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Carbide 400c - Fan Setup with H60


JamesU2002
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Hey all,

 

Looking at building a new PC with a Corsair Carbide 400c case.

 

Was thinking of setting the fans up in the following way.

 

I'm worried about negative pressure with the exhausts?

 

Do you think the Corsair H60 CPU cooler radiator is in the best place at the front? And also is it best to set these fans as intake for the H60?

 

The guide for the H60 recommends its fans be set as intake. That's why I've mounted it to the front of the case. But I'm wondering if this should be placed else where?

 

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No, the above set-up is fine. Is you having been watching too many silly Youtube videos about positive vs negative pressure, you are still fine. If you want to alter the intake/exhaust balance, all you need to do is slow down the exhaust fans to bring it back into line.

 

An alternative placement and possibly the more common layout would be to move the H60 to the rear exhaust. This frees up the top intake fan for less restricted flow, possibly having some benefit for motherboard components, DRAM, etc. However, there are certainly some negatives as well. Putting the H60 over the GPU will subject it to the local heat emitted by the GPU. Open design, twin/triple fan cards would make this worse, but even a reference blower card is hot above the top backplate. Additionally, besides sitting in the heat zone, most of the air coming through the radiator is likely to be warm as well. This will always put you at a noticeable penalty in CPU/GPU combination loads.

 

In a medium size case like the 400C/Q, I think your diagram above offers more. The two 140mm fans on top will provide motherboard cooling as well as removing most of the H60 waste heat before it gets very far into the case.

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Putting the H60 to the rear will send hot air back into the case no?

Warm air, yes ... but not as warm as you might think; typically around the temp of the coolant, which will usually be well under 40C. When gaming, it's actually cooler than the interior can get with a full-powered GPU.

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Thanks for the advice.

 

Yeah I saw that about moving the H60 to the rear. But the manual suggests mounting the fan as an air-intake rather than exhaust.

 

Putting the H60 to the rear will send hot air back into the case no?

 

No, if you put it in the rear slot you would want it as exhaust. The "for best results use it as intake" gets people tripped up. Heat transfer occurs both ways across a medium, so warmer the air going through the radiator will have an additive effect on the coolant temperature and consequently the CPU as well. Really you can think of it in simple terms. If I put it in a hot spot, the entire radiator and its coolant will be warmer than a cooler corner.

 

As for intake vs exhaust, common sense tells you it is better to dump hot air out instead of into the case. However, you have to balance that with your location choices and the component connected to it. A 95W TDP CPU won't add an overly large amount of heat into the case, even when overclocked. On the other hand, I have a Titan X(P) with a single 120mm radiator very much like a H60. There is no way I want that being dumped into the case. Exhaust temps range between 47-55C with a big sustained load.

 

With a single radiator, the top front slot as intake is probably better than the rear slot above the GPU because of the GPU heat effect alone. It is possible mounting the H60 in the top toward the front as exhaust provides the best overall case temperatures for everything, but it will look a bit awkward through the window and I think the difference would be small enough to not be worth the effort. Your diagram looks the best choice to me.

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