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how effective is this airflow design? Answered

I am working on a very small build pc, and i was thinking that the best way to reduce overall height would be to design a cover piece that directs the airflow from the intake fanover the CPU and northbridge heatsinks and out the back of the unit via an exhaust fan. this method was chosen because the fan cannot be on top of the cpu heatsink because the unit would be too bulky if it was. I have attached a crude image of the planned cover and the layout of the board's heatsinks, and i would like to know if this is a effective method for cooling, in such a small form factor. if it isn't, what is?

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user
Re-designBest Answer (author)2011-02-02

I think you'll find in fact that you flow is not that direct. It probably will swing wider than that. As long as your heat sink does not require direct cooling from a mounted fan then this should be adequate. I suggest you download and run a cpu monitoring program when you test the cooling.

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zack247 (author)Re-design2011-02-02

im currently monitoring it from the bios, the heat sink is a passive cooling heatsink from another computer.

what would be a good material to make the cover from? plexiglass?

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Re-design (author)zack2472011-02-02

Yep, that way you can see it with the case closed.

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user
zack247 (author)Re-design2011-02-02

alright, now to find some cheap plexiglass.

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frollard (author)2011-02-02

Good stuff. If it's a passive cooler, don't expect amazing things out of it for gaming or number crunching - they're not that awesome for high watt dispersion.

As for 'watching the temperature in bios' - it's not under load and the cpu is likely clocked way down at that point. Do as design says and get a monitor program.


My cpu fan mounts to the SIDE of the cooler, but the cooler also has many heat pipes and is 100mm tall off the motherboard. SIde airflow is not AS efficient but still quite efficient.

Also be sure your video card and power supply (if applicable) is getting sufficient airflow/exhausting since you're taking most airflow directly out the top exhaust.

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zack247 (author)frollard2011-02-03

the video card is getting a fan mounted right on the top of its heatsink (the "top would be the top if it were laying flat on a table) that will blow heat out of a vent that will be put in the top of the shell.
This is the same project i was talking about with you before, so the PSU will be specially designed in this setup. (by that i mean it will be re-shelled in a more compact, but equally as efficient case)

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orksecurity (author)2011-02-03

Note that what laptops do is use a "heat pipe" to help draw heat away from these chips and couple it more effectively to the airflow -- which is about the only way to get good cooling in that small a space.

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