I have a nMediaPC 7000B HTPC case with an AMD Phenom x4 960T using the Logisys Gamma Blade CPU Cooler. The 7000B has to 120MM case fans that typically pull air out of the system and 1 vent on the far side for pulling air. Ambient temps in my room can range from 18-26c and at around 20c the CPU with minor load is hitting 33c easy. Running Prime95 for 10 minutes it easily gets to 62-66c.
My room gets extremely warm during the summer hours while I'm not home and the air is off - thus the 26c.
I would like to get the computer cooled down some.
I turned the two 120MM fans inward so its pulling cooler air into the system directly to the HSF, but now it sounds like a noisy airport (53dba) with my Iphone and it only cooled the mild load (25% usage) by 1c. The two 120MM fans are generic nMediaPC fans so I know nothing about them.
Anyway, I'm looking for other solutions. I still need to install the Ceton Tuner card and know this throws off some heat as well. I would like to not cook the computer.
Thoughts on case fans inward or outward? better fans (versions)? Better HSF? - I've been looking at the AXP-140 RT and the GeminII S524 (I'm a bit concerned about 140MM of clearance in the case and the 106mm clearance of the HSF).
The case needs to have more CF/M going out than coming in. If you have all fans of the same size then orient more outwards than inwards. It is more complicated with a bunch of fans of different sizes, but it shouldn't be hard to find the CF/M for any given fan and then add and subtract.
However, I want to point out that HTPC cases aren't designed for high end stuff. Regular tower cases are much much better for keeping components cool than HTPC cases are, as a rule of thumb.
Also, more in and more out reduces internal temperatures.
2 out 1 in < 3 out 2 in < 4 out 3 in < 5 out 4 in < 6 out 5 in.
The tower cases like HAF 912 tend to be able to get much more in/out than HTPC cases can because they are just plain larger and thus they have more real estate for equipping fans. Some of these cases can hold 4x 230 MM fans and more on top of that. These sorts of cases tend to have the lowest temperatures. Multiple 230 MM fans in and out is huge CF/M.
I am not an expert on HTPC cases, so I can't tell you what to really do if you insist on sticking with your HTPC case, but I can tell you the gold standard processor cooler for regular PC cases is the Hyper 212. If you switch to a better regular tower case like the HAF 912, then you can get the Hyper 212 and get about the best processor temps that can be had.
However, I also want to point out that if the processor is only hitting 66c at the maximum, there isn't really that overly much to worry about. Processors can handle that temperature pretty easily.
You won't want to reach too far over that, but 66c isn't that horrible.
Easy for me to say since my processor cores are sitting at a frosty 21c as I type this with a good tower case, but higher temps are just something you have to accept on some level if you want to have a really small form factor with little space for implementing a good cooling system.
As long as there is intake capability somewhere, it doesn't really matter if there is an intake fan.
Say you had a regular PC with a perforated section on the bottom front but no fan there, and two exhaust fans on the top. There would be a suction of airflow upwards into the top of the case and it would have to come from somewhere. Every place that air could be pulled into would have air being sucked into the vacuum internal to the PC.
Having an intake fan just helps that along and helps you control where the intake comes from. If you don't have an intake fan it will come from the most convenient location, if you have an intake fan it will come from where you specify.
So, as long as your little HTPC case has intake capability somewhere, it would be fine. If you had only two places capable of air transfer from inside to the outside or vice versa and you put them both the same way you would have problems, but most cases have other access to outside air than just 2 fan slots that are right together.
I can't comment about your specific HTPC case, but for the most part more airflow generally leads to lower temperatures no matter how you slice it (unless you don't follow simple rules - more out than in, heat rises, etc).
I can't say how much of a gain you would be looking at, but there should be gains.
If you are going to modify the case to increase intake capability, even without adding intake fans, I would suggest the perforations be on the opposite side of the case from the exhaust fans.
You want to orient intake fans toward problem components (like across hard drives and video cards), but if you are passively intaking you mostly just want to bring the air across as large a portion of your case's real estate as you can.