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Air Cooling Guide (Page 2/7)


Posted: November 27, 2000
Written by: Tuan "Solace" Nguyen

Case Ventilation

The first step in tweaking you system is to make sure you have sufficient airflow through your case. This means having a power supply with a working fan. Some people donít even know that the fan inside their power supply is cooked until itís too late.

However, donít fall into the misconception that having more fans is better. Sometimes having just 2 fans is better than having 10 fans blowing and sucking all over the place -- please, letís stay technical here huh? :) The best setup for a case is having cool air come in from the front and hot air expel from the back.

I drew some diagrams to show you some conventional and good case designs.


Sometimes Conventions Needs Innovation


Above is a diagram of a typically ventilated case enclosure. There are two fans in this system -- one at the front that draws cool air into the system and one at the back (inside the power supply) that expels hot air out. This system works best if there arenít any dangling cables and wires inside the system. The worst cause of bad airflow is poorly laid out ribbon cables. If youíre going to use this layout, you have to make sure that your ribbons are either neatly folded along the case or spliced. If youíre using standard 40wire IDE cables or a 50wire SCSI-2 cable, then you can go ahead and splice your cable.

To splice your cables, youíll need a sharp blade, an X-acto knife of some sort. Then you carefully cut the wires. Make sure you donít start sliding into the wires themselves or youíll destroy your cable. Once youíre done, you should have a nice cable that can be twist tied or taped into a tubular wire.

Once youíve done that, the cables will no longer block airflow like they did before and you can rest assured that youíve tweaked your cables nicely. Even the Tweak3D staff would be proud!

The 2 Fan design, while common, doesnít always give the best airflow. The red circles in the diagram above indicate areas where there air isnít circulating properly. The lower circle is where all your expansion cards lie. They interrupt the airflow because there arenít any fans actually blowing onto the cards and the cards themselves are obstacles. Letís take a look at another design.

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