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Old July 10, 2009, 12:24 PM
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Question Help me optimize my cooling!

Hey there! First build, need help optimizing my cooling.

Here's what I got.

i7 920
Asus P6T Deluxe
2x GTX 275 SLI
NCIX.com - Buy MSI GeForce GTX 275 Twin Frozr OC 666MHZ 896MB 2.322GHZ GDDR3 PCI-E 2XDVI Video Card - N275GTX-Twin Frozr OC In Canada.
Corsair XMS3 TR3X6G1600C9 6GB DDR3 3X2GB DDR3-1600 CL 9-9-9-24
NCIX.com - Buy Corsair XMS3 TR3X6G1600C9 6GB DDR3 3X2GB DDR3-1600 CL 9-9-9-24 Core i7 Memory Kit - TR3X6G1600C9 In Canada.
TX850W 850W CMPSU-850TX 12V 70A 24PIN ATX Active PFC 140M Fan Power Supply
NCIX.com - Buy Corsair TX850W 850W CMPSU-850TX 12V 70A 24PIN ATX Active PFC 140M Fan Power Supply - CMPSU-850TX In Canada.
Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme 1366RT Heatpipe Cooler LGA1366 120MM Fan FDB 1600RPM 28.0DBA 63.7CFM
x3 120 mm fans
CM HAF 922

Questions:
1.The cpu fan. Should I set it up north-south or east-west? I have it set-up north-south right now, my logic being that it will draw air in through the p6t's northbridge and that the exhaust fan on the top of the case is larger than the one on the side.

2. Side fans (120mm)? Yes or no? One would be a quarter over the heatsink, a quarter over the RAM, and the lower half over nothing. The other would be the right half over empty space, most of the left half over empty space between the two graphics cards, and the remaining portion under the bottom graphics card.

3. Bottom Fan (120mm)? It's right side would be nearly touching the HDD drive bays.

4. Causes for concern? The second video card is right over the PSU exhaust fan: the second fan on the videocard, which draws air in, is almost directly over the PSU exhaust fan with barely any room between them.

5. What do I do with the drivers for the videocards? Nvidia's are quite a bit newer than MSI's, but I'm afraid the second fan on the cards won't run properly with Nvidia's drivers. Also, will that cause me to lose the factory overclock (I suppose I can just jack it back up myself)?

6. I have three HDDs. How should I position them?

7. Will it have decent cooling with suggestions taken into account?

Thanks!

P.S. I'd be testing this myself, but right now I'm sitting with a RAMless computer (RAM got lost in the shuffle, just got shipped); however, I'm hoping you experienced guys have some conventional logic that won't make me go through some tedious testing later on. I'm planning on OCing, but nothing crazy (920 to 3.5 GHZ and have the RAM 1600, even though it's supposed to run at that but doesn't out of the box). Maybe OC the videocards when games get harder to play on this system.
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Old July 10, 2009, 12:36 PM
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1. Heat rises. Align it so your fan is blowing toward the top exhaust fan, this will help move heat out of the case quicker.
2. Try it without, if you don't like your temps add them in.
3. HDD's should be kept as cool as possible. They die quicker from overheating than anything else.
4. Can't tell until you're running.
5. Drivers don't affect overclocks or fan profiles, those are saved in the cards BIOS.
6. Somewhere with good airflow. See #3.
7. It should. You've got a high air flow case (HAF, get it?).
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Old July 10, 2009, 12:37 PM
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1. North/south (aka bottom to top) is what i always use whenever possible. As Sqeetard would say "backed by physics". Hot air rises.
2 & 3. I'd would say yes to both. More fans means you can run them at lower speeds to have a quieter system with the same overall airflow And it also means that your have a positive pressure case (or at least as much as possible with the huge exhaust fan up top) which should mean less dust will accumulate through the inside of your system (but more in your fan grills/filters).
4. ??? I dont quite understand how a PSU exhausts back into the case, i think you mean the PSU intake is facing the fan of the lower video card. If thats the case, doesnt the HAF922 allow the psu to be mounted such that it draws air in from the bottom of your case? I think so (but id have to check to be sure). If that is the case, mount the Psu that way and then your bottom mounted 120mm fan will provide nice fresh air directly to your lower video card and keep it cooler.
5. Unsure if the Nvidia drivers would affect the fan speeds, but i dont think so (theyre probably wired together as one). changing drivers will NOT affect the OC of the cards though.
6. If you can, keep one hdd space in between each, to allow airflow to pass in between them.
7. Yup! Quiet too! (depending on your fans of course)

Hope it helps.

Edit:
Ninja'd by SugarJ ... I should've written less, or faster! hehe
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Old July 10, 2009, 12:57 PM
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Thanks for the quick responses. Ooops on the PSU, I meant intake, not exhaust. Noob mistake, sorry. Yeah, both fans on the GPU intake, so basically they're intaking air (The GPU fan and the PSU) from the very same small area.

How's this sound: Looking at the case, the CD bays are all covered by mesh. The same mesh that covers the bottom-front fan. How about if I turned the CPU fan east-west, then jury-rigged a 120mm fan (with silicon stoppers to prevent rattling) into the CD bays (there's a lot of room, even with two bays occupied)? That way I would have two basically straight lines air flow (if I remember my one year of HS physics correctly, that should flow faster than an S-shape or anything like that). Sorry about the double post, I was apprehensive about that and don't post at forums often. Thanks again.

The only thing that worries me about the north-south is that the GPU is a monster and there seems to be more room east-west. Do mobos usually have cooling problems? The cpu fan sits quit a bit above the mobo, so it seems only the stock intel cooler would be drawing air in through the passive mobo coolers. My bro was the one who warned me about side fans, but he's not an expert; he said they created turbulence or something, or is he just overthinking?
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Old July 10, 2009, 01:09 PM
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I think keep it north/south would be best, turning the the other way while the huge top exhaust fan is still pushing exhaust air up and out will defeat the "straight-line" cooling idea.

For the Psu, reverse it upside as I mentioned, the HAF922 can do this:


Notice the grilled area for the PSU to pull its own air? Use it! The Gpu will be fed cool air from the 120mm directly to the right of it (in this picture).

Cooling the motherboard component such as the northbridge should not be an issue unless you OC to a very extreme level. For the most part, the passive radiating of heat off these components thats drawn away by the other fans is more then enough. Adding the side fans will also help this, and prevent the cpu cooler from being "choked" by the large videocard as well.
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Old July 10, 2009, 01:15 PM
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Thanks. So you think I should just toss as many fans as possible into the case and all exhausting air into it? Even the one in the CD Bay I rigged up? The only ones exhausting out would be the top fan and the back fan? I can only attach 4 fans to the mobo (1, if I decide to attach the 3 that came with the case to the mobo), so the rest will be fed directly into the PSU. Is that okay? They won't be too loud? I think the 120mm I bought are all like 28 Dba.

So it looks like positive pressure systems are the way to go.
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Old July 10, 2009, 01:20 PM
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Then its time to invest in a fan controller, so you may have lots fans, but they'll be kept quiet by the controller and you'll still have a very cool-running system.
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Old July 10, 2009, 01:23 PM
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Any controllers you suggest?
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Old July 10, 2009, 01:26 PM
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Its more about your own personal style and what you're looking for in terms of looks. doesnt the haf922 have a red led intake fan on the front? Not sure how many controllers will look nice with it... Another option would be this:
NCIX.com - Buy Bitspower X-STATION POWER-EXTENSION I - Male Version 4PIN Molex to Power Distribution Board - Red - BP10509 In Canada.
Just plug the noisy fans into this on one of the 7v or 5v headers to slow them down, no need for a fan controller then and you don't have to adjust anything once you've got it all sounding/cooling how you want.
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