• Welcome to TechPowerUp Forums, Guest! Please check out our forum guidelines for info related to our community.

Case airflow / cooling suggestions (NZXT H500i + Ryzen 3700X stock cooler + Watercooled GPU)

Joined
Jan 30, 2018
Messages
85 (0.13/day)
System Name Dreamstation2
Processor Ryzen 7 3700X
Motherboard MSI X470 Gaming Plus
Cooling AMD stock Wraith RGB
Memory 32GB DDR4 3200 CL16
Video Card(s) EVGA GTX1080 Hybrid
Storage 480GB M2 SATA SSD
Display(s) 24" IPS 2560x1440
Case NZXT H500i
Audio Device(s) Asus Xonar U3
Power Supply Corsair TX650M
Mouse Corsair Scimitar Pro RGB
Keyboard Cooler Master Masterkeys Lite L
Hi all, my current setup is like this:
  • CPU: Ryzen 3700x cooled by stock Wraith RGB cooler. Using manual fan profile with lowered idle RPM and 100% fan power above 70ºC to avoid overheat. Nevertheless, it's noisy and hot.
  • GPU: EVGA 1080 Hybrid, AIO watercooled. The radiator and pump are overpowered, probably same as the 1080Ti so idle and load temps are pretty low, even with fixed fan speed of 800 RPM.
  • Case is NZXT H500i, which i love for its awesome cable management and attention to details to make the build process easier and good-looking.
In my old case, i had the GPU radiator on the top (it had 2x120mm windows), pulling air from inside the case. Using hot air from inside the case wasn't a big problem because the GPU cooling system is probably sized for a much hotter card (1080Ti Hybrid). It barely hit 65ºC under combined CPU+GPU torture tests.

The new case only has a single 140mm top window, aligned with the CPU socket (see attached picture). That is fully logical (except for my awkward setup), if one wanted to put the CPU radiator there. But with CPU air cooler, i can't mount my GPU radiator on the top window.
So I put it on the front instead, following advice I found on the forums, with the radiator higher than the GPU. This way, it blows hot air directly to the CPU area (and the CPU cooler is not great already).

135830


I'm asking for advice, did I took the right decision, and how can I upgrade / modify my setup to get better results?
Editing fan profiles and putting the CPU on "Ryzen power save mode" in Windows, I managed to lower fan noise to "acceptable", but I'm occasionally using my PC for sound and video editing and noise is not low enough for that.

My options might be:
  • Live with it;
  • Buy ultra low noise air CPU cooler like the Scythe Ninja (I heard it's really good);
  • Buy AIO CPU watercooler with 140 mm radiator (I don't like watercooling much and don't have any experience or knowledge in this area)
  • Anything else you guys could suggest would be welcome :)
 

sneekypeet

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Apr 12, 2006
Messages
27,077 (5.44/day)
System Name His
Processor Intel i9 7920X
Motherboard Asus Prime X299 Deluxe
Cooling Corsair H115i RGB Platinum
Memory G.Skill TridentZ RGB 32GB @ 3600MHz
Video Card(s) nVidia RTX 2080ti
Storage Samsung 960 Pro / Crucial MX300 750GB / Seagate 1TB Spinner
Display(s) Samsung 55" 4K 60hz
Case Cooler Master Cosmos C700P (Inverted Layout)
Audio Device(s) Realtek on board > Sony Receiver > Cerwin Vega's
Power Supply Thermaltake TPSG 1050W
Mouse Always Changing
Keyboard Always Changing
Software Windows 10 Pro 64
Any reason why the GPU rad is not hanging on the back? That way it dumps the GPU heat out of the chassis. If it fits, that is what I would do, and put a fan or two in the front of the chassis.
 
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
3,177 (1.63/day)
Location
SE Michigan
System Name Dumbass
Processor AMD-9370BE @4.6
Motherboard ASUS SABERTOOTH 990FX R2.0 +SB950
Cooling CM Nepton 280L
Memory G.Skill Sniper 16gb DDR3 2400
Video Card(s) GreenTeam 1080 Gaming X 8GB
Storage C:\SSD (240GB), D:\Seagate (2TB), E:\Western Digital (1TB)
Display(s) 1x Nixeus NX_EDG27, 2x Dell S2440L (16:9)
Case Phanteks Enthoo Primo w/8 140mm SP Fans
Audio Device(s) onboard (realtek?) SPKRS:Logitech Z623 200w 2.1
Power Supply Corsair HX1000i
Mouse Logitech G700s
Keyboard Logitech G910 Orion Spark
Software windows 10
Benchmark Scores https://i.imgur.com/aoz3vWY.jpg?2
try to mount the radiator to the rear exhaust port. Ideally, the top exhaust is best but only if it reaches.
 
Joined
Jan 30, 2018
Messages
85 (0.13/day)
System Name Dreamstation2
Processor Ryzen 7 3700X
Motherboard MSI X470 Gaming Plus
Cooling AMD stock Wraith RGB
Memory 32GB DDR4 3200 CL16
Video Card(s) EVGA GTX1080 Hybrid
Storage 480GB M2 SATA SSD
Display(s) 24" IPS 2560x1440
Case NZXT H500i
Audio Device(s) Asus Xonar U3
Power Supply Corsair TX650M
Mouse Corsair Scimitar Pro RGB
Keyboard Cooler Master Masterkeys Lite L
Any reason why the GPU rad is not hanging on the back? That way it dumps the GPU heat out of the chassis. If it fits, that is what I would do, and put a fan or two in the front of the chassis.
It won't fit, for two reasons. It would touch the CPU cooler and block its airflow, and the motherboard VRM heatsink won't let me install any radiator here (it's visible in the picture).
 

FreedomEclipse

~Technological Technocrat~
Joined
Apr 20, 2007
Messages
19,894 (4.33/day)
Location
London,UK
System Name Codename: Icarus Mk.V
Processor Intel 8600k@4.8Ghz
Motherboard Asus ROG Strixx Z370-F
Cooling Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4
Memory 16 Corsair Vengeance White LED DDR4 3200Mhz
Video Card(s) Gigabyte 1080Ti Gaming OC|Accelero Xtreme IV
Storage Samsung 970Evo 512GB SSD (Boot)|WD Blue 1TB SSD|2x 3TB Toshiba DT01ACA300
Display(s) Asus PB278Q 27"
Case Corsair 760T (White) {1x140mm NF-P14s|1xCorsair ML120 Pro|4xML140 Pro}
Audio Device(s) Creative SB Z {AVR:Yamaha RX-V573|Speakers: JBL Control One|Auna 300-CN|Wharfedale Diamond SW150}
Power Supply Corsair AX760
Mouse Logitech G900/G502
Keyboard Duckyshine Dead LED(s) III
Software Windows 10 Pro
Benchmark Scores (ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻
It won't fit, for two reasons. It would touch the CPU cooler and block its airflow, and the motherboard VRM heatsink won't let me install any radiator here (it's visible in the picture).
Upgrade the CPU cooler to a 240mm AIO - 240 AIO radiator goes on the front and the GPU one goes at the back. no clearence issues problem solved.


Or get a better case
 
Joined
Jan 30, 2018
Messages
85 (0.13/day)
System Name Dreamstation2
Processor Ryzen 7 3700X
Motherboard MSI X470 Gaming Plus
Cooling AMD stock Wraith RGB
Memory 32GB DDR4 3200 CL16
Video Card(s) EVGA GTX1080 Hybrid
Storage 480GB M2 SATA SSD
Display(s) 24" IPS 2560x1440
Case NZXT H500i
Audio Device(s) Asus Xonar U3
Power Supply Corsair TX650M
Mouse Corsair Scimitar Pro RGB
Keyboard Cooler Master Masterkeys Lite L
try to mount the radiator to the rear exhaust port. Ideally, the top exhaust is best but only if it reaches.
Sadly, both top and rear positions are blocked by CPU cooler and the rear is also blocked by the motherboard VRM heatsink. I guess i'd have to live with it unil I jump the gun and buy a CPU watercooler.
Maybe if i can get my hands on a low-profile 120mm fan for the GPU radiator, it might be able to fit in the rear position.

Upgrade the CPU cooler to a 240mm AIO - 240 AIO radiator goes on the front and the GPU one goes at the back. no clearence issues problem solved.


Or get a better case
Any specific brand / model you can suggest? I would prefer single 140mm radiator in the top position but I'm not sure those exist.

Just discovered that 140mm AIOs really exist. A quick search returned those:
  • NZXT Kraken X42 Rev 2
  • Corsair H90
  • Cooler Master MasterLiquid Pro 140
  • Cooler Master Nepton 140XL
  • NZXT Kraken X40
As already mentioned, I don't have any experience or knowledge with watercooling. Can you recommend any of those for my case? RGB light and looks aren't important. It's low noise (both pump and fan) and performance that matter to me.
 
Joined
Jul 21, 2018
Messages
470 (0.96/day)
Location
Germany
System Name Athlon Dragon
Processor AMD Threadripper 1950X
Motherboard ASUS ROG-STRIX-X399
Cooling Dual custom-loop watercooling
Memory 32GB (4x8GB)
Video Card(s) RX Vega 64
Storage Samsung 860 EVO
Display(s) 24", 1440p, freesync, 144hz
Case Thermaltake Core X9
Audio Device(s) beyerdynamic MMX 300
Power Supply EVGA Supernova T2 1600W
Mouse OG steelseries Sensei
Keyboard steelseries 6Gv2
Software Windows 10
Benchmark Scores GPUPI 1B GPU - 13.637s
Sadly, both top and rear positions are blocked by CPU cooler and the rear is also blocked by the motherboard VRM heatsink. I guess i'd have to live with it unil I jump the gun and buy a CPU watercooler.
Maybe if i can get my hands on a low-profile 120mm fan for the GPU radiator, it might be able to fit in the rear position.


Any specific brand / model you can suggest? I would prefer single 140mm radiator in the top position but I'm not sure those exist.

Just discovered that 140mm AIOs really exist. A quick search returned those:
  • NZXT Kraken X42 Rev 2
  • Corsair H90
  • Cooler Master MasterLiquid Pro 140
  • Cooler Master Nepton 140XL
  • NZXT Kraken X40
As already mentioned, I don't have any experience or knowledge with watercooling. Can you recommend any of those for my case? RGB light and looks aren't important. It's low noise (both pump and fan) and performance that matter to me.
A single fan radiator has limited heat exchange and I would not really recommend them. If possible go 240mm or 280mm, as the price/performance is drastically better.

In the meantime, on the setup you have right now you can go reverse airflow to stop the GPU dumping heat in the system. Make the top and rear fan intake and the GPU radiator on the front exhaust. This would work best if there is an additional fan on the front that you can switch around too, as the fan on the radiator may not be able to completly push the air out the front by itself.
 

FreedomEclipse

~Technological Technocrat~
Joined
Apr 20, 2007
Messages
19,894 (4.33/day)
Location
London,UK
System Name Codename: Icarus Mk.V
Processor Intel 8600k@4.8Ghz
Motherboard Asus ROG Strixx Z370-F
Cooling Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4
Memory 16 Corsair Vengeance White LED DDR4 3200Mhz
Video Card(s) Gigabyte 1080Ti Gaming OC|Accelero Xtreme IV
Storage Samsung 970Evo 512GB SSD (Boot)|WD Blue 1TB SSD|2x 3TB Toshiba DT01ACA300
Display(s) Asus PB278Q 27"
Case Corsair 760T (White) {1x140mm NF-P14s|1xCorsair ML120 Pro|4xML140 Pro}
Audio Device(s) Creative SB Z {AVR:Yamaha RX-V573|Speakers: JBL Control One|Auna 300-CN|Wharfedale Diamond SW150}
Power Supply Corsair AX760
Mouse Logitech G900/G502
Keyboard Duckyshine Dead LED(s) III
Software Windows 10 Pro
Benchmark Scores (ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻
Sadly, both top and rear positions are blocked by CPU cooler and the rear is also blocked by the motherboard VRM heatsink. I guess i'd have to live with it unil I jump the gun and buy a CPU watercooler.
Maybe if i can get my hands on a low-profile 120mm fan for the GPU radiator, it might be able to fit in the rear position.


Any specific brand / model you can suggest? I would prefer single 140mm radiator in the top position but I'm not sure those exist.

Just discovered that 140mm AIOs really exist. A quick search returned those:
  • NZXT Kraken X42 Rev 2
  • Corsair H90
  • Cooler Master MasterLiquid Pro 140
  • Cooler Master Nepton 140XL
  • NZXT Kraken X40
As already mentioned, I don't have any experience or knowledge with watercooling. Can you recommend any of those for my case? RGB light and looks aren't important. It's low noise (both pump and fan) and performance that matter to me.
Kracken X52 or X62
 
Joined
Sep 10, 2018
Messages
383 (0.87/day)
Location
California
System Name His & Hers
Processor i9 9900k @5ghz/ R9 3900X Stock
Motherboard Asus Maximus XI Code/ X570 Aorus Master
Cooling Corsair h150i Pro Push/Pull. 5x Corsair ML120 + 4x Corsair LL120/ Corsair h115i Platinum
Memory 32 GB 4x8GB 3600mhz Corsair RGB Pro/ 32 GB 3200 CL14 @3600 CL16
Video Card(s) Asus ROG Strix 2080 ti/ Titan XP
Storage lots of SSD.
Display(s) Asus ROG PG278QR / MSI 27 inch VA panel.
Case Corsair 500D SE RGB/ Phanteks Evolv X
Audio Device(s) Arctis Pro + gaming Dac/ Corsair sp 2500/ Logitech Z 625
Power Supply Seasonic Ultra Prime Titanium 850w x2
Mouse Logitech G903 Lightspeed/ Logitech G Pro Hero.
Keyboard Corsair K95 RGB Platinum/ Logitech G Pro
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
3,177 (1.63/day)
Location
SE Michigan
System Name Dumbass
Processor AMD-9370BE @4.6
Motherboard ASUS SABERTOOTH 990FX R2.0 +SB950
Cooling CM Nepton 280L
Memory G.Skill Sniper 16gb DDR3 2400
Video Card(s) GreenTeam 1080 Gaming X 8GB
Storage C:\SSD (240GB), D:\Seagate (2TB), E:\Western Digital (1TB)
Display(s) 1x Nixeus NX_EDG27, 2x Dell S2440L (16:9)
Case Phanteks Enthoo Primo w/8 140mm SP Fans
Audio Device(s) onboard (realtek?) SPKRS:Logitech Z623 200w 2.1
Power Supply Corsair HX1000i
Mouse Logitech G700s
Keyboard Logitech G910 Orion Spark
Software windows 10
Benchmark Scores https://i.imgur.com/aoz3vWY.jpg?2
I Have to agree, the CPU cooler should be a 240 or 280, not a single.

a slightly large case would be better as well.
 
Joined
Mar 15, 2013
Messages
2,961 (1.21/day)
Location
GMT +2
System Name Red Radiance l under construction
Processor 2600x
Motherboard x470 taichi
Cooling stock wrath
Memory TridentZ rgb 3200mhz (2x8 kit)
Video Card(s) Sapphire Vega 64 nitro+
Storage 970 evo nvme
Display(s) c27gh70
Case tt core x5 tge
Audio Device(s) sennheiser's pc323d usb soundcard
Power Supply corsair AX860i
Mouse roccat leader
Keyboard roccat ryos mk fx
Software windows 10
Sadly, both top and rear positions are blocked by CPU cooler and the rear is also blocked by the motherboard VRM heatsink. I guess i'd have to live with it unil I jump the gun and buy a CPU watercooler.
Maybe if i can get my hands on a low-profile 120mm fan for the GPU radiator, it might be able to fit in the rear position.
mount rad inside the case and fan on the outside. rad looks like 25-30mm thick so if you replace the fan at the back with the rad and mount fan outside of the case it should fit.
later when you get new cpu cooler you can mount it properly.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 30, 2018
Messages
85 (0.13/day)
System Name Dreamstation2
Processor Ryzen 7 3700X
Motherboard MSI X470 Gaming Plus
Cooling AMD stock Wraith RGB
Memory 32GB DDR4 3200 CL16
Video Card(s) EVGA GTX1080 Hybrid
Storage 480GB M2 SATA SSD
Display(s) 24" IPS 2560x1440
Case NZXT H500i
Audio Device(s) Asus Xonar U3
Power Supply Corsair TX650M
Mouse Corsair Scimitar Pro RGB
Keyboard Cooler Master Masterkeys Lite L
mount rad inside the case and fan on the outside. rad looks like 25-30mm thick so if you replace the fan at the back with the rad and mount fan outside of the case it should fit.
later when you get new cpu cooler you can mount it properly.
Thanks, I will definitely do that the next time I'm changing something inside or when I open it for cleaning.
 
Joined
Mar 15, 2013
Messages
2,961 (1.21/day)
Location
GMT +2
System Name Red Radiance l under construction
Processor 2600x
Motherboard x470 taichi
Cooling stock wrath
Memory TridentZ rgb 3200mhz (2x8 kit)
Video Card(s) Sapphire Vega 64 nitro+
Storage 970 evo nvme
Display(s) c27gh70
Case tt core x5 tge
Audio Device(s) sennheiser's pc323d usb soundcard
Power Supply corsair AX860i
Mouse roccat leader
Keyboard roccat ryos mk fx
Software windows 10
Thanks, I will definitely do that the next time I'm changing something inside or when I open it for cleaning.
make sure you set the fan in the direction to pull air out of the case.
cause if you will flip it other direction you will have same case as now but with time wasted for rearrangement :laugh:
 
Last edited:
Joined
Mar 18, 2015
Messages
2,245 (1.31/day)
Location
Long Island
There are rules to water cooling that people jut refuse to comply with cause they heard their science teacher say hot air rises. If manufacturers wanted you to exhaust air out of your case, they wouldn't be telling you to do the exact opposite in the written instructions they supply with their products.

Corsair AIO Fans.jpg


Radiator fans always blow in ... no exceptions ever unless you want whatever you are cooling to run hotter. Let's 'do the math.

Ambient Air = 23C
Inside Case Air = 28C
Coolant Temp = 33C

Coolant is proportional to Delta T, so ....

Delta T (Intakes) = 33 - 23 = 10C
Delta T (Exhaust) = 33 - 28 = 5C

Intake air provides TWICE the cooling to the water block than exhaust

The 500i is an attractive case, great cable routing too ... it is a bit weak on the cooling design

So yes you did the right thing with that case.

Now if you put a top fan in blowing out, which is a goiod thing in and of itself, it's not in this case. Yes hot air rises , but it's an extremely weak action ... especially in the face of a spinning fan. Remember that your intake fan have filters which can restrict air flow by as much as 33%. When designing building and especially kitchen ventialtion we do whas is called air balancing. let's do the math using 25% restriction for your filter and radiator when filter is moderately dusty and the ventialtion provided by the fan = V ... which will be about 50% of what it actually says in the specs:

Intake = V x 1 x 75% = 0.75
Exhaust = V x 2 x 100% = 2.00

As ypu can see, the exhaust is almost 3 times the intake which means we have a negative pressure situation, not a bad thing (other than dust) in and of itself but how will that make up air get in ?
Well one place would be that unused fan mount in the front ... it's filtered so that would be one potential source. But air will follow the path of least resistance and it's will meet less resistance coming in thru all those vented slot covers and rear grille.

Now howid your PC positioned ? is it under your desk ? is it pushed back on your desk against the wall ? With 3 times the air going out then in, air is going to come in thru those svented slot cover sand rear grille. What's the air like back there ? Isn't your warm case air being exhausted back there ? Isn't your PSU throwing all it's exhaust heat back there ? So what do ya thing the air is like back there ? It's air that has been preheated by your PSU and all your interior components ... you aren't exhausting hot air, you are recycling it.

By the way, if anyone thinks that 50% isn't real, read this:

best bet would be to take that rear exhaust fan and put it at the front under the GFX rad ,,, assuming it fits. Now the math chnages

Intake = V x 2 x 75% = 1.5
Exhaust = V x 1 x 100% = 2.00

Positive pressure sityain and now no air coming in thru slot covers and rear grille .... we use some very high end technology to test air flow in these situations. When my son moved out and bought his own house, he left his fog machine from his garage band days here. It works great for testing


In the original setup that you have now, pointong the discharge between the wall and the case rear will have the case fill quickly with fog. Switch it as described and fog is blown away. You can even have all 3 fans blowing in and just the rear blowing out ... we often have all top, bottom, front and side fans blowing in and just rear fans blowing out on builds with lots of rads.

next time you do this I would ....

1. Buy a case with multiple front, bottom and top fan mounts. Phanteks has very similar cases as NZXT with as good or better cable routing and much more fan mounts, AIOs are easy to install up top. The Luxe modesl even puts the top fans in an "attic"

2. Avoid hybrid cooling ...
a) Ever wonder why a 95 watt CPU warrants a 2 or 3 x 120mm AIO and a 200 - 300 watt GFX card ony has one ?
b) Hybrids don't help with the VRMS and memory.

3. Avoid CLCs ....
a) They rarely do better than the better air coolers and when they do, the downside is extreme noise.
b) Each provides you with the opportunity to conduct a science experiment in galvanic corrosion
https:// martinsliquidlab.wordpress.com/2012/01/24/corrosion-explored/
https:// www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=a_r4tWpMHHI&feature=youtu.be&t=8
https:/ /www.youtube.com/watch?v=HC1kzO_gIp4
c) Corrosion inhibitors have a useful life of 18-24 months ... you have no means to add fresh stuff
d) weak-ass 0.11 gpm pumps .... 1.0 gpm recommended as a minimum
e) You can expand the loop.

4. EK and Swiftech (also Aerocool sorta) actially have products that suffern from none of the above constrictions. Other than EK, they are cheaper than Krakens Corsairs CLC alternatives.

5. The Swiftech model comes in 2 x 120mm ($135) and 3 x 120mm ($165) verisons. It's quieter than CLCs, RGB is much more sedate, has a reservoir, allows beleeding, allows changing coolant, adding corrosion inhibitors, 1.0 + gpm pump, you can add more blocks more rads. In a typical $150 case, you could put a 3 x 120mm AIO with quiet fans to start, than add a 2 x 120 radiator and GFX water block at a later date.

$165 - 3 x 120mm Swiftech for CPU w/ reservoir
$40 MSI GTX 2080 Seahawk EK X w/ EK Full cover water Block $675 w/ water block preinstalled - $635 for MSI Gaming X Trio = $4-0 for block
$50 2 x 120mm radiator

Add some coolant, tube and a few fittings and you have an system equivalent to a custom loop for $300 ... the 3 x 120mm system however will cool a lot better than any CLC + hybrid combo and be much quieter.... all for $165
 
Joined
Jan 30, 2018
Messages
85 (0.13/day)
System Name Dreamstation2
Processor Ryzen 7 3700X
Motherboard MSI X470 Gaming Plus
Cooling AMD stock Wraith RGB
Memory 32GB DDR4 3200 CL16
Video Card(s) EVGA GTX1080 Hybrid
Storage 480GB M2 SATA SSD
Display(s) 24" IPS 2560x1440
Case NZXT H500i
Audio Device(s) Asus Xonar U3
Power Supply Corsair TX650M
Mouse Corsair Scimitar Pro RGB
Keyboard Cooler Master Masterkeys Lite L
@John Naylor
Well, that was the advice I was looking for when I opened this thread. Thorough, science + real life based, respecting my current configuration.

The idea of reversing the top fan might work, I noticed that most of the hot air is exhausted from the back, even though the top fan is 140mm vs 120 on the back. Breathing fresh air directly on top of CPU cooler seems like a good idea. My rear fan is a high-airflow model, opposed to the top one, which is low-airflow / low noise one, so I guess it will be able to pull all the hot air and let the front and top fans supply fresh air from outside the case.

I spent some time digging AM4 coolers and noticed that cheap, well-built air coolers are almost as good as a water cooler, while costing less than half, and in many cases producing less noise.
Too bad Arctic haven't built a new version of the excellent i30 I have on my i5-4690K. The Arctic 33 which is supposed to replace it is somehow weak and not so silent.
Living in a small periferic country makes things even worse, not all fans that exist are available for purchase here.
If I forget about the colours, the Noctua NH-U12S seems perfect for my system - to cite a review I found last night
The NH-U12S from Noctua brought me back to the days of my past. It just goes to show that you don't have to go and spend $80 to $100 to get something that can hold its own in our charts, and still be dead silent while doing it.

Read more: https://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/5417/noctua-nh-u12s-cpu-cooler-review/index10.html
 
Top