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Correct radiator orientation in 4000D Airflow


michaelemery
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Gamers Nexus recommended orienting vertically mounted radiators with the water lines entering the bottom to reduce the chance that air bubbles will cause circulation problems.

 

One early review of the Airflow 4000D pointed out that you can not correctly mount a 360mm radiator at the front because the gap between the radiator and lower shroud is too narrow to accommodate the water lines. You must therefore mount the radiator "upside-down" in a not recommended orientation. You also can not mount a top radiator unless you have low-profile (LPX) RAM. I don't have LPX RAM, and I would rather rock my Dominator Platinum RGBs. And finally, a 280mm radiator at the front looks terrible.

 

I am considering a case upgrade to the 4000D Airflow because of the great thermal performance reported in the reviews, and it looks much nicer than my 680X. So given the criteria of looks, performance, and having a reliable configuration, what is the best way to water cool this case using an AIO? Could you loop the pipes through a cable gap at the bottom?

 

Note: I do hope Corsair develop a 360mm radiator with L bend attachments at the base so it could front mount on the 4000D Airflow.

Edited by michaelemery
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In my opinion it's more like a donwngrade from 680X to 4000D airflow. Well, this new case would have better airflow compared to 680x because it has perforated front panel. If you're into this design, I'd suggest to use Lancool II mesh because you can install the front fan/ radiator mounting in 4 different ways and I think it should fit the tube down installation (I could not find examples though). Edited by pontageek
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I'd suggest to use Lancool II mesh because you can install the front fan/ radiator mounting in 4 different ways and I think it should fit the tube down installation (I could not find examples though).

 

I was about to pull the trigger on the Lancool II mesh, then Corsair released the 4000D. The Corsair has a nicer aesthetic, but the radiator mounting constraints are a big problem. I might just sit on my hands for a while and see if Corsair come up with a 4000D-friendly radiator design. As much as I dislike the look of my 680X Clown Fish aquarium, its been a good performer (despite the reviews).

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  • 2 weeks later...
you AIO won't explode if you mount it with its tubes topside. People have done it for years. And yes, I have seen the GN video too. Unless manufacturers are going to be extending their tube length, there will no way be around that for a front mounted radiator so either you bite the bullet or get a fitting top mounting radiator. Edited by Infin1tum
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Well I think you have to go with the flow here. I assume the case will take three 120mm fans on the front so just get a 240mm radiator and place it behind the top two fans. Either that or abandon water cooling altogether and use an air cooler.

If you want extreme cooling then you can't expect it to fit in every case out there.

The compromise is upside down. I have certainly run coolers in that orientation for many years and have no complaints. As long as the top of the radiator is above the CPU block you are fine. It may not be ideal but it's good and if it fails, well, that's why there is a warranty on it!

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Do you think a 280 rad with 120mm fans would fit and give any benefit over a straight 240 rad?

 

Probably not. Those 140->120mm adapters come with some efficiency loss and you may not utilize all of the surface area available. You likely would need to keep those 120mm fan turning at a very high clip and the entire point of using a 280 vs a 240 is to be able to get away with lower fan speed. Unless you already have the 280mm and don't have options, it's better to go with the natural fit.

 

Watch the video again after the first round of testing. Most of his complaints are with the bottom mounted radiator and the pump as the high point. This is a concern and there is a potential performance issue. You also don't see many people do this. As the video transitions to the hoses up, front mount part, he indicates the problem is you might hear water noise or gurgle. Not that your performance will tank, wreck the AIO, or anything else nearly as extreme as the tone suggests. Regardless, you should buy a case you are comfortable with.

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Wow, I thought about ordering a 4000d recently for a new build. Now I'm glad I decided against it because I have an h115i elite cooler for my cpu and plan to get a hybrid kit for for the EVGA 3080 GPU, plus I have dominator platinum RAM. I really liked that the 4000d actually had good airflow and thermals, something I've been wanting to see more of with corsair cases. Even though I am a full-blown unicorn-barf RGB fan, I don't like the current obsession most of the case manufacturers have with glass front/top panels or metal panels with flowery designs, both of which impede airflow.
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I've decided to do the 360 rad in the front with pipes up, and just replace it in 4-5 years to avoid any issues. I wanted to get longer life from it, and avoid the noise if any with pipes down, but I am not willing to give up on the beauty of a case.

 

The other downside is no RGB on the front inside since the rad blocks it, and you can't do push/pull because of the room. But I will make up for it with QL 120mms on top and rear, along with the pump being RGB.

 

Honestly, also just thought of cutting an inch of the PS shroud so I could mount the 360 with pipes down. Seems like a very simple mod but hate the idea of doing that to something new.

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