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Corsair 280x | Optimal AIO&Fans setup


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Hi there,


I really need your help guys! I am struggeling with my 280x build.


I read about 1h in this forum about the different pros and cons and setups and now i am lost.


I am aware that it depends on the individuall components, but is there THE setup with a AIO and Fans for that Case. Especiall if you are using only Corsair Cooling Products i guess there must be a Top-Solution Corsair had in Mind builing that Case?


I use the following components:


on a ASUS TUF Gaming B550M-Plus

with an ASUS RTX 3070 Dual OC

and Corsair Vengeance RGB PRO 32GB (2x16GB) DDR4 3200MHz.


All build in a 280x.


This options for airflow and cooling are available:

4 x LL120

4 x LL 140

Corsair 115i AiO (only top mount position possible)


[my old Arctic Liquid 240 is still available, but in the end i want to use the RGB-Fans in the front...so front mount is kind of a problem as i doubt it is a good idea to switch the arctic fans with LL120s!?!?]


No Overclocking!


Does anybody have the case and tested the different push pull setups and knows THE Top SETUP?


Which setup worked best for a non OC Setup concerning Temps and loudness?


BTW...Reddit had a great Idea: https://www.coldzero.eu/corsair-280x-replacement-top-window-hexx-smoked


Any ideas or experiences highly appreciated.


Greetings chris

Edited by Toochris
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With the 280X and a top mounted radiator, you'll want to configure it as intake, not exhaust. That's not exactly what Corsair had in mind, I think, but that's what I've found works best. The problem is the glass at the top - it is a restriction to exhausting the warm radiator air and so you have this "heat column" build up in the top of the case that prevents the radiator from cooling down. When the fans are on intake, you still have the restriction but there's no heat column buildup. You just need to get the warm air from the radiator at the top exhausted ... and provide some cool air to your GPU. For the cool air to the GPU, use fans in the front. For exhaust, use fans on the bottom exhausting air.


I had my 280X set up with this configuration (and a GTX 1070) for some time and it worked pretty well. The warmest part of the case was the lower rear, under the GPU. But nothing really got crazy out of control (I had a CoPro in there with temp sensors at various locations).

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Taller feet are a good idea too if you're running fans on the bottom. 680x feet are compatible.


I noticed they have honeycomb plexiglass for the front too. https://www.coldzero.eu/corsair-280x-replacement-front-window-hexx-smoked


With raised feet, honeycomb plexi (at lest on top), I would go intake on bottom and front, exhaust on top then add 2 smaller exhaust fans to the rear. 60mm




What do you think DevBiker?

Edited by Bae Tard
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The 60mm fans may fit - not sure on that.

But doing the honeycomb for the top would certainly do away with the heat column effect.


And yes, with the intake at the bottom, having the system raised and with clear flow out the bottom is important. I actually put mine on a screened monitor stand so that it sits a bit off of the floor (it's in the gameroom for the kid). It's worked out well.

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I have a 5600X in my 280 and I use a 280 radiator in the top blowing out. The key was to go to Ace Hardware and get some rubber grommets that raise the top glass a little more than double the original. (see picture) Front and bottom fans are blowing in.

I'd like to get some 680x feet but Corair's website has had those on backorder for months. Meanwhile I have it up on 4 Altoids tins.

In 'auto boost' 4.6ghz, the 5600x runs all day at 100% doing Einstein@home and stays at 65c.

Although I do have a wimpy graphics card that doesn't put much heat into the case, although it is not on the liquid loop either so what there is of its hot air is contributing to the inside directly. YMMV with a fan cooled 3070.

Also, a 240 rad is smaller, so the fans have to run faster and thus press air against the top glass harder than a 280mm. So I suggest going with a 280mm with bigger/slower 140mm fans. By the math a 280 is almost the same square mm size as a 360 so can cool a lot better than a 240.


Edited by magarity
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OK so I did some testing on the impact of removing glass, etc, on my 280x and here are my results. I used BOINC/Einstein@Home to run the CPU at 100% on all 12 threads.


The summary version is that putting some risers on the top glass and something under the feet to make it a little taller are the best bang for the buck. Completely removing the front or top glass is very modest gain.


XD3 pump rpm: 3000

280mm Corsair radiator in top

ML-140 radiator fans (blowing out/up, push only) rpm: 1400

ML-120 base fans (blowing in) rpm: 1400

ML-140 front fans (blowing in) rpm: 1200


Temps below are from iCUE. At least 15 minutes of idle CPU was in between each run so the coolant was down to 25C max before starting again.


30 minutes at full (4.5 - 4.6Ghz boost speeds, 12 threads at 100%)

with removed top and front glass and extended feet (up on Altoids tins 3/4 inch (20mm))

cpu: 66 (+/- .5)

liquid: 28.1 (+/- .05)


30 minutes at full with removed top glass and extended feet

cpu: 66 (+/- .5)

liquid: 28.5 (+/- .1)


30 minutes at full with extended top glass and removed front glass

cpu: 68.25 +/- .5

liquid: 30.9 +/- .1


30 minutes at full with extended top glass (1/4 inch (6mm) rubber grommets) and extended feet

cpu: 67 (+/- 1)

liquid: 29.5 (+/- .05)


30 minutes at full with extended top glass

cpu: 69 +/- 1

liquid: 29.9 +/ .05


30 minutes at full with extended feet

cpu: 70 +/- 1

liquid: 31.8 +/ .1


30 minutes at full

with original config

cpu: 70 +/- 1

liquid:32.1 +/- .1

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I'd like to get some 680x feet but Corsair's website has had those on backorder for months.


They came back in stock 2 weeks ago and I managed to snag some. Their "notify me" feature does not work.


Thanks for all your tests. It looks like I am going with exhaust on the top (AIO), and (2x)60mm rear. Intake on front and bottom. Plexiglass honeycomb top.

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