Question My brother's pre-built from Digital Storm . . weird cooling?

King_V

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Yeah, yeah, I know . . I really, really wish he would've reached out to me before ordering this thing almost a year ago.

I already made mention of the strange RAM with slow timings I found in this thread.

The cooling appears baffling to me as well. The fans moan at increasing and decreasing pitch, sometimes for what appears to be no good reason. Everything has the Digital Storm label slapped on it.

The GPU gets hot - it's an MSI RX 5700 XT, but I don't know which exact model.

But, the cooling... I don't know liquid cooling, but it's weird. The CPU is a 3800X, and the temps are ALWAYS good, even when stressed. Pump is noisier than I would've expected, though.

There are 3 case fans in the front, and 1 in the rear. They have a weird, short-but-wide set of fan blades on them. I'm on the east coast in the US and my brother's on the west coast, I'll see if I can get photos from him.

Anyway, the front fans are located ahead of the metal part of the chassis, but obviously behind the front panel, which has plenty of holes.


BUT.. just inside the chassis is the radiator for the liquid cooling. Then just behind the radiator are two fans, with longer, sort of sweeping fins. My eyeball says they're a good fan design and the 4 regular case fans are crappy, but I don't know.

So, moving from outside the front, and going inward:
  1. Front panel
  2. 3 case fans
  3. Front of chassis
  4. Radiator
  5. 2 radiator fans
  6. Rest of the interior
What happens though, is that warmer-than-ambient air is getting pumped into the case, and I suspect that this aggravates the GPU. The ambient temperature of the room seems to typically be around 80-ish degrees F (26-28 Celsius).


Is this a normal kind of setup? It seems counter-productive. I would've thought that if there were front case fans, that the liquid cooler's radiator should be top-mounted and exhausting the heat. I'm suggesting to him that he get some more mounting screws, move the radiator to the top, and flip the radiator fans to push air out rather than pull air in, but I'm not sure if this may cause any drawbacks that I'm not seeing. I've also thrown the suggestion of just getting a beefy air cooler and getting rid of the liquid cooler.

Any recommendations? Also, thoughts on how good, bad, okay, maybe not totally terrible, godawful, or whatever, the existing setup currently is?
 

Phaaze88

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Hard to say without some pictures, but...

The CPU is a 3800X, and the temps are ALWAYS good, even when stressed.
just inside the chassis is the radiator for the liquid cooling.
That's to be expected, as the air passing through the cooler is room air.

What happens though, is that warmer-than-ambient air is getting pumped into the case, and I suspect that this aggravates the GPU.
This is not as bad as many make it out to be - though it does depend on the hardware and what the PC is doing.
Gaming: the cpu-gpu temperature tradeoff has fewer penalties with front mounted cpu AIO/CLC.
Productivity: depends on what the cpu and gpu are, and which does the bulk of the work. This one can go one way or another.


Some further speculation:
-the specific model of 5700XT just has a crap cooler.
-the current setup could be an example of the airflow being too strong around the top, like in this one LTT video here:
View: https://youtu.be/10ERchM9Q6g?t=269
 

King_V

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Welp, this kind of went sideways. Just assume a facepalm after at least 50% of the paragraphs/sentences.

Found out that the 5700XT he's got is an MSI Mech, so, yeah, cooling is more something that it thinks about doing than actually does.

I asked him for pics, which he never apparently got around to. But, basically, one exhaust fan, three intake fans pushing into the AIO, and two intake fans pulling from the AIO. Nothing on the top.

Now, I remember in the very beginning, he did have some stability issues when he first bought it, and I tried to get him to return it. But, since I was the one suggesting it, he stubbornly refused, then claimed I was holding DS to a higher standard than Dell . . for a machine we had in the 90s. With a US Robotics modem from a flawed batch of modems. Which Dell sent a guy to our house to confirm, and replace under warranty.

More or less the issues went away, though I think he still had the occasional hiccup. Apparently, the stability issues started rearing its head again, and he started playing whack-a-mole by swapping in new parts... based on something in the Windows logs talking about disabling cores because of fatal hardware errors being reported by the processor.

Started with a new CPU, then a new PSU . . . still hasn't followed my advice to set up an account here and post the details of the issues.

Then talked about wanting a GPU upgrade.

And now he has two entire computers. He basically got so many parts in the past two weeks that he just decided to finish the job, and put all the original parts back in the Digital Storm... a computer he paid $1881.00 for back in November, 2020.



So, I start to wonder if he was just bored, or just felt like he wanted an upgrade. It's not like he has money to burn, but . . well, let's just say that when I found out tonight that he basically has a whole new computer now, my brain went:

 
Welp, this kind of went sideways. Just assume a facepalm after at least 50% of the paragraphs/sentences.

Found out that the 5700XT he's got is an MSI Mech, so, yeah, cooling is more something that it thinks about doing than actually does.

I asked him for pics, which he never apparently got around to. But, basically, one exhaust fan, three intake fans pushing into the AIO, and two intake fans pulling from the AIO. Nothing on the top.

Now, I remember in the very beginning, he did have some stability issues when he first bought it, and I tried to get him to return it. But, since I was the one suggesting it, he stubbornly refused, then claimed I was holding DS to a higher standard than Dell . . for a machine we had in the 90s. With a US Robotics modem from a flawed batch of modems. Which Dell sent a guy to our house to confirm, and replace under warranty.

More or less the issues went away, though I think he still had the occasional hiccup. Apparently, the stability issues started rearing its head again, and he started playing whack-a-mole by swapping in new parts... based on something in the Windows logs talking about disabling cores because of fatal hardware errors being reported by the processor.

Started with a new CPU, then a new PSU . . . still hasn't followed my advice to set up an account here and post the details of the issues.

Then talked about wanting a GPU upgrade.

And now he has two entire computers. He basically got so many parts in the past two weeks that he just decided to finish the job, and put all the original parts back in the Digital Storm... a computer he paid $1881.00 for back in November, 2020.



So, I start to wonder if he was just bored, or just felt like he wanted an upgrade. It's not like he has money to burn, but . . well, let's just say that when I found out tonight that he basically has a whole new computer now, my brain went:

Lol, it's a thankless job helping thru third party which is clueless or won't listen, believe me, I have large family.
Anyway, for cooling it's direction of air flow that counts for even more than number of fans and a tight case is not of much help either.
With properly sized AIO/water cooler. air coming form radiator is only couple of degrees warmer than air coming to it so it shouldn't make large impact to case temps. If radiator is in front used as intake it's better for CPU cooling but should be matched by same amount of air with exhaust fan(s) at back and/or top.
Fans that "have a weird, short-but-wide set of fan blades on them" is typical of case fans while fans with " longer, sort of sweeping fins" also with tighter spacing of wings is typical of radiator (high static pressure) fans.
How much of impact all of that has on cooling GPU has is easy to judge by leaving case open. If temps are significantly lower it's sure sign of case airflow inadequacy .
 
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Colif

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Jun 12, 2015
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Why do people think CPU are so hot that they make the radiator water boiling hot (exageration) and its better to have the radiator on top of case sucking all the heat in from GPU, as at least the poor GPU that runs happily at 75c anyway won't get fed slightly warmer air.

Blames all the YT videos where a RAD on roof with rgb looks soo cool.

At least this case was right internally.

GPU doesn't care where radiator is, CPU does.

Your relative has too much money for own good.
 
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Phaaze88

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@Colif
It's all /smh. No one bothers to test their own 💩 anymore these days. It's just how you describe.
The cpu is so hot, the brick of a cooler on gpus these days is in trouble. /S

I played around with it in my previous H500P Mesh(top panel had a DIY mesh window), and found:
-with the Eisbaer at the front intake, the temperature changes to my hardware behind it were negligible compared to top exhaust Eisbaer, except during cpu heavy tasks - and how many people actually run cpu heavy tasks for hours at a time?
Most users' cpus spend much of their time under low load.

-with the Kraken G12 vga cooler at the front, changes were more noticeable when the gpu was in use. The front vga cooler does basically the same thing as an open air gpu cooler. Gpu heats up case ambient more than front intake cooler.

-rear exhaust isn't a necessity for top liquid coolers; it steals air. Replace the fan with an air filter, and room air can then be supplied to both halves of the cooler.


Ultimately, none of it matters, especially if the user has A/C. For those who don't, they should be putting a greater priority to hardware power limits, to reduce the energy being dissipated into their rooms.
When I see cooling threads from now on, I think I'll start asking about A/C first, after which I'll proceed to KISS them.
 

King_V

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That's the killer, my brother does NOT have a lot of money. Unless the cynical side of him is kicking in, since mom and dad are really elderly now, and he figures if he's a little careless, it won't be a problem.

On another note, because my mom tends to like the house warmer (she complains about it being cold if it dips below 75F), AND they're in SoCal, and the ventilation isn't the best, my brother's room (upstairs) is typically about 80-ish Fahrenheit, as I recall.

My puzzlement really was because I've never done anything with liquid cooling (well, ok, one pile of used parts that used a 120mm liquid cooler for the CPU, but the radiator was at the rear exhaust). So, to me, it just seemed weird pumping warmer air in.

Finding out the GPU was the MSI Mech version, well, that definitely isn't helping matters.

But now he's done what and wound up with a new system, so . . uh . .problem solved? 🤷‍♂️
 

Phaaze88

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Ah, Msi Mech 5700XT.

With the orientation of the finstack, this cooler exhausts out the rear and FRONT, the latter of which obviously conflicts with front intakes. I figure the case fans need to be set up differently to avoid this.

But yeah... I guess the case is solved, but still... Wut de eff?
 
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