Question Why are coolers never mounted on the sidepanel - blowing directly at the motherboard?

Stuka87

Diamond Member
Dec 10, 2010
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Even for solid panels, the case would either have to be much wider, or the fans would have to be externally mounted in order to clear CPU coolers. Plus, but air coolers have horizontally mounted fans. Having fans blowing across them from a different direction would be suboptimal.

The other thing is that just in general, the fans won't actually do much. Yes, there are components on the motherboard that generate heat. But its nothing that rear or top mounted fans can't handle.
 

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
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My wife's PC has a side fan. There is a teeny bit of clearance between the CPU HSF, the side fan and the graphics card :)

I'm quite a fan of how it turned out, really.
 

In2Photos

Senior member
Mar 21, 2007
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With side fans you have to unplug them when removing the side panel and remember to plug them back in when you reinstall it. An extension cable makes that part much easier but it was still a pain. You also run the risk of pinching the wires.

Something else to consider is that blowing air toward the motherboard doesn't really move the hot air away from the board, but rather toward it. The CPU heatsink also has fins that cool when air is passed over the fins. Blowing air at the top of the heatsink doesn't move air across it.
 

dlerious

Golden Member
Mar 4, 2004
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Even for solid panels, the case would either have to be much wider, or the fans would have to be externally mounted in order to clear CPU coolers. Plus, but air coolers have horizontally mounted fans. Having fans blowing across them from a different direction would be suboptimal.
I've got air coolers with both horizontal and vertical fans. Some SFF cases may not have enough room for a tower cooler and you need to use a downdraft cooler like one of the Noctua NH-L9 or NH-L12 coolers.
 

In2Photos

Senior member
Mar 21, 2007
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I've got air coolers with both horizontal and vertical fans. Some SFF cases may not have enough room for a tower cooler and you need to use a downdraft cooler like one of the Noctua NH-L9 or NH-L12 coolers.
Yes, but the fins on the heatsink for these coolers are still perpendicular to the fan.
 

GrumpyMan

Diamond Member
May 14, 2001
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I still have a HAF932. Several of the CM fans have died (including the one on the door side panel) and been removed, but it's still a great case.
Since my 6900 XT has the zero fan option, I can still keep the card somewhat cooler when just browsing the web and daily general use, which I like. With AIO coolers these days it's kind of a moot point I guess. I can't find 230mm fans anymore from CoolerMaster but BitFenix has some 230mm rgb ones that fit the side but not the front, they are pretty thick. They aren't always in stock though.

230mm
 
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BoomerD

No Lifer
Feb 26, 2006
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Since my 6900 XT has the zero fan option, I can still keep the card somewhat cooler when just browsing the web and daily general use, which I like. With AIO coolers these days it's kind of a moot point I guess. I can't find 230mm fans anymore from CoolerMaster but BitFenix has some 230mm rgb ones that fit the side but not the front, they are pretty thick. They aren't always in stock though.

230mm
Yeah, CM stopped making the 230's, but their 200mm fans are SUPPOSED to fit. (I haven't tried yet)
 
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Fallen Kell

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
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They did, just like in a case I have that I pointed out in the Lian Li thread, my PC-V2100b plus II:


You also need to recognize that the motherboard was also inverted, so where you see that top side fan, that was over where the PCIe cards would be, pulling the hot air directly in or out of the case from the graphics card (and you could adjust it left or right (and up or down slightly) so that it would be right where you really needed it). By the way, that is a 120mm fan in that pic, the case is an E-ATX full tower with room for 12x3.5" hard drives in the bottom section without any mods, and 7x5.25" bays in that top left section, as the scale is not easy to really see...
 
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Aikouka

Lifer
Nov 27, 2001
30,366
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With side fans you have to unplug them when removing the side panel and remember to plug them back in when you reinstall it. An extension cable makes that part much easier but it was still a pain. You also run the risk of pinching the wires.
I used extensions with my Fractal Design Define R5, and it worked pretty well. I found it helpful enough if you had a header at the bottom of your motherboard to use as the cable would sort of fall down between the "floor" and the GPU.

They did, just like in a case I have that I pointed out in the Lian Li thread, my PC-V2100b plus II:


You also need to recognize that the motherboard was also inverted, so where you see that top side fan, that was over where the PCIe cards would be, pulling the hot air directly in or out of the case from the graphics card (and you could adjust it left or right (and up or down slightly) so that it would be right where you really needed it). By the way, that is a 120mm fan in that pic, the case is an E-ATX full tower with room for 12x3.5" hard drives in the bottom section without any mods, and 7x5.25" bays in that top left section, as the scale is not easy to really see...
I've got the... I believe it's the V1000, V1100 and V2000 lying around. Not really much to do with them, but I guess the thick side panel could be used as a weapon during a home invasion? :p
 

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