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Corsair 550D cooling potential, did I make a mistake in buying it?

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June 29, 2012 10:08:39 PM

By opening the pop-off panels and adding fans, can the Corsair 550D be made to cool pretty much as well as most other cases? Specifically moderately overclocked high end parts.

I just bought one with that intention after a tired, last minute decision (which aren't always the brightest). I know it kind of defeats the purpose of this "silent" case, but I don't need total silence, only something relatively quiet/not loud, which I think I could get with the panels opened with additional quiet fans and my not-loud components. I also bought it for its magnetic side/top dust filters. This is my first gaming build on my own btw.

When buying it I was under the impression from several reviews/benchmarks that it wasn't so far behind in cooling from many higher airflow cases, and that gap could be closed. But now I've seen a few more benchmarks that show it behind more than I thought (10+ degrees). And reading around on other forums, some seemed underwhelmed by its cooling ability with more/better fans added all over.

So I'm wondering if I should possibly go through the trouble of returning it and get something more conventional ( I haven't opened the box yet), or if this could be decent at cooling. I really like its seemingly great dust protection, and most other cases I researched seemed to have deal-breaker issues with them (most commonly "dust vacuum" side fans).

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. :) 
June 29, 2012 10:26:17 PM

Kak_ said:
By opening the pop-off panels and adding fans, can the Corsair 550D be made to cool pretty much as well as most other cases? Specifically moderately overclocked high end parts.

I just bought one with that intention after a tired, last minute decision (which aren't always the brightest). I know it kind of defeats the purpose of this "silent" case, but I don't need total silence, only something relatively quiet/not loud, which I think I could get with the panels opened with additional quiet fans and my not-loud components. I also bought it for its magnetic side/top dust filters. This is my first gaming build on my own btw.

When buying it I was under the impression from several reviews/benchmarks that it wasn't so far behind in cooling from many higher airflow cases, and that gap could be closed. But now I've seen a few more benchmarks that show it behind more than I thought (10+ degrees). And reading around on other forums, some seemed underwhelmed by its cooling ability with more/better fans added all over.

So I'm wondering if I should possibly go through the trouble of returning it and get something more conventional ( I haven't opened the box yet), or if this could be decent at cooling. I really like its seemingly great dust protection, and most other cases I researched seemed to have deal-breaker issues with them (most commonly "dust vacuum" side fans).

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. :) 


I bought a fractal design r3 to achieve silence but found it louder than my antec 902!

The fractal was louder and hotter and had less fans!

Somtimes a compromise has to be made in order to achieve a good ratio between performance/noise.

I have a very beefy rig and I find my antec to be quieter than my xbax if that is any consolation:( 
June 30, 2012 12:32:18 AM

Kak_ said:
By opening the pop-off panels and adding fans, can the Corsair 550D be made to cool pretty much as well as most other cases? Specifically moderately overclocked high end parts.

I just bought one with that intention after a tired, last minute decision (which aren't always the brightest). I know it kind of defeats the purpose of this "silent" case, but I don't need total silence, only something relatively quiet/not loud, which I think I could get with the panels opened with additional quiet fans and my not-loud components. I also bought it for its magnetic side/top dust filters. This is my first gaming build on my own btw.

When buying it I was under the impression from several reviews/benchmarks that it wasn't so far behind in cooling from many higher airflow cases, and that gap could be closed. But now I've seen a few more benchmarks that show it behind more than I thought (10+ degrees). And reading around on other forums, some seemed underwhelmed by its cooling ability with more/better fans added all over.

So I'm wondering if I should possibly go through the trouble of returning it and get something more conventional ( I haven't opened the box yet), or if this could be decent at cooling. I really like its seemingly great dust protection, and most other cases I researched seemed to have deal-breaker issues with them (most commonly "dust vacuum" side fans).

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. :) 
I don't think you will any problem with that case. there are many options for cooling such as 4x120mm intake fans w filters on the front,intake 120 mm on the bottom. 2x120mm on the side .you can add filters.240mm space on top. 120 exhaust at the rear. I use Noctua fans when possible and I can tell you they are very quiet and efficient. there are different designs for your purposes research their site.
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June 30, 2012 6:12:47 PM

coffeefoot said:
I don't think you will any problem with that case. there are many options for cooling such as 4x120mm intake fans w filters on the front,intake 120 mm on the bottom. 2x120mm on the side .you can add filters.240mm space on top. 120 exhaust at the rear. I use Noctua fans when possible and I can tell you they are very quiet and efficient. there are different designs for your purposes research their site.


Yeah that's what I figured. I don't see how it couldn't potentially cool well since it has pretty much the same openings/fan locations and distances as most other mid towers. Although unlike other cases it doesn't have much ventilation away from the abundant fan locations (like no mesh drive bays or what not), but I wouldn't think that should make a big difference.

Yet what worried me was seeing a post on I think the hardforums where a guy completely decked out the entire case with Noctua fans, and when asked about the cooling he said something like it was just "decent I guess". So I don't really know what to think after reading that and similar comments elsewhere. Maybe the lack of additional ventilation/mesh makes an insurmountable difference. But maybe "decent" is good enough, I don't need something HAF X level.

Either way, I'm leaning towards keeping the case, but I'm going to ask a friend that's stopping by today (who has more experience with building computers) what he thinks about the case.
June 30, 2012 6:29:00 PM

Good idea. also, I'm new at this thing also. I have found that how you set up your airflow has a great deal to do with cooling. for example, I have more fans on intake than exhaust. so there is positive pressure inside the case. I have found that pos. pressure keeps dust out of the case. I draw cool air from outside the case. i have two noctua fans int the front blowing over the hdds. then one on the side blowing over the graphics card. the antec 302 has a fan on the right side of the case(looking at it from the front) positioned almost right at the cpu. right now it is set up for intake. However., if i install a sabertooth mobo, because of the ventilation holes on the mobo itself, i will set that fan to exhaust. there is also a fan at the rear of the case which is exhaust. then there is the psu,which i have set up totally independent of the case, so that the intake for the psu is on the bottom and i have it set up to exhaust right out the rear of the case. there is also an exhaust at the rear and top of the case.
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