Question How to cook grilled cheese on your Mini ITX build aka proper fan orientation


Apr 3, 2018
I had built a system in a Metis Plus case which has been evolving somewhat. This started off as a 'server' build with an Athlon GE200. It was well underpowered for the expectations I had for it....but cooling was not a consideration. This same case went on to have a R31200 with a small GPU, and more recently to an R7 1700 and a GTX 1080.
In the meantime I had been running the rear fan as exhaust, the PSU (of course) exhausts, and no other fans on the case. The placement on prior TV was just being used mainly for 4K/60 frame viewing, and 1080p/60 frame gaming, of which was very light due to issues with the TV while gaming. Just replaced the TV and in a test @ 1080p/120FPS realized that the extra work load was going to require a new intake fan. I picked up a Noctua and placed in the uppermost fan slot pulling air in for the GPU. This seemed fine, for a moment but noted the CPU was getting near 90C after a moment. I walked over to turn off the computer and the front of the case was so hot that it burned me.
In this case the PSU is mounted "up and down" in the front of the case. It was then that I realized that even with the intake fan on top, the rear exhaust fan was pulling hard enough to essentially cancel out the PSU fan. It was blowing no air out, or sucking air in. It was getting hot enough that it would heat soak the case and temps would continue to rise while gaming.

I turned the rear facing fan around to pull air into the case, creating a positive pressure situation with it and the top mounted Noctua. CPU temps went down to ~60C peak and no longer is available for warming my grilled cheese sammies, or keeping the queso hot.