So I'm seriously thinking about buying the Fractal R3 as my case. I have picked this over Corsair. But the thing is that I will be overclocking, and I'm not sure about the airflow. From what I saw, this case doesn't have BAD airflow... but it's not exactly superb. I wanted to add in a few (1-2) case fans to get a bit more air, but then the build wouldn't be inaudible! Basically, I've got this configuration:
CPU: i5-2500k (or the IB version)
Mobo: Extreme3 Gen3 (or the IB version)
GPU: MSI Twin Frozr OC GTX 560 Ti or, more likely, their Twin Frozr 7850
CPU cooler: Hyper 212
I think that's all that matters. So I'll be overclocking both the CPU and the GPU, and that generates heat. Lots of it. The GPU doesn't have a dedicated cooler like the CPU does, so I think I'll put a fan in the side to cool down the GPU. The problem is that it starts to get loud. I know I can put quiet/silent fans (any suggestions, by the way?), but the problem is the hole the fan makes... the GPU will be more audible. There's also the same problem with the CPU cooler. I can put the fan so it's facing up, and out one of the top grilles (so it doesn't have to put more load on the single exhaust fan at the back), but that would involve removing MORE of the foam, and this time there wouldn't even be a fan there.
Any ideas for the setup of the fans? I don't want this to overheat, but silence/quietness is very important to me as well.
P.S. I've heard something about putting a rear-facing GPU... what does that mean? I thought the GPU was right in the middle of everything. I know it also makes more sound.
I have the define R3 (USB3) case and the airflow is fine for me! i have all of the port covered up that come with foam (the 2 top 120mm areas and the side panel fan hole)I have 3 case fans installed, all intake, using the 2 front and one bottom fan slot and a Corsair H70 (dual fan) as rear 120mm exhaust with the fans spinning at very low RPM.
My temps are fine in this case, the GPU temps are the same as when they were in my NZXT M59 case which i had a side 120mm fan on, i think this is because the air coming from underneath (my bottom fan in the R3) gives it adequate airflow anyway. my GPU temps (Asus 560 Ti DUII OCed to 920MHz) are in the 70s with around 34% fan speed, which is pretty quiet!
even if the temps are too high for you you can take off some foam and forfeit some additional noise, which may not be an option if you choose another case.
I have the R3 with a 2500K and an 560Ti both moderately overclocked, I have 2 front 120mm Fractal Design fans, one rear 120mm Fractal Design Fan and one top 140mm Fractal top fan. I've had no problems with temps BUT when I pushed the 560Ti too hard I had stability issues, I got around this by using a side 140mmm case fan and this addressed the issue. I personally didn't like having a side case fan so scaled back the extent of the GPU overclock and removed the side fan. I am running Skyrim at 1080 on max settings also should this be of any background use/indication as to what can/is achieved.
The build without the side fan is VERY quiet, side fan only adds noise from the point of view that I sit my desk top on my desk so the side fan is almost next to my ear. Nothing unreasonable (Was using the 140mm Fractal design fan at the time for the side).
I can run with the 2500K overclocked and 560Ti at stock with just 2 front 120mm fans and one rear 120mm fan (with a beQuiet Rock Pro CPU cooler) which is obviously the most silient of all my configs. It still eats through most games at 1080 regardless though.