Question AIO Front Mounted or Top Mounted

Aug 25, 2021
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Closing in on finally being able to build my machine. Trying to decide if I should either front mount an AIO or top mount. I know there are several answers that can be given just based on a machines parts list so all parts that I currently own are posted below.

If I front mount, I can go with the Corsair H115i RGB Platinum 280mm. If I top mount, I need to go with something else as my case will not support a 280mm AIO top mounted. For reference, my case is a Cooler Master Mastercase H500 RGB with front mesh. I purchased this case specifically for it's great thermals as reviewed by Gamers Nexus.


My parts:

Cooler Master Mastercase H500 RGB Mesh Front Air Intake

ASUS AM4 TUF Gaming X570-Plus (Wi-Fi) ATX Motherboard with PCIe 4.0

AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 3rd Generation 12-core, 24 Thread, 3.8 GHz unlocked CPU

EVGA Super XC Ultra Gaming NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super 8GB GDDR6 PCIe 3.0 GPU

Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 1TB PCIe 4.0

Corsair RMX Series RM750x
 
Aug 25, 2021
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Thanks for replying. I forgot to mention this but I haven't built a machine since the early 2000's so this is all new to me.

Correct me if I'm wrong, it sounds like your setup is a front mounted radiator the fans mounted on the radiator facing towards the GPU. Air is pulled from outside the case, through the radiator, through the fans and the blown across both the top and bottom of the GPU?
 

Phaaze88

Titan
Ambassador
We can't avoid it - passing heated air from one part to another... so, pick the lesser evil?
The heat from the cpu cooler passing through the gpu cooler.
The heat from the gpu cooler passing through the cpu cooler.
Perhaps it's too simple this way. IMO: front mount that thing. Bonus points if it can be done with tubes down.
 
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punkncat

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Ambassador
Thanks for replying. I forgot to mention this but I haven't built a machine since the early 2000's so this is all new to me.

Correct me if I'm wrong, it sounds like your setup is a front mounted radiator the fans mounted on the radiator facing towards the GPU. Air is pulled from outside the case, through the radiator, through the fans and the blown across both the top and bottom of the GPU?
Phanteks P400 with the A mesh front modification. I have room there for (3) fans.
Top two slots are fans to front pushing air through the rad. Bottom spot is a normal case fan blowing fresh air to the GPU. I then have one rear exhaust and two top exhaust. In this particular configuration my GPU is the only item that goes over mid 60's for any load.

edit 2700X and GTX 1080 inside
 
Aug 25, 2021
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Thanks everyone. I'm set on going with an AIO. I'm thinking of getting the Corsair H115i RGB Platinum 280mm but only if I can front mount it properly with the hoses down like shown in the build below and per Gamer Nexus recommendations.

Can anyone confirm if the Corsair H115i RGB Platinum has enough hose length to front mount the radiator with the hoses down like shown in the photo below with the hoses being able to comfortably reach an AMD Ryzen CPU on a ASUS AM4 TUF Gaming X570-Plus motherboard in a Cooler Master Mastercase H500 RGB case?

Soon as I can confirm this, I'm going to put my order in.

 
Sounds like you have already decided what you want to do.
Front mount cools the cpu best, but the graphics card and motherboard vrms will not be cooled as well since it gets heated cpu air.
OTOH, if you mount on top as exhaust, your graphics card and motherboard get good cooling, but your cpu is not cooled as well.
Catch 22, pick your poison,

Do you have a budget?
That said, let me offer an alternative.
Your case is one of the best ones around for air cooling.
A twin tower air cooler with 140mm fans like the noctua NH-D15 will cool just as well as a 240/280 aio and cost half as much.
Do you know that aio coolers do not last forever?
In time air enters and the unit needs to be replaced.
And, while not common, liquid coolers can leak with disastrous results.

But, of course, you know all of this.
Just my 2 cents.
 
Aug 25, 2021
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Sounds like you have already decided what you want to do.
Front mount cools the cpu best, but the graphics card and motherboard vrms will not be cooled as well since it gets heated cpu air.
OTOH, if you mount on top as exhaust, your graphics card and motherboard get good cooling, but your cpu is not cooled as well.
Catch 22, pick your poison,

Do you have a budget?
That said, let me offer an alternative.
Your case is one of the best ones around for air cooling.
A twin tower air cooler with 140mm fans like the noctua NH-D15 will cool just as well as a 240/280 aio and cost half as much.
Do you know that aio coolers do not last forever?
In time air enters and the unit needs to be replaced.
And, while not common, liquid coolers can leak with disastrous results.

But, of course, you know all of this.
Just my 2 cents.
I'm open to all suggestions. Are there any downsides to with a Noctua as opposed to an AIO?

FYI, my CPU is the Ryzen 9 3900X.

Hi Guy's
If I looked your case up right the specs show it's capable of a 360mm front.

The Corsair H150i Elite Capellix 360mm
Has 400mm tubes.
If it helps, this is the exact case that I own.

https://www.microcenter.com/product/511801/cooler-master-mastercase-h500-rgb-tempered-glass-atx-mid-tower-computer-case-iron-gray

Do you think 400mm hose length will be more than enough?
 
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Do you realize that the case comes with two 200mm front intake fans?
I would hate to dump them in order to put a aio as intake in front.
Those two intakes provide plenty of cooling airflow for the cooler, motherboard and gpu.
The 3900x and 2070 are not the hottest parts so far as needing exceptional cooling.
Not knowing if you have tall ram heat spreaders, I would suggest the Noctua NH-D15s which is a high compatibility version of the nh-D15.
Check that the AM4 mount is included.
Old stock may not, but you can order it free from noctua.
Check out the cooler suitability chart for the 3900X
https://ncc.noctua.at/cpus/model/AMD-Ryzen-9-3900X-1033
 
Aug 25, 2021
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Do you realize that the case comes with two 200mm front intake fans?
I would hate to dump them in order to put a aio as intake in front.
Those two intakes provide plenty of cooling airflow for the cooler, motherboard and gpu.
The 3900x and 2070 are not the hottest parts so far as needing exceptional cooling.
Not knowing if you have tall ram heat spreaders, I would suggest the Noctua NH-D15s which is a high compatibility version of the nh-D15.
Check that the AM4 mount is included.
Old stock may not, but you can order it free from noctua.
Check out the cooler suitability chart for the 3900X
https://ncc.noctua.at/cpus/model/AMD-Ryzen-9-3900X-1033
I was just considering that. I was searching the forums, if I top mount a 240mm AIO, yes the CPU will be a little warmer but the GPU and motherboard will be cooler and I'll have two 200mm front fans blowing fresh cool air over everything!.

You think this will be a far better setup for my case. I don't know if I mentioned this but the last time I built a machine was the early 2000's. So I'm learning all over again.
 
Aug 25, 2021
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Ahh crap, I forgot that this wasn't like the H500P Mesh. That one at least lets you install both 200mm at the top.
The H500(blank) only allows for a single 200mm up there.
No worries, thank you for helping me. I'm wondering if it might be better to top mount an AIO. I'll have a slightly warmer CPU at the expense of a cooler GPU and motherboard and then I'll have the 200mm fans blowing fresh cool air of everything.
 

Phaaze88

Titan
Ambassador
I'm wondering if it might be better to top mount an AIO. I'll have a slightly warmer CPU at the expense of a cooler GPU and motherboard and then I'll have the 200mm fans blowing fresh cool air of everything.
There's going to be a tradeoff regardless of which way you do it, so 'pick your poison'. There is no best way to do it, but you can opt for the lesser evil, as I put it earlier.
-both cpu and gpu have their boost clocks tied to power consumption and thermals.
-the gpu is, by far, the bigger heat producer between it and the current cpu.

This would've been a little simpler with an air cooler, but you did insist on an AIO after all.
 
I Have no idea on that as I have never front mounted a rad.

If it helps this is my case
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.tweaktown.com/reviews/7375/thermaltake-suppressor-f31-mid-tower-chassis-review/amp.html
With a H150i Elite Capellix 360mm on a 3600x Oc'd to 4.3ghz
Mounted up top 2x140mm front Noctua's 140mm rear, 140mm bottom.
I just installed a new Used Evga Rtx 2080 ti Ftw3 Ultra and the ambient room temp is 22-24c
With the stock voltage the Gpu temp runs 64-67c on ultra graphics for 1440p during Ghost Recon Wildlands.

With a slight gpu undervolt it's running 61-62c.
Good luck
 
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Aug 25, 2021
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I'm looking at this air cooler, the Cryorig H7 Quad Lumi and it looks like a good fit inside the Cooler Master Mastercase H500 on a Ryen 9 3900x. Still considering all of my options.
 

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