Question Noob needs help with AIO placement

Gee_Simpson

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Hi, I've decided to go for a AIO to cool the i9 9900k I bought but I'm a complete noob at this and it will be the first time I've attempted to build a PC myself.

Where should I place the AIO rad, front or top of the case? I'll be using a Meshify C case. How does this affect case fans? I have no idea tbh, do I need intake case fans if I place it at the front? Same question for the other way round, do I need exhaust case fans if I place it at the top? Also, where do I place the AIO fans? I have no idea.

Help would be appreciated! :giggle:
 

ProPlayerGR

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Aug 7, 2016
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Hi, I've decided to go for a AIO to cool the i9 9900k I bought but I'm a complete noob at this and it will be the first time I've attempted to build a PC myself.

Where should I place the AIO rad, front or top of the case? I'll be using a Meshify C case. How does this affect case fans? I have no idea tbh, do I need intake case fans if I place it at the front? Same question for the other way round, do I need exhaust case fans if I place it at the top? Also, where do I place the AIO fans? I have no idea.

Help would be appreciated! :giggle:
Which AIO are you talking about?
 

rubix_1011

Contributing Writer
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Recommendation for next time: do this research beforehand.

Reality: location of the AIO doesn't really matter as long as you have decent case airflow. This isn't something just asking others will resolve...it depends on your case setup and fans used. Not sure about if you have an airflow or cooler issue?

Read below.

Airflow / Fan / Cooling / Overheating - How to test, steps to resolve

This could be caused by a few different things, please don't automatically assume 'the cooler is not working' without also checking if the case airflow is sufficient.

Remove the side panel of the PC case. Orient a house fan (desk or box style fan) to blow air into the case, directly over components at the highest setting.

This will represent a case with the best possible airflow possible. For reference, the fans I am providing as examples would look like the items below (just to clarify for anyone who might want reference)



Re-test as you have normally done - play games, run benchmarks, etc. to get to where temperatures were normally seen to be higher than they should. Normal room temperature is usually between 20-24C or 68-75F. Please note that every air or liquid cooler operates as a product of delta-T over ambient, meaning that if the PC is operational (simply turned on), it is impossible for the CPU to display a temperature below ambient room temperatures. If it is, this is likely a bug in software temperature reporting either from the desktop UI or the BIOS reading it incorrectly.

With the fan running at full speed, if temperatures drop by 5-7C or more, case airflow is one major issue to contend with. You will need additional fans or better fans for your setup in order to optimize air in and out of the chassis. This might even require consideration for a new PC case or leaving the side panel partially open during sessions of heavier computing until these items are corrected.

If your temperatures remain relatively the same (difference less than 1-2C), then you likely have an issue with the cooler in question (if CPU is hot, CPU cooler, if GPU is hot, GPU cooler). It would be good to then approach the next steps by thoroughly cleaning the cooler with compressed or canned air and ensuring there are not large blockages in cooling fins or on fans, etc. This might require the cooling fans to be removed from the heatsink or radiator to ensure there is not a buildup of pet hair, dust or even carpet fibers which can trap additional debris. Please ensure the PC is turned off and unplugged during this process to prevent unwanted startup to keep fingers safe from fan blades or accidental shorting if you happen to drop a screw onto other components during fan removal.

Removal of the cooler and re-application of thermal paste & re-seating the cooler can also be beneficial once cleaning of the cooler is ruled out by retesting the steps above.
 

Gee_Simpson

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Thanks, I don't actually have the AIO yet so it's just so I know what to do. Will I still need case fans in the front and back regardless of the AIO placement? That's my question really.
 

punkncat

Respectable
From a completely simplistic same being same point of view it would go to follow that pulling cool ambient air from outside the case into your radiator would provide better cooling than pulling warmed air from inside the case through your radiator. The thing is, and part of what the article and comments above are tying to point out is that there are many factors involved that don't make a same to same comparison.
For instance, your front panel may be restrictive not allowing the fans to pull and adequate amount of flow through the front. Since the fans can source air not only from the "intake" fans, but also knock out slots, bottom vents, side panel openings, etc you could readily find that your cooler actually does a better job top mounted (or bottom mounted) or anything in-between based on factors that we don't know about your case flow.
 

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