Airflow improvements: Corsair Carbide 500R

Enclosures and acoustic damping to help quiet them.

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Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: England

Airflow improvements: Corsair Carbide 500R

Post by Elcs » Wed Nov 23, 2011 7:50 am

I don't often come to SPCR too often. The last time I was here I did a smash and grab raid on some information, ended up leaving with 1200rpm Scythe Slipstreams which lived dialled down to minimum spin up voltage (via a Sunbeam 4-fan Rheobus) in my Coolermaster Centurion 590 and provided me with pretty much silent airflow.

Today I return with a very quiet Corsair Carbide 500R and looking for some additional advice to help me on my way.

I would like to open with a few disclaimers. I suck at explaining, drawing and taking pictures :). I would also like to thank Celoth for his pos. pressure thread. It provided me with the idea to use a diagram to describe my case layout without having to try to use too many words and make it all complicated.

System specs:

i5 2500K @ 1,650mhz/0.8v or 4,533mhz/1.26v (cooled by a Corsair H100)
8Gb Corsair Vengeance 1600 @ 1600/1.5v
HIS 1Gb Radeon HD6870 (Reference design)
Corsair Carbide 500R

Now for my case as set up now: (note: It's certainly not to scale but it's a rough approximation of what it looks like)

Here I have two Scythe Slipstream 1200's bringing in cool air at the lower front keeping my HDD's cool. These fans stay on constantly and are at lowest possible startup voltage, hooked up to a single channel on my Sunbeam. The 500R comes with a 200mm fan fitted to a vented side panel. This fan is silent at startup voltage (seems to be just below 7v) and is usually turned on to bring cool air in from the outside. It is hooked up to a single channel on my Sunbeam.

At the top I have my Corsair H100 Radiator with the Corsair stock fans attached as intakes. My CPU is mainly set to the lower frequency and voltage whilst I'm surfing and doing low end tasks so I can run quite happily with these Corsair fans OFF. They have a high startup voltage and are noisy at this level but once started they can be reduced to very quiet levels (slightly noticable above the rest of my setup). They are hooked up to seperate channels on my Sunbeam. At idle/during basic use my CPU temperature is between 35c and 45c. Fully overclocked, running Prime95 on 4 threads and with the radiator fans running as quiet as possible I max out at around 60-65C.

The exhaust fan comes in the shape of another Scythe Slipstream 1200rpm fan. This is turned to startup voltage by an el-cheapo variable resistor which dangles in my case behind the motherboard tray out of the way. My HIS HD6870 is set to 20% fan speed manually via CCC when I'm not using it (silent operation) and I let it control itself when I'm gaming (quite darn noisy). It's a reference cooler.

Power supply is pretty self explanatory. Sucks air up through the bottom, cools itself down and exhausts it out of the back.

Questions for you wise and wonderful people:
  • I would like to replace my two Corsair 120mm fans. The top fan slots will accept 120/140mm fans. The way the Corsair H100 radiator fits in the case I would need 120mm fans or 140mm fans with 120mm mounting holes. What fans would be recommended for this kind of operation?
  • Would you keep the fans on the H100 as intake fans? I know this goes against the convention of "hot air exhausted out of the top" but it pulls in the coolest air to cool down the CPU. Any theories or explanations? It works the way I have it now but if there is a better way, I'm always happy to go for better.
  • I'm pretty happy with the 200mm fan on the side provided by Corsair but I could replace it. It's a slim 200mm fan and I have greater depth to fit a thicker fan. I could also put 2x120mm or 2x140mm fans in it's place. Thoughts?
  • Is it worth upgrading my venerable 120mm Scythe Slipstream 1200rpm fans? Are they still considered to be one of SPCR Forums recommended fans?
  • Exhaust fan. Do I need one? The fan spot where I have my exhaust at the moment is capable of fitting both 120mm and 140mm fans.
  • The biggest headache of my PC is the graphics card. Can I quieten this down without severely compromising the cooling, the performance, my wallet or the warranty?
Thanks to anyone who has put up with me so far and for any recommendations made. I'm hard work sometimes and I've possibly gone as far as I can go without being anal but I love tinkering :)

EDIT: My HDD's are probably the noisest components in my system (Western Digital Green Power drives) and they are mounted in rubber grommet holders. I had them suspended in elastic in my previous case but they really don't produce that much vibration when rubber mounted. (not enough to make a noticable difference imo)

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Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 2:40 pm

Re: Airflow improvements: Corsair Carbide 500R

Post by schreinereiner » Fri Nov 25, 2011 2:42 pm

Your build is almost identical to mine (once all my parts arrive) and I have pretty much the same questions. I'm starting with stock fans though and will see how bad it turns out in terms of noise.

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