Question First post - airflow question on new setup

Mar 27, 2020
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First off, been lurking here a while and this is my first post so go easy LOL
I just purchased this kit and am wondering a couple things.
https://pcpartpicker.com/list/ZQFQBZ

My questions are about air flow, or rad placement. This is my first AIO or liquid cooler and while i understand I may need to test several fan/rad configs was wondering if there was a good starting point.
In the R6 I have (all being controlled by the Fractal PWM controller plugged into the CPU PWM Mobo input):
Front: 2x140 fans that came with the R6, which seem decent quality.
Rear: 1x140 fractal supplied fan
Top: 2x120 Noctua NFP-12 900RPM fans (I obviously have the R6's top sound panel removed but this case is still super quiet!)
Bottom: currently nothing

Plan 1:
Front: leave as is with 2x140 fractal fans
Rear: leave as is with 1x140 Fractal fan
Top: Replace 2x 120 Noctuas with the H115i Platinum 280mm rad/fans (not a huge fan of installing liquid over top of electronics...)
Bottom: Install the 2x120 Noctua NFP-12 900RPM

Plan 2:
Front: replace 2x140 Fractal fans with H115I rad/fans (not sure if hoses will reach CPU in this config)
Rear: Leave as is with 1x140 Fractal fan
Top: leave as is with 2x120 Noctua NFP-12 900RPM
Bottom: Install the 2x140 Fractal fans

Plan 3:...Swap top and bottom layout of plan 2?


Second question is about whether or not to install the 2070Super in the vertical position while leaving it as an air/stock cooler.
I will try it to see if I get a big negative difference in temps running vertically being next to the case wall...I expect it to be higher temp, but we shall see.

I do not plan on overclocking at the moment, but let me know if you see any issues with OC if I choose to do so.

This is a gaming and image processing rig (astrophotography images which requires a lot of cores/threads and RAM to handle stacking 100s of images at a time).
Coming from an 8+yr old FX-8120/MSI 970A/24Gb mixed RAM(shame!lol)/GTX-1070. So should be a nice step up.
Also using the R6's massive HDD support for building a media/Plex system since my wife and I have over 1400 movies/DVD/BR. May end up replacing with a separate NAS system in the future...we'll see.

Anyways, love this forum and the helpful people in it.
Cheers!
Brent
 

Karadjgne

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Huh. I own an R5, that's basically an R6 without a few of the tweaks. Also a kraken x61, 280mm aio. I've done every config possible, which is 8 possible scenarios.

Front push, front pull, both with and without rear exhaust and stock 140mm x2 on top.

Top push, top pull, both with and without rear exhaust and stock 140mm x2 at intake.

Yes, the stock fans are very decent quality, a half step below the Noctuas. Yes the tubing reaches the front intake at the top position only.

All 8 tests showed negligible changes to temps of the gpu. Supposedly this isn't a great airflow case with the door closed, but honestly there's plenty with 2x 140mm fans at front/top. Rear exhaust or not made no difference except in wiring hassle and noise. Fans ran at 600-700rpm maximum unless stress testing, which put them to 900rpm. Really quiet.

I7 3770k @ 4.9GHz got 72°C in silent mode in either push orientation, got 70°C in either pull. Gaming a consistent 55°C in any config. Asus strix 970 DC2 OC 124% saw 83°C in stress test in front push, saw 80°C in front pull or either top. The direct exhaust from the front pull fans or just front intakes only changed the results under stress, gaming still saw mid 60's.

All in all, pretty negligible differences, and only under maximum duress at 100% fan duty (I capped rpm to 900 for all 4 fans)

Top push had the quietest exhaust, noise was filtered by the rad, acted like a muffler.

In that case, orientation doesn't really matter much, except for one detail. You are far less likely to get pump cavitation, air pockets, with top mount. In front mount, the pump sits pretty close to level with the rad tubing inlet/outlet at the reservoir, so if there is (and there is) air trapped there, even a slight tilt of the case can introduce air into the outlet, which then hits the pump and cavitates. That doest happen with top mount unless you turn the pc almost upside down.
 
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I recommend putting rads in the top of a case if at all possible. Rads are very airflow-restrictive, so if you're putting the rad in the front where the air intake for the entire case typically happens, you're going to have higher GPU temps, and if you have top panel fans, you'd probably end up with negative air pressure.

The one way around this is if the case has a fan mount in the bottom for an intake fan that isn't restricted by the rad.
 
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Mar 27, 2020
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Thanks for the reply tennis2
So would it be best to have a push/ pull config to give more airflow through the rad (assuming you have enough room for the 2nd layer of fans)?

Thanks again
 
Mar 27, 2020
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Wow thanks for the detailed reply karadjgne.
I really appreciate the time you spent writing that, it helps a lot. I will just top mount the rad and be done with it.
Cheers mate!!
Brent
 
I have the R6, fantastic case. I run a custom loop in the "free flow" configuration. If you're going to run in the configuration with all the hdd bays the bottom fans will be mostly useless. They will add a bit of cooling for any hdd mounted in there, but that's about it.

I ran a bottom fan before I added my gpu to the loop. Removes it for testing, still on air cooled gpu, and found very little to zero temp difference. So I'll say bottom fans are not at all necessary and will just add noise and wiring.

I'd also recommend top mounting the radiator. Use 2x intake in front and 1x exhaust in rear. But like karadjgne said, any config will have little actual difference in temps.

I also run front door open when it's on and gaming. It does definitely help with flow and cooling. So try it both ways, open and closed and see what temps it runs.

The vertical mount for this case, while showing off the card well, is very close to the glass. Not as close as others I've seen but I wouldn't recommend doing it unless you are going with a custom loop.

Just one other thing I've noticed in your pcp list. No ssd? With a build that nice it's almost a must have. I'd grab an ssd for a boot drive and then use the large drive to have listed for storage. Being a slower hdd, boot and load times will suffer.
 
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Mar 27, 2020
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Hello G,
Thanks for the valuable intel, it is much appreciated.
At this point i am going with the first plan and will try the GPU in vertical and if significant higher temps will stick with standard mounting. Will someday do a full water loop and use the vert mount then.
I already have an SK 1TB SSD for games etc and added a new Sabrent Rocket 1TB M.2 NVMe for OS.

Thanks again!
Cheers,
Brent
 
Mar 27, 2020
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So I have built the system and been using it for a couple weeks without issue.
I am finding the 3950X likes to run warm at idle (~40-50°C) and seems consistent with other reports.
Only times i have gotten uncomfortably warm (87°C max) was using the system running MakeMKV and Handbrake encoding to .264 while also light gaming (Rocket League). CPU utilization was 8-10 cores running at 40-50% at 4.2GHz.
This is all stock settings. Nothing done to fan/pump curves, yet so I think there is plenty of room for improvement with some fine tweaks.
I did notice that iCue shows a much different CPU temp than CoreTemp does, is this normal? (all my numbers above were based on CoreTemp reading)

Last but not least, I had to install the H115i in the front of the case because it would not fit in the top. I was confused by this since all documentation said it would fit...It makes contact with the HDD bay/wall. 120/240/360mm would have no problems in the top of this case, 280mm not so much....unless I am missing something..?
I had to mount the AIO tubes on top to reach the CPU and am going to reconfigure this system to remove the HDD bay and use the top for AIO...

I did not try the vertical GPU yet and may not ever.

Thanks again to everyone for their time and suggestions, it really helped.
Cheers!
 
Why not remove the hard drive cage since you only have a single drive and there's two sleds in the lower PSU shroud area?

Or slide the AIO closer to the rear of the case. Looks like there's 300mm of space from the back of the case to the hard drive cage. You can slide the rear fan downward.
 
Mar 27, 2020
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I didnt think to slide the AIO closer to the rear by not using the last two screws...great idea. I prefer that to losing my HDD cage (which, I have a total of 6 drives but only 2 are really necessary for media library).
Thank you!
 

Karadjgne

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Ryzen aren't Intel. With Intel, at idle all cores downclock and undervolt, but remain active. So any background tasks get split up between the 4-8 cores as needed. This puts a very low load on all the cores, so each individual core isn't doing much. With Ryzen, when at idle it shuts down any unused core totally, fully asleep, but only leaves 1-2 cores active. So any background tasks are concentrated workloads on just 1-2 cores. Being concentrated, the usage on those cores is much higher, so the temp on those cores is higher.

When you use something like Coretemp, it reads the highest core temp, or a set core temp, like core0 or core1. Doesn't report every core unless you look for that. So idle on 1 Intel shows low 30's, but all the cores are running low 30's, but Ryzen shows 40's because only 1 core is running, the rest are asleep. That can freak people out because they only see 1 temp reported, not realizing it's just 1 core active vrs the old standard of Intel that has the entire cpu active and the workload spread out.

The R6 is quite adaptable in its interior configuration, hdd bays can be moved, rearranged, even bolted to the bottom if you so desire. But you have to rearrange to your needs/wants. You receive it in its standard, fully built configuration. It has no issues mounting large rads on top in either push or pull, you just need to rearrange the bays to accomplish such. I took mine out completely because I mounted the rad in front/pull which put the fans closer to and blowing directly onto the gpu, and pull at low rpm (below @ 1000rpm) is more efficient than push (eliminates the motor housing area limitation so uses the entire fan area)
 
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Mar 27, 2020
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Why wouldn't you be able to use the last 2 screws?
Well now you have me thinking I completely overlooked something obvious LOL
Will have to look at it more closely this weekend.

Ryzen aren't Intel. With Intel, at idle all cores downclock and undervolt, but remain active. So any background tasks get split up between the 4-8 cores as needed. This puts a very low load on all the cores, so each individual core isn't doing much. With Ryzen, when at idle it shuts down any unused core totally, fully asleep, but only leaves 1-2 cores active. So any background tasks are concentrated workloads on just 1-2 cores. Being concentrated, the usage on those cores is much higher, so the temp on those cores is higher.

When you use something like Coretemp, it reads the highest core temp, or a set core temp, like core0 or core1. Doesn't report every core unless you look for that. So idle on 1 Intel shows low 30's, but all the cores are running low 30's, but Ryzen shows 40's because only 1 core is running, the rest are asleep. That can freak people out because they only see 1 temp reported, not realizing it's just 1 core active vrs the old standard of Intel that has the entire cpu active and the workload spread out.

The R6 is quite adaptable in its interior configuration, hdd bays can be moved, rearranged, even bolted to the bottom if you so desire. But you have to rearrange to your needs/wants. You receive it in its standard, fully built configuration. It has no issues mounting large rads on top in either push or pull, you just need to rearrange the bays to accomplish such. I took mine out completely because I mounted the rad in front/pull which put the fans closer to and blowing directly onto the gpu, and pull at low rpm (below @ 1000rpm) is more efficient than push (eliminates the motor housing area limitation so uses the entire fan area)
Excellent info, thank you!
 
With the hdd cage turned into a wall you'll still have 2 mounts in the psu shroud area and can mount an additional 2 to the wall itself vertically. Iirc.

As far as the rad, definitely double check the manual. A 280mm should be no issue at all with the cage intact.
 

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