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This project is an exercise in optimal dissipation of heat in a PC case.

High airflow volume (performance)
Low airflow velocity (silence) 
Simple layout and construction
As large as necessary but no larger

Unimpeded airflow path and very large, low restriction ventilation openings
Separated graphics and CPU cooling zones each with direct ambient inflow and exhaust
Support for the highest performance graphics cards, CPUs and power supplies
Enough clearance for the best CPU coolers
Room for at least 2 3.5" HDDs, slim optical drive

1. Graphics cooling.  At the high end, graphics cards produce 2-3 times more heat than the rest of the components. It's becoming clear that the current ideal graphics cooler design employs vertical fins fed by heatpipes and ventilated by 3 fans.  This heatsink layout results in heat exhaust primarily from the top and bottom sides of the card.  Most modern cases don't provide an adequate exit for this heat which remains in the case and impedes the cooling of other components.  This design relies heavily on a mini-ITX motherboard layout to allow optimal graphics airflow.
2. CPU cooling.  Modern heatpipe towers compete very well with sealed water cooling solutions and are definitely superior from a reliability and maintenance perspective.  All that is required for ideal CPU cooling is to provide fresh ambient air and not obstruct the flow.  Horizontal motherboard positioning was chosen for gravity assistance of tower style heatpipe coolers. This improvement varies from negligible to significant depending on cooler design.
3. Case cooling.  This design employs a single 180mm case fan. Its primary purpose is to provide enough airflow across the CPU cooler to prevent re-circulation.  It secondarily provides cooling for motherboard and hard drives.  The power supply could be configured to draw air in from under the case or from under the motherboard.  I think the latter would be Ideal.

Revision D: CPU airflow intake front, exhaust rear.  Graphics intake left side with exhaust flowing up and down out of the case.

Revision G: Graphics exhaust channeled to rear.  Some negative impact on graphics airflow volume and velocity.  Possible reduction of recirculation. Possible reduction of noise at front of case. Graphics better protected from dust, spills, impact.

Feb 15, 2014, 7:07 AM
Jan 3, 2016, 6:55 AM
Jan 3, 2016, 6:55 AM
Jan 3, 2016, 10:41 PM