280mm rad up top vs 240mm rad in front on Phanteks Enthoo Pro M SE

EatMyPizza

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I have a phanteks enthoo pro M se. I would like to get an aio with a 280mm rad like the Corsair h115i for instance, but I also don't want to lose out on my hard drive cages as I have mechanical drives I want to use. I could fit the 280mm up top though as I don't plan on using a dvd drive, so my question is this:

I read that mounting the rad on the front provides better cooling for the cpu, so if my options are 240mm up front or 280mm up top, would the extra potential cooling capacity of the 280mm rad be negated by the fact it's up top? would a 240mm up front like an H100i v2 maybe even cool the cpu better than a 280mm like h115i up top?

I simply want to go with whatever option out of these 2 will cool the cpu better.

 


You are correct, it will. I got the idea you were planning a positive pressure build too.

I can't state positively it will be better, but I think a front mounted 240 and top/rear mounted exhausting fans will work at least as well as a top mounted 280 exhausting when the GPU is dumping a lot of hot air into the case! That will happen when gaming or any other GPU intensive workloads.

When performing CPU ONLY intensive workloads the 280 at top with a battery of intake fans at front could be better simply because it's a 280. But that's a pretty fine line for a trade off, the principle is well established that front mounted rad's are qualitatively better when the GPU is dumping heat into the case, all else being equal.


 

Kashimi

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You're seriously in the swamp of concern over about 3 - 5 degrees difference when you're talking about 240 vs 280 and another 3 - 5 degrees in front vs top mount for a rad.

Go with whichever solution looks the best to you since you have to see the end result.

Me personally, I'm experimenting with 3 intake fans in the front, kraken x62 intake under the rad up top, and my 1080ti hybrid running intake in the rear.

It's a fully positive air pressure build, but the reason is, I'm running the Corsair 570x case, and it's completely covered in tempered glass so the air flow is abysmal but it looks stunning. I'm running positive intake to try and get as much air as possible inside the case and letting whatever falls out be the exhaust.
 

EatMyPizza

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Well, first of all I have NO experience with AIOs or water cooling of any sort. I've built many PCs but always air cooling. if It's true that it's a 3-5 degree difference giong from 240 to 280 and then another 3-5 going from front to top, that means in theory, a 240 in front should cool the exact same a a 280 in top correct?

Anyway,, If it works out the same, my plan would be a front mounted 240mm rad, I would probably add a 120mm to the front, so there would be 3 total intake fans on the front (2 blowing into the rad) and then 2 140mm exhaust on the top, and 1 140mm exhaust in the rear. I may even be able to have both a hard drive cage and a dvd drive installed with this configuration. (not sure about the dvd drive)

 



The way i understand the benefit of a front radiator is when a GPU starts dumping a huge heat load inside the case which otherwise gets exhausted through at the top or rear, killing the cooling performance of a radiator mounted there. With front mount, the CPU is always cooled with ambient air that can be 20+ degrees cooler than case air in such circumstances.

So if a 280 at top will be blowing air into the case for your positive-pressure build i have to think it will not be much different than front mount but you get the benefit of higher liquid capacity, extending the time to thermal saturation.
 
I would go with the front mount as it will pull cool air from outside the case through the radiator. Top mounts will always pull warm air from inside the case and push it through the radiator exhausting out the top of the case.
 

EatMyPizza

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Well the 280 would have been exhausting out the top. I don't really want top intake at top, I think that would screw with the cases natural airflow design.

 

EatMyPizza

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So front mount 240mm > top mount (exhaust) 280mm?

This is also relevant from a price perspective too. If I can save money and get a 240mm rad and have better performance than a 280mm more expensive rad just by putting it in the front, then I'm all for it.
 


You are correct, it will. I got the idea you were planning a positive pressure build too.

I can't state positively it will be better, but I think a front mounted 240 and top/rear mounted exhausting fans will work at least as well as a top mounted 280 exhausting when the GPU is dumping a lot of hot air into the case! That will happen when gaming or any other GPU intensive workloads.

When performing CPU ONLY intensive workloads the 280 at top with a battery of intake fans at front could be better simply because it's a 280. But that's a pretty fine line for a trade off, the principle is well established that front mounted rad's are qualitatively better when the GPU is dumping heat into the case, all else being equal.


 

EatMyPizza

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Thanks, that was well explained. I think the most cpu intensive task I will be doing the most regularly is probably gaming (thus, with GPU generating heat). Considering the front mounted 240 option is also cheaper, (and may even be better or at least as good with the gpu generating heat) I guess that is what I will go with. Thanks.

 

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