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Cooling An Air Cooling Guide.

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by dfk, 9 Mar 2004.

  1. dfk

    dfk What's a Dremel?

    12 Oct 2003
    Likes Received:
    Before I go on let me tell you guys a few things.

    #1 This is my first ever computer related guide.
    #2 Im new into cooling, any suggestions, ideas and comments are highly

    #3 English is not my Native Language.

    Today I woke up with the intention of going to College, Eventually decided

    to stay home, was getting bored, couldnt go back to sleep so I decided to

    write my FIRST article today.

    With the modern PCs, cooling isnt an option, it has become a necessity! By

    cooling im not just talking about the CPU and the Motherboard, But also

    the video card, the hard disk, the ram, northbridge ...

    Without Modication, efficient case cooling is hardly possible!

    The first Mod is to cut those darn grills! These grills can block

    the Air flow to upto 60% ! It is strongly suggested that you cut these off

    and install a regular circular grill. Start by cutting the edges, A Pair

    of tin snips can come handy.

    You would also want make a hole for a fan at the top of the case, later on

    in this article I will explain it to you why at the top?

    Having 2 fans in the PSU is also a good option, 1 at the rear and 1 at the

    bottom ( inside your case, over the CPU ). If you already have 2 fans in

    the PSU, you would obviously skip this step.

    Fans at the Side! Blowing air directly over the CPU!, these will help you

    get drop the temps down by like 4-5c. You may also choose to use a Duct,

    which could help through the Air DIRECTLY over the CPU.

    Thats about it for all the modding here, lets move further.

    Before I move on to the fan placement and the cooling, you must realise

    that you have to CLEAN IT ALL UP!

    You may start with using a Blower to blow all the dust out of your PC, you

    would'nt want to turn the pc on at this moment. If you already have fans

    in the casing, take them out and clean them using the blower or using a

    Can of compressed air ( recommended ).

    The next step is to tidy all those wires. You will be needing a

    tape and some cables ties here. Make sure that the wires do not

    block the Air circulation in any way, using cable ties, tie these

    wires together and then stick them on the sides using a tape.

    This was the easy way, you can also use plastic pipes, but for that you

    would have to remove the Molex connectors.

    Moving on to, Fan Placement.

    What generates the most heat in your Case ?

    The CPU and the Video card.

    For those who dont know how hot a modern GPU can get, how about this ; I

    have heatsink on my GPU memory. When I run benchmarks and games I cant

    even put my finger on those SINKS! for more than 3-5 seconds! You can feel

    the heat all around the Video card.

    Leme get you guys back to schooling here, Did you know Hot air rises ? (

    OuCH !, im saying this cause some people here dont :rolleyes: )

    All the heat which is generated by the PC, accordingly rises.

    The Heat generated by the CPU needs to be extracted out of the Case! The

    best method is to install fans at the rear, and preferably underneath the


    If you have places for 2 fans at the rear, installing 2 fans at the rear

    will also help you to get the heat produced by the Video card and the CPU

    out of the casing, otherwise if you have only one fan, your Graphic card

    will propably be closer to the fan at the rear.

    If you have places for 2 fans at the rear, dont leave any place empty. Use

    them! ( It is a different case if you have few intakes )

    Not all the warm air is extracted out from the fans at the rear, some of

    these hover often at the top of the case, just right next to the PSU. You

    would want to install a fan at the top, and get this air out of the


    Installing a PCI Slot Exhaust is also a good option, it would help you get

    some of the heat generated by the Video card out of the casing.

    Hot Spots for Exhausts ?

    - Rear
    - Top
    - Underneath the Graphic card
    - Underneath the Power supply

    Soo much for the exhaust, We also need to get cool air in.

    It is first recommended that you keep your casing in an open place

    otherwise you will be restricting cool air from entering into the case.

    Adding a fan in the front is by far the best option! The Cool air comes in

    from the front and goes out from the rear and the top. Some people do

    install fans in the front but they surpass the fact that there is no vent

    in the front! When installing a fan in the front make sure that you have a

    hole or a vent in the front through which cool air could enter the casing.

    Otherwise you are just taking the warm air from inside the case and

    throwing it ...

    The second and one of the most effective solution is to install a fan at

    the side, preferably one over the CPU and one over the GPU. To make the

    case look good, you would want both of them directly over each other.

    Another placement for the fan is at the bottom! YES AT THE BOTTOM !, But

    for this you would be needing something to lift your case off the table or

    the ground to upto a couple of inches. You could use your books :D,

    Install wheels, Use your Imagination!

    Cool Spots for Intakes ?

    - Front bottom
    - Rear Top
    - Side Panel, Over the CPU.
    - Side Panel, Over the GPU.
    - Bottom

    So it is upto to you to decide which combination you should go for, Here

    are some :


    Example #1 :

    Intake :

    1 fan in the front
    2 fans on the side panel, one over the GPU, and one over the CPU

    Exhaust :

    2 fans at the rear
    1 fan at the top

    Example #2 ( for those who dont have front intake )

    Intake :

    2 fans on the side, one over the CPU and the other over the GPU

    Exhaust :

    1 fan at the rear, ( even if you have a place for another fan do not use

    it, i will later on explain it to you why )
    1 fan at the top.

    Example #3 ( for those who have place for fans in the front and are not

    willing to cut the Sides )

    Possiblity A ( If they have 2 front )

    2 fans in the front as Intake, 1 at the Top for exhaust, 1 at the rear for


    Possibility B ( If they have a single place for a fan in the front )

    1 fan in the front as intake, 1 fan at the rear as exhaust


    By now you guys must have realized that in all the examples Im trying to

    keep a 1:1 ratio. Some of you may ask why, well the answer is fairly

    simple :

    If Intake > Exhaust.

    The cool air will comes in. A time will come when this cool air is no

    longer cool, as it has no where to go out, it will be roaming around in

    the Case!

    If Exhaust > Intake

    You are extracting the warm air, but where is the Cool Air ?

    Its all about Circulation, the air must keep on circulating!

    Most people prefer having a 5:4 ratio, thus preventing dust from

    accomodating inside the case.

    Now comes the


    . It does not produce alot of heat when compared to the CPU

    and the video card, but it sure does need to be cooled down. The high end

    motherboards do come bundled with a heatsink on it, some like the MSI

    comes with a fan on it too.

    Installing the fan on the northbridge makes any difference ?

    If you are not overclocking it wont make a much of a difference, on the

    other hand if you are overclocking, cooling it down might help you get a

    few more mhz. If you dont have a heatsink on your northbridge, your

    northbridge propably does not heat up that much and thats why its not

    bundled with a one. You may start with installing a heatsink on it.

    For those boards which come bundled with a heatsink, adding a fan over it

    is always a good decesion. But at times it is not possible to install fans

    on the heatsink, for this Side fans would do.

    Now comes the Hard disk, if you have a front intake you should place the

    hard disk directly infront on the fan. In case you dont have a front

    intake you could use the hard disk coolers availible in the market.

    Two most common types of HD coolers :

    #1 :


    This throws air directly over the Hard disk, you should not got for this

    unless you know you have a decent case cooling setup, otherwise your

    throwing warm air over it.

    #2 :


    This brings in cool air from the front of the case and throws it in front

    of the HD, But if you would have noticed this is throwing air on a very

    small surface as compared to the previous one.

    So both have their Pros and Cons, Its upto you to decide, I am personally

    using the first one.

    Note : The fans used in these coolers are usually crappy ones, BE AWARE


    Last but not the least comes the RAM, this itself does not produce alot of

    heat. If you have a decent case cooling setup, you would even require any.

    Cooling depends on the Room Temperature! KEEP IT COOL!!

    Feel free to ask any questions here.

    Signing Off.
    Last edited: 9 Mar 2004
  2. olv

    olv he's so bright

    23 Sep 2002
    Likes Received:
    very indepth article. I think perhaps it places too much emphasis on keeping stuff cool. i think if you followed all of your steps you would have a very cold pc but also one hell of a noisy one, sound a bit a jumbo jet lol. I think today computing is focusing more towards a balance of speed and noise. Many computer components can operate perfectly fine in relatively warm environments but are much more quiet.

    have a read of kna's article here

    Nice work though. People new to cooling could get some good info about the basics of cooling.

    BTW, mods dont particularly like you to link images directly off other people's sites, even big ones like newegg, you must either host them yourself just give a link.
  3. STi305

    STi305 What's a Dremel?

    20 Feb 2004
    Likes Received:
    hey man that was pretty nice.
    way to skip school man :lol:

    anyway like he said, jumbo jet noise isnt the best thing to have. if you are goin to have that many fans, i would HIGHLY reccomend Panaflows, and a fan control of somesort so that you can keep it cool or relativly quiet.

    keep it cool man :hip: :D :cooldude:

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