Optimal Placement of Case Fans and CPU Cooler Orientation

Leyawiin

Diamond Member
Nov 11, 2008
3,204
52
91
Hey guys. I have an older case - Cooler Master Stacker 830. I've been searching the internet for tips on the best direction for the case fans and CPU cooler, but get so much conflicting info. Being I trust you all more than anywhere else I thought I'd ask here. ;)

The case comes with only two fans standard - a 120mm front intake and a 120 rear exhaust. There is a top fan bracket and I currently have a 120mm set to exhaust there. The CPU cooler air flow is pointing out the rear exhaust. The power supply also has a rear exhaust fan (older PC Power and Cooling Silencer). I know every case is different (this one has metal mesh side and front panels to complicate things), but generally speaking do I have it set the best for maximum cooling of the CPU? Does the top fan set to exhaust fight with the rear case fan and power supply exhaust fan? Does fan orientation even matter with those huge mesh panels on the sides?

Thanks.
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
15,705
1,449
126
Hey guys. I have an older case - Cooler Master Stacker 830. I've been searching the internet for tips on the best direction for the case fans and CPU cooler, but get so much conflicting info. Being I trust you all more than anywhere else I thought I'd ask here. ;)

The case comes with only two fans standard - a 120mm front intake and a 120 rear exhaust. There is a top fan bracket and I currently have a 120mm set to exhaust there. The CPU cooler air flow is pointing out the rear exhaust. The power supply also has a rear exhaust fan (older PC Power and Cooling Silencer). I know every case is different (this one has metal mesh side and front panels to complicate things), but generally speaking do I have it set the best for maximum cooling of the CPU? Does the top fan set to exhaust fight with the rear case fan and power supply exhaust fan? Does fan orientation even matter with those huge mesh panels on the sides?

Thanks.

I have the black aluminum version of that case, acquired back in 2008. Thoughtlessly, it's on "loan" to my brother who lives with us for the PC in his room. He is on notice that I will get it back -- this way or that. He has no complaints with the in-house maintenance and troubleshooting.

Here's what I'd do with that case, and I've been thinking about it since I decided that Bro is going to swap back to me next time I upgrade his hardware.

The spring-loaded, hinged fan frame for the side-panel has better possibilities than just four 140mm fans (and -- really -- get rid of the filters). Knowing that my modification would likely be irreversible, I'd cut away parts of that frame to allow for fitting a 200mm LED fan (BitFenix, for instance). the frame and its hinge would still be functional. If I needed to, I'd reinforce the frame with some Lexan pieces and carefully-chosen Lexan glue, if cutting on it makes it less sturdy.

If I couldn't put two 140mm fans in the front panel, I'd get some good 120's -- maybe Cougar Vortex or Akasa Viper.

If I didn't use water-cooling (and I've been an air-cool fool for some time) I'd get either an NH-D14 or the new Noctua NH-D15 for the cooler. With the D15, I might keep at least one of the bundled fans. With the D14, I'd replace both Noctua fans with a single Akasa Viper 140 "R" and put it between the towers. Then, I'd do something really bizarre.

I'd stick a Gentle Typhoon AP-30 fan (120mm) on the exhaust port. This would be the PWM model, and I'd power it off the motherboard CPU or CPU-OPT fan-header. I'd get some SPIRE acoustic foam-rubber and some foam art-board and build a duct that fit snugly between the cooler fins and the fan, with about four layers of the acoustic foam wrapped around the outside, and one layer on the inside of the (basically) square duct.

And I would make sure my motherboard software has a fan-control program so I could create a "fan profile" for both the 200mm fan and the combination of the Akasa and the AP-30. If I used the D15 cooler, I'd STILL use the AP-30 in pretty much the same way, and keep the "stronger" of the D15 fans (highest airflow and largest size).

ONe more. IF I could install a 200mm fan in the top fan vent, I'd make it an intake fan. Even so, I could block off that vent with the metal plate that comes with the Stacker 830, or use another piece of black foam art-board -- if I chose not to use the vent.

THAT'S what I'd do with your Stacker 830!
 
Last edited: