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"Wind-Tunnel" CPU cooling concept, opinions?

Post Date: 2010-08-04

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  Quote ablahblah Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Topic: "Wind-Tunnel" CPU cooling concept, opinions?
    Posted: 04 Aug 2010 at 3:23pm
hey, just wondering if I can get some opinions on an air cooling concept I'm gonna try sometime later this year. I call it the "Wind Tunnel" because, well, that's the best way I can describe it.

I'm using a Raven 1 case, which, like any Raven series case, bases its cooling partially on vertical air ascension caused by the natural phenomenon of rising heat. Later on, Silverstone realized that it even so, it still really wasn't putting out any sort of force through the air coming out, it just went around things and stopped with very little resistance. So they came out with a line of fans called "Air Penetrators", which uses a fan blade sort of grill that goes in a direction opposite of the direction the fan rotates. This creates a peculiar effect where the exiting air, confronted with the barrier at its higher exit speed from the fan, starts to spin in the direction of the grill, producing a cyclone of air that's much more forceful than standard fans. I think it might hold some potential in that there's much more concentrated flow of air, so that there's more possible resistance in confined spaces like stack heatsinks, and that the fact that the air is moving in such a uniform cyclone might mean that the air is a lot more forceful and more resistant to obstructions (by that, I mean that if it hits an obstruction, it's more likely to flow around it and not just stop)

Demo:


So pretty much what I'm planning on doing is to take a couple of these fans and lining them up in series, so that each of them is blasting air and feeding it to each other. Specifically, I'm going to apply it to my Venomous X CPU cooler. There's already a high suction CM fan running at 7v mounted on the side panel adjacent to my cooler, and I'll be installing AP121 120mm Air Penetrator fans under the cooler, one on top of it, one at the top 120mm case exhaust. Therefore, airflow should technically work like this :

1. Cool outside air is sucked in by a standard case fan mounted on the side window.

2. Air Penetrator fan underneath the Venomous X (adjacent to the side panel standard fan) takes in the cool air and forces it through the Venomous X. (Possible hinderance here because a vertical stack might interfere with the cyclone effect of the Air Penetrator, but I think the sheer amount of high resistance airflow its outputting will keep the air blasting through it)

3. Airflow feeds Air Penetrator at the top of the cooler, which feeds it to the top mounted Air Penetrator.

4. Top mounted Air Penetrator ejects air forcefully to the top of the chassis. (Another possible hinderance is that the top of the chassis blocks airflow slightly, but I think the higher resistance and air concentration would keep it going to just make it completely through)

you think I might be able to hit any temperature improvements with this? just looking for opinions. I'll be sure to make a test first with a complete standard fan configuration before I do an AP121 run-through.

EDIT : last thing, I know in the demo that you can see that once the airflow hits a critical range, it starts to dissipate and seem to lose pressure. But in my case, I think the proximity of the fans to each other and the proximity of the top exhaust fan to the top of the case is within the effective higher pressure range of the fans.

EDIT 2 : Also, in the video, they demo the effectiveness of what I think is the CM fan I'm using too. it's the glossy framed one right before they show the Air Penetrator. Mine's running undervolted at 7v though, and it's a 2000rpm model, so that's...just shy of 1200rpm.


Edited by ablahblah - 04 Aug 2010 at 3:38pm
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  Quote !ender_ Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 04 Aug 2010 at 4:01pm
the main problem with the idea is how quickly air cooling plateaus, even if you were able to gain from this set up, it would not be relative to the amount you would spend on it
in theory, it seems like it will work pretty well... but even "pretty well" could end up being 1-3C difference, and based on what youve said about that fan, i dont expect that it will be dirt cheap
 
i think there are a few drawbacks to the idea, 1 being that you are still pulling air from what is basically sitting in the case, this is a problem i think a lot of people dont realise can be a really big temp problem, i use a method i also call windtunneling which lines up a front 3x5.25 intake with the cpu cooler which lines up with the rear exhaust, that way, youre blowing fresh air into the case and feeding it directly into the face of the cpu cooler intake, then through the heatsink and straight out the back, basically the same principle, minus it being verticle
 
so, cool? sure, cost effective? not in my opinion
id be shockeddddd if you could get a 4c load difference with these fans over just using a nocuta 12 and a decent exhaust fan
 
another issue, granted i have not read anything about these fans, is that they look like they are designed as case fans meant to direct air in a more straight direction.. its possible this concept could be a disadvantage when hooking them up to a cpu heatsink, as the design of the heatsink will be based on standard fan airflow
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  Quote ablahblah Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 04 Aug 2010 at 4:08pm
fans are pulling in cool air directly from outside actually, I mentioned there's a side panel intake fan (standard fan, the one I have is actually demo'd in the video right before they demo the Air Penetrator) directly adjacent to the Venomous X cooler. so it's the only fan who's airflow is not in series, but the entire purpose is to just loosely disperse cool air for the first tunnel fan to suck in and start off with.

for hooking them up to a CPU heatsink, I think it'll still be able to show promise by the fact that it's able to direct a much larger volume of air in one current. If I can adjust the holster for the fan so it hangs just maybe a millimeter off the cooler, I'm hoping it should be enough room to allow the air to spin up just enough to reach an optimal focus.


Edited by ablahblah - 04 Aug 2010 at 4:09pm
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  Quote !ender_ Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 04 Aug 2010 at 4:31pm
right but dont overlook the logistics, think about trying to feed a fan with a hairdrier, if you were above it point down towards the top of the fan, it will not be able to grab as much air as it could if you were facing the fan directly
expecially with the fans being such high volume, id almost say that youre better off making some sort of tube that goes from the front of the cpu heatsink intake fan to the side window of the case, at least that way the fan would be pulling in fresh cooler air instead of some fresh air and some ambient case air
 
id consider setting the intake ran further off the heatsink with a sleeve, that way it gets a chance to get itself in order before blowing through the sink, then id set the cpu heatsink exhaust fan off with an open sleeve, only for the distance, this way, any air that would be pushed out of the sides of the heatsink and bleed away into the case has a better chance of being picked up by the exhaust fan and thrown towards the case exhaust fan, this would also help keep your ambient case temps down
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  Quote ablahblah Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 04 Aug 2010 at 4:47pm
still, you did see how crappy that CM fan's air dispersion was, right? that's the fan I'm using as side intake, not the high volume fan. it's undervolted as well, maybe around 1200rpm, and even going through a dust filter (which also straightens the airflow to some extent). so any air that comes out of it is coming at probably a  low velocity, and is pretty much just floating out of it, not really at any noticeable pressure. entire point of that fan again is to just present the fan with a bubble of cooler air, nothing at high pressure, heh.

but anyways, can you recommend any sleeves? I've been looking everywhere for a way to put some clear distance between some fans, preferably if it can be found on amazon.com (I try to keep my vendors to a minimum) I agree that it'd be better to hang the fan off the heatsink just a bit. in the demo, it looks as if there's  about a 20mm zone right above the fan exit where the airflow really revs up and hits its maximum density and spin, so that's a sweet spot for me.

for the ambient case temps, I'm actually installing another air penetrator on the left side of the case...well, there's a 120mm version of the Air Penetrator, and a 180mm version of it. Raven's are the only cases which use 180mms as a standard, and they're mounted at the bottom of the cases blowing straight up into 3 zones, the HDD, CPU, and expansion area. In the Raven 1, being Gen 1 of the Raven series, there's only two: one that blows up at the expansion card slot area, but just misses the CPU area, and another for the hdds. but at least any air going to the left  that might mess with the GPUs has a clear exit path already. as for the right, well, it's just a CD drives, not much to worry about. there's probably a reason why there's never any exhaust at the CD drive section, right?


Edited by ablahblah - 04 Aug 2010 at 4:52pm
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  Quote !ender_ Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 04 Aug 2010 at 8:16pm
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  Quote ablahblah Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 04 Aug 2010 at 8:22pm
hm, maybe it'll just be easier for me to find the nearest computer shop and ask them for two identical fans to hollow out.

Alternatively, I can use some short (releaseable) zip ties and just basically suspend the fan from the venomous x a bit. you think that might work? the top fan I'm not so worried about, since any side blowoff from the cooler is taken care of by the dual 180mms in the case anyways.


Edited by ablahblah - 04 Aug 2010 at 8:23pm
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  Quote !ender_ Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 04 Aug 2010 at 10:48pm
yea hollowing out cheap ones is a good idea if you dont want to buy, its the same thing really, i like the suspension idea, just worried that the power of the fan coud cause it to shake around a little, wouldnt be the end of the world, just makes me nervous to have free moving things like that... static and all
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  Quote ablahblah Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 04 Aug 2010 at 10:56pm
for strapping, I'd passthrough zip ties through the fan holes and just tie them on tightly to the wire support on the Venomous X. shouldnt be too much shaking, especially since any shaking should just be distributed evenly and thus counteracted by the other end of the ties. whatever, that'll have to wait and see.

for hollowing out, I never understood it exactly. do you just cut off the supports for the fan itself? or do you also smooth it out, anything fancy?
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  Quote !ender_ Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 04 Aug 2010 at 11:18pm
if you want to get serious about if you could sand down whats left of the fan braket after you cut everything out, might as well go all the way with it, the inside should already be smooth besides that part
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  Quote teaiewold Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 04 Aug 2010 at 11:59pm
i like the way you think blah. i'm probably going to be doing something similiar to this when i have DS build my pc. i'm going with the assassin case and i'm going to put the AP's on the middle and back fan positions. that way the middle one is blowing straight up onto the gpu's and the back one will blow straight up on the cpu which will have fans blowing in a northern direction already. i'm thinking this will be a pretty decent way to keep the airflow all moving north and give it some really good positive pressure throughout.
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  Quote ablahblah Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 06 Aug 2010 at 10:13am
if you mean the larger 180mm fans, then it's sort of a different concept in itself. the large 180mm fans are located at the bottom of the case, and thus their optimal pressure/density range is farther from the actual targets of interest (CPU cooler, GPUs, NB, SB). it's more for feeding air to coolers rather than cooling them directly, since they'll already be far from their optimal effect area when they hit. the 120mms fans specifically can be put to a more direct use when you put them next to a cooler, since you can locate them just at the peak of their effectiveness.
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  Quote teaiewold Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 06 Aug 2010 at 10:22am
are you responding to me blah??
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  Quote ablahblah Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 06 Aug 2010 at 10:24am
yeeeeeeeesh :D
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  Quote teaiewold Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 06 Aug 2010 at 10:33am
dude...you know there's not a lot of distance from the top to the bottom of that case. once you put two 480's in there they will be right above the bottom middle fan. and the CPU cooler will be right in line with the push from the bottom back fan so then you have the 2 cpu cooling fans blowing north and carrying the fresh air from the AP fan with them.
 
 
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  Quote !ender_ Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 06 Aug 2010 at 10:49am
yea plus the more cool intake you have the lower your ambient case temps will be
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  Quote ablahblah Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 06 Aug 2010 at 12:48pm
for full-length video cards, it'll help feed air, yes. the only thing is, the fan can't aid the cooler itself with cooling, it can only feed air to the fan. the CPU fan it's different because you can mount a AP right on it, AP121's namely. the AP181's aren't close enough to actually start contributing to forcing air through the heatsink. blegh, just look at the demo at 1:48, there's about 1 and a half fan frame's worth of distance where the air really gets turbulent, then it starts to dissipate. it's that area that you can really take advantage of by mounting an air penetrator directly next to the cooler, you can have the heatsink just at the tip of that sweet spot and have all that main force forcing itself through the heatsink. the AP181's can try to do that, but it's just not within the main range of the cyclone effect, so it'll just help a lot with feeding air and lowering ambient temps.

also...ha, I just remembered I still have a couple of older fans. I think I'll just hollow out that old noisy Zalman pair, put it to some good use for once Big%20Smile


Edited by ablahblah - 06 Aug 2010 at 1:00pm
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  Quote Mr. Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 06 Aug 2010 at 1:07pm
well i pretty much watched the video and didnt read this cause i started to and got lost n was pretty boring but one question. For the FT02 with a noctua D14, what fans should i change to the air penetrator's for best cooling?
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  Quote ablahblah Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 06 Aug 2010 at 1:50pm
not really trying to SELL the air penetrators here, lol.

the only fan I might consider personally is just the 180mm fan under it. doesn't really matter, it's your own choice. the stock fans do fine, it's just the range of them isn't that good. the main purpose of the larger 180mm AP's is to just feed air to components. honestly, the noctua's already do a pretty good job, don't really need to change em. the ven x I have didn't come with fans, so I'm taking the liberty to try and optimize them as much as possible, heh.
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  Quote Mr. Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 06 Aug 2010 at 2:01pm
Oh so pretty much changing the bottom3 fans is good? do i needa change the top exaust or just keep that one stock. i know your not trying to sell em but they do seem pretty good
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  Quote ablahblah Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 06 Aug 2010 at 2:52pm
change only the bottom one that's aimed at your CPU. the proximity of the GPUs and the HDDs to their own fans makes changing those fans irrelevant.

only other two that you can change that could possibly make a difference is swapping the topmost noctua fan to an AP because it might help the end airflow reach the top exhaust fan, but that's your choice.


Edited by ablahblah - 06 Aug 2010 at 2:54pm
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  Quote Mr. Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 06 Aug 2010 at 3:03pm
but wouldnt changing just one of the fans make it like uneven? like the middle one or w/e one will be faster than the other two or does it not matter. i was thinking of just changing all the bottom ones to it
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  Quote ablahblah Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 06 Aug 2010 at 3:11pm
no it wouldn't make anything uneven.
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  Quote Mr. Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 06 Aug 2010 at 3:18pm
mm ic so ill just change the one that blows on cpu n the noctua fan then. saves me a few bux lol but if i do change all 3 bottom fans wil that make the ambient temp a little lower? jw


Edited by Mr. - 06 Aug 2010 at 3:19pm
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  Quote ablahblah Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 06 Aug 2010 at 3:28pm
not really. the GPUs and the CPU are really the only one's that produce the heat. RAM does a bit, but the fan under the CPU has that covered already. GPUs are already exhausting a lot of heat through the top anyways, it doesn't hang around much. sure, they radiate heat, but in your case, it doesn't really make sense to swap out the fan because of that.

in MY case, it might make sense since the 180mm fan is way way below the GPUs. it's the first gen Raven, so obviously there are some bugs that got worked out in gen 2 (RV02), gen 3 (FT02), and gen 4 (RV03). \

still, I'd consider leaving that noctua fan be though. it's optimized for one of noctua's really good coolers, dunno if messing with that design is a good thing or bad thing.


Edited by ablahblah - 06 Aug 2010 at 3:30pm
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  Quote Mr. Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 06 Aug 2010 at 4:10pm
hmm alright. changing the exaust fan doesnt make sense right, since itll make the pressure lower inside
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  Quote ablahblah Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 06 Aug 2010 at 4:17pm
changing the exhaust fan to an AP will make a difference only in the fact that it'll allow the exhaust air to get through the top grill more easily. your choice.
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  Quote Mr. Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 06 Aug 2010 at 4:28pm
ehh lol this is so much work for what a like 1-3 C difference >.>
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  Quote ablahblah Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 08 Aug 2010 at 6:45pm
your system is just fine, lol. like i said, my case has a few flaws since it's the first gen Raven. the graphics cards aren't close enough to comfortably take in air from the 180mm fans, and the cpu area has no direct stock fan feed. even now it doesn't have one that conveniently aims up lol. so I'm trying to fine tune it, and optimize it for air cooling in the meantime.
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