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H50 dos and don'ts (personal experiences within)


AlienwareALX

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Hello all. I figured it was time to put fingers to keys (because pens and paper are for old people) and share my experiences with you. I'm not slagging off Corsair, far from it, I am just sharing my experiences from a hands on P.O.V in the vain hope it may help someone else with a similar system to mine.

 

It's pretty techy and geeky but if that kind of thing floats your boat then you may find this interesting.

 

OK quick pic of my machine so you can familiarise yourself with it.

 

http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i174/timmahtiburon/interior.jpg

 

Alienware ALX chassis that started life as a 'refurb' cheap as chips (£270 all in) system that I used happily for a year. Over the past few months I did a complete tear down and pretty much replaced all of it barring a couple of drives.

 

OK. So as you can see I have a Corsair (Asetek LCLC) HC50. It originally cooled a E4500 Oced to 2.9ghz.

 

Now however its nestled on top of a Phenom 2 X4 940 at stock speeds (3ghz).

 

I noted carefully when reading the install guide for the LC that Corsair reccomend bringing air into the radiator. Unknown to me at the time of fitting this almost cost me big time. Now as I said I am not blaming Corsair because every one's system is different. But, in my case (literally) doing that caused me serious issues.

 

I went about setting up the machine using the stock Alienware fans. These are run of the mill affairs. The case intakes air at the front and left side with 120mm fans. It exhausts via the PSU, HDD bay (both 92mm) and usually at the back. However, fitting the radiator there (as both Alienware do with their Asetek cooled ALX's) causes a stop in the flow.

 

OK. So with the stock corsair fan bringing air into the radiator my CPU was idling at 36 and maxing high 40's. Perfectly fine. However my 280 was idling at 68c (instead of the suggested 56) and maxing at over 100c before freezing.

 

So I brought a complete set of Arctic 9 bladed fans with double the CFM of my stock fans.

 

CPU went down to 32/46, awesome. GPU remained the same. Infact after ten minutes of the system being on the GPU was idling at 74. As soon as I loaded a game (not play it, load it) the fan was immediately doing it's best impression of a black and decker dust buster and the noise was becoming unbearable.

 

On many occasion Dirt 2 would lock my GPU up, and only a five minute wait would unlock it (for it to cool no doubt).

 

So the first thing I did was order another 120mm fan and do a push/pull drag into the radiator from outside, as Corsair suggest.

 

24/39 on the 940. Absolutely awesome.

 

I also reversed the front fan to exhaust hoping that the GPU would cool. It didn't, infact it got worse. 80c idle and fan spun up as soon as the PC was booted.

 

So, in the end I had to ignore Corsair's strict instructions to bring air into the rad and flipped the dual fans on the rad (see pic) to both forcing air out. I also reverted the front fan to intake and rebooted.

 

30/44 on the CPU. Excellent.

 

52/72 on the GPU. Fantastic. Now the fan never ever spins up.

 

So, if any one is having an issue please take note. Firstly adding that second fan will bring you down a good few degrees and also adding a 9 blade fan will achieve better results that the stock Corsair one. The noise does go up, I'm not going to lie, but the bottom line is I nearly fried my 280 by trying to stick to the rules. Infact, on one occasion the card hit artifacts and I thought I had killed it. Thankfully a reboot and down time removed that problem (PHEW) and everything is now butter.

 

This may not be strictly down to running the fan bringing air IN to the HC50. The Alienware case is very unforgiving should you disrupt it's intended design for airflow as there are no vents and no holes. I should have realised that from the get go tbh and ignored what Corsair say (not out of rudeness of course, out of intuition).

 

But hey, you live and learn and if any one is having the same problem you may now have a fix for it :)

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Nice guide thing, simple and straight to the point!

 

With my case, got six 120mm fans and one 240mm fan, 4 of the six fans are sucking in air, one of which is the radiator fan, while the other two suck it out, along with the 240mm fan.

 

This created some problems for me, as directly above the radiator, there is a 120mm fan, which sucks air out of the case, while the corsair fan pulls it in, so you can see where im going with this, the radiator fan keeps sucking in the hot air the fan above it blows out..

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Nice guide thing, simple and straight to the point!

 

With my case, got six 120mm fans and one 240mm fan, 4 of the six fans are sucking in air, one of which is the radiator fan, while the other two suck it out, along with the 240mm fan.

 

This created some problems for me, as directly above the radiator, there is a 120mm fan, which sucks air out of the case, while the corsair fan pulls it in, so you can see where im going with this, the radiator fan keeps sucking in the hot air the fan above it blows out..

 

I see.

 

In my case there was just no way I could have air being brought in for the Corsair. It just upset way too many other things. Even my case's ambient temps have dropped 7c since changing the flow. My northbridge was also overheating pretty bad as there was no cold or even case temp air going past it, just scorching radiator exhaust.

 

I did note that on the Alienware ALX set ups they have far longer hoses on the Asetek and fit the radiator in the front.

 

Either way try reversing the flow and fitting an extra fan. It's very easy to hold onto the rad because you can use regular hard drive screws. It is quite tricky doing them up, I had to use a set of small pliers on the hex heads as a screwdriver wouldn't fit. I didn't fancy cutting the corners of the fan either though that would be an option on these fans as tbh they're an immense bargain (about £4 each and perform better than Noctua*)

 

* Again I'm not putting Noctua down as they are very quiet. Sadly anything quiet offers no level of high performance on fans. I also don't think Noctua are worth £18 a pop when these Arctics cost £4 and have more matierials and can be made to be just as quiet with some cheap resistors. I also had so so results with the twin fan 92mm Noctua cooler. Not worth £40 no siree. I paid little more for my Corsair and its practically silent compared to the Noctua twin 92mm which sounded like a bloody harrier jet taking off.

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Agree 100%.

 

I've been looking at buying one of these for the last two weeks. When I veiwed the install vid on Tigers website the first thing I thought was "Well thats not going to work for me". No way was I going to bring hot air INTO my case. No way. In fact it put me off buying the thing as I didn't know if you could reverse the setup. But after poking around a little I found out (From threads like this one. Thank you for starting it.) that I was not the only one with those misgivings and that you can in fact reverse the setup. And it seems to work quite well that way. Good news for me because I really wanted to try one of these babys out. And now I will!

 

One question though. Are most of you pluging into the MB fan headers? Or are you running the fan/fans all out? Or maybe with a fan control? What do you guys think is the way to go? (I guess thats about four questions. LOL Sorry)

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Agree 100%.

One question though. Are most of you pluging into the MB fan headers? Or are you running the fan/fans all out? Or maybe with a fan control? What do you guys think is the way to go? (I guess thats about four questions. LOL Sorry)

 

 

Nearly everybody uses the MB fan headers, but people vary in which ones they use, some put the pump into the CPU header, and the fan into the fan header, others put the pump on a fan header, and the fan on the CPU header, or both on fan header..

 

There are so many combinations that work, i myself have the pump put into one of the MB Fan headers, and the fan into the CPU header.

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I never thought twice.I installed the h50 as an exhaust right away.I dont care what the directions say.If you look at my storm sniper case,you can see why its cooler in my case than it is outside of the case.;):

 

I'm assuming the wink is because you are joking?

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