New Computer Build for DAW

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New Computer Build for DAW

Post by BbAltered »

Hello. I needs some help with a new computer build. I'm building a new DAW computer, based on an Intel i7 107000K processor and an Asus Prime A590-P mobo.

I bought a "be quiet" Dark Rock Slim as heatsink/fan for the processor - because it was advertised as very quiet. I carefully followed all of the included installation instructions. Even so, I ended up with the fan now facing the mobo outputs, instead of facing towards the RAM DIMM slots. be quiet tells me this is wrong: the fan should be facing the RAM DIMM slots. This information is missing entirely from the included instructions.

My question is: do I need to re-assemble the heatsink/fan to the correct orientation? Does it matter to processor cooling which way the heatsink/fan is oriented?

Currently, the assembled mobo is installed in the computer case. So to re-orient the heatsink/fan, I would need to remove the power supply from the case, remove the mobo from the case, remove the heatsink/fan from the processor, remove the thermal compound from the processor and heatsink, re-apply thermal compound, place the heatsink/face properly on the processor, and install everything back in the case. Obviously I would prefer not to have to do all that if I don't have to.

Note: I am using a be quiet Dark Rock Slim, not a Dark Rock. The Dark Rock heatsink allows the user to place the fan on either side of the heatsink. The Dark Rock Slim has a different configuration and only allows the fan to be mounted on one side of the heatsink.

Any help is appreciated. Thx
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Re: New Computer Build for DAW

Post by BWC »

I think that whether it will cause a problem or not depends on the layout of your case, and case fans. Air flow is usually front to back / bottom to top. Other arrangements are possible, of course, but you need to carefully consider the overall air flow through the case, as well as across the CPU.
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Re: New Computer Build for DAW

Post by S.Crow »

Test and see what the temps are like.
No point in looking for a solution until you confirm that you actually have a problem.
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Re: New Computer Build for DAW

Post by BbAltered »

Thanks BWC and S.Crow for your help.

The overall computer I am building is pretty basic: PS, processor, mobo, RAM, one SSD in a M.2 slot, one (large) spinning HD via SATA, DVD-RW, and FW interface card. I'm going with onboard graphics, so no graphics interface card. I am not at this time planning on overclocking the processor.

So my hope is with the basic build, there won't be as much heat generated in the case.

I'm currently leaning on going forward without rebuilding it. I'm still gathering info - hoping I can run into someone who has experience with the be quiet air coolers.

Thanks.
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Re: New Computer Build for DAW

Post by S.Crow »

Keep in mind that you won’t damage the CPU, as it will look after itself by thermally throttling.
Do you know how to stress test a CPU and monitor temps and clock speeds?
It’s a fairly simple procedure and you can use free software.
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Re: New Computer Build for DAW

Post by BWC »

Personally, if the air flow patterns didn't seem sensible to me, I'd rebuild, but that's just me, you certainly don't have to if your temps are within spec. Keep a close eye on temps over time, and of course, keep the dust out as best as you can.
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Re: New Computer Build for DAW

Post by merlyn »

BbAltered wrote: Tue Oct 26, 2021 8:45 pm So to re-orient the heatsink/fan, I would need to remove the power supply from the case, remove the mobo from the case, remove the heatsink/fan from the processor, remove the thermal compound from the processor and heatsink, re-apply thermal compound, place the heatsink/face properly on the processor, and install everything back in the case.

Why would you have to do all that? I have a Noctua D15, which is a similar sort of thing. It would come off with two screws -- I wouldn't need to take the whole computer apart.
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Re: New Computer Build for DAW

Post by Funkyflash5 »

Even if you can put the fan on only one side of the heatsink, you should be able to flip the fan to push/pull the air whichever way makes the most sense.
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Re: New Computer Build for DAW

Post by Funkyflash5 »

Just looked at the manual, and compared it to the Shadow Rock 3 in my pc, and I'm certain you can just unclip and flip the fan to solve your problem
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Re: New Computer Build for DAW

Post by BbAltered »

Thanks to all who have read and commented.

I should start off by saying this is my fifth computer build, so I have some experience, but I am no expert at this.

I think I will first try to keep the current configuration, and reverse the fan so it sucks air across the heatsink, instead of blowing air into the heatsink. The fan will still be located towards the rear of the computer case, but presumably will be drawing the cooler air from the front of the case into the heatsink.

I am imagining I will need to remove the motherboard from the case to do this, because those wire hooks that hold the fan in place are somewhat difficult to work with; all the moreso when trying to manipulate them inside the case itself.

With a previous build, I had a question about cooling, and testing this out involved running Prime95 for a number of hours while monitoring the processor temps with a software ap (I forget which one). I imagine I will go thru this procedure with this build as well.

I will probably have other questions as I move forward. I appreciate your help.
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Re: New Computer Build for DAW

Post by BWC »

BbAltered wrote: Thu Oct 28, 2021 6:35 pm ...while monitoring the processor temps with a software ap (I forget which one).

https://www.cpuid.com/softwares/hwmonitor.html
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Re: New Computer Build for DAW

Post by Eddy Deegan »

It's been a long time since I was building PCs but when it comes to fans I remember some of my rules of thumb.

If the case has a single exit point for warm air then generally I'd be inclined to configure the fans to blow out of it. However where possible I would always configure fans to suck cold air rather than blow hot air as it's better for the fan and if the air pressure is higher inside the case than outside of it then there should be less of a dust problem.

Even though intuitively one might think that fans blowing out are better for dust, the opposite is true because you're turning the case into a very low powered vacuum cleaner in that scenario, where the case is the dust bag.

Hot air rises, so exit points in the upper half of the case are good as the pressure there will be slightly higher. I'd be happy positioning a weak fan to assist the warm air out at that point - all it really needs to do is persuade the air to go sideways a bit instead of upwards.

Beefy fans sucking cold air in towards the bottom of the case are definitely good things in my book. You can configure any internal fans to further direct that cool ingress over hotspots like graphics cards and the general CPU area. The higher the exhausts are positioned in the case, the better.

However, it has been a long time so don't take this as a definitive guide, just some things to think about and research a bit if you're that way inclined ;)
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