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View Full Version : Aluminium case vs. steel - temp. difference?


Som
11-07-2002, 10:37 AM
Does using a alu case REALLY lower overall system temp? The whole thing is supposed to act as a heatsink to lower internal temp to ambient, which makes some sort of sense, but does it work? Any good comparison reviews anywhere?

Ta!

bigben2k
11-07-2002, 10:49 AM
I don't believe that it does, and if there is any effect, it would be negligeable.

Aluminium is the prime material for air cooling though, but since it's not in direct physical contact with a heat source, all it would do is receive heat from the air in the case, and transmit it to air outside the case. Steel would do that too, but less efficiently.

All in all, there are other factors that are far, far more important in keeping the inside of a case cool, like airflow.

The hype about Alu cases is blown way out of proportion, In My Opinion...

mfpmax
11-07-2002, 11:01 AM
myth?

*read sales gimmick

ezlid
11-07-2002, 03:16 PM
Originally posted by Som
The whole thing is supposed to act as a heatsink to lower internal temp to ambient, which makes some sort of sense, but does it work?

Ta!

Sorry, but the purpose is to organize and protect the guts of your system. It isn't designed to act as heatsink to lower the internal temps. Thats left to the blowing and sucking fans! I have never believed that an aluminium case is cooler than an a steel case. They are just the "fad" at the moment. If AL cases were meant to lower internal temps, they would have fins on the sides to help. UMMM?

bigdawginva
11-07-2002, 06:05 PM
And, of course, one of pHaestus' 5 myths about cooling...
http://www.procooling.com/articles/html/5_myths_about_cooling__-_phaes.shtml

peregrine
11-09-2002, 08:12 AM
Let's say you wanted to fry some eggs. How long would they take to fry if you were holding the pan 2 feet above the stove? That's how effective Al cases are at cooling your system.

bigben2k
11-09-2002, 11:10 AM
Originally posted by peregrine
Let's say you wanted to fry some eggs. How long would they take to fry if you were holding the pan 2 feet above the stove? That's how effective Al cases are at cooling your system.
Actually, to compare it more acurately, imagine an Alu skillet versus a cast iron frying pan, in the same setup.

g.l.amour
11-09-2002, 12:07 PM
good one

peregrine
11-10-2002, 10:44 AM
I wasn't comparing the two, but you make a good point :)

golovko
11-10-2002, 02:44 PM
ive had two aluminum cases and three steel cases and I haven't really noticed much of a difference in ambient temps as forementioned above; however, I would never go back to steel after having aluminum for the sole reason of weight, which makes a huge difference especially when watercooling (if you plan on moving your case around)

Som
11-10-2002, 03:14 PM
Thanks everybody.
Looks like it'll be steel then!

Som

Can O' Beans
11-10-2002, 11:41 PM
Thinking about it...

The only cooling advantage might be in the hard drive mounting.

If the hard drive rack was of at least somewhat decent thickness, it would help draw & spread out the heat from the hard drives, creating a larger surface area to dissapate their heat. Probably wouldn't help overall temps much, but might help keep the drives just a few degrees cooler.

mfpmax
11-11-2002, 12:19 AM
What I want to do is see the weight difference...

Thats the only reason why I'd get aluminium...as I've come to find my Antec SX635 is quite heavy...if they make a Aluminum version...which will most likely be Black or Silver...i'd like to get my hands on just the chassis and transfer my beige parts over...

ATLPIMP
11-11-2002, 03:46 AM
When I went from an Antec 1000 to a Coolermaster ATC-201, my temps dropped... but I couldn't conclude that it was based solely on the material of the case. Structural, there's a big difference between the two.:shrug:

MadDogMe
11-12-2002, 03:03 AM
Aluminium is the prime material for air cooling though, Why?...

peregrine
11-12-2002, 04:12 AM
Copper is heavy, harder to work with and easy to warp/distort.

That means a heatsink that can be more expensive and weigh more than half a kilo (this on a fragile cpu). Most people just aren't willing to go this far for cooling.

edit: forgot to mention i was talking about copper :D

quokked
11-12-2002, 08:03 AM
Of course u could always do something crazy like this http://www.geocities.jp/numano3/backhe.html of course and hook up your CPU to the case, this would work probably VERY well in a Al Case :)

bigben2k
11-12-2002, 09:58 AM
Originally posted by MadDogMe
Why?...
The combination of the density and heat transfer make Aluminium ideal for air cooling. I'd refer you to Dave's article, but I can't find it.

Nice link, Quokked. I like the idea of adding a heatsink on the back of the mobo.

golovko
11-12-2002, 09:56 PM
Originally posted by bigben2k
The combination of the density and heat transfer make Aluminium ideal for air cooling. I'd refer you to Dave's article, but I can't find it.

Nice link, Quokked. I like the idea of adding a heatsink on the back of the mobo.

Bigben is right on this one, just to give you an idea, heres the different thermal conductivities of common metals discussed in these forums:

Aluminum: 237
Copper: 401
Silver: 429
Steel: 15.1

higher is better, all measurements in (W/m*K)

You can see from this that for heatsinks, silver would be ideal, but for price/performance ratio copper definitely wins.

MadDogMe
11-23-2002, 05:32 AM
Oh right ease of manufacture and all that!, I thought you were gonna give me the "Alu gives up heat better than Cu" speel :D ...

I dont think putting a HS on the back of the CPU would do alot, but it's something I've been meaning to do to my GPU for an age!, GPU is actualy mounted so there is some conduction, the air under the CPU socket makes it pointless IMO :shrug: ...

The NB would benifit too...

I thought about putting a small quiet(40mm/50mm) fan under the mobo drawing air under and venting through the mobo mounting panel/tray. do you think it's worth it?, would it cool the PCB/components down worth a damn?...

Blackeagle
11-23-2002, 04:51 PM
HOw about mounting a small fan on the outside case wall just as is done for side blowers on the other side of the case. It would draw in outside cool air, through a small duct to the MB plate, then have a hole cut into the MB plate to let that cool air hit the back of the MB and spread out from there.

I have to think some have done this before, outcome?

MadDogMe
11-24-2002, 01:11 AM
Same difference! :p ...

I was thinking of doing it mainly because I was getting higher system/mobo temps than I was CPU temps!!!, found out it's cause the thero' is at the usual bottom left of the mobo and I have a SoundBastard 5.1 in the lowest PCI slot. those S(o)B's get very hot!, for what they are anyways :D ...

Sys/mobo temp : 31DegC
CPU/Socket temp : 32DegC
Ambient/room temp : 22~23DegC