Consider a single-HD system with low-power (maybe even on-board) graphics and reasonable powerful CPU. Assume we want to achieve the absolute lowest noise possible (who doesn't? ).
Given a reasonable choice of components and judicious placement/muffling of the HD, wind noise will be dominating, meaning, the low-noise goal essentially translates to a low-flow goal. There should be a single (muffled) intake and a single outlet, the rest sealed and foamed and damped and....
To achieve lowest flow, that air needs to be heated up maximally without overheating the computer. The question then is, in which order to place components along the way the air traveles through our system. People have come up with systems running on a single (PSU) fan. But to my knowledge, the PSU has always been last in the chain.
My proposal to put the PSU before the CPU is based on the intuition that the component that produces the most heat, and that can tolerate the highest temperature should be last in that thermal chain.
A couple of observations:
- If the PSU is very efficient (say 80%), and the total power draw is CPU dominated (our imaginary machine will be folding for SPCR, of course ), the CPU produces 3-4 times more heat than the PSU.
- The tolerance to high temperature can be well assessed for CPUs (it's stable or not), less so for PSU (it might work for a month at 65C, but that doesn't mean it won't die soon).
- CPUs can handle higher temperatures than PSUs (is that correct, generally?)
- Having the single remaining fan in our system as far from the exhaust as possible can only help with noise.
What am I missing
Or has it been done