Where to mount my water cooler?

Sep 21, 2020
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I have this cooler, https://www.newegg.com/cooler-master-masterliquid-ml240l-rgb-liquid-cooling-system/p/2YM-0004-00015

with this case, https://www.newegg.com/mystic-red-fractal-design-focus-g-atx-mid-tower/p/N82E16811352074?Description=focus G&cm_re=focus_G-_-11-352-074-_-Product&quicklink=true


I have not used a water cooler before, but i've seen them mounted on the top, and front. On my case it doesn't look like i'll have enough room to mount it on the top, i think mainly because i'm also mounting a DVR in that upper drive slot. It does look like i could mount another fan up top though and have it blowing in/down so air will move past the CPU and run into the GPU, but i also have another fan blowing out the rear.

I don't know how much these radiators blow, or which direction, Is this going to push air out the front, or does it suck in? Is there an option to swap it?

I'm just trying to figure out the way to get the best flow in my case and figured i'd ask.

Basically i'm thinking closed loop cooler on the lower front, A single fan on top, (there is actually room for two, but I'm not sure that it's needed) I was going to put this one in the slot that is basically in the middle of the comp, blowing down past the ram/CPU, Then a single one for exhaust. Does that sound sufficient ? I've never used a cooler before, so any tips/tricks you can think of would be nice too.


Thoughts?
 
Sep 21, 2020
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After thinking a bit more, If the water cooler pushes air out the front, Perhaps I should set the rear case fan to pull air in, then the top fan blowing in/down, The radiator in the front will be pushing the hot air out.

I could also set up a small 3 inch fan just above the PS, this would pull air in, and blow across my 2 M2 slots, and force a bit more flow towards the radiator. I wonder if it would be worth adding a passive heatsink to the top of the PS as well. Even if it just ended up for looks. :)
 
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Rogue Leader

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Don't fight natural convection. Heat naturally rises.

You want to pull air in from the front/bottom and out from the top/rear.

Theres 2 ways to mount this, either mounting the cooler to the front of the case pulling air IN through it, having a second fan on the bottom also pulling air in, and then having exhaust fans blowing out the top and the rear.

Your other option which I have on my setup (similar case) and I prefer is to mount the radiator to the top with the fans pushing air out, a rear exhaust fan as well, and then 2 fans on the front and one on the bottom taking air in. If you can't do the bottom fan the fronts should be enough.

Worry less about having a fan blowing on a specific object and more about creating a proper airflow which will pull heat away from components generating heat. And there is no need for any sort of heatsink on the PSU, ever.
 
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But, the vid card basically cuts off the upper middle of the computer, so even if the front is taking air in, most of it will be bellow the CPU/ram. If the radiator goes on the front, then there will be zero air coming in from anywhere if the other two are blowing out.

So that only leaves the rear and top to bring air in. reading some stuff about M.2 drives and water coolers is the lack of air moving around the CPU and board where the fan would normally be going. So that would leave 2 fans, the one on the top my thinking was blowing moving a lot more air/that sucking, aka pushing out. So it would blow down past the ram/cpu middle of the board, and M.2m then defuse on the vid card, The rear fan could push suck it out, the air going the other way could push out the front.

That is my thinking anyway.

So if the radiator can't fit at the top which i'm thinking might be the case, i only have 2 other places to bring air in, ergo back and top.

The lower fan would be entirely custom, to move air across the lower m.2. the radiator on the top of the PS was more about looks, though i honestly have never felt it after running for hours so no clue if it is just warm to touch or something more.


I guess i can just try a range of things, perhaps there is an easy way to flip Fan direction in the bios these days too. :)

thanks for the things to think about.
 

Colif

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Don't use the AIO as exhaust on front, use it as intake.

Front mounted aio in that case as intake would be best place to get cool air for CPU from outside and really, the heat created by cooling the CPU isn't that big compared to if you had the AIO on top of case inhaling all the GPU heat as well as CPU.

It can mean as much as 10c difference, depending on GPU design. The GPU doesn't change temps regardless of radiator placement, and NVME are likely warmer than the air coming from radiator anyway. Radiators don't get that hot.


It also depends where you live, in hotter environments it makes sense to have it as intake over exhaust. It just looks better in the top and a lot of videos are just about making it look good

At least that case has top vents, its not obvious from the Newegg page - https://www.fractal-design.com/products/cases/focus/focus-g/mystic-red/

I have a fractal design meshify S2 with front mounted 240mm AIO, temps are pretty much same all year around
 
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Sep 21, 2020
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Thanks for the pic, and yes the case has vents on the top. I already have another one built, It's going to be my stream/recording/encoder now. But it has 2 intakes on the front, one blowing out the rear and my Flat fan heatsink on the CPU. It's basically something similar to this. https://store.steampowered.com/app/712730/SIMULACRA/


But it works great and keeps cool. Most tasks i'm around 40-45, hard gaming i bump up to 60 at the most, typically it's more like 55 as i don't really play super demanding games. Battletech is one that i think gets the hottest, but that is moot.



Quick Q, are their switches, or do i use the bios to change direction, or do i need to take things apart and swap the way the fans point?
 

Rogue Leader

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Quick Q, are their switches, or do i use the bios to change direction, or do i need to take things apart and swap the way the fans point?
There is no way to reverse fan direction, fans are specifically designed to spin in one direction.

You're over estimating the temperature of the air and blowing on specific components vs the flow of the air. The flow of the air is more important than the temperature. Every one of your ideas is going to just have air coming in from random directions and "crashing" into itself making hot spots and pockets. Flowing air through the front/bottom and out the top/rear is the only way to do this properly, cases are designed this way for a reason.

That case will 100% fit a 240mm radiator up top even with the DVD player.


Nothing custom is needed for a lower fan. You can put the radiator in either location front or top and it will work well because you will have good flow that way, taking air in through the front/bottom.

There really is no experimentation needed here. Check out the Racing Rig system in my signature, I have a similar case but smaller with the radiator at the top. 0 cooling issues.
 
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well, i'll play around and see i have plenty of heat monitoring things to mess around with. I'm just asking this as i have read multiple articles about lack of airflow on M.2 drives and around the ram/CPU area on comps with water cooling. Seeing i've never used either i thought i would see what people are doing. If your saying i don't need to worry about that, then i won't I've built comps going on 30 years now going back to when you added fans to the heatsinks on GPU's and cut holes in the sides of cases to add fans because there was only one intake and that was it. Doing custom flow was always fun. But i must not be explaining myself right, all my main flow is either left to right, or right to left .

Though i am perplexed about the radiator or perhaps i am just confused, because in the automotive world you blow on a radiator to cool it, you never suck through it, but all the pics i see have the radiator with fans on the inside meaning they should be pushing air, but your saying they are pulling? That just does not make mechanical sense. I get the whole outside air less has less heat than air in the case, but wouldn't it make more sense to blow the through the radiator and out, but also have a clean cool air coming from outside the comp as well? Ahh well, i'm sure i'll figure it out.

I'll take a picture when i'm done, yours looks nice though. Enjoy
 
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Rogue Leader

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Though i am perplexed about the radiator or perhaps i am just confused, because in the automotive world you blow on a radiator to cool it, you never suck through it, but all the pics i see have the radiator with fans on the inside meaning they should be pushing air, but your saying they are pulling? That just does not make mechanical sense. I get the whole outside air less has less heat than air in the case, but wouldn't it make more sense to blow the through the radiator and out, but also have a clean cool air coming from outside the comp as well? Ahh well, i'm sure i'll figure it out.
Thats not true. Most automotive radiator fans are on the inside and they are pulling outside air through the radiator. Its VERY rare to have a fan on the front side of the radiator blowing through, and a fan blowing on to the radiator would contradict the natural airflow while driving.

But yes in a computer you can either push or pull air through a radiator. Depending on where you have situated the fan changes which is a more efficient location, but generally either one can work similarly, make it look cool. You can even do both if you have the room and have a fan on either side.

Now in my example I didn't mention pulling at all though. The radiator when mounted to the top of the case has fans pushing air from the inside through it. Those fans are fed airflow from the front of the case as well as the bottom of the case if you install a bottom fan.

That said you can front mount the radiator with fans on the inside pulling air through it from the front (like a car) or mount the fans in front and the radiator to it so the fans are pushing outside air through it, in both cases into the case. All will work well.
 
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I could swear fans where added to radiators to push air through them while idle way back in the day. Maybe im off, but i could swear the spin pushed air out the front on rev.. maybe it did just suck,.. them again when we wanted that much air it was called a blower. Do PC's have blowers?
 

Rogue Leader

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I could swear fans where added to radiators to push air through them while idle way back in the day. Maybe im off, but i could swear the spin pushed air out the front on rev.. maybe it did just suck,.. them again when we wanted that much air it was called a blower. Do PC's have blowers?
There are blower style coolers on some GPUs

they look like this:



As you can see air is sucked in the back, and forced over the components and out the back panel of the PC. Loud and noisy but works, until you overclock. Then its not efficient enough.
 
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Lol, ok this went way off topic. I was just making the point that AUX heatsinks/fans typically blow air over/thrown the heatsink, and not suck through. Fans are far more efficient pushing air verse sucking, but that is not to say sucking is bad. I mean just use RL, Sit in front of a fan, do you get more air in front, or the back?

i was not talking about a main fan, btw.. Think RV or something like that. man i hate the internet sometimes lol./

Back when i built High end audio back in the day you would always add a blower to move air over the heat sinks, your second thought was to add an extractor, sorta like these days, there are 2 in's and one out.

In my comp right now, My CPU sucks/blows threw the heatsink, my GPU pushes heat away. (it is also has fans/heatsinks facing down, which goes against the whole heat rising thing. My guess why it has fans blowing out, aka down. That again will push heat towards my lower M.2
 

Rogue Leader

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Lol, ok this went way off topic. I was just making the point that AUX heatsinks/fans typically blow air over/thrown the heatsink, and not suck through. Fans are far more efficient pushing air verse sucking, but that is not to say sucking is bad. I mean just use RL, Sit in front of a fan, do you get more air in front, or the back?

i was not talking about a main fan, btw.. Think RV or something like that. man i hate the internet sometimes lol./

Back when i built High end audio back in the day you would always add a blower to move air over the heat sinks, your second thought was to add an extractor, sorta like these days, there are 2 in's and one out.

In my comp right now, My CPU sucks/blows threw the heatsink, my GPU pushes heat away. (it is also has fans/heatsinks facing down, which goes against the whole heat rising thing. My guess why it has fans blowing out, aka down. That again will push heat towards my lower M.2
Negative pressure is a viable cooling solution. If you look at my gaming system it is negative pressure, and in fact MANY pieces of network hardware, UPS batteries, prebuilt computers, Audio hardware, are all negative pressure, they have one fan blowing heat OUT of the casing. The only cooling many systems up until the early-mid 90's was the PSU fan pulling case heat out and exhausting it out the back of the PSU casing.

Fans are not more efficient in one or the other direction, it fully depends upon the situation, and in fact in many cases pulling works just as well. You get more air from one direction than the other with a fan because one side is sucking and one blowing. it will FEEL different but feeling means nothing.

The heat rising thing is not a "thing", it is an actual physical principle. Its called convection, it's literally how heat works.

.

Your GPU fans DO NOT blow down into your case, they blow "up" on to the heatsinks and exhaust the air out of the sides and rear of the GPU.



This isn't off topic at all, no offense but you clearly have incorrect ideas about how cooling works, and therefore this whole discussion is relevant to you properly cooling your system.
 
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Try running a a heatsink right side up, take the temp, then put it upside down and put a small fan blowing past it. take the temp, and see which one is lower. I'll take a 3inch fan over a good aluminum heatsink any day. I mean even look at most air coolers, they blow down. not up Every single CPU cooler blows down over the heatsink. The good ones blow sideways though and push out the back but if blowing away/ aka Suck was better there would be no reason to ever do otherwise. If pulling was so much better they would already be doing it for the most basic coolers.

I'll be happy to post my numbers when i finish the system with pics and temps. But i find it funny you are talking about cooling in a comp with 8+ fans, and i'm getting good flow with 3. Kinda reminds me of my friend that says just stack a 3' fan next to your comp it never gets hot.

and sorry, this convo is turning into an argument, verse what i wanted, a little idea.. I"m going to take some advice, i'm going to put a hole in the back side of my case, to direct flow into the radiator to blow out the front. It will look great with my neo.
 
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Rogue Leader

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Try running a a heatsink right side up, take the temp, then put it upside down and put a small fan blowing past it. take the temp, and see which one is lower. I'll take a 3inch fan over a good aluminum heatsink any day. I mean even look at most air coolers, they blow down. not up Every single CPU cooler blows down over the heatsink. The good ones blow sideways though and push out the back but if blowing away/ aka Suck was better there would be no reason to ever do otherwise. If pulling was so much better they would already be doing it for the most basic coolers.

I'll be happy to post my numbers when i finish the system with pics and temps. But i find it funny you are talking about cooling in a comp with 8+ fans, and i'm getting good flow with 3. Kinda reminds me of my friend that says just stack a 3' fan next to your comp it never gets hot.

and sorry, this convo is turning into an argument, verse what i wanted, a little idea.. I"m going to take some advice, i'm going to put a hole in the back side of my case, to direct flow into the radiator to blow out the front. It will look great with my neo.
Your example is completely and totally irrelevant to a fan in a case or a fan on a radiator. A heatsink on a board or a chip does not pass air through it like a radiator does. Yes how most boxed CPU coolers work is downdraft style to blow down on to the heatsink which pushes the heat outward and away. The picture of the GPU cooler I just posted shows this, despite what you believed earlier that the fans were blowing the opposite direction on a GPU. You're literally contradicting your earlier incorrect information. This is much different than how flowing air through a case works, or moving that hot air that blew off the heatsink out of the case works. In many use cases having a fan blowing directly on a component or heatsink is the best way, but not ALL use cases are the same. You've manipulated what I said to fit your incorrect perception of how cooling flow works.

I also never said you NEED to use 8 fans, I was telling you what/where you can place fans and what direction. You can get good flow with 2 fans depending on the case/ambient temp/etc.

Good luck with your cooling.
 
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Nvm... i read the directions. the reason why i was confused was because the pics did not line up with what you where saying.

the pics show the pump pushing out, but the directions show it pushing in..

Maybe someone can find info that helps them in this thread.
 

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