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?
 

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.
 

Colif

Moderator
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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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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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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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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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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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.
 

Rogue Leader

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Just wanted to say thanks again for the info. I guess i did learn one thing, never jump to conclusions when looking at pics. Half the time what they are doing is for looks.

So that said, I ended up with the two front fans blowing in over the radiator and just one fan blowing out the top/rear. I am using Speccy to check my temps and so far the CPU is far cooler than my air cooled system. At idle i'm running around 30C, But with out the fan around the CPU, the GPU seams to be running a bit hotter. I think i need to check the fans and clean it, but i'm wondering if i need a bit more airflow over all for the other parts.

The SSD does not seam to be running warm which is nice, but i do wonder about long gaming sessions. I will be keeping tabs on this stuff.
Just log temps and see if anything is getting overly hot. If its not you're fine, and it sounds like its not.

MSI Afterburner provides great logging features through Rivatuner Statistics Server.
 
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Personally i would put the AIO on the front of the case so it is sucking cool air in past the radiator, if you use it as an exhaust you are just sucking warmer air through the radiator and in theory wouldn't cool as effectively.
 

Colif

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Well what would you call overly hot as far as mother board, GPU and SSD go?
30c idle on cpu is about right for an Intel CPU, Ryzen tend to run around 36 and 46c all day, its just how they work. package will be about 5c warmer than avg core temps.



GPU depends on what you have. My 2070 Super runs at below 50c all day
MB/System should be about 34c or something like that.
ssd depends on what type of ssd. If sata ssd they can run from 0 to 50C but in my last PC mine was about 30c most days. lowest I saw on it was 16c
NVME run warmer, and it depends on if its PCIe 3 or 4 then as the 4's run warmer and most come with heat sinks. My nvme runs between 48 and 52 most days.

Best way to monitor temps is HWINFO, i have it set up to show charts on screen all day, how i know my cpu almost always 41c all year (well, 10 months so far)
 
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Rogue Leader

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Well what would you call overly hot as far as mother board, GPU and SSD go? I use Speccy to monitor them, it's free. Same folks that make CCleaner. I have heard of MSI afterburner but never used it.
I don't think we ever got the actual hardware specs of your system. Depending what components you're using changes what temp range you need to keep them in. Let me know.
 

Rogue Leader

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10600KF, 32 GB ram corsair vengence, 1TB 970 m.2 asus 1060 6GB, asus 490z a-prime. I have not played with the AI overclocker at all and i'm just running stock. I have not read about it at all so i'm just holding off before i start tweaking it.
Ok so that CPU under gaming should be in the 72C range tops if your cooling is good, your GPU should also max out around 71C, above that temp reduces its ability to boost. Your SSD tops around 70C, its preferable to below that, but if your SSD is running that hot, the rest of your components are likely overheating.
 

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