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Reducing Air Gaps in PC Case

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marcusob

New Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2022
Hi,

I would like to experiment with airflow and have been thinking about the imapct the gaps in my PC case might have.

My setup is 3 fans on front of case sucking air in, 1 on back expelling, 6 fans in pull/push formation across a Corsair H150i Pro XT liquid cooler (360mm radiator). When I feel the air coming out the back fan, its a very soft flow of air, same for the front it not much air being sucked in. The top also has a slight wind - but nothing substantial.

Like most PC cases (Corsair AirFlow 5000D Mid Tower), my PC case has several large gaps in the front and top where air can flow freely inside and out of the case from the outside.

My question is, with all the fans I have and liquid cooling, would it be better to actually block these holes, and let the air flow in and out the case be completely controlled by the fans ? If I blocked the holes wouldnt this create more suction when the fans are pulling air in, and wouldnt the expulsion of air be stronger, getting a faster throughput of cool air ?

Anyone tried this air tunnel approach ? Does it make any difference ?
 

Voodoo Rufus

Powder Junkie Moderator
Joined
Sep 20, 2001
Location
Bakersfield, CA
Most cases are so open these days that I would not put the work in to close it off. Just make sure you have slightly more intake flow than exhaust and the intake filters will do their job.
 

Zerileous

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2002
I don't think it will make a difference. How are your temperatures right now? Are your radiator fans matched (the push and pull the same model, are they plugged into the same controller). Push pull can make things worse if the fans don't match.

What components are you trying to cool? Many members list their system specifications in their signature for reference on each post they make. Here are the signature rules for reference https://www.overclockers.com/forums/threads/signatures-content-size-and-readability.58341/.

Most PC fans are PWM these days. What that means is the motherboard or graphics card (whatever device they are plugged into) will send a signal to the fan to control it's speed. If you are not feeling a lot of airflow, it is possible that the fans are just being run at a lower speed. This reduces noise and is prefered by many uses. Your Corsair cooler as well as your motherboard should offer software to control the speed of your fans. However if your components are running at decent temperatures and you're not trying to overclock things significantly, I wouldn't worry too much about it.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
Yeah, I would also think the same in that it would make a negligible difference..
Post magically merged:

Just make sure you have slightly more intake flow than exhaust and the intake filters will do their job.
Won't they do their job anyway? The only difference between positive and negative 'pressure' (cases are open so...) is some dust through the cracks. But as we've seen with our testing on the front page, the difference isn't much anyway on that front either. I always tend to run more exhaust than intake with plenty of success (flow and dust)... but everyone has their opinions on that and it can vary by chassis/configuration.
 

Blaylock

"That Backfired" Senior Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Location
Go Blue!
I doubt it would help temperatures at all, if anything it could raise temperatures. Many silent cases have most of these openings closed off and their temps are usually worse.

The biggest contributor you will notice will be the quality and speeds of the fans (i.e. CFM for case fans and H2O/mm or static pressure for your radiator fans). If at max speed you can barely feel the airflow you need stronger fans.

Airflow configuration can also be a major factor. The layout you are using should be quite good with 3 intakes and (essentially) 4 exhausts. I say essentially because push/pull only increases the pressure and not the area of flow.
 

Voodoo Rufus

Powder Junkie Moderator
Joined
Sep 20, 2001
Location
Bakersfield, CA
Yeah, I would also think the same in that it would make a negligible difference..
Post magically merged:


Won't they do their job anyway? The only difference between positive and negative 'pressure' (cases are open so...) is some dust through the cracks. But as we've seen with our testing on the front page, the difference isn't much anyway on that front either. I always tend to run more exhaust than intake with plenty of success (flow and dust)... but everyone has their opinions on that and it can vary by chassis/configuration.

Same here. Radiators add more restriction also. It's hard to run more intake than exhaust these days. Not worth the trouble. Just clean the case as needed.
 
OP
M

marcusob

New Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2022
Thanks for all the advice, and to answer a few questions

1. The fans on the radiator are 2 different sets of 3 (3 on top the same, 3 on bottom the same), they are all on the same internal controller, and both sets are operated via the AIO cooler temperature
2. I dont overclock the CPU/Memory per se, but when playing 4k games things get noisy, this is why I was wondering if my components should be getting cooler without such a need for fan speed (and the noise) - this led me to the idea that the air was lazily being pushed around, so would it benefit by being under pressure.
3. I dont hit any critical temps, but throttling on my SSDs is happening (I am a software engineer and I write SSD firmware !), the GPU I presume is handling its own fans and settings and so throttling is probably inevitable for that

Anyway I think I will take off the push/pull and see if it makes the temps worse/better - I only did it because I had a load of extra fans.

Also I didn't expected everyone to be so friendly in a forum, I expected to be shot down, so thanks for the positivity, must be a pretty good collection of people on here !
 

don256us

Uber Folding Senior
Joined
Jul 17, 2003
Edit. Turns out I have nothing to add. But you guys did remind me to check my filters.
 
Last edited:

Zerileous

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2002
Sounds like everything is in order except for the throttling SSD. Fans will get loud when gaming. If they're changing speeds frequently (reving up and down with every little change in load) that can be adjusted in software, as people find that to be especially annoying. For the SSD, I'm guessing it is located right next to the GPU. You could experiment with turning the rear fan to intake and see if having fresh airflow in that area helps, having everything exhaust through the top.
 

Blaylock

"That Backfired" Senior Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Location
Go Blue!
Good info here. Thanks for the update. I agree with everything said so far and will offer my 2c for what it's worth.

1. Having mismatched fans will likely not make your Temps worse, but it's certainly not ideal either. Having them on the same controller and being controlled by the AIO is, without a doubt, the best way to have it configured, so kudos there.

2. If your Temps are in check but the noise is an issue than you should take Z's advice and adjust the fan speeds via software. Your BIOS should have something for this, if not then your AIO will probably have software you can install and control it. I prefer BIOS over software Simmons because it's less background programs that could get buggy if you follow my meaning. Oh, wait, you're a software guy. You completely get my meaning. Lol. Another option if this doesn't solve your noise: cooling ratio is to upgrade your fans. This is a common solution for those looking for perfection. Just keep in mind what a wise man once said. Fans can either be quiet, move a lot of air, or be cheap, but you can only pick two. We can offer suggestions if you get to this point.

3. Your GPU will handle its own cooling but if you suspect throttling, that is an issue that needs to be addressed. As far as the SSD, is it a 2.5" drive or an M.2? Where is it located? If it's an M.2 does it have a heatsink? To many questions here to offer advice yet.

The fact that everyone is nice here is why most of us stick around and call this place home. The moderators and skins have done a great job of keeping abusive members away.