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Case shopping with maximum air cooling

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ihrsetrdr

Señor Senior Member
Joined
May 17, 2005
Location
Close to the San Andreas Fault
My old Antec case is headed for retirement, simply can't keep 2 graphics cards anywhere near a reasonable temperature. When I smell that "freshly baked" PCBs and plastic aroma, the hairs stand up on the back of my neck.

xtreme-heat.jpg

Trying to stay at/under the $150 mark. I'd prefer a full ATX case just for the room, but searching everywhere I mostly find mid-ATX cases, which(in my mind) I see as more problematic for air cooling, than a full ATX case.

Maybe I should cut up this Antec case with a 120mm hole saw, got nothing to loose. ;)
 

Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Everything with glass in front and no bottom-> top full airflow is quite bad.

One tip, whatever is on Noctua NH-P1 recommended list has great airflow. It's a passive cooler and they tested all the cases on the list, so it's a large base of various models. Here are links to recommended models and all models:
I'm using Jonsbo UMX4 and even though it's quite small then its design causes it to have great results with high wattage CPU+GPU.

Fractal Meshify and Torrent have good results and are recommended around the web.
Phanteks cases have generally not the best reviews regarding the airflow. The same NZXT cases have bad reviews from users. They look good but the airflow is limited. Lian-Li has limited airflow in almost everything except the O11 series. I feel they went a step back with all their new cases and put glass panels everywhere.
 

BugFreak

Joined
Apr 29, 2010
Location
Central FL
Phanteks cases have generally not the best reviews regarding the airflow.
Interesting considering they have the most fan spots and almost no blockage or direction changes. I guess if using their stock fans it might be bad but I don't generally do that.
 
OP
ihrsetrdr

ihrsetrdr

Señor Senior Member
Joined
May 17, 2005
Location
Close to the San Andreas Fault
Thanks guys, lots of great suggestions. While case shopping I have been searching "ATX full tower" parameters but invariably get "mid towers" thrown into the results. I've wanted to rule out mid towers as an option, but there are precious few Full ATX cases offered, it seems. So far I'm looking at two cases, the Phanteks Enthoo Pro, that accommodates the following fan options:
Code:
Front: 2 x 120mm / 2 x 140mm Fan / 1 x 200mm Fan (1 x 200mm fan included)

Top: 3 x 120mm / 3 x 140mm / 1 x 200mm Fan

Rear: 1 x 120mm / 1 x 140mm Fan (1 x 140mm fan included)

Bottom: 2 x 120mm / 1 x 140mm Fan

HDD: 2 x 120mm Fans

...and the Fractal Design Meshify C Black ATX High-Airflow Compact, which is a mid-tower that boasts "Performance and capacity of a full tower in a compact mid-tower size".

Fan specs:

Code:
Front: 3 x 120mm (1 x Dynamic X2 GP-12 included) / 2 x 140mm fan 

Rear: 1 x 120mm Dynamic X2 GP-12 (included)

Top: 2 x 120mm / 2 x 140mm fan
 

Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Interesting considering they have the most fan spots and almost no blockage or direction changes. I guess if using their stock fans it might be bad but I don't generally do that.
Large Enthoo with mesh in front are good but most of their models have solid front or limited airflow, no airflow from the bottom, and glass panels on the sides. So yes, Enthoo Pro with a full mesh front is a good option. Evolv and Eclipse series have big problems with airflow and higher wattage components. They released front mesh panels for Eclipse some months after the premiere because users were complaining (it's a separate product).

Fractal Torrent makes a lot of noise recently also because of its somehow fresh design.
 

BugFreak

Joined
Apr 29, 2010
Location
Central FL
Thanks guys, lots of great suggestions. While case shopping I have been searching "ATX full tower" parameters but invariably get "mid towers" thrown into the results. I've wanted to rule out mid towers as an option, but there are precious few Full ATX cases offered, it seems. So far I'm looking at two cases, the Phanteks Enthoo Pro, that accommodates the following fan options:
Code:
Front: 2 x 120mm / 2 x 140mm Fan / 1 x 200mm Fan (1 x 200mm fan included)

Top: 3 x 120mm / 3 x 140mm / 1 x 200mm Fan

Rear: 1 x 120mm / 1 x 140mm Fan (1 x 140mm fan included)

Bottom: 2 x 120mm / 1 x 140mm Fan

HDD: 2 x 120mm Fans

...and the Fractal Design Meshify C Black ATX High-Airflow Compact, which is a mid-tower that boasts "Performance and capacity of a full tower in a compact mid-tower size".

Fan specs:

Code:
Front: 3 x 120mm (1 x Dynamic X2 GP-12 included) / 2 x 140mm fan

Rear: 1 x 120mm Dynamic X2 GP-12 (included)

Top: 2 x 120mm / 2 x 140mm fan
I would look at the Pro 2 instead. Much better front and it is a full atx.
 
OP
ihrsetrdr

ihrsetrdr

Señor Senior Member
Joined
May 17, 2005
Location
Close to the San Andreas Fault
I would look at the Pro 2 instead. Much better front and it is a full atx.
This one, correct? It is sitting in my NE cart. It fulfills my requirements- Full ATX, plenty of front-top-bottom-rear 120mm fan options, and price range. Look nice enough. I like the concealed USB 3.0, USB-C GEN 2, Mic, Headphone Front Ports.

**Time lapse**
Ended up buying the Pro2 from eBay Commerce, regular Newegg was going to take over 2 weeks to ship, Amazon had the Pro2 but I wanted to use my paypal balance. Wheew, done!
 
Last edited:
OP
ihrsetrdr

ihrsetrdr

Señor Senior Member
Joined
May 17, 2005
Location
Close to the San Andreas Fault
I was thinking of this one but that one will work good too. The one you bought is like a smaller version of the Enthoo Primo which is a monster case that does just about anything. I have the Primo as well and still use it on and off.
I would have probably chose that one, but it got lost in the myriad of cases I looked at. I did put it in my wish list, might "have to" build another new system. ;)
 

yoadknux

Member
Joined
May 6, 2016
It depends on your exact needs tbh.
If your CPU is air-cooled, then the Fractal Torrent is a great choice, and comes out of the box with 2x 180 and 3x 140. However, radiators go either bottom or front - not optimal for LC.
If your CPU is water-cooled, then the O11 Dynamic EVO is the best choice, fully supporting front-rear and bottom-top airflow with radiator placement as needed. A vertical GPU + LC radiator at top would give you the best GPU/CPU temps of probably any case. However, the O11 Evo isn't cheap and comes with 0 fans - 4x140 or 6x120 can be costly.

My H500P Mesh isn't bad, comes with 2x 200 and 1x 140, but its outdated design is inferior to the two cases I mentioned