Computer Cooling Guide - Acoustic PC Resources

This is a computer cooling guide to help you achieve the proper way to cool your computer system. Proper computer cooling starts with a well
designed enclosure
In this article, I will focus on the theory and practice behind properly air cooling a computer system inside an enclosure other wise know as a
computer case, PC case or PC chassis. CPU and Video Card Cooling are topics unto themselves, you can visit our resources page and view help
articles on cooling those specific components. Proper Computer Cooling is vital for proper function and longevity of electronic components. Heat
erodes the life cycle of electronic components so Hopefully, by the end of this tutorial, you will be able to properly cool any computer system inside
an enclosure.



Computer case selection is King  in regards to computer cooling performance
A properly cooled computer starts with the computer case. A well designed PC Case will provide excellent performance. The rule of thumb is the
larger the fan the better. Large fans produce more airflow (CFM) as well as quieter due to the fact that the motor can run slower yet producing less
noise compared to a Wynnie small fan. In some cases the preferred 120mm quiet fans are not possible such as a home heater Case. These
enclosures are smaller therefor making it impossible to fit 120mm fans. HTPC Home Theater PC Cases rely's more on a better cooling design with
the disadvantage of the smaller fan.


Case Construction
Metal construction for heat dissipation. Acrylic cases may look Nice but they will not cool well. Aluminum has slightly better heat transfer
characteristics than steel (the two most commonly used case materials) However steel cases are usually more sturdy, which means no vibration.
Some high end case manufactures like Zalman make Aluminum Cases with really thick aluminum this way you get it all Light weight, sturdy with no
vibrational noise and the best heat dissipation. But either material will work fine. Generally speaking, you get what you pay for. Look for a case with
plenty of drive bays to accommodate all your peripherals and your done.



Airflow
After you have a good case picked out, the next decision for you to make will be between positive and negative pressure. What I mean by this is that
there are different benefits and drawbacks to be had depending on whether there is more airflow into a case or more airflow out of a case. With a
positive-pressure system (and filtered fans), the inside of your case will stay cleaner because the only air entering the case will be filtered and the
extra air that is not’t exhausted by the exhaust fans will blow out through cracks and vents in the case. With a negative pressure system, the vacuum
inside the case will pull dirty air in through those same cracks and vents. A negative pressure design, however, will result in better cooling because
it keeps a constant stream of air moving through the case at all times. The choice is yours, but for this article, since I am focusing on cooling, I will
explain a negative-pressure system.


Before I get into the actual construction of a negative pressure system, I must say something about the determination of net airflow. When
measuring airflow, think in terms of a “CFM-in” to “CFM-out” comparison, instead of a “Number of fans in” to “Number of fans out” comparison (CFM
stands for Cubic Feet per Minute). The reason is simple. Different fans, even if they are the same size, can potentially flow vastly different amounts of
air. When deciding which fans to use, make sure to note the CFM rating of a particular fan and factor that into the overall decision. After you finish this
article, go ahead and browse through our selection of
Quiet Computer Fans.


For a negative air pressure system, the goal is to have more air being forced out of the case than is being forced in. This will create a vacuum inside
the case which produces a steady stream of cooling air, and will help minimize dead zones such as hot air pockets, where no cooling air can reach.
Remember that air is usually exhausted through the back exhaust fan usually located  the rear of the computer case. This leaves the front and side
for intake fans. Generally, an 80mm, 92mm 120mm blow hole coupled with a 120mm rear exhaust, plus the power supply fan, will be more than
sufficient in any properly cooled computer case. With a 120mm front intake fan and an 80-120mm side intake fan, this setup will usually produce the
desired “negative-pressure” effect. Just make sure that the CFM of the combined outputs of the three exhaust fans is greater than the CMF rating of
the combined outputs of the two intake fans.


Testing Your Setup
After you have constructed your computer cooling system, you can test its effectiveness by allowing smoke to be sucked into the case (note: this will
only be visible with a windowed case). Like the
Zalman GT1000 If the smoke is almost immediately evacuated, your case is set up properly. If it stays
in the case for a while, or if it lingers in the corners without being evacuated, you need to change your cooling setup. Since every case is different, you
will just have to experiment with fan placement, power, and direction to get the best airflow. Keep in mind that Acoustic PC STOCKS the best
selection of quality computer cooling products available! After that, you’re finished! Congratulations on building a well-cooled machine. Look for
articles detailing the specifics of CPU Cooling, VGA Cooling and Quiet Power Supplies.
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Why not spare your hearing with Acoustic PC's Quiet Computer cooling and Soundproofing Solutions. Acoustic PC Stocks Quiet Computer Parts. Quiet PC Fans, Quiet CPU Coolers, Quiet Power Supply, Quiet Computer Cases, PC Sound Dampening insulation, Anti-vibration Noise Reduction materials such as Silicone Fan Mounts, Sorbothane Feet for Ultra Low Noise PC's. We also sell Silent PC Hardware components and Gaming products such as Fanless Silent Video Cards, SSD Drives, Profesional Gaming peripherals for serious Gamers. Audio products & more.
Why not spare your hearing with Acoustic PC’s Quiet Computer Cooling and Soundproofing
Solutions. Acoustic PC Stocks Quiet Computer Parts. Quiet PC Fans, Quiet CPU Coolers, Quiet
Power Supply, Quiet Computer Cases, PC Sound Dampening insulation, Ant-vibration Noise
Reduction materials such as Silicone Fan Mounts, Sorbothane Feet for Ultra Low noise PC's. We
also sell Silent PC Hardware components and Gaming products such as Fanless Silent Video
cards, SSD Drives, Professional Gaming peripherals for serious Gamers. Audio products & more.