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System Cooling and Case Cutting (Page 1/5)

Posted: February 21, 2000
Written by: Dan "Tweak Monkey" Kennedy


With modern PCs, cooling isn't an option, it's a necessity. I'm not just talking about CPUs or video cards -- you should have additional cooling in your case. Fortunately there are several affordable cooling solutions available that really help solve the heat problems in your case. However, if you're just putting a big fan in your case without any sort of extra ventilation you're not going to get the most of your fan. This guide will help you decide on what size fan to purchase or use, where to place the fans, and it will show you how to cut holes in your case to maximize airflow.

Note - This guide was written with the assumption that your case is fully assembled with all the front/back/top/side pieces in place. Take caution when following this guide. We take no responsibility for damage it may cause!

Parts Checklist

Maybe you like your PC and you spent a lot of money on it, but in this guide you're going to cut it up and screw holes into it. Is that a problem? Here are the parts you'll need to get started with your cooling system:
-At least 1 fan:
I recommend an 80mm fan or larger to help move a lot of air. Just remember that the bigger the fan is, the bigger the hole in your case needs to be. Also keep in mind that the more fans you add, the more power you're going to draw from your power supply. For this article, I used a Card Cooler, disassembled into its parts: two 80mm fans. The rails and screws were not used. You can find an 80mm fan at a computer store, radio shack, etc., or you can do what I did and just take The Card Cooler and rip it to pieces.
-As many bolts and nuts as are required to mount the fan(s) completely:
As I mentioned above, for this article we used two 80mm fans and the perfect bolt size was: 6-32 x 1 1/2". These can be purchased at a hardware store for very cheap (maybe a dollar or two for all the bolts and nuts you'll need).
-Fan grills (optional):
Not only do grills protect your fingers and other objects from getting chopped by your fans; they also make the case cutting job look damn snazzy and professional. We got grills from The Card Cooler Shop. The price is $3 for 80mm, $3.25 for 120mm. Wait till you see pictures of the finished product and you'll want some! :)

That's all for the required parts. Remember, all we're doing in this article is mounting fans and cutting holes for them.

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