Question Which direction should I face my heatsink

Jul 25, 2020
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Hello everyone, how are you?
So, as the title suggests, I am trying to figure out if the direction of my heatsink can decrease my temps a bit as summer is approaching here in Brazil. This was the second PC I ever built, but I was still unexperienced in a lot of things regarding building.

Here are pictures of my build:
View: https://imgur.com/a/rLxX1On


Here are the specs:

CPU - AMD Ryzen 2700x
CPU cooler - Noctua NH-U9B SE2 37.86 CFM CPU Cooler - https://pcpartpicker.com/mr/amazon/Y4fp99
Case - Thermaltake Core V1 Mini ITX cube - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B015UDUAKG?tag=pcpapi-20&linkCode=ogi&th=1&psc=1
Front fan (replaced the one that came with the case) - Noctua NF-A14 iPPC-3000 PWM - https://www.amazon.com/Noctua-Bearing-NF-A14-iPPC-3000-PWM/dp/B00KFCRF1A/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=noctua+static+fan&qid=1600184076&s=electronics&sr=1-3
Case fans - 2 Noctua NF-A9's - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RUZ059O?tag=pcpapi-20&linkCode=ogi&th=1&psc=1

So, my question is: if I were to place my heatsink "sideways" (considering the direction it is now), will there be a decent improvement in temperature? I believe so because then the fins of the heatsink would be getting air flow from all sides instead of just 2 (front and back), but on the other hand, the front heatsink fan will be a few millimetres away from the GPU, so maybe it will be blowing hot air onto the heatsink? (since I can't place it as an exhaust fan and blow hot air onto the GPU)

One thing about this direction also is that because of the ram, I have to place the front fan a little above the heatsink, just a little though.

Another idea I had was to place the fan at the back of the heatsink on the side or top of the case because the two fans on the back of the case would seem (in theory) to pull enough of the hot air off of the heatsink.

Any help is highly appreciated! Sorry if anything is unclear
 

Barty1884

Titan
Moderator
The way you have it configured is probably ideal - The front fan provides cool air to the front fan on the cooler, pushed through the heatsink & exhausted out the back (with the assistance of rear fans).

If you were to switch it, you're trying to pull air in through the opening on the side of the case, but relying on the front fan of the cooler alone to pull it in.

For what it's worth, the rear 92mm fans may not be doing much - You could remove them to test if you wanted.
 
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Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
I think you have the cooler placed the only way you CAN for that installation, and certainly the right way anyhow, although it is a bit closer to those rear fans than I'd really like to see but should be ok so long as those fans are configured to be EXHAUST fans taking the air from the case and the CPU cooler OUT, and so long as there is not any actual interference between any of those fans.
 
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Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
.

For what it's worth, the rear 92mm fans may not be doing much - You could remove them to test if you wanted.
I wouldn't want to see them do that. The loss of contribution to a lower pressure level, especially in a case that likely has no other exhaust fans, IF those are configured as exhaust fans, could seriously hamper thermal performance.
 
Jul 25, 2020
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I think you have the cooler placed the only way you CAN for that installation, and certainly the right way anyhow, although it is a bit closer to those rear fans than I'd really like to see but should be ok so long as those fans are configured to be EXHAUST fans taking the air from the case and the CPU cooler OUT, and so long as there is not any actual interference between any of those fans.
First of all thanks for the replies Darkbreeze and Barty1884 :)

second, the three back fans (the last one on the heatsink and the two on the back of the case) are configured to be exhaust (hot air going in the direction of the back/outside of the case)

Do you think the last one on the heatsink (not the two 92mm ones) would help more as an exhaust fan on the top or right side of the case?
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
No, that fan is INTENDED to be on the heatsink, by design. I wouldn't remove anything from the cooler that was designed and intended to be there. In some cases, I might ADD something, but I wouldn't ever REMOVE something unless it was absolutely unavoidable.

What I WOULD do, if possible, is move those two exhaust fans elsewhere if it's possible or helpful, and put a DIFFERENT fan in their place, a single fan, lined up directly with the fan on the heatsink, if that is possible to do so and depending on the configuration of the grillwork beneath the fans. If there is a significant solid space between where the two fans are installed, then I wouldn't do that. If there is not, then I would, but in truth, it may be fine as it is.

Some additional pictures from outside the case lined up with where those two fans are installed AND also some pictures of the inside of the case WITHOUT the side panel on, might also be helpful. Maybe a few other pics as well.

It is also helpful to post your images HERE, in the thread, individually, not as an image gallery, as outlined in my guide. You don't want to use the "image link" from imgur. You want to use the "for direct layouts" link and you must use a different link for EACH image.

 
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Barty1884

Titan
Moderator
I wouldn't want to see them do that. The loss of contribution to a lower pressure level, especially in a case that likely has no other exhaust fans, IF those are configured as exhaust fans, could seriously hamper thermal performance.
Not convinced personally, but I could well be wrong.
Looking at it, the rear 92mm on the cooler exhausts 50/50(ish) into two 92mm fans out of the case. I'm not convinced it would be noticeable more effective vs just allowing the cooler fan to push the air out itself.

Again, could be wrong, but I'd test that theory if it were me.
To be clear, I don't think they hurt anything.... but I'm not convinced they're of any real benefit either.
 
Jul 25, 2020
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Thank you!
I will do that as soon as I can.
Thank you for the link as well, I tried to upload pictures here but didn't figure out how to so I figured I'd use imgur
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Not convinced personally, but I could well be wrong.
Looking at it, the rear 92mm on the cooler exhausts 50/50(ish) into two 92mm fans out of the case. I'm not convinced it would be noticeable more effective vs just allowing the cooler fan to push the air out itself.

Again, could be wrong, but I'd test that theory if it were me.
To be clear, I don't think they hurt anything.... but I'm not convinced they're of any real benefit either.
It would absolutely have an effect on CPU cooler performance because losing the only exhaust fans in the case will, without any doubt at all, increase the internal case temperature. Heat cannot ever escape the inside of the case as easily by being pushed out, sort of, if you believe the single front fan WILL actually push it all out, then it would being actively sucked out, and without the internal heated air actively being vented your CPU cooler is going to be using at least SOME of that heated air to try and cool the CPU with. I guarantee if you remove those two 92mm fans, if heat is at all an issue, and it might not be regardless of the configuration, then the cooling efficiency is going to decrease.
 
Jul 25, 2020
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True @Phaaze88 . It was just the first example I had off the top of my head.

what about the Corsair A500? It fits, I checked. Do you think it could be better than the noctua?

EDIT:
Asked about the Corsair A500 (but then realized I saw the dimensions incorrectly LOL)
 
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Phaaze88

Glorious
Ambassador
That's a blower type gpu, right?

I think what you already have is the best - without having to spend more money, at least.
The original 200mm fan might be slightly better. 200mm are fine as intake, as long as they're against mesh panels. They do poorly if against more restrictive surfaces due to their low static pressure.
 
Jul 25, 2020
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I don't know what a blower type gpu is

it's this one though: Asus GeForce RTX 2060 6gb turbo

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07MSK1H93?tag=pcpapi-20&linkCode=ogi&th=1&psc=1

Edit: (added the following bits below)

Yes, they are mesh panels.
I wouldn't mind spending more money if it means my CPU would be safe (of course, it depends on how much haha, but I could definitely look into that).

I was even thinking about changing my case, but I travel a lot and it's so easy to take around.
 

Barty1884

Titan
Moderator
It would absolutely have an effect on CPU cooler performance because losing the only exhaust fans in the case will, without any doubt at all, increase the internal case temperature. Heat cannot ever escape the inside of the case as easily by being pushed out, sort of, if you believe the single front fan WILL actually push it all out, then it would being actively sucked out, and without the internal heated air actively being vented your CPU cooler is going to be using at least SOME of that heated air to try and cool the CPU with. I guarantee if you remove those two 92mm fans, if heat is at all an issue, and it might not be regardless of the configuration, then the cooling efficiency is going to decrease.
I think we have some crossed wires there DB.

I'm not (directly) saying on the front fan is 'needed'.

What I'm saying is, the vast majority of the exhaust fan surface area is just helping to assist move the CPU coolers airflow due out of the case, due to proximity. Those 92mm fans @ <40% total surface area not being slammed up against the cooler likely aren't doing much. The rearmost fan on the cooler would probably do just as good a job.

Especially paired with a blower cooler, I'd be pretty stunned if there was much temp variation at all

 
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Phaaze88

Glorious
Ambassador
Yeah, that's a blower model.
Unlike the single, dual, and triple axial fan designs that dump most of their heat back inside the chassis, the blower designs draw air in and channel it right out the back of the card.
It doesn't directly interfere with the airflow to the cpu cooler, like the other does.
Unfortunately, it has to be run at rather high rpms to be effective, and some folks' ears can't deal with the noise.
 
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Jul 25, 2020
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So, should I try to place those 92mm fans on the side of the case? If so, should it be exhaust or intake?

Or should I place them on top as exhaust fans? (The panels can fit on whatever side)
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
The rearmost fan on the cooler would probably do just as good a job.
So, I still don't agree and here's why. A fan, blowing at a point located about 1 inch away that has a bunch of holes poked in it is going to result in SOME of it's air going out those holes, but most of the air is going to simply blow around inside the case similar to a reversion leak. It's like trying to push a string. Try it. Push a string, see what happens. It's the same thing that happens when you try to push air through an area with orifices, when there is not a sealed system and there is no pressure differential helping force the air out those holes.

The fans being there on the other hand, while I agree that MOSTLY they are assisting the CPU cooler, ARE in fact assisting the CPU cooler by much more easily (By virtue of the fact that they are against the orifices and can brute force the airflow through the holes rather than just blowing some air AT them) expelling the heat coming from the heat sink directly out of the case and not allowing it to hang out in the case and help raise the internal temperature, even if it's only minimal. I for one would not mind seeing the numbers on the difference between the core temps without those fans there and the core temps with them there, all else being equal.

But overall, I agree, given the case design, there is really not much else you could really do to improve things and it's pretty much about as good as you can expect it to be the way it is.
 
Nov 20, 2019
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If you want to explore a different heatsink solution, the noctua c14s is fantastic and does fit in that case. I have the same case. I also replaced my front fan but with the noctua 200mm. I have 2x 92mm noctua redux fans for exhaust. I only have the one (included) 140mm fan with the c14s on the bottom. I live in a somewhat cooler environment, but I sometimes run my ryzen 5 2600 pretty hard with running handbrake nonstop encoding x265 files, sometimes several days. My CPU temp never goes above 75.
 
Nov 20, 2019
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Okay, well I'll just keep my experiences/opinions to myself then. Just sharing my experience if the OP felt like exploring other cooler options. Not saying anything is wrong.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Nothing wrong with your opinion or experience either, nor did I say any such thing. There's just nothing wrong with the cooler itself really. I'd actually tend to agree that the C14S probably would perform better, but since he already has a decent Noctua cooler it's unlikely he's going to want to have to buy another cooler, especially in Brazil where hardware is sometimes amazingly hard to come by, and then sell what he already has at a loss.

That doesn't mean it isn't an option or that it's bad advice, so thicken your skin a little bit. If me saying the cooler he has should be ok really chapped you that bad, you're way too sensitive for a tech forum and are going to have a rough go of it. Not everything is meant to be personal.
 
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