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Air Flow is one of the most important factors when Modifying a case. The goal in cooling your case is to bring the temperature down to a moderate level allowing for increased performance and decreased chance of harm.
There are 2 ways of doing this. Water Cooled and Air Cooled. Well a third if you combined the 2.
What I am going to discus in this article is Air Cooling and how The direction of air flow can make or break a good mod.
The Basic concept is to bring in fresh air and take out the Hot air.(Figure1-1)
In general you would have Intake threw the front and exhaust threw the back.
The Circle in the drawing above shows the Hot spot. This is where 80 % of your heat inside the case is created.
Please be aware the heat sink is not always the source of the heat.
In server or Multiple drive situations you might find the Hot Spot is actually near the hard drive bay.
Now the First thing you should ask yourself is how can I add to this cooling process.
That's simple Increase the volume of air going threw the system, and the best way to do that is add fans.
Where to put them Is not always as simple
In general allot of people place a blow hole in the top of the case this is for a few reasons.
One hot air rises. Two as you can see (Figure 1-3) the fan in the top keep the air flow moving in one direction.
Bottom right to top left.
There are other options as well like Fans in a window or on the front panel.
Ideally you want the hole in this situation placed directly across the CPU or Hot Spot. (Figure 1-5)
The reason for this is you would maximize the amount of hot air flowing out and lessons the chance of harming the internal air flow of the case creating a back draft..
(Figure 1-5 Thermal Take LanMoto Case)
Sometimes for example if the hot spot was the drive area like in, (Figure 1-2) I might have the fan pulling air in instead of taking it out just do to the location of your standard intakes and to keep the air flow moving in one direction. Another important thing to remember, if something doesn't seem to work flow wise you can always change it. Start out by making sure the hard ware is performing up to spec. Most the newer mother boards have sensors for RPM speed and Temp. so use those tools to tweak the case. Then you will want to take another look at air flow maybe change a fan from an intake to an exhaust never know what will help till you try.
The overall goal of Air cooling is to keep the entire case a lower temp. by moving air. Unlike Water cooling where you focus on specific areas to cool.
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