Apologies if this is the wrong place for hardware questions. I did look through the list of stack sites and this site seemed to be the best (Computer enthusiasts).
Key: Yellow arrow: fan airflow direction, Orange arrow: GPU exhaust, Blue square: fan.
I have a Geforce 580 gtx graphics card in my computer. A few months back I installed a fan on the front of my PC to improve airflow generally as the hard disks were getting too hot. This worked a treat: From my attached diagram you can see the airflow this creates in the case. Hdds run around 30°C
The problem I have is that when my graphics card starts working hard, the way it is designed destroys this airflow. It brings in air from the bottom and blows it out the front and back. The air blown out of the back fights directly against the air blown in by the new fan. The red exclamation mark represents the problem area. This area gets very warm during heavy GPU workload. My hard disk temps creep up to between 40°C and 50°C.
My temporary solution is to keep the side off the case. I have heard that this is not recommended but I assure you that it works in my case. With the case side on my graphics card fan runs at full speed and temps are around 90°C and hard disks near 50°C. With the case side off the graphics card is between 80°C and 86°C (still too high for my liking but below the 97°C maximum safe temperature rating for the card) and the hard disks around 40°C.
Finally, my question: Do you think I should have the front fan pointing in the opposite direction? I think this will vent the hot air created by the graphcis card, but It probably eliminates the airflow through the entire case when the graphics card isn't working hard.