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Hoot (Jun 20, 2001 11:55 a.m.):
Think about this model a second. Air is drawn into the HSF, blows down through it, deflects off the baseplate and washes out on all sides of the bottom. Right up above the HSF is an exhaust fan. That washed out, warmer air gets coaxed up towards the exhause fan, where it goes past the HSF intake again. Some of it goes back down through the HSF and the cycle repeats. If the fan next to the HSF is blowing cooler air in from outside the case, a lot of it gets sucked back down into the HSF, exits like the above description and since the lower front fan is on exhaust, that warmer air moves away from the HSF towards the exhaust fan, while more cooler air continues to come in next to the HSF intake. Some people balk at the idea of drawing that warmer air across their motherboard as it heads towards the lower front exhaust fan. The air is not that much warmer if you have enough of it passing through the case. I've tried it both ways many times, with many different combinations of case fans and using the rear entry approach yields about 2-3C cooler CPU.