Return to Level1Techs.com

AIO rad orientation and big limitation of most ATX cases for 360 rad

Gamers Nexus did a video on improper orientation of AIOs. As he pointed out, it is common to see rad mounted in front so that the tubes go up from the pump. This isn’t ideal and isn’t very obvious for a new builder. Worst of all it seems that pre built manufacturers make products like this that are likely to cause issues in the long run.

I have TT Floe Riing 360 AIO which I mounted improperly in front, tubes going on top of the radiator as I just didn’t know. I noticed pump whine and liquid noise and also surprisingly high temperatures. The case I was running the system was Meshify C which does (barely) allow 360 rad on the front but only if the tubes go up. Tube length and GPU being in the way would never allow 360 AIO to be installed properly to the front. The top mounting area only allows maximum 240mm rad, so I was out of options here.

What I did was that I modified my old Zalman Neo case to accommodate 360 rad on top. By moving my system to this case I immediately noticed much lower pump noise and almost ten degrees lower temperatures and also 100Mhz higher clocks on my 3950x. Likely this will increase life of my AIO which was quite expensive actually. The rig is pretty cyberpunk, rad and the colorful LEDs being exposed, but it works.

Looking at ATX cases here in Japan it seems hard to find a case which would allow 360 rad to be installed on top and have a proper airflow. So many cases here either doesn’t allow 360 rad or has a solid cover on top not allowing the air move freely. Even though my current setup doesn’t look very rad (pun intended) it’s hard to beat it thermally at least. One thing is that it is quite exposed, spilling coffee on it would mean spilling it directly on the mother board as its open on top, and also dust will be an issue.

Do you have a recommendation for a case that would allow 360 rad on top and have a great airflow?

I am so sad about the current situation the case industry is in…
How about taking a look at LianLi 011 Dynamic?
360 on the roof or 360 on the side…

I could easily recommend 10 cases from 5 years ago.
Phanteks Enthoo Pro
Fractal Arc Midi R2
NZXT H440 (not great airflow but a good case non the less, especially the refresh H442)
Deepcool Matrex 70
Thermaltake S300

Or you can go for some overpriced Corsair or new fractal design R7 case and have the same result…
Anyways, if you want something new and glass based so you can see your rig - Lian Li 011 Dynamic is the good option, while the Deepcool Matrexx 70 is the cheap option.

2 Likes

Thanks for this. I ordered Lian Li 011 Dynamic. Can’t wait.

1 Like