Question Corsair Cooling - Define R6 plus Aorus Z390 Elite + Aorus 3070Ti + 2 x M.2 SSDs ?

James Blonde

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I've got a few cooling and case config issues I'm hoping for some help / advice with...

System and case spec
I've got a Fractal Design Define R6 USB C case in an open internal configuration with the hard drives (2 SSDs and 2 3.5" HDDs) attached to the back of the back plate. The motherboard comes with a PWM fan hub, but I've not used that.
rest of the system is an Aorus Z390 motherboard, I7 9700K (stock) cooled with a Corsair H115i with the radiator mounted on the front, 64Gb Corsair RGB RAM, Aorus 3070Ti, and 2 x 1Tb M2 drives, one in each of the M2 slots.

One of the Corsair radiator fans failed, so I've just bought 3 x LL140s with the lighting loop and fan hub, and that's prompted me to ask questions about my system cooling!

Hot M2 drives?
Firstly, I don't know what temp things are supposed to run at... I think the core components - CPU, GPU - are running pretty cool and are generally OK under load. I'm not so sure about my hard drives - especially my M2 SSDs. They're generally idling in the high 40s, normal load in low 50s, and gaming at high 50s. I do have coolers added - one aluminium heat sink and one alu heat sink with a fan cooler. However one fairly significant problem I think is that one of the M2 slots us right underneath the GPU! So difficult to cool, and I'm not sure if the heat sink is making it worse or better. I've just put the SSD with the fan heat sink in that slot, and the temps gone up to 59c , so I'm suspecting there's just no space to ventilate. What are M2 SSDs supposed to run at, and what other low profile cooling options do I have?

Where do I plug the fans in?
The next obvious question is, where do I plug the fans / cooler into? To date, the Corsair H115i CPU water cooler has been plugged into the CPU Opt header, which the manual says is for a water cooler. The radiator fans were (and the new ones are again) plugged into the radiator fan extension from the CPU cooler, and the rear fan is plugged in to the Sys_Fan1/2/3_Pump header. The case comes with a PWM Fan Hub, but I've not used it. Should I??? Not even sure what benefit it provides?? Additionally, the new LL140 fans come with a fan hub / lighting node. My assumption was that this was more for the RGB lighting and that's where the RGB cables are plugged into. Should one of the CPU cooler cables go in here? Or is that what the USB cable from the CPU cooler is for?

How do you cool backplate mounted HDDs?
There's obviously no meaningful ventilation behind the backplate, where I've got my 2 x SSDs and 2 x HDDs mounted. With all the hidden cabling and controllers, there obviously isn't much space for air to circulate, so how are you supposed to cool this part of the case??

Graphics Card Mounting
The 3070Ti is mounted on the top PCIE 16 slot. It's a beefy card, and as I mentioned covers the lower M2 drive on the motherboard, so I suspect meaning it runs hotter than it should. There is an option to mount the graphics card vertically but I'm worried that it'll just push the graphics card up against the door and make ventilation even worse. Has anyone done this with one of the modern big cards??

Out of internal USB headers
Lastly, I'm using all of the internal USB headers with front panel USB 3, front panel USB 2, USB C, and the Corsair H115i CPU cooler. Therefore I don't have anywhere to plug the new fan controller into. Are the internal USB hubs worth the effort?? At the moment I've swapped in the new fan controller by removing the front panel USB2 plug, but I do use that a lot. Honestly expected front panel 4 port USB plus USB C to be provided by 1 plug, not 3!

Basically I think I should be able to make this more efficient than it is, and cooler than it is too, but not sure how.... Can you help??

Thanks!! :D
 

Karadjgne

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Fans and lighting are seperate systems. Once you figure that an RGB fan is nothing more than a plain Jane fan that someone glued a light strip to, you'll get a better understanding.

Simply means when setting up the pump, ignore any lighting considerations totally. For all practical purposes, RGB doesn't exist.

The cpu header only reads the rpm of the fans, or controls them, nothing more. The Sata connection provides power to the pump/fans. The usb provides a data link for use with iCue software. You could use the pwm hub IF your pump does not have direct control over the 3 fans, some models have seperate fan from pump, some have fans attached to the pump.

Done with setting up the pump and fans. They now don't exist. Now is when you take the lighting node and use the 2nd set of wires on each fan that's for the glued on light strip, attach all that, use the USB for a data link and molex/Sata for power. IF the node is usb controlled, not argb/drgb header controlled, then you'd go to that header instead, not the usb.

It feels like you are doing everything twice, and basically you are, but realistically it's 2 different systems, so don't try and do things simultaneously.
 
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James Blonde

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Fans and lighting are seperate systems. Once you figure that an RGB fan is nothing more than a plain Jane fan that someone glued a light strip to, you'll get a better understanding.

Simply means when setting up the pump, ignore any lighting considerations totally. For all practical purposes, RGB doesn't exist.

The cpu header only reads the rpm of the fans, or controls them, nothing more. The Sata connection provides power to the pump/fans. The usb provides a data link for use with iCue software. You could use the pwm hub IF your pump does not have direct control over the 3 fans, some models have seperate fan from pump, some have fans attached to the pump.

Done with setting up the pump and fans. They now don't exist. Now is when you take the lighting node and use the 2nd set of wires on each fan that's for the glued on light strip, attach all that, use the USB for a data link and molex/Sata for power. IF the node is usb controlled, not argb/drgb header controlled, then you'd go to that header instead, not the usb.

It feels like you are doing everything twice, and basically you are, but realistically it's 2 different systems, so don't try and do things simultaneously.
Thanks - yep I think that's what was throwing me - doing everything twice and not really having enough USB or fan outlets to do everything. It also seemed odd to have 2 boxes just for fan lighting, and seemed odd to have a load of Corsair products that don't all connect into the same box, though I get iCue controls everything anyway. But suddenly I was running out of ports / connectors! So I bought an internal USB extender and wired in the case PWM hub hub and now everything seems fine.
 

KyaraM

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About the M.2 temperatures. They sound fine to me. Iirc optimal working temperatures are between 40 and 65°C, more or less depending on model; but I don't think there are any with throttling temperatures sub-60°C. An old one I have has been running at 74°C for years now and is still okay. I think you are fine. I can't speak for drives on the back of the backplate, though, since I don't have any. Do you have anything to read out temps, like HWINFO or something similar?
 

James Blonde

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I'm running HD Sentinel to monitor temps and disk status. I think half the problem with the M2 SSDs is that anything over 50c shows as red in the monitoring interfaces and too hot - and I don't know if that temp range is set based on the drive or just some arbitrary number. If those temps seem fine, then I'm probably spending money cooling them for no good reason! :D

For reference, the max temp the Corsair drive has hit is 68c, and I can't remember if that was in the well ventilated slot, or the one under the graphics card. it's currently running between 48 and 55c. The well ventilated Samsung M2 (running the OS) now has a fan cooler attached to it, and it's running at 42c
 

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