Question How much higher should case ambient be over outside ambient?

SHORTCIRCUT

Prominent
Dec 24, 2019
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Since the weather has gotten a lot hotter I've been noticing that my coolant temps have been getting a little too hot for my liking so I wanted to investigate. I placed sensors in the middle of my case and one outside to measure ambient, and what I noticed is that the ambient readings were around 27C whereas inside the case is around 33C, and can get as hot as 39C under load. Now naturally I expect the case temps to be higher than ambient, but I'm not sure what's a good range to lie in (obviously as close would be ideal). Is ~6C (or 12C under load) higher indicative of poorer airflow or is that a good range to be in?

Edit: I think I should mention that I'm talking specifically about water cooling
 
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punkncat

Dignified
Ambassador
Around 10-15 is pretty typical according to case design and the hardware inside.

In my own case I tend to run with slightly higher (performance) settings in winter here than summer. It took me a while to realize that issues I was having were in relation to the changes of the season, and ambient.
 
I'd argue case temperature is less important than the temperature of the components themselves. If they're actively cooled and running their fans faster isn't helping, running the case fans faster should. And if that isn't helping, something else is an issue.
 
Your experience seems normal.
Installing a liquid cooler is a catch 22 thing.
If you mount the radiator to take in cold air, your cpu is cooled the best.
But, that heated radiator air increases the inside case temperature which is used to cool your graphics card and motherboard components.
If you mount the radiator to expel air, your cpu is not cooled the best, but your interior parts will do better.

Pick your poison.
 

rubix_1011

Contributing Writer
Moderator
Cooling temps are always a function of ambient air, so whether your room temperature or case temperature is low enough, that is where the limits of your cooling begin as you will always see warmer load temps in hot months compared to winter months.

Standard air and liquid cooling cannot allow a device to be cooled below ambient, even at idle.

If there is a large difference between internal case temperature vs. room temperature, you might begin looking to improve case airflow. PC cooling is dependent on the amount of cool air you can feed to your cooling devices while also expelling heated air away from the case. If you trap warm air in the same region where it is attempting to feed cool air to these devices (ex: into a liquid cooling radiator or heatsink) you are effectively creating a convention oven and circulating heated air back into an already hot device...thus compounding the problem.

Much like you want to open the windows to clear the smoke from the kitchen when you begin to burn something on the stove, if you were to leave the windows closed and simply turn on a fan, you'd just blow the same smoke around and around, rather than exhausting it outside.
 

SHORTCIRCUT

Prominent
Dec 24, 2019
43
1
545
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Cooling temps are always a function of ambient air, so whether your room temperature or case temperature is low enough, that is where the limits of your cooling begin as you will always see warmer load temps in hot months compared to winter months.

Standard air and liquid cooling cannot allow a device to be cooled below ambient, even at idle.

If there is a large difference between internal case temperature vs. room temperature, you might begin looking to improve case airflow. PC cooling is dependent on the amount of cool air you can feed to your cooling devices while also expelling heated air away from the case. If you trap warm air in the same region where it is attempting to feed cool air to these devices (ex: into a liquid cooling radiator or heatsink) you are effectively creating a convention oven and circulating heated air back into an already hot device...thus compounding the problem.

Much like you want to open the windows to clear the smoke from the kitchen when you begin to burn something on the stove, if you were to leave the windows closed and simply turn on a fan, you'd just blow the same smoke around and around, rather than exhausting it outside.
That part I already understand, my question was more alluding to what is a good difference to have between internal case temperature vs. room temperature lol
 

rubix_1011

Contributing Writer
Moderator
Going to be subjective based on how good of airflow your case has and what the TDP your system is pulling in watts and generating in heat in watts. Also consider that electronics are designed to handle heat to a larger degree than humans, so what might be hot to us isn't so hot for a GPU.
 
That part I already understand, my question was more alluding to what is a good difference to have between internal case temperature vs. room temperature lol
There's no real clear answer to this because it depends on what kind of parts you have in the system. Someone with an ATX case but throwing something like a Intel Pentium, it isn't going to be putting out a lot of heat. It may not reach the same case temperatures as someone else who put together a Threadripper system with two 3090s.

Worry more about what the temperature of the components are first.
 

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