penghutw

Trash Compacter
Original poster
Nov 23, 2018
42
24
Hi I'm coming from an matx build.

I never liked ATX towers but after using matx for a bit, I find it is still too large for my tastes.

In addition, I find as I use my rig more and more I care less and less about the internal aesthetics (lighting mostly) and care more for small, portable and functional.

Problem is I know moving to an sff build, airflow and temps are going to be a potential issue.

I have no expert knowledge of ariflow, thermodynamics nor sff cases.

I did some basic reading and searching on the r/sffpc sub reddit and some general web guides and other builds.

This is what I came up with for the most part (it is missing a GPU for now). The zero cost parts are the ones I own and plan to port over. I eventually plan to upgrade the CPU to a 2700x or whatever flagship Zen2 CPU comes out next year hence my strange choice for such a beefy cooler for a low TDP chip.

I was told by some redditors I only need 1 exhaust and 1 intake.

1. Is 1 intake and 1 exhaust enough?

2. If so should the rear be intaking and exhausting to the front with the CPU cooler oriented that way and have the top fan exhausting ?

3. or should I try to push the air down and let it exhaust out the rear?

4. Or do I need/should I put in a second top fan?

5. The GPU I plan on putting in there is going to be likely a Vega 56/64 with the open air cooler style (2 or 3 fan).

6. Am I missing anything obvious?


PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD - Ryzen 5 2600 3.4 GHz 6-Core Processor ($0.00)
CPU Cooler: be quiet! - Dark Rock Pro 4 50.5 CFM CPU Cooler ($84.49 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: Asus - ROG Strix B450-I Gaming Mini ITX AM4 Motherboard ($149.33 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair - Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3000 Memory ($0.00)
Storage: Silicon Power - 256 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($0.00)
Storage: Silicon Power - A55 512 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($0.00)
Case: Fractal Design - Core 500 Mini ITX Desktop Case ($67.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair - TXM Gold 650 W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($69.99 @ Amazon)
Case Fan: Noctua - NF-A15 PWM 140mm Fan ($21.41 @ OutletPC)
Total: $393.20
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-11-23 09:43 EST-0500
 

penghutw

Trash Compacter
Original poster
Nov 23, 2018
42
24
Context was looking at a lot of existing pcpp builds and I found there were essentially 3 types of builds for the case I was looking at.

1. 1 120mm AIO rear intake, 1 140mm fan top exhaust (AIO)

2. 1 140mm fan rear exhaust, 1 240mm/280mm AIO top intake (AIO)

3. 1 140mm fan rear exhaust, 1/2x 120mm/140mm fan top intake/exhaust, with an air tower cooler (All Air)

So I have 3 parts list to give you an idea about what I am thinking about:

All Air

[PCPartPicker part list](https://pcpartpicker.com/list/QmqYq4) / [Price breakdown by merchant](https://pcpartpicker.com/list/QmqYq4/by_merchant/)

Type|Item|Price
:----|:----|:----
**CPU** | [AMD - Ryzen 5 2600 3.4 GHz 6-Core Processor](https://pcpartpicker.com/product/jLF48d/amd-ryzen-5-2600-34ghz-6-core-processor-yd2600bbafbox) | $0.00
**CPU Cooler** | [be quiet! - Dark Rock Pro 4 50.5 CFM CPU Cooler](https://pcpartpicker.com/product/F3gzK8/be-quiet-dark-rock-pro-4-505-cfm-cpu-cooler-bk022) | $84.99 @ SuperBiiz
**Motherboard** | [Asus - ROG Strix B450-I Gaming Mini ITX AM4 Motherboard](https://pcpartpicker.com/product/kb...-gaming-mini-itx-am4-motherboard-strix-b450-i) | $149.52 @ B&H
**Memory** | [Corsair - Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3000 Memory](https://pcpartpicker.com/product/MYH48d/corsair-memory-cmk16gx4m2b3000c15) | $0.00
**Storage** | [Silicon Power - 256 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive](https://pcpartpicker.com/product/FLkj4D/silicon-power-256gb-25-solid-state-drive-su256gbss3a55s25ae) | $0.00
**Storage** | [Silicon Power - A55 512 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive](https://pcpartpicker.com/product/Ld...5-512gb-25-solid-state-drive-sp512gbss3a55s25) | $0.00
**Case** | [Fractal Design - Core 500 Mini ITX Desktop Case](https://pcpartpicker.com/product/LvnG3C/fractal-design-case-fdcacore500bk) | $67.98 @ Newegg
**Power Supply** | [EVGA - SuperNOVA G3 650 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply](https://pcpartpicker.com/product/y8...ed-fully-modular-atx-power-supply-220-g3-0650) | $65.98 @ Newegg Business
**Case Fan** | [Noctua - NF-A15 PWM 140mm Fan](https://pcpartpicker.com/product/znPfrH/noctua-case-fan-nfa15pwm) | $21.51 @ Newegg
| *Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts* |
| **Total** | **$389.98**
| Generated by [PCPartPicker](https://pcpartpicker.com) 2018-11-28 12:02 EST-0500 |


120mm AIO

[PCPartPicker part list](https://pcpartpicker.com/list/ZJmhxG) / [Price breakdown by merchant](https://pcpartpicker.com/list/ZJmhxG/by_merchant/)

Type|Item|Price
:----|:----|:----
**CPU** | [AMD - Ryzen 5 2600 3.4 GHz 6-Core Processor](https://pcpartpicker.com/product/jLF48d/amd-ryzen-5-2600-34ghz-6-core-processor-yd2600bbafbox) | $0.00
**CPU Cooler** | [Corsair - H80i v2 70.69 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler](https://pcpartpicker.com/product/9FgPxr/corsair-cpu-cooler-cw9060024ww) | $74.99 @ Newegg Business
**Motherboard** | [Asus - ROG Strix B450-I Gaming Mini ITX AM4 Motherboard](https://pcpartpicker.com/product/kb...-gaming-mini-itx-am4-motherboard-strix-b450-i) | $149.52 @ B&H
**Memory** | [Corsair - Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3000 Memory](https://pcpartpicker.com/product/MYH48d/corsair-memory-cmk16gx4m2b3000c15) | $0.00
**Storage** | [Silicon Power - 256 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive](https://pcpartpicker.com/product/FLkj4D/silicon-power-256gb-25-solid-state-drive-su256gbss3a55s25ae) | $0.00
**Storage** | [Silicon Power - A55 512 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive](https://pcpartpicker.com/product/Ld...5-512gb-25-solid-state-drive-sp512gbss3a55s25) | $0.00
**Case** | [Fractal Design - Core 500 Mini ITX Desktop Case](https://pcpartpicker.com/product/LvnG3C/fractal-design-case-fdcacore500bk) | $67.98 @ Newegg
**Power Supply** | [EVGA - SuperNOVA G3 650 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply](https://pcpartpicker.com/product/y8...ed-fully-modular-atx-power-supply-220-g3-0650) | $65.98 @ Newegg Business
| *Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts* |
| **Total** | **$358.47**
| Generated by [PCPartPicker](https://pcpartpicker.com) 2018-11-28 12:03 EST-0500 |

240/280mm AIO

[PCPartPicker part list](https://pcpartpicker.com/list/CDQ2fH) / [Price breakdown by merchant](https://pcpartpicker.com/list/CDQ2fH/by_merchant/)

Type|Item|Price
:----|:----|:----
**CPU** | [AMD - Ryzen 5 2600 3.4 GHz 6-Core Processor](https://pcpartpicker.com/product/jLF48d/amd-ryzen-5-2600-34ghz-6-core-processor-yd2600bbafbox) | $0.00
**CPU Cooler** | [Fractal Design - Celsius S24 87.6 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler](https://pcpartpicker.com/product/nf...6-cfm-liquid-cpu-cooler-fd-wcu-celsius-s24-bk) | $104.65 @ Newegg
**Motherboard** | [Asus - ROG Strix B450-I Gaming Mini ITX AM4 Motherboard](https://pcpartpicker.com/product/kb...-gaming-mini-itx-am4-motherboard-strix-b450-i) | $149.52 @ B&H
**Memory** | [Corsair - Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3000 Memory](https://pcpartpicker.com/product/MYH48d/corsair-memory-cmk16gx4m2b3000c15) | $0.00
**Storage** | [Silicon Power - 256 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive](https://pcpartpicker.com/product/FLkj4D/silicon-power-256gb-25-solid-state-drive-su256gbss3a55s25ae) | $0.00
**Storage** | [Silicon Power - A55 512 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive](https://pcpartpicker.com/product/Ld...5-512gb-25-solid-state-drive-sp512gbss3a55s25) | $0.00
**Case** | [Fractal Design - Core 500 Mini ITX Desktop Case](https://pcpartpicker.com/product/LvnG3C/fractal-design-case-fdcacore500bk) | $67.98 @ Newegg
**Power Supply** | [EVGA - SuperNOVA G3 650 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply](https://pcpartpicker.com/product/y8...ed-fully-modular-atx-power-supply-220-g3-0650) | $65.98 @ Newegg Business
| *Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts* |
| **Total** | **$388.13**
| Generated by [PCPartPicker](https://pcpartpicker.com) 2018-11-28 12:03 EST-0500 |

Other information:

1. The 2600 is a placeholder which will be replaceed with either 2700x or Zen2's flagship chip.

2. The GPU will likely be a triple fan Vega56/64 or replaced with whatever high end Navi that comes out in 2020

3. I plan on removing the front drive bays because I don't use HDDs

With all of that in mind:

1. Which do you guys think is the better option for optimal cooling since they are all relatively the same price?

Thanks guys.
 

Damascus

Master of Cramming
Feb 27, 2018
541
374
Posts merged. Folks, don't just repost stuff, bump the thread instead.
^THIS^

As for your question @penghutw, 1 I take and 1 exhaust is fine. That's not exactly a small case though, it's larger than some m-atx cases. This gives it some great thermal dissipation ability and with a drp4 you'll be totally fine
 

penghutw

Trash Compacter
Original poster
Nov 23, 2018
42
24
^THIS^

As for your question @penghutw, 1 I take and 1 exhaust is fine. That's not exactly a small case though, it's larger than some m-atx cases. This gives it some great thermal dissipation ability and with a drp4 you'll be totally fine


I'm coming from a Corsair 280x so the Fractal Core 500 is essentially half the footprint.

Can you comment on the lastest revision of PCPP parts list?
 

annasoh323

Master of Cramming
Apr 4, 2018
424
314
Welcome! My personal thoughts are that you'll be fine with whatever you choose. There are always tradeoffs and it depends on what your personal requirements are. Are you gunning for ultimate quiet and ultimate performance? Your case size will be bigger. I'd contend that within the community here the Core 500 is considered a big case. I think it is uncomprimising on thermals/noise, especially with the cooler options you've suggested. The flip side: many of us here don't use cases like that Core 500 that have a "traditional" airflow pattern. We're used to trying to do more with less and that often means bucking conventions, or rather, watching conventions get busted right in front of our faces. So, when questions like yours pop up ("Is xyz enough to abc?") we often respond somewhat agnostically because there aren't any true conventions we follow other than, "Does it do what you need it to do at adquately low temperatures in a footprint and with noise levels acceptable to you?" We do tend to marvel at folks that say "not yet!" to that question and manage to cram even more power into a smaller box with lower thermals and less noise. If you want to see some extreme examples, I would like to direct you to people that put i9's in S4 Minis.

Other community members may disagree with my philosophical dissection of things and that's fine. It's my interpretation of why you may not be getting the answers you're hoping for. If you've established the Core 500 as a boundary line and are okay with the benefits and tradeoffs associated with AIOs, then the 240mm will possibly be best for your CPU. An open-cooler Vega card will likely dump loads of heat into the case and you'll have to exhaust that. I don't know how the dust situation in your house is or what the dust filtration setup of the Core 500 is, but my comfort zone is to have any incoming air be filtered for dust to the best extent possible because I hate vacuuming my room (and apprently my lungs too, since I let the dust sit there).
 
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penghutw

Trash Compacter
Original poster
Nov 23, 2018
42
24
Welcome! My personal thoughts are that you'll be fine with whatever you choose. There are always tradeoffs and it depends on what your personal requirements are. Are you gunning for ultimate quiet and ultimate performance? Your case size will be bigger. I'd contend that within the community here the Core 500 is considered a big case. I think it is uncomprimising on thermals/noise, especially with the cooler options you've suggested. The flip side: many of us here don't use cases like that Core 500 that have a "traditional" airflow pattern. We're used to trying to do more with less and that often means bucking conventions, or rather, watching conventions get busted right in front of our faces. So, when questions like yours pop up ("Is xyz enough to abc?") we often respond somewhat agnostically because there aren't any true conventions we follow other than, "Does it do what you need it to do at adquately low temperatures in a footprint and with noise levels acceptable to you?" We do tend to marvel at folks that say "not yet!" to that question and manage to cram even more power into a smaller box with lower thermals and less noise. If you want to see some extreme examples, I would like to direct you to people that put i9's in S4 Minis.

Other community members may disagree with my philosophical dissection of things and that's fine. It's my interpretation of why you may not be getting the answers you're hoping for. If you've established the Core 500 as a boundary line and are okay with the benefits and tradeoffs associated with AIOs, then the 240mm will possibly be best for your CPU. An open-cooler Vega card will likely dump loads of heat into the case and you'll have to exhaust that. I don't know how the dust situation in your house is or what the dust filtration setup of the Core 500 is, but my comfort zone is to have any incoming air be filtered for dust to the best extent possible because I hate vacuuming my room (and apprently my lungs too, since I let the dust sit there).


First off thank you for the welcome and I want to say I am very grateful for your response. This was exactly what I was looking for.

I generally understand how airflow works for non-sff PCs because there is ample space and room for fans/radiators etc to do their work.
But my current case is still too big and I wanted to downsize.

The reason I chose the Core 500 is exactly as you pointed out; it's "big" and generally uncompromising. I wanted my first foray into sffpc building to be generally as simple as possible. And from there learn and research more about what more I want out of sff.

My first build was matx because I generally don't like large towers and I'm continually fascinated by how much power and performance I can pull out of smaller and smaller cases with the least amount of compromise.

I think maybe my questions were too general, like the ones I answer for ATX and full tower builds.

I guess I simply wanted assurance that there wasn't anything too wrong with the lists I've made and wanted some confirmation or opinions on if my thinking was sound.

I think you're correct about the open air cards and I was afraid I would have had to go with a blower style card if I have limited exhaust, especially if I use the top 240mm to cool the CPU.

If you think there isn't anything too incorrect with my parts list(s) I think I may finalize the parts and organize my budget as AMD rolls out their new CPUs next year Q1/Q2 and start this new build.

Again I want to thank you for the response as I've been trying to get answers here and on the sffpc subreddit with very little success.

In the future, I will definitely attempt some more ambitious and impressive sffpc projects.
 
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annasoh323

Master of Cramming
Apr 4, 2018
424
314
For your specific case, if you haven't done this already, it may be good to go to PCPP and filter Completed Builds with it. Hopefully enough people will have tried those configs and left commentary on it. I found that super helpful when I was starting out. I still prowl around there now and then looking for interesting builds.
 

penghutw

Trash Compacter
Original poster
Nov 23, 2018
42
24
For your specific case, if you haven't done this already, it may be good to go to PCPP and filter Completed Builds with it. Hopefully enough people will have tried those configs and left commentary on it. I found that super helpful when I was starting out. I still prowl around there now and then looking for interesting builds.


Actually that's how I came up with those three parts list from above.

I browsed completed builds and noticed people were doing 1 of 3 the three ones and in general they were getting varying results.

In addition to this I also noticed that while many people were using open air cards their temps under "load" never went above 70C which to me is fairly impressive.

however there are still alot of variables, like ambient temps, fan curves, clock speeds etc

Most of those builds are now over 12 months old not sure if any one will rspond
 
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annasoh323

Master of Cramming
Apr 4, 2018
424
314
Actually that's how I came up with those three parts list from above.

I browsed completed builds and noticed people were doing 1 of 3 the three ones and in general they were getting varying results.

In addition to this I also noticed that while many people were using open air cards their temps under "load" never went above 70C which to me is fairly impressive.

however there are still alot of variables, like ambient temps, fan curves, clock speeds etc

Most of those builds are now over 12 months old not sure if any one will rspond
Yeah, I've had that happen to me: "Wow, cool build blah blah blah..." <no response> <I check the date> <years ago> "okay..." But sometimes people do respond. If it were me, I'd respond just because of pride.

The variability of results is understandable. I have a hard time believing that any of them would be bad results given the component choices and not going overboard on overvoltage tweaking. I've also heard Vega cards benefit from undervolting, maintaining similar performance with less heat. That may just be an SFF thing though.
 
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penghutw

Trash Compacter
Original poster
Nov 23, 2018
42
24
Yeah, I've had that happen to me: "Wow, cool build blah blah blah..." <no response> <I check the date> <years ago> "okay..." But sometimes people do respond. If it were me, I'd respond just because of pride.

The variability of results is understandable. I have a hard time believing that any of them would be bad results given the component choices and not going overboard on overvoltage tweaking. I've also heard Vega cards benefit from undervolting, maintaining similar performance with less heat. That may just be an SFF thing though.


I'll do some more digging, and as I kept reading I think I'm also more open to split cases like the Dan A4, I just worry about CPU cooling since the way the cases are designed limits the CPU cooler height.

Also since the Black Ridge Alpheasodijaosijd cooler was recalled, I may have to keep looking for another cooler that similar to that one.
 
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annasoh323

Master of Cramming
Apr 4, 2018
424
314
I'll do some more digging, and as I kept reading I think I'm also more open to split cases like the Dan A4, I just worry about CPU cooling since the way the cases are designed limits the CPU cooler height.

Also since the Black Ridge Alpheasodijaosijd cooler was recalled, I may have to keep looking for another cooler that similar to that one.
I do agree that you'll lose a lot of cooling headroom moving from the cooling options you listed to restrictions of a double-sided shoebox style case. There may be other in-between options. It depends on what your priorities are.

Examples of in-between options, IMO, are the NCase M1 and Inwin A1. Lots of folks on PCPP use the Core V1 but I'm not real fond of it from a space efficiency perspetive (that ATX PSU basement area is just a bit too much for me). On the more budget-friendly side of things, you've got the Cougar QBX (often cited as the "poor man's M1"), and some have fit a 120mm AIO in the Silverstone SG13. Other folks may be able to chime in but those are less cooler-restrictive optoins off the top of my head. Also, check out the Custom Cases and Project Sub-Forum. That's a fun place to see what madness people have cooked up in small batches (well, doesn't that make it sound like I'm a drug pusher?).

Definitely set a budget and expectations. It's a deep well you're jumping into. In the words of the late, great Anakin Skywalker: "This is where the fun begins." (come at me, Prequel-haters)
 
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penghutw

Trash Compacter
Original poster
Nov 23, 2018
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I do agree that you'll lose a lot of cooling headroom moving from the cooling options you listed to restrictions of a double-sided shoebox style case. There may be other in-between options. It depends on what your priorities are.

Examples of in-between options, IMO, are the NCase M1 and Inwin A1. Lots of folks on PCPP use the Core V1 but I'm not real fond of it from a space efficiency perspetive (that ATX PSU basement area is just a bit too much for me). On the more budget-friendly side of things, you've got the Cougar QBX (often cited as the "poor man's M1"), and some have fit a 120mm AIO in the Silverstone SG13. Other folks may be able to chime in but those are less cooler-restrictive optoins off the top of my head. Also, check out the Custom Cases and Project Sub-Forum. That's a fun place to see what madness people have cooked up in small batches (well, doesn't that make it sound like I'm a drug pusher?).

Definitely set a budget and expectations. It's a deep well you're jumping into. In the words of the late, great Anakin Skywalker: "This is where the fun begins." (come at me, Prequel-haters)


Alright I think I've settled on the Core 500 for various reasons, amongst that this is likely the most cost efficient way of porting my build (as of right now).

The only potential real changes I may make are swapping the PSU for an SFX PSU, in case I decide to downsize some more.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD - Ryzen 5 2600 3.4 GHz 6-Core Processor ($0.00)
CPU Cooler: CRYORIG - H7 Quad Lumi 49 CFM CPU Cooler ($0.00)
Motherboard: Asus - ROG Strix B450-I Gaming Mini ITX AM4 Motherboard ($149.23 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair - Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3000 Memory ($0.00)
Storage: Silicon Power - 256 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($0.00)
Storage: Silicon Power - A55 512 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($0.00)
Case: Fractal Design - Core 500 Mini ITX Desktop Case ($67.98 @ Newegg Business)
Power Supply: SeaSonic - FOCUS Plus Gold 750 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Case Fan: Corsair - SP120 RGB High Performance 52 CFM 120mm Fan ($0.00)
Case Fan: Corsair - SP120 RGB High Performance 52 CFM 120mm Fan ($0.00)
Case Fan: Corsair - SP120 RGB High Performance 52 CFM 120mm Fan ($0.00)
Total: $297.20
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-12-02 01:30 EST-0500




Few question(s) left:

1. I've seen people cool the 2700x (105w stock TDP) with the Lumi (165W TDP), I'm wondering if that's enough to cool the stock XFR2 boost. Or should I continue with my original idea of using a larger tower cooler (be quiet dark rock pro 4 or D15)?

2. Because I want the build to be relatively silent, blower or open air Vega 64? I've seen some videos of the reference Vega 64 blower and it's "loud" when running synthetic benchmarks.

3. Since I'm using the SP120 fans from my current build as top intake, wondering if that's the smartest thing to do, or should I switch the direction of airflow from rear (140mm fractal stock fan) as intake and exhausting through the top (low rpm)?
 

Thehack

Spatial Philosopher
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Mar 6, 2016
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I'd get the sfx PSU instead.

The H7 should work fine for stock settings.

Open air for gpu.

I think rear intake, reverse cpu cooler airflow, and top exhaust would give you best temps, but may cause dust issues.
 
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penghutw

Trash Compacter
Original poster
Nov 23, 2018
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I'd get the sfx PSU instead.

The H7 should work fine for stock settings.

Open air for gpu.

I think rear intake, reverse cpu cooler airflow, and top exhaust would give you best temps, but may cause dust issues.


That's what I was thinking, with the airflow path.

Otherwise I'd be pushing cool air down but I'm not sure how effective that will be given they are SP fans.

As far as GPU I would like to get the open air cooler, but I'm wondering if that's wise given that it will essentially exhaust hot air onto my motherboard and CPU cooler.

Thoughts?
 

Thehack

Spatial Philosopher
Creator
Bronze Supporter
Mar 6, 2016
2,744
3,519
J-hackcompany.com
That's what I was thinking, with the airflow path.

Otherwise I'd be pushing cool air down but I'm not sure how effective that will be given they are SP fans.

As far as GPU I would like to get the open air cooler, but I'm wondering if that's wise given that it will essentially exhaust hot air onto my motherboard and CPU cooler.

Thoughts?

It'll be fine, especially if you exhaust at the top.