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250FPS = Screen Tearing?

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  • Graphics Cards
  • VGA
  • Temperature
  • Graphics
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Last response: in Graphics Cards
July 19, 2012 10:21:45 AM

Long story short:
When my GPU reaches 77C, I start to get wobbling/vibrating effects on my second screen (the one connected to the VGA port on my 560 TI).

For the record, the temperature itself is fine, it's just the side-effect it's causing on the VGA-connected screen. As 'djscribbles' describes a few posts down in this thread, it's to do with the temperature causing a delay on the VGA chipset or something

How can I go about cooling it down and who has experienced this before?

>>>>>>>> Ignore the topic title '250FPS - Screen Tearing?' - that was before I had tried other games, and also learnt that what I am experiencing wasn't 'screen tearing'. <<<<<<<<

More about : 250fps screen tearing

a b U Graphics card
July 19, 2012 10:24:41 AM

80C is fine for a GPU start worrying if it gets past 90C
July 19, 2012 10:25:34 AM

simon12 said:
80C is fine for a GPU start worrying if it gets past 90C

It's more-so the screen tearing I was questioning my concerns about.
Related resources
July 19, 2012 10:27:07 AM

simon12 said:
80C is fine for a GPU start worrying if it gets past 90C

It's not like typical v-sync screen tears, its like if the VGA cable wasn't connected properly or something, and the text started 'vibrating' horizontally.
July 19, 2012 12:42:21 PM

Screen tearing can appear to be both horizontal AND vertical, depending on the fps actually.
The tear is usually horizontal when fps is within the 60 fps range (up to 100 or so) but after reaching 3-4x the screen refresh, the tears themselves can "overlap" or superimpose on themselves, giving an effect of different shapes of tears.
Frankly, I can't really tell what shapes those will be, but they are not limited to the usual small tears in a horizontal shape.
If you get to 250fps (or even 100) , vsync is advisable.
July 19, 2012 12:44:13 PM

Yer not even telling us what kind of GPU you have...
July 19, 2012 12:46:27 PM

DarkOutlaw said:
Yer not even telling us what kind of GPU you have...

Sorry!
It's an Palit GeForce GTX 560 TI 1GB.

Other system specs:

Intel i5 3450 3.1GHz (3.5GHz Turbo)
16GB DDR3 1333MHz
750W PSU
Asus Motherboard
1TB 7200rpm HDD
a c 241 U Graphics card
July 19, 2012 1:09:54 PM

GeorgeGeee said:
It's not like typical v-sync screen tears, its like if the VGA cable wasn't connected properly or something, and the text started 'vibrating' horizontally.


Screen tearing can happen on any system without v-sync on, but for every multiple your refresh can divide into your FPS, you will automatically gain an extra tear. At 250 FPS, you will be guaranteed to get 5 tears on the screen. The tears will also move up and down, which is likely what is causing this sort of vibrating issue.

The temp of the card is not unreasonable, so should be good.
a b U Graphics card
July 19, 2012 1:29:20 PM

Am I mistaken in thinking that no matter your FPS, you should only get one tear?

Tearing results from the video card sending the buffer to the monitor in the midst of it being overwritten. It doesn't matter how many times it's been overwritten, because it's not going to be overwriting it multiple times simultaneously.

If the buffer is used in the midst of a refresh, tear. Otherwise no tear. I can see no situation in which you could get multiple tears.
July 19, 2012 1:46:09 PM

willard said:
Am I mistaken in thinking that no matter your FPS, you should only get one tear?

Tearing results from the video card sending the buffer to the monitor in the midst of it being overwritten. It doesn't matter how many times it's been overwritten, because it's not going to be overwriting it multiple times simultaneously.

If the buffer is used in the midst of a refresh, tear. Otherwise no tear. I can see no situation in which you could get multiple tears.

I probably shouldn't have used the term 'tear'.

On my second screen, once I hit 76C, the non-gaming screen starts to go weird, as in it starts to go fuzzy vibrating side-to-side a little. But this is only when it hits 76C.
a b U Graphics card
July 19, 2012 1:54:43 PM

I was responding to the people who were saying you'd get a number of tears equal to the framerate divided by the refresh rate, not your use of the word tear. Sorry for the confusion.
a b U Graphics card
July 19, 2012 2:46:09 PM

What sort of connection are you using for your non-gaming screen?

My guess is you are using the VGA connector that your card has (it's a real live VGA, not an adapter), it's likely that the chip that converts the video output to a VGA signal is somewhere in the path of outgoing heat, and can't handle the heat it's receiving, and getting a little loose in it's timings, and since the VGA signal is all analog, you'll start seeing wobble.

You can probably confirm this by using a DVI->VGA adapter instead for a while, the problem should go away. If my assumptions are correct, the issue is isolated to just that VGA port, and you shouldn't really worry about it being a full blown GPU problem.

edit: Double checked on wikipedia. The VGA connector does carry the signals I thought it did, and it essentially has raster level control over the monitor, so it can cause a wobble-ing effect if it's timing is off (wobble being similar to what you would see when de-gaussing an old CRT, where the image actually distorts).

Just for the sake of discussion, I would expect that GPUs no longer contain internal circuitry for driving the analog signals required for VGA connectors, so it's likely that in order to provide that feature, there is a separate (non-nvidia) chip on the card that converts one of the DVI signals into VGA. Since it's not part of the reference design to have VGA connectors anymore. My guess is it wasn't really tested much, and the VGA chip likely get's quite hot being in the path of the GPU exhaust and is operating outside of it's thermal specs; it may fail some day, but it's more likely that it just doesn't keep accurate timing while it's hot due to the minor changes in the circuits electrical properties (but not to the point of causing the chip to burn itself out like a high-performance component would).
a c 99 U Graphics card
July 19, 2012 3:19:39 PM

willard said:
If the buffer is used in the midst of a refresh, tear. Otherwise no tear. I can see no situation in which you could get multiple tears.

You get a 'tear' whenever the GPU frame buffer flips before the frame finishes getting shifted out to the display. At 250fps on a 60Hz screen, you get an average of 4.16 frames per refresh which means you can have up to four tears per displayed image about 1/4th of the screen apart and where those tears will land will vary with timing between refresh and page flips.
July 19, 2012 4:23:07 PM

djscribbles said:
What sort of connection are you using for your non-gaming screen?

My guess is you are using the VGA connector that your card has (it's a real live VGA, not an adapter), it's likely that the chip that converts the video output to a VGA signal is somewhere in the path of outgoing heat, and can't handle the heat it's receiving, and getting a little loose in it's timings, and since the VGA signal is all analog, you'll start seeing wobble.

You can probably confirm this by using a DVI->VGA adapter instead for a while, the problem should go away. If my assumptions are correct, the issue is isolated to just that VGA port, and you shouldn't really worry about it being a full blown GPU problem.

edit: Double checked on wikipedia. The VGA connector does carry the signals I thought it did, and it essentially has raster level control over the monitor, so it can cause a wobble-ing effect if it's timing is off (wobble being similar to what you would see when de-gaussing an old CRT, where the image actually distorts).

Just for the sake of discussion, I would expect that GPUs no longer contain internal circuitry for driving the analog signals required for VGA connectors, so it's likely that in order to provide that feature, there is a separate (non-nvidia) chip on the card that converts one of the DVI signals into VGA. Since it's not part of the reference design to have VGA connectors anymore. My guess is it wasn't really tested much, and the VGA chip likely get's quite hot being in the path of the GPU exhaust and is operating outside of it's thermal specs; it may fail some day, but it's more likely that it just doesn't keep accurate timing while it's hot due to the minor changes in the circuits electrical properties (but not to the point of causing the chip to burn itself out like a high-performance component would).


You are correct to assume that I am using a VGA port.

On the back of my 560 TI, there are 4 ports:

VGA
DVI-I
DVI-D
HDMI

I'm using DVI-I for my gaming screen (using a VGA>DVI-I adapter), and using an identical screen connected to the VGA port as my second screen (the one experiencing the wobble).

The problem is, I'm led to believe you cannot convert VGA>DVI-D due to VGA being analog, and DVI-D being digital (as can be seen here: http://www.entechtaiwan.com/images/dvicon.gif)

So what would you advise doing?
a b U Graphics card
July 19, 2012 4:50:34 PM

I'd try to hook the secondary monitor up to your integrated graphics port if the wobble bothers you. You could buy a DVI-vga, but thats kinda expensive for fixing a minor issue.
July 19, 2012 5:07:57 PM

djscribbles said:
I'd try to hook the secondary monitor up to your integrated graphics port if the wobble bothers you. You could buy a DVI-vga, but thats kinda expensive for fixing a minor issue.

How can I do that? When I plug my second monitor into it, it doesn't get any signal?

Also, is there any downside (performance, life-time etc.) to using both the on-board graphics & dedicated graphics simultaneously?
a b U Graphics card
July 19, 2012 5:13:05 PM

I'm not 100% sure you can use the IGP as well, I've never actually tried it, but you may need to enable it in BIOS to be on along side a PCIE card. If it works, it shouldn't hurt performance since it's offloading some of the easy work to the IGP.

Again though, there is probably going to be nothing wrong with simply putting up with the issue if you want, worst case scenario you kill the VGA output port. You could also try adding a small slot fan (or simply improving your case airflow), to avoid the issue altogether.
July 19, 2012 5:17:29 PM

djscribbles said:
I'm not 100% sure you can use the IGP as well, I've never actually tried it, but you may need to enable it in BIOS to be on along side a PCIE card. If it works, it shouldn't hurt performance since it's offloading some of the easy work to the IGP.

Again though, there is probably going to be nothing wrong with simply putting up with the issue if you want, worst case scenario you kill the VGA output port. You could also try adding a small slot fan (or simply improving your case airflow), to avoid the issue altogether.

Here is what my air-flow looks like:

This is with the side fan:
http://img266.imageshack.us/img266/1530/dsc0008jy.jpg

This is without the side fan:
http://img411.imageshack.us/img411/6299/dsc0010xj.jpg

This is the area where the GPU is:
http://img7.imageshack.us/img7/8753/dsc0004vi.jpg

Other than adding an out-take fan below the GPU, I don't see anywhere that I could add fan(s) or cooling.
July 19, 2012 5:33:22 PM

djscribbles said:
I'm not 100% sure you can use the IGP as well, I've never actually tried it, but you may need to enable it in BIOS to be on along side a PCIE card. If it works, it shouldn't hurt performance since it's offloading some of the easy work to the IGP.

Again though, there is probably going to be nothing wrong with simply putting up with the issue if you want, worst case scenario you kill the VGA output port. You could also try adding a small slot fan (or simply improving your case airflow), to avoid the issue altogether.

Forget my previous question about using on-board graphics, my BIOS doesn't allow both to be used at the same time.

Would a VGA>HDMI adapter do the job? The 560 TI has a HDMI port.
Would I experience the same issues that I'm experiencing with the VGA port?
a b U Graphics card
July 19, 2012 5:43:50 PM

I would expect it to fix the issue, but I don't know anything for sure. That said, those adapters cost about 50$, at that point you have to ask yourself A) is it worth fixing B) would the money be better spent on a new monitor with better connectors (150$ will buy a nice monitor, not sure what you have now though)
July 19, 2012 6:12:33 PM

djscribbles said:
I would expect it to fix the issue, but I don't know anything for sure. That said, those adapters cost about 50$, at that point you have to ask yourself A) is it worth fixing B) would the money be better spent on a new monitor with better connectors (150$ will buy a nice monitor, not sure what you have now though)

I'm not sure if I want to fork out for a new screen, as I don't know for sure that that's the issue. You seem to know what you're doing but I wouldn't want to buy a new screen based around what you have said, which is understandable. I'd much rather just ensure that the GPU doesn't reach the temperature of 76C. If I can drop it by even 4C then it's problem solved.
July 19, 2012 6:29:12 PM

Buying a new screen and using hdmi would almost certainly fix your issue. I am not a certified engineer, so don't sue me if it doesn't but I'm nearly positive it would :) 
July 19, 2012 6:52:33 PM

richard694000 said:
I don't know what adapter there talking about is $50 but i would buy one of these that are $4 dvi to vga.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

My GPU has 1 DVI-I and 1 DVI-D port.

You can convert VGA>DVI-I because they're both analog.
You can't convert VGA>DVI-D because DVI-D is digital.

There are converters out there but they are very expensive.
a b U Graphics card
July 19, 2012 6:57:36 PM

Understandable. I personally wouldn't even fork out the 50 for the adapter, but if you are throwing in 50 for something that may be useless, adding 100 and getting something that you can use even if it doesn't fix the problem isn't a huge stretch.

Looking at your pictures, adding an exhaust fan in the back would probably be the best first step (whatever size that is). As it is, I don't really see any exhaust fans in your case, so dropping the ambient a litttle via exhausting hot air may be enough to steady the tremors (it looks like there is a chip on the lower right of the card here: http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Palit/GeForce_GTX_56... that is likely the VGA adapter controller, whom is the one getting hot, rather than the GPU itself).

If your case is missing front fans, adding one of those could help as well, but get exhaust first, as it's going to vent hot air from the problem area.
a b U Graphics card
July 19, 2012 7:16:39 PM

If you go the 2x adapter route, I would recommend against screwing it in place, if you bump that your going to want the adapter to fall off rather than have it tear off your DVI port :) 
July 19, 2012 8:12:13 PM

what connections doe's your monitor have?
July 19, 2012 9:06:12 PM

richard694000 said:
what connections doe's your monitor have?

Both my monitors are VGA.
a c 241 U Graphics card
July 19, 2012 10:48:03 PM

willard said:
Am I mistaken in thinking that no matter your FPS, you should only get one tear?

Tearing results from the video card sending the buffer to the monitor in the midst of it being overwritten. It doesn't matter how many times it's been overwritten, because it's not going to be overwriting it multiple times simultaneously.

If the buffer is used in the midst of a refresh, tear. Otherwise no tear. I can see no situation in which you could get multiple tears.


You are wrong in this assumption. Though I may be wrong in saying it must have 5, it may be a little less.

What will happen is when the monitor starts to refresh it's image from the frame buffer, it may get 1/4 of the way down the screen with one image, then that image gets over written by the next frame, so it continues down the same block of memory, only now it has a new image it's displaying, and about half way down, it may switch again. This will allow for multiple tears, but this only happens with very high FPS.
a c 99 U Graphics card
July 20, 2012 3:01:49 AM

bystander said:
You are wrong in this assumption. Though I may be wrong in saying it must have 5, it may be a little less.

At 4.16 average page flips per frame, there would be four tears per refresh cycle most of the time with a possible 5th every 6th frame. Depending on timing, most/all of the occasional 5th frame may get 'eaten' by the vertical blanking interval.
July 20, 2012 3:16:37 AM

GeorgeGeee said:
Here is what my air-flow looks like:

This is with the side fan:
http://img266.imageshack.us/img266/1530/dsc0008jy.jpg

This is without the side fan:
http://img411.imageshack.us/img411/6299/dsc0010xj.jpg

This is the area where the GPU is:
http://img7.imageshack.us/img7/8753/dsc0004vi.jpg

Other than adding an out-take fan below the GPU, I don't see anywhere that I could add fan(s) or cooling.

You could put a outtake fan on the back as of the back of the case like by the cpu. that could help get some of the hot air out of the case.
July 20, 2012 3:23:26 AM

InvalidError said:
At 4.16 average page flips per frame, there would be four tears per refresh cycle most of the time with a possible 5th every 6th frame. Depending on timing, most/all of the occasional 5th frame may get 'eaten' by the vertical blanking interval.

I understand you two want to discuss screen tearing, but could we please keep on-topic. Could you maybe take this discussion to PM's? ^_^
a c 99 U Graphics card
July 20, 2012 3:31:01 AM

My personal preferences/priorities for fans:
1- filtered front intake
2- rear exhaust behind the CPU
3- any other filtered intakes
4- any other intakes (bottom, side-panel, ???)

I banned my 140mm blowhole exhaust fan because it overwhelms the GPU and PSU fans with negative pressure, causing the case to suck dust in through the PSU and GPU slot instead of letting them exhaust air as they should.
July 20, 2012 3:37:49 AM

InvalidError said:
My personal preferences/priorities for fans:
1- filtered front intake
2- rear exhaust behind the CPU
3- any other filtered intakes
4- any other intakes (bottom, side-panel, ???)

I banned my 140mm blowhole exhaust fan because it overwhelms the GPU and PSU fans with negative pressure, causing the case to suck dust in through the PSU and GPU slot instead of letting them exhaust air as they should.

If you look at this image: http://img7.imageshack.us/img7/8753/dsc0004vi.jpg

What would you do about air getting trapped down there?

There's no place for a fan, but it seems as though the GPU is regurgitating the same old hot air.
a c 99 U Graphics card
July 20, 2012 3:46:17 AM

GeorgeGeee said:
What would you do about air getting trapped down there?

There's no place for a fan, but it seems as though the GPU is regurgitating the same old hot air.

Nearly all GPUs have an exhaust port built into their rear bracket. Building a system with positive-pressure in mind (heavy bias on intake fans) helps the GPU's fan shove hot air out the back through the bracket. This works best if you seal extra vents and unused fan mounts.
a b U Graphics card
July 20, 2012 3:34:23 PM

GeorgeGeee said:
If you look at this image: http://img7.imageshack.us/img7/8753/dsc0004vi.jpg

What would you do about air getting trapped down there?

There's no place for a fan, but it seems as though the GPU is regurgitating the same old hot air.


Your GPU fan will exhaust air, there really shouldn't be much hot air down there in theory. However, if you don't have any front intake fans, then it's likely that there simply isn't enough airflow in the case (the side panel fan isn't going to be much help, the blower fans on GPUs can move a lot of air). It looks like you have 2 fan slots available at the front of the case and one in the back that could be populated, and if they aren't that is your best next step for reducing heat.

I'll defer to InvalidError on the priority of populating fans as I typically don't fine-tune my cooling much; but your GPU is likely sucking in mostly hot air because there is no cool air being forced in from the front, and not hot air (from the CPU and PSU) being forced out the back.

It may help to know the model of case you are using, if you can track it down easy enough.

July 20, 2012 5:04:28 PM

djscribbles said:
Your GPU fan will exhaust air, there really shouldn't be much hot air down there in theory. However, if you don't have any front intake fans, then it's likely that there simply isn't enough airflow in the case (the side panel fan isn't going to be much help, the blower fans on GPUs can move a lot of air). It looks like you have 2 fan slots available at the front of the case and one in the back that could be populated, and if they aren't that is your best next step for reducing heat.

I'll defer to InvalidError on the priority of populating fans as I typically don't fine-tune my cooling much; but your GPU is likely sucking in mostly hot air because there is no cool air being forced in from the front, and not hot air (from the CPU and PSU) being forced out the back.

It may help to know the model of case you are using, if you can track it down easy enough.

Im going to buy a cheap-ish fan to just create some airflow down by the GPU. Out of these 2, which would you recommend?

http://store.antec.com/Product/cooling-cooling_fan/v-co...

http://store.antec.com/Product/cooling-cooling_fan/spot...
July 20, 2012 5:13:35 PM

Don't forget I'm only trying to drop about 5C. I'm not trying to get the lowest temperature as possible.
a c 99 U Graphics card
July 20, 2012 5:28:21 PM

GeorgeGeee said:
Im going to buy a cheap-ish fan to just create some airflow down by the GPU. Out of these 2, which would you recommend?

Neither.

Putting an internal fan to move air around is only going to recirculate hot air within the case which is largely useless. Putting a slot exhaust fan is also going to be largely useless since the GPU is already expelling most of its hot air directly out the back so there should be little to no hot air for the slot fan to expel.

What you need is shifting more fresh air across the case so the GPU does not have to re-ingest hot air and to do this, your best option would be equipping your front intake fans which appear to be absent in your screen shots.
July 20, 2012 5:32:01 PM

GeorgeGeee said:
Im going to buy a cheap-ish fan to just create some airflow down by the GPU. Out of these 2, which would you recommend?

http://store.antec.com/Product/cooling-cooling_fan/v-co...

http://store.antec.com/Product/cooling-cooling_fan/spot...


InvalidError said:
Neither.

Putting an internal fan to move air around is only going to recirculate hot air within the case which is largely useless. Putting a slot exhaust fan is also going to be largely useless since the GPU is already expelling most of its hot air directly out the back so there should be little to no hot air for the slot fan to expel.

What you need is shifting more fresh air across the case so the GPU does not have to re-ingest hot air and to do this, your best option would be equipping your front intake fans which appear to be absent in your screen shots.

Well without getting a new case, that isn't going to work well, simply because there's no ventilation at the front at all, so the air that it will be pushing through the front fans will just be taken from inside the front panel, which will indirectly come from other places within the computer.

Couldn't I use the SpotCool fan to push air out the vent above the PCI slots?
a c 99 U Graphics card
July 20, 2012 5:40:28 PM

GeorgeGeee said:
Couldn't I use the SpotCool fan to push air out the vent above the PCI slots?

Unless there is a significant heat buildup in that area then you would only end up starving the GPU of whatever little fresh air comes its way which could make things worse.
a b U Graphics card
July 20, 2012 5:43:22 PM

GeorgeGeee said:
Don't forget I'm only trying to drop about 5C. I'm not trying to get the lowest temperature as possible.


I don't think those will help you at all. Those are probably just going to block air from going into the intake on your GPU. I'm kinda confused as to why you are against adding a regular case fan, they are about the same price, if not cheaper, than PCI slot fans.

edit: Double check the sizes you need, but a 2x5$ generic case fans will go a long way.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It's also worth noting that cases typically pull air from underneath the front of the case when they don't have a mesh front. Unless your case is very oddly built, it's likely got a path for air to get in the front.

Also heat typically rises, and there isn't anything in the bottom of your case generating heat, it would make sense that a lack of fresh air coming in is the problem, since air behind your case is hot (as the GPU exhaust is pushing hot air out there) and it's the easiest place to suck air back in (through the empty exhaust fan slot by the CPU and the swiss-cheese holes above your PCI slots). You may actually see a significant improvement by covering these with tape.
July 20, 2012 6:24:55 PM

djscribbles said:
I don't think those will help you at all. Those are probably just going to block air from going into the intake on your GPU. I'm kinda confused as to why you are against adding a regular case fan, they are about the same price, if not cheaper, than PCI slot fans.

edit: Double check the sizes you need, but a 2x5$ generic case fans will go a long way.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It's also worth noting that cases typically pull air from underneath the front of the case when they don't have a mesh front. Unless your case is very oddly built, it's likely got a path for air to get in the front.

Also heat typically rises, and there isn't anything in the bottom of your case generating heat, it would make sense that a lack of fresh air coming in is the problem, since air behind your case is hot (as the GPU exhaust is pushing hot air out there) and it's the easiest place to suck air back in (through the empty exhaust fan slot by the CPU and the swiss-cheese holes above your PCI slots). You may actually see a significant improvement by covering these with tape.

How do I install front intake fans? I don't really know how to.

This is my case:
https://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q=galaxy+black+s+...
a b U Graphics card
July 20, 2012 7:26:47 PM

From the looks of things, you will need to pull off the front panel of your case. It also looks like 2x80mm fans but you should measure to be sure.
Sometimes, there is a nice release latch on the underside of the front plastics that will let you pull it right off by squeezing and lifting it away and up from the case, however, usually there are 4+ plastic latches that stick through the metal on the case, you have to pull each one free (starting at the bottom is best) and pull the face away one latch at a time. You shouldn't need to detach your front panel wiring or anything.

Once the front panel is off, hold the fan(s) on the inside of the case (make sure it is pushing air into the case, usually they have 2 arrows on the outside that show which direction the fan turns and which direction the air blows), the fan will come with self-tapping screws which you will put in from the front of the case, and they will cut threads into the fan as you turn (so they will take some effort to screw in).

If you decide to add a rear case fan, simply hold it in place over the place for the fan and screw the self tapping screws in from the outside of the case.
July 20, 2012 7:31:46 PM

djscribbles said:
From the looks of things, you will need to pull off the front panel of your case. It also looks like 2x80mm fans but you should measure to be sure.
Sometimes, there is a nice release latch on the underside of the front plastics that will let you pull it right off by squeezing and lifting it away and up from the case, however, usually there are 4+ plastic latches that stick through the metal on the case, you have to pull each one free (starting at the bottom is best) and pull the face away one latch at a time. You shouldn't need to detach your front panel wiring or anything.

Once the front panel is off, hold the fan(s) on the inside of the case (make sure it is pushing air into the case, usually they have 2 arrows on the outside that show which direction the fan turns and which direction the air blows), the fan will come with self-tapping screws which you will put in from the front of the case, and they will cut threads into the fan as you turn (so they will take some effort to screw in).

If you decide to add a rear case fan, simply hold it in place over the place for the fan and screw the self tapping screws in from the outside of the case.

That's so helpful, thank you.
I have found this: http://www.mods-n-clocks.co.uk/?p=708

It shows better pictures of the case. It does mention that the front intake fans will really struggle to draw any air in at all. But I'm going to install the rear exhaust fan first (already ordered a 120mm 2000rpm CoolerMaster fan), and see if that drops my temperature by anything at all (hopefully it'll drop a few C). If I still feel I need more cooling I'll make a decision as to whether the front intake fans will be the best route, or whether I should consider alternate means of cooling (e.g. the slot-fan, the bendy-fan).
a b U Graphics card
July 20, 2012 7:40:16 PM

If you are handy with tools, you could likely cut out a portion of the bottom of the front panel to make a channel for air to travel through. The steel of the case has everything it needs, it's just blocked by really bad plastics design.

edit: Also, try sealing off the swiss-cheese holes above your PCI slots with some clear tape, that may help.
July 20, 2012 7:58:45 PM

djscribbles said:
If you are handy with tools, you could likely cut out a portion of the bottom of the front panel to make a channel for air to travel through. The steel of the case has everything it needs, it's just blocked by really bad plastics design.

edit: Also, try sealing off the swiss-cheese holes above your PCI slots with some clear tape, that may help.

What holes are you referring to?
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