Case fans placement for NZXT Source 210

beyonddc

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 25, 2002
Messages
412
I recently purchased NZXT Source 210, and it supports a total of 7 case fans.

Front: 2 X 120mm
Rear: 1 X 120mm @ 1200rpm
Top: 2 X 120/140mm
Bottom: 1 x 120mm

I have a total of 5 case fans (KINGWIN CF-012LB) for installation. I need some suggestion as to where to put my intakes and exhausts.

I have a question about case fans in the front. I see mounting points for the 2 fans but the front is sealed by the case cover so what's the point of those fans if it couldn't blow or suck air into the case?

Also I bought some 120mm case fan filters (Silverstone FF121) The case fan filter should only be used for intake but not exhaust right?

Thanks in advance!
 

JLangevin

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Apr 13, 2007
Messages
1,181
Rule of thumb is you want equal pressure.

Since you have technically have room for 6 fans, but are only using 5, and 2 of them are 140mm, then you should balance based on the CFM rating of the fans. Its not an exact science, and the case wont be too picky if the air flow isnt perfectly ballanced. But knowing what I know about airflow and cfm, here are some rules I would go by..

1. If optimal balance cant be achieved, then positive airpressure is better than negative air-pressure. Positive air pressure means you have more air going in to the case than is able to flow out. Negative air pressure means the exhaust fans are pulling out more air than can be supplied, and therefor the needed air is then drawn in from cracks and non sealed areas of the case. Most cases have vents in the back of the case, or the sides to reduce the negative pressure noise if there are a lot of fans, where as most people think that they are for cooling.. vents dont cool, fans/airflow does.

2. Have the exhaust at the top and rear of the case (this seems obvious, but ive seen people use the rear case fans as intakes. Blowing cool air on your CPU cooler doesnt help cool it, you want the fans to grab the hot air from the cpu cooler and exhaust it out of the case.

3. Side panel fan slots should be used as intakes, and not exhausts, especially if the panel fans are right on top of your GPU. If you are pulling air away from the GPU, and your side fan flows more CFM than your GPU fan can pull in, then the GPU will lose airflow. I tested this out on my HAF-922 case when I installed a 200mm fan on the side. With no fan, my GTX580 GPU ran idle at 36*c, load at 78*c (custom fan profile for GPU). With the 200mm fan as an intake on the side, the temps were 32*c idle, and 71*c load. With the 200mm as an exhaust, the idle was 44*c and 80*c. So as you can see, pulling air away from the GPU is bad.

4. As you mentioned, intakes get filters, exhaust dont need them. Some people like to put filters on the exhaust fans, but on the inside of the case, to keep their fans clean, but they are just reducing flow. Filters or no filters, dust will still make its way in to the case, its impossible to stop it all.

5. If your case is on carpet, the bottom floor fan is nearly useless, put the case on something flat like a piece of wood, etc. This should also be an intake in most cases. If you have this as an exhaust, you create an odd crossflow pattern, and the air bouncing off the floor/desk/wood will make it noisy.

6. Dont forget to account for the airflow of the Powersupply. Most people forget this piece of equipment when balancing their sysmte. The PSU will usually be pulling air from inside the case and exhausting it. So you can see how intake can easily overpower exhaust, but as mentioned earlier, positive pressure is the lesser of the two evils. In your case, the air is pulled in from the bottom, and exhausted so it does not share with the case supplied air. So make sure as I mentioned in number 4, that you have adequate airflow below the case for the PSU, or it will overheat.

Your front 2 fans are pulling in air from the front bezel. It is not sealed and there is actually a gap for the fan to get air.

Here is my suggestion on your setup...This is based on you having 5 of the 120mm 40cfm fans you posted, and not the 140mm fans.

2x Intake on the front.
1x Intake on the side
1x Exhaust on the back
1x Exhaust on the top

This would actually be pretty balanced since the two front fans wont flow as much as the rear and the top due to the tight bezel that will reduce the airflow. To me, this would be a pretty balanced system.
 

beyonddc

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 25, 2002
Messages
412
Rule of thumb is you want equal pressure.

Since you have technically have room for 6 fans, but are only using 5, and 2 of them are 140mm, then you should balance based on the CFM rating of the fans. Its not an exact science, and the case wont be too picky if the air flow isnt perfectly ballanced. But knowing what I know about airflow and cfm, here are some rules I would go by..

1. If optimal balance cant be achieved, then positive airpressure is better than negative air-pressure. Positive air pressure means you have more air going in to the case than is able to flow out. Negative air pressure means the exhaust fans are pulling out more air than can be supplied, and therefor the needed air is then drawn in from cracks and non sealed areas of the case. Most cases have vents in the back of the case, or the sides to reduce the negative pressure noise if there are a lot of fans, where as most people think that they are for cooling.. vents dont cool, fans/airflow does.

2. Have the exhaust at the top and rear of the case (this seems obvious, but ive seen people use the rear case fans as intakes. Blowing cool air on your CPU cooler doesnt help cool it, you want the fans to grab the hot air from the cpu cooler and exhaust it out of the case.

3. Side panel fan slots should be used as intakes, and not exhausts, especially if the panel fans are right on top of your GPU. If you are pulling air away from the GPU, and your side fan flows more CFM than your GPU fan can pull in, then the GPU will lose airflow. I tested this out on my HAF-922 case when I installed a 200mm fan on the side. With no fan, my GTX580 GPU ran idle at 36*c, load at 78*c (custom fan profile for GPU). With the 200mm fan as an intake on the side, the temps were 32*c idle, and 71*c load. With the 200mm as an exhaust, the idle was 44*c and 80*c. So as you can see, pulling air away from the GPU is bad.

4. As you mentioned, intakes get filters, exhaust dont need them. Some people like to put filters on the exhaust fans, but on the inside of the case, to keep their fans clean, but they are just reducing flow. Filters or no filters, dust will still make its way in to the case, its impossible to stop it all.

5. If your case is on carpet, the bottom floor fan is nearly useless, put the case on something flat like a piece of wood, etc. This should also be an intake in most cases. If you have this as an exhaust, you create an odd crossflow pattern, and the air bouncing off the floor/desk/wood will make it noisy.

6. Dont forget to account for the airflow of the Powersupply. Most people forget this piece of equipment when balancing their sysmte. The PSU will usually be pulling air from inside the case and exhausting it. So you can see how intake can easily overpower exhaust, but as mentioned earlier, positive pressure is the lesser of the two evils. In your case, the air is pulled in from the bottom, and exhausted so it does not share with the case supplied air. So make sure as I mentioned in number 4, that you have adequate airflow below the case for the PSU, or it will overheat.

Your front 2 fans are pulling in air from the front bezel. It is not sealed and there is actually a gap for the fan to get air.

Here is my suggestion on your setup...This is based on you having 5 of the 120mm 40cfm fans you posted, and not the 140mm fans.

2x Intake on the front.
1x Intake on the side
1x Exhaust on the back
1x Exhaust on the top

This would actually be pretty balanced since the two front fans wont flow as much as the rear and the top due to the tight bezel that will reduce the airflow. To me, this would be a pretty balanced system.

Awesome! That's a very good explanation. Thank you very much.

Regarding with the PSU. My case is designed to have the PSU installed on the bottom of the case so the intake of the PSU is grabbing air from exterior. You did answered a question. I do have carpet in my computer room so I probably will put my computer on a cardboard or put it on my desk. Thanks
 
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