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Question filter material for custom fan filters

CU

Platinum Member
Aug 14, 2000
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I have a filter now that is made of 5mm thick foam. While it seems to trap the dust it also seems to restrictive. So, I am looking for some other material to use. DEMCiflex filters seem pretty good although I am not sure if I want to spend that much on a custom filter. Is there a similar material that I can just buy and cut to the size I need? For reference you can see the current filter and where it goes in this post. It is the third picture. It would need to be stiff enough to stand up on its own like the current filter, maybe a fine metal mesh? Or, I would need to attach it somehow.
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
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DEMCiflex filters seem pretty good although I am not sure if I want to spend that much on a custom filter.
they are worth every dollar.
because even if you found a cheap solution, it will not be easy to make them serviceable as easy as the DEMC.

The demc is basically a fridge magnet ring with a fine mesh filter designed to fit over your fan intake from the outside.
Since its magnetic it makes washing them so easy. And the filter is high quality.

So i would honestly nudge you over to the DECM solution.
 
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CU

Platinum Member
Aug 14, 2000
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they are worth every dollar.
because even if you found a cheap solution, it will not be easy to make them serviceable as easy as the DEMC.

The demc is basically a fridge magnet ring with a fine mesh filter designed to fit over your fan intake from the outside.
Since its magnetic it makes washing them so easy. And the filter is high quality.

So i would honestly nudge you over to the DECM solution.
I will say the bushed aluminum frame ones do look nice and would match the aluminum of my case. Although you couldn't see it anyway.
 

Soulkeeper

Diamond Member
Nov 23, 2001
6,655
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I used sunscreen material for mine. Like the unfoldable ones for a car window.

This is not the exact brand, but similar:

Sometimes you can get these at walmart or the 99 cent store for dirt cheap.

I cut the frame out of wood, painted the frame, then cut nylon screen to size and placed it over the top.
The paint was still wet (and the same color as the screen), so it worked as glue.
This works great, I slide the filter out and wash it once a week.


Edit, here are some pictures (about time for a cleaning):
20210706_161900.jpg
Partially slid out:
20210706_161911.jpg
Back:
20210706_161924.jpg
 
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CU

Platinum Member
Aug 14, 2000
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I hadn't thought about car sunshade material. I think most of the sunshades I have seen though wouldn't allow any air to pass through. Something to keep in mind though.
 

Fallen Kell

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
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Lowes/Home Depot are your friends. Go to the HVAC section and pickup a flat filter with a MERV rating of 8 or higher (you don't need to go higher than 11-12 as at that point you are filtering bacteria and viruses which is not really needed for your computer). Then take some scissors and cut the filter down to size and use twist ties, tape, or a screen mesh to attach the filter. Much cheaper...
 

CU

Platinum Member
Aug 14, 2000
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The foam I am using now is from something like a WEB Eco Filter. It was a little bit of left over from when cutting one to fit a smaller vent in my house. But, even just that black foam is so dense that I cannot really feel any air when I try to blow through it. I cannot image a complete MERV 8 filter as the foam is just one part of a MERV 8 filter. That just seems a little much.
 

Fallen Kell

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
5,674
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The foam I am using now is from something like a WEB Eco Filter. It was a little bit of left over from when cutting one to fit a smaller vent in my house. But, even just that black foam is so dense that I cannot really feel any air when I try to blow through it. I cannot image a complete MERV 8 filter as the foam is just one part of a MERV 8 filter. That just seems a little much.
No, you are thinking something much more stringent than MERV 8 (you are thinking along the HEPA line, not MERV). MERV 8 is basically dust, dust mites, pollen, and pet dander/hair. This following is a MERV 8 filter:

Cut it up and stretch out the pleats to flatten it (in it's entire housing is only 3/4 inch thick, without the cardboard housing it is about 1/2 inch, and once you stretch out the pleats, it is very thin) and it will have plenty of airflow.

Also, that is a 20"x25" 3pack of filters. You should easily be able to make filters for 15 or so 140mm fans from a single filter (possibly 20 once you stretch the pleats) per sheet, for around 60 fan filters for a whole $9. At that price, you might as well throw them out after 4-6 months instead of trying to clean them (just not worth the time when it only costs about $0.15 per fan filter).
 
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sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
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I hadn't thought about car sunshade material. I think most of the sunshades I have seen though wouldn't allow any air to pass through. Something to keep in mind though.
Or just go buy car filter?
 

mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
6,476
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I'd get a pleated filter like the one linked on Home Depot, but leave the pleats in it as much as the depth between fans and front bezel will allow, to both increase surface area of the filter material, and increase effective surface area because then it's not lying flat against the panel the fans are mounted on, can also pull air in above and below the portion directly in front of the fans.

even just that black foam is so dense that I cannot really feel any air when I try to blow through it
That's not really a suitable test, any filter where you can feel air blown through, is not going to be filtering much. With same room temperature and same compute load, what are the differences in system temperature with your current filter panel in place and without it? Granted, auto-fan temp sensing can adjust for that, but at the same time the more you want to filter out, the higher the RPM the fans will need to spin to move same amount of air.

Make sure you block all passive holes, like the ones circled in red here:


open.jpg
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
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Put 20x20 filter on 20inch box fan with extra large rubber bands.

Have box fan up close to PC and pointed at it.
This will force induct clean air into your PC.
You will still get some dust, but not that much, as the filter on the box fan will catch 90% of the dust your PC would of caught.

It should look something like this:


Its a far easier and cleaner solution on catching the dust b4 it gets to your PC then catching the dust on the PC.
Its also a lot healthier for you as your catching the dust you could be breathing in as well.
 

CU

Platinum Member
Aug 14, 2000
2,333
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81
Put 20x20 filter on 20inch box fan with extra large rubber bands.

Have box fan up close to PC and pointed at it.
This will force induct clean air into your PC.
You will still get some dust, but not that much, as the filter on the box fan will catch 90% of the dust your PC would of caught.

It should look something like this:


Its a far easier and cleaner solution on catching the dust b4 it gets to your PC then catching the dust on the PC.
Its also a lot healthier for you as your catching the dust you could be breathing in as well.
Interesting, but I don't really want to to run a box fan in my office to filter the air for my PC. Now for a server room, I really like this idea.
 

mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
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^ Nor does anyone else. ;)

I'm sure it helps but back to a prior question (asking for more info) , are you seeing excessive temps using the setup you have now?

If so, sure change it, if not, the temps and noise only need to be low enough to be acceptable. I mean the issue is, are you overthinking this, or is there an overheating problem, and if so, what is overheating?

If your ultimate goal is lower noise from lower fan RPM and a specific area is overheating, it could be that this area needs the improvement, not entire case airflow. YMMV... specifics matter...
 
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CU

Platinum Member
Aug 14, 2000
2,333
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81
I'd get a pleated filter like the one linked on Home Depot, but leave the pleats in it as much as the depth between fans and front bezel will allow, to both increase surface area of the filter material, and increase effective surface area because then it's not lying flat against the panel the fans are mounted on, can also pull air in above and below the portion directly in front of the fans.



That's not really a suitable test, any filter where you can feel air blown through, is not going to be filtering much. With same room temperature and same compute load, what are the differences in system temperature with your current filter panel in place and without it? Granted, auto-fan temp sensing can adjust for that, but at the same time the more you want to filter out, the higher the RPM the fans will need to spin to move same amount of air.

Make sure you block all passive holes, like the ones circled in red here:


View attachment 47170
I will do some test with and without my current filter. I did some awhile back, but I need to redo the tests. I like the idea of using a pleated filter. Having more surface area is part of the reason I created the small box to move the fans back from the front panel instead of mounting them flush. Regarding passive holes in the rear of the case. Air is actually moving out of 90% of them. The CPU and maybe GPU fans are pushing air out all of the top holes and most of the bottom holes. I can feel the hot air coming from them under load. At the very bottom I have noticed a small amount of dust built up due to the GPU sucking in air. I am hoping with more front intake air the gpu will not pull as much from it. I am also considering adding 120mm intake in the cases upper 5.25 drive bays to further increase my intake air. In hindsight I probably could have not cut that opening so far down below the GPU and been fine. But, I can live with that. Also, I like the way it looks.
 

mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
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If you aren't overheating you don't need more fans, just block the passive holes in the rear.

That is all, unsubscribed.
 

CU

Platinum Member
Aug 14, 2000
2,333
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81
If you aren't overheating you don't need more fans, just block the passive holes in the rear.

That is all, unsubscribed.
I am overclocking and undervolting my GPU and it is getting into the 80's with the fans spinning around 70% which is pretty loud on my card. CPU is overclocked also, but it is fine. I will get some hard numbers for the GPU with and without filters in the next few days.

Not sure why I should block passive holes if hot air is moving out of them. That would seem to trap the heat or maybe force it through the exhaust fans. One of which is the PSU in this old style case.
 

Furious_Styles

Senior member
Jan 17, 2019
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I am overclocking and undervolting my GPU and it is getting into the 80's with the fans spinning around 70% which is pretty loud on my card. CPU is overclocked also, but it is fine. I will get some hard numbers for the GPU with and without filters in the next few days.

Not sure why I should block passive holes if hot air is moving out of them. That would seem to trap the heat or maybe force it through the exhaust fans. One of which is the PSU in this old style case.
If you want to lower GPU temps I'd suggest getting something like the arctic accelero IV.
 

Stuka87

Diamond Member
Dec 10, 2010
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I am overclocking and undervolting my GPU and it is getting into the 80's with the fans spinning around 70% which is pretty loud on my card. CPU is overclocked also, but it is fine. I will get some hard numbers for the GPU with and without filters in the next few days.

Not sure why I should block passive holes if hot air is moving out of them. That would seem to trap the heat or maybe force it through the exhaust fans. One of which is the PSU in this old style case.
Passive holes can allow the air out of the case before it should be. You want the air to pass through your components. Not escape the case before it does. Are these GPU temps you are mentioning the RX570 that you have? If so, that card would run at 75C when it was brand new. Being that its now old, have you checked it for dust buildup in the heat sink? But with an OC, even if undervolted, 80C is about what you should expect from that card.
 

CU

Platinum Member
Aug 14, 2000
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Well it looks like my current filter is doing fine. The temps are pretty much the same with or without the filter. I even ran some tests twice and got the same results. Apparently my previous testing was flawed. I have also tweaked my GPU OC and fan curves since then, so that may have made the difference also. It is running at 1375 @ 1090mV w/ ram at 1900 @ 900mV. The card was cleaned when I modded the case back in February. Before I started overclocking the GPU it ran warmer, but quieter. Often hitting 85C, but the fans maxed out around 2000rpm. It also hit the power limit and wouldn't hold 1286 constantly. Looks like the only way to lower the GPU temps with the current OC now would be a new heatsink, to expensive, or repaste and maybe install some 120mm fans in place of the current fans / shroud.

Room temp is 24C.

idle filter
GPU max 45C 0rpm
CPU max 36C
System max 35C, max 560rpm

40min game filter
GPU max 81C, max 3648rpm, avg 75C, avg 2813rpm
CPU max 62C
System max 43C, max 1163rpm

40min game no filter
GPU max 80C, max 3384rpm, avg 75C, avg 2925rpm
CPU max 61C
System max 43C, max 1130rpm

Heaven Benchmark filter
GPU max 75C, max 3024rpm
CPU max 50C
System max 40C, max 811rpm

Heaven Benchmark no filter
GPU max 74C, max 3022rpm
CPU max 46C
System max 40C, max 617rpm
 
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Stuka87

Diamond Member
Dec 10, 2010
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Before I started overclocking the GPU it ran warmer, but quieter. Often hitting 85C, but the fans maxed out around 2000rpm. It also hit the power limit and wouldn't hold 1286 constantly. Looks like the only way to lower the GPU temps with the current OC now would be a new heatsink, to expensive, or repaste and maybe install some 120mm fans in place of the current fans / shroud.
My experience with Polaris would suggest to keep the undervolt, and ditch the OC. The card will offer better performance at stock clocks with the undervolt (especially if you can get away with a 100mV undervolt). The OC is not going to give you much of a boost over that because power limits get hit.
 

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