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THE REST OF THE SYSTEM
The Air Intake
Behind the bezel, there is a dust filter over a nicely unrestrictive grills, and behind them a pair of Nexus 92 mounted with AcoustiProduct's fan grommet kit. The fan panel opens to provide access to the hard drive, which is mounted using the rubber suspension.
AcoustiProduct's soft fan mounting kit was used for the three case fans.
The upper fan of the two intake fans blows outside air across the hard drive and to the CPU area beyond. It runs at 7V constantly, using the 7 volt trick. The lower fan, which cools the HDD a bit by blowing beneath it, but is there mostly to insure that the VGA cooling fan gets adequate outside air. This fan is plugged into a Q-fan controlled motherboard fan header, and receives the same thermally-controlled voltage feed as the CPU fan. Nexus 92 fans are very quiet even at 12V; at these reduced voltages they are even quieter.
The photo below shows the airflow patterns in the case. There are seven individual noise makers in the system: One hard drive, and six fans, including the VGA cooling fan, and the fan in the Antec NeoHE 430 power supply, which is very smooth and quiet. The dark line below the PSU and duct indicate that the PSU is in one thermal zone and the rest of the system is in another; the heat from one area does not pass into the other.
Typical airflow paths.
The sheer number of fans, each on different circuits, ensures minimal risk of catastrophic cooling failure. It also means they can all spin pretty slowly, and collectivity make very little noise while still moving a large volume of air. It' easiest to think of the fan/cooling design as a relay system, with the intake air starting at the front and being passed from fan to fan, cooling components along the way, and rising in temperature, before finally being exhausted, through the PSU, the back case exhaust fan, or the VGA cooling fan.
The side where much of the wiring is hidden for improved airflow.
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