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Cooling Antec 300 Setup - Advice before i pull it apart :)

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by bdigital, 16 Nov 2010.

  1. bdigital

    bdigital Is re-building his PC again

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    Hiya,

    I recently put together an Antec 300 with the following setup:

    2x 120mm Sycthe GT 1850rpm Intake at the front
    1x 120mm Silent Eagle 1000rpm intake in the side
    1x 120mm exhaust at the back (Antec stock fan that came with the case) Set to HIGH
    1x 140mm Exhaust at the top (Antec stock fan that came with the case) Set to LOW

    I very happy with the cooling that this provides to my rig, but it is slightly noisy. Changing the speed of the rear exhaust fan seems to have quite a big effect on the cooling, and it has been suggested on here, that swapping the stock Antec fan at the back with one of my others would be beneficial.

    If the same level of cooling was achieved, but i could turn down the Antec fan to low/medium in its new place, then that would be awesome.

    Before i get on my hands and knees and start swapping them around, running benchmarks etc i was keen to get your opinion on which setup i should try first! (in the effort of saving time!!)

    What do you guys & gals think?

    My spec is as follows:

    C2D e8600 @ 3.8GHz
    Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro v2.1
    4gb Corsair XMS2 DDR800
    Asus P5n-T Deluxe
    GTX 460 1gb Gainward GLH
    Cooler master silent M 600w PSU
    Spinpoint 500gb HDD
    Antec 300
    Win 7 64-bit
     
    Last edited: 16 Nov 2010
  2. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

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    You may think I'm crazy here, and this setup depends on your CPU cooler and the position of the CPU socket on your motherboard - but if you turn the rear fan to low and reverse it, you'll get much better airflow on your CPU cooler from that rear 120mm fan as it creates a large flow of air from the rear of the case to the top 140mm fan in a 90° pattern. The side 120mm fan intakes air towards the graphics cards and it passes over the cards and lower motherboard area, is subsequently moved towards the top of the case as a result of the vacum caused by the 140mm roof fan.

    This setup creates 100% positive pressure in the case, but it eliminates the problem of the 120mm and 140mm fans at the rear and top of the case fighting each other for air. If you think about the airflow in that configuration, the fins and heatpipes of your CPU cooler (again, given they are high enough in the case - which they should be with the P5N Deluxe board) are stuck in a vacum and aren't really getting a good stream of air.

    Both my Antec 300 housed servers run in the configuration I described above and the temps speak for themselves. With the right fan speeds you can achieve some really good ambient case temps and maybe even knock a couple of degrees off your CPU and GPU temps. Haters will always hate, and I'll probably get flamed into oblivion by someone for suggesting such a radical fan config which causes positive pressure, but the simple fact is that the 140mm fan in the roof of the 300 is very powerful even at low speeds, and on it's own (with no other fans spinning) is capable of cycling the air in the case several times in just half a minute. If you have the rest of the fans giving it a hand in a push configuration, that's where all the warm air in your case ends up getting vented most efficiently.
     
    Fingers66 likes this.
  3. bdigital

    bdigital Is re-building his PC again

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    Wow thats very interesting. Gonna have to read again to get my head round it lol.

    My cooler is the Artic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro V2.1. (updated original post to reflect this...)
     
  4. Lord-Vale3

    Lord-Vale3 His Tremendousness

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    I have a miniP180, which has a similar rear 120mm and top 140mm cooling design, and I too have found the rear 120mm has a rather large effect on cooling. If mine is set on high, my GPU temps actually increase (using reference cooled GTX460), but when put on medium my temps improve. I suspect that this is because when set to high too much of my single intake fans air is being sucked to the top before the GPU is able to pull it in. I just leave my two exhaust fans on medium and all is quiet and cool.


    I'm not pro on air flow/pressure, so I must question why positive air pressure is a bad thing Unicorn? What are the pros/cons of positive/negative pressure?
     
  5. DarrenH

    DarrenH What's a Dremel?

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    I have a very similar rig to yourself (Antec 300, Artic cooling) but I have basic LED fans in the front (Akasa) and a normal side fan. I have lowered the two rear fans to low speed and get very good cooling and airflow. The noise levels are nice and quiet as I intended. Even my PSU was chosen for quietness.

    I would say the loudest and warmest part of your system is the GTX 460. The version of 5770 I chose was the Vapor-X which is renowned for its cooling and low noise levels. I paid £20 more than a stock 5770 but am so glad I did. Lower your exhaust fans, run a GPU benchmark and see if your 460 is the source of your noise. You may have a quiet one!

    But also lower the exhaust at the back. You have the top fan set to LOW but the rear fan set to HIGH. I have both mine set to LOW and everything works great. Try these steps before making any other changes.
     
  6. new_world_order

    new_world_order 4.0 GHz Dremel

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    Think "wind tunnel" analysis. Increasing the turbulence with stronger vortices does not mean you are cooling the same surface area. You could be redirecting one mass of air away from where it would otherwise strike with less opposing force from the fan that is generating the turbulence.
     
  7. DragunovHUN

    DragunovHUN Modder

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    I might be crazy too because that makes perfect sense to me!
     
  8. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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    You know, I really like the idea of trying this...I am really interesting in seeing the effect. +rep for your originality mate.

    I am not sure Unicorn was saying positive pressure was bad as such, just a side affect of that setup. Some say positive pressure helps keep dust out, others say negative pressure helps draw more air in. I personally think it is about airflow, not pressure. I'm too tired to type more about this now, maybe tomorrow.

    This is right. In english my tired mind understands it as meaning that too much turbulence can actually stop air getting to the parts it needs to cool and have a negative affect on temps.

    bdigital: try it with 1 x GT in rear, 1 x GT in top front, stock 140mm Antec in roof and the Silent Eagle in the bottom front. See how you go. As I mentioned in another post, with my 4870 Vapor-X, a side fan (I tried a GT and a SE) didn't have any discernable impact on any temps other than my motherboard chipest temp. I removed it in the end and taped up the side vent.
     
    Last edited: 17 Nov 2010
  9. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

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    It's not necessarily a bad thing... Some air cooled systems benefit from it because it keeps dust out but it can be a very hard thing to get just right and some people are just flat out opposed to it because they think that it allows hot spots to build up in the case. This can happen if it's not implemented properly. Most of the positive cavity pressure systems that I build work on a very low amount of positive pressure to keep the dust out but still allow all the fans to do their fair share of pushing and pulling air... the setup on the Antec 300 actually puts quite a lot more air into the system than you are exhausting and asks a lot of that top 140mm fan, but my servers prove that it can handle the task and it works really well. You just need to be sure that you use the right fan speeds on the supplied Antec fans. In the two servers I mentinoed, the other three fan mounts (2x 120mm at the front and 1x 120mm on the side) are occupied by Sharkoon Silent Eagle 2000 RPM fans which run through a fan controller and are kept at just over 1100 RPM.

    As Fingers has quite rightly said, the more important consideration is air flow rather than air pressure. The pressure in the case does affect the flow but people get caught up on thinking about whether their case has positive or negative pressure when they should actually be thinking about where the flow of cool air is and how the warm air is moved out of their system.

    Cheers mate! I actually got the idea of trying it from my modified Lian-Li PC-A05, which uses an airflow design that draws air from the back of the case and exhausts at the front. When I got a pre-modded A05 off the MP earlier this year, it had a 2x120mm mount cut in the roof, so I tried having the single 120mm front and rear fans as intakes and the top two at a low speed as exhausts. The temps dropped dramatically and I was able to keep the whole system quieter. If you think about it in terms of convection, it makes sense because the cool air is drawn in low in the case at both the front and rear, and warm air - which naturally rises anyway - is exhausted at the top.
     
  10. Cleggmeister

    Cleggmeister Of reasonable knowledge...

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    Thanks for an informative thread. I too am a bit fed up of the noise from my Antec 300, and have considered changing it for one of the new Silverstone cases. I'll have a go at some of these more "unconventional" suggestions and see where it takes me...

    As an aside, my system is nice and quiet just after it boots/reboots, however during POST I hear something spin up and contribute to most of the noise I hear... More investigation needed.

    As another aside, my first build in the 300 was pretty shabby by way of cable tidying. Although the 300 is pretty poor for cable routing I did benefit from a rebuild, using the space beside and beneath the HDD cradle for most of the erroneous cables (I have a captive cable PSU). I'll post a pic of my rig's insides over the weekend when I'm home.
     
  11. bdigital

    bdigital Is re-building his PC again

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    Really usefull suggestions here.

    1st im going to try switching the direction of the rear fan, just to see what difference it makes to the temps. Ive benchmarked my existing setup tonight, so il try unicorns suggestion over the weekend.

    2nd im going to try Fingers suggestion of swapping the GT around.
     
  12. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

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    It's a great "blank canvas" case, and I have used countless examples of them with just a few simple mods here and there to improve the cable tidying capabilities. Fingers even has a link in his sig to some very simple but efective improvements you can make to the 300. I now have a full set of CAD drawings for the modifications to the different chassis panels of the 300 that I can send to my flowjet cutter along with a stripped case to have the modifications done in a fraction of the time it used to take me doing them by hand :)
     
  13. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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    I think that is the PC-A05 I was very tempted in buying, iirc you stepped in when I pulled out. Good buy mate.
     
  14. bdigital

    bdigital Is re-building his PC again

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    Right so....before changing anything i was getting 53-54c max CPU temp under full load. Which in this instance is always Prime95 + Furmark.

    By switching the rear exhaust to low, i got 55-56c max at full load.

    I then left the PC switched of for 30mins to allow some cool down.

    By switching the direction of the rear exhaust to an intake, temps moved up slightly to 57-58c.

    So i have moved it back to being an exhaust, but left it set to 'Low' as i think 55-56c max is acceptable?

    I will however try fingers suggestion of moving the fans around a little, just to see if i can get it to be a little quiter without comprimising temps.
     
  15. DarrenH

    DarrenH What's a Dremel?

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    I still think it's a good idea to monitor the temps of your 460 GPU. It may be throwing out a lot of heat into the case which ain't gonna help keep inside cool. I am only going on what I have read so I may be wrong here.
     
  16. bdigital

    bdigital Is re-building his PC again

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    At idle the GPU is at 42c, at full load after a few hours of furmark it wont budge over 75c.

    Not sure if they are any good? What i havnt done is measure the temps while gaming etc, because i dont know what software to use for that..
     
  17. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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    I can't remember if 75C is good or otherwise for a Gainward GTX460 GLH, I don't have one.

    Running a stress test with Furmark & Prime95 will load your system (including PSU & GPU) more than any game will. Most temperature recording utilities have a log mode which will keep a history of the minimum and maximum temperatures whilst you game. It is then a simple matter of looking back through the history.
     
  18. DarrenH

    DarrenH What's a Dremel?

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    I'm referring more to the overall temperature inside your case due to the heat from the GPU. Can you measure your CPU temps while stressing your Graphics Card. That may indicate whether your airflow is being compromised by accessive heat from the GPU or at least eliminate it as a heat source problem.
     
  19. bdigital

    bdigital Is re-building his PC again

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    All the load temps i posted above are with Prime95 + Furmark at the same time.

    Il try just the CPU on its on over the weekend, then add in the GPU to measure the increase.
     
  20. DarrenH

    DarrenH What's a Dremel?

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    Any update on your temps?
     

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