So back when I got my new computer recently, I picked up a Phenom II X4 945 chip (quad core, hence the “X4”) and a Lian Li PC-A05NB case. The case is a mini-tower that can fit ATX or microATX (my board is a micro). I’ve left in the stock fans and heatsink.
The case is weird, because the air flow is the opposite of most conventional cases (back to front):
(Image from Lian Li.)
The stock fans don’t move much air, and when you toss in power cables and a power supply, it’s (apparently) time for trouble. My idle temperatures are around 44 C, and 50-60% load (running Minecraft Server and Client, plus Firefox with my usual 20 tabs) gets up to 58-61 C very quickly.
AMD says the max temp is 62 C on the chip.
In looking to fix the problem, I’m bombarded by overclockers and outdated heatsink reviews. I don’t see anyone with this specific chip/case combo, which doesn’t surprise me, but I also don’t see a very good guide to step-by-step fixing of a heat problem like this.
Should I replace the fans first (these GentleTyphoons seem amazing) and focus on the airflow? Should I go straight for replacing the heatsink with some monstrosity? I’m not even sure something like the Noctua NH-D14 would fit in my case, but it’s awfully pretty.
It seems like the airflow is the way to start–even with a ridiculous heatsink, the heat being sunk has to go somewhere. Given the case image above, I could replace the two stock fans in the bottom-front and bottom-back, and if that’s not enough, replace the top panel with one with a fan.
My video card (an ATI Radeon 4350) has no heatsink of its own (neither does my RAM), and the airflow as it stands now in the case pushes all that hot air onto my hard drive and power supply. Exhausting into the case front seems silly–the front case cover isn’t going to be great for letting the air out, and the front-mounted power supply is probably collecting a tidy amount of heat.
Aside from the heat problems, I love the case–easy to work in, small and discrete in my bedroom-office. Is the heat problem solvable in this case?