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Planning How much cooling is enough?

Discussion in 'Modding' started by Bloodboiler, 10 Apr 2009.

  1. Bloodboiler

    Bloodboiler New Member

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    I'm planning a HTPC for use as a DVR, in 3d rendering and occasional gaming. For hardware I was thinking Quad core Intel, midde of the line Nvidia for graphics (better Linux support I assume), 8 GB of ram, 2xHDD and a dvd drive. I'm cheap so nothing particularly high end.

    It's been a long time since I last build a PC, so I have some cooling questions. From all the modding articles it is hard to tell what level of cooling is actually required and what is just for the show, or for high end gaming, or just legacy form the early 2000 super hot Athlons.

    The case I'm modding for this thing is just large enough for an ATX board and puts power supply about 10cm above the CPU. I thought I would use something like this heatsink. Since the PSU fan will be so close, is there any chance of leaving out the heatsink fan? Any recommendations for CPU heatsink in this type of configuration.

    How much air intake/output I should have for these parts in in a smallish case? I won't be doing any over-clocking, and would like to have just the necessary level of fan noise.
     
  2. murtoz

    murtoz Busy procrastinating

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    To my mind, the main reason to go for a beefier heatsink than the stock intel one would be noise levels or overclocking. Even a quad core is easy to cool when it is not being hammered. Besides, the stock heatsink is good enough to keep it cool, but it won't be the quietest in doing so.

    If the PSU intake fan is 10CM above the CPU, it is going to be tough to cool this quietly. With the cooler you are looking at, you would have 3 cm in between the cpu heatsink and the psu intake fan. This is not ideal since they would both be fighting for air (blowing in opposite directions). I like your idea of leaving out the cpu fan, and if you go for this I would recommend you duct the cpu heatsink to psu intake fan. Also consider this noctua heatsink. This leaves one problem though, you'll be cooling the PSU with hot air, and this will cause its fan to spin up and become more noisy. I guess only testing would prove whether the noise levels will be acceptable.

    If I can help it, I'll always go for front to back airflow over the CPU heatsink. The mini ninja springs to mind, but it is 11cm high. Not sure if you can find a way to accomodate this.
    But, once again, the stock heatsink will keep things cool enough if you're not OC'ing your cpu.

    Just my two cents. I'd be interested in what the regulars here have to say about this. Oh and please, what case are you using?

    Edit: Afterthoughts:
    As far as case fans, exhaust seems to be more important than intake. Also where possible try to duct the hottest parts to your exhaust fans so you can be sure the hot air doesn't heat up the rest of the chassis.
    Also, have a look at spcr - they specialise in making things quiet!
     
    Last edited: 10 Apr 2009
  3. Bloodboiler

    Bloodboiler New Member

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    Thank you

    Thanks for the pointers.

    The case is a chimera of motherboard tray and back panel from some random mid-90's tower enclosed in ancient circa mid-80's Nokia "PC" case (a bit like this one). I like the vertical drive arrangement (perfect for slot-in drive) and strange dimensions.

    Internal dimensions of the case are about 35x36x21 cm, so it'll be cramped. I'm a bit concerned about air flow out since the back panel has only 8x16 cm room for fans. If that and the PSU fan are not enough, I'll have to make a side or top blowhole.
     
  4. Slaymate

    Slaymate bit-tech Slayer

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  5. jrs77

    jrs77 Well-Known Member

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    120mm PSU-fan + 2x 80mm fans in the back should be enough to cool a mainstream-system.

    I'm running a C2D E8400 with an ATi HD4850 using a single 120mm casefan + the 120mm fan from the PSU and my temps are fine. Under load my CPU has 42°C and my GFX is around 60°C. Noise is pretty acceptable and nothing that really annoys me, while working.

    GFX is cooled by a Scythe Musashi and CPU by a AC Freezer 7 Pro.
     
  6. alpaca

    alpaca llama eats dremel

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    ducting one or both of the 80 mm exhaust fans to the cpu would be a nice idea. keep in mind the GPU needs some airflow too. there are quite good exhaust blowers that fit in a PCI-slot.
     
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