Question How should mount a radiator to front

Fiorezy

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This has been covered several times before, please use the forum search.

It is simple physics, air will always rise to the highest point of the loop, tubes top or down don't make any difference.

Even if what you posted is true, please explain how to fit a 360 radiator with tubes down while you have a huge gpu in the way? Also, most cases won't allow 240 and 280 radiators to be installed like the 2nd pic.
 
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Phaaze88

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This question pops up so much, that the answer may as well be 42...

Which one? Someones tells first image is better. Tubes down/pump up.

If that's a 360mm hybrid being installed on the cpu, then example 1 is likely impossible anyway. 360mm and larger hybrids are inflexible as all heck:
-tubing too short; 400mm max on most models.
-trending psu shrouds plus HDD cages in modern chassis create clearance issues IF the tubing length issue was somehow resolved.

If this were to go on a gpu instead, example 1 would be totally possible.
240/280mm are more flexible for cpu-front-intake-tubes-down, but some chassis are too long from the front to the motherboard area that they force you to go tubes up with them anyway.


Example 2 is fine, but it makes more noise over time as the ratio of fluid to air changes, forcing you to either:
-replace it before it outlives its utility, because the noise becomes unbearable.
-move the radiator to the top of the chassis - and if that's not possible(due to either ram clearance or just size incompatibility), you'll have to replace it anyway.
 
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rubix_1011

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It is simple physics, air will always rise to the highest point of the loop, tubes top or down don't make any difference.

Even if what you posted is true, please explain how to fit a 360 radiator with tubes down while you have a huge gpu in the way? Also, most cases won't allow 240 and 280 radiators to be installed like the 2nd pic.
You're right, not every case can support a 360 or 280 in that orientation, but some can. Some coolers cannot, but others can.

This is a great question and should be evaluated when determining which cooler to choose, not after you've already purchased and then trying to figure out what to do. You're assuming there will always be a specific answer we can give everyone for any specific scenario. This is not true - we can only provide basic guidance and understanding of principles.

Also, not every example image represents a 100% accurate option for every single case or setup - please realize that there are likely limitations which exist.

The best solution is to learn the knowledge and understanding in order to make educated decisions when certain specifics arise. The challenge is whether the user wishes to learn this information or just make the above choices without contemplating more details of their build.
 

rubix_1011

Contributing Writer
Moderator
When you say second image - second image left to right, or second image up and down?

You can mount it however you like, just be aware of the potential issues which might arise because of it.

Stop and think of how fluids work and always know there is a possibility for air to exist within any AIO. That said, if the pump encounters an air pocket, is it possible the pump can still function or will the potential air pocket cause the pump to not move coolant?

Remember, liquid cooling pumps used in AIOs do not pump air, they pump liquid.
 
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When you say second image - second image left to right, or second image up and down?

You can mount it however you like, just be aware of the potential issues which might arise because of it.

Stop and think of how fluids work and always know there is a possibility for air to exist within any AIO. That said, if the pump encounters an air pocket, is it possible the pump can still function or will the potential air pocket cause the pump to not move coolant?

Remember, liquid cooling pumps used in AIOs do not pump air, they pump liquid.
Sorry. I mean on my image.
 

rubix_1011

Contributing Writer
Moderator
I know there are a lot of people who run it this way (tubing at top vs bottom) but there are also a lot who have had the 'gurgling sounds' and the 'CPU hot' issues which can happen during a pump airlock. Even if two users have the exact same AIO and model, there might be different volumes of air contained within them at the time of sealing which can lead to issues on one but not another.
 
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Fiorezy

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Mr. Alligator, don't complicate things, the best way is to simply mount the radiator on top as exhaust, yes it is not as effective as front intake, but it is just 3-6 degrees hotter in exchange for a cooler gpu and vrm along with more longevity and less noise.

If there is no clearance to mount it at the top, then mount it on the front and make sure that the pump is lower than the highest point of the radiator as per these examples








But not like this!

 
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USAFRet

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It is simple physics, air will always rise to the highest point of the loop, tubes top or down don't make any difference.

Even if what you posted is true, please explain how to fit a 360 radiator with tubes down while you have a huge gpu in the way? Also, most cases won't allow 240 and 280 radiators to be installed like the 2nd pic.
Any air in the system will end up at the top of the rad.
If that is where the pipes are, there is a possibility of trying to suck air instead of fluid.

Pipes at the bottom don't allow that possibility.
 

rubix_1011

Contributing Writer
Moderator
^^ Yep.

Listen everyone, this is really quite simple but it ends up being a huge issue of debate without much logical thought.

When you use a straw to drink from a cup, you put the end of the straw at the bottom and drink. Why? Because the straw is 100% submerged in your drink and you aren't going to simply inhale air....you will get your tasty drink.

If you lift your straw to the very surface of the drink, you get some liquid, but also a lot of air. The straw isn't submerged.

The exact same principle is at work here, except that liquid cooling pumps cannot pump air, they can only pump coolant, meaning, they cannot simply 'suck the air bubble' through and continue pumping coolant. The pumps used for AIOs are not powerful enough nor designed to displace air in that manner.
 
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USAFRet

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Now I kind of want to make a 'how to drink a tasty beverage' diagram to use for reference for AIO mounting questions.

I think it's worth some time to do.
I made this a while ago:
Red/Blue are supply and return pipes, Green is the pump, dark blue is the fluid in the front mounted rad.
White space is the potential air in the rad, exaggerated for clarity.

 

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