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Intake / exhaust rad configuration for my case? Tips for my first loop

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New Member
Mar 20, 2015

First of all, I am new in the watercooling and modding world. :p

I am modding my case (NOX Coolbay TX) in order to fit a custom water loop. I want to cool an EVGA GTX 780 Classified and an I7-4770k. I want a reasonably silent system under normal use but I also want to have the possibility of overclocking the hell out of these parts.

I have bought EK water blocks for the GPU and CPU (Supremacy EVO). I have 4 radiators (all XSPC): one AX240, one RX240 and two RX120. They are low FPI. My case wouldn't fit any more without a radbox (which I personally don't like). The placement (with some modding) will be the following (complete scheme at the end of the post):


Due to the space available in my case, the only fans that can have its position changed in relation to the radiator (with some difficulties...) are the one of bottom 120 rad and the two ones of the top 240 rad.

The big question is: which rads should I put as intake and which ones as exhaust?

I have read on the internet that "exhaust is better because you dump the hot air outside the case" but also "intake is better because the rad is cooled by fresh exterior air". This are my thoughts:
1) I need a good air circulation inside the case to keep the RAM, HDDs, SDDs, chipset... cool. I want to overclock.
2) I need an balanced intake/exhaust. If I put all rads as exhausts there will be negative pressure inside the case and a lot of dust. Maybe all rads as intake is possible. The rads take all the spaces for fans.
3) I am considering PWM fans: Noctua NF-F12 or Noiseblocker eLoop B12-PS. Noiseblockers seems to have a more pleasant noise but have the problem that make strange noises in pull configuration, they need a shroud.

and I consider the following options:

THE CLASSIC. Front and bottom intake, rear and top exhaust.
- Balanced, no negative pressures.
- Organized airflow, helped by natural convection. Good chipset, etc. cooling.
- Air is taken from the bottom: fresh air.
- Half of the hot air dumped inside the case.
- Air is taken from the bottom: dust, filters, etc.
Pull fans: front and rear -> 3 shrouds needed

REVERSE. Front and bottom exhaust, rear and top intake.
- Balanced pressure.
- Organized airflow. Good chipset, etc. cooling.
- Air is taken from the top: less dust problems. Maybe no fan filters required -> Better performance
- Half of the hot air dumped inside the case.
- Airflow against natural convection (is it relevant?).
- Air is taken from the top: the case is under a table so maybe this air will be hotter than the one near the floor.
Pull fans: maybe top and bottom. I can put all as push if needed -> no shrouds required.

ALL INTAKE. The air will escape through other case holes.
- Strong positive pressures: dust stopped by fan filters.
- All the hot air dumped inside the case.
- A part of the air is taken from the bottom: dust, filters, etc.
Pull fans: Front and maybe top. At least 2 shrouds needed.

ALL EXHAUST. The air will enter through other case holes.
- No hot air is dumped inside the case.
- Very negative pressure: a lot of dust.
Pull fans: Rear and maybe bottom. At least 1 shroud required.

I think all intake or all exhaust are too radical. For me, "classic" and "reverse" are the better options. But, what do you think? What would you do? I will appreciate any idea or comment. As I told, I am new in this. So, please comment!

BTW this is the plan for the entire build: :thup:


- Rads: XSPC AX240 hanging from the front, RX240 on the top of the case, two RX120 inside the case
- Fans: Noctua NF-F12 or Noiseblocker NB-eLoop B12-PS [I have not bought it yet]
- CPU WB: EKWB Supremacy EVO Plexi+Nickel
- GPU WB: EKWB 780 Classy Plexi+Nickel
- Pump: Swiftech mcp655
- Tubing: Size 16/10 mm (5/8"-3/8"). Some 19/13 mm (3/4"-1/2") for the pump segment due to its barb size. I want some UV reactive tubing. Maybe Primochill Advanced LRT [I have not bought it yet]
- Fittings: DocMicro
- Res: EK-RES X3 150 [I have not bought it yet]
- Fillports: XSPC. One on the top and a drain at the bottom

My PC:
- Mobo: Asus Z97-A
- CPU: Intel i7-4770k
- GPU: EVGA GTX 780 Classified
- RAM: Gskill sniper 2x4 GB 1866 MHz
- PSU: Seasonic S12G 750 W
- HDD: WD Caviar Blue 1 TB
- SSD: Samsung 840 EVO
- Windows 8.1
Last edited:


Water Cooling Senior Member, #TEAMH20HNO
May 22, 2011
:welcome: to OCFs.

For air flow, I would use the filtered points of the case as intake, front, bottom and top and use the rear as exhaust. 120.4 of total rad is more than enough for a CPU + GPU loop. I would remove the 2 120.1s as they'll add more restrictions to the loop and ruin the flow inside the case because of the clutter. A simple 240 front and up top should be good to go. Just make sure to set up a drain at the bottom of the loop.


Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Dec 15, 2008
Front/sides= intake, top/rear=exhaust for nice airFLOW. Take the filter off the top If you use it as exhaust.