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Cased vs NO-cased system?

Hi everyone I was wondering if there is a way to make an non-cased system (like a tech station) with better air flow than a Thermaltake, CM, etc case......I know that the main idea on a case is the airflow, and that this last one will be interupted on an open system, but, maybe if I have a fan or a set of coolers pointing right to the motherboard (above it, for example) wouldn't it be better?
(let's forget for a moment the other external factors, like eating near to it, the presence or not of pets, and other potential hazards to the system.......I'm just intrested in the thermal efiency of this idea, although you can take into count the dust factor)

I'm really not an expert to the subject and i have really no experience in it, so I thoght of asking here hoping to get some basics on conspts on this topic

Thanks a lot
PS: excuse my English, it's not my native language :/
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  1. The test bench are useful to try different configurations without too much hassle. They're used mostly to do benchmarks of hardware.

    Those cases are "temporal", because the first problem is the exposed hardware. In terms of cooling it may be better, but the fans of the GPU and CPU are probably designed to be inside a case.

    If you're looking for a test bench, you might like this one: or

    You could build a test bench or a case, but you'll need a lot of time to do this.
  2. jrayx is completely right. I actually had a system for about a month running from a "test" bench of my own accord. The biggest issue with that? Flies. Now, I hate those little buggers in my house, I'll chase one around all day if I have to just to kill it. However, a video card or CPU fan; mince meat. However; it can leave some real nasty and hard to remove crap on your heatsink. If it wasn't for that system being a "placeholder" while I was waiting on parts for my main rig; it would have been housed in a heartbeat. Cases protect the hardware, that's the main purpose. Airflow is a must, so designers incorporate it into their designs. A hot CPU with a stock heatsink might not make it in a sealed case you know what I mean? That system I had on the bench become so horrid in a month; it was like it was in a dust factory for three years. I actually had to fire the compressor up to get some of the crap out of the heatsinks.
  3. Correct, I compleatly understando your points. But talking purely in terms of air cooling efiecny, wich would do better?....... you may think this is a stupid question, and probably it is, but I'm just that kind of curious person who likes to kown this kind of details.............Imagine you could have an ideal (non-existing) room where there is no dust, no pets, no flies (btw, Steddora, hadn't thoght of that factor, you have a very good point there) nor nothing that could phisically damage the hardware. Which solution would be betters in terms of aircoolig the system?

    Again, thanks a lot

    PS: just for the record, I'm not thinking in bulding a rig without a case, but, as I stated, I'm courious about this air cooling discution :)
  4. Best answer
    In terms of thermal efficiency it's no problem in many cases it'll be better than a case. In real life though I wouldn't risk it over a good, protective case ;)
  5. Cases can sometimes draw more air over components than open benches.

    My main concern would be huge amounts of dust to be honest.
  6. Well in that case, if you're looking for best airflow? I'd have to say a custom case. Secondly, check out cases like the Thor V2 from Rosewill or the Antec 1200. With the right fans, they are almost unbeatable! However, I do remember quite a while ago you could actually buy refrigerated cases that were even colder than the best air we have today.

    But in terms of pure airflow, I think a case if done correctly can actually achieve better cooling than just an open bench.
  7. Well I think the case is designed for airflow, I don't know how to explain it but if you put a complete build in a test bench and the same in a case with good cable management and a couple of fans, the case may win in terms of cooling.

    Because it can exhaust hot air from your CPU heatsink or GPU to outside of the case, in a test bench, you're just trowing the hot air everywhere, and the GPU or CPU are taking that hot air, and no fresh air from an intake.

    I think so, I don't know if that's right, but one thing I know, the dust and the exposed hardware will be a real problem.
  8. So, summing up, Air cooling could be potentially better, but anyways all this potential is outweghted by all the real-life threats that can severously harm your hardware...........its a pitty becouse, a thech station would be great to have all your sexy hardware (that sounds ultra weirdo xD ) at view ( yeah, I know there are windowed cases, but be honest, it wouldn't be as awesome as having everything at sight).

    I think we can consider this post as SOLVED

    Thanks a lot to all of you people I've learn some things :D

  9. Best answer selected by lucasmonta1.
  10. You could make an acrylic or whatever see-through case in a test bed style, but closed (except ventilation holes of course).
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