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Question High air flow throughput cases?

MalVeauX

Senior member
Dec 19, 2008
642
167
116
Heya,

So, I recently got a RTX 3060 Ti GPU and put it in my old workstation case and man the heat is cranking in there. The case is not meant for air flow, its an old NZXT Whisper full size case which has been great for stuffing hordes of HDD's in there and plenty of room for anything, but it's also low air flow, insulated for the noise which also happens to be bad for thermals. It hasn't been an issue up to this point because my 3700X running full throttle with my air cooler keeps things tolerable. But, the addition of the 3060 Ti has taken it up a big notch in terms of thermals. I had to open the case on the side to let some room air in to let it drop temperature down enough to not have every fan running maximum to the point of everything rattling.

So I think its time for a new case for this workstation, after nearly 8~9 years or however long its been.

But I think I need something with lots of air flow. I'm not too concerned with noise from fans, I plan to use larger fans and generally have audio going so there's not much to hear otherwise. I'm not overclocking. I used to run a lot of HDD's but these days with capacity increases and my NAS I no longer need lots of drives, so the only drives in this machine currently are two SSD and a single large HDD, so very little space in terms of the case needs, other than the CPU with the Hyper212 and two fans and the 3060Ti in there. So it doesn't need to be an enormous case with expansion and stuff anymore. But, I don't want it so cramped that flow is poor.

I was looking at some old search results and most of the cases just have one outtake fan in the rear of the case. So I'm curious about larger cases with two outtake fans on the rear potentially specifically, or those cases with open tops that allow outtake to go from front and out the top and back, whatever results in lots of air throughput so that the inside of the case is getting ambient freshly and in bulk, so avoid cooking so hot.

I realize the 3060Ti gets very hot on its own, way hotter than my other components, at load. That's ok. I just don't need the whole box getting crazy high temps due to being insulated for sound and inadvertently being the worst case option for a GPU like this.

Recommendations?

Not affiliated with anything, but here's some links to some cases I'm eyeballing for example:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08QRWPTLM/ref=

Very best,
 
Last edited:

UsandThem

Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
15,313
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A 3060ti isn't too tough to handle thermally.

Pretty much any case that isn't closed off in the front could easily handle that with an additional case fan or two.

And there are a ton of computer cases with open fronts and tops from all the manufacturers, so it really would come down to what kind of look you're after.

Be Quiet Pure Base 500DX, Fractal Design R6 or R7, Phanteks 600S just to name a couple off the top of my head.

I have a Be Quiet Dark Base 900, which is optimized for silence over airflow, any my temps are very low as I run five 140mm fans (at low RPMs) to keep it library quiet as I don't like hearing fans.

Edit: If fan noise doesn't bother you and you want the highest air flow, the FD Torrent would be it:

https://www.fractal-design.com/products/cases/torrent/torrent/black-rgb-tg-light-tint/
 
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Ajay

Lifer
Jan 8, 2001
10,559
4,513
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That Phateks PH 500 is a nice case. I had considered buying one to replace my old 800D, but I didn't NEED to so...

Anyway, Gamer Nexus is a good place for case reviews - check this out:
 
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BoomerD

No Lifer
Feb 26, 2006
58,133
6,304
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lol. I have an older Coolermaster HAF932 that is a breeze for airflow. Looks like CM discontinued their HAF line though. They DO have several decent mid-tower cases with plenty of mesh for good airflow.
 
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Ralfi

Junior Member
Aug 26, 2021
11
1
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I can recommend the Corsair 4000D Airflow. It's in the name - airflow focussed. It only comes with 2 fans (yet still reviews fine), but I recommend buying either 3 x Arctic P12 fans to put on the front & use the 2 Corsair fans as rear & top exhaust. or buy a P12 5-pack to replace the Corsair fans if you want all fans to be the same.
 
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BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
15,089
1,127
126
I can describe what I did with an i7-6700K and i7-7700K -- both with an SL (out-of-bidnis) processor re-lid with Conductonaut liquid metal. It's tedious and you have to favor doing tedious s*** for the fun of it given the time and effort you put in.

These machines can easily be upgraded to 10-gen or higher intel systems with a CPU/RAM/mobo swap-out. I use old 2007 Coolermaster Stacker 832's. This particular model of the Stacker has a cutout in the mobo pan for a 12" (mobo-length) CM Crossflow barrel fan. I use my barrel fan for exhaust, and draw the air across the motherboard restricted by a Lexan-plate custom-cut/assembled mobo-duct-plate. (Tedious, but I think it could be much easier -- explaining shortly.)

One could simply add a Lexan box to mate with the plate and cover part of the GPU, sucking some of the hot air away from the GPU quickly and out the right-side panel. I personally use "Mini-OC" 2nd tier nVidia GTX 10** or GTX 1070 GPUs -- both Gigabyte 8GB, Mini-OC 7"-long single-fan GPUs. So I interrupted my project there and then, when the tedium deterred me from getting started on the GPU box.

But here's how I'm planning to do it this spring. I'm building a second machine with a Stacker 832. It needs a mobo-duct, because I still have a Crossflow fan brand-new int eh box. So I'm going to take careful metric measurements, cut a single Lexan plate to size overlapping the full size of the motherboard, and I';m going to build a "form". At first I thought of wood, but consider the work and tedium! So I thought about foam-core art-board. YOU KNOW ME! THE DUCT-MEISTER! I build ducts of foam-core art-board and Lexan!

I'll cover the glued-together form with several layers of aluminum foil, score the Lexan plate, position it on the form and hit it with a heat-gun -- a $30 item you can buy at Harbor Freight.

At this point, if anyone feels inspired by my plan (but I doubt it . . . ), consider that with the dual-port exhaust and quad-140mm fan inputs that I have, the gains for the duct-box are minimal. And I'm only going to create the molded duct-plate because I've got the barrel-fan -- and that was the original plan, Man!
 
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Hans Gruber

Golden Member
Dec 23, 2006
1,299
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I have the Be Quiet! Pure Base DX. My Phanteks P400 looked good but the airflow was awful. 3 monitors an my 1660S with one fan on the card pushed 75-76C gaming with the GPU fan running 100%. With auto settings in the Pure Base 500DX case the GPU hits 71-72C. With the fan on the 1660S on 100% the GPU hits 68-69C.

A great case that is not a very big mid size case but it's wide, accommodating 140mm fans throughout as well as 280-360mm AIO coolers with ease.
 
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BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
15,089
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I have the Be Quiet! Pure Base DX. My Phanteks P400 looked good but the airflow was awful. 3 monitors an my 1660S with one fan on the card pushed 75-76C gaming with the GPU fan running 100%. With auto settings in the Pure Base 500DX case the GPU hits 71-72C. With the fan on the 1660S on 100% the GPU hits 68-69C.

A great case that is not a very big mid size case but it's wide, accommodating 140mm fans throughout as well as 280-360mm AIO coolers with ease.
I will look at that case for my own edification.

I wouldn't know if my Lexan ducting project mentioned just previous would be of interest. But at least for nVidia GPUs, those temperatures are pretty good unless you want to water-cool the sucker.

You can push in volumes of CFM/air for input; you can easily enhance the sealing of a case so that air only exhausts where you wish it to do so. You can pressurize a case under those circumstances. If you force the air through narrower apertures across motherboard and other heat-generating components (CPU, GPU) or exhaust air directly and immediately after it has just been exhausted by a GPU's own cooling design, you will maximize the effectiveness of air-cooling. Of course, you don't want ten input fans when two, three or four will do, and personally, I filter them all, yet a configuration of four 140mm fans is fine.

I mentioned my Coolermaster Stacker 832 cases. Those things were first sold in 2007. It's my opinion that those midtowers were the best ever built for either air or water, but some might differ. I just think I've found Nirvana in case-design, even looking forward to an Intel 10th generation system or newer. If I do that, I'll just replace the board, processor, and RAM and then put it all back together.
 
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Ajay

Lifer
Jan 8, 2001
10,559
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Thanks all for the input; I'm still shopping and looking up the suggestions here.

Very best,
Please report back when you choose, so we can offer you praise for your choice. Or tolerance, if you didn't choose one of our favorites :D.
 
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Hotrod2go

Member
Nov 17, 2021
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For airflow, the best case is no case. (if you're feeling spicy, rest the mobo on a piece of cardboard on a box fan /j)
For quick benching yes, but for daily usage NO. Unless you like tiny bits of dust settling into the micro grooves of ultra fine electronics....
 
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OlyAR15

Senior member
Oct 23, 2014
709
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For quick benching yes, but for daily usage NO. Unless you like tiny bits of dust settling into the micro grooves of ultra fine electronics....
Dust will settle into those grooves regardless of whether your components are in a case or not. Dust filters can only do so much, unless you are using such restrictive filters that you choke the case of airflow.
 
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Hotrod2go

Member
Nov 17, 2021
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Dust will settle into those grooves regardless of whether your components are in a case or not. Dust filters can only do so much, unless you are using such restrictive filters that you choke the case of airflow.
Of course it will, but your splitting hairs here. The point is it minimizes it.
 
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OlyAR15

Senior member
Oct 23, 2014
709
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You are the one who claims that an open test bench isn't suitable for daily use. Your rationale is because it allows dust onto the components. More frequent cleaning isn't a reason against open test bench for daily use. Dust will still have to be removed even inside a case. This is not splitting hairs.
 
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Hotrod2go

Member
Nov 17, 2021
45
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41
You are the one who claims that an open test bench isn't suitable for daily use. Your rationale is because it allows dust onto the components. More frequent cleaning isn't a reason against open test bench for daily use. Dust will still have to be removed even inside a case. This is not splitting hairs.
Because that claim is my choice to state the obvious. In your OP, you made links to shopping for ATX cases. So you already had specific products on your mind. If you want to get obsessive compulsive about it, that's your prerogative.
Dust is everywhere unless you want to live in a completely sealed up laboratory wearing a hazmat suit or something along those lines.
Like I said before, you miss the point so do whatever you like.
 
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BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
15,089
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Because that claim is my choice to state the obvious. In your OP, you made links to shopping for ATX cases. So you already had specific products on your mind. If you want to get obsessive compulsive about it, that's your prerogative.
Dust is everywhere unless you want to live in a completely sealed up laboratory wearing a hazmat suit or something along those lines.
Like I said before, you miss the point so do whatever you like.
Generally, it has been my observation that well-filtered input fans still let very fine dust get through. With the filters I use on my CoolerMaster Stacker 832 cases, the interior remains ostensibly clean, until you examine the components more carefully and close up. That's when you find a can of compressed air handy when you open up the case every several months.

And -- filters need to be cleaned periodically. Because -- as you say -- "Dust is everywhere."
 

Hotrod2go

Member
Nov 17, 2021
45
16
41
Generally, it has been my observation that well-filtered input fans still let very fine dust get through. With the filters I use on my CoolerMaster Stacker 832 cases, the interior remains ostensibly clean, until you examine the components more carefully and close up. That's when you find a can of compressed air handy when you open up the case every several months.

And -- filters need to be cleaned periodically. Because -- as you say -- "Dust is everywhere."
Well of course they do, dust particles can get very minute indeed. Having a portable air compressor on hand is always beneficial. Dust is part of life, no getting away from it unless you want to live in a sealed up lab & spend your life in a hazmat suit or something.
 

maluckey1

Senior member
Mar 15, 2018
305
130
86
OP,

A you set on a mid-tower?

Check out the Fractal Meshify C. hard to beat the airflow/size/price. The one drawback is that it's small, and if you plan to use a 360mm radiator setup, you have to remove the bottom drive cage. That limits you to only 2 drives (plus however many NVME drives you can fit on the motherboard).

I have a full-sized, overclocked gaming rig (10700k @5.0ghz / GTX 3070 / 32gb 4133 RAM) installed in one with two 500 GB SSD and two 1 TB NVME drives (3 TB storage total). The setup is virtually silent at all times. Just offering suggestions...
 

MalVeauX

Senior member
Dec 19, 2008
642
167
116
OP,

A you set on a mid-tower?

Check out the Fractal Meshify C. hard to beat the airflow/size/price. The one drawback is that it's small, and if you plan to use a 360mm radiator setup, you have to remove the bottom drive cage. That limits you to only 2 drives (plus however many NVME drives you can fit on the motherboard).

I have a full-sized, overclocked gaming rig (10700k @5.0ghz / GTX 3070 / 32gb 4133 RAM) installed in one with two 500 GB SSD and two 1 TB NVME drives (3 TB storage total). The setup is virtually silent at all times. Just offering suggestions...
I have a full tower right now and no longer use the space. So a smaller case would be nicer just for space savings, but I can stay on full size. I just don't have nearly as many HDD's in there now, so just need enough room for CPU cooler and the 3060Ti card to fit and that's it.

Still haven't bought something! I keep looking at the Corsair airflow 4000d and the Lian Li with the twin 200mm fans.

Very best,
 

maluckey1

Senior member
Mar 15, 2018
305
130
86
I have a full tower right now and no longer use the space. So a smaller case would be nicer just for space savings, but I can stay on full size. I just don't have nearly as many HDD's in there now, so just need enough room for CPU cooler and the 3060Ti card to fit and that's it.

Still haven't bought something! I keep looking at the Corsair airflow 4000d and the Lian Li with the twin 200mm fans.

Very best,
That Lian li (the 215 I believe) is a good case. The AirFlow is also a good choice

When I'm on the fence with a purchase, it helps me to make a list of what I need versus what I want

In my case, I downsized from a modified Cooler Master CM 690 Full -tower with 9 (not a typo) Noctua NFA12x25 fans and 3 NFA12x15 case fans.

In my list was:

--I needed space for the RTX 3070 card
--I needed room for at least 3 x 120mm intake and at least two 120 exhaust fans
--i needed good airflow with low noise.
--I wanted full-sized PSU capability
--I also wanted the smallest (reasonable) footprint
--good cabling solution
--easy to clean case filters

I didn't care about or want:

--RGB anything
--fans (I have plenty of Noctuas)
--drive space for more than 2 drives

I narrowed it down by my order of importance: Function/looks/price (my order of importance nowadays). It was MUCH easier than figuring out which 3070 card to get!!! That decision had to deal with the NewEgg lottery......

Mark
 
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bigboxes

Lifer
Apr 6, 2002
33,566
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I have a full tower right now and no longer use the space. So a smaller case would be nicer just for space savings, but I can stay on full size. I just don't have nearly as many HDD's in there now, so just need enough room for CPU cooler and the 3060Ti card to fit and that's it.

Still haven't bought something! I keep looking at the Corsair airflow 4000d and the Lian Li with the twin 200mm fans.

Very best,
Get at least an mid-tower ATX case. They're easier to build, easier to maintenance and easier to upgrade if you choose to do so later.
 
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