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Thermal Sensors optimal positioning and internal air flow control


TheTiesThatBind
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Hello again,

 

A while back I had a thread opened asking advices over H115i Pro temps, configuration etc. I don’t quite remember if it was c-attack or DevBiker, but he recommended me to buy a thermal sensor to tune the air flow fans based on the interior air temperature. I finally managed to get a Corsair Commander Pro, so I would like to know where should I put the thermal sensors. I was planning to tune the exhaust fans based on the internal temperature so I was thinking for a custom fan curve based on that sensor. Any suggestions / ideas?

 

Thanks in advance and kind regards!

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It largely depends on what fans you want to control and/or information you want to collect. I am going to assume a traditional case set up for you (H115i top exhaust, air cooled GPU, front intake open), but we can go back if that is not the case.

 

Your GPU is heat heater in the case and the rear exhaust is clearly a fan you would want to control based on that. There is no specific or exact location to put it. I would not tape it to the GPU. If your I/O rear panel of the case faces a wall, you can run the wire out a hole and put it right in the path of the rear exhaust. You can also tape it to the back removable slats, the rear case wall, anywhere that suits you. You want to get enough a temp change to make your fan speed adjustments meaningful and not overly jumpy. If you only get 1-2C change in a particular position, it's not going to be very helpful.

 

In most cases I would tie front fan speed to the "GPU temp probe" as well. It helps keep overall case balance and likely you need more intake as well if things are getting toasty.

 

Top fans are controlled by the H115i Pro.

 

Did we get them all? You still have three temp sensors left and at this point it is down to curiosity. I have been using one as an air temp check at the top of the case prior to my H115i Pro. This gives me an air temp to H115i coolant temp comparison and helps distinguish between CPU heat and case ambient heat at the top. It is also a good contrast to the motherboard temp sensor which is often located near the PCH or PCI-E slots. That one can be greatly affected by GPU heat, so you could run another to the lower or middle front of the case to get an "intake air temp". Again, this lets you compare intake air temp to exhaust air temp (rear and top) and might give you more insight how heat moves through the case. Until just recently I had been using one for the exhaust side of my PSU. I can't measure PSU temp on my unit, so the exhaust air temp was an easy way to get a rough idea of how much heat is in there and how often the passive fan was running. The sensor was external on the back of the case, so it was essentially room temp when the fan was not running and 28-35C when it was, depending on room temp. A year on I know my Titanium PSU doesn't get hot - ever. Of course another thing you can do is run it through an opening in the case and take an actual ambient room temp. I have thermometers everywhere in this room, but this would be a more elegant and monitored method.

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Thanks for your time C! The H115i is front mounted at a push/pull configuration with 4 ML fans attached on 2 Noctua splitters and of course being controlled by the curve. The air flow fans are also ML RGB fans, x2 on top and x1 rear, exhausting the air out of the case which is NZXT’s H700.

 

And yes, Rear fan is facing a wall (not a big distance between them too). And what kind of tape shall I use? Also if I got this right, the rear exhaust fan will be the one “controlling” the rest based on how hot the air that it takes out is according to the sensor’s reading? (I thought the measurement should happen inside the case)

Edited by TheTiesThatBind
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OK, that changes things a little. Front fans will run from coolant temp. You'll have to see whether running the top fans from CPU coolant or GPU temp makes more sense for you. You can set both in iCUE. However, that only works when the software is running and the fans will blast on boot until iCUE loads. The way around that is use a temp sensor on the front radiator, either on the exhaust side of radiator itself or behind the last fan. Exit air temp will be approximately equal to coolant temp, usually with a fixed 1-2C offset. This lets you control other fans from "coolant-like temp" all the time. The temp probes are native and do no need the software for control.

 

Other stuff still holds. Your choice. I definitely would want at the top of the case to try and determine how much heat is CPU radiator exhaust and how much is GPU, bu that is my curiosity.

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