You can fit a 120mm radiator at the front, rear, top or bottom, 140mm at the front, top and bottom, and you can also have a 240mm, 280mm or 360mm radiator at the front or top. Mount the accompanying pump on the CPU and ensure conductive elements are installed. Here’s a look at the configuration, though we obviously used a radiator (X42) instead of the air cooler: Results for the S340 were consistent with the RL06, which has the same conventional front intake, rear/top exhaust system. The CPU temperatures were a little higher when the radiator was mounted at the top during gaming and was around seven degrees higher under Boinc, but were still well within safe limits and the fans did not have to speed up to compensate. As always though, your mileage will vary as they say. The blower cooler video card (most stock cooler designs) saw little difference between a top and front mounted CPU radiator. How To: Install Windows 7 on your computer How To: Change your radiator fluid How To: Install the Developer Preview of Windows 8 on any computer How To: Install an FTP server on any Windows computer How To: Replace a thermostat on a Ford automobile with a 1.9L engine You will need to check … I will certainly take this into account for when I upgrade my system. Nice one Plat, especially like the graphs. Desktop Parts: CPU: Intel - i7-7700K Thick radiators and/or push-pull fans can cause fitment issues, so measure your clearance before you buy your CPU water cooler. With plenty of airflow and a host of water cooling options, this is one of the best PC cases for water cooling, even at the premium price it comes at. Remove PC’s factory fan assembly and heat sink protecting the CPU. Although, the fans did run slower which was a lot easier on the ears. So that just leaves 1 final question --ROOF FANS \/ \/ RADIATOR or ROOF RADIATOR FANS \/ \/ So sure locking the fan speeds at say 50% would give me the best and most accurate CPU temperatures for both mounting points but my aim was to do a more real-world test. Need to mount your reservoir to your case, radiator, fans or even externally on a stand? Likewise, 240 and 360 radiators will usually mount if you have two or three adjacent 120mm vents. We sort of had to hack the solution together, seeing as our VRM heatsink and RAM wouldn’t allow a top-mounted radiator (X42) to clear. The two configurations tested are more directly comparable than they were in the RL06, since the direction of airflow did not significantly change. As always though, results may vary depending on your setup. Water cooling This does not mean that the difference is significant, it just means that one number is lower. My aim was to find which way gave the best overall results, sure the front mount gave better CPU temps but at both locations the tempritures were both very acceptable and the fans didnt have to speed up much at all to compensate, but with the top mount the GPU fans had to work less to keep the card cool due to not having to also disipate the hot air coming from the CPU rad. This makes sense, since the front-mounted radiator is dumping heat onto the GPU. More case fans means higher total CFM and more air being moved through your computer. The liquid that passes through the CPU (or GPU) block transfers heat from the component to the radiator, which is usually installed on the rear of a PC case. But the radiator needs to be cooled by fans, and there is not much agreement about how to install the radiator and the fan (or fans) on the case. I was using a 280mm radiator in the front initially, I then swapped for the 240mm radiator to test my theory. If quiet computing is your thing and your GPU is air cooled, then the top of the case is the way to go. Personally, before I switched back to air, I actually had the rad mounted outside of the case entirely, and if you can manage that, then I'd recommend that as the best way, but it's a tricky thing to do. Just mount it where it fits best. All fans will be configured to 100% in our testing. If you simply have no choice, or you do choose to place your radiator on an exterior wall, be sure to insulate it well. For radiator testing, we simplify matters by eliminating the various air coolers designs – liquid coolers ultimately use parts that are easier to compare. This will install the Radiator programs and libraries in the standard places, and will create a basic Radiator configuration file in C:\Program Files\Radiator\radius.cfg and a sample users file in C:\Program Files\Radiator\users. This is pretty interesting and I didn't expect to see quite such a difference. I don't think anyone runs there fans at locked speeds, most will use the normal/silent bios presets or run with their own custom presets so this is what I did. We have other cases tested in our article on GamersNexus, but the foundation is this: It depends on the case and the cooler. Do: Mount the radiator so its airflow is not impeded by other devices in the machine. The differences are big enough however, that I would recommend mounting the radiator at the top of your case, exhausting air out. With the front mounted radiator blowing out, the reviewer doesn't indicate where or which way the two NZXT fans are blowing, in or out. This is the system with a front mounted radiator: (It's a little hard to see, but there is a radiator behind the two front fans). Yea that will definitely give you the best cooling. This article was written by Steve Burke & Patrick Lathan from GamersNexus. A note on charts: two configurations are compared in each chart, and the lower temperature between the two is highlighted green for each component. NZXT Kraken Guide: How to Optimize for Silence and Performance. Shorter cases are becoming more popular now since we ditched the optical drive though :). This was not an article I was ever planning to do. Interesting to know. This held true except for the top rear configuration under load, where dT was not only a degree lower than the front upper configuration, but also lower than the same test with the pump at full speed. The second test I tried to load up the CPU and ran Boinc on all cores in order to load the CPU a little more. In the S340, results were consistent between load and idle testing. This was not a comparative test between the cases; comparisons and opinions on the cases can be seen in the individual reviews we’ve published at GamersNexus. Heat from the VRM and GPU make their way to the radiator. The commonly done configuration of having the radiator exhaust from the top doesn't bode too well for radiator cooling (but certainly helps GPU cooling a bit). Just be mindful of the noise levels as fans can generate quite a buzz. For some of the other cases we tested, we generally found that front-mounted radiators always raise GPU temperatures as the CPU heats up. With a longer/deeper case there may not be as much of a difference. Top, front, or rear? For example, some mid-tower like Corsair 570x allows you to mount 2×120 or 2×140 radiators on the top. I wish I had a decibel meter but instead, you'll have to take my word for it. The radiators are designed to fit into a standard fan mount (usually 120mm) on most PC cases. If multiple options are present, and if “best” cooling is desired, consider front-mounted for the best CPU cooling or top/rear for the best overall balanced cooling. Talk about versatility. This question gets asked every year, it seems, and is worth a revisit: Where in the case should I put my liquid cooler? This includes measuring how much a front radiator might reduce CPU temperatures at risk of raising GPU temperatures, or how a top-mount might do the opposite. With the radiator up top, you've got 3 fans exhausting out of the case plus the GPU exhausting air as well. CPU temperatures rise a little bit if the cooler is rear-mounted, but there are a few important things to note here: One, CPUs are way more tolerant of temperature fluctuations than GPUs, and also have significantly higher thermal ceilings; two, GPUs won’t dump heat straight into the CPU cooler (generally speaking), so the impact of the CPU temperature on the GPU is more profound than the inverse. To properly air cool your computer, you need have enough case fans to push or pull air into and out of the case. But if you have a thick radiator or high-profile RAMs, things become pretty annoying. 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