Question Mesh or solid front panel?

Sep 27, 2020
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I'm looking for a new pc case, I was going for aesthetics but I was wondering if I should go for a mesh or solid front panel, would a mesh front panel offer more airflow and lower temps, or is the difference compared to a solid front panel negligible. I also care about how much noise my computer produces so which type of case would create more noise?

Thanks!
 
if the case has good front-side\top\bottom mesh or vents than the front panel can be solid and still have decent airflow.
but you will of course have better airflow if the entire front panel is mesh or vented.

you can forsake front intake if the bottom and\or sides have adequate fan mounting points though.

you should also ensure that the top and rear have exhaust fan mounting points.

the noise factor is more about the type of fans and the type of GPU you use, not the case itself.
but some cases have included sound dampening material that can also help with noise.
 

BogdanH

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Sep 21, 2020
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Everyone has different preferences.. and some prefer one over another not really knowing why.. because "everyone says so".
Lately mesh is in trend: either front only, +top, or even whole case is "meshified". It's obvious that mesh allows more air to flow trough the case and thus allows better cooling. But how much of "better" cooling do we need, to actually benefit in real life PC usage?
I ask, because mesh (front panel) also has a big disadvantage, at least for me. And that is: dust that collects on mesh. And so, PC will always be dusty on front side, unless you clean mesh often enough.
Let's say, CPU will have 73°C if mesh front panel is used, and 78°C with solid front panel (difference is usually smaller). Now I ask, what's wrong with 78°C? I mean, CPU doesn't care and performance is the same. Also keep in mind, that the biggest obstacle in airflow (at high fans speeds) is actually not (solid) front panel -it's air filter!
PC case must have enough openings for air intake, of course. I have Fractal Define R6 case, and there's for sure enough air coming trough side openings to keep CPU/GPU cool and is silent at that.
Ok, if someone is into blings (RGB fans) then it's hard to avoid mesh.

Just sharing my opinion
 
73° while idling is very high. that would mean that at full load you'd be closer to 90° or possibly higher, which is dangerous and will degrade the CPU very quickly.

my Vector RS has a solid front panel but is heavily vented on the sides of the front panel.
due to a good fan intake\exhaust setup, with 3x front & 1x bottom intakes and 1x rear exhaust with a 360mm radiator also venting out of the top. while idling my CPU stays ~30° and maxes with stress testing ~65°, while gaming maxes ~60°. my GPU keeps very similar temps.
and due to using good fans with a good curve in place noise is always rather low; while idling i hear nothing, while gaming or stressing i can't even hear it over my desktop speakers.

i might clean out the system once a year at the most, usually only when adding a new component though.
my bottom dust filter has never had much of a buildup of dust and my internal components never have much either.
this is usually only a problem if your system is too close to carpet or you just live like pigs and your entire residence is filled with dust\hair\etc.
 
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Don't knopw where form "while idling" came up ...would be silly.
idling = not in use or with light tasks; such as while browsing, txt or basic image editing.
stressed\maxed = heavy testing, gaming, large video editing.

stating 73° or 78°, with no clear definition, would mean that is your basic everyday temp.
many first timers end up with idle temps like this or higher because they have no clue about proper cooling or how to correctly assemble their system.
 

bikemanI7

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Jan 9, 2020
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I had my newest system built by local PC shop in June 2020, Gigabyte B460M-DS3H, and Intel 10700 Processor with Stock fan, average temps when Idle is around 30c-55c with a light game or two open, With Nothing Open, idles around 29-31C

Case Thermaltake V200 RGB, Guess cools as best it's gonna for now til i decide what to upgrade the Stock cooler to, and if i got time & patience to do my first aftermarket cooler install if i ever do one.

Rear Exhaust 120mm Fan is Thermaltake Stock one, don't usually feel too much hot air exhausting from it though---is there a setting in UEFI bios smart fan 5 i should look at to get that exhausting more if possible, or should i replace that fan in the rear with a better one, and instead of wiring that one to Thermaltake V200 RGB fan controller, wire that one up to a motherboard sys_fan connector?
 
@bikemanI7,
i always set custom fan curves with nice PWM fans in every case i've built for the last 10+ years.
usually starting ~25% @ 30°C and maxing ~70% @ 60°. though this always depends on the quality of the fans used.
i've always got a pretty good overclock on my CPUs & GPUs though so a bit more heat is produced than your average user's system.
does the Thermaltake Fan Hub have a PWM out cable you can attach to the motherboard's fan ports?
what type of GPU are using?
my previous build has 3x Cryorig QF Silent 140mm fans. 2x front intake \ 1x rear exhaust.
with an EVGA CLC 240 cooler using 2x Cryorig QF Performance 120mms exhausting through the radiator.

while my current is using 5x be quiet! Silent Wings 3 PWM High-Speed 140mms. 3x front, 1x bottom intake \ 1x rear exhaust.
plus an ASUS ROG Ryujin 360 cooler with it's stock Noctua NF-F12 IPPC fans exhausting through the radiator.

both setups remain rather cool while also very quiet even with extreme usage.
 

bikemanI7

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GPU is Geforce 1660 Super, EVGA model

Haven't messed with fan curves much, still kinda learning on those, previous systems didn't have that option when i had my older system, this is my first system with ability to set fan curves with Smart Fan 5 with my UEFI bios, Not sure the quality of Thermaltakes included fans that came with the case at all

Current CPU Fan Curve
 
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the Thermaltake product page for the case should list what types are included.
if it only has a model number or name, you should still be able to find the fan specs based on that through their own search option or just from googling.
then comparing those specs to other well know high quality fans you'll get a pretty good idea of their worth.
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
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My last case has a solid front panel (mostly if you ignore DVD slots(its old)) but a variant of it is still in the top 5 of gamers nexus CPU cooling charts so it really depends how rest of case is designed as to if it needs mesh or not. I can't recommend it anymore as its 10 years old now but if it were a normal year, the newer updated version would have been what I had now... but I digress. Silverstone FT02

My current PC has mesh, I can hear the fans easier than in last PC as it has soundproofing foam whereas this has glass. But Gamers Nexus already shown you can run fans quieter in mesh fronted cases and achieve almost similar results as cases designed for quiet (unless they all passive cases), so fans are key to quiet cases, not front design.
 

OrlyP

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Aug 20, 2020
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A lot of factors affects cooling than just how the front panel is constructed. You really need to narrow down your case choices so people has something to work on.

And if it wasn't obvious enough, you're not just cooling the CPU.... you'd want airflow pretty much to go through all of the the PC's important bits, like the GPU, VRMs, RAM, PCH, HDD, etc. I am partial towards mesh as it just makes case cooling straightforward.

GN made a review of the new Corsair 5000D (both the regular and Airflow models). At face value, they just looked like supersized version of the 4000D but there's actually a lot more good engineering applied to the newer model. It's a good watch.
 

bikemanI7

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When i Picked out my Thermaltake V200 RGB Case, i didn't know too much on current gaming cases coming from Prebuilt systems, If i ever wanted to swap cases with standard parts to one with better airflow, like say a Mesh front case, Would the task be relatively easy, or too hard to do, last time i had PC shop transfer components from my old Asus G11CD-K Desktop, to the newer Tower

Cost me $50.00 in labor, Plus the hardware upgrade i decided on when old parts wouldn't work in the new case, I/O shield not compatible was stated
 
If i ever wanted to swap cases with standard parts to one with better airflow, like say a Mesh front case, Would the task be relatively easy, or too hard to do
pretty much all modern mid\full ATX sized cases use "standard" parts.
very simple transition from one case to another.

most online retailers and many individual hardware manufacturer's offer do-it -yourself builder videos to help with any issue(s). plus there's thousands of videos posted by home builders and others on YouTube to help guide you through.

the only slightly difficult part it seems nowadays is deciding on what case and system hardware.
there are so many companies with so many awesome options available.
it usually takes me ~6 months to decide between cases with the options i want,
what system theme i want to use with that build's hardware(colors, manufacturers, etc),
what type of cooling setup to go with, and what type of storage options i would want.


back onto the mesh vs solid panel questions;
be quiet!'s new Silent Base 802 gives both options for front & top panels.
they make very high quality modular cases. my Dark Base 700 was great to build in and great looking.
 

TravisPNW

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Aug 26, 2020
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Would an NZXT H710i case and its AER Stock fans be good?
I made the NZXT mistake with my last build (S340 elite) and always regretted the solid front... didn't make the same mistake again with the new build and the FD Meshify 2... mesh front/top... lots of room and made Gamer Nexus best of 2020 list and won their award for best mechanical design.

Meshify 2

Currently going for about $140...
 
I see, would it be worth it if I were to buy 3ish AER RGB 2 fans?
the H710i should come with 3x 120mm front & 1x 140mm rear Aer F series fans.
considering they are free with case; i would just try them and see if temps & sound levels are good enough.

there are no bottom or side fan mounting points, so 1x more top exhaust would be all you would really want.

the AER RGB 2 120mm are pretty expensive for the lackluster performance they provide.
the 140mm version provides quite a bit better aiflow, but still aren't worth the price.


if you are really intent on RGB fans instead of the default ones;
being a solid front panel you wouldn't be able to see much of the RGB showing if you placed them there.
replacing the rear 140mm and adding a top 140mm would work though.

i stick with Noctua iPPC or be quiet! Silent Wings 3 fans. but there are others available that offer similar specs plus RGB options for decent prices.
just compare specs for any you chose and see if the performance rating(CFM, dBA, ect) vs price ratio is worth it.
 
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Dec 30, 2020
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73° while idling is very high. that would mean that at full load you'd be closer to 90° or possibly higher, which is dangerous and will degrade the CPU very quickly.

my Vector RS has a solid front panel but is heavily vented on the sides of the front panel.
due to a good fan intake\exhaust setup, with 3x front & 1x bottom intakes and 1x rear exhaust with a 360mm radiator also venting out of the top. while idling my CPU stays ~30° and maxes with stress testing ~65°, while gaming maxes ~60°. my GPU keeps very similar temps.
and due to using good fans with a good curve in place noise is always rather low; while idling i hear nothing, while gaming or stressing i can't even hear it over my desktop speakers.

i might clean out the system once a year at the most, usually only when adding a new component though.
my bottom dust filter has never had much of a buildup of dust and my internal components never have much either.
this is usually only a problem if your system is too close to carpet or you just live like pigs and your entire residence is filled with dust\hair\etc.
That makes a lot of sense, especially without cooling.
 

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