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Need advice from the experts on fans


gonca
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I am planning a new build

CPU will probably be 3970x and the GPU 3070

Plan on cooling with Hydro X custom loop

2 360mm rads with 6 fans

I am a newbie to custom loops so I have to ask the question that has been asked 1000 times, but not for the hardware I plan on using.

I like the looks of the LL120 white, but will they be enough or should I go with ML120 Pro or PRO/RGB

Will the fan choice make that much difference with the hardware I mentioned

 

Thank you for any advice/opinion

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  • Corsair Employees

Hi gonca,

 

It really depends on how you want to define "enough"

Any of our fans will work on such a system, although you would get slightly better temps with an ML or SP fan - at the cost of some better lighting.

 

As for the case, you'll generally see slightly better temps in an Airflow case - but the RGB model will also function adequately.

 

I appreciate that my answer wasn't especially definitive - but this is very much a case of which trade-offs you are willing to make with regards to performance/aesthetics.

 

~Mordred

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on a 5000D Airflow anything goes. it's a great performer when it comes to cooling.

the non airflow (and X) are a bit below but still fairly good (check the GN review of the cases, it may help).

 

with good airflow, the difference between all rounder fans or static pressure optimized fans at the same speed is only a few degrees. You'll mostly enjoy a quieter system with good static pressure fans since you wont have to run them as hard for the same cooling.

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Generally speaking, the more radiator "fan space" you have, the less the fan choice matters. So if you have triple 360mm radiators with 9x120 fans, the surface area of the radiators are doing all the work and the fan becomes less important. In contrast, fan choice is quite important on a single panel 120mm cooler trying manage something like a hybrid GPU.

 

That is the other factor in whether the fans matter -- wattage. 6 QL/LL on 2x360 for medium 300-400W loads is pretty easy. Even when faced with thicker radiators, I was able to keep a 450W load under +10C coolant delta with 6 QL on 2.x360x45mm. You have a TR capable of some fairly large power draw and the 3070 can generate it's own 300W+. It is conceivable you could have 600W in the system at one time, but most people never run the GPU and CPU full out for long periods of time. If you are setting up a machine to run Folding or something like that, a constant 600W load is something to deal with and you might want every advantage. If you are setting up a multi-purpose use machine that may see high GPU or CPU loads for periods of time but not indefinitely, then 6 LL/QL is not going to be an issue.

 

Last thing is radiator density and thickness. A thick and dense radiator offers better cooling at extreme speeds (1800 rpm+). Most people do not want these types as they usually offer lower performance and more normal fan speeds compared to less dense and less expensive radiators. So running 6 LL/QL on a pair of Corsair XR5 radiators that were designed for low to middle speeds and are restrictive is quite effective. No effective if you put them on a 60mm thick, 24 fin per inch designed for high speeds.

 

Not sure where you are and cost/availability, but you should at least consider the QL white in comparison to the LL white. Performance differences are negligible. Visual differences are clear. In some cases it may be a key difference as the LL does not really show a lot of light from the back.

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I am in Toronto, Canada so avaiability is no problem.

This machine is going to be a encoding machine, primarily, so CPU loads can be high and sustained.

The 2 rads will be XR5, 360 mm, I can always add a 120 mm rad if need be, shame corsair doesn't have a white one.

As far as cost goes, LL-QL-ML are real close/same in price so not an issue.

Just want to get my first custom loop right, rather spend a few dollars up front than having to replace components later

Edited by gonca
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You don't need a 120mm radiator in this. The additional tube routing, restriction, and change to airflow options probably make it a negative rather than a slight bump to cooling potential.

 

The QL vs LL thing is only about lighting. The LL look decidedly different from the rear. The QL has the ring on both sides and has a cut-out exposing it from side view. That can be important depending on the layout.

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Push-pull general does not show too much gain on thin or low-medium density radiators. The two situations where it might stretch out to 1-2C are when running load at deliberately restrained fan speeds under 1000 rpm or when trying for maximal possible cooling at 100% pump and fan speed. However, it's still going to be limited to 1-2C. In terms of general use, I find it to a slight gain at best and general not worth the extra cabling and noise at moderate speeds. You can see test data below for push vs push-pull at various speeds on the model the XR5 is based on.

 

https://www.xtremerigs.net/2015/02/11/hardwarelabs-nemesis-360-gts-radiator-review/4/

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Thank you. That was an informative link. Puts my mind at ease about some decisions I have to make and possible changes I will make after the fact if need be. I can proceed with a measure of confidence now.

Thank you for help and patience c-attack

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