These are the components I have:

  • MB: Gigabyte 970A-D3P
  • Heatsink: CM Hyper T4
  • Case: Bitfenix Neos

The following picture is the heatsink setup with 2 fans: enter image description here

As you can see, the air flows upwards, but the case doesn't have a hole in the up part to let the air out. Ideally I'd be pointing toward the rear fan, but the motherboard locks won't allow it that way (I'm using AMD board).

There is about 1 inch between the top fan and the top of the case; and there is also 1 inch between the whole Heatsink and the rear fan. I also got 2 intake fans in the front part of the case.

  1. Can this setup bring overheating issues since the hot air would be stuck in the top part?
  2. Should I invert heatsink airflow downards?
  3. Should I use only 1 fan for space reasons?


This is a diagram of the airflow based on the fan position. Also I forgot to mention that I am NOT overclocking and I won't be, just want to know if the fan array is dangerous enough to either change case or replace motherboard (as it seems like the issue is the AM3+ not being able to be rotated, like intel does)

enter image description here

  • Blue square are fans
  • The red line means that part of the case should be kind of hot.
  • "As you can see, the air flows upwards..." -- No, that is not "upwards", as there is no proper point of reference. Such heatsink assemblies are intended to face the back of the case. If you cannot rotate the assembly, then you should look for different style of heatsink. You won't get proper airflow with that setup, even if you remove the rear fan from the heatsink (i.e. the rear case fan and heatsink fans(s) interfere with each other). OR cut an opening in the case opposite the fan! – sawdust Dec 17 '15 at 22:58
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    are you absolutely certain that it is not incorrectly oriented? In my experience it should be rotated 90 degrees (or 270; can't tell which is in and which is out.) Either way, that will not work. exhaust goes out the back. thats why the sysfan is right next to the place where the socket is supposed to be. – Frank Thomas Dec 17 '15 at 23:18
  • With that design, you are building an effective convection oven, not a effective electronics cooling system. – RockPaperLizard Dec 17 '15 at 23:38
  • That's exactly what I thought. I checked out the motherboard to see if I could rotate 90 degrees but the locks can't be rotated. Should I look for a different heatsink instead? – Christopher Francisco Dec 18 '15 at 0:12
  • @RockPaperLizard Hey there, I updated the question with an image of the airflow that should be going. Also, I am not overclocking the processor, I'm using an aftermarket cooler just because I heard the stock one doesn't do a good job. Is it still dangerous that way? – Christopher Francisco Dec 18 '15 at 1:39

It looks like your heatsink has been improperly installed. This image clearly shows the heatsink oriented such that the fans point at the front and back of the motherboard, not top and bottom. The manual also indicates as much. Perhaps the backplate is incorrectly rotated?

  • I took a look at the backplate, but the screw array formed a rectangle, not a square, rendering me unable to rotate it 90 degrees. – Christopher Francisco Dec 18 '15 at 0:13
  • if there is no way to get it to work laterally, then take off the top fan, and have the bottom fan blow out. its sub-optimal for a few reasons, but the system fan should evac that air eventually. Down side is that hot air rises, so you are fighting your air flow pattern, and it directs air onto the PCI-e devices, but if its the best you can do, then so be it. In looking at the manual, I'm no longer certain which way it points in the drawings for AM3. the intel drawnings are rather clear. it may show a fan on top, but since you don't have enough space to draw air from, the bottom is better. – Frank Thomas Dec 18 '15 at 1:08
  • Before trying what you mentioned, I just updated the question with a diagram of the airflow. Since I am not overclocking, is the fan array dangerous enough anyway to change them the way you suggested? – Christopher Francisco Dec 18 '15 at 1:41
  • I would completely agree with your diagram if you actually had that much space above the fan (its suboptimal, but best you can do). Your picture shows very little room for air to move into though, and choked fans don't move much air. – Frank Thomas Dec 18 '15 at 2:48
  • Then I'll do a test and measure temperature. If it gets too hot, I'll move as you suggested – Christopher Francisco Dec 18 '15 at 3:23

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