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Air Circulation



Just wondering what you all think is the best setup for air circulation within the case. I am getting conflicting opinions from friends who all seem to think they know what the heck they are talking about but yeah.....I'm asking here :p

Friend A says : half case fans sucking in air, half blowing it out directly across from each other.

Friend B says: Half Sucking air in from bottom, half blowing out top

Friend C says: All sucking in, vents allowing hot to blow out.

Friend D says: All blowing hot out creating negative pressure to suck cool in through vents.

Let me know whatcha think!



F@H - Is it in you?
Staff member
Political User
I go with having an airflow system flowin over the cpu.. therefore air in from front... exhaust out back...

that setup works for me as cooler air is sucked in from the front... the rear of cpu is facing wall (is about foot and half away... enough room @ back for air to be dispensed)

a lot of people like putting a blowhole... but my thing is why break the air flow? sucking it in from the front and using rear as exhaust is a nice air flow...

you NEED to have exhaust fans or a blow hole with a fan...

option b and c = I don't like this all that much because there is clutter @ the top and the air flow in cases normally has to go OVER your cpu hsf else cooling is reduced... sucking in bottom and use a blowhole also has same prob... I have stuff @ the top.. namely the cables and my ide/atapi devices and such...

as for D? I dunno m8.. I always have fans sucking in... better for oc'ing...


F@H - Is it in you?
Staff member
Political User
/me ponders if that was an option posted...
/me looks...

nope... not an option...

would be MY thing to do though... liquid cooling 0wnz j00 :)


Penguin Rancher

This is the logical flow that air should take through an air cooled case. A fan at the front to blow air from the front across the MOBO. Fans at the rear to pull out the air from the case.



F@H - Is it in you?
Staff member
Political User
agreed... my system has a similar flow... and since its a big case... ambient temps inside are reasonably low...

oc'd to 2100+ specs I normally have 36-37C at idle and very low 40's on load... not too bad I don't think...


Beware the G-Man
Political User
I think if you put one(1) LARGE Intake Fan at the front of the Case and two(2) Large Exhaust Fans in the rear plus one(1) more Exhaust Fan in the top of the Case (since hot air rises it will help quite a bit in removing the hotter air that usually sits at the top of the case that is not removed by the Pwer Supply Fans) and open up a 5" Bay slot as an Intake Port (the open slot will suck cool air in because of the difference in pressure between the cool outside air and the hotter inside air [a vacuum]), you would have a cool running "Air Cooled" System. A big case is the best bet for this idea, which is the way I'm running rite now... minus the top Case Fan which I am going to install next week.
My Temps average 35 to 45 degrees Celcius, idle to full load. On hot days it tops out at 48 degrees full load.

I agree with "Friend B"

Cool air comes in from the bottom - it's denser and settles at the bottom.
As it heats up, it becomes less dense and rises. The fan on top blows the hot air out.

The cycle continues... :)


Well, can see that no one seems to agree with the all blowing out to create a vacuum thing....lol, I didn't think much of it myself. As for the case, it is an 18" one with plenty of space inside so that should help. I hope to eventually go watercooling in it, but since I'd rather upgrade my system right now I am just going for the best air cool setup currently.

Since my system is rather weak, (Duron 800 with Riva TNT2, SB Live, 384 MB RAM, 350W PS) it isn't a big deal for a lot of cooling right now, but when I eventually go to my 2200+ and 9700 (This spring I figure) then I will need to have a decent setup till I can get the watercooling into it.

Thanks for the info people, and keep posting to give me some ideas here!


Also, has anyone here heard of/considered alcohol cooling within the system? Same friend that said the all blowing out to create negative pressure suggested that instead of watercooling, alcohol might be good because if you ever spring a leak, the alcohol is going to evap right away and keep from wrecking your stuff.....doesn't sound right to me since alcohol while it does evap fast, when spraying out it don't go that fast lol
Depends on what alcohol you use. If you mean alcohol as in booze, then no. There are other alcohols that evaporate faster. The problem is that it isn't fast enough. If it even touches the mobo for instance, you could be fried. Better then to use a non-conductive fluid.

"No officer, this moonshine is not for drinking, it's for er... my computer!"
"Yeah right, hands behind your back."


i say... get a couple of blow holes right above the cpu and make the front and back fans blow out of the case.. then your getting maximum airflow where you need it most.. your crazy wildly overclocked cpu


Penguin Rancher
Alcohol would surely destroy your mobo. There is a chemical however that is similar to water and is extremely good for cooling your PC. It is unfortunately VERY expensive. 3M makes a chemical called Hydrofluoroether. You submerge your mobo in this chemical and recirculate the chemical to allow it to cool, similar to a water-cooled system. It is very effective, but again very expensive. It also must be contained in a air tight container because it evaporates very fast.



Hmm, a submerged MOBO, interesting.....obviously it is nonconductive....hmm, too bad it's overly expensive. Figure that I will set up with bottom to top crosswise air cooling for now and then eventually move to a dangerden prebuilt watercooling kit unless anyone has any ideas for better prebuilts.


Yeah, with the number of views that this thread has I'd say that the last option should be winning big time!

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