Optimal i9 Cooling Orientation?

x3nzox

Weaksauce
Joined
May 12, 2014
Messages
78
Building a new 2021 PC. Last one was 2012 and I need help!

Looking to go AIO due to the i9 on a Phanteks P500A case

What is the best orientation for the AIO, top or front mount? Also how should the case fans be adjusted?

I am used to the traditional front intake, top and rear exhaust.

Is something like this doable with a TOP mount A

https://www.google.com/search?q=pc+...920&client=firefox-b-1-d#imgrc=vM_shEOXhh6UwM


Expected parts:
i9 10850k
RTX 3080 Non Blower 🤞
Asus z490 Strix E gaming or Maximus XII Hero
Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB 3600
NZXT x73 Kraken 360 cooler maybe x62?
Samsung 970 evo m.2 500gb
PSU -RMx 850k
Looking to Overclock
Phanteks P500A
 

kirbyrj

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Feb 1, 2005
Messages
28,100
I don't think your traditional approach is going to hinder you too much. It seems to make more sense that way as your CPU will get colder air flowing through the radiator as opposed to warm air from the inside of your case with your GPU blowing through the radiator as exhaust.

Generally, I've used AIOs with the fans set as intake and blowing through the radiator as long as I can do that while keeping some part of the radiator above the pump.
 

vegeta535

Supreme [H]ardness
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Jul 19, 2013
Messages
6,323
It depends what you value more. If it is gpu temps have the AIO on top exhausting all 3 fans. If it you value cpu put the AIO on the front with 3 tops exhausting. It really doesn't make much difference. Just make sure the tubes for the AIO are above the block. Having fans blowing different directions on top will hinder more then help. I would do AIO top exhausting, read exhausting and the front as intake.
 

x3nzox

Weaksauce
Joined
May 12, 2014
Messages
78
I don't think your traditional approach is going to hinder you too much. It seems to make more sense that way as your CPU will get colder air flowing through the radiator as opposed to warm air from the inside of your case with your GPU blowing through the radiator as exhaust.

Generally, I've used AIOs with the fans set as intake and blowing through the radiator as long as I can do that while keeping some part of the radiator above the pump.
With the traditional approach and the AIO in front, does that have significant adverse effects on the GPU? I would normally test, but given I am in the planning stages of this build, its quite difficult
 

x3nzox

Weaksauce
Joined
May 12, 2014
Messages
78
It depends what you value more. If it is gpu temps have the AIO on top exhausting all 3 fans. If it you value cpu put the AIO on the front with 3 tops exhausting. It really doesn't make much difference. Just make sure the tubes for the AIO are above the block. Having fans blowing different directions on top will hinder more then help. I would do AIO top exhausting, read exhausting and the front as intake.
This is what I truly want to understand before I buy this Kraken AIO. Fans blowing in diff directions on top.

See below 7:40

 
Last edited:

kirbyrj

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Feb 1, 2005
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With the traditional approach and the AIO in front, does that have significant adverse effects on the GPU? I would normally test, but given I am in the planning stages of this build, its quite difficult

It might, because the air in the case would be warmer, but the GPU is also lower in the case where cooler air is going to be.

I guess it depends on how hard you are going to use your GPU. If that is constantly running full blast, then it's going to warm up the air being exhausted out of the AIO. I guess testing it both ways is the only way you're going to know for sure with your setup.
 

doyll

[H]ard|Gawd
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Feb 4, 2012
Messages
1,356
Air flowing into case through a radiator will be about the same temp everywhere inside of case. Every degree warmer air is become same degree hotter GPU and other components will be. Air temp entering cooler to component temp is a 1:1 ratio (SamE load & fan speed). Obviously rad as intake will be flowing warmer air into case, so of course all components not cooled by CLC will run warmer. Most of the time that is only a few degrees and not a problem.
 

evhvis

Limp Gawd
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Feb 12, 2021
Messages
128
Top mount will give you about 5-10 degrees higher temps, depending on airflow with a 3080. The 5 degrees would be with a high airflow case intake and rear exhaust on full blast to combat some of the heat the 3080 dumps in the case.

I did test it with a 360 AIO on a 5900x with a 3080 in the case for fun, with the 3080 on air and pulling approx 315watts.. When I tested it the difference between top mount and front mount the CPU temp was approx 7 degrees on average in favour of front mount. On my 3080 the difference between front mount was approx 65 vs 64. I did do the test with 2x140mm front and 1x140mm exhaust for the top mount and 1x140mm rear and 1x140mm top exhaust for the front mount. The top mount was run with air going out of the case. All fans were at fixed speed to aprox 1350rpm (did not change them between tests) and I have enough room that it was fine to leave the coldplate mounted to the CPU while changing orientation of the radiator. I almost never run my case fans at 1350rpm as it becomes too loud, but I did it to give "fair" test conditions. The load wasn't 100% static on the CPU, but the margin for error should be within 1-2 degrees as max, min and average watts were very close to each other and I was reading average temps over 10 minutes with pre-soak.

If I had to do top mount then I would probably try to pull air into the case. It will be a difficult load for the exhaust fan, but the 3080 will heat up the air by quite a bit, so even with lots of airflow you will realistically end up with a 5+ degree difference in ambient inside vs outside. The radiator will heat up the air a bit, but how much depends a lot on water temps and fan speed. Running fans at 1000rpm and with water 8 degrees above ambient, then you will most likely get air out that is 3-4 degrees above ambient.
 

pendragon1

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top or front with tubes down. i prefer front mount to suck cooler fresh air.
 
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