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Corsair RMi with "special" inverse case: enable or disable 0 fan mode?


corsican
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so my RMi is in a very special case it's the ones with the new design where the PSU is at the top of the case (Corsair carbide 600C inverse design)

 

 

so this is a bit of a dilemma because since PSU is at top of the case, the heat will rise & reach the PSU (that's the only drawback of such a design IMO else I prefer the new inverse design, better for cable management)

 

 

so my question is, should I leave fan on default zero mode anyway (even though rising heat will be trapped in PSU) or enable minimum 40% fan mode? (when I leave it on, I notice that the air exhausted out of the PSU is quite warm:this means dangerous hot air is reaching it right?)

 

I'm tempted to enable minimum fan mode but that in turn poses TWO potential problems:

 

1) fan lifespan: the RMi only uses fluid dynamic bearing which is basically a fancy sleeve bearing, tougher than basic sleeve but no match for double ball bearings (like those of seasonic)

in other words I reckon it's dangerous to leave an FDB fan operating 24/7 right? this will wear down the fan more quickly cause it's not a ball bearing fan

 

2) DUST buildup: any fan speed even a small one will inevitably lead to dust inside the PSU right? so the PSU will heat up over time even with the fan on because of dust which btw is the main reason I hesitate to enable minimum fan mode

 

 

so there's the dilemma what is best for PSU (both power supply itself and fan) lifespan in my specific config: enable or disable zero fan mode?

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You are going to have some measure of heat in the upper PSU corner, whether it is other component waste heat or the PSU’s own. The PSU fan has a job - cool the PSU. It will kick on if you reach the designated temperature threshold. You have the ability to turn it on or off through iCUE and can assess yourself, but active cooling on anything is going to be a large improvement over passive - probably 8-10C at the PSU.

 

As for the other stuff, simple solution there as well. Seal the entire case in plastic and don’t ever use it. Nothing makes something last longer than never using it! Of course, that brings your utility level down to zero. If you are living in fear of wearing out your PSU fan you are just making yourself miserable. 5-7 years from now, you can decide if you want to RMA or buy something else - if actually necessary. If you have genuine dust issues and can’t or don’t filter the other intakes, you can likely find a 140mm magnetic filter for the PSU. For most people this will be unnecessary and the dust particles will follow the easier path elsewhere, but it is an option.

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You are going to have some measure of heat in the upper PSU corner, whether it is other component waste heat or the PSU’s own. The PSU fan has a job - cool the PSU. It will kick on if you reach the designated temperature threshold. You have the ability to turn it on or off through iCUE and can assess yourself, but active cooling on anything is going to be a large improvement over passive - probably 8-10C at the PSU.
I noticed about 5-6°C increase when disabling fan (under full CPU+GPU load which is around 250W. I have an RM750i) sensor #1 went from 41°C to about 47°C

 

but it's not full summer yet so I may be looking at a PSU temperature of around 50°C on highest load in peak summer if I disable fan - plus I might upgrade from GTX1070 to GTX1080 which will add another 30W on full load, dunno how many more Celsius this will translate to

 

so is a temp of 50-55°C safe for a PSU? Corsair tends to privilege silence over cooling so I'm not sure fan will kick in, should I force the minimum fan mode?

 

As for the other stuff, simple solution there as well. Seal the entire case in plastic and don’t ever use it. Nothing makes something last longer than never using it! Of course, that brings your utility level down to zero. If you are living in fear of wearing out your PSU fan you are just making yourself miserable. 5-7 years from now, you can decide if you want to RMA or buy something else - if actually necessary. If you have genuine dust issues and can’t or don’t filter the other intakes, you can likely find a 140mm magnetic filter for the PSU. For most people this will be unnecessary and the dust particles will follow the easier path elsewhere, but it is an option.

lol

it's just that I've got an old VX550 (still keep it as a backup) bought it in 2009 and by 2016 (when I stopped using it regulerly) the inside's literally smothered in dust after just 7y use - dunno how this affects lifespan but that much dust dont look good

this suggests dust buildup is inevitable from the moment I leave the fan on right? :confused:

 

ps. also the VX550 has a double ball-bearing fan so these last almost forever & still not much noise from that one either so if the RMi had the same fan I wouldn't be concerned about lifespan but since it's only an FDB fan I've to take that into account as well as the dust

if I leave the server on 24/7 with the RMi's FDB fan on 40% minimum mode, how long will that fan last?

 

 

so all things considered do you think I should force the fan at minimum speed or leave it on default 0 fan mode?

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Chances are with another +1-2C in room temp when Summer hits, you'll be at 50C anyway and the fan will run. If you are hanging around that mark, the start up/shut down cycle may be a minor annoyance and you'll prefer constant fan on at a low speed.

 

I think this is certainly a user choice decision and the if things get out of hand in terms of temperature, the PSU is going to take over anyway. However, I'll put this forward. I have a EVGA Supernova P2 1200W and a Seasonic Prime 1000W Titanium. What annoys me about both of these units is in ECO mode it will wait as long as possible before turning on the fan. This is an intentional design. However, at that point, then you need a fair amount of fan speed to get things cooled down. The min speed on the Supernova is an obnoxious 1300 rpm. That is loud. The Prime is better with a lower entry level fan speed, but it still must "power test" on when activated and there is a brief 100% burst. I can hear that through headphones over 9 other 140mm fans at 1000 rpm. I just bought a refurbished AX1200i specifically because I could control the fan and it has a fairly innocuous minimum speed. (40%=760 rpm) I can't even tell if it is on or off. Now in Winter, none of this matters and my cold room temps keep things off. In Summer, it is a frequent gripe. Setting the PSU to a 40% curve at below 40C temps keeps this PSU between 28C (room temp) and 35C max at 600W. That is exactly what I wanted. My SSDs sit above the PSU and they now run 5C cooler since the PSU is no longer a hot rock.

 

Slow and steady active cooling is always going to be superior in performance than passive on/off -- except when you absolutely must have a zero fan/noise presence. To me, it seems like the PSU can actually help alleviate a potential air trap in that corner of the case, but I don't have a 600 so that is speculation. This is all risk assessment and calculating low percentage chances at that, but I prefer to take the "my fans may fail earlier option" than my PSU "wore it's components out prematurely" and is now providing erratic power.

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k TY minimum fan mode it is then :sunglasse

 

I just wish they used ball-bearings (are ball bearings more expensive then fluid dynamic bearings? is that why they prefer FDB? cause I know for fact that a GOOD double-ball bearing is almost as silent as FDB so noise is no longer a reason. DBB is superior to FDB so logic says FDB should disappear in favour of DBB unless DBB is way way more expensive then FDB)

 

but my main concern's still dust - if heavy dust builds up how does that affect temperature inside the PSU? (how much more °C for a dust-ridden PSU? assuming fan continues operating at same minimum speed I mean)

Edited by corsican
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but my main concern's still dust - if heavy dust builds up how does that affect temperature inside the PSU? (how much more °C for a dust-ridden PSU? assuming fan continues operating at same minimum speed I mean)

 

There is no calculation for this. Obviously large quantities of dust will increase the heat of the components, but there is no way to assess it. However, the overall flow of your set-up is going to be front in -> bottom/rear out in terms of airflow. That little PSU fan is not going to be sucking dust away from the 3x140 on the bottom. The particles are still subject to gravity and both the larger force and the earth are in the other direction. If you had no filters at all, I would expect a minimal dust build up at the PSU compared to other cases, particularly those with a traditional bottom mount, fan down, suck from underneath orientation. Aside from that, only special environmental concerns should come into play (shag carpets, desert sandstorms, cats).

 

I suspect a high quality "anything" costs measurably more than a cheap to average something else. I don't know how these cost evaluations are done. Supply may be a factor as well. Yes, other people also wish all PSUs came with a ball bearing fan. Regardless of type, I wish more to them came with a decent one. This AX1200i is the first fan I've had in 7-8 years that wasn't the most annoying sound in the case (save 1 Titan X Pascal blower). I have no complaints at this point.

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can PSU fans easily be replaced by users? (I assume it's gotta be a "case fan" type)

 

the only thing I read is that it has to be a non-PWM fan cause a PWM fan can damage a PSU

 

if so I might consider replacing with a maglev fan since those are supposed to be "immortal" even more durable than DBB (and more silent than FDB)

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can PSU fans easily be replaced by users? (I assume it's gotta be a "case fan" type)

 

the only thing I read is that it has to be a non-PWM fan cause a PWM fan can damage a PSU

 

if so I might consider replacing with a maglev fan since those are supposed to be "immortal" even more durable than DBB (and more silent than FDB)

 

Take your life in your own hands if you open the PSU up. I wouldn't suggest it due to the fact the caps can keep a charge LONG after being powered down.

 

Wish I had video of the test a friend let me watch on an aircraft generator/alternator when they discharged an extremely large cap on it (a bit bigger than a 55 gallon oil drum) to test its robustness to a lightning strike. Impressive to say the least and it took a while to bring the cap to full charge. But a great example of what can happen albeit more extreme.

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