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Most efficient fan placement in cases

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March 25, 2003 4:34:25 PM

Has anyone tried testing the different fan placement options currently available in various cases? From what I can tell there a several popular areas to locate fans

bottom front (intake)
rear level with CPU (exhaust)
rear above PSU (exhaust)
side panel
top (exhaust)

and I was curious which if any provide better/worse performance as different manufacturers seem to favour different layouts.

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March 25, 2003 5:22:35 PM

Every case is different.

I have some crazy designs like 5 120mm Delta Electronics fans and two 450W PSUs that have their own 92mm fans all the way to a system with the side off and a 200mm two speed house fan sitting next to the components.

Basic designs are the fan intake in the bottom front and exhaust fans in the top rear. Other use blowholes out the top and intakes all over. Most designs are fine. You will not get huge system performance improvements because of fan placement. Unless you are talking about no cooling verses massive cooling. The cooler, but not below the room temp, the better. (Condensation reasons)

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March 26, 2003 1:56:38 PM

see too many cases with bottom front fans, but always have to see where does the air get in there. way too many have almost no way to get decent flow to the fan and you end up circulating the air in the case

like mine, there is space to add 2 80mm front fans, but when you look at it there is barely any space for the air to enter from the outside to the fans (there is a tiny slot on the bottom to let in outside air, imagine the hoover sound the two fans would make trying to pull air in through that).

I cut holes for two 120mm fans on the side cover and it was all good (2 80mm on the back factory), since I replaced my setup (XP out P4 in), now the holes are there to make it look interesting (only running 1 80mm on the back). :) 

well designed cases with decent space for air going to the front fan(s) are cool

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March 26, 2003 3:10:10 PM

For AMD's recommendation go to their website. They have a detailed PDF file that explains their recommended PC construction.

In my opinion you require an intake fan (bottom front) and an exhaust fan (CPU level rear). A dual fan PS is also a must.

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March 26, 2003 11:08:09 PM

Took your advice rubberbband and checked out the AMD specs...and immediately came across this :

"Front intake fans have not proven have not proven to be a significant benefit for vertical cases"

hmm....quite a statement considering of all fan layouts almost all cases have at least a fan in the bottom front.
March 26, 2003 11:21:00 PM

Upon reading further into the spec I think the quote I gave actually means "PSUs" with a front intake as opposed to PSUs with bottom intakes. (they strongly suggest using PSUs with a bottom intake.
March 29, 2003 2:39:01 AM

For the best setup you want a good case first.
I got the superflower sf201 and this case is an incredible airflow machine. It has two fans in the front with a huge grille and a coarse sponge-like plastic insert to trap dust (it can be washed). these fans blow a nice strong draft over my HDD, there is a fan directly over the cpu that sucks in air, there are two fans in the back that push air out and there is one on top to push out more heat. then my vantec stealth black aluminum psu (really loud) has 3 fans, back, bottom and front. Aside from the unacceptable volume of the vantec power supply, the rest of the fans barely make a whisper.

It is highly recommended that you have fans in the front of your case, preferably infront of your hdd. If you have insufficient vents, make some. Another great spot is directly over the cpu. The rest of the fans should be in your power supply. you dont really need fans in the back or the top because the power supply should take care of that.

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