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Corsair H60 Cooler and Case Conundrum

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August 18, 2012 6:39:37 PM

I'll try to keep this short, since I have a bad habit of being long-winded.

When I built my i7 rig, I gutted my C2D parts from my Antec 900 and crammed them into the WingRS 201. It was cheap and fit the very specific size requirements for where it was being placed. It now serves as my light-duty Games/Surfing/TV PC, next to my recliner.

Recently, I snagged a Corsair H60 for short change. The problem is that it's generally best to have these CLCs pulling air in through the rear, rather than exhausting. So now the problem is how to arrange the cooling so that it doesn't turn into a hotbox. Adequate airflow is important inside because of how hot the 680i MCP/SPP chips run. They have aftermarket coolers on them, but those chips still run very hot.

Blowing air out the front-bottom doesn't seem very effective, so I can only think of two configurations:

1) The front+side as low-RPM intakes, coupled with the Corsair H60 intake in the rear, might work as a positive pressure setup. It'd force the air to exhaust from the power supply and video card slot. So long as it didn't create any major dead spots around critical components.
2) Alternatively, having the side fan exhaust instead of intake. My concern with that setup is that the side fan will fight with the nearby PSU fan for exhaust, reducing the effectiveness of one or both.

The last problem is the flow between the H60 intake at the rear, and the PSU exhaust immediately above it. It might just start pulling in the hot PSU exhaust!

So, given the case design limitations, does anyone have suggestions on how to set up the two remaining fan slots? Or should I just stick to the Front Intake/Rear Exhaust model, and ignore the standard H60 intake setup? It's too bad it won't fit in the 5.25" drive bay as a front intake.
a c 115 ) Power supply
August 18, 2012 9:25:14 PM

Although there is an advantage to putting fresh air through the rad, the temp differences are near negligable (ie. 3-5C - see water cooling stickies for more on that). It is much simpler to use the corsair in an exhaust configuration as you are finding out. Honestly, doing that should still give you acceptable temps as most cases are designed for best airflow in a front toward back pattern and trying to alter that flow pattern simply creates headaches - plus you really don't know until you try and if it doesn't work, try again, and again and... at which point you find you're back at front to back flow again, lol.
Don't be afraid to experiment though, just watch your temps as best as possible.
Hope I helped some, good luck.

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a c 78 ) Power supply
August 18, 2012 11:23:08 PM
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If it's aty all possible don't be afraid to modify the case , since it's now getting old it might be ok to start experimenting with alternative options.
I have a CM HAF-X case and since I use water cooling as my cooling method I saw that there was no sense having a 200mm fan in the side panel and a ridiculously small window , so I removed the fan and cut out the metal that was holding it so tha now there was a gig opening. I then purchased a full sized sheet of plexi glass and fit it into the opening and now I have a huge window.
The same can be done if your a bit handy with tools and after looking inside your case you can determine if there is someplace that can be modified to accomodate a fan or two or vent hole.
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August 19, 2012 12:33:55 AM

Sorry if this isn't in the right section. It wasn't necessarily about overclocking, nor entirely about water cooling, so I wasn't quite sure where to drop it...

I'll take a gander at the water cooling stickies. I do a lot of reading here, but it's mostly on incidental searches. The forum layout is still a bit labyrinthine to me as of yet. Glad to hear that the difference on intake VS exhaust config isn't quite that bad, and the intake setup would probably do possibly detrimental things to the flow anyway. It's most certainly the kind of case where nothing but low-front intake/high-rear exhaust was planned. Might experiment a little bit anyway, since there are only a few to play with.

Modding the case isn't out of the question by any means, and we certainly have the tools at my shop to do it. It may well need it, with a big slow side fan to get air to the MCP/SPP, since they run burning hot.

Getting the Zalman copper monster off the motherboard will be a relief. Hopefully it hasn't permanently bent the board, or I might be in trouble with the MOSFET sinks. Not sure what possessed me to get that thing.

Edit: Oh, and offhand, is it safe to run both the H60 pump and fan off of a fan header splitter? Might put a Noctua LNA on the fan, if it's too noisy.
a c 78 ) Power supply
August 19, 2012 4:13:39 AM

The cpu fan connector next to the cpu socket is for any heatsink/fan that is put in the case , you can put the fan plug on another MB fan connector as there should be a few. If there are no spare connections then you can try to connect two fans to the y splitter and the pump should realy go on a seperate one.
August 19, 2012 2:31:58 PM

Had a feeling that the pump might need its own power, for concern of pulling too much off one header. Thanks again. :]

The setup will be done later today, so I'll report in when it's hopefully successful.
August 20, 2012 4:47:02 PM

It turns out that the WingRS 201 needed some alterations in order to house the radiator unit. It doesn't take a standard 120mm unit in the rear, but rather has a 92mm/80mm set of holes, and an adapter bracket to hold on to 120mm fans. So the only way to set the fan up is as a pull fan + shroud + radiator. No other configuration will work, as there's not enough room to put holes in the metal in the back.

After a couple hours of carefully altering the fragile bracket, cutting a shroud to fit, and getting new screws, the contraption was assembled. It does completely block off the 92mm side port. It blocks about a full third of the PSU intake fan as well, but the air coming out of it was overall cooler now that the Zalman isn't ejecting hot air straight into it.

The bad news is that the board is too "thin" for the H60's spacers. As a result, the heatsink is a fraction away from being properly flush with the CPU. Temperatures are up 5-7C both idle and load, and increase much faster. Not enough to be dangerous to the unit, but enough that it's not going to get any use until that's squared away.

To compound matters, it's a rattling H60. It'll have to be RMA'd. Checked the +12V rail voltage, and its only 12.08V on my my multimeter. Below the 12.2V "problem" threshold for the H60. Throttling the unit down causes it to outright shut off, so there's no running it below 100%.

Also going to replace the Corsair fan with something else. Maybe an Antec TriCool, or a Noctua if they go on sale. The Corsair fan is remarkably loud.

The good news is that the airflow of the case is otherwise acceptable. The SPP/MCP are at stable temperatures, as is the video card. Going to drill in a new side fan as well, and make a filter for it. I've got some nice semi-stretch mesh that will reduce the dust it pulls in.

I'd like to pick both of you as having posted "Best Answer" since you were both very helpful with this. It seems I can only pick one, though.
a c 78 ) Power supply
August 20, 2012 9:37:15 PM

Well at least you tried to modify your case to get a better solution. Some people would be too afraid to do that.
August 23, 2012 6:30:13 PM

Yeah, there was just no way it was going to work without altering the case. As it stands, I'll need to make a couple more alterations like a new side intake. Thankfully my shop has a drill press.

The RMA for the rattling Corsair was approved. When I took it off, I saw that it had barely made contact with the CPU at all. The fact that it didn't burn up with so little contact is a testament to its function (minus the rattling). Got some spacers that should force everything nice and flush next time, getting proper TIM spread and contact. Normally, applying the heatsink then removing it to check how the spread went, then redoing it, would be my plan of attack...but for whatever reason, this time I didn't. And it figures, this time it didn't spread properly at all.

For the moment, if it's acceptable, I'd like to leave this thread open until the replacement Corsair unit comes in, as there may be more hiccups along the way. You've been very helpful thusfar, and it's much appreciated.
a c 78 ) Power supply
August 23, 2012 7:52:50 PM

Your welcom and any further questions will be answered.
!