Concept Unidirectional airflow with sandwich layout

OrbZero

Minimal Tinkerer
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Jul 22, 2020
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Hi folks,

I'm about to build a mITX gaming rig and I'm in love with these sandwich layout cases. Another case that I love is the MacPro, which borrows the unidirectional airflow design from server racks, so I got the idea of this Frankenstein:

A Louqe Ghost S1 with:
- Custom watercooler loop for CPU + GPU
- Sealed side-panels to prevent air intake/outtake
- Medium hat at the bottom, housing an Aquacool ST30 (does it fit?)
- Medium hat at the top, with 2 Noctua NF-F12 (pressure optimized)

The main goal is to prevent hot air exhausted from the top, to be pulled back in by the side panels. Here is a simple diagram.



What do you think?
 

August

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Moderator
Bronze Supporter
Jun 19, 2019
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gusmiller.com
For what it's worth, the Sliger SM570 with solid side panels is basically this—without the need for top-hat accessories (and with enough room for fans at the top and bottom).

The concept is pretty interesting, but my general feeling is that you're best served by using a single top-hat, attaching fans directly to the radiator (top-exhaust), and then letting it intake air from the bottom and both sides. I wouldn't worry much about the hot air being drawn back in—any kind of air movement in your room (open window, ceiling fan, central air) is apt to exchange/disburse the exhaust more quickly than the bit of negative pressure created inside the case.

If you wanted to do some controlled testing, it might be worth running a Commander Pro or Aquacomputer with some temperature probes inside + outside the case (i.e. ambient + case intake + exhaust), and see how things differ based on the configuration!

Last thought: Pulling air through a radiator and then across your components may be less-than-ideal… typically, the idea is to move your heat exchanger away from the hardware being cooled—otherwise, you're basically left with the same sort of internal case + component temperature as you would with a regular air-cooled build.
 
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flar

Average Stuffer
Jan 19, 2020
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You might want to review Noctua's performance charts before deciding on which line of fans to buy. According to their own research the A series outperforms all of their other fans for most uses in a PC, including a radiator setup. The pressure optimized fans are only better in a really restricted system. The radiator performance is right at the peak of the superiority of the A12 and you have essentially that setup but with some obstacles between the radiator and the fans. Do those obstacles add enough restriction to move the graph to the point where the pressure optimized fans win?

 

OrbZero

Minimal Tinkerer
Original poster
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Jul 22, 2020
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For what it's worth, the Sliger SM570 with solid side panels is basically this—without the need for top-hat accessories (and with enough room for fans at the top and bottom).

Great suggestion! I like that case, but I’m looking for something with a more premium finish.

Last thought: Pulling air through a radiator and then across your components may be less-than-ideal… typically, the idea is to move your heat exchanger away from the hardware being cooled—otherwise, you're basically left with the same sort of internal case + component temperature as you would with a regular air-cooled build.
Good point. This design really seems to work better with air coolers.
 

OrbZero

Minimal Tinkerer
Original poster
New User
Jul 22, 2020
3
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You might want to review Noctua's performance charts before deciding on which line of fans to buy. According to their own research the A series outperforms all of their other fans for most uses in a PC, including a radiator setup. The pressure optimized fans are only better in a really restricted system. The radiator performance is right at the peak of the superiority of the A12 and you have essentially that setup but with some obstacles between the radiator and the fans. Do those obstacles add enough restriction to move the graph to the point where the pressure optimized fans win?

I didn’t put much effort in the cooler research until I figure out which layout to use. It really seems those A series are a better fit. Thanks :)