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open or closed case

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Apr 23, 2001
is it better to keep the cover off my tower or bolt on some case fans to the cover and close it??
I would say it depends on how well you can get some air flow to it with the fans. With the case off, the noise will get worse for your ears - but so will a lot of high output fans.

I keep my case open most of the time. I am tinkering with some 120mm fans to put in the case though.

If you feel like modding the case, getting cold air in in the front would be the best, and then suck the hot air out on the back. I suppose it could work the other way around as well.
I have 5 fans (120mm) in my full tower case and my tempratures increase if I take the sides of my case
Duron 800 @ 1050 with Global Win FOP-32 (140 x 7.5)
Abit KT7A-Raid Mobo
512 mb (Crucial Stuff CAS 2)
Hard Drive Cooler
Elsa Eraser X2 Gforce with Blue Orb (modified to display as a Quadro and overclocked http://www.tweakhardware.com/guide/quadro/ )
Sound Blaster Live Value
Full Tower with 5 (120 mm) case fans with seperate PSU
I went a little crazy w/ fans but it stays cool.
lower front - 120mm 69cfm blowing in
left side cover - 120mm 69cfm blowing in
top of case - 120mm 69cfm sucking out
middle rear - 92mm 56cfm sucking out
top rear 2 80mm 42cfm sucking out
I used the mod from heatsinkguide.com for quieting fans. As you can see, my system runs cool and fairly quiet w/ covers on.
I definitely say keep the cover on ur tower ON. All u do is get lots and lots of dust on ur components. And we all know what dust does. Increase heat build up. Therefore u are being counter productive. Put some fans in ur case and have some real good airflow.
it depends, if you nothing for airflow in your case, then opening the case will lower your temps a lot. However, if you have some decent to good airflow, then leave it closed.
My vote is for case on only if your going to put some case fans in, I lowered my system temp by 10^C by putting my case cover back on.
I put a 90mm 50cfm fan in the bottom front blowing in and a 80mm ~33cfm in the top rear to get my system temp from 32^C to 22^c.
Althought the bigger the fan the better the air flow you do not need necessarily to go to town and buy 5 120mm fans to get good results.
Though good thought needs to be used in regards to the air flow through the case.
Good Luck
I have higher temps with case close which means that I don't have enough air flow thru the case. With the case open, the Delta fan on the HS sucks in as much outside air as it wants. Now I have a house fan aimed into the box and dropped temp even more. This definitely require more study for me.
Case is always better OFF.

Even if your case is off, I recommend having one or two good system fans in your pc.

Sure, dust is going to build up. But it will be almost exactly the same amount as a closed case w/o dust guards. Dust is only a problem if you never clean your case. I clean my case every 1-2 months.

The biggest thing to remember is that with your case closed, your pushing and sucking air from a closed source (Heat buildup). If you have your case open you will be getting fresh cool air easily.

With your case off & 1-2 system fans, the biggest difference you will notice is that you do NOT get any hot spots in your pc. And unless your case is very sturdy, you will notice only a very small increase in noise from having your case open.

Summary......If you have your pc on the floor, keep your case ON. If your pc is elevated then leave it OFF.
I have all my fans working in concert and it's better for me to leave the cover on. My temps go up a couple degrees when I take the cover off mine.
I would have to say go with whatever works the best for you, but also consider things like the dust and the noise. If I close my case and have 3 fans, the temperature is 2-3'C more than with the cover off.
For me. there's actually no difference, except the noise it makes when the cover is off. There's enough airflow with the 12 fans in it.
it really depends whether you have 2 little brothers who run around the house in trainers, then go and put their hands in your pc