Question Airflow Conundrum.

loganwiniecke28

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As the title suggests my PC is having a BAD issue with the airflow, and I am at my wit's end to fix it. To elaborate, I recently switched cases, from a cooler master elite 130 to a new Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ITX. Initially when I made the switch my GPU overheated even when it idled (around 45-50C Idle and 85C - 90C under load). Immediately I chalked this up to bad airflow, so to mitigate it I installed a bigger front intake fan (200mm), got an SFX PSU, and replace my old HDD with an SSD so I could remove my HDD cage. All this combined made my idle temps shrink down to 38C - 40C, however under load the issue still persists. At this point, I really don't know what to do next, and I am trying to AVOID replacing the case as much as possible.
I hope someone can help me. Thanks for reading.

My Spec.
CPU - Ryzen 5 1600
Cooler - EVGA water cooler 240mm
RAM - 16gb DDR4
GPU - GTX 1070ti 8gb VRAM ZOTAC Mini
PSU - Corsair SF600
Storage - 250gb M.2 SSD WD & Samsung 1tb SSD
Fans - 120mm exhaust & 200mm intake.
Motherboard - Gigabyte B350n Gaming WIFI AM4.
 
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Barty1884

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I used to have the EvolvITX with a 980TI, so I know exactly what you mean.

Unfortunately, there's not a whole lot you can do.
Personally, I went with 140mm's at the front, as the lower one pushes air under the PSU shroud, where the GPU can then pull from. Doesn't help a whole lot, although the SFX PSU should've helped some.

I was consider a mod to the bottom to allow for an intake fan at the front, replacing the drive cage... but never did get around to doing so.
 

loganwiniecke28

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I previously had two Corsair 120mm fans, however when I had them the hard drive cage was still there. Perhaps some higher quality fans along with everything else I have done will help a little. Thanks : ).
 

Barty1884

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You have a restrictive front panel too, so it's not ideal.... But with the harddrive cage removed, there's less impedance, so I'd definitely try that first - you've got more airflow directed under the shroud, which the GPU can pull through the vent holes.
 

loganwiniecke28

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So I tested our hypothesis and fitted my old corsair 120mm fans in the front. With my fans at full speed, my GPU stays down in the high sixties during intense gameplay (Black Ops 4), and showed signs of dropping temps albeit only by a degree or two. My idle temps improved by 5C staying around 33 - 34C consistently. Prior to this experiment, my GPU temps would only rise during gameplay now they show small signs of fluctuating. I wonder if there is more we can do.
 

loganwiniecke28

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I tested Idle and Under Load temps using different configurations.
WIth Front panel (Fans on full speed) - idle 35C - Under Load 68C
With Front panel (Fans normal speed) - Idle 42C - Under Load 85C
Without Front Panel (Normal Speed) - idle 38C - Under Load 64
Without Front Panel (Full Speed) - Idle 34C - under load 60C
Without Front Panel or Dust Mesh (Full Speed) - Idle 34C - Under Load 59C

To test load I played Black Ops 4 zombies on the map IX, this is because the game mode is very chaotic and the map is extremely open and taxing.

In hindsight, it's clear that this case is more trouble than its worth, and while the temps I'm getting thus far are way better than before its probably time to look for another option : (. At least I got a few upgrades out of saving this sinking ship.

Any good ITX options?
 
I tested Idle and Under Load temps using different configurations.
WIth Front panel (Fans on full speed) - idle 35C - Under Load 68C
With Front panel (Fans normal speed) - Idle 42C - Under Load 85C
Without Front Panel (Normal Speed) - idle 38C - Under Load 64
Without Front Panel (Full Speed) - Idle 34C - under load 60C
Without Front Panel or Dust Mesh (Full Speed) - Idle 34C - Under Load 59C

To test load I played Black Ops 4 zombies on the map IX, this is because the game mode is very chaotic and the map is extremely open and taxing.

In hindsight, it's clear that this case is more trouble than its worth, and while the temps I'm getting thus far are way better than before its probably time to look for another option : (. At least I got a few upgrades out of saving this sinking ship.

Any good ITX options?
My first choice would be the new cooler master h100:
https://www.coolermaster.com/catalog/cases/mini-itx/mastercase-h100/
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxjOylCtpBs


However max gpu length is 210mm and your gpu is 211mm! One freaking milameter are you kidding me? I almost would want to try and make it fit! Giggity...

If you're looking for the absolute best in air flow, then you're going to need an itx case with a little more space:
PCPartPicker Part List
Case: Thermaltake - Core X1 Mini ITX Tower Case
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-07-19 18:08 EDT-0400

I have the Thermaltake core v1 and I absolutely love it because it's by far the easiest case to build in. All the internal components are easily accessible, however you can only fit 2u width graphics cards. Yours will fit no problem.

-OR- Something like the Corsair 380t
PCPartPicker Part List

Case: Corsair - 380T Mini ITX Tower Case
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-07-19 18:18 EDT-0400

The key is front mesh for unobstructed air flow.
 
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Karadjgne

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Herald
If, your fans are actually as shown in your very well put together representation, is like to think they are being counter productive.

200mm front intake is a huge amount of air, bump the fan curve up slightly.

240mm top intake. Hmm not such a good idea. Gpu heat is going to want to go somewhere, and yet it cannot. It's forced back on itself by the front intake, and shoved back on itself by the rad fans blowing down. You basically boxed all that gpu exhaust in the corner. Wouldn't be as bad, if the psu was fan up, acting as an exhaust, but right now that single 120mm exhaust isn't able to do much of anything except suck air from the nearest intake fan on top.

Flip the fans the other way. Won't hurt to have them in pull config, exhausting out, but push config, exhausting in, isn't the best idea.

You want better airflow? Create a pathway. In front, out back. Jamming everything into the middle does nothing but cook the pc.
 
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loganwiniecke28

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To SgtScream: Those look to be pretty nice cases, however, The Coolermaster H100 is not available at the moment nor is the Thermaltake Core V1, and the last case is a bit over what'd I'd like to pay for a case. Thanks for introducing me to those options though, and for showing me what to look for.

To Karadjgne: Hmm, I had never thought of it like that before. Flipping the rad fans wouldn't take much effort nor would flipping the PSU since it is completely modular. However, I still feel that the GPU isn't receiving enough intake so I will combine those changes with two 140mm fans as front intakes. Also, should I flip the rear exhaust fan and make it an intake since the Rad would be sucking in hotter air? Or should I leave it how it is?

Here is the new Mock Up of what the airflow would look like.
 

loganwiniecke28

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Do you mean on the bottom of the case? Or on the bottom of the front intake? Unfortunately, I am unable to install a fan horizontally on the bottom of the case : (.
 
I have never used water cooler, but having the air blow IN the radiator seems wrong to me.

Hot water gather from blocks enters the radiator, and cool air pass through the capillary suppose to remove this hot air, and the hot air goes where? DIRECTLY BLOWING ON THE CPU! does that seems right to you?

I like the radiator's fans blowing OUT, assuming most of the air are coming from the front intake fans and still mostly cool, plus this follows natural hot air goes up.

Ideally though, my water cooler will have radiator on the outside, but I hear u guys like EASY AIO.
 
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loganwiniecke28

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Jsmithepa - Thanks for bringing this to my attention, but since I had my fans in this orientation I really haven't noticed any worrying incline in temps. However, even if it is causing inclines in idle temps that will be fixed once I flip the fan orientation.

AllanGH - The first mockup represents my case with its 200mm fan instead of two 140mm ones oriented one on top of the other. Is that what you were thinking? I apologize if I'm completely missing this.
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Herald
Op. Picture is perfect. You have to think of the word, it's air-flow. As in a constant movement like a river of air. A fan works by the movement of the blade through air. This creates a low pressure vacuum on the intake side, the byproduct is the cfm on the exhaust side. The faster the blade spins, the stronger the vacuum cone. Nature abhors a vacuum, so the nearest available air moves over to fill the void, but also leaves a lower pressure area behind it. So air further and further away from the fan moves over. The intake fans exhaust side is pushing air in, higher pressure, the exhaust is sucking air in, lower pressure. Creating a constant motion, And you get flow from intake to exhaust.

The way its setup now, the rear rad fan is supplying that 120mm exhaust, that's the only real flow there, the rest is in a circulatory pattern escaping wherever it can. If it can't escape, it back feeds the intake fan and kills the vacuum, blades are spinning but no real air movement.

In the new picture, you'll have 3x fans in the same localized area all creating a vacuum cone. Together they are far stronger than not. Making the rear an intake, like jayz did, would be a mistake, idle temps will go down, but gpu load temps will go up, as the faster spinning intake is feeding the rad fans, that being the strongest and closest air source. Cpu temps will drop, fresh air, but case temps will climb underneath that area, which includes the gpu. If jayz had simply ziptied that intake low, above the psu, that'd change everything. That'd be cold air low, drawn straight up, taking gpu heat with it.

@jsmithepa

Sorta, but not really. Liquids can absorb a massive amount of energy, heat, and not change any at all. The coolant in a loop is not the same temp as the cpu. You can have a cpu at 70°C and the coolant at 32°C. So what you are really doing in a loop is trying to equalize coolant temp with ambient temp. You are cooling 32°C temps to a 23°C ambient, not the 70°C cpu. So the air going into the case with a front mount rad, isn't the hot air most imagine it to be. Most case interiors are usually 6-12°C above outside ambient anyways, so putting 32°C air into a 32°C case doesn't affect the gpu at all, the gpu would already be using the 32°C case air for cooling purposes.
 
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loganwiniecke28

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Okay, @Karadjgne that helps me understand the physics behind it a little better, however, I am still conflicted. With the Rad fans in pull configuration like in my Mock-Up V2 would the rear fan be redundant as an exhaust? But now that I'm thinking of it, hot air naturally rises, meaning the air emitted around my GPU would rise towards my rad fans and exhaust. Also, (not to confuse anybody) the case has a top chamber below its lid if the radiator sits outside of it, won't hot air get trapped up there and struggle to leave the vents?

 

Karadjgne

Titan
Herald
There's enough static pressure from those fans that it'll force the exhaust out. Not as well as if it was open, as jayz pointed out, but it'll still move.

Many ppl get all hyped over having positive pressure systems. Really a bunch of bs. It changes according to the fans, fan speeds, fan curves etc. There's a certain amount of vacuum to any fan intake. The closer to the blades you get, the stronger the affect. And that vacuum isn't directed, it's everywhere around the front of the fan. So it has a strong tendency to pull air from the closest source. In most cases, that's the grills next to the fan, unused top vents, even the pcie slots by the gpu. That would be a strong negative system. In a positive system, the intakes supply enough cfm to the exhausts to compensate for that, overpowering the fans need to pull air from anywhere else other than the case. The rear exhaust isn't redundant by any measure, it adds to the vacuum area, strengthening it. What I'd recommend is sealing the back of the case up, covering the grill work next to the fan etc, forcing the fans to pull case air more than vent air. With what the intakes can put into the case, the stronger vacuum at the rear will improve airflow through the case, and thats the crux of the whole thing, it's not how much air you can get into the case, it's how much you can get through the case.
 

loganwiniecke28

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Hello! Excuse my brief hiatus, but I have initiated phase 1 of our plan to attack my cooling issue! For phase 1 I wanted to test fit everything in preparation for my new fans, meaning that I flipped the radiator fans so that they are in push configuration and a flipped my PSU so that it is now sucking in hot air from my GPU. Just a small note, I am keeping with my old 120mm Corsair fans in the meantime for my preliminary tests.

Phase 1 results
Again I am testing on Black ops 4 on the Zombies game mode in the map IX (High settings). I have yet to test on Ultra.

Pannel on - Idle: 37C Load: 85C : (
Pannel on (Fans at full speed) - Idle: 32C Load: 62C (Not bad).

It would seem that our hypothesis shows signs of success! So far we are seeing a 6C decrease in temps with the front panel! I think I will go through with the 140 fans, they will (theoretically) push more air and depending on the brand be a lot quieter than the corsair ones at full speed. For those wondering why I did not test with the front panel off, it's because doing so would be redundant seeing how I don't plan to run the PC without it also we already found that it chokes airflow so the results would be better by default. Thanks, everyone for your help so far.
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Herald
There's several videos out that show a decent increase in airflow by pulling the panel out some. The top and bottom brackets that have the clips to hold the panel in place are held on by 2 black screws. What's been done is remove those screws and replace them with ones ¼ to ½ inch longer and put a spacer under the bracket. This offsets the front panel slightly, increasing the gap around the edges, making for more airflow
 

loganwiniecke28

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@Karadjgne I think I know what video you're referencing! However, on the ITX version of this case, that bracket is non-existent. Instead, the clips are connected to a plastic frame that spans the length of the front panel.
 

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