First build. Need advice!

I'm building my first ever PC. This is for me and my own personal use so no one will get mad at me if I mess up. I'm also a 5 out of 10 when it comes to being tech savvy.

Basically my main concern is, right now, with how I'm going to deal with cooling. My mobo (ASRock Z77 Extreme 4) can handle 6 fans- 2 of which are reserved for the CPU. That leaves 4 slots for me to fill.

This is the case I'm looking to get:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811146061

I'm basically asking here how should I set up my fans? I was thinking of putting an intake in front, an intake in back, and 2 exhausts on top -OR- 1 intake from top, 1 from the side, and an exhaust on each end (front and back). I gave my 2 cents to a friend about this and he said there might be a vacuum problem with the air flow. Not sure what that means, but that's why I'm here asking the question.

I'm not in any hurry since I won't be able to afford this machine until at least September with the rate I've been saving up for it.
12 answers Last reply
More about first build advice
  1. I would have intake at the front and exhaust back and top, thus meaning you are getting cold air from the front, it travels over the hottest parts (CPU, GPU etc) and exhausts out the back.
  2. alexinnes said:
    I would have intake at the front and exhaust back and top, thus meaning you are getting cold air from the front, it travels over the hottest parts (CPU, GPU etc) and exhausts out the back.


    So just 1 intake, then? 1 in the front (intake) and 2 exhaust on top + 1 in back?
  3. Do you already have the fans, or do you need to buy those as well?

    If you need to buy them, consider these cases instead, since each 120mm fan will cost at least $5.

    $40
    Rosewill Blackbone
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147023&Tpk=blackbone
    4 fan spots (front, rear, 2 side); comes with front 120mm and rear 120mm.

    $50
    Rosewill Challenger
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147153
    5 fans spots (front, rear, top, 2 side); comes with front 120mm, rear 120mm, and top 140mm

    $60
    In Win Fanqua
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811108194&Tpk=fanqua
    All spots filled; front 120mm, top 120mm, rear 120mm, side 220mm

    good luck!
  4. quilciri said:
    Do you already have the fans, or do you need to buy those as well?

    If you need to buy them, consider these cases instead, since each 120mm fan will cost at least $5.

    $40
    Rosewill Blackbone
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147023&Tpk=blackbone
    4 fan spots (front, rear, 2 side); comes with front 120mm and rear 120mm.

    $50
    Rosewill Challenger
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147153
    5 fans spots (front, rear, top, 2 side); comes with front 120mm, rear 120mm, and top 140mm

    $60
    In Win Fanqua
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811108194&Tpk=fanqua
    All spots filled; front 120mm, top 120mm, rear 120mm, side 220mm

    good luck!


    Thanks for the quick reply! I have fans already selected for the case. Here's what I found on Newegg:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835200061


    Edit: Messed up on link.
  5. Xarvik said:
    I gave my 2 cents to a friend about this and he said there might be a vacuum problem with the air flow. Not sure what that means, but that's why I'm here asking the question.


    Well, there is positive and negative pressure you can build inside a case, but that only really applies to enclosed cases. Most cases made now have mesh covering some or most of the front, rear, and side of the case, which mostly negate either kind of pressure. There are pro's and con's to either positive or negative pressure. Check out tom's article on it.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/cooling-air-pressure-heatsink,3058-5.html
  6. quilciri said:


    Looks like going Negative with 1 in and 2 out is the lesser of 2 evils.
  7. Xarvik said:
    Thanks for the quick reply! I have fans already selected for the case. Here's what I found on Newegg:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835200061


    Edit: Messed up on link.


    Nice deal!
  8. Xarvik said:
    Looks like going Negative with 1 in and 2 out is the lesser of 2 evils.


    The NZXT case has mesh covers for the pci slots, and mesh backplate to the side of those. It likely has mesh knockouts covering the 5.25 bays as well. Won't have either kind of pressure in that case.
  9. If you video card has a shroud and exhausts most or all of it's heat out of the back of the case, use the bottom fan slots on the side panel as intake.

    If your CPU cooler blows downward onto the CPU, use the fan slot above the CPU as intake.

    Otherwise, you can use all the case fans except for the front fan (and bottom fans, for cases that have slots there) as exhaust.
  10. quilciri said:
    The NZXT case has mesh covers for the pci slots, and mesh backplate to the side of those. It likely has mesh knockouts covering the 5.25 bays as well. Won't have either kind of pressure in that case.


    Was looking into placing a fan controller in the 5.25 bay. Good idea?

    I actually started another thread about my new build in general. If you'd like to see what I have selected for parts here's the link:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/351464-31-first-build-opinions-welcome#t2640830
  11. Xarvik said:
    Was looking into placing a fan controller in the 5.25 bay. Good idea?


    Well, that controller helps more with molex-powered fans. You have enough 3 pin on your motherboard for all the fans, so a separate fan controller isn't as useful. The BIOS has automatic fan speed presets (usu. along the lines of quiet, performance, full on, etc), and will auto adjust fans speeds based on temps.

    General comments-

    If you plan on overclocking, you'll want something beefier than the stock CPU cooler.

    The PSU you picked can run 2 7850's without breaking a sweat. If you plan on buying a 2nd 7850 down the road that's great. It's overkill for one; You system as is would barely break 300w watts if you were playing battlefield 3 multiplayer while burning a DVD and torrenting.

    Noticed you changed it to a 500w. That's about perfect.

    Have fun!
  12. quilciri said:
    Well, that controller helps more with molex-powered fans. You have enough 3 pin on your motherboard for all the fans, so a separate fan controller isn't as useful. The BIOS has automatic fan speed presets (usu. along the lines of quiet, performance, full on, etc), and will auto adjust fans speeds based on temps.

    General comments-

    If you plan on overclocking, you'll want something beefier than the stock CPU cooler.

    The PSU you picked can run 2 7850's without breaking a sweat. If you plan on buying a 2nd 7850 down the road that's great. It's overkill for one; You system as is would barely break 300w watts if you were playing battlefield 3 multiplayer while burning a DVD and torrenting.

    Have fun!


    Thanks! Looks like I'll be removing the fan controller then. $47 saved!!

    Any advice on a CPU cooler? (i5 3570k)
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