Very thought provoking article. I'm considering putting a fanless PSU in my P150 (aka Antec Solo White) case, now that the stock Antec Neo HE 430 is finally creating issues for me after so many faithful years.
One thing I'm confused about though is the discussion/picture of the "typical old school ATX top-mounted PSU case" (which for these purposes the P150 would have to be considered as, since it lacks the top vent/port of the Solo II). The airflow picture in particular (the one on page three with the caption "If a fanless PSU like a Seasonic X400 or Kingwin STR-500 is used, then it becomes an intake vent for the exhaust fan on the back panel.")
seems to imply that the airflow will be come in through the back (where fanned PSUs exhaust) and then through the bottom of the PSU, becasue your blue "airflow" arrow is drawn through the bottom of the green box, representing the outline of the PSU. But, for the fanless Seasonics, how is this possible? As you describe yourself in the very next section, Seasonic warns you MUST install the PSU in the case with the vented side facing up
-- and this means the underside that faces the motherboard cavity is solid metal & would have little-to-no airflow, no? So wouldn't that picture actually have to show the air coming in the back of the case, horizontally through the entire PSU, then curing around 180 degrees & down to travel out through the back? In other words the airflow through the inside of the case would be longer, it would be a U on it's left side, not a backwards C, with the air traveling further to the right in the picture before it loops back (I hope that description is clear, and I didn't just muddy matters by elaborating so much!)
I think this could actually be a better
thing than what you describe, if you use a standard ATX top PSU case unmodded (more on that is a second) -- the air entering the back of the PSU will travel through the entire length, instead of immediately being sucked downwards before it can create airflow in the portion of the PSU towards the front of the case. That seems like a better thing to have happen if your PSU is fanless. But I just want to make sure I am understanding what you would do in this situation, that this picture is incorrect, you are not actually advocating mounting the Seasonic fanless PSUs upside down so the airflow can go that way. And, related, if the picture is wrong, and these PSUs are mounted with vents upwards as directed, are you suggesting that the fanless PSUs are safe to put in a case without the top air vent of the Solo II has (e.g, in my P150?).
And as a second question, if I did try to put a fanless in my P150, how critical would it be or not be to mod it to put a vent (some knd of hole cut into the top and screened on the top back to make it function more like a Solo II in that regard? It would allow more venting, shich on the surface seems good, but I still am wodering, maybe it's actually better to have only one completely air path though the PSU, from left to right in the photo, so that all portions get airflow? If you have the vent in the top then less air would come in through the top of the case back panel, and the right side of the PSU would get more airflow than the left?
Perhaps in this regard, the best thing might be to get the Kingwin, not the Seasonic, and cut the vent in the top above the PSU. Because the Kingwin has the solid heatisnk on the top, the airflow through the PSU would still be left to right. But the heatsink on the Kingwin would take advantage of the vent on the top, the vent would allow the heatsink (PSU) to cool by "convection?"
LOL, better stop now for feedback, is any of this musing making sense to anyone?