Cooling in the Fractal Design Node 202 Chassis

muzicman82

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Hi all,

I just completed a build for a client. I'm an AV Integrator and this PC is used as an NDI video monitor. The program it runs keeps the CPU at nearly 70% utilization, and I've disabled SpeedStep and Speed Shift, so the clock is usually around 4.5Ghz. When under load, the CPU averages around 82-85°C. I know this approaching the limits for the processor or at least it shouldn't stay there for long.

I have the Noctua NH-L9i cooler in there. I left it in stock configuration, which I believe was fan blowing into the heatsink. Should I keep it this way? Or should I flip it for air to pull air away from the heatsink? There is a perforated vent in the top of the chassis, where hot air could escape.

Also, I'm considering putting a couple slim 120mm fans in the case, but they mount on the graphics card side. There's not much airflow between the GPU side and the motherboard side. I imagine I'd want these fans to pull cool air into the chassis, which is from the bottom of the chassis.

Thoughts?
 

chameleoneel

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cool air in, toward hot components, is best.

the GPU area is pretty much isolated from the CPU. the fans in there won't help the CPU.

standing the case up vertically will compliment natural heat rise/convection. So heat will natually exhaust out the side/top vent.

Hopefully the power supply is also exhaust out the top/side. Rather than into the case.

85c isn't that bad, though. I mean, in general, Intel's products are designed to run that hot, just fine. Also, the Node 202 is a small case which only fits small coolers. You can only expect so much. Intel's NUC products frequently run 10c hotter.
 

muzicman82

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cool air in, toward hot components, is best.

the GPU area is pretty much isolated from the CPU. the fans in there won't help the CPU.

standing the case up vertically will compliment natural heat rise/convection. So heat will natually exhaust out the side/top vent.

Hopefully the power supply is also exhaust out the top/side. Rather than into the case.

85c isn't that bad, though. I mean, in general, Intel's products are designed to run that hot, just fine. Also, the Node 202 is a small case which only fits small coolers. You can only expect so much. Intel's NUC products frequently run 10c hotter.
I went ahead and added a 120x25mm fan to the GPU side, pulling cool air in. Its from the bottom so there's not much room for intake. That said, it dropped the max temperature I'm seeing down about 10°C to around 75°C max. Not bad at all. I guess there's a little area for the GPU side airflow to reach the CPU side.
 

honegod

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I have the Noctua NH-L9i cooler in there. I left it in stock configuration, which I believe was fan blowing into the heatsink. Should I keep it this way? Or should I flip it for air to pull air away from the heatsink? There is a perforated vent in the top of the chassis, where hot air could escape.

blowing into the heatsink has the hot air bouncing off the motherboard and looping back into the fan suction, recycling the heat.
flipping the fan, and ducting the hot air to the perforated vent isolates the hot air from the cooler air in the case, which the fan sucks through the HS.
 

muzicman82

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blowing into the heatsink has the hot air bouncing off the motherboard and looping back into the fan suction, recycling the heat.
flipping the fan, and ducting the hot air to the perforated vent isolates the hot air from the cooler air in the case, which the fan sucks through the HS.
This was exactly my thought as to why I might flip the fan. I think I may try it and compare temps.
 
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This was exactly my thought as to why I might flip the fan. I think I may try it and compare temps.
Hey there. Joined up just for this thread lol.
I just built a node 202, and wanted to flip the fan. Was wondering how this worked out?

In my head it's better flipped, my boy said to leave it (he's the brains).
So this would be great to know.

Attached is some build info.

Thanks
 

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Nobu

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If you aren't going to duct it to the vent, it is better to leave it. As long as an exhaust fan is pulling the hot air out, you should be doing pretty well already.

If you do add a duct, flipping it the other way may improve temps slightly, but keep in mind the components around the socket may not be cooled as effectively.
 
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If you aren't going to duct it to the vent, it is better to leave it. As long as an exhaust fan is pulling the hot air out, you should be doing pretty well already.

If you do add a duct, flipping it the other way may improve temps slightly, but keep in mind the components around the socket may not be cooled as effectively.
The 2 fans blowing in under the GPU are high static and obviously push air through into the cpu area.
They made a vast improvement in temps, never climbs above 70°c
The CPU cooler fan sits hard against the top grill with plenty of grill left to spare on all 4 sides.

So with pressurized case it seems logical to pull the air through. It should pull in the side vent and naturally have the pressurized air push through and around it... but I am unsure with the side vents and exactly how pc cooling works.... i am a noob.

Where would you locate this said duct?

Thanks and sorry if this shouldn't be this complicated
 

Nobu

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The 2 fans blowing in under the GPU are high static and obviously push air through into the cpu area.
They made a vast improvement in temps, never climbs above 70°c
The CPU cooler fan sits hard against the top grill with plenty of grill left to spare on all 4 sides.

So with pressurized case it seems logical to pull the air through. It should pull in the side vent and naturally have the pressurized air push through and around it... but I am unsure with the side vents and exactly how pc cooling works.... i am a noob.

Where would you locate this said duct?

Thanks and sorry if this shouldn't be this complicated
If it's against the grill, then you shoudn't need a duct. I was assuming it had a gap–more than about 1cm, I'd suggest a duct.

Being that it's against the grill, and you already have some fans pulling air in, it may help to flip it to blow air out instead...but I have a feeling it will be only slightly better in that configuration if not worse. Best way to find out is of course to try yourself. Thankfully it's just four screws on that noctua cooler to flip the fan.
 
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If it's against the grill, then you shoudn't need a duct. I was assuming it had a gap–more than about 1cm, I'd suggest a duct.

Being that it's against the grill, and you already have some fans pulling air in, it may help to flip it to blow air out instead...but I have a feeling it will be only slightly better in that configuration if not worse. Best way to find out is of course to try yourself. Thankfully it's just four screws on that noctua cooler to flip the fan.
That's true, not even 4 screws, 2 wire clips lol.
But yea I'll give it a go, my issue is unplugging it all as some cables are tight.
But guess I'll try it, might take some temps around unit first.
Lifting it as in picture really helps, let's far more air to get in easier, also got a usb 80mm fan behind it to extract heat from space
 

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doyll

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More bottom clearance definitely improves airflow to bottom vents. With 2x fans side by side it helps even more because each fan can only draw air from 3 sides. Image below shows airflow area to vent/fan.
Bottom Vent case spacing 120mm fans.png


Turning fan over on pancake CPU coolers almost always gives lower temps. Reason is simply air going into cooler hits motherboard turning out, hits RAM, GPU, etc turning up along side of cooler and fan were it is drawn back into fan.
Upflow vs Downflow w- pancake coolers.PNG


Edit: Sorry image is so big.
 
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muzicman82

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I actually built another identical system. I went to flip the CPU fan just for kicks, but the screws weren't long enough with the fan reversed because the screw holes are recessed on one side. It came with longer screws, but they appeared to be too long for this, so I'm not sure what they are for.

Anyways, I think just having one bottom CPU fan is enough to keep it happy.
 

Nobu

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More bottom clearance definitely improves airflow to bottom vents. With 2x fans side by side it helps even more because each fan can only draw air from 3 sides. Image below shows airflow area to vent/fan.
View attachment 300491

Turning fan over on pancake CPU coolers almost always gives lower temps. Reason is simply air going into cooler hits motherboard turning out, hits RAM, GPU, etc turning up along side of cooler and fan were it is drawn back into fan.
View attachment 300493

Edit: Sorry image is so big.
Generally true, but not always. The noctua cooler in my antec 300-150 performs much worse blowing away from the motherboard, but that may be because there's no vent above the cooler. Airflow is otherwise optimized as much as possible, with three fans pulling hot air out one side and the other side clear of obstacles. Only way it could do better is if a gpu were installed with a two fans drawing fresh air in, maybe.
 

Nobu

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I actually built another identical system. I went to flip the CPU fan just for kicks, but the screws weren't long enough with the fan reversed because the screw holes are recessed on one side. It came with longer screws, but they appeared to be too long for this, so I'm not sure what they are for.

Anyways, I think just having one bottom CPU fan is enough to keep it happy.
Longer screws are for if you get the thicker noctua fan to replace the lp fan. The thicker fan is actually slightly worse than the lp fan though, except it runs a bit quieter, so don't swap it unless noise is more important than cooling for you.

The fan should work flipped, but you may have to press a bit to get the screws started (or remove the pads from that side). Make sure you start a screw on each corner before snugging them all up, or you won't be able to.
 

doyll

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antec 300-150
Antec 300-150 is tiny case. With no vent above I can see how it would perform as it does. Are you using 3x 80mm exhaust fans?

I actually built another identical system. I went to flip the CPU fan just for kicks, but the screws weren't long enough with the fan reversed because the screw holes are recessed on one side. It came with longer screws, but they appeared to be too long for this, so I'm not sure what they are for.

Anyways, I think just having one bottom CPU fan is enough to keep it happy.
You could use a rubber-band around fan and cooler to test. Then if temps are better figure out how to mount it. Could always use zip-ties. ;)
 
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Nobu

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Antec 300-150 is tiny case. With no vent above I can see how it would perform as it does. Are you using 3x 80mm exhaust fans?
2x92 and an 80. I could maybe squeeze another 92 in place of the 80mm fan, but it'd be tight. Clips for the case front bezel and the frame sorta get in the way.
 
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More bottom clearance definitely improves airflow to bottom vents. With 2x fans side by side it helps even more because each fan can only draw air from 3 sides. Image below shows airflow area to vent/fan.
View attachment 300491

Turning fan over on pancake CPU coolers almost always gives lower temps. Reason is simply air going into cooler hits motherboard turning out, hits RAM, GPU, etc turning up along side of cooler and fan were it is drawn back into fan.
View attachment 300493

Edit: Sorry image is so big.
Thanks Doyll.
This is my logic + with it pressurized.... I'll report once I've tested it.
Temps at the mo top at 70c, have played with the 2 120s speed at temps, this is the best I've got so far....
 
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