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TOPIC: Ideal fan placement to keep GPU cool?

Ideal fan placement to keep GPU cool? 2 months 6 days ago #15448

  • Firion
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Using a Fractal R5 I noticed temps dropping up to 10C on my MSI R9 390x when taking off my side panel, I have a spare 140mm fan at the front but it doesn't seem to help, where would be best to place it to keep the gpu cool, the side panel? I don't mind it being a bit louder if it keeps it much cooler.
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Ideal fan placement to keep GPU cool? 2 months 6 days ago #15451

  • i7Baby
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You need to get a good flow of air through the case - usually fans go in from the front and bottom and blow out through the rear and top.

Your R9 390x should stay cool enough - www.guru3d.com/articles-pages/msi-radeon...-8g-oc-review,1.html

The R5 is a good case - www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Fractal_Design/Define_R5/6.html. With 2 fans at the front and one at the rear you should be getting adequate air flow. And you can always increase your fan speed.
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Ideal fan placement to keep GPU cool? 2 months 6 days ago #15454

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When taking off the side panel, you are creating something more similar to an open test-bench. The components are no longer influencing each other, because the heat that is emited from all the other components can now leave the system quickly and mix with the cooler air from the room.

Open test-benches and cases with no (or big open) side panels do allow for best temperatures, they're also no longer blocking any dust (and cats) from entering and sound from leaving the system - which is why most people still use 'normal' cases.

Add to that the fact, that the R5 doesn't have a "straight" intake and rather pulls air in from the side - which does reduces noise, but is also more restrictive and reduces airflow a bit (not a lot, but still enough to notice some differences in temperatures).

My question here would be: 10°C from what? What temperatures are we talking here?
And more importantly: Would those 10°C have a significant impact on the GPUs clockspeed and fan speeds? Improving the cooling is certainly nice, but if it doesn't give you better performance or a quiter graphics card, then it's not worth to have more noise and dust in the system IMHO.

I would try with 2 fans in front and 1 in the rear and remove the unused HDD-cages (if you haven't already) and see what temperatures AND clockspeeds you get. If the clock of the GPU goes high up, but then drops by a lot (and not just by a little bit) the longer you run the test, then I would try to mount one of the front fans (the lower one) at the bottom intake (since that one has a dust filter and is the least restrictive one, as long as the case is not sitting on a fluffy carpet). If all the components (not just the GPU) are looking a little bit toasty, then it might not be a case of "not enough intake" and instead could mean "not enough exhaust", at which point you should try to mount said fan at the top, rather then the bottom.
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Ideal fan placement to keep GPU cool? 2 months 5 days ago #15457

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It drops the temps down from about 88C at 100% fan to 78C with 70% fan iirc (though sometimes with the side on it would get as hot as 94C). I never tried checking the clock speeds, it was just hotter than I was really comfortable with (and extremely loud to boot), even for a card that's meant to run hot. I tried putting on new thermal paste too, it didn't seem to make all that much difference though. I'll double check fan speed but I have em plugged into the mobo and I think the default fan curve looked fine.

I've gotten rid of it now and plan to get a new card anyway, but I figure when I do it'd also be a good time to re arrange the fans. The spare HDD cage is removed, but I'm using the bottom one. I could get rid of the DVD drive bay but it doesn't seem like it'd make that much difference. I could also make the CPU fan face the back of the case instead of the front, not sure which would help more. I'll try mounting the fan on the bottom when I get a new GPU too and see if it helps.

Thanks for the feedback!
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Ideal fan placement to keep GPU cool? 2 months 5 days ago #15458

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Firion wrote:
Using a Fractal R5 I noticed temps dropping up to 10C on my MSI R9 390x when taking off my side panel, I have a spare 140mm fan at the front but it doesn't seem to help, where would be best to place it to keep the gpu cool, the side panel? I don't mind it being a bit louder if it keeps it much cooler.

Fresh air on the GPU will generally do the most to help keep the GPU cool, but you do want to make sure you have good overall airflow at the same time. You generally want a positive pressure environment, that helps reduce the amount of dust build up inside the case. The R5 comes stock with x1 140mm in the front and x1 140mm in the rear, and you said you have an extra 140mm installed in front.

Personally, I would add another 140mm on either the side or the bottom as intake, as they will help provide fresh air to the GPU and another 140mm on the top as a 2nd exhaust fan. That will give you x3 140mm intake and x2 140mm exhaust, which should give you a positive pressure environment. Of those two intake choices, I would recommend the bottom over the side, just because it should be covered by that removable dust filter that also covers your PSU intake.
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Ideal fan placement to keep GPU cool? 2 months 5 days ago #15461

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I'll have to try that sometime, though at the moment I'm a bit strapped for cash (or rather what money I have is going towards a new GPU)
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