Question where to mount a 360mm AIO

Jun 16, 2020
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what is the best place to mount a 360mm AIO in a case? is it in the front of the case or in the top of the case? dose it even make a difference?
 
Jun 16, 2020
18
3
25
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the case i have is big enough to mount it either on top or in front so i'm asking this question from the perspective of cooling which is better top or front mount?
 

DSzymborski

Polypheme
Moderator
the case i have is big enough to mount it either on top or in front so i'm asking this question from the perspective of cooling which is better top or front mount?
It matters little. A front-mounted AIO can leave the CPU slightly cooler since cooler air than the air that went through the GPU will be going through the radiator and the GPU slightly warmer because the air is slightly warmed before the GPU rather than after. However, the deltas between the air temperatures will tend to be quite small so it doesn't really mean all that much.

Generally speaking, other considerations will be far more important, such as the general airflow. Heck, in my case, I have a side-mounted radiator as an intake to slightly reduce the desirability of sleeping on top of my PC for my cats and for fewer consequences when one is (in my old case, I usually got temperatures 5-8 degrees hotter, both on idle and load, when a cat-based heat sink was present.
 
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Zerk2012

Titan
Ambassador
the case i have is big enough to mount it either on top or in front so i'm asking this question from the perspective of cooling which is better top or front mount?
You gave nowhere near enough information to even get a answer but you still need one.

Some people use a 360mm rad for looks and don't even need one, some cases have a glass front that has little airflow.

Try it both ways and see what gives better results.
 
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Karadjgne

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Ambassador
Mount it on top if available. Most cases that have a 360mm front mount are large enough that there's often issues with getting the tubing mounted down, so it almost always gets mounted with the tubing high, which isn't good for temps nor life of the pump. Mounted top solves many issues there
 
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TravisPNW

Upstanding
Aug 26, 2020
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My previous build (NZXT S340 elite) had a 280mm AIO mounted in front blowing warm air into the case with a single exit fan at the top and the rear blowing warm(er) air out... blowing warm air thru the rad into the case to this day has me scratching my head. :unsure:

My new build in the much bigger Fractal Meshify 2 case with a mesh top and front has my 360mm AIO mounted up top blowing thru the rad with the warm air exiting out the case... 3x 140mm fans blowing cool air in the front... 1x 140mm doing the same thing at the bottom... and 1x 140mm blowing warm air out the back.



The temps differences either way may be minimal... but this way just feels much more correct.
 
Last edited:

logainofhades

Titan
Moderator
Mount it on top if available. Most cases that have a 360mm front mount are large enough that there's often issues with getting the tubing mounted down, so it almost always gets mounted with the tubing high, which isn't good for temps nor life of the pump. Mounted top solves many issues there
The only thing that having the tubes high, when in the front, really is noise. All that matters is the highest point of the rad is higher than the pump.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKwA7ygTJn0&t=6s
 

Phaaze88

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Ambassador
I think more info on the build would help here.

@mahmoud2244
Or you could, you know, get a 240/280mm instead - assuming you didn't already buy the 360mm - which would give you the flexibility to mount in the front with the tubes down, if you wanted to do a front installation.
 

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