[SOLVED] Properly Venting a Micro-ATX Mini Tower Inside a Desk Cabinet

Aug 27, 2019
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I recently moved into a new apartment and bought myself a new desk (https://www.sauder.com/furniture/419395/computer-desk ). It comes with a cabinet for a PC to be in that I am building a new micro ATX mini tower to fit into since my old build is wayyy too big to fit into it. Issue is, I am trying to be smart about cooling needs for my PC to make sure it gets some proper ventaliation. Unfortunately though, I am not overly handy as it comes to being industrial or comfortable with DIY projects, so I am not able to install CPU fans into the desk. Furthermore, the desk has a back panel you are supposed to take out for ventilation that I am not doing because my room is more open and the desk is in the center of the room, so aesthetics are important to me.

I think I have a solid game plan but wanted to run this by this forum.
  1. I plan to buy this computer tower: https://www.microcenter.com/product/479972/inwin-301-matx-mini-tower-computer-case---white . I chose this due to the inflow of the air being on the bottom of the case and the outflows being both in the back and the side of the unit.
  2. I will drill a 2.5" circle hole with a holesaw / grommet into the bottom of the cabinet that will go underneath the front bottom fan area and install a 120mm case fan for inflow
  3. I will drill another 2.5" circle hole on the right side of the cabinet the will go next to where the top front fan will blow out to the right and install a 120mm case fan there.
  4. I will drill a hole farther back on the right side and on the top of the desk into the cabinet for cord management but will also install a 120mm case fan in the rear for good measure.
Should this be sufficient? Is there a better case for my needs?
 

RealBeast

Titan
Moderator
I recently moved into a new apartment and bought myself a new desk (https://www.sauder.com/furniture/419395/computer-desk ). It comes with a cabinet for a PC to be in that I am building a new micro ATX mini tower to fit into since my old build is wayyy too big to fit into it. Issue is, I am trying to be smart about cooling needs for my PC to make sure it gets some proper ventaliation. Unfortunately though, I am not overly handy as it comes to being industrial or comfortable with DIY projects, so I am not able to install CPU fans into the desk. Furthermore, the desk has a back panel you are supposed to take out for ventilation that I am not doing because my room is more open and the desk is in the center of the room, so aesthetics are important to me.

I think I have a solid game plan but wanted to run this by this forum.
  1. I plan to buy this computer tower: https://www.microcenter.com/product/479972/inwin-301-matx-mini-tower-computer-case---white . I chose this due to the inflow of the air being on the bottom of the case and the outflows being both in the back and the side of the unit.
  2. I will drill a 2.5" circle hole with a holesaw / grommet into the bottom of the cabinet that will go underneath the front bottom fan area and install a 120mm case fan for inflow
  3. I will drill another 2.5" circle hole on the right side of the cabinet the will go next to where the top front fan will blow out to the right and install a 120mm case fan there.
  4. I will drill a hole farther back on the right side and on the top of the desk into the cabinet for cord management but will also install a 120mm case fan in the rear for good measure.
Should this be sufficient? Is there a better case for my needs?
That should be plenty of ventilation unless you run a high end GPU and overclocked CPU. Just to be on the safe side, monitor the temps for a while using a free program like Core Temp.
 

RealBeast

Titan
Moderator
I recently moved into a new apartment and bought myself a new desk (https://www.sauder.com/furniture/419395/computer-desk ). It comes with a cabinet for a PC to be in that I am building a new micro ATX mini tower to fit into since my old build is wayyy too big to fit into it. Issue is, I am trying to be smart about cooling needs for my PC to make sure it gets some proper ventaliation. Unfortunately though, I am not overly handy as it comes to being industrial or comfortable with DIY projects, so I am not able to install CPU fans into the desk. Furthermore, the desk has a back panel you are supposed to take out for ventilation that I am not doing because my room is more open and the desk is in the center of the room, so aesthetics are important to me.

I think I have a solid game plan but wanted to run this by this forum.
  1. I plan to buy this computer tower: https://www.microcenter.com/product/479972/inwin-301-matx-mini-tower-computer-case---white . I chose this due to the inflow of the air being on the bottom of the case and the outflows being both in the back and the side of the unit.
  2. I will drill a 2.5" circle hole with a holesaw / grommet into the bottom of the cabinet that will go underneath the front bottom fan area and install a 120mm case fan for inflow
  3. I will drill another 2.5" circle hole on the right side of the cabinet the will go next to where the top front fan will blow out to the right and install a 120mm case fan there.
  4. I will drill a hole farther back on the right side and on the top of the desk into the cabinet for cord management but will also install a 120mm case fan in the rear for good measure.
Should this be sufficient? Is there a better case for my needs?
That should be plenty of ventilation unless you run a high end GPU and overclocked CPU. Just to be on the safe side, monitor the temps for a while using a free program like Core Temp.
 
Aug 27, 2019
17
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10
0

RealBeast

Titan
Moderator
Awesome! Will any case fan work (ie: https://www.amazon.com/upHere-Airflow-Coolers-Radiators-T3WT3-3/dp/B07HK9CDWY/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=120mm+3+pack&qid=1586542784&refinements=p_72:2661618011&rnid=2661617011&sr=8-5&th=1 - 3 pack claiming 14db, as I want this as quiet as possible)?

Also, do you think this build needs a CPU Cooler? Again, emphasizing quiet but I was thinking of just using the stock cooler. https://pcpartpicker.com/list/3DB4wh
I think that any reasonable fan will do, it doesn't need to be loud. And the stock cooler should suffice.
 

madmatt30

Titan
Ambassador
You'd be bettet to take a rectangle out of the bottom of the cabinet just allowing enough room for the case feet and install 2 x 120mm intakes in there in my opinion.

Its a good choice of case with those bottom intakes if you wan't to run with the door closed.

The external psu and rear exhaust though?

Theyre an issue, you need venting directly at the back of the desk, that's a fact you can't get around.

I'd be cutting there and fixing some form of grill, there are plenty of options that will look decent aesthetically.

Those components run fairly hot, you need a direct exhaust path really.

I would absolutely use an aftermarket cpu cooler aswell.
 

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