Computer case cooling

I have a case cooling question. I have an old Antec case that I would like to use to as a file server. It's running an Intel 2.93Ghz Core 2 Duo. I would like to use a Raid 5, so there will be probably at least 6 drives, one for the OS and the rest as storage. This case has two 80mm front case fans, two 80mm rear fans and one 80mm side panel fan. There would not be much airflow from the front case fans as the hard drives would be blocking much of the airflow. Those case fans sit right in front of the hd's.
I was toying with the idea of using water cooling and custom mounting it on the side panel. I'm looking opinions on whether or not this may work.


Thanks,
Mike
aintgot1Asked:
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Dan CraciunIT ConsultantCommented:
For a file server I think watercooling would be overkill.

Get a good tower cooler for the processor (I like Scythe Ninja's) and you won't have a problem with cooling. Those 2 80mm in front will work great to keep your hdd's cool.

From a noise point of view, I would replace each pair of 80 mm fans with a silent 120mm one (Nexus Real Silent for ex) and get rid of the 80mm fan from the side panel.

HTH,
Dan
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Frosty555Commented:
The front case fans provide cooling for your HDDs primarily. As a secondary benefit they also intake cool air. They are important, you want to keep them.

If you can't put in a 120mm, you can get very quiet and efficient 80mm fans for not too expensive.

I agree with Dan on all points. You want an intake fan, an exhaust fan, and a reasonable air cooled CPU heat sink. Don't bother with the side fans.

For a CPU cooler, I've personally been a fan of arctic cooling's products. They are cheap, they work very well, they're quiet. The Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro Rev 2 is my favourite CPU heat sink for custom builds. It fits comfortably even in smallish cases and fits almost every bracket and socket type imaginable.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835186134&Tpk=arctic%20cooling%20freezer%207%20pro

Your computer is not particularly complicated or heat intensive. It's just a Core 2 Duo with a few hard drives in it. Adequate, quiet air cooling should not be difficult to achieve. Water cooling won't give you any benefit here.
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aintgot1Author Commented:
Thanks for the responses. The whole theory behind the water cooler would be to put cooler air into the case and , hopefully lowering the internal temp of the case. I had no heat issues when I had one hard drive. I had better airflow because there was only the one hard drive there to obstruct the airflow. With 6 hd's, I'm figuring there will be more heat and the airflow will be less because of the hd's obstruction. I can't change the size of any of the fans except the side panel fan, and I don't really care for for it, but it seems the side panel is the only place to add anything if I had too. So you don't see any need to increase the cooling due to the additional hd's?


Thanks,
Mike
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Dan CraciunIT ConsultantCommented:
I'd be surprised to see an increase of temperature of more than 2-3 degrees (Celsium) on the CPU because of the extra hdd's.
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Frosty555Commented:
The only concern I would have is the HDDs themselves would get hot, just because there's lots of them and they're close to each other.  Having a front case fan infront of the HDDs as you have described, solves that issue nicely.

The intake airflow has a very very minor effect on the overall cooling of your case. You don't have to worry about the HDDs obstructing airflow.
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aintgot1Author Commented:
Thanks again. I will skip the water cooling. I'll compare the fans I have with the ones suggested and others to see if I can better what I have now and monitor the temp when it's all together.


Thanks,
Mike
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