Optimizing airflow in Corsair Graphite 600T (White) for overclocking

Which means I have to replace some fans. Front fan can't be replaced from what I know so let's skip that. There's a Noctua fan in the mesh panel at the side of the case (there's room for four 120mm fans there). The fan seems to emit some buzzing noise every now and then. Not very low and not very loud but enough for me to find it annoying. Either that or it emits vibrations that makes 'mesh' part of the side come in contact with the white section and thus cause the buzzing. I'm more tolerant to the usual swish they make.

At the rear I have a Scythe Slip Stream fan if I remember correctly (do not remember the rpm). It is not audible. But maybe I should change it to something better? And last, there's a 200mm fan at the top of the case that can be replaced. I think the suction of air is a bit poor. Sure, if you turn it up to max speed you'll notice a significant change but it also makes a hell of a lot more noise.

I'll replace the Noctua in the side-panel with a fan with a bit better airflow (it'll sit at the same heigth as my new graphics card to give it some extra cooling. Then it'll sit a fan in the slot above to help the CPU cooler/fan a little. I have a Noctua NH-C12P The CPU should be clocked up to about 4.2 - 4.4GHz. I might change this fan too but for that, I need a fan with decent-to-high static pressure since the heatsink is quite big.

The case fans should obviously have good cfm but nothing that emits a lot of vibrations. It shouldn't rival a jet engine in loudness either. Though at the same time, I wonder whether or not it might be beneficial to have a fan with good static pressure at the height of the graphics card. Need some help with choice.

Here are some that I've looked at:

http://www.inet.se/produkt/5322310/noiseblocker-nb-eloop-b12-2-bionic-1300rpm
http://www.inet.se/produkt/5322113/corsair-air-series-af120-performance-2-pack
http://www.inet.se/produkt/6308755/noctua-nf-f12-pwm

Though, "Focused Flow" fans as case fans ... hm. And how much does 30 dB actually sound?

And then I wonder if you can replace the 200mm fan at the top with two 140mm fans and if they would be more efficient at sucking hot air. Though maybe they'd be louder.

Keep in mind that it's swedish websites I look at since I live there but the brands should still be familiar.
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  1. couple of simple concepts to help you first:
    1) larger fans can move more air more quietly - i.e. 200mm 700rpm fan can move as much cfm as 120mm 2000rpm or 140mm 1800rpm. and they can do it quieter. Simple matter of aerodynamics. So going to a smaller fan for the top to increase flow and be quiet - bad idea....

    2) front/side intake, top/back exhaust ALWAYS - simply using thermodynamics and natural heat convection as intended - and as your case was designed.

    3) cases with solid panels and little to no vent/perforated areas benefit from negative case pressure. I.e. more exhaust cfm than intake. The inverse is true of cases designed with lots of venting such as the HAF X series.

    4) Consider a fan controller if you really want quiet - allows performance when needed and quiet when not - as well as balancing cfm for proper pressure type.

    5) Static pressure is a useless concern when discussing case fans - they are designed for restrictive environments i.e. rads and in front of hard drives

    6) noise can be controlled wither by rpm control such as fan controller, or by use of decouplers - rubber mounts - that isolate the fan from contact to the case to lessen/prevent vibration transfer to the case walls.

    7) yes front fan can be removed - the front 200mm fan has a screw housing with clips that when depressed remove the fan

    8) the buzzing is likely from too many fans on the fan controller you are using - creating overload and short voltage. Reduce numbers of fans on controller, or get better controller capable of higher wattage pull, or connect fans directly to PSU line and run full speed.

    200mm up top exhaust, 120 rear exhaust, 200mm intake front, 4x120mm side is best you can get. Noctua is actually quieter than scythe in some applications. Also consider Phobya G-Silent series.

    30db is the level of a normal conversation at 3ft (1m)
  2. Buzz247 said:
    couple of simple concepts to help you first:
    1) larger fans can move more air more quietly - i.e. 200mm 700rpm fan can move as much cfm as 120mm 2000rpm or 140mm 1800rpm. and they can do it quieter. Simple matter of aerodynamics. So going to a smaller fan for the top to increase flow and be quiet - bad idea....

    2) front/side intake, top/back exhaust ALWAYS - simply using thermodynamics and natural heat convection as intended - and as your case was designed.

    3) cases with solid panels and little to no vent/perforated areas benefit from negative case pressure. I.e. more exhaust cfm than intake. The inverse is true of cases designed with lots of venting such as the HAF X series.

    4) Consider a fan controller if you really want quiet - allows performance when needed and quiet when not - as well as balancing cfm for proper pressure type.

    5) Static pressure is a useless concern when discussing case fans - they are designed for restrictive environments i.e. rads and in front of hard drives

    6) noise can be controlled wither by rpm control such as fan controller, or by use of decouplers - rubber mounts - that isolate the fan from contact to the case to lessen/prevent vibration transfer to the case walls.

    7) yes front fan can be removed - the front 200mm fan has a screw housing with clips that when depressed remove the fan

    8) the buzzing is likely from too many fans on the fan controller you are using - creating overload and short voltage. Reduce numbers of fans on controller, or get better controller capable of higher wattage pull, or connect fans directly to PSU line and run full speed.

    200mm up top exhaust, 120 rear exhaust, 200mm intake front, 4x120mm side is best you can get. Noctua is actually quieter than scythe in some applications. Also consider Phobya G-Silent series.

    30db is the level of a normal conversation at 3ft (1m)


    I doubt that it's the fan controller as the buzzing stopped for a bit when I poked the side panel and it occured a bit less when I put duct-tape on it to stabilize it.
    I

    And meant to replace the fan on the Noctua NH-C12P cooler when I mentioned static pressure.

    And Noctua fans may be quieter than Scythe but do they have as good airflow?
  3. some noctua are better than scythe yes, all depends on model. also depends on rpm profile used. max cfm is max rpm. if you want silence you will likely turn down, so pay attn to fan cfm curve profiles.

    CPU air coolers do not benefit from static rating at all. They are low FPI "rad" heatsinks designed for optimal airflow, not like rads with compressed fin count due to internal tube obstruction
  4. Buzz247 said:
    some noctua are better than scythe yes, all depends on model. also depends on rpm profile used. max cfm is max rpm. if you want silence you will likely turn down, so pay attn to fan cfm curve profiles.

    CPU air coolers do not benefit from static rating at all. They are low FPI "rad" heatsinks designed for optimal airflow, not like rads with compressed fin count due to internal tube obstruction


    I think I forgot to mention my computer setup.

    i7 2600k @ 3.4GHz
    8gb DDR3 RAM @ 1600MHz (Dual-Channel
    ASUS GeForce GTX 780 3GB DC2 (to be installed)

    The i7 is idling between 26-32 C on all cores. The "package" is mostly at 30 C. I'm using HWMonitor to check this.

    If I want to boost the i7 to 4.2-4.4GHz and the GPU to this:

    GPU Frequency: 1020 MHz
    Memory Frequency: 6600 MHz

    Like I said, I'm much more tolerable to the...uh, "swish" they make rather than occasional buzzing. But I don't want something that sounds like it's about to get airborne.

    What'd be the best choice for me? I'm aware that "more rpm = more cfm = more noise" but some fans gat do it with less noise than others. Here are some fans I have looked at:

    NB Eloop b12-2 Bionic 1300rpm
    Cougar Vortex 120mm, PWM CF-V12HP
    Noctua NF-F12 PWN (CPU cooler replacement?)
    Scythe 120mm Gentle Typhoon, 1850rpm (CPU cooler replacement?)

    Not that I wouldn't believe believe you but I have read that heatsinks can benefit from high static pressure. How to know what to believe?
  5. Never believe what you "hear" believe data - tests. Show me one test that supports SP for air heatsinks and we will look at it - but good luck - there aren't any as far as I know as there is no reason to test them for the reasons I mentioned above. If that were the case anyway, wouldn't it make sense that the high end cooler companies like Noctua, Phantek, and Thermalright would make a point of using static pressure rated fans?

    Your 2 existing 200mm case fans - well in short they suck. 76cfm at BEST (filters in place reduces this btw) at 24db 700rpm. How about less noise, more airflow? The Coolermaster Megaflow fits the bill. 110cfm, 17dba (though in truth it is closer to 15dbs on my HAF X at full tilt)

    the Fans on your noctua - a) they are 140mm fans ( I assuming you are using 2 in push pull as designed with both aiming air out toward the rear case fan, and if not, fix this) b) solid quality fans. They are NF-P14 69cfm 19dba at full 1200rpm. Gentle tyhpoon asfaik are only in 120mm. again your cpu cooler is 140, so you would be comparing to the Kaze Maru by Scythe, which at max is 92cfm, but 35dba. If you really feel a need to replace the Noctua fans, the NB PK-3 is 90CFM 27dba.

    As far as side fans, a) no - more rpm does not always mean more cfm b) you don't have to spend a buttload on these. Consider something as simple as Coolermaster 120mm Silent Op fans 2k rpm, 69cfm, 19dba. (you have 4 so massive cfm is not needed). The Noiseblocker fans youo pay the 6year warranty. Cougar is a pretty dang good fan actually.

    best choice for you? only you can answer that. I can just give you tested results and let you decide. Either way a) best cooler in the world is useless if not being fed cool air thru the case b) air flow setup can make the best fans suck.

    oh... and get the decouplers.... like these or these

    You do realize all the the fans you listed are PWM connector fans right? Do you have enough plugins for that? Usually, PWM is used for cpu cooler fans, and case fans are just 3pin or 4pin/molex connectors off of PSU wires or mobo headers - make sure you buy the appropriate ones
  6. Buzz247 said:
    Never believe what you "hear" believe data - tests. Show me one test that supports SP for air heatsinks and we will look at it - but good luck - there aren't any as far as I know as there is no reason to test them for the reasons I mentioned above. If that were the case anyway, wouldn't it make sense that the high end cooler companies like Noctua, Phantek, and Thermalright would make a point of using static pressure rated fans?

    Your 2 existing 200mm case fans - well in short they suck. 76cfm at BEST (filters in place reduces this btw) at 24db 700rpm. How about less noise, more airflow? The Coolermaster Megaflow fits the bill. 110cfm, 17dba (though in truth it is closer to 15dbs on my HAF X at full tilt)

    the Fans on your noctua - a) they are 140mm fans ( I assuming you are using 2 in push pull as designed with both aiming air out toward the rear case fan, and if not, fix this) b) solid quality fans. They are NF-P14 69cfm 19dba at full 1200rpm. Gentle tyhpoon asfaik are only in 120mm. again your cpu cooler is 140, so you would be comparing to the Kaze Maru by Scythe, which at max is 92cfm, but 35dba. If you really feel a need to replace the Noctua fans, the NB PK-3 is 90CFM 27dba.

    As far as side fans, a) no - more rpm does not always mean more cfm b) you don't have to spend a buttload on these. Consider something as simple as Coolermaster 120mm Silent Op fans 2k rpm, 69cfm, 19dba. (you have 4 so massive cfm is not needed). The Noiseblocker fans youo pay the 6year warranty. Cougar is a pretty dang good fan actually.

    best choice for you? only you can answer that. I can just give you tested results and let you decide. Either way a) best cooler in the world is useless if not being fed cool air thru the case b) air flow setup can make the best fans suck.

    oh... and get the decouplers.... like these or these

    You do realize all the the fans you listed are PWM connector fans right? Do you have enough plugins for that? Usually, PWM is used for cpu cooler fans, and case fans are just 3pin or 4pin/molex connectors off of PSU wires or mobo headers - make sure you buy the appropriate ones


    My CPU cooler has a 120mm fan and I can confirm it. This is the one. You're probably thinking of the SE14, thought I don't see how it'd be possible to mount two fans to it. However, there are 140mm fans with 120mm mounting holes.

    And I've kinda noticed my 200mm fans suck but the ventilation is still quite decent. I can only picture it as tedious to replace the front fan in my case, if it's even possible. I know the top one can be replaced, though.

    And the reason for not wanting to mount 4 fans in the side-panel is that the mobo already get some cooling from the CPU-cooler due to the design of the heatsink so I simply don't think it's necessary with more than two there.
  7. As I mentioned above, front fan is easily removed via the 4 push clips holding the plastic mount to the inside of the case.

    Ya, was actually thinking of the dh-c14 which is a vertical model. A thought - your model has tighter fins right under the center of the fan. Some have shown improved cooling by adding an airbox, abaffle or spacer, of 7-20mm thick to remove the no air dead zone at the fan center. Usually 7-8usd for those

    And yes, 4 is not needed. Though, more fans alkows slower speed for same amount of airflow at less noise. So either route would work
  8. Buzz247 said:
    As I mentioned above, front fan is easily removed via the 4 push clips holding the plastic mount to the inside of the case.

    Ya, was actually thinking of the dh-c14 which is a vertical model. A thought - your model has tighter fins right under the center of the fan. Some have shown improved cooling by adding an airbox, abaffle or spacer, of 7-20mm thick to remove the no air dead zone at the fan center. Usually 7-8usd for those

    And yes, 4 is not needed. Though, more fans alkows slower speed for same amount of airflow at less noise. So either route would work


    And then there's the issue of moving the HDD brackets if replacing the front fan with a new one.

    Here is a nice overview of the inside of my computer. Turns out my exhaust fan wasn't a Scythe Slipstream but a regular old Corsair fan. So there's another I should replace. The fan in the mesh-panel is a Noctua NF-P12. I read they're usually good but I think the airflow is kinda weak.

    So. What'd the best choice for me in terms of noise/cooling efficiency?
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