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Fan Notebook

November 13th, 2009

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I'm building a custom case for my computer - how can I adequately cool it?

I'm building a small form-factor PC with a custom case, and the computer components are very close to each other (such as the laptop hard drive and the heatsinks). I have two 40 mm fans, and I am unsure how to place them for maximum effect.

Would it be better to have one fan pulling air in and another on the other side pushing it out, or should I have both fans pushing the air out one side and vents allowing air in the other side? Which would cool best and why?

Thank you in advance for your help.

If you are going to build your own CPU case you need to pay attention to proper airflow. Front to back and bottom to top.

Basic PC cooling config:
1. Power supply fan (internal). Which if placed on top rear of unit could draw some air up and out of unit.
2. CPU fan. On some units like Dell they have a custom enclose to draw all CPU heat out the back instead of all around where it has to be removed using the case fan. Notebooks / Laptops use combination heat sink and custom fan enclosures to cool the CPU and draw heat from the rest of the laptop.
3. Case fan. Draw heat out the back of the unit
4. Ventilation holes. Strategically placed to ensure air flow. There are many holes on the front Chassis of a PC for that reason. There also may be ventilation holes on the bottom side for airflow to expansion cards.
5. You can also maximize ventilation further by using round cables. Such as round SATA cables.

Generally intake is done passively. This also reduces noise this way. If you decide for a more open cage style chassis like the Antec 900 airflow issues are reduced and you are just trying to blow away the heat than intake fans are probably better but the problem with this design is dust and little bit more noise.

40mm is small I would make them both exhaust fans.

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