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Question Masterbox Lite 5 and airflow - choosing between air or liquid cooling.

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Nume

Junior Member
Apr 18, 2020
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Hello all. I've relied on Anandtech's Forums for quite a while and finally decided to make an account since I need to clear something up.

A few months ago, I built my second PC (specs at bottom of the post) and due to some budget and availability restraints, I had to settle for the Masterbox Lite 5, a case now infamous for having poor airflow. I did not have any problems during winter but, unfortunately, my build can get quite toasty and I am growing scared of summer - I live in a small valley and temperatures often reach close to 50ºC.
I've run some tests - using games, not dedicated tools like Prime95, since I'm aiming for a real use situation here - with and without the front panel, and the difference is absurd:

With front panel:
screenshot.7.png
Without front panel:
screenshot.8.png

I forgot to screecap the GPU figures, but with the front panel on, I've seen it reach 76ºC peak and without it, it didn't once go past 65ºC. With all said and done, I've decided I need to do some modifications to my current setup.

First in order; getting rid of the front panel. I plan to put the fans on the inside of the case (there's plenty of space) and attaching some kind of mesh or dust filter to replace the clear front panel. I do realize dust filters will hamper the cooling performance a bit, but it still seems viable.
Second; replacing the god awful stock cooler. I've had a long story with this piece already, but that's not relevant here. I cannot for the life of me figure out what's the best solution. I am torn between getting a small NZXT Kraken M22 AIO or any decent air cooler (Hyper 212 Evo/Noctua NH12US which I can grab for 15 bucks extra). The problem choosing between air or water cooling mostly comes down to the impact (if any) it has on the overall system temps, because I know it will drop the CPU temps by a lot. I'm not very experienced with PC building or hardware in general, but I assume an air cooler could potentially help cooling down the rest of the system as well, since it forces more air in and out of the case. On the other hand, having all the CPU heat expelled through the back with a water cooler could potentially reduce "dead-zones" and be overall better. Correct me if I'm wrong here, haha.

Anyways, here's my system's relevant(?) specs for the issue at hand, and I'm sorry for writing up such a large post. English isn't my main language and it's often hard for me to explain what I want/need. Thanks in advance.
  • CPU: Ryzen 2600 (stock clocks)
  • RAM: G.Skill Aegis 3000Mhz (16GB; dual channel setup)
  • GPU: Pulse Vega 56 (Undervolted and overclocked)
  • Motherboard: MSI B450 Tomahawk
  • PSU: Seasonic Focus+ Gold (750W)
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
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Honestly, I think that you're overthinking things. Modern AMD CPUs can go up to 85C and still operate OK, and modern AMD GPUs can hit 90C or maybe a little higher.

Granted, neither of those temps is really good for longevity, but I hit them from time to time. (My PCs are in desk cubbies, though.)

I think that changing out your CPU cooler, would do less than potentially under-volting the Vega 56. You'll have to talk to an "expert" on that, I am not. (Never owned a Vega GPU.) But there is a lot of potential to cut down the power usage and the heat, as traditionally, AMD tends to over-volt their GPUs, to allow for "looser binning".
 

Stuka87

Diamond Member
Dec 10, 2010
5,324
1,095
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Cases like that with the small air openings around the glass panel are infamous for having poor case cooling. With an exception being a case like the Lian li 011 series, which I have. It pulls air in from the side, rather than around the glass. And that case is especially bad because the air vents are TINY.

Your temps from what you show are fine, but looks like a very low load temp. You would not want to use an M22 on that CPU though. You would really want a dual 120. But with that case, I would suggest a tower air cooler.

One thing you could try if the case allows it, is set the front panel up on standoffs, so that there is a 1/4" or so gap between it and the case to let the fans pull air through.
 

UsandThem

Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
14,174
4,729
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It looks like they posted, and then self-nuked their account.

Locking to save people from wasting their time by providing help.

AT Mod Usandthem
 
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