I've never actually used a radiator so this will come in handy at some point for sure. The 240mm radiator, however, is thicker and has tighter packed fins. 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. More case fans means higher total CFM and more air being moved through your computer. 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. The second test I tried to load up the CPU and ran Boinc on all cores in order to load the CPU a little more. ), the CPU cooler, all the way down to the power supply. This was not an article I was ever planning to do. Placing a sheet of foil-faced, expanded polystyrene lining behind the radiator will ensure that heat is reflected back into the room, instead of being lost through the outside wall. As always though, your mileage will vary as they say. Clear PC interior of anything that may obstruct installation. Do: Mount the radiator so its airflow is not impeded by other devices in the machine. I stuck with the same project (Asteroids @ Home running both CPU and GPU workloads) to try and keep things a fair as I could. For example, a 480mm radiator can hold four 120mm fans, while a 280mm radiator can have two 140mm fans attached. The boost clocks were also slightly higher, which is always a bonus when gaming. Mount the accompanying pump on the CPU and ensure conductive elements are installed. The depth of your case should make a difference as well, deeper cases should have more room to dissipate the hot air before it hits the GPU. Under Boinc, the GPU results were a lot bigger, It ran cooler and the fans run so slow I could not hear them over the rest of the machine. Just mount it where it fits best. The blower cooler video card (most stock cooler designs) saw little difference between a top and front mounted CPU radiator. One good mounting position is to mount the radiator of the cooler at the frontal area of the case interior. I hope this article will help others with their cooling setups and AIO choices. 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 This article will just focus on the NZXT S340 Elite. I was using a 280mm radiator in the front initially, I then swapped for the 240mm radiator to test my theory. 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 is pretty interesting and I didn't expect to see quite such a difference. 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. 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. Shorter cases are becoming more popular now since we ditched the optical drive though :). I ran two lots of tests. So sure locking the fan speeds at say 50% would give me the best and most accurate CPU temperatures for both mounting points but my aim was to do a more real-world test. Water cooling Check PC specs against potential liquid cooling unit to guarantee compatibility. Below is a list of PC parts and a list of water cooling parts used in this guide. The two configurations tested are more directly comparable than they were in the RL06, since the direction of airflow did not significantly change. 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? But if you have a thick radiator or high-profile RAMs, things become pretty annoying. Top, front, or rear? You will need to check … Though there are some places you shouldn’t put radiators, the limitations are a lot fewer than you think. Fans attached to the coolers remove waste heat from the radiator. 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. 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). Cheers mate, This was an interesting one to do and I learned a few things in the process. If you just bought a new radiator, it doesn’t have to go in the exact same place as your old one. 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). The differences are big enough however, that I would recommend mounting the radiator at the top of your case, exhausting air out. 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. Need to mount your reservoir to your case, radiator, fans or even externally on a stand? This makes sense, since the front-mounted radiator is dumping heat onto the GPU. All fans will be configured to 100% in our testing. As such, it's a great candidate for cooling your system. Interesting to know. 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. Knows more about hardware than safe drinking limits. Buy Lian Li PC-O11 Dynamic Mid-Tower Case. So I decided to do some testing myself and find out the answer. A note on charts: two configurations are compared in each chart, and the lower temperature between the two is highlighted green for each component. Take a look at this guide to figure out the right radiator positioning for you. 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). Remove PC’s factory fan assembly and heat sink protecting the CPU. 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 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. The liquid that passes through the CPU (or GPU) block transfers heat from the component to the radiator, which is usually installed on the rear of a PC case. This will install the Radiator programs and libraries in the standard places, and will create a basic Radiator configuration file in C:\Program Files\Radiator\radius.cfg and a sample users file in C:\Program Files\Radiator\users. 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. Excellent article, Plat. 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. This is a beautiful ATX mid-tower case that has got a full length tempered glass windowed panel on top, side, and top and you can … That said, as long as there’s adequate cooling within the case (and the video card has a decent cooler), throttling shouldn’t really be a huge concern. For example, some mid-tower like Corsair 570x allows you to mount 2×120 or 2×140 radiators on the top. Exhaust fans at the rear can also cause airflow conflicts and do the most damage to radiator temperatures. Starting with radiator placement testing, we’re using the new EVGA 240 CLC as a stand-in for top versus front mounting tests, measuring both GPU … 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. I wish I had a decibel meter but instead, you'll have to take my word for it. If you simply have no choice, or you do choose to place your radiator on an exterior wall, be sure to insulate it well. So that just leaves 1 final question --ROOF FANS \/ \/ RADIATOR or ROOF RADIATOR FANS \/ \/ 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. Likewise, 240 and 360 radiators will usually mount if you have two or three adjacent 120mm vents. Some cases would allow this more readily. Thermaltake Core P5 Tempered Glass Edition ATX Wall-Mount Case. « NZXT Kraken Guide: How to Optimize for Silence and Performance Is … 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. To avoid making your computer too loud, use fewer or quieter fans. This article was written by Steve Burke & Patrick Lathan from GamersNexus. The GPU, however, did not run any cooler under gaming, which was to be expected. 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. CPU stays much cooler while the GPU is unaffected. My aim was to find which way gave the best overall results, sure the front mount gave better CPU temps but at both locations the tempritures were both very acceptable and the fans didnt have to speed up much at all to compensate, but with the top mount the GPU fans had to work less to keep the card cool due to not having to also disipate the hot air coming from the CPU rad. This does not mean that the difference is significant, it just means that one number is lower. If quiet computing is your thing and your GPU is air cooled, then the top of the case is the way to go. Just be mindful of the noise levels as fans can generate quite a buzz. In fact, that spot may not even be the best place for it. The differences are big enough however, that I would recommend mounting the radiator at the top of your case, exhausting air out. 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. Secure the radiator and fan assembly. The main difference between placing the radiator at the front and top is that a radiator in the front could heat components inside the case and a radiator at the top could pull hot air from inside the case through the radiator which could heat up the CPU. Just mount it where it fits best. With the radiator up top, you've got 3 fans exhausting out of the case plus the GPU exhausting air as well. 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. Thick radiators and/or push-pull fans can cause fitment issues, so measure your clearance before you buy your CPU water cooler. I was in the same location for both tests. For some of the other cases we tested, we generally found that front-mounted radiators always raise GPU temperatures as the CPU heats up. 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 :). TL;DR when dealing with an open-air shroud video card (most non-stock cooler designs) a front-mounted CPU radiator is a significantly better setup than top-mounted. One of the best spots on a machine is the top of the case. 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. This question gets asked every year, it seems, and is worth a revisit: Where in the case should I put my liquid cooler? Heat from the VRM and GPU make their way to the radiator. 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. Is the NZXT Kraken Compatible with AMD Threadripper. If … With a longer/deeper case there may not be as much of a difference. In the videos I had watched most had locked the speeds to 60% or so in order to measure temperature changes but I found that 60% didn't make that much difference to temperatures but did produce unacceptable noise levels (in my opinion). 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). Ultimately, the answer is a big “it depends” – but we still tested it. Case testing is one of the least exact sciences, because it’s simply impossible to control for every possible variable. 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). 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. Recently, however, I performed a few upgrades to my system and noticed the GPU was getting quite loud. Nice one Plat, especially like the graphs. How To: Install Windows 7 on your computer How To: Change your radiator fluid How To: Install the Developer Preview of Windows 8 on any computer How To: Install an FTP server on any Windows computer How To: Replace a thermostat on a Ford automobile with a 1.9L engine Before I show my results I will say that the case I am using is fairly shallow and the front fans/radiator are quite close to the GPU. This is the key thing for me as I like having a quiet computer. Although, the fans did run slower which was a lot easier on the ears. 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. NZXT Kraken Guide: How to Optimize for Silence and Performance. Here’s a look at the configuration, though we obviously used a radiator (X42) instead of the air cooler: Results for the S340 were consistent with the RL06, which has the same conventional front intake, rear/top exhaust system. To properly air cool your computer, you need have enough case fans to push or pull air into and out of 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. 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. One was a gaming test, which consisted of me running 7 Days to Die standing in my base looking at my two forges until the temperatures leveled out (for some reason this taxes the system a lot). AIO = All in one, also know as closed loop as the whole unit is in one piece and does not require any complex assembly. My initial setup had the radiator at the front pulling air in the case. 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. Install Radiator with perl Makefile.PL install. And 1080 is the EVGA Classified so not a blower. I will certainly take this into account for when I upgrade my system. Think I'm going to go with intake (at least until I upgrade my GPU with full block. 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). For radiator testing, we simplify matters by eliminating the various air coolers designs – liquid coolers ultimately use parts that are easier to compare. Water has a high thermal conductivity, meaning it absorbs heat very easily—even moreso than air. 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. 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. In the instance of our S340 Elite configuration, we couldn’t properly fit the radiator top-mounted (our RAM and VRM heatsinks didn’t allow clearance); realistically, that forces a front-mount, and so thermal differences really become irrelevant. Desktop Parts: CPU: Intel - i7-7700K Also, take note of the radiator thickness! The reason for the difference is that the top of my case cannot take a 280mm radiator. 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. 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. As always though, results may vary depending on your setup. Yea that will definitely give you the best cooling. Talk about versatility. CPU = Central Processing Unit, the brains of the computer, GPU = Graphics Processing Unit, Gives you the shiny graphics. The radiators are designed to fit into a standard fan mount (usually 120mm) on most PC cases. In the S340, results were consistent between load and idle testing. Radiator has to go on the top (only place I can fit a 360). With the pump set to “silent mode,” which establishes a pump speed based on the liquid temperature, CPU deltas should have been at least slightly higher with other temperatures less affected. 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. 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. In the very least, we can look at liquid cooler placement performance in a few different cases. 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