Do you leave the case side panel on or off for better cooling?

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SubZero
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I've been wondering what might work better in a system that generates a lot of heat.

Is it better to leave the side panel OFF? Or is it better to leave it on and invest in more fans and other cooling products?

Care to share your thoughts / experiences?

Thanks

Morse
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from a tech standpoint i will tell you to leave it on to prevent anything from being pushed in. from a personal standpoint i say it depends on your case, do you notice that your case has good airflow with he panel on? some cases such as the antec 1200 need the panel on to maintain a wind stream throughout the case as is the ideal in all cases but some do perform better with the panel off. my old Raidmax Smilidon performed cooler with the panel off.

crimson117
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i have my panel off and its cooler like that i have actually ran tests with msi afterburner and cpuz

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dustyschaffner
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it depends on what kind of case you have, if you have a cruddy home computer use mid-tower with a small amount of fans like i do then you are better off with the side panel off but if you have a nice full-tower case with a lot of fans like a cooler master HAF-932 or antec 1200 then its a better idea to leave the side panel on to redirect that mass airflow and put it to good use

Dj Neta
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depends on the case. i'd leave it on, espacilly if it has a side fan or side fans!
the case is bilt in a sertin way that air would come in and crculate inside the case taking as much heat with it as possible and letting as much cold air in as possible.
ummmmmm what case do you have? it'll be easier to help!

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slugbug
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My computers are in a dusty basement so I keep my side panels on and use fans and dust filters.

SubZero
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Sounds like leaving it on could help with controlling the amount of dust introduced to the system. Perhaps it is better to add higher-capacity cooling fans to solve the problem instead of leaving the door off. Thanks for the replies.

Dj Neta
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exactly, also have a look at this fan for unexpational  preformance: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835185054

im getting 4-5 fans for my next build, if going for more then one of these fans consider getting a fan controller.

Morse
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you best bet with the Kaze fans would be to let your motherboard control them if you have enough fan headers if not a fan controller will work. and trust me you WILL need one unless you plan on shutting the PC in a cabnet these fans are supper loud when ran at 3000RPMs, i have 3 of them :D

heres 2 of them running push/pull on my radiator, the 3rd one is now on the top 120mm fan bracket

in the past i used this to controll them (basic and simple) but now i let my motherboard throtle them for me.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811998065&Tpk=kaze%20q

SubZero
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My new system has 4 fan connectors on the MB and I have the CPU fan and 3 of the 120 mm fans with 3 prongs, so Speedfan can see all 4 running and I can see what speed adjustments the board makes as I game and what not.  Easier than having a manual fan controller I guess.  Here's a pic of the setup:

mimart7
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Nice rig, I see you have the same UPS that I have.

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undeadkingpr
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I notice case says cyberpower on it-Did you get it from them?

Oh and nice fan controlling+blue theme going on

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Morse
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i bet the power company loves you fort hat UPS. beats any surge protector though

Razear
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Looks sweet even though you bought it pre-built. Cyberpower is a great company for custom builds nonetheless. Also nice UPS.

SubZero
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Thanks. Since I put in that Antec power supply with FOUR 12v rails of 25a each, the GTX 295 is working AWESOME! Titan Quest at 2560x1600. Nice.

I have built my systems in the past, but this particular build I just wanted to pick the parts and have the assembly be under warranty. My fingers are not as nimble as they used to be, and having them connect all the cables to the MB, do the heat sink and fan, install the GTX 295, etc was nice.

I tell ya - this 30" Samsung has GREAT color. I bought the Dell 3008WFP and it was awful. The color was horrible and no amount of adjusting could fix it. Sent that back, got the Samsung and it looks very, very nice.

I run my desktop in 2048x1536 by default (like my old 21" CRT used to) and am very glad to get that real estate back. Being limited to 1600x1200 on the 20.1" LCD's I have got under my skin every now and then. It's a nice step back up.

Keep livin' the dream - a 30" LCD could be yours after some savings - you could help the economy by "investing" in the hardware.

Maybe we need a "PC Stimulus Package" so tons of folks can get 'em. :)

Here's a summary of what I have:

CyberPowerPC Custom with CoolerMaster Elite 310 Blue case, a 750 Watt Antec True Power Blue, Gigabyte MA770T-UD3P MB, 1 Blue Cathode Light, 3 Blue 120mm fans, stock CPU cooling for an AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE, 4 Gig DDR3 at 1800 Mhz, EVGA GTX 295, 1.44 Meg Floppy Drive, 2 IDE and 1 SATA hard drive, 1 Optiarc AD7240S SATA Optical Drive, Realtek 888 MB Audio, 30" Samsung 305T 2560x1600 capable LCD all plugged into an APC RS 1200va UPS that has BOTH Boost AND Trim AVR

Happy Computing!

nilzxx
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It jsut doesn't sound very safe to leave the case permanently open. For me it decreases the temperature. Having a table fan blow into the case decreases the temps even more.

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RealTime
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I leave mine on to prevent dust from getting in. Also I have my case set to have a positive pressure which requires the side panel to be in place.

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SubZero
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I've limited myself to the default fan setup and have not thought about modding the case to include another fan, such as a fan at the very top to draw hot air out.  Maybe I should consider doing just that - drilling holes or cutting out a square chunk in the top with my Dremel so I can put a 120mm fan to draw the air out.

I'm not sure what temperature ranges are "safe" for the processor and ambient temp in the case as it is now.  I guess I should try to figure out that before doing anything drastic.

mimart7
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What temps are you getting? Run hwmon & post a screenie.

SubZero
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Temps from 41c idle to 55c or so under load

DemonicDerek
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On, but the side panel has 3 fans on it so not much of a difference. 2 of those fans suck in air and one sucks air out.

Il Metallurgico
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side panel on and 3/4 12mm fan inside

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Kindom934
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Been awhile...but having 5 desktops that can actually game, all with side covers on. I don't wanna risk pushing something inside of the case, lol.

TheSinzia
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All of my cases are well-vented with dust filters, I leave them on since that's how they were designed, it also helps immensely with dust!

dustyschaffner
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like i said before my cruddy mid tower does better with the side panel off but i cringe in fear of something bad happening when my baby cousins come over. last time i had to jump like a ninja and catch my secondary monitor by the corner right before it hit the ground because they keep horseplayin in my room. so when the kids come over cover goes on! hate to have something get thrown at my CPU cooler or something and snapping my motherboard in half

Flamestrike92
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If heat is a really big problem for you, you should maybe look into open case styles.
I am using the Antec Skeleton at the moment, and I rarely have issues with overheating. (There is a video review on 3GM for it). The massive fan on top provides ample cooling down directly onto all the parts, and an addition 14cm fan attaches to the front HDD bays. The only problem with it is that there is really no opportunity for any modding.

Skull Abyss Pro...
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I would keep the side panel on, main concern leaving it off would be that a lot of dust could collect causing your hardware to over heat, Which is not a good thing, cause one of my friends was talking to me about his computer always shutting down after about every 15 mins. so i checked inside his computer, there was a ton of dust on the top of hs CPU Cooler, the worst thing is, the CPU Cooler's Fan was not able to get cool air down on the heat sync. So i had to take it off and give it a good cleaning, once i got it back in, his cpu was running a lot more cooler. Also his case fan was barely pushing air out and i didn't have any spare Case fans on hand. So Leave the side panel on. But if you do leave your side panel off, be sure to make a very big dust filter made out of screen mesh to keep most of the dust out of your system

Skull Abyss

cvasquez
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I don't leave mine open but I do leave it without the hand screws and just in case I need to get in, is a quick release.

:)


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Salavat23
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Leave it on. For several reasons:

1. Radiation. Every casing enclosure sold on the market has to pass a certain requirement (except benches), preventing x amount of radiation from leaving the case. Sure its not that harmful, but prolonged exposure could be fairly hazerdous.

2. Dust and other things can get into the case, making cooling even worse.

3. Cases are designed to have cool air enter, while hot air escapes. If you ruin that pathway, you are just circulating the hot air. The only time it would improve cooling is if there is a lack of air flow in the case already.