higher then intake. And for this you must to cover the side holes.If you don't put a bottom fan then the side fan is ok.
    If the intake is bigger than outake the heat stay in the case.
  4. I have an Antec 300 case with 140mm top, 120mm front, 120mm rear. I recently SLI'ed GTX 460's. After adding a side fan blowing in, idle temps on GPU's dropped 8C and even lighter gaming dropped GPU temps 10C from 70C to 60C max.
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