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Setting fan curves (H150i top exhaust, 6xLL120 side/bottom intake)


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I'll preface this by saying I'm entirely new to AIO cooling, so my apologies if this is all largely self evident.


As per the title, I have an H150i radiator with the three included fans mounted as exhaust at the top of my case, and six LL120 fans connected to a Commander Pro mounted as intake along the side and bottom of my case. I'm trying to set the fan curves and, while the relevant information is no doubt absolutely abundant, the most authoritative-sounding posts tend to be speaking from the position of radiator intake, so I thought I'd bother you fine people and ask a few questions directly.


Connected to the Commander Pro is a single temperature sensor dangling down next to the AIO pump head, several cm above the GPU. Is this a reasonable source to set the intake fan curves against? If so, what's a rough ideal relationship between probe temperature and intake speed?


What would the fan curve look like for the radiator exhaust? I've been reluctant to fiddle with this, because it seems like the fans operating at higher intensity might increase coolant temperatures. Should the exhaust speed still operate off coolant temp, or perhaps run at a constant speed or from a different data source entirely?


Tangential, but for several reasons (mostly because I'm an idiot), mounting the AIO pump head to the CPU was a rather protracted affair, with several unsuccessful attempts in the process. Should I be safe and reapply thermal paste, or is it marginal enough of an issue to not bother?



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If your CPU temps are not ping-ponging around like crazy, there is no need to re-paste at this point. This biggest risk when you fudge the attempts several time is getting some foreign material into the TIM. On newly laid paste or especially the "melt on first heat" pre-applied stuff, it doesn't matter. Save your own TIM for next time.


Intake 6x120 -> I think the temp probe above the GPU is fine. It really doesn't matter what the source is and where you place it, as long as it produces a consistent data set with enough range for you to make meaningful curve steps. As for actual speeds, set it to noise tolerance. There is no +100 rpm = -2C case temp kind of metric. Always unique to your case.


H150i control -> Nope, keep in on H150i Temp (coolant temp). If the air coming into that area is warmer (from the GPU, board VRM modules, RAM, or other), the coolant temps will rise as well and speed up the exhaust flow. It takes care of itself and ultimately you want to lowest coolant temp possible, although for most people there is no reason to go chasing 2 degrees at the expense of something more valuable, like preferred visual aesthetics or noise.


To that end, I looked at this case for quite a while as an alternative set-up for my current build and new full water system. Did you consider using the H150i in the vertical position as exhaust? The theory behind this is both local thermal sources and manipulating the LL to show the ring side. 1) The vertical panel is probably cooler than the top of the case. Even with no GPU heat, in a bottom intake, all glass box, the top layer of the case is likely to be 2-3C warmer than the base layer. This might save you a few degrees in coolant temp just in location. 2) You could then use LL as top exhaust showing the ring side, maybe put the LL on the H150i (again showing the ring side), and re-purpose the ML120-Quiet from the cooler as bottom intake or later on get even more LL crazy. I don't know the H150i will fit on the vertical. I have read some complaints about width and case plugs back there, but I am curious.


An intermediate step might be to flip the current vertical fans to exhaust and leave all other items as they are. The big mystery variable in this case is what happens with GPU heat. There is no active exhaust in the 011, just the passive back venting. With the H150i in top exhaust, it will pull air from outside through that vent. This is good. However, it's possible with 6 intake fans really pressuring the other half, it may push some GPU heat into that corner and it may get caught in little vortex between the two forces. This is speculative for sure, but perhaps take a post it note or other small piece of paper and see whether it sticks to back vent (on the outside of the case) on its own, or it blows right off. By switching the vertical rail to exhaust (along with top H150i exhaust) you may shift the heat flow away toward the empty space in the front while still allowing the H150i to pull air from the rear vent. In this set-up, you probably want a dust filter for the rear vent or even a $2 thin piece of foam liner to do the same task. Again, these are both theoretical concepts and not a substitute for actually trying things out. The 011 is pretty versatile. No reason not to experiment at your own pace. None of these arrangements should be critical mistakes.

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