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Thread: The best fan configuration in PC case?




  1. #1
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    I was wondering which of these case/fan setups can I get the best/adequate cooling power in terms of airflow and low noise production.

    These are all medium tower cases.

    1. Antec One P160 aluminium case:

    One 120mm intake fan on the low front and one 120mm exhaust fan on the back, both running at 1600rpm (55cfm airflow, 26db)

    2. Coolermaster ATC-201C-SX2 aluminium case:

    Two 80mm intake fans on the front, one 80mm exhaust fan on yhe top of the case and one 80mm exhaust fan on the back. All fans running at 1500rpm (19cfm, 12db). What if the fans are running at 2000rpm (26cfm, 19db)?

    3. A local store aluminium case:

    Two 80mm intake fans on the front, one 80mm intake fan on the side, one 80mm exhaust fan on the top of the case and two 80mm exhaust fans on the back. All fans running at 1500rpm (19cfm, 12db). What if the fans are running at 2000rpm (26cfm, 19db)? (Do I actually even need six fans?)

    I know I could just count those cfm numbers together and get the overall airflow in and out, but I would like to know e.g. which fan configuration would be more efficient: one 80mm fan on the top of the case and one 80mm fan on the back or only two 80mm fans on the back and so on. (note: This (comparison) setup was just an example. Of course I would also put front and/or side fan(s) to the case too! :rolleyes: )

    My ideal case would be this: all fans would be 120mm, one on the low front (intake), one on the side (intake), one on the top of the case (exhaust) and one on the back (exhaust). Thereīs just one problem; I havenīt seen a single case even with more than two 120mm fan mounts (at least here in Finland). :( :(

    Oh well, maybe I can live with the 80mm fans too... :rolleyes:

  2. #2
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    if i remember right..the 2 up front or 1 should be intake and so should the one on the side..and the too at the back should be exaust..as for the top im not sure..am i correct here??

  3. #3
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    Front and side = intake
    Rear and top = exhaust

    Remember that the heat rizes up towards the top by itself.
    One can therefore manage good with a low cfm fan in the top to suck it out of the case.


  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by The__tweaker
    Front and side = intake
    Rear and top = exhaust

    Remember that the heat rizes up towards the top by itself.
    One can therefore manage good with a low cfm fan in the top to suck it out of the case.

    That much I already knew. :thumb: :) I would just like to know how much the different fan placements will affect to the overall cooling efficiency. :confused:

  5. #5
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    It depends on the amount of airflow being pumped through the case. If the amount of total airflow is minimal, the differences will be larger than if there are gale force winds being produced.

    The whole purpose of having the low/front fans work as intake is so that nature can handle part of the work for you. With the natural movement of heated air being to rise, this helps in the overall cooling of the system.

    Not only that, but when you have air flowing in from the lower front portion of the case, you help alleviate the stagnant air that likes to sit toward the lower PCI slots. This hot spot has claimed more than one peripheral device before.
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  6. #6
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    ...but is there really any point to put six fans to your case or can I get good airflow with only four fans? (e.g. if I want to do some overclocking) :?: :) (in another words, should I buy a case with six fan mounts or is four mounts enough?) :confused:

  7. #7
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    I find 5 fans the best (2 x front intakes, 1 x side AGP/PCI intake and 2 x rear exhausts, all 34cfm) combined with the PSU (32cfm) gives me a bit more intake than exhaust (this stops dust collectin' along the seams as well as good temps).

  8. #8
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    Same as Wiggo - 2 x Front intake, One side intake, 2 x rear exhaust.

    But noise can be a problem on hot days...
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  9. #9
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    It's because of noise factor that I pick 34cfm fans as they're quiet and bein' surrounded by a dozen PC's I'd notice a loud one real quick.

  10. #10
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    So are the two rear fans better that one rear fan and one top (roof) fan? (in addition of 2 x front intake and 1 x side intake) :?:

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