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Question on my AIO placement / fan direction

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andrewrayhons 1 month ago

My question is, do I place the AIO on top or in front, and if in front, can I let the front fans do the work of pushing air in through the radiator and then simply put the included fans on top of the case to push air out? Or should I place the radiator on the top of the case, and push air through the radiator out through the top of the case?

My build below:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel - Core i5-9600K 3.7 GHz 6-Core Processor $268.00 @ SuperBiiz
CPU Cooler Cooler Master - MasterLiquid ML240R RGB 66.7 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler $99.99 @ Newegg
Motherboard Gigabyte - Z390 AORUS ELITE ATX LGA1151 Motherboard $169.86 @ Amazon
Memory G.Skill - Trident Z RGB 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3000 Memory $125.98 @ Newegg
Storage SanDisk - Ultra 3D 500 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive $67.89 @ OutletPC
Storage Intel - 660p Series 512 GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive $69.89 @ OutletPC
Video Card EVGA - GeForce RTX 2070 8 GB Black Video Card $489.99 @ Amazon
Case Cooler Master - MasterBox MB530P ATX Mid Tower Case $109.99 @ B&H
Power Supply Thermaltake - Toughpower Grand RGB Sync Edition 750 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply $94.98 @ Newegg
Operating System Microsoft - Windows 10 Pro OEM 64-bit $139.89 @ OutletPC
Sound Card Creative Labs - Sound Blaster Audigy Rx 24-bit 192 kHz Sound Card $59.89 @ OutletPC
Case Fan Cooler Master - MasterFan Pro 120 Air Flow RGB 48.8 CFM 120mm Fan $20.51 @ Newegg
Keyboard Logitech - G910 Orion Spectrum RGB Wired Gaming Keyboard $119.55 @ Amazon
Mouse Logitech - G602 Wireless Optical Mouse $36.99 @ Amazon
Headphones Logitech - G933 Artemis Spectrum Snow 7.1 Channel Headset $69.99 @ Amazon
Speakers Logitech - Z523 40 W 2.1ch Speakers $79.99 @ Amazon
Other LED Strip Purchased For $18.99
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total (before mail-in rebates) $2072.37
Mail-in rebates -$30.00
Total $2042.37
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-03-10 13:24 EDT-0400

Comments Sorted by:

Tetsuclaw 5 Builds 1 point 1 month ago


Well you can place the radiator in either the front or the top but just consider the effects. In the front with the air as intake the radiator will get the coolest possible air and give the best CPU temps but it will slightly heat up the air that the GPU will use to cool itself with heating itself up. If you place the radiator at the top then the GPU will slightly heat up the air for the CPU but as the CPU heat will not go near the GPU that will have it's best temps. The difference in temps between either way do vary depending on how good the case airflow is. Good airflow means a couple of degrees difference at most, poor airflow can have a larger difference.

andrewrayhons submitter 2 Builds 1 point 1 month ago

I will have 3 total 120mm fans being installed on the case, two on top and one in the rear for exhaust air on the case. I'm thinking of putting it in the front, where the 3 120mm intake fans are located, and putting the two fans that come with the radiator on top of the case for the exhaust fans.

Tetsuclaw 5 Builds 1 point 1 month ago

With that case the very front panel looks to be solid and not allow airflow so the front 3 intake fans will pull air from the side mesh gaps. What I am not sure about is how much room is there between the fans themselves and the front solid panel. If the gap is large enough (I would say 3/4" or more) then front air take will be ample. Though is past cases I have seen gaps around 1/4" or even less airflow. This case is one of those bad cases from Cooler Master. That is also not the worst airflow case from CM either.

I am having a hard time finding the spacing from the front fans to the front panel to see if it repeats the same mistake as the other case I linked or if it improves on it so I can't say if that case has good airflow or not. I just don't have much experience with that case.

andrewrayhons submitter 2 Builds 1 point 1 month ago

Found this video: MB350P Case Review where the reviewer installed his radiator directly behind the front fans that are pulling air in and pushing air into the radiator and case.