Question Need help placing AIO/fans in Meshify 2 case -- new build


May 5, 2009
I am putting together a new system, but I'm hemming and hawing about how to set up the fans. I'm putting in relatively hot (and difficult to replace!) components, so I don't want to risk high temperatures simply for aesthetics.

My current parts list (not yet assembled):
Mobo: MSI Unify X570
CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 5800X
GPU: Sapphire Nitro+ RX 6800XT
Case: Fractal Design Meshify 2 (solid side panel, so only fans placed against the outside of the case will be visible; I will be using the filters in both the top and front of the case due to dust concerns)
AIO: Corsair Elite Capellix H150i (360mm, 3x120mm ML120 fans, 47.3 CFM)
Case fans: Fractal Design X2 GP-14 (140mm, 55.4 CFM, have 4 total)

My original plan as a non-RGB setup was to put the AIO on top (fans underneath for a push configuration, exhausting upwards); with 3 case fans drawing inward from the front and 1 case fan exhausting from the back. The net effect should be a slight positive pressure (approx. 205 CFM inwards, 165 CFM outwards), assuming fan speeds are relatively similar. There might be a little of the AIO's RGB shining through the front panel, but it probably won't be noticeable with the room lights on, particularly as I'll have the front dust filter in place.

However, I'm also considering mounting the AIO from the front as a pull configuration into the case, which would make the fans visible through the front of the case (I've also read that this case has slightly better thermals with a front-mounted AIO compared to top-mounted). These are smaller, lower CFM fans, however, so would I be best served only using 2 or 3 of the 140mm non-RGB case fans as exhaust (1 in the back, and either 1 or 2 on top) since I'll have a lot less draw into the case in comparison? I definitely won't use all three top positions for exhaust in the case, as I've seen thermal testing showing it to be worse since that front fan would be basically drawing cool air out of the case since there are no heat-generating components underneath.

Or am I just overthinking it and I can tune the fans to keep the positive pressure I want for dust control?


No need to overthink it - it's as simple as this:
Pick your poison - there is no best; you are taking a tradeoff SOMEWHERE:
A)Prioritize cpu cooling
Front intake hybrid

B)Prioritize gpu cooling
Top exhaust hybrid
Catch 22 ^^^^^^

How good do you need to be?
Have you considered a top air cooler like noctua NH-D15s?

You get best positive pressure setup with cooling for both gpu and cpu.
Cost is 1/3 the price.
Quieter and more reliable operation.
aio coolers eventually get air in the system so they do not last forever.
And... they never leak.