So I've got a Rosewill Challenger U3 with stock fans in it (one front intake, one rear exhaust, one top exhaust), and while I'm satisfied with the amount of cooling I have with my Hyper 212 Evo, I'm noticing that after less than a month after building it, I'm already seeing dust buildup on some of the components. I'm pretty sure that the air being pulled in through the empty openings for 2 side fans is the problem, as this air is not filtered like the front intake is.
I've read that creating a positive pressure inside the case can prevent this, but my single intake fan just doesn't move enough air. Since my Hyper 212 prevents me from installing both side fans, would it be worth installing just one 120mm side fan with a filter in it? I'm also toying with the idea of putting a custom fan setup in my 2 empty 5.25" bays. Maybe a single 80mm or 2x 70mms. Heck, I might even try to fit 2. 50mm fans in my empty 3.5" bays. Another idea I've had is to reverse one of the exhaust fans, but I don't like how that'll work with my 212 Evo, which is blowing towards the rear fan.
-I'm just looking to see if anybody else thinks that it is worth my time, effort, and money to try some of these things. I plan on using this case for a while, so I'm willing to put in the effort if I get results. It's either that, or invest in an air compressor earlier than I wanted.
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I thought of this, but there's still a gap of about an inch to the right of the fan mounts. I figured that air would just be pulled in through the are of least resistance, and defeat the purpose. I don't think that I can ever cover all of the openings in the case with filters, so I thought more fans was the answer. But maybe i'm completely wrong.
Interesting idea with the silent foam. But I know that I am getting some air intake through the side. I'm a little concerned that just sealing off the side would cause temps to rise, especially since I'm looking at putting in a graphics card here pretty soon. The HD 4000 graphics aren't going to cut it much longer for me. I'll think about gluing the mesh to the sides though. But you're against putting more fans in?
Edit: Wait a moment. I just realized that there was a 140mm magnetic fan filter. If I got two, I could easily cover the holes on the side. But for $24, I figured I might as well get a decent 120mm fan and a filter. Better cooling.
side fans are often hit and miss with cooling. my own experience, ive found them to increase temps or at the very least not change them at all. i closed off the side panel in my corsair case and then use the 140mm filters on the top of the case. i have two fans as intake in the front, one rear exhaust and two top exhausts.
your cooler master 212 will do a solid job keeping your CPU cool and if you get a cool running video card or one with a solid cooler, then you really don't need side fans.
Wow that really surprises me about the side fans. I'll either close those openings off or filter them for sure. But your case has an extra front intake, whereas mine doesn't. I have a feeling my front fan isn't moving a lot of air either, since it's rosewill brand and having to fight a filter. Custom fans behind my 5.25" bays are sounding like a viable option now.
Okay, so I spent 10 minutes searching for more info about having pressure force air in or out of the open spaces, and I stumbled across this thread here at tom's. It didn't take too long to figure out that people are on completely different sides and it doesn't appear that there is any correct answer. In fact, the polls are pretty darn even.
But to respond to ct1615, I found this item at amazon Nutone Aluminum Hood Vent Filter and it should adequately filter all of the air coming in from the side (once I figure out how to mount it...). Then I'll just have to either block off or filter the openings in the back, and it should be pulling in fairly dust free air. I'm still thinking about fitting extra fans in the front, but that's mostly become a person challenge for myself.
I'm open to any additional ideas, and am still considering a side fan if somebody with the Challenger or NZXT Gamma or similar case has found good results with one.