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Airflow Design



Here are some basics about airflow design, that take great importance

in the designing of a PC



1. The minimum airflow




This is the basic design of 10 years old PCs, or of entrance-level PC's.

As the air gets warm, it gets higher, and gets aspired by the Power Supply Unit

( PSU ) and exhausted out of the PC case.


pros :     . cheaper


cons :    . no HDDs cooling

             . nos fresh air aspiration in the PC case

             . low air flow through the PC case


             . the PSU gets the case 's hot air passing through



2. A good airflow



The addition of a fan in front of the HDDs' cages blows fresh air in front of them,

bettering their temperature, reliabality, as well as the reliability of teh datas in them,

and increases the air flow through the entire PC case. There is now a real aspire /

exhaust airflow situation between the front fan and the PSU fan


pros :    . HDDs cooling

            . real aspire / exhaust airflow scheme


cons :   . PSU gets the case 's hot air passing through




3. A better airflow



The extra exhaust fan takes the warm air, including the warm air near the CPU

cooling, and exhausts it outside of the case. There is now a stronger case airflow.

More, the PSU has to take care of less of the case hot airflow, which increases the

PSU's reliability, lifetime, and silence of use.


pros : . stronger and better airflow through the PC case

. helthier and more silence PSU

cons : . more fans to deal with ?



4. A class A airflow



Recent high end PC cases now allow to seat the PSU at the bottom of the PC case,

sometime in a separate compartiment from the rest of the case. The PSU now takes

its fresh air from under teh PC, and blows warm air ouside. The PSU is now totally out

of the main case's airflow scheme. As computers gets more powerfull with time, it's more

and more energy that is dissipated as warmth, and it's now getting a little much for the

PSU of having these warm air passing through, when at the same time it has to dissipate

its own heat by himself.


A 500 W PSU of 90 % efficiency at full load = 50 W to be dissipated as heat.



pros :   . best airflow scheme now

           . PSU is even healthier, more reliable and more silent

           . more fans can be added at the top of the PC case, for an even better airflow


cons :   . high end PC cases only



Conclusion :


Airflow design plays a major role in numerous aspects of a PC assembly : health, reliability,

lifetime, silence of both datas and hardware. It should be very toroughly thought of, and very

carefully be implemented. Paying 30 € more for a better PC case and 10 € more for a couple

of case fans is a worthy investment.


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