Advice K39 Case-Mod Fan Bracket Cooling Kit mounted in PCI Slot for case exhaust fan(s)?

PVC

Cable-Tie Ninja
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Jul 12, 2020
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Parts-List Already purchased (with out-the-door-prices including shipping+tax):
  • K39 Case $74
  • Server Power Supply DPS-350AB-12A 350W PSU-Tested-Working $28
  • Fan Bracket Cooling Kit Mount PCI Slot Cover $4
  • Ryzen 5 4650G PRO (6-core, 12-Thread) APU-Build/without a discrete/separate GPU card $242*
  • Alpenfohn Black Ridge Low Profile CPU Cooler - 120mm $70
  • ADATA VLP memory 2x8GB of the purple ADATA PC DDR4 2666MHz sticks $69
  • Samsung 970 EVO Plus SSD 1TB M.2 NVMe $157
  • Noctua NF-A12x15 PWM, Premium Quiet Slim Fan, 4-Pin (120mm, Brown) 120x120x15 mm, 12V, 4-pin PWM, max. 1850 RPM, max. 23.9 dB(A) $20
  • GIGABYTE B550I AORUS Pro AX Socket AM4 AMD (B550IAORUSAX) $175
*Waiting for CPU to arrive

I am starting my next APU build (no GPU). I am thinking about using the extra case space which would normally hold a double-slot GPU card, for holding one or two case exhaust fans. Specifically for a K39 case, instead of mounting a double-slot GPU card next to the bottom of the Motherboard, mount this cheap/$4 bracket to hold one or two case exhaust fans directing air away from the bottom of the motherboard then outside the case (see image below).

Has anyone used this bracket before? Will it rattle? Just thought I would ask before spending money on Noctua fans?

The Bracket Kit holds 80mm or 90mm fans (Noctua makes 80mm or 92mm) so I am thinking of 1x 80x80x25mm Noctua fan.


 
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JJSEA

Caliper Novice
Dec 30, 2019
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That's an interesting idea. I've got an APU in a K39, and I find the lack of case fans is a problem for sustained high loads. I'm using 1 slot for a 10Gb ethernet card, so I don't think this idea will work for me (will it?). I also tried this case with a graphics card, and found some extra noise was caused by the small space between the GPU fans and the case sides. I wonder if that would be a problem here. I am thinking of switching to something like the K39 but with space for case fans at the top.
 

PVC

Cable-Tie Ninja
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Jul 12, 2020
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There is another style bracket for facing the fans upwards (depending on your case, and available space). But again I don't know how well these might work? Some reviewers say these are crap.

 

JJSEA

Caliper Novice
Dec 30, 2019
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I also found a single slot version for 80x15 fans. But I wonder how much it will help with extracting CPU heat? There's very little space for airflow from the CPU side to the GPU side. My power supply is an FSP FX 500G, which has a fan that takes air from inside the case. The fan only turns on with >50% load (which I never exceed) or high temperatures. So I wonder if having a fan on the GPU side as intake could help supply the PSU fan with cold air, and thus avoid having the GPU fan come on.
 

PVC

Cable-Tie Ninja
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Jul 12, 2020
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It's difficult to say what will work until we TRY IT and measure any temperature differences. I intend to do that.

Also, if your fan(s) are controlled by motherboard/BIOS then you can change the fan mode in BIOS to (DC Mode) for continous running at a fixed RPM and that fixed RPM can also be adjusted up/down with other BIOS fan settings (maybe full-speed/standard). I did this on another build for the PSU fan because I wanted it running all the time to prevent heat buildup.
 
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Diamorif

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Jun 9, 2020
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you can also just attach a 120mm or 140mmx15mm slim fan to the side with screws/noise dampening mounts and still use the pcie slot for activities. I had an APU build with a 645lt that used a 2 nvme pcie card in one slot, a 100mm scythe slim fan over the pump and a 120mmx15 noctua as exhaust in the remaining pcie slot. the airflow did wonders for the case.

Images are here without the fans/pcie adapter, but the fans basically just get attached to the panels and plugged in.
 
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PVC

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My K39 case arrived today. Guess what? It has two standoffs on the back of the motherboard mounting tray for mounting a 120mm case exhaust fan in the vacant graphics card space. So I don't need a fan bracket. The case already has a place for mounting a case exhaust fan!!

Well finding the right length machine screws with threads that fit the standoffs may be tricky. I found one in my collection with the right threads. But I don't know about the screw length yet. Need more research!
 
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JJSEA

Caliper Novice
Dec 30, 2019
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There are two standoffs designed for mounting the riser cable for the graphics card. I think these may be what you are referring to.
 

PVC

Cable-Tie Ninja
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Jul 12, 2020
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Oh okay. But they also seem to be the correct spacing for mounting a 120mm fan too. So I'm looking to try mounting a
  • Scythe Kaze Flex 120mm Slim Fan, PWM 300-1800RPM
onto the two standoffs. I think I can find machine screws with the correct thread/length and some washers at a hardware store.
 
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Diamorif

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Jun 9, 2020
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For what its worth, the fan attached directly to the back of the motherboard won't do much for airflow, more than likely just provide a massive amount of cooling for your nvme
 

PVC

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Okay thanks guys, I see your points. Maybe I will experiment first, with some old fan parts and see if I can create any difference in stress tested temperatures. But that will have to wait until I get more parts.
 

n.tesla

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Jul 19, 2020
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What CPU and cooler will you be using? I'm not sure this extra airflow will affect temps all that much if using a low profile air cooler on the other side. You'd likely see better results by creating an air duct to the heatsink.
Alternatively, could the GPU side be used to house a large aio or custom loop heatsink vertically? I have practically nil experience with water cooling but it seems plausible to me.
 

PVC

Cable-Tie Ninja
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It's funny you should ask what CPU at this specific time because I just finished getting ready to order the CPU/APU when China/AliExpress wakes up for Monday morning in a few hours!! I settled on the AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 4650G 6-core, 12-Thread CPU/APU and plan to use the Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 chromax.black as a CPU Cooler.

I'm not a fan of water-cooling. When you say air-duct-to-heatsink I think you are talking about a fan shroud that extends the cpu-cooler to the edge of the case to avoid sucking in hot recycled air from inside the case? Is that right? Can you point to a reference for creating or purchasing this duct?
 
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Diamorif

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If you need any particular fans to test with, I have a huge surplus of Scythe, Noctua, and Thermalright fans and an extra L9A. A x25mm fan on the l9a should give you a bit more cooling performance in the k39
 

PVC

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A x25mm fan on the l9a should give you a bit more cooling performance in the k39
Hmmmmm; Will a 25mm thick CPU Cooler fan fit in the K39? The Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 chromax.black already comes with a slim NF-A9x14 92x92x14mm fan. There would be an additional 11mm added if I replace the 14mm fan with the 92x92x25mm fan.

So, if K39 CPU Cooler Height Clearance = 47mm, and NH-L9a = 37mm, and I add 11mm by upgrading to 25mm fan, won't that be exceeding the case clearance by 1mm? Or at least touching the side of the case?
 

Diamorif

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Jun 9, 2020
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You can kill the anti vibration pads on either the top or the bottom. I would check out some of the air cooling posts for the Dan a4. They have the same clearance and most things that work for the a4 work for the k39. If you haven’t bought the l9a yet, I would really advise that you take a look at the black ridge. It’s like $10 more shipped to the us from overclockers.co.uk and has been a monster in my build v the l9a.
 
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n.tesla

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Jul 19, 2020
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It's funny you should ask what CPU at this specific time because I just finished getting ready to order the CPU/APU when China/AliExpress wakes up for Monday morning in a few hours!! I settled on the AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 4650G 6-core, 12-Thread CPU/APU and plan to use the Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 chromax.black as a CPU Cooler.

I'm not a fan of water-cooling. When you say air-duct-to-heatsink I think you are talking about a fan shroud that extends the cpu-cooler to the edge of the case to avoid sucking in hot recycled air from inside the case? Is that right? Can you point to a reference for creating or purchasing this duct?
Are you set on the L9a? The black ridge will give you better performance, especially when paired with a 120mm fan and VLP RAM.

See this post on Hard Forum for details of such a setup with a Black Ridge.

If you are set on the L9a, you could beef it up with this 3d printable 120mm fan bracket and create a similar duct/shroud as linked above.

Note, I don't have any first hand experience of these setups, just passing on what I've seen.
 

PVC

Cable-Tie Ninja
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Thanks!! I see that the 3d printable 120mm fan bracket allows you to swap out the Noctua NH-L9a 92x92mm fan for a bigger 120x120mm fan. But the adapter itself also adds 6mm in height. But let's forget about these details because I am switching back to the Alpenfohn Black Ridge Low Profile CPU Cooler - 120mm.
 

n.tesla

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Jul 19, 2020
116
41
Thanks!! I see that the 3d printable 120mm fan bracket allows you to swap out the Noctua NH-L9a 92x92mm fan for a bigger 120x120mm fan. But the adapter itself also adds 6mm in height. But let's forget about these details because I am switching back to the Alpenfohn Black Ridge Low Profile CPU Cooler - 120mm.
If you're going the Black Ridge 120mm slim route, you'll want to take a look at this thread all about VLP RAM. Do you need 16 GB, 32 GB or 64 GB?
 

PVC

Cable-Tie Ninja
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Jul 12, 2020
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Thanks for the VLP link!! I will use 2x8GB sticks, 16GB-total of memory and I previous thought that VLP was very-very expensive. But maybe not. I will study the thread all about VLP RAM some more and shoot for using the 120mm slim fan.

As an aside; I will already be removing the Gigabyte heatsink that sits atop the motherboard's M2 NVMe slot. I read that the M2 NVMe stick will actually run cooler without the heatsink, though the chipset may be a couple/few degrees hotter. I think that I would need to remove that heatsink even without using the 120mm slim fan.
 
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