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GPU Side Panel Fans - Push or Pull?

Discussion in 'Overclocking & Cooling' started by GSS, Sep 26, 2009.

  1. GSS


    Joined: Sep 9, 2009

    Posts: 21

    I have a new Coolermaster Gladiator 600 case... http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA-178-CM&groupid=701&catid=7&subcat=29 ...on it's way for my rig upgrade.

    I want to use the 120/140mm side fan grills to aid the cooling of my sli'd graphics cards which sit very close together on my Asus P5N-D mobo, the slave card in particular runs approx 10c hotter than the master, which I attribute to it's close proximety with the master card and it's heat/warm air being transferred to slave card.

    I'm somewhat confused about mounting the fans?... Push or Pull?... Some manufacturers case specs I've been reseaching suggest pushing cool air in through top/side vents, some suggest pulling heat out :confused: I can see logic in for both methods ie., push more cool air in...internal case/component fans have cooler air to push over their heatsinks to cool them more rapidly. Pull warm air out to reduce overall case temp, giving the fans inside the case a cooler environment to draw air from.

    So guys is there a right & wrong method?...Any Do's & Dont's?...Is it better to aim for positive pressure within the case (more air in than exhaust) or is more about personal choice and trial, trying both methods to see which produces the best reduction in GPU temps?

    Any advice, tips, recommendations from personal experiance etc., will be a great help...scratching my head over this for to long now :(

    Thanks Guys
  2. entireweb


    Joined: Nov 2, 2007

    Posts: 295

    Location: Munich, Germany

    I have just been experimenting with the two case side fans on my coolermaster scout. IMO its hogwash. 1 in 1 out, 2 in, 2 out. It makes no difference at all. Infact I am not sure it makes any difference to temps if I completely remove the side fans or not! In the end I opted for 2 out, so at least its not blowing dust into the case!
  3. Seneker


    Joined: Sep 24, 2009

    Posts: 19

    Don't think there are any absolutes in choosing which setup to follow - it'll depend on internal case airflow, whether anything is in the way of your intake fans (like drives), how tidy your cables are. Since you're SLId, I'd suggest using the side panels to push cool air over your cards but make sure you have decent exhaust out the top of the case to get rid of the heat. I've had good results using positive air pressure to cool internal components, but don't be afraid to test different combinations.
  4. liamcrane


    Joined: Mar 23, 2007

    Posts: 2,555

    Location: Essex

    Hi mate i have an antec 1200 case which is pretty good for cooling, i put a 120m side fan on to try and cool my 260gtx which runs around 42c idle and about 52c underload and i got a new megahalem heatsink and due to its size my side pannel would no longer fit on with the side fan on it, so i took it off and to my suprise it has had no effect on my card temps, as stated above i also tried my side fan as exhaust and intake and in both cases it neither cooled my case more or with out it all did it raise my temps.

    hope this helps

  5. niko


    Joined: May 29, 2005

    Posts: 780

    Location: ceredigion. wales

    i tryed all configs in my case and the only real temp differance i found was on the northbridge as its passively cooled
  6. DavyBoy


    Joined: Dec 6, 2008

    Posts: 2,693

    Location: Burghead, Elgin

    Any case that I have had in the past with fans on the side panel, I always had them as intakes.
  7. bifday2k


    Joined: Jul 3, 2009

    Posts: 2,550

    I guess it all depends on how your gfx cards get there cooling, by that i mean mine more or less adds heat from the card into my case.

    Some take cooler air coming in, over there heatsink, and then out the back of the case.

    If urs are like the first one realisticly side fans won't add to much, apart from maybe mobo cooling.

    If they are the 2nd type then more cooler air coming in may aid the cards, but each set up is different.
  8. GSS


    Joined: Sep 9, 2009

    Posts: 21

    Thanks for all your replies guys, it looks as though I'll have to experiment with my setup to see if 'push or pull' or indeed neither have any effect at reducing the GPU temps.

    It's interesting to hear your experiences and learn there are no absolutes...at least I can't fit them wrong!... :eek: that in most cases side fan cooling has no noticible difference whether fans are attached or not. Me thinks in that case it's the marketing guru's devising new ways & ideas to keep us spending! :rolleyes:

    If there is no real performance difference in having none at all or attaching them for 'push or pull', I think it will be better to fit them to push for positive pressure to reduce dust entering the case as I've read this can be a common cause of temp increase in components & I don't want them any hotter!

    Got my info about positive pressure from here http://www.silverstonetek.com/tech/wh_positive.php?area=usa for anybody that may be interested.
  9. Vern1961

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Mar 29, 2007

    Posts: 2,087

    Location: Swindon UK

    I've just been reading up on this i/c/w with my other thread about replacing all my case fans with quieter three pin versions. My current side fan actually exhausts air rather than intake, which rather surprised me.

    However, the concensus reading round the various forums is that you need to get negative pressure in your case i.e. a slightly higher CFM going out than coming in.

    Could be fun balancing mine then, as the two Akasa 120's I've ordered (for front and rear) are rated @49 CFM, while the 80 on the side is 25.4 CFM and the Hiper 580 exhausts 24.4 CFM. Setting the side fan to intake will (in theory) create a positive pressure of about 1 CFM but get cool air over the CPU. Setting it to exhaust will mean a fairly high negative pressure and possibly increase the noise as extra air sucked in the front.

    On that basis I will probably go with the former (intake) for the side fan as the most balanced solution. 1 CFM which is theoretical anyway given the margin for performance error is unlikely to cause many issues and I will get cool air right over the most important components.
  10. Ritsugamesh


    Joined: Sep 3, 2009

    Posts: 419

    Location: Nottingham

    I use an antec 902 and originally I had both front fans and my side case fan as intake; top and back fans as exhaust.

    I had been contemplating the same thing myself and decided to flip my side fan to exhaust and I can honestly say it helped a great deal.

    My original temps were 55'C idle with 75'C at 100% load, after swapping the side fan to exhaust, my temps now sit at 53'C idle and 65'C 100% load. I think it's attributed to being able to pull the air directly off the card, I would think that for your sli build pulling the air out from the cards would be good too, hopefully not as much air with rise up into your slave card.

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