Tower vs. downdraft?

Cooling Processors quietly

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ck8-04
Posts: 142
Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2007 9:58 pm
Location: Malden, MA

Tower vs. downdraft?

Post by ck8-04 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:17 am

I've recently inherited an Intel DX58SO and a Core i7 980 and I'd like to build a new system using these components:

XFX Radeon HD 6870 (already own)
Intel SSD 320 160GB (already own)
Hauppauge WinTV HVR-1250 Hybrid TV Tuner w/ Video Recorder PCI-E x 1 (already own)
Antec Solo II
Seasonic SS-520FL
Koutech 4-Port SuperSpeed USB 3.0 PCI Express (x1) (2xExt+1xICC) (with 15-pin SATA power) Model IO-PEU432
Crucial 12GB (3 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model CT3KIT51264BA1339

As the title suggests, I am currently undecided on what kind of CPU cooler to buy. There will be only 3 fans in this sytem - CPU, GPU and rear exhaust. This system will never be overclocked and I plan to let the motherboard automatically control the CPU and rear exhaust fans. The Noctua NH-D14 (with one fan removed) is my choice for a heatsink, but I am concerned that the VRMs and X58 IOH may not receive enough airflow, especially under load. What do you guys think? Is the NH-D14 a viable choice or should I consider a downdraft heatsink?
Last edited by ck8-04 on Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Corsair Carbide 400Q|Corsair HX750i|Intel Core i5 7640X w/ Scythe Ninja 4 fanless|EVGA X299 FTW-K|16GB Crucial Ballistix Elite DDR4-2666|eVGA Geforce GTX 1070|Intel SSD 900p 280GB|HP ZR24W|Logitech Z906|KB Paradise Tenkeyless Cherry MX clear|Corsair Sabre RGB Optical|Windows 10 Pro

lodestar
Posts: 1683
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2005 3:29 am
Location: UK

Re: Tower vs. downdraft?

Post by lodestar » Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:18 pm

I have used both downdraft and tower coolers, and there didn't seem to be much difference between them, probably I suspect because overall system airflow is more important that a potentially higher degree of cooling applied to one area of the motherboard.
ck8-04 wrote:The Noctua NH-D14 (with one fan removed) is my choice for a heatsink...
If you're going to do that then you could look at the SilverStone Heligon HE01 which will give you closer to NH-D14 performance from a single fan. That's because the Silverstone fan is 38mm thick. It has a manual switch that allows a Quiet PWM range of 500 to 1200. From Newegg it costs around $75 against $80 or so for the NH-D14.

I don't know your particular Intel motherboard but I guess it will be the usual deal with a PWM CPU fan header that only runs 3 pin fans at full speed. So the PWM fan in the HE01 could be a better fit given the processor involved here. It could also make sense to use a PWM fan chain of intake, CPU and exhaust. For the additional PWM intake and exhaust fans you might consider the Noctua NF-P12 PWM. These fans have a 300 to 1300 speed range. Yes they are around $20 each but they do come with rubber mounts, a PWM Y cable and PWM extension cable so it would be straightforward to chain them to a CPU PWM fan without any additional components or expense. The 3 pin exhaust fan supplied with the case could be redeployed as an additional intake fan. If plugged into the 3 pin fan header on your motherboard there would be a degree of thermal control to supplement what a PWM chain could provide.

ck8-04
Posts: 142
Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2007 9:58 pm
Location: Malden, MA

Re: Tower vs. downdraft?

Post by ck8-04 » Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:08 pm

Hi lodestar,
Thanks for your insight, but I ended up going with the U12P SE2 because of its lower weight, lower price, and better performance with low airflow. It turns out that my concerns were only partially unfounded. I created a new thread about my new system here.
Corsair Carbide 400Q|Corsair HX750i|Intel Core i5 7640X w/ Scythe Ninja 4 fanless|EVGA X299 FTW-K|16GB Crucial Ballistix Elite DDR4-2666|eVGA Geforce GTX 1070|Intel SSD 900p 280GB|HP ZR24W|Logitech Z906|KB Paradise Tenkeyless Cherry MX clear|Corsair Sabre RGB Optical|Windows 10 Pro

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