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Old 01-16-2017, 10:38 PM
hapkiman hapkiman is offline
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Default H115i best case air-flow orientation.

I know this is a topic that has been asked before, but looking through these forums and many others, I can't get the exact answer I am looking for. In fact the more I look around the internet, the more different answers I get. No one seems to agree on this.

For a new build I have a Corsair Air 540 case which is very roomy, and a Corsair H115i AIO cooler to cool my new i7-7700k. I have a single MSI GTX 1080 graphics card, the Gaming Z version which expels air into the case (but not that much, it stay pretty cool) and a MSI Z170A Gaming M7 mobo. I have a relatively cool ambient temp, around 21-25C, since my rig sets in a basement office. And I have plenty of case fans to help out (but I'm not sure how to set them all up so they don't hinder the H115i). I just want the best cooling I can get with what I have.

So I have a few questions about the H115i, please help.

1) What is the preferred method of mounting the H115i in a Air 540? On the front or on the top of the case?

2) Should I be pulling outside air in, or exhausting case air out?

3) For a top mount, will the fans be on top of the radiator, or below it? And/or does this depend on which way I am having the air flow?

4) Same question for a front mount. Fans facing the outside with rad behind it, or inside with rad facing out?

5) What about the other case fans? Depending on where I mount the H115i, I will have potentially four other 140mm case fans. Exhaust air out or pull air in?

Sorry for so many questions. And I appreciate the help in advance.
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Old 01-16-2017, 11:21 PM
TrAAsT TrAAsT is offline
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1) Doesn't matter. Mounting it on the top as an exhaust can make it easier to create positive air pressure (more air in than out) than if you'd run the radiator fans @ low rpm as front intake fans.

2) Balanced or positive air pressure. So, the same amount in as out, or slightly more air in is ideal. This prevents dust accumulation.

3) Doesn't matter, performance will be exactly the same. Mounting the fans at the top makes it easier to remove dust from the radiator though.

4) Same as 3.

5) Same as 2.
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Old 01-17-2017, 05:07 AM
red-ray red-ray is offline
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I prefer as below and recommend you try the same setup.
  1. Top
  2. exhausting
  3. below
  4. NA, but outside
  5. front fans input, rear fans exhausting
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Old 01-17-2017, 07:26 AM
hapkiman hapkiman is offline
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OK- Thanks guys I really appreciate the advice. Looks like I'll be top mounting as an exhaust.
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Old 01-17-2017, 09:09 AM
c-attack c-attack is offline
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Top exhaust is an easy decision for the 540 and other locations don't make a lot of sense unless you have some sort of odd restriction or requirements. I would also opt for the fans below the radiator and I like the seamless look of the 3x140 across the top to rear. However, you can mount the fans above if you prefer the the clean look of the black radiator or want to hide the fans. The tone will be slightly different with them above as the fan will interact with the plastic case mesh on top as well.

The rest of the case is easy. Front intake. Top and rear exhaust. 2x140 in front will provide plenty of air for most people. However, if you are running multiple GPUs, have some heavy data loads on HDDs in the bottom, or a m.2 drive, you might get better results with 3x120. The 120mm mounting flanges somewhat intrude on the 140mm fan mount position and you can get some odd noise at high speeds.
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Old 01-17-2017, 10:03 AM
hapkiman hapkiman is offline
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That sounds great. I think I will have the H115i mounted at the top of the case with the fans below it - exhausting air out as recommended. Then two 140mm fans in front as intake and two 140mm fans on back as exhaust. Like I said just one graphics card and a Samsung 950 M.2 drive mounted below the GPU. Two SSDs are mounted on the complete other side of the case so they're a non issue, and I think the M.2 should be fine with one of the front fans will be blowing air right over it. It's a carry over from my previous rig and I never had a throttling problem with it. I really appreciate all the advice, now I can kind of see how it needs to be set up in my head.
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