Geek: Adding 2 fans to my desktop
Saturday, March 09, 2013

Yeah, the bottom is messy, I can't help it

I realized that I perspire quite a bit when I'm doing things related to my desktop. I don't know why, maybe I'm nervous I'll break something, or I'm just too anxious to get it finished and done. (or maybe I'm tired)

This is why I didn't take a lot of glamour shots. I took some shots, but nothing note-worthy.
First things first, what did I get?

Noctua NF-B9 PWM Fan ($30)


CoolerMaster Blade Master XtraFlo Slim 120 ($18)
Purely for pushing air into the case


Powered PWM 1-4 splitter cable ($12)

Reasons for getting a premium Noctua fan? Because sadly, I'm running a rather small cooler that uses a 92mm fan, there wasn't anything in the shop that is optimized for pressure at that size except this, so... yeah.

I almost forgot to write about this, but I'm using 2 fans for my CPU heatsink (Cooler Master Hyper TX3 EVO). This is known as a push-pull configuration. So 1 fan is sucking in air, and the other is pushing the air out. Do I really have to go this far? Not particularly, but a lower operating temperature increases the longevity of your electronic components. More about this later.

I had to shift the locations of the fans around due to constraints, but here's how the front fan looks like.


I think and hope that my case is neater than those normal computers. I tried to keep the cables as tidy as I could, for the sake of good airflow. However, as this is counted as a budget case, there wasn't a lot of room for me to do cable routing.

Here's how it looks like at the back.

It was really hard closing the case like this.


A peek inside the case! 
After putting everything back together, here's how it looks like from the showcase side.


Taking a closer look...

How are the temperatures like? I ran a program called Prime95 that will stress test your CPU. It does prime number calculations, which will put your CPU at 100% load. (using Core i7 3770)

First run
Idle temperatures: 39°C
Load temperatures: 69°C

I'm getting stable temperatures of 69 degrees celsius. Which is an amazing improvement of over 10°C. I used to get numbers of the low 80s. This has been going great so far, but there was a problem.

The sound. The sound of the fan is distinctively clear. I am not a huge fan of a desktop that makes noise. So I opened up the case once again, added some pads to dampen the sound, added a cable that reduces the fan speed. It became audibly better. I could still hear it, but it's a slight annoyance I'm willing to put up with. Sadly, I do not have a sound meter, but I'm pretty sure it's around 36dBm and above. Definitely going to do something about it in the future.

After tweaking here and there, maybe I somehow managed to get the correct amount of airflow in and out of the case, the numbers looked even better.

Second run
Idle temperatures: 39°C
Load temperatures: 62°C

A 7°C difference is huge. Especially in an air-cooled solution. Considering that the room temperature was around 32°C, the delta for idle temp is only 7°C, and the load temp delta was only 30°C. Not the most amazing cooling I have seen, but it's good enough for me to live with, considering that the delta for load temp was around 50°C before the upgrade.

I am very pleased with the results. With summer fast approaching, and ridiculously warm weather these days, this is just a type of precaution.


p.s. I'm a little anal about the noise. I should definitely get it checked out ASAP.

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