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Large vs Small case for cooling?

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yaiie

Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2013
Hello clockers!!

I was wondering for cooling... Is it better to have a larger case which offers more room for cool air or a smaller case? I'd guess a smaller case would expel the heat quicker though it'd offer less "room" to breathe.

The two pcs I've built have been Phantom 410s by NZXT. A great case that was easy to build in! This time id like to step out of my comfort zone and mix it up a bit. Smaller cases sound quite appealing to me at the moment though I'm concerned about temperatures and noise.

I'd like to try water cooling this time around. I'm thinking the Corsair H110i GTX.

A clear side panel and three fan intakes would be ideal.

What do you guys think?! I saw the Manta and that's a sexy case. I just have no experience with smaller builds and I'm a little gunshy with pulling the trigger.

I'm aiming for an i7 and a 1070 to game and live stream. My previous builds have been i5s. Right now I'm playing on an Asus G series laptop.
 

Fineas

Registered
Joined
Apr 22, 2011
I was wondering the same thing. I have a antech 1200 but was considering buying the Fractle R5 this week and the Cooler master Neptune. but if you think my antech 1200 would be better i may just buy the cooler by itself. your advice would be much apriciated
 

LutaWicasa

, Immutable, Administrator
Joined
Dec 22, 2000
Location
Huntsville, AL
When I use a case, I've always leaned toward large.
I like having easy and comfortable access as well as no worries regarding hardware sizes ;)
I've also found cooling to be less problematic.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
I was wondering the same thing. I have a antech 1200 but was considering buying the Fractle R5 this week and the Cooler master Neptune. but if you think my antech 1200 would be better i may just buy the cooler by itself. your advice would be much apriciated
Who's advice, this guy above you is asking the same thing, LOL!

Anyway, lol, larger cases tend to be easier to keep cool as there is more room for ariFLOW inside the case. As luta mentioned its a bit easier to work in particularly if you frequently change around parts. If you are a set it and forget it, the pain won't happen much, lol!

i7 and 1070 are a good choice.
 

jaymz9350

Member
Joined
May 13, 2006
I was wondering the same thing. I have a antech 1200 but was considering buying the Fractle R5 this week and the Cooler master Neptune. but if you think my antech 1200 would be better i may just buy the cooler by itself. your advice would be much apriciated

Well I'd hardly consider an R5 a "small case". One of the cooling issues in small cases is simply lack of space for enough fans for good cooling
 

ehume

Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2009
I was wondering the same thing. I have a antech 1200 but was considering buying the Fractle R5 this week and the Cooler master Neptune. but if you think my antech 1200 would be better i may just buy the cooler by itself. your advice would be much apriciated

I'm running a fractal design Define r5. It's the one from this review. Obviously I think it's a good case, but it's not exactly a small case. I did remove the rear grill. I trimmed the cut edges with trimmed-to-fit plastic end clips from the kind of report covers you buy at a stationery store.

I have played with a number of cases. Actually, the smaller ones are more conducive to airflow, which is what you need for cooling. In big cases, the airflow tends to get lost. You need lots of fans. The more air you move, the more noise you make.

Whatever you get, set it up so the air flows. Your overclocking depends on your cooling that CPU. And the cooler your CPU, the higher your headroom is. Since a cooler can cool no better than the air that is presented to it, your task is to give it the coolest air you can find.

Intel's old system of bottom front to top back worked when the motherboard needed to be cooled and the CPU not so much. Now the motherboard will cool itself and if you let the heat it makes go to your cooler, whether heatsink or AIO, then that cooler cannot do its job.

Overall, watch your airflow.
 

Xterra

Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2010
Location
New York, NY
Who's advice, this guy above you is asking the same thing, LOL!
I think he was:

1) asking the same question;
2) in addition to asking the same question, expanding by asking another specific question regarding a case not mentioned in the first poster's question.

Anyways, I consider the R5 to be a small, but wide case. A bulldog to say, a great dane. Plenty of room, great access, expandable air/water options. Definitely my favorite case thus far.
 

peanutbudder

Member
Joined
May 30, 2012
Location
California
If I were you I would also consider the GPU cooler design if you plan on going with a smaller build. The reference style blower coolers work very well for smaller cases like mATX and mITX. If you plan on a full size ATX tower then GPU cooler style will not make much of difference as the volume of air inside the case negates high temperatures.

I have built in every size case including the ncase m1 which is the smallest mITX case on the market. The blower style cooler dropped my overall temperatures by almost 10*c. I think most people don't realize how much heat a GPU makes but since your looking at a 1070 it shouldn't be to bad.
 

jaymz9350

Member
Joined
May 13, 2006
Anyways, I consider the R5 to be a small, but wide case. A bulldog to say, a great dane. Plenty of room, great access, expandable air/water options. Definitely my favorite case thus far.

1459216966428.jpg

This is an R4 (very similar to the R5) next to a small case lol
 

Fineas

Registered
Joined
Apr 22, 2011
thank you for the size reference,it is much bigger than i thought. but i think it will still fit in place of my antech 1200. all my fans are slowly going out in the 1200 so what the hell ill give it a shot.
 

jaymz9350

Member
Joined
May 13, 2006
Oh yeah it's definitely smaller than a 1200, it's still a mid tower not a full tower and on the larger size of mid towers that I've seen.
For reference the smaller case is an EVGA Hadron Hydro mitx case
 

Kenrou

Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2014
Anyways, I consider the R5 to be a small, but wide case. A bulldog to say, a great dane. Plenty of room, great access, expandable air/water options. Definitely my favorite case thus far.

Small ? the R5 ? one of the biggest i have seen in the market and for good reason, airflow is VERY good. +1 to all the other reasons :thup:
 

NewbieOneKenobi

Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2006
Location
Warsaw/Poland
Conventional wisdom says large, hands down and with good reason.

Conventional wisdom, however, doesn't take into account those pricey fans that move like 100 CFM @ < 120 dBA but simply cost through the roof. There are also cheap 12-to-14 cm adapters if you want to put the diameter up a bit.

With a short case the lower front fan effectively becomes the GPU's exhaust fan to push outside the case the hot air blown off by the GPU cooling system. And that's like a separate, closed duct, sometimes including an SSD or HDD. The PSU is essentially an self-sufficient autonomous system. For CPU section you can always go (1) chassis front intake, (2) CPU tower heatsink intake, (3) CPU tower heatsink exhaust, (4) chassis rear exhaust (and/or chassis top exhaust), where short distances are going to have a massive effect. But you would need two chassis front intakes, not just a single one that's monopolized by the GPU section.

The advantage of a small chassis with two chassis front intakes in a vertical arrangement is that you just can't screw it up. Probably not even I could. ;) (Though I wouldn't bet my lunch money on that.)

Note that a system totally focused on expulsion like this will behave differently from a traditional big-tower-based system, though it would be a bit above my paygrade to give you more details on how.
 
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yaiie

Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2013
Conventional wisdom says large, hands down and with good reason.

Conventional wisdom, however, doesn't take into account those pricey fans that move like 100 CFM @ < 120 dBA but simply cost through the roof. There are also cheap 12-to-14 cm adapters if you want to put the diameter up a bit.

With a short case the lower front fan effectively becomes the GPU's exhaust fan to push outside the case the hot air blown off by the GPU cooling system. And that's like a separate, closed duct, sometimes including an SSD or HDD. The PSU is essentially an self-sufficient autonomous system. For CPU section you can always go (1) chassis front intake, (2) CPU tower heatsink intake, (3) CPU tower heatsink exhaust, (4) chassis rear exhaust (and/or chassis top exhaust), where short distances are going to have a massive effect. But you would need two chassis front intakes, not just a single one that's monopolized by the GPU section.

The advantage of a small chassis with two chassis front intakes in a vertical arrangement is that you just can't screw it up. Probably not even I could. ;) (Though I wouldn't bet my lunch money on that.)

Note that a system totally focused on expulsion like this will behave differently from a traditional big-tower-based system, though it would be a bit above my paygrade to give you more details on how.

I'm leaning toward the Manta

https://www.nzxt.com/products/manta-matte-black

With six Corair AF 140s

Two intakes, three exhaust and a Cryorig H5a air cooler.

I'm thinkihg a reference style 1070 that'll blow right out of the case.

What do you think?