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H150i PRO / SP120 Fans / ML120RGB


sk7575
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Hello everyone. This is my first post here, and my first PC build in about 20 years (I usually just use work provided laptops). My son and I are putting together his first gaming desktop, as he's outgrown his gaming laptop.

 

My question is this. We ordered the corsair 460x case, the H150ipro cooler, and a 3 pack of ML120RGB fans. We attached the ML120RGB fans to the H150iPro radiator. We are mounting the radiator to the front of the case obviously. Where else in the case do I need to put fans? I'm planning to use the 3 SP120 fans that came with the case in other parts of the case, since I replaced the front 3 with the ML120RGB fans that came with the radiator. Am I heading in the right direction?

Edited by sk7575
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Yes, you can put the SP120-RGB fans on the radiator and they are design appropriate for that application. However as you know, they are 3 pin DC motors and will not be controllable from the H150i PWM fan controller. They will need to go to the motherboard for power and speed control. I might be inclined to put the ML-RGB on the H150 and it’s fan controller while using the SP120 RGB as top/rear exhaust. It might be a little easier on fan management and control, the ML are slightly better for radiator duty, and since the front rail will be separated from the interior by the radiator, no real clear lighting difference.

 

That part is fairly easy, but the bigger trick is the RGB lighting hub. That small 6 port, matchbook sized box is the lighting power conduit for the fans. However, you cannot mix and match different fan types (ML + SP) on the same RGB hub. You will have to run two hubs and two SATA cables for power. The case came with one and there should be another in the ML triple pack. This also means you eat two channels on the Lighting Node Pro, making adding strips or something else impossible without adding more LNP or C-Pro controllers.

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C-attack - Thank you. So I did go ahead and put the ML120-RGB fans on the radiator. That means that the radiator gets mounted to the front of the case, correct? As opposed to mounting it on top (it won't fit up there anyway). So I'll have 3 fans mounted to the radiator in the front of the case, 2 fans on top, and 1 on the back? Does that sound right?
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Yes, front mount is the only option on the 460 and aesthetically it looks better balanced this way. Good to go on the other placements and the SP120s can connect to the board fan headers. Use the BIOS fan control for those and go into the Advanced BIOS-> Monitoring Tab, then scroll way down to Q-Fan to set 12 second delays for them. That should keep the fan racing down. Also, run the “fan tuning” process from that page. It will allow the DC SP motor to go lower than the normal 60% minimum.
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C-attack - you are such a life saver, thank you so much for answering so quickly!

 

I assume then that I remove the SP120 fans that came with the 460X, mount the ML120RGB fans to the radiator (did that), then mount the whole radiator/ML120RGB combo to the front of the case?

 

If I go pick up another 3 pack of ML120RGB fans then I can connect them to the RGB controller and control all 6 fans through the same lighting node? (hopefully my last question) :)

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Yes, if you get more ML120 RGB (or even ML140 RGB), they can all go on the same 6 port RGB fan hub. You can mix and match sizes, just not types.

 

Yes, go ahead and mount the H150 to the front. ML120 connect to the H150i fan splitter. You will control those in Link or iCUE, not in the BIOS. Same thing for the pump. While in the BIOS to set up the SP120 RGB fans, "disable" the fan header connected to the H150i (or Full Speed in EZ BIOS Q-Fan). It really does not matter on the H150i like some other coolers as this is a non-controlling header, but sometimes the Asus fan tuning or power saving features will get stuck, trying to tune the pump when it cannot (and should not). Disabling it or setting 'Full Speed' removes the header from the tuning and power saving features.

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Hey, hey!

 

Just following this thread because I have a z270e ASUS mobo, but have not reached the AIO choice yet, so don't mind me for lurking a little with your progress.

 

It's great to read you're helping your son build a new gaming desktop rig. Although I don't have children of my own, my two nephews are still on laptops and grew up with them, so congrats on getting your own son to jump forward to some real desktop power :)

 

I noticed your ML fans are oriented to pull air from outside, onto the rad itself based on the pictures you supplied. Although I have zero experience with rads, would that not mean you would be blowing air onto the rad, which has warmer coils, back inside your case, over your gpu and cpu?

 

@c-attack helps out a lot here, so perhaps they would know better, but I've always thought warm/hot rads would be best suited to grab the hot air and exhaust it outward, vs. pulling it inward to the case.

 

So yeah, that's why I'm following this thread, to learn myself. :)

 

Now there are two of us learning about this. Step it up @c-attack! Step it up! hehe

Edited by PJH
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No worries on lurking - this is a fun learning experience!

 

You may be right about my orientation of the fans. Hoping C-attack can answer that?

 

I feel really old right now haha. I built my first PC (386sx20) in like 1991 or so when I was 13 years old. So - same age as my son is. I haven't built a PC since probably 98 though. Fun learning, but making me feel old :)

 

C-attack - any thoughts on fan orientation?

 

Hey, hey!

 

Just following this thread because I too, have a z270e ASUS mobo, but have not reached the AIO choice yet, so don't mind me for lurking a little with your progress.

 

It's great to read you're helping your son build a new gaming desktop rig. Although I don't have children of my own, my two nephews are still on laptops and grew up with them, so congrats on getting your own son to jump forward to some real desktop power :)

 

I noticed your ML fans are oriented to pull air from outside, onto the rad itself based on the pictures you supplied. Although I have zero experience with rads, would that not mean you would be blowing air onto the rad, which has warmer coils, back inside your case, over your gpu and cpu?

 

@c-attack helps out a lot here, so perhaps they would know better, but I've always thought warm/hot rads would be best suited to grab the hot air and exhaust it outward, vs. pulling it inward to the case.

 

So yeah, that's why I'm following this thread, to learn myself. :)

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I generally favor dumping waste heat directly out of the case wherever you can. I deal in theoretical efficiency day in day out, so it's hard for me not apply it to everything. I am running a combination AIO (CPU) and custom loop (GPU) and most certainly both of my radiators have the fans positioned to push the heat out of the case. My daily case temp fluctuation is about 1C, plus whatever happens to the room. You can dig up old threads were I harp on this and push people that direction.

 

However, there are some exceptions to this or perhaps it is better described as "inconsequential results". First, there are a lot of new cases (particularly mid-tower shapes) where you have nothing to work with in the top. It is shallow and prevents top mounting most things. The 460X is an example of this. You need low profile RAM even to mount a 240mm radiator and when you do, it looks a bit top heavy. There is no choice at all with a 360mm. It has to go there. For the record if I were building in that case, I would also choose the H150i and stick in right in front.

 

Whether or not the front mount is detrimental depends on a couple key issues. Having recently built a new Z370 system, I wanted to see how this would work on the H115i Pro before I went to my custom loop and lost the flexibility of moving things around. I put it on the front (cringe) of my Carbide 740 with top and rear exhaust, plus supplemental 2x140 bottom intake. I was expecting coolant and CPU temps to be identical, with perhaps a small increase in case ambient temps. To my surprise, the coolant was 2C lower in identical conditions. I was a little stumped, until I put the thermal gun on it. The front rail of my case (and bottom) was 2C cooler than the top panel, even with no radiator up top. It was not more efficient, it was just in a cooler part of the case and even with good fan speeds the top runs 2-3C warmer than the bottom for extended loads. This is also with the GPU in a hybrid cooling state and its heat venting out the back on a 120mm radiator. The only real case heat I have is DRAM, VRM, and PCH. With an active GPU in the case, you might see a lot more than +2C difference between top and bottom. We have also seen some cases with strange "noise prevention" dome tops that trap heat against the radiator creating a real temperature penalty for top placement. The other hardware you have and the specific nature of the case may decide this for you.

 

CPU wattage (actual, not spec) is something else to consider. My 8700K running at 5.0 GHz still only outputs a measly 135-150W at most. This is a fraction of the capability of any dual and certainly triple pane radiator. When front mounted, my coolant ran +4C over intake air temperature during long sessions like gaming. The volume of air passing through a radiator restricted 2x140 panel is not that much and there is usually no reason to blast your fans. My top exhaust good easily handle this and it was further aided by the updraft from the bottom. The end results was 0.0C change in room ambient to internal case temp change (via motherboard and two other probes). I expected a little bit. Maybe 1-2C. Not even a statistically relevant tenth. Now, you can't apply that universally. If you go get a 18 core CPU and stick your H150i on it, I want that as exhaust. Wattage is wattage and that heat has to go somewhere. Even my other X99 system and its 6 core 5930K pulls 215W at full bore. That system will always be exhaust, if I can help it.

 

So in this case for SK7575, same CPU, he has a slightly bigger cooler, and probably cannot exceed 5.0 GHz, the CPU waste heat should be generally trivial. The biggest draw back might be a loss of intake direct cooling from the front fans. The radiator will slow down the air and there will be less of it. People think this might affect your GPU, but it rarely does. Most full size cards run 250-300W and that dwarfs anything your CPU can do. Only the GPU's own fans or perhaps a size fan directly on it will alter its temps. The most common victim is the PCH area mounted m.2 drive. Those are very surface temp sensitive. You might run 5-8C warmer, but unless you are running an old Samsung 950 Pro or do some heavy data moving, it won't matter and you will be well under the throttle point.

 

For the record, I still favor dumping heat out and I configured my Air 740 in a reverse back/bottom in, front/top out to make that happen with dual 280mm radiators. That is a whole different thread in itself and even several months in, I am still learning how the heat behaves. I need that thermal camera back.

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Wow thank you for the detail! So if I keep the air coming in the front, do I want the 2 fans on the top and the one on the back all blowing out?

 

So this is debatable. My first instinct is top and rear exhaust. This is the natural pathway for the case, takes CPU waste heat out without too much mixing with the GPU waste heat. That mostly goes out the back. However, I do know people that run with the top as intake to "pressurize" the case a bit. This is mostly for dust prevention, but it also forces all heat out the 1 rear fan. Not my first choice for efficiency, but they don't overheat either. Since I don't own the case, I can't really be definitive and would defer to someone who does.

 

I would start with the top as exhaust. They will look better with the light side down. Just keep in mind you don't need those top two fans to run at super high speed.

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