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Overheating problem -- Looking for advice on airflow in my case. Question from Noob

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Oct 12, 2002
Indiana University
Overheating problem -- Looking for advice on airflow in my case. Question from Noob


I was wondering if anyone here could offer me some advice on getting better airflow in my case. Right now I have idle temps of 41! and when i play UT2003 its damn near 54. ON an INtel P4 2.4B no oc.

The HSF is the AVC Sunflower w/ a 5600 RPM fan that is blowing air on the HSF. There is a cpu duct fan that is sucking air out of case (came with case). There is also a bottom front intake fan (don't know specs it came with my aluminum case. I cut the plastic bars off of the cage so its wide open. Lastly there is 2 HD aluminum coolers w/ dual fans and the 400W PS fan which is pretty good.

I thought that the cpu duct fan and the cpu fan were working against each other since the cpu fan is blowing air on cpu and duct fan is sucking it out. so i tried having cpu fan and duct fan both suck out air, but this caused catasrophic heat problems as my 60 BIOS alarm went off. i've tried both blowing but a bunck of heat builds up right under the PS and it gets really hot.

I may have a solution but am not sure if its a good idea. Anyways here goes:

I plan on putting a better intake fan in bottom front the one i bought is like 50 something CFM and is 80mm the only one I can fit w/out drilling holes in case. next I plan on putting a pci slot blower right where the graphics card is. There is hardly any room on upper part of case to put a regular case fan due to the CPU duct so I am putting a 60mm 6800RPM fan right under it to exhaust, plus leave curent PSU fan in there as well as the HD coolers. I dont know what to do with cpu duct fan. There is no more room for intake fans in bottom front of case so to get a little more air flow I may put the old intake fan around the bottom middle of the case pushing the cold air up. Is this a good idea?
And do you think I will get better air flow in the case. the main problem right now is all the hot air building up around CPU and PS.

I have checked the seating of HSF unit, but I think the problem is when I put it on there I may have wiggled it around a bit since I first have to put CPU in then put the HSF on top then secure the top half of the bracket and then lock it in place.

Please help, I am afraid to do anything CPU/graphics intensive as the computer gets really hot. Also, I appreciate any suggestion/replies/advice anyone can give.


BTW heres a link to the case, don't know if its any useful.
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Sounds like it is case mod time.

The picture in the link doesn't show too much but I might consider the doing one or more of the following:
1) A top exhaust fan if there is room. As near to the back as possible. Getting hot air out of this area is hard unless the PSU has a good set of fans or you have a couple exhaust fans at the back in the case. Working toward this end would be productive.
2) I don't understand the geometry of the cpu duct but its objective should be to help move air through the HS. One fan blows into the HS and the other as part of the duct sucks it out. That setup should be fine as long as the fans move a reasonable amount of air, maybe 40ish cfm.
3) Mod (make a hole in) the side of the case over the cpu HS and build your own duct to allow room air to flow directly onto the HS proves very useful for most of us. You can make the duct out of cardboard or about any that'll hold the shape. Should be lots of threads around this forum dealing with ducts. You could add a fan if you want.

You appear to have several options so pick the one or two that you think will have the biggest effect first. Do them one at a time and stop when you're happy.

Good luck! :cool:
I agree....a fan mounted right above the CPU blowing in is the best route, you probably wont even need to duct with cardboard if the hole is right above the CPU and you have decent exhausting fans. Just getting that cool air in the area will help a lot.
Jkasmann and deeppow,

Thanks for the replies and suggestions. I really dont want to do any cutting in the case as I dont know how and dont have the tools to do it. Anyways, I took a picture off of my link and did some madden style drawings just to illustrate my idea on getting the temps down. Here's a link:

Let me know if you guys think this is a good idea.


Sorry about the sloppiness.
I forgot to ask this. Will a 400w PS be enough to power all these fans. I already have 2 HDs, 2 optical drives, floppy, gf4, audigy, blue neon light and modem card? And should I pluge all the fans into the optical drives power cords since they are rarely used? Or plug some into cd drives power cord and some into hd power cord?

Thanks in advance,
Like you said, if you have a duct right over the HSF sucking air out, while the HSF in blowing into the HS, you'll create a vacuum effect and you'll hear the fans working against each other. Instead of turning the HSF over so it blows away from the HS, take out the duct that's over the processor. This should definitetly make temps lower.

My Dell also came with a duct right over the HS with no fan. After I installed a fan on the HS, I took the duct out and everything was fine then.

Good luck.

I just took a closer look at that duct/fan thingy that's on the back of your case. I think that's where the main problem is. Those types of fan/duct thingys are made for older/slower chips that dont require a fan on the HS. The duct/fan is supposed to keep the heat from the processor localized and suck all the heat from the HS out the case.

Is there a place for a regular fan in the back? I think you mentioned that you had holes for a 60mm fan? Then try taking out that fan/duct thing and use a high CFM 60mm fan. That's not nearly enough, but worth a try. This is all I can think of right now, but I think in the end you'll have to add another 60mm in the back making it two 60s, because as far as I can tell 80s wont fit even if you make holes for them.
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Kid Payne,

There is no place (w/ predrilled holes) for a exhaust case fan, however there is a series of holes in a box shape that looks to be about 60x60 so thats where I am gonna try to put that 7000RPM fan that I mentioned in the first post. After I put this in there do you reccomend I take that cpu duct thing out or have it blowing cool air onto cpu?

try the 60mm fan for exaust and take the duct/fan out. So you got the HSF, the 60mm blowing air out of the case from the back, and an intake fan right? Give that a try, but like I said, you'll eventually have to add another exaust fan somewhere...
Thanks for the advice. I ordered some fans a couple days ago and will install them next week. I'll try your solution. Hopefully, that'll help.

I'm sure you know this already, but keep a close eye on your temps while testing. I don't think you'll fry the chip as long as the HSF is installed properly, but stranger things have happened to some people.