Question Help with fans setup

alexjbriggs

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Hey all. After a ton of research and reading, I’m still so confused/conflicted on the best way to do set my new rig up.

My case (nzxt h510 elite) has two front fans, and room for a rear and a top fan. I elected to use a Corsair h60 single fan AIO.

My question is, what is my optimal setup for cooling?

Question 1: Should I use the fan for the h60 as an intake or exhaust?

Question 2: Should I mount the fan and radiator for the h60 in the rear of the top?

Question 3: Should I use the last fan as an intake or exhaust?

I was thinking this:

Option 1:
-2 front fans intake
-H60 fan as intake on radiator on the rear of case (pulling cool air in over the radiator)
-Extra fan at top as exhaust

Option 2:
-2 front fans as intake
-H60 fan and radiator as exhaust mounted at top
-Extra fan as exhaust in rear

Option 3:
-2 front fans as intake
-H60 fan as intake over radiator at top pulling air in over rariator
-Extra fan as exhaust in read

Option 4:
-Profit??? Just kidding.

Which of these would be best? Or none, and someone had a better idea?

Thanks!!
 

kanewolf

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Moderator
Option 1 -- Not optimal. Not balanced. Cool in from the front, warm out the top and back.
Option 2 -- My choice
Option 4 -- Not optimal. Not balanced. Cool in from the front, warm out the top and back.

You have to cool the motherboard voltage regulators and have supply air for the GPU.
 
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alexjbriggs

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Option 1 -- Not optimal. Not balanced. Cool in from the front, warm out the top and back.
Option 2 -- My choice
Option 4 -- Not optimal. Not balanced. Cool in from the front, warm out the top and back.

You have to cool the motherboard voltage regulators and have supply air for the GPU.
Thanks for the reply! So, I attempted option 2 but I realized it’s not going to work because there’s a part of the motherboard that blocks the radiator from fitting on the top.

So I ended up doing what I guess option 4 would have been.
-h60 on rear with fan set as exhaust
-Extra 120mm fan on top also as exhaust
-2 front fans as intake

Should this work almost as well as my option2 you recommended since it’s still cool air in through front and hot air out through back and top?

Should I order a 140mm fan for the top exhaust or am I okay with a 120mm?

I realize that I’ll of course need to do some testing of temps and such. I just want to be as optimized as possible on first test.

I also hope those two 140mm front fans will be enough cool air intake in the front to use through and keep cool air over the RAM, m.2 and gpu, and enough to push cool air over the h60 coolant pipes.
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Herald
If you think about the word, air-Flow, it'll all make sense. The air needs to flow. To get flow means moving air from one place to another, and in a pc case that's moving cooler air in, through the case and out the back. Flow.

Doesn't matter how this is accomplished. Won't change anything to have the rad on top as exhaust with rear exhaust or rad as rear exhaust with fan as top exhaust, as long as both are exhaust. Push or pull won't make a difference to flow, but might make some small difference to cpu temp, pull is better at lower rpm, push is better at high rpm.

So air In the front, air Out the back. That's optimal. Solid stream of flow. By using any intake towards the rear, that's a disruption of flow, you now push air in another direction away from the end, the out, the exhaust. You end up with a circulatory pattern not a linear pattern, so end up with heat going around in circles in your case. Not ideal.
 
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I agree with Karadjgne.

I also found a good webpage that explains optimal cooling airflow with a diagram. Check it out.

To summarize, bottom and front fans are generally good for intake and top and rear fans are good for exhaust ... cooler air stays low and hotter air rises ... if you follow that, you'll get air flowing from the bottom/front (cool air) to the top/rear (hot air). This also makes a lot of sense if you think of where your CPU and GPU, i.e. the hottest components, typically are (towards the rear and top). Cool air is sucked in from the front and flows towards the back and out the case.

https://www.gamersnexus.net/guides/692-how-many-case-fans-should-you-have
 

alexjbriggs

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Thanks guys! So, just to clarify, I do understand and was already aware of the general concept of cooling. And I’ve always done intake through front and bottom (especially when using a case with a filter at the bottom), and exhaust out top and rear. However...

This build has thrown me off a bit because of the h60. It’s my first time using any sort of AIO/liquid cooled option, I’ve always used air.

So my concern on this build was because of corsair’s recommendation of using the radiator fan as an intake to bring cool air over the radiator. But after a lot of reading and research, it appears they do this nearly strictly because they only care about the CPU since that’s what they’re liable for. But there are a number or issues using that fan as an intake when it’s rear or top mounted.

So my only concern now with the setup I’ve chosen (2 front fan intakes, top exhaust, and radiator mounted on rear with fan as exhaust): is this going to bring enough cool air over the tubes and radiator of the AIO h60?

One final question/thought: this case has the option to do a standard horizontal GPU mount or a vertical mount where the gpu intake fans are facing the side panel rather than the bottom of the case. Is there an advantage at all with cooling having mounted one way over the other, with my cooling setup in mind? Or is this really more of just an aesthetic thing?

Thanks again so much all!
 

alexjbriggs

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Yikes, I have one more question. Something I just thought of, and this may be a very stupid question.

Using the h60 fan as an exhaust in rear of the case...what should be mounted to the case, the radiator or the fan? I mounted the fan to the case, but I’m starting to think it should be the radiator mounted the case...?
 

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