Question Will these fan additions be better than switching to water cooling?

Sean87NC

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Jun 12, 2017
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Hi,
Right now I am running a 11gb 1080ti Duke that runs about 70c on load. The CPU running at 4.9Ghz and is 30c idle and can get up to high 69-70 on load when gaming. I only have 2 fans in my computer. Both are 120mm and one is in the front and one is in the rear. The one in the rear is exhaust. The case I have seems to make it so not much air comes in the front. It says I can I have 3 120mm fans in the front(or 2 140mm), 2 120mm up top or 2 140mm up top. The rear only takes 1 x 120mm. I was going to just fill the case up with 120 mm fans. I know it will drop my temps down because during winter for example, while playing games on high/ultra settings. My gaming room would get hot and that is with the AC blowing directly towards the PC. I think I need more air flow especially pushing it out of the case, although, I would assume a water cooled system may be better for the CPU.

If I decide to buy 4 120mm fans what is the best way to set them up in the case(pulling or pushing)?
If you were to recommend a water cooling system for my CPU if you think it needs one, what are some good options?
The guide for my case http://www.phanteks.com/assets/manuals/PH-EC416P_Western.pdf
says I can have a 120mm water cooled system in the front (Up to 360 - I don't know what up to 360 means), or I can have 140mm radiator Up to 280 in the front. I can't use the top and it says I can use 120mm in the rear but there is no space. I have plenty of room in the front of my case. Money isn't an issue but if I were to buy a water cooled system I wouldn't want to spend more than $200.00 on it. I have read reviews from people with 120mm radiator systems and they are getting the same temps I am getting now on air cooled.

I forgot to mention my cpu fan is a hyper evo 212. It runs full blast all day long as well as the other two fans.

My main concern is the GPU but I would like to address both CPU and GPU cooling. Thanks for any advice.
 

rubix_1011

Contributing Writer
Moderator
Before you buy anything, go through these steps to help determine if you need a better air cooler, or if you need better airflow inside your case:

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.
 

Sean87NC

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Jun 12, 2017
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When I remove the side glass panel, and blow air inside the case directly, there is a noticeable drop in the GPU temps. I also see a decrease in the CPU max temp. I moved from an i5 8700k processor to an i7 9700k. I also switched from a 4gb 1050ti to an 11gb 1080ti. I built the case for those original parts but have since upgraded them.
 

Phaaze88

Glorious
Ambassador
P400/S, eh? Those front panels are a known choke point.

Take that front case fan and move it to the top as exhaust.
With the rear exhaust and top exhaust, the case should essentially function as an NZXT H500. See what happens to temps like this.
 

Sean87NC

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Jun 12, 2017
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Just an update. I went all out. Got a water cooler on sale and two 140mm case fans to add to the top of my case. I got a Corsair 280mm RGB cooling system. Bought a nice $100 jigsaw from Lowes with metal blades. I bought an extra top mesh dust cover from Phantek and I cut out a square in the front of my case big enough to let all that hot air out but just enough so the extra magnetic top mesh cover would stick inside the front panel. It dropped the temps about 10 degrees and I can cut out a bit more. I tell you, that radiator blows out very hot air. It is much better now.

Also, since no one really other than me will see it I basically eyeballed the cut so its a bit off lol and has some scratches but it will do.

Thought I let you know that a jig saw is a great investment. It cut that hole out in about 30 seconds. Very fast and clean. The front case panel is a choke point in this model case. My GPU temp also decreased.
 

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