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Best airflow setup with the new Corsair ML fans?


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Hi guys,


So I'm in the middle of updating my case's fans and improving (if possible) my airflow, after I recently upgraded to a RM1000i and a H115i. I'm planning on getting several of the new ML fans, both 120 and 140 to do so.


I'm using an old (but I still really, really like it) CM Storm Trooper case.


I plan on putting:


- 2xML120s in the front (intake)

- 2xML120s at the bottom (intake)

- 1xML140 at the rear top (exhaust)

- potentially another 2xML140s to replace the SPL140s that came with the H115i. Also note that I currently run the radiator fans in pull (so it's radiator>fans>top of the case and exhaust in the top).


So my questions are:


- should I keep the top rear vertical 140mm fan as an exhaust, or turn it into an intake? (to help along the horizontal radiator exhaust at the top)


- should I keep the radiator fans in pull, or move them under the radiator in push? (I prefer pull, because it's easier to clean the radiator)


- should I replace the SPL140s with ML140s on the H115i?


I'm actually quite happy with the SPL140s performance wise, I never run them over 1500 RPM though, since beyond that the noise is a bit too much. However I do notice that from time to time, when the fans are at ~1300 RPM there is a slight vibrating sound coming from one of them (the one that is the front hald of the radiator). I heard this might be because of the horizontal position of the fan, yet if I slightly push down the center of the fan (while it's running), that sound doesn't not happen anymore. I had a slightly similar issue with my H100 and the fans on it, but that was a weird 4 fan push-pull setup with crappy static pressure fans.


My specs are:


CPU Model: Intel Core i7 5820K @ 4.4 GHz | Corsair H115i


Ram: 4x 4GB Kingston HyperX Predator 16GB DDR4 Quad Channel Kit @ 3000MHz | CL15

Video Card: MSI GTX 1070 Gaming X 8GB DDR5 256-bit @ 2050 MHz | 9410 MHz

Sound Card: ROG SupremeFX 7.1

Storage: SSD - OCZ Vertex 460A 480GB SATA-III + HDDs - WD Black 6TB SATA-III 128MB 7200 RPM & WD Black 2TB SATA-III 64MB 7200RPM & WD Red 3TB SATA-III 64MB 7200RPM & 5TB external BACK-UPs

Power Supply: Corsair RM1000i

Case: Cooler Master Storm Trooper + Fan controller Scythe Kaze Master

Monitor: Dell U2711 REVA07 IPS

Speakers: Logitech Z-5500 & HyperX Cloud II 7.1 Gun Metal

OS: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit


I know I might be overthinking it, but I do have the free time to tinker on my PC at the moment, so I might as well go for the best airflow scenario possible.



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I don't see any reason to change your fan orientation unless you are experiencing problems. Front/Bottom intake and top/rear exhaust is certainly the normal way and how most cases were designed. I would not turn your rear fan to intake. That makes the top radiator restricted panel as the only exhaust point. Even at max RPM, you may only be moving half the fan "free air" specified volume. Waste heat is going to build in the top of case, waiting to be exhausted. It may have a secondary effect on your water temperature in the radiator. I have done this before as a test in a 540 and with 2 A14i industrials running in the 1600-2000 rpm range. It was a failure. Within 20 minutes I had exceeded all previous record highs by some measure. If you don't have the radiator there, it might be a different story.


You won't see any meaningful cooling differences between push and pull on the top radiator. I tend to prefer push under the radiator, but I might make an exception for aesthetic reasons, like hiding plain grey fans. However, if you are going to spend the $70 on the LED fans, you might as well put them under the radiator so you can see them and they can light the case. The new "magnetic" bearing should help with the fan bottoming out on the shaft when in the inverted position, but I won't make any declarations until I have a pair. Replacing the radiator SP140L's with ML140's probably has the largest upside -- better looking, same performance, theoretically a little quieter, top down lighting that does not voltage dim.


The ML series is expensive. You could get away with AF120 LED fan on the bottom (or something else). The bottom position is more of an accessory air flow spot and you don't really need direct cooling in most set-ups. You can put most anything down there and it will not largely affect the environment.

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Great tips c-attack, thanks.


The only reason why I considered the top/rear fans as an intake, was if it could help with the cooling of the radiator. As I had this silly notion, that as an exhaust, it would "steal" cold air that would go through the radiator otherwise.


Since most of the time when I put my hand there, I could feel cold air in idle/medium load. Meanwhile I ran RealBench for like 20 minutes, so both CPU and GPU would get hot and the air exhausting there started to get warm as well (not as warm as the one exhausted by the radiator fans, but still). So that fan will stay as exhaust.


I actually will only buy one ML140 Pro Red fan at first (for that top/rear exhaust), just to see for myself if the LED color is as vibrant as advertised. Also noise, if they aren't a lot less noisier than the SP140Ls, then I won't swap them out, and keep the stock fans in pull, as you can't see them anyway. And yes, I think AF120s would be great on the bottom, but perhaps SP120s on the front, since they are directly near my many drives.


Also, one of the things I just realized is that since I mounted the fans in pull, over the radiator, I only used the 8 long fan screws with washers on top to hold the entire thing. Now to me it seems pretty sturdy, it doesn't move in the slightest, but since this radiator is so huge, do you think in the long run it might be a problem to have the whole weight in those long screws only?


But then again, in push, the whole weight would be held by 8 of those short screws.

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It would take an massive difference in fan speed between the two sets of fans for the rear to overwhelm the next closest radiator fan or vice versa. I am not sure it would be noticeable or recognizable if it happened. The front sitting fan on the radiator would be unaffected. Most likely you might see the rear fan running slower than the front fan on the radiator (if you are able to monitor this way) or the back fan won't make it to max speed. It would take a massive air flow. Usually what happens is the two fan in the rear corner aid each other by causing the air to accelerate in that quadrant, on it's way out. That should help pull air from other areas of the case. Your fairly mild rear exhaust temps suggest your case flow is working well. My rear exhaust also usually cool and it is the result of my GPU waste heat going out the back PCI-E slots, rather than the rear port. I suppose if you wanted to be super cautious, you match your top and rear exhaust fan speeds. So while gaming, your rear exhaust might ruin in the 900-1000 range (if you need a lot of exhaust/GPU waste heat). Keep the radiator fans in the same general range, which is all you need anyway. The radiator is enough of a restriction that even at 2000 rpm, the rear radiator fan will move less air than the rear exhaust.


Screws and weight should not be an issue. The worst thing that can happen is you strip the threads in the cooler and the screws become loose. You would have plenty of warning and this is not something that can happen with it sitting up there.

Edited by c-attack
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My current fan curve on the SP140Ls is something like the default "Quiet" mode, at 30 degrees it's 30% and then I move up by 3 degrees and 8% until I reach 45 degrees and 70%. So they are between ~1000 and ~1800 RPM (they never actually reached past 1500 though with this profile).


I plan on having the top/rear at around 1000, so it should be good. It really depends a lot on how loud the ML I put there will be, if it's the same noise at the same RPM as with the SP140L, then I won't bother exchanging the stock fans.


Either way, I'll make sure that one's RPM will be slower than on the radiator, great tip!


One other thing I noticed is that the dust filter that I had on the top, no longer works due to the screws of a 140mm fan width (it worked when I had the smaller radiator with 120s), but won't this actually help with the airflow? At first I was like o ****, but then again, the less obstruction the better. Perhaps I should cover the top with something when the system is powered off, if I'm to be super dust crazy. :o:

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Perhaps I should cover the top with something when the system is powered off, if I'm to be super dust crazy. :o:


THAT, is always the best way. The filter, depending on density, might require you to run the fans 300-400 rpm faster to get the same airflow. That can get a little tedious sometimes, particularly when you are at the desktop. Besides, with the radiator, the case material/mesh, and then a dust filter, you are really stacking the resistance up. Front (and bottom if you have it) filters should be all most people need that don't have to exist in a harsh environment.

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Yeah I got filters in the front, bottom and even the PSU (but with my RM1000i fan being off 99% of the time, that's of not much use now :p:). Basically on all intakes. I also had side fans for a while, but dropped them for a windowed side panel, like 1 degree difference at best, and those had no filters. The top exhaust filter was a bad idea, and to think I had it on for like 4 years on my H100, at least it was set up in push-pull with 4 fans, oh well. :o:
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My ML fans arrived today. They look VERY good, both LED and the actual fan. Great airflow too.


However, I decided against replacing my SP140Ls with ML140s for the H115i, simply because they are pretty much the same performance/noise wise at same RPM, and since they are in pull above the radiator, you can't see them at all. Besides, the SP140Ls do have the edge performance wise, since they can ramp up to 2400 RPM (ML140s go to ~1950 max), more static pressure, more airflow etc. Not that I would ever need that, because of the noise, but still.


I will likely get another 2xML120s, I'm just curious if there is a slight danger due to the magnets to have an effect on my HDDs, since they will be attached straight to the drive cage.

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I think you could run side by side cooling comparisons of the SP140L and the ML140 and you'll never be able to tell them apart. They are statistically the same for any meaningful comparison. The big advantage is supposed to be the new bearing which should do less grinding in that inverted position. If your fans aren't bothering you, then good. Hiding them behind the radiator works.


I suspect the magnets are tiny and you would need to make direct contact with the drive, but I'll let someone from Corsair answer that.

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  • 3 years later...
Bonjour à tous, je suis entrain de me perdre dans tous vos (pertinant) commentaires. J'ai une Obvisian 1000D CORSAIR, et je recherche désespérément une réponse, style 50 tonnes, qui pourrait me comforter dans ma "décision" , qui est de mettre mes 3 ML140 PRO , EN EXTRACTION TOTALE, au sommet de ma tour, ce qui est loin d'être un détail, je n'utilise PAS un water cooling...... PLEASE HELP !!!
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