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Thread: Optimal position of AIO liquid cooler radiator?

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    Evil Monkey! MrJim's Avatar
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    Optimal position of AIO liquid cooler radiator?

    I'm in the process of planning a new build based around an Intel 8700K processor. Given the reputation for the processor for running hot due to Intel cheaping-out on the IHS thermal paste, I'm planning to use a 240mm AIO cooler with the 8700K, and running a modest all-core overclock (probably 4.8Ghz-ish).

    This is the case I'm thinking of buying:



    I really like the 'minimalist' design, and the fact that it's available without a window! As per the title of this post though, I am in a bit of a quandary as to the best location for the AIO radiator. Here's a pic of the inside of the case:



    Having done a bit of research on the subject, it's generally accepted that the best location for the radiator is at the front of the case, with the fans sucking cool air from outside and blowing it across the radiator to cool the liquid. In this case though, there is no space at the front of the case, as the power supply and drive-cage is in the way, and there are no air intakes upfront either. So there are three other options: in the roof of the case, in the back of the case (limited to a 120mm radiator), or in the floor of the case. All the research I've done suggests that the first two options are far from ideal; you'll be taking warmer air from inside the case and blowing it across the radiator to try and cool the liquid. Of course you could reverse the fans to suck air in from the outside, but that's no going to work very efficiently in the roof of the case, because then you're going against the natural flow of warm air rising...

    So, my preferred option would be to put the radiator in the floor of the case, thereby sucking cool air in from the outside and working in conjunction with natural convection. But there are several problems with that option too. Firstly, a lot of AIO cooler manufacturers quite amazingly don't give the length of the tubing on their coolers in the specifications for their products. So I'm not even sure the tubes would reach from the floor of the case to the CPU socket. Secondly, I'll be using a fairly long graphics card (Zotac Amp! GTX 1070), so the tubes would have to be routed around the card too (if that's even possible). So, there's the problem. Does anyone have any thoughts? Any help would be much appreciated!

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    Pork & Beans Powerup Phage's Avatar
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    Re: Optimal position of AIO liquid cooler radiator?

    Agreed. Put it on the bottom. Those holes look like intakes ?
    Society's to blame,
    Or possibly Atari.

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    Evil Monkey! MrJim's Avatar
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    Re: Optimal position of AIO liquid cooler radiator?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phage View Post
    Agreed. Put it on the bottom. Those holes look like intakes ?
    Yes there are holes in the bottom, plus a magnetic dust filter on the underside. It has mounting holes too, but every build photo I can find of the case shows fans on the floor, not a radiator...

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    Pork & Beans Powerup Phage's Avatar
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    Re: Optimal position of AIO liquid cooler radiator?

    2nd choice would be roof with fans on exhaust
    Society's to blame,
    Or possibly Atari.

  5. #5
    Evil Monkey! MrJim's Avatar
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    Re: Optimal position of AIO liquid cooler radiator?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phage View Post
    2nd choice would be roof with fans on exhaust
    Yes that's certainly the easiest solution, but not ideal. I could just go down the air-cooler route and go for a Noctua or similar, which might give similar cooling performance to an AIO anyway. But I'd prefer to try an AIO if possible...

  6. #6
    Pork & Beans Powerup Phage's Avatar
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    Re: Optimal position of AIO liquid cooler radiator?

    Or just buy a Fractal R4
    Society's to blame,
    Or possibly Atari.

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