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Safe to mount cooler on top of case instead of inside?

Voratus

53 months ago

So I'm building my first system in a couple of decades. You might be able to guess how out of touch I am with certain technologies...

That said, I'm building this: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/VKgHMp I have all the parts. The cooler (radiator) will not fit inside the case. It was suggested that I either use a different cooler with the single-size (as opposed to the double this is) or mount the radiator and fans on top of the case. If I do the latter and mount it on top of the case, will that still, well, work as well as if it were inside? Is it a horrible idea and only bad people would do it? Should I just try to return the cooler I bought and get a smaller one?

Also, is there a way to report incompatibilities on parts for this site? It was listed as compatible with the case, but it's not.

Comments

  • 53 months ago
  • 2 points

According to the data sheet the radiator will fit onto the top of the case, the front of the case and onto the window. Are you sure it doesn't fit into any of those spots? Are you sure they shipped you the right case? You would have to remove the stock fan from the front of the case to make at least the front work. Mounting the radiator to the front of the case is the most effective thing to do, yielding significant increases in performance. If you decide to mount it to the top, you might have to move your DVD-reader (if you have one) down one slot to make sure there is adequate clearance to the side for tubes and all that.

Mechanically, there is no problem with mounting it outside of the case. It might actually help with airflow, at least to some extent. It just wont be very nice-looking, and you will hear all the noise the bearings and rotors of the fans make. The radiator will collect more dust, and you might have trouble actually getting it outside.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

I'll have to double-check the front, but I don't think there's enough room for the long radiator to mount there. There is room for the radiator (only) at the top, but when you attach the fans to it, it is too large as it conflicts with the space the motherboard uses. I contacted Corsair and got a reply of "yeah, the large ones won't fit up there with that case for the exact reason you mention." (paraphrased) I'll have to check the window as well. It wouldn't be ideal, but if it works...

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

this case was nice 3 years ago. it should have been dropped to $59.99 instead of them launching the 200R. the 300R doesn't have any advantage on that one except a more open front panel. heck, the 200R has dedicated SSD bays more in line with current times.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

It does look like I can mount it on the side panel. Not enough room in the front for a double-sized radiator + fans. I think I'm going to have to bend part of the 5 1/4 drive enclosures because a flap on the bottom of it is like a few mm down where the fan mounts, but that seems to be a minor tweak.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

That's excellent news. It really comes down to sheer luck nowadays that a radiator actually fits into the spot it allegedly is designed for.

Call it a "crucial efficiency enhancement" and no one will question you.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Actually, after installing the video card, there's no chance of it fitting on the side panel. This case is just not shaped well. Going to have to return the cooler and get a smaller one.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

it doesn't fit. you can sort of squish a 240 clc into a 300R, but it overhangs the motherboard. a 280 will not fit and will not fit in the front either.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Personally, I think you should've gone with a 240mm rad instead. This looks pretty clean:

http://pcpartpicker.com/b/PkYJ7P

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Unfortunately, as I'm finding, the problem is that the radiator with fans is too thick to go anywhere the larger size radiator can mount. The 280mm isn't the problem, it's that with the fans on, the radiator is too thick to fit anywhere. A 240mm, if it winds up with the same thickness, wouldn't work either. It seems the -only- option with this case is a rear-mounted 120mm (maybe a front-mounted one, but no point to that if a rear-mount would fit).

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

not at all. I just gave u a link to a dude's build w/ a Corsair (I think H100i) w/ fans on it, top mounted. should go in slick as a smelt.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Yup, it's a Corsair H100i, and that's a 240mm rad. He's got SP120s on it and it looks like it fits perfectly.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

I checked it out; I see what you're talking about now. I think even with a 240mm up top, I'd still have the same problem, because the motherboard I have has some bulk in the top-left when mounted which is where the big problem with my existing one is. Not sure a slightly shorter one would get around that. Either way, I'll have to get a new cooler.

Also, pretty impressive cable management on those pics. Something for me to strive for! :)

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

return the case. bad value for it's price these days. NZXT S340 or Phanteks Enthoo Pro M (if you need top and front radiatior support and an optical drive bay). return the 300R. if you have a case, motherboard or psu that limited you in such a way you have made a mistake. mistakes can be corrected though.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

That cooler is not a great fit for that case. Top mounting it with the rad inside the case is going to end up causing fitment issues between the fans and the heat sink on the MOBO. If you wanted to get out the tin snips and cut a hole in the top of the case to feed down the block you could attached the fans on the inside, put the rad on the outside. It would likely be easier to just return it and go with a smaller cooler.

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