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Carbide Air 540 + h90 question


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Hey folks,


I recently got my carbide air 540, and I still continue to upgrade my pc.


Right now, I'm on fully air cooling, with 3 120's as intake at front and 2+1 140's as exhaust at top and rear. My single fan air cpu cooler is at pull setup, facing the back exhaust.


Currently, with an Asus 980ti oc (with 3 fans blowing air to direction of cpu heatsink) and I5 3570k (1.25V, 4400mhz),

it runs at a very low temperature.


But I'm moving to skylake, and when I do that I will add second 980 ti with sli for 4k gaming, which will increase overall heat inside the case considerably, which may effect the new, faster (and proably hotter) cpu in a bad way.


After thinking on it, I runned some smoke tests in case, then I realised front top intake and exhaust creating an air channel, mostly uneffected (and irrevelant) with rest of the airflow in the case.


So in theory, if I go for a h90 at front side of top exhaust, rather than h110, while other fans channel the hot air mostly direction of rear and top-rear exhaust, I will have much more cooler air running through radiator, and I may get better cooling for my cpu.


What are your thoughts- advices-experiences on the matter?


Thank you for your replies and insights.



Edit: here's the sketch for clearing things out. Green bar is h90, purples are fans, and two blocks are gpu's and blue is to point out airflow. Sorry for the poor image, I had to draw it from my phone :p


resim yüke

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Remember the radiator has an approximate 27mm depth plus the fan's 25mm, so your top mount, front slot H90 is going to extend into the case a bit more. Also, the radiator has a larger length and width than the fan next to it and it will encroach into it's space. This is going to force you to mount the fan to the case in a pull position and radiator underneath. This will also obstruct a portion of the top 120mm fan. You can switch to 2x140 without losing any airflow, however with an SLI set-up and a one PCI gap between the cards, the lower 120mm is very useful for getting air between the cards.


This can work, but with such a relatively small difference in price between a H90 and and H110/100/105, why did you want to go with the single radiator? Keeping warm air out of the radiator can't be any better than giving up 50% surface area in terms of CPU cooling.

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Remember the radiator has an approximate 27mm depth plus the fan's 25mm, so your top mount, front slot H90 is going to extend into the case a bit more width than the fan next to it and it will encroach into it's space.


Yes, there will be a lost efficiency due air blown and dispersed to the exhaust due hitting to side of radiator, but that loss is same with using a h110.

About using 140's as intakes, thank you for your good advice, since it's far more efficient than my current layout, and would benefit more on my suggested setup in terms of efficiency.

But thing is, those 120mm's are par with 140mm's when it comes to airflow (i'll be still losing, but not that much), and positioning of 120mm seems to be far better for sli, as you have also mentioned (directing air to exposed side of the cooler of both gpu's- and slightly beneath it). So yes, there will be still efficiency lost, but my question - while evolved- still stands, does a bigger radiator is better EVEN if it exposed to much hotter air that comes from 2 high end overclocked gpu's, OR would it perform better with a smaller, but one fed from fresher(cooler) air?

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I wanted to make sure you knew you would have to run the H90 as pull, unless you are willing to mount the radiator on the exterior.


As for 280 vs 140mm radiators... I see where you are going with this and you are right to be mindful of the twin Ti's. Each one is going to pull more wattage than your Skylake - even if you heavily overclock. However, the water cooling system will work a little differently than air. Your fate isn't bound to the ambient air temperature. The water in the cooling system does most of the work. It picks up the heat from the contact plate after it's transferred through the chip lid. It carries it to the radiator where the fans aid in removing it from the water. Fan speed affects water temperature. The volume and speed (flow rate) of the water affects CPU temperatures. The water temperature affects very little. From a theoretical perspective, cold water has a higher potential capacity to carry heat (before it boils) when it is colder, but in terms of practical use, it doesn't make much difference in your ability to cool the CPU. Certainly not when comparing 45C water vs 35C water. There are only two real consequences to the warmer water temp. First, after a hard GPU run your minimum CPU temperature will hover around the water temp. Well, it will always hover around the water temp, but in this case it might level at 45C instead of 35C until the water cools down. There is no reasons to worry about this. You are not decreasing the lifespan of your chip. You just spent hours working it much harder than idling with minimal current. The second issue is coming up with your own temp curve for Corsair LINK (if you use it). The two Ti's will take your water temps out of spec compared to the normal user. You'll have to fiddle around until you can find a comfortable setting. Everyone should do this anyway, so it's not much of a negative.


Volume of water in the system does matter. If I had a 50 gallon aquarium as a reservoir, I probably wouldn't need fans at all could just cycle it through all the day long. The H90 is going to have half the water (less hoses) of an H110 series. It's also going to have half the radiator surface area, which means releasing the heat from the water won't be as easy either. That brings me the last bit. It's easy to think of air flow moving through the case like a liquid. "If I can create enough intake and exhaust, then I can suck out the GPU waste heat and prevent it from getting into the radiator." All the heat just drains away. Unfortunately, gas isn't as cooperative as liquid. Even with strong air flow, the heat inside the case will build and start to soak into the nearest components. It will start at the GPU and center of the motherboard and work out. After a certain amount of time (I don't know how long), most of the case is going to be warm to the touch, including the entire top panel. Even with the fan blowing right on it, I don't think you can prevent the radiator and the water inside from absorbing the heat. It will likely be cooler there than at the back 140mm exhaust, but I don't think you would be able to keep the water any cooler in the proposed arrangement than a full 280mm rad where you have twice the water, twice the surface area, and double the fans to scrub the heat. Also, remember the dual 280mm will move it's water across both ends and the should help average the temps. With the new GT and GTX 280's, you likely need (and want) to put the hoses toward the front. The water in the system will spend a minimal amount of time on the "hot end".


If you are willing to experiment, I am all for this and please share how it goes. But if the dollars matter to you, I would start with a 280mm. Most of the people I have talked to that had serious issues with heat retention were using noise suppressing, closed off cases. There are a couple people out there running 980Tix2 in a 540 with a 280mm rad. Hopefully they can share their experience.

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