Question Case Advice | Dust and Fan Configuration

Oct 15, 2019
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I've seen a lot of similar threads, so I'm still going to chance my arm. :)
Looking to finally get a new PC to be a nice cross between a gaming PC and a video editing one.

Generic spec:
Ryzen 3900x
Super 2070
& probably a blu-ray drive (icing on the cake - nice to have)
m2 drive
ssd project drive
SATA data store

The big question is about the dust and getting the right positive air pressure, and how to do it, but in a way that nicely cools the hot ryzen (and gpu).

Two cases I've generally looked at (because I'm considering the 5.25 drive bay)
Dark Base 900 Pro 2 (I also have a QI charging phone which is an extra bonus)
Fractal R6 rev 2

The big big issue for me is dust. I know that it's a more dusty environment (than I would like) where the PC will be and the last thing I want is to get a nice shiny new machine and have it clogged up with dust in a few months, hence being really pedantic about the dust filters being appropriate.

Considerations:
  • The Dark Base Pro doesn't have "top" dust filters, so surely that has to be an exhaust at the top (errr, and heat rises and that's the normal way to have that, no?).
  • Does the new shroud stop the use of bottom intake fans?
  • Is there enough airflow thru the R6?
  • Should I get an AIO cooler (e.g. Corsair 115) or an air cooler (e.g. Noctua DH-15)?
  • Should the AIO be mounted as an front intake or as the top exhaust? (If I've read correctly, as an intake it'll mean lower CPU but higher GPU. As my gaming is less GPU intensive, I'm wondering if that's the best way to have it "for me")
err, etc, etc, etc.
Or should I just give up on the 5.25 and get an external one and a different better filtered case?? :)
 
How much do you actually use optical media. I haven't had an internal optical bay in my PC for 8 years and I can probably count the number of times I've used my external one on one hand. But everyone's different.
 
I think most people would agree that internal optical drives likely last through more hours of use than external ones. It's just a matter of when/if that's something you need. Unfortunately I have no evidence to back that up or say what the tipping point is. My personal opinion would be that if you use optical media more than....20 hours per year, you're probably better off with an internal drive.

Just need to nail down this requirement. Needing an internal optical drive does limit case choices (not that you can't still get a good case)
 
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Oct 15, 2019
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Thanks. Really appreciate the input.

However, let's not worry about that tipping point. It's either an internal or external. One way or another I'll be getting something.

But it's about the case and about the best way for the cooling options and filters and cases given the potential for dust than a need to find a case for a 5.25 drive.

No point buying something flash and fancy if it dies a death due to dust build up, or that I have to take apart coolers and fans for monthly maintenance.
 
So what you're saying is that we need to find you a case WITH 5.25" bays on the front then? Like I said, that eliminates some choices, but no problem.

Will this be an mATX mobo or an ATX one?

What's your position on a mesh front panel for better airflow, but slightly more fan noise? The two cases you listed have "noise control" padding on the front, so it seems you're aiming for silence. Both of those cases are good (premium) choices. I've found that cracking open the front panel door a bit on my Silverstone PS07 improves GPU/CPU temps noticeably while gaming/heavy loads.

Dust isn't a big deal as long as you're in the price tier of cases having dust filters. More air flowing in (through filters) than out is all you need. Since very few cases come with more than a couple stock fans, it's just a matter of choosing what 1-2 extra fans you'll buy and where to put them.
 
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Oct 15, 2019
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So what you're saying is that we need to find you a case WITH 5.25" bays on the front then? Like I said, that eliminates some choices, but no problem.
No.
Not only. It's a 3-part help I guess I was asking.
  1. With those two cases (or one of them) how is the best way to run the airflow. e.g. Can I shove an extra fan on the bottom to keep the pressure positive?
  2. Is there a better case with dust filtering that has a 5.25 bay (and what's a good way to set the airflow)?
  3. OR is there a better dust case that does not have a 5.25 bay and how to set the airflow?
I basically said I'll get a 5.25 internal OR I'll just get an external drive if there's a better closed case.

Will this be an mATX mobo or an ATX one?
ATX

What's your position on a mesh front panel for better airflow, but slightly more fan noise? The two cases you listed have "noise control" padding on the front, so it seems you're aiming for silence. Both of those cases are good (premium) choices. I've found that cracking open the front panel door a bit on my Silverstone PS07 improves GPU/CPU temps noticeably while gaming/heavy loads.
Great question.
I'd prefer silence and then open it if I am doing some heavier gaming / editing, exactly that. It'll be in the main living room so if it's on, I don't want it annoying others.

Dust isn't a big deal as long as you're in the price tier of cases having dust filters. More air flowing in (through filters) than out is all you need. Since very few cases come with more than a couple stock fans, it's just a matter of choosing what 1-2 extra fans you'll buy and where to put them.
Yup.
The nugget of the first question.
Both the R6 and the 900 come with 3 fans. In both cases, 2x140 on the front, and 1x140 at the back.
If I shoved a 280 AIO cooler at the top (exhaust) then I'd create a negative pressure system.
Not sure how many fans I can shove in the front bottom corner that doesn't have a bad impact on airflow that competes with the front.

I'm guessing that most of these dust filtered / mesh cases mean that it doesn't matter if you stick the AIO at the front in push or pull, because the majority of dust will be filtered before it gets stuck in the radiator / fans.
 
Fan airflow through a radiator is ~1/2 (at best). So 2 rad fans would be the equivalent of one unobstructed one at the same rpm. You might still be positive pressure with a 280mm AIO exhaust, but adding one more 140mm intake would definitely ensure it.

I don't know what to recommend between the R6 and 900. They're both great cases. I think this falls in "personal preference" territory. Sorry if that's not the black-and-white answer you wanted.
 
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