Question X73 Kraken mounting question

Bob1nba

Prominent
Aug 10, 2019
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I am going to be using the Fractal Meshify 2 case for my build and I want to top mount my radiator. I've seen it done on top and infront in this case (I've heard both work well), but my question is the radiator/fan placement.

I've seen when its mounted up top that the radiator is placed first where the fans are closer to being in the case. But when I see people mount it in front, the radiator is closer in the case with the fans behind it. Any reason for that?
 

Aeacus

Glorious
Ambassador
I've seen when its mounted up top that the radiator is placed first where the fans are closer to being in the case. But when I see people mount it in front, the radiator is closer in the case with the fans behind it. Any reason for that?
Here's a good video that explains why fans on the rads should be always mounted in pull configuration:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyC3lZ5WFMk#t=3m45s


As far as why, at top mounted rad, there are fans below the rad, there is one reason:
  • Eyecandy.
If you have RGB fans, you won't be seeing the RGB of it when fans are sandwiched between the case and rad.
 

rubix_1011

Contributing Writer
Moderator
There are actually other reasons for fans to be in push or pull on radiators, and dust really isn't either of those considerations. It has to do with static pressure of the fans and overall airflow through the radiator.

Dust buildup is negligence more than anything else, so the idea that just mounting the fans in pull to fix laziness can be the cause of other problems, depending on airflow specs of the fans and where the ambient air is coming from. Many times on AIOs, push vs. pull is relatively negligible, (maybe 1-2C difference at most) so it works out OK, making it mostly fine to be lazy if you have an AIO. Most people fret far too much around AIOs only to get them installed and usually forget about them until they want something else.

Agree on the RGB aspect - most AIOs are sold to people who really don't know/don't care much about actual cooling and more for the buyer to proudly profess 'I HAVE LIQUID COOLING' and 'LOOK AT ALL THE RGBS'. AIOs aren't really that impressive with overall cooling, but since someone spends $100 on a cooler, the hopes of that $100 can come alive with those feelings of it being superior.

In comparison, the thermal compound 2021 I did for Tom's Hardware shows that even a 360 EK AIO with 6 fans (push+pull) barely does better than a Noctua NH-D15 air cooler costing about 50% less. Somewhere in the lines of 3-4C of max difference while the Noctua is pretty much silent, even at 100% fan speed.
 
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Aeacus

Glorious
Ambassador
In comparison, the thermal compound 2021 I did for Tom's Hardware shows that even a 360 EK AIO with 6 fans (push+pull) barely does better than a Noctua NH-D15 air cooler costing about 50% less. Somewhere in the lines of 3-4C of max difference while the Noctua is pretty much silent, even at 100% fan speed.
To add to that:

As far as AIOs vs air coolers go, i agree that there is negligible cooling performance if one would go with AIO over air cooler since both are cooled by ambient air.
For equal cooling performance between AIOs and air coolers, rad needs to be 240mm or 280mm. Smaller rads: 120mm and 140mm are almost always outperformed by mid-sized air coolers. Single slot rads are good in mini-ITX builds where you don't have enough CPU cooler clearance to install mid-sized CPU air cooler.

Here are the positive sides of both (air and AIO) CPU cooling methods;

Pros of air coolers:
less cost
less maintenance
less noise
far longer longevity
no leakage risks
doesn't take up case fan slots
additional cooling for the RAM
CPU cools down faster after heavy heat output

Pros of AIOs:
no RAM clearance issues*
no CPU clearance issues
CPU takes longer time to heat up during heavy heat output (about 30 mins)
* on some cases, top mounted rad can give RAM clearance issues

While how the CPU cooler looks inside the PC depends on a person. Some people prefer to see small AIO pump in the middle of their MoBo with tubing going to the rad while others prefer to see big heatsink with fans in the middle of their MoBo.

Main difference between AIO and air cooler is that with AIO, you'll get more noise at a higher cost while cooling performance remains the same.

Personally, i'd go with air coolers every day of the week. With same cooling performance, the pros of air coolers outweigh the pros of AIOs considerably. While, for me, the 3 main pros would be:
1. Less noise.
Since i like my PC to be quiet, i can't stand the loud noise AIO makes. Also, when air gets trapped inside the AIO (some AIOs are more prone to this than others), there's additional noise coming from inside the pump.
2. Longevity.
Cheaper AIOs usually last 2-3 years and high-end ones 4-5 years before you need to replace it. While with air coolers, their life expectancy is basically unlimited. Only thing that can go bad on an air cooler is the fan on it. If the fan dies, your CPU still has cooling in form of a big heatsink. Also, new 120mm or 140mm fan doesn't cost much and it's easy to replace one. While with AIOs, the main thing that usually goes bad is the pump itself. And when that happens, your CPU has no cooling whatsoever. Since you can't replace pump on an AIO, you need to buy whole new AIO to replace the old one out.
3. No leakage risks.
Since there's liquid circling inside the AIO, there is always a risk that your AIO can leak. While it's rare, it has happened. It's well known fact that liquids and electronics don't mix.
 
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