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PC in desk project - 3D done - Question about cooling efficiency

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Prophet G

Registered
Joined
May 28, 2020
Hey guys,

I've been looking for a forum to try to get help about the cooling efficiency of my setup, so here I am ! First, I'm going to post some pictures so you know what I'm talking about (never did 3D before I had to learn in one day and adapt):

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There are some adjustments to make like moving some parts a little bit and stuff like that but the global design is done, and fully functional, I even did a simulation to assemble it piece by piece like I would in real life and it worked great. But anyway, that's not the topic here, even if I'd love to hear about your thought on how to potentially improve the design. (oh and yeah, I still haven't placed the power button)

My problem is I want to use a 360 watercooling kit for CPU only, and I dont know where to mount the radiator. I guess I have 4 choices which are:
1 - On the front panel, in front of the fans (fans are on the side of the chamber, radiator is on the side of the exterior, so fans are sucking air through the radiator) [both mounted in the chamber]
2 - On the front panel, behind the fans (fans are on the side of the exterior, radiator is on the side of the chamber, so fans are blowing through the radiator) [both mounted in the chamber]
3 - On the back panel, in front of the fans (fans are on the side of the chamber, radiator is on the side of the exterior, so fan are blowing through the radiator) [both mounter outside of the chamber, but inside can be done]
4 - On the back panel, behind the fans (fans are on the side of the exterior, radiator is on the side of the chamber, so fan are sucking through the radiator) [both mounter outside of the chamber, but inside can be done]

My initial choice was to go with the solution "2", but in fact I have no idea which one is the best, that's why I'm trying to gather some knowledge.
I will get 6 Silent Wings 3, 3 for the 360 radiator, and 3 for the other side of the chamber, which will lead me to a big negative (or positive depending on my choice of radiator placement) pressure because the radiator will reduce the efficiency of the fans on one side of the chamber, but I think it will not be a problem.

Another concerning thing to me is, will the airflow be enough ? I'm not OC'ing at all and I don't know much about VRMs, will they be cooled enough with this design ?


Thanks for reading guys, have a good day/night !
 

Zerileous

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2002
We describe these configurations as "push" or "pull" or "intake" and "exhaust." Push is when the fan is pushing air through the rad, and pull is where the fan is pulling it through. Really push vs. pull is not a major difference. For intake vs exhaust you need to decide your priority component. Having the radiator intake will get you the best CPU temps, as fresh air is being brought directly to the radiator, at the minor cost of GPU temps, as the air cooling the GPU will have already taken on some heat from the rad. Vice versa applies to the exhaust. If you're not overclocking, again it should not matter.

That said a parts list would be helpful in determining.

I also would not worry much about positive or negative pressure. Airflow should be okay, however depending on how large the GPU is it could obstruct flow somewhat. I don't think it will be a big problem.

What is the box with two fans in it? That looks like a radiator to me.
 
OP
Prophet G

Prophet G

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May 28, 2020
Thanks for your input. I'll place the radiator in the front then. I want to prioritize my CPU temp as I don't play a lot of games, or at least not heavy games, just Valorant, League, TM², stuff like that.

Zerileous said:
That said a parts list would be helpful in determining.

Modest setup, will upgrade in 1 year more or less. At the moment: 2600x / RX 580 / RM650x / 16Go DDR4 @3000Mhz

Zerileous said:
What is the box with two fans in it? That looks like a radiator to me.

It's my graphic card ! I guess I have to sharpen my 3D skills
 

Zerileous

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2002
Ahh that makes sense. Are you planning to run the riser cable all the way along the back of the motherboard? Will the cable be long enough? Also knowing that is the GPU, I think airflow will be great in the case!
 
OP
Prophet G

Prophet G

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May 28, 2020
Zerileous said:
Ahh that makes sense. Are you planning to run the riser cable all the way along the back of the motherboard? Will the cable be long enough? Also knowing that is the GPU, I think airflow will be great in the case!

Yes the riser cable is going to go in the hole under the graphic card, run under the floor of the chamber, and go up again through the other rectangular hole under the motherboard.
No riser cable are long enough, at least I didn't find any. I need between 55 and 65cm, I'm gonna have to use 2.
 

Zerileous

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2002
Why not just locate the GPU on the other side of the motherboard? I believe there are signal quality limitations with length of riser cable so simply using two may not be wise. But I'm not an expert on that so you may at least want to verify if doubling them will cause problems.

EDIT: also then you will not have to route the water cooling over the GPU.

more edits: re the water cooling, are you planning on a custom loop, or an off the shelf solution?
 
OP
Prophet G

Prophet G

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May 28, 2020
Zerileous said:
Why not just locate the GPU on the other side of the motherboard? I believe there are signal quality limitations with length of riser cable so simply using two may not be wise. But I'm not an expert on that so you may at least want to verify if doubling them will cause problems.

I was afraid of that, I'm going to make some research about the length affecting the quality of the signal then.
About the positioning, it was just a matter of aesthetic, since I'm sitting at the right of the desk my best view will be on components placed at the top left corner. I'm still open about switching positions, I have to check in real life with an empty box of the same size of the chamber if I'm gonna be able to have a good view on the component while sitting at the right.
Still a lot of work to do, just the general design is over, I'm still trying a lot of different setups for motherboard and graphic card position, i'm also considering a right to left airflow. The design I posted is the one I like the most at the moment.

EDIT:
So yeah signal quality over long riser cables is a thing... I'm gonna have to settle on another setup.
About watercooling, the plan was to attach pipes on the wall and run them to the radiator so it depends, if the length of an AIO kit allows me to run the pipes on the wall I will get one, if not, I'll just buy longer pipes to have a clean route. But yeah ideally I'd love to go the custom route with clear hard tubes but since it's a modest computer I'll just settle with an AIO if I can route the pipes cleanly on the walls. Custom watercooling will come when I'll upgrade the PC, the 3900x price drop is... But I force myself to not think about it because I really don't need it at the moment.
 
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Zerileous

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2002
With the GPU in that orientation I think front to back airflow is best. If you had a traditional GPU mount I would say right to left or left to right would be better.

Where are you planning to place the PSU?
 
OP
Prophet G

Prophet G

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May 28, 2020
Zerileous said:
Where are you planning to place the PSU?

You can see the PSU in picture 3 and 4, and you can see holes for the bottom fan of the PSU in picture 5. There is a "double bottom" for a 2nd little chamber for cable management. The bottom chamber for the PSU is just the size of the height of my PSU (8.6cm) +1.5cm (so 10.1cm total) just to be safe since most PSU are between 8.6 and 8.7cm.

Zerileous said:
With the GPU in that orientation I think front to back airflow is best. If you had a traditional GPU mount I would say right to left or left to right would be better.

Can't do left to right, I don't want the fans to freeze my legs in winter and melt them in summer. My 2 options are front to back or right to left. (35°C in my room in summer, with CPU at 45/50°C idle)
 
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OP
Prophet G

Prophet G

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May 28, 2020
So I swapped positions between GPU and MB and I'm getting deeper in the design, taking exact measures to mount all of my hardware + being able to upgrade with any type of new hardware without having to change anything inside:

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I figured that I'm gonna be forced to mount the 360 radiator in the back, at the exterior of the chamber, because I dont have enough space on the sides of the 3x120mm fans that are on the front panel (I just have 1cm spare on each side).
I hope the CPU temp will still be acceptable, do you guys think I'll be able to stay around 45°C max idle with this setup ? or even less ?

I also figured that if I'm going for a 360 radiator mounted on the back, I'm gonna have to go with a custom watercooling system to be able to run the tubes outside of the chamber, but I have absolutely no knowledge about custom watercooling system. Will I be able to get a 360 rad and a CPU bloc with pump integrated for a good price ? And reliable of course since my PC runs 24/7 all year long.

Another option would be to get a 120mm radiator and mount it on the front panel, at left of the 2 others 120 fans but I don't really like the idea because I'm going to have trouble finding a good placements for the tubes. Still exploring other options if you guys have some ideas.

EDIT: I might settle for a 120mm radiator on the front panel, any good brand in mind I should look for ? Or a particular setup I should use to be able to run it for a maximum pf time without maintenance ?
 
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Zerileous

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2002
Max idle doesn't matter, frankly. Load temps will depend on the CPU. A 360mm should be enough for up to 300W CPU. I would not worry too much about exhausting through the rad. It will not be such a pronounced difference in temps as long as you have decent airflow.

Are you custom building this desk or modifying an existing one? You could use a 240mm rad on the front for the CPU. That should be decent for most CPUs up to 200W. I would not pair a 120mm with something like a 3900x. Using a 240mm up front you could use a closed loop or all in one cooler. If you're not specifically interested in a custom loop, it is a lot of expense and potentially maintenance which could be avoided.

Your renderings have improved in quality, looking good!
 
OP
Prophet G

Prophet G

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May 28, 2020
As i'm getting deeper into the project, I realized I had a serious lack of knowledge about custom WC loops. I now know basics, and I've seen people run 2 different setups. I'm wondering which one is the best and what are the pros and cons of each. (as I'm getting better in Sketchup, Photoshop isn't my thing sorry it's ugly)

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Sorry for such a basic question but I struggled to find effective key word combo to get good results on Google lol
 

Zerileous

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2002
Aside from having the reservoir before the pump (which prevents the pump running dry) conventional wisdom is that loop order doesn't matter much. Maybe a few degrees C here or there but at the end of the day, not enough to make a big difference in performance. Some will say to have the rad before the pump and it will last longer. Others will say the coolant temp in the loop will generally equalize due to flow rate, so it doesn't matter. Personally, I would say do whatever makes the most sense in your setup/form factor. In other words whatever is easiest and has the shortest tubing runs.
 
OP
Prophet G

Prophet G

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May 28, 2020
Ok thanks. I'm going to use 2 individual 120 rads, just like that:

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Zerileous said:
Some will say to have the rad before the pump and it will last longer

Why would it make it last longer ?
 

Zerileous

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2002
Theory would be the coolant is lower temp since the pump is liquid cooled. I don't think it matters much.
 

habbajabba

Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2005
Location
Oregon
The Cooler Guys have some sweet filter fans for both intake and exhaust. The intake setup is a 10" fan with a Nema12 filter. $150 but to prevent dust buildup on expensive electronics? Totally worth it. I use cheap 4" wide homedepot anti-static filters on my pc but it's kludgy at best. You would prolong the life of not only all the fans in the system, but the rads themselves, incl. the mobo. Perfect for a custom build like yours.
https://www.coolerguys.com/products/pfannenberg-pf-22000-4-0-6-nema-12-filter-fan-11622154055
In reality any decent air filter that you could easily replace without having to modify would be ideal. $150 in filters would essentially get you further than a fan with filter. Still the pfannenberg (made in germany) is damn cool.
 
OP
Prophet G

Prophet G

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May 28, 2020
Zerileous said:
Theory would be the coolant is lower temp since the pump is liquid cooled. I don't think it matters much.

Ok so it's just details. That's something I'll chose later on.

habbajabba said:
The Cooler Guys have some sweet filter fans for both intake and exhaust. The intake setup is a 10" fan with a Nema12 filter. $150 but to prevent dust buildup on expensive electronics? Totally worth it. I use cheap 4" wide homedepot anti-static filters on my pc but it's kludgy at best. You would prolong the life of not only all the fans in the system, but the rads themselves, incl. the mobo. Perfect for a custom build like yours.
https://www.coolerguys.com/products/...an-11622154055
In reality any decent air filter that you could easily replace without having to modify would be ideal. $150 in filters would essentially get you further than a fan with filter. Still the pfannenberg (made in germany) is damn cool.

Picking some "quality" filter is something I had in mind but 150$ is a lot.
I was thinking about something cheaper. I'd like to have some sort of humidity filter because I vape a lot and already fried 2 motherboards because of all the humidity in the room and condensation being formed inside the case. I still have to make some research and learn about filtering humidity as I don't know anything about it, but it's not a major concern at the moment, I know it sounds crazy but I'm ok with replacing motherboards every 2 years. Yes 150$ filters is a better deal that a 150/200$ motherboard every 2 years, but I need 3*120 filters which brings me to 450$ for filters. And even if they were cheaper, it's a whole kit and will make the front of the desk look ugly, plus, fan is 44dB max which is not acceptable to me I want the whole thing to be quiet.
On the same website I found this version without the fan:
https://www.coolerguys.com/collecti...-exhaust-filters-6-nema-12-filter-11720004055
But it will still be a challenge to make it fit on the front without making the whole piece look ugly.
Another concern is I'm gonna have 3 filters + 2 rads at the front, and 3 unfiltered fans at the back, so I'm going to have negative pressure in the chamber leading to air being sucked everywhere it can, but I don't think it's a major issue, or is it ?

Thanks again for your replies guys
 

Zerileous

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2002
Negative or positive pressure doesn't matter a whole lot, except to some extent when filters are used, just in that some flow will not be coming from the filters. If you're really worried about it, you can always adjust the fan curves of the exhaust to run slower than the intake.
 
OP
Prophet G

Prophet G

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May 28, 2020
Zerileous said:
Negative or positive pressure doesn't matter a whole lot, except to some extent when filters are used, just in that some flow will not be coming from the filters. If you're really worried about it, you can always adjust the fan curves of the exhaust to run slower than the intake.

Yes that's why I'm not that worried about negative pressure, I can adjust.
 

habbajabba

Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2005
Location
Oregon
Dehumidifiers are cheap. Like 25-30$ on ebay. I got one. It's fairly silent too. Just empty the tank when necessary and that's it. As for filtration? I'd go to the local lowes or whatever and see about getting a filter that's cheap and the right size for your build that will allow for proper airflow without choking your fans. Can't beat the antistatic ones cause they attract smoke and dust natively. You can buy a box or filter material (I did that too). It's cheap and won't restrict airflow hardly at all either but you'd end up having to cut it and figure a way of replacing it and mounting it so it doesn't look kludgy. On my desktop pc I get away with kludgy because the filters are hidden by the front door cover.
Anyway, custom builds like this are super cool and a show off for sure.