Top, front, or rear? Interesting to know. Recently, however, I performed a few upgrades to my system and noticed the GPU was getting quite loud. Three cases with unique qualities were chosen for this test: the S340 Elite (relatively normal layout), the SilverStone Redline 06 (unusually high airflow), and the Corsair 600C (inverted motherboard). Thermaltake Core P5 Tempered Glass Edition ATX Wall-Mount Case. In conclusion, the results show that there is not a huge difference when gaming, but still noticeable from a noise point of view and there is quite a difference when running Boinc (great for people like me that run it 24/7). Exhaust fans at the rear can also cause airflow conflicts and do the most damage to radiator temperatures. Also, take note of the radiator thickness! This includes measuring how much a front radiator might reduce CPU temperatures at risk of raising GPU temperatures, or how a top-mount might do the opposite. You can fit a 120mm radiator at the front, rear, top or bottom, 140mm at the front, top and bottom, and you can also have a 240mm, 280mm or 360mm radiator at the front or top. 2 Skif Introduction Trailer, Monster Hunter World: Iceborne Top Tips For Using Lances, Monster Hunter World: Iceborne Top Tips For Using Great Swords, Monster Hunter World: Iceborne Top Tips For Using Charge Blades, Monster Hunter World: Iceborne Top Tips For Using Hunting Horns, The GrinCast Episode 283 - Game of the Year 2020 Part Two, CD Projekt Responds to Class Action Lawsuit, Intel Core i7 7820x CPU @ 4.3GHz (Voltage set to auto). Personally, before I switched back to air, I actually had the rad mounted outside of the case entirely, and if you can manage that, then I'd recommend that as the best way, but it's a tricky thing to do. So I seem to be getting some flak on social media / Reddit for this one for not testing with the fan speeds locked, I wasnt as clear as I could have been in the article about my intentions so let me try and clear this up a bit. Do: Mount the radiator so its airflow is not impeded by other devices in the machine. I assumed that the GPU fans had to work a lot harder due to hot air from the radiator being dumped onto the GPU, as you can see below they are quite close to each other. I wish I had a decibel meter but instead, you'll have to take my word for it. The case alone has a huge impact on thermal performance, next dictated by the fans and coolers within the system, then the video card (how do its fans behave? This does not mean that the difference is significant, it just means that one number is lower. And this is the system with a top mounted radiator: One thing I did differently to the other tests I have seen is not locking any fan speeds in the system, so the GPU/Radiator/case fans were set to the default quiet curves. Below is a list of PC parts and a list of water cooling parts used in this guide. The radiator and fan combo itself can be mounted to the front or bottom for intake or the rear or top for exhaust, but it will be less efficient than a fan alone. Check PC specs against potential liquid cooling unit to guarantee compatibility. Mount the accompanying pump on the CPU and ensure conductive elements are installed. CPU stays much cooler while the GPU is unaffected. Ultimately, we generally recommend trying to keep the GPU out of heat paths as most have a temperature ceiling of 82-85C prior to clock throttling – and GPU clock throttles are more noticeable in gaming performance. We have other cases tested in our article on GamersNexus, but the foundation is this: It depends on the case and the cooler. If multiple options are present, and if “best” cooling is desired, consider front-mounted for the best CPU cooling or top/rear for the best overall balanced cooling. I don't think anyone runs there fans at locked speeds, most will use the normal/silent bios presets or run with their own custom presets so this is what I did. Yea that will definitely give you the best cooling. For example, a 480mm radiator can hold four 120mm fans, while a 280mm radiator can have two 140mm fans attached. So yea I should have been clearer stating that this was not a "which cools the CPU better" article, I will try better next time :). As such, it's a great candidate for cooling your system. Temperatures should stay fairly similar all round with each configuration, but would the fans spin slower on one configuration over the other to maintain the same temperatures? Need to mount your reservoir to your case, radiator, fans or even externally on a stand? Overall I found the lower noise levels and slightly higher CPU temps of the top mounting to be the best 24/7 setup and I think most people would agree with me there. Nice one Plat, especially like the graphs. The best PC cases offer a jumping off point for your gaming PC build, but can also be the finishing touch that makes your machine stand out from the rest.You have a wide selection to choose from, too My investigations into this lead me to believe that the placement does actually make a difference and, depending on your case, can make a big difference. As always though, your mileage will vary as they say. This is the system with a front mounted radiator: (It's a little hard to see, but there is a radiator behind the two front fans). CPU temperatures rise a little bit if the cooler is rear-mounted, but there are a few important things to note here: One, CPUs are way more tolerant of temperature fluctuations than GPUs, and also have significantly higher thermal ceilings; two, GPUs won’t dump heat straight into the CPU cooler (generally speaking), so the impact of the CPU temperature on the GPU is more profound than the inverse. This article will just focus on the NZXT S340 Elite. The CPU temperatures were a little higher when the radiator was mounted at the top during gaming and was around seven degrees higher under Boinc, but were still well within safe limits and the fans did not have to speed up to compensate. Some cases would allow this more readily. Cheers mate, This was an interesting one to do and I learned a few things in the process. Water cooling Excellent article, Plat. « NZXT Kraken Guide: How to Optimize for Silence and Performance Is … I've never actually used a radiator so this will come in handy at some point for sure. The GPU, however, did not run any cooler under gaming, which was to be expected. If multiple options are present, and if “best” cooling is desired, consider front-mounted for the best CPU cooling or top/rear for the best overall balanced cooling. With the front mounted radiator blowing out, the reviewer doesn't indicate where or which way the two NZXT fans are blowing, in or out. The side of the radiator where the tubes connect should be at the bottom, and the pump should be mounted in a position where it is slightly lower than the top of the radiator, where air is captured. This was not an article I was ever planning to do. Knows more about hardware than safe drinking limits. We sort of had to hack the solution together, seeing as our VRM heatsink and RAM wouldn’t allow a top-mounted radiator (X42) to clear. If you just bought a new radiator, it doesn’t have to go in the exact same place as your old one. One good mounting position is to mount the radiator of the cooler at the frontal area of the case interior. I planned to mount the radiator into the front (filtered material there and intakes in the front panel in the Fractal Define S Window) with the fans pulling air through the Radiator into the case. Cheers :) Big thanks to wowky for the graphs :), CD Projekt Responds to Class Action Lawsuit, Billion Beat Receives Steam Early Access Release Date, Resident Evil Reboot Movie Has Finished Shooting, The GrinCast Episode 284 - Retro Retrospective, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Take a look at this guide to figure out the right radiator positioning for you. I always assumed that radiator placement made little difference to internal temperatures, I even backed up my thoughts on this by checking out a few YouTube videos. But, when it comes to PC cooling, sealed all-in-one (AIO) liquid cooling systems—also known as closed-loop coolers—are safe, effective, and easy to install. Just mount it where it fits best. Although, the fans did run slower which was a lot easier on the ears. All fans will be configured to 100% in our testing. The CPU temperatures were a little higher when the radiator was mounted at the top during gaming and was around seven degrees higher under Boinc, but were still well within safe limits and the fans did not have to speed up to compensate. But the radiator needs to be cooled by fans, and there is not much agreement about how to install the radiator and the fan (or fans) on the case. If … The differences are big enough however, that I would recommend mounting the radiator at the top of your case, exhausting air out. I hope this article will help others with their cooling setups and AIO choices. To properly air cool your computer, you need have enough case fans to push or pull air into and out of the case. CPU temperatures were predictably lower when the radiator was placed in the path of unwarmed in-flowing air, while GPU temperatures were lower when inflowing air was not warmed by the CPU. The radiators are designed to fit into a standard fan mount (usually 120mm) on most PC cases. This was not a comparative test between the cases; comparisons and opinions on the cases can be seen in the individual reviews we’ve published at GamersNexus. The reason for the difference is that the top of my case cannot take a 280mm radiator. In fact, that spot may not even be the best place for it. Secure the radiator and fan assembly. Desktop Parts: CPU: Intel - i7-7700K I was in the same location for both tests. Case testing is one of the least exact sciences, because it’s simply impossible to control for every possible variable. My initial setup had the radiator at the front pulling air in the case. The commonly done configuration of having the radiator exhaust from the top doesn't bode too well for radiator cooling (but certainly helps GPU cooling a bit). Heat from the VRM and GPU make their way to the radiator. So I decided to do some testing myself and find out the answer. If you simply have no choice, or you do choose to place your radiator on an exterior wall, be sure to insulate it well. Ultimately, the answer is a big “it depends” – but we still tested it. The differences are big enough however, that I would recommend mounting the radiator at the top of your case, exhausting air out. The two configurations tested are more directly comparable than they were in the RL06, since the direction of airflow did not significantly change. Water has a high thermal conductivity, meaning it absorbs heat very easily—even moreso than air. For radiator testing, we simplify matters by eliminating the various air coolers designs – liquid coolers ultimately use parts that are easier to compare. This held true except for the top rear configuration under load, where dT was not only a degree lower than the front upper configuration, but also lower than the same test with the pump at full speed. This is the key thing for me as I like having a quiet computer. I used two AIO coolers for this test, one is a 280mm (EVGA CLC 280 Liquid CPU Cooler)  and the other is a 240mm (Corsair H100i V2). Clear PC interior of anything that may obstruct installation. Likewise, 240 and 360 radiators will usually mount if you have two or three adjacent 120mm vents. To avoid making your computer too loud, use fewer or quieter fans. Think I'm going to go with intake (at least until I upgrade my GPU with full block. For example, some mid-tower like Corsair 570x allows you to mount 2×120 or 2×140 radiators on the top. Buy Lian Li PC-O11 Dynamic Mid-Tower Case. I was using a 280mm radiator in the front initially, I then swapped for the 240mm radiator to test my theory. Is the NZXT Kraken Compatible with AMD Threadripper. AIO = All in one, also know as closed loop as the whole unit is in one piece and does not require any complex assembly. If quiet computing is your thing and your GPU is air cooled, then the top of the case is the way to go. In the very least, we can look at liquid cooler placement performance in a few different cases. The 240mm radiator, however, is thicker and has tighter packed fins. With a longer/deeper case there may not be as much of a difference. More case fans means higher total CFM and more air being moved through your computer. If you want to showcase all of your fancy gaming components and water cooling loop then this open frame panoramic viewing case is a perfect choice. Talk about versatility. And 1080 is the EVGA Classified so not a blower. Just be mindful of the noise levels as fans can generate quite a buzz. As always though, results may vary depending on your setup. I stuck with the same project (Asteroids @ Home running both CPU and GPU workloads) to try and keep things a fair as I could. Every single component impacts internal case thermals, and that means that the best anyone can do is create a system analog that reasonably represents most builds of a certain type. This makes sense, since the front-mounted radiator is dumping heat onto the GPU. With plenty of airflow and a host of water cooling options, this is one of the best PC cases for water cooling, even at the premium price it comes at. This is pretty interesting and I didn't expect to see quite such a difference. 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