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Thargon

how to improve the airflow

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I am not satisfied with the current airflow in my rig. Whilst the CPU cooler remains ultra silent even when clocking the CPU @4.5GHz, the GPU becomes quite noisy without oc (but with factory oc).

My case is a Thermaltake Level10GTS with only the two system coolers installed, which came with the case. These are a 200mm fan at the front and a 140mm fan at the back.

The CPU (i5-3570K) is cooled by a DarkRock Pro 2 and the GPU (Gigabyte GTX660Ti OC @1033/1111/1502MHz) has two fans installed.

 

Here is an image visualizing the current airflow:

side_wtags.jpg

 

As you can see, the 200mm fan at the front blows cool air through the HDD slots into the case. Above, there are empty DVD slots, so the CPU cooler can get cool air from there and the lower part of the case. The warm air is then moved out of the case by the 140mm fan at the back. The PSU has its own airflow at the bottom. The GPU draws fresh air from below and then blows it around in the case. In fact I don't really know, where the hot air ends up when blown through the GPU cooler =/ Additionally, I fear that the 140mm fan at the back is too small to get all the warm air out of the case.

 

Now, I have the problem that the GPU gets relatively warm and noisy under load. I guess the problem is that the air to cool the GPU is already quite warm because of the HDDs and the GPU itself. With this case it would be possible to install an additional 200mm fan at the side (the red circle in the image) which would provide the GPU with fresh cool air. Unfortunately the DarkRock is too high, so there is no space left in the case to install a side fan.

 

My only idea to enhance the airflow whilst the system remains silent is to exchange the DarkRock by some water cooling solution and then install an additional 200mm side fan. The water cooling could be installed either at the top (120x240mm) or replace the 140mm fan at the back.
However an improved solution will look like, it shall be very silent with base clocks but if possible also hold opportunities for overclocking in the future. So far i ran only some rough OC tests for the CPU and ended up at 4.5GHz without any issues and maybe can push it to 5GHz with some fine tuning. The alternative cooling solution should achieve similar results (at least stable 4.XGHz).

 

Here are some statistics of playing Crysis3 for about one hour:

hw_status.jpg

System fan #1 is the CPU fan, everything else should be clear I think. If you are missing something, I can run some further tests.

 

With other applications like the Heaven benchmark, the GPU temperature even hits (and sometimes exceeds) the 80°C. I would like to reduce this value by ~10% or more and thereby reduce the noise as well.

 

Please give me some ideas or advices how to achieve an improved airflow, so that the noise level of my rig becomes even lower :)

Tnak you very much in advance!

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I would imagine trading noise for power, or finding a way to bring air via the DVD/etc slots somehow would be the best way.

However, you want quieter, water does sound the only solution to me.

well, actually, I have another solution, just, you would probably never use it.  Cut two holes that are parallel in each side of the case, get a fan in each of them, one pulling in air, one pushing it out.  The same kind of idea (except only a fan pulling air out) worked great on my friend's old laptop when the GPU fan died (it was a custom far apparently... woulda cost over $100 ><) and he needed to keep it cool.

Also, why is everyone so temp crazy... I would kill for my laptop's GPU to be hitting 77C max, much less my CPU (which hits over over 100C)

I should also note the only case I have experience with is a modified PowerMac G5 case... I am certainly not the one to ask.

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Thanks for your comment, testbug.

 

I am not sure, if I understand your idea with coolers on both sides of the case. Do you mean to put a fan behind the motherboard? An additional cooler on the left side, which pushes cool air onto the GPU is just, what I would like to do, but so far I can't see the benefit of pulling air out from behind the mobo.

 

Actually I am not temp crazy, but noise crazy. I use this PC for gaming and multimedia in my living room. So when watching a movie or playing a game, I mislike noisy sounds of coolers. I want to reduce the temps in order to reduce the speed of the fans in order to reduce noise in order to have an even more immersive experience ;)

 

As for laptops, this is a diffrent story for temperatures. My notebook seems to completely turn off all fans when idle, but when I play HalfLife (the first one of '98) I think I there is a helicopter hidden in the case. But when you install a cooling block in a PC, which weights nearly as much as a whole laptop, you can expect lower temperatures.

 

Back to topic: Any ideas how to push cool air through the empty DVD slots?

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Back to topic: Any ideas how to push cool air through the empty DVD slots?

Find really small fans you get set up with some adhesive (unless they can somehow be mounted there) and have them spin fast enough to intake air, but, slow enough to not make noise.

The problem there is that many cases are designed to work optimally when there is no air coming in from that part of the case... so, it could actually have a negative effect.

EDIT: given I miss-saw something in the case, the point out be to add a fan on the top and cover... one pulling air in, one pushing it out.  However, once more, as to how cases are designed... doing so might drop the overall effectiveness.

-Q

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