Inwin ATX Case. Side fan and screen

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I have a P4 system with four 250GB SATA drives. PCI Express video, card
reader and an Intel 845 MB. The case is an Inwin with the fan and screen on
the LH side. Now, is this fan supposed to suck cool air in? Or, blow hot air
out? I have talked to my local shops and get different answers. It is now
sucking in cool air...

Re: Inwin ATX Case. Side fan and screen

On Thu, 09 Mar 2006 03:08:32 GMT, "softwareguru"

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Inwin is a brand, not a specific case model.  We still don't
know what case you have.

Even so, in general the fans on the side (of a typical case)
blows in, is an intake fan.  Did it not come with the fan
installed?  The fan should be left as it came, unless there
is good reason to believe it was installed backwards.

However, that makes it a poor case for your system *IF* it
is otherwise typical.  Having a side intake fan was an intel
initiative, largely because their CPUs were ramping up and
running quite hot.  Intel decided the rest of your system
will run hotter so they can ship cheaper heatsinks with
their CPUs.  The point is that any active intakes other than
in the bottom front of a case, greatly reduce the intake air
flowing through the hard drive rack. "X" amount will come in
the front normally (without a side intake fan) which is
typically enough for 1 or 2 drives in a well ventilated case
(reasonably ventilated, fans at moderate levels only to keep
noise under control).  Add another drive or two and the
passive front intakes on many cases become marginal,
especially if the drive rack is butted up against the front
intake area as the drive frame then further impede the
airflow.  Even worse if the drive rack puts the frames too
close together, for a passive intake they need to be further
apart than when a front pusher fan is installed.

So, it may well be that the side fan is causing your hard
drives to run hotter than they could... whether this is a
problem, only you can determine since we dont' know the
case, nor the ambient temps, and can't measure the drive
temps.  If your CPU had a large cooling margin (stayed well
below any overheating thresholds), you could even consider
blocking the side fan hole (removing the fan first) or
flipping the fan over.  Key is taking temps so you know how
any changes effect any and all parts... even so, the fan is
usually installed blowing in to counter cheap, marginally
effective CPU heatsinks (or rarely, lower on the case side
panel to blow across the video card region for same reason).

Re: Inwin ATX Case. Side fan and screen

Thanks for the excellent reply. As I thought, the fan was installed wrong
from the start. It was blowing the air "out" of the side screen when I got
the computer. It was making all kinds on noise and never cooled correctly. I
had a local shop install a new fan and it now blow inwards and the computer
is a lot cooler.
Thanks again.

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