hi again. sorry i didnt get back and post prior to this. i had some issues with getting the time to set up the fans and clean my pc last night. i picked up both an 80 mm and a 120 mm antec case fan from my local best buy. neither they nor the nearby staples had any of the Cyclone slot fans in stock. we ended up having to dig out one of our old pcs from storage to pull out its slot style fan.
i spent most of the day today cleaning, dusting, and tidying up my case. prior to putting the new fans in, i looked at where my existing fans were and any possible places to put the new ones. first thing i noticed was that i had no spare slots near my sound card and graphics cards. the other slot is taken up by, i think, an ethernet card. i took out the existing intake fan on top - it was diminutive compared to the 80 mm one. however, i had to give up mounting the new 80 mm one in the same spot after i spent nearly a full two hours trying to get the screws tightened. there just wasnt enough clearance! i ended up using a screw mount a few inches towards the rear of the case for that fan. the other fan, the 120 mm one, was much easier. it went in nicely against the radiator that is part of the liquid cooling set up. the radiator is now sandwiched between two 120 mm fans on the back of the case.
while i am pleased with how things are now, and quite proud of myself for the job i did, it was not perfect. neither the Alienware Command Center nor Speedfan seems to recognize that i added any new fans. i admit that i am not sure how the would. it was mostly around the graphics card area that i needed a lower temperature under load. the rest of the sensors indicate that things are nice and chilly at idle. how cold is too cold? the sensors for the other fans (memory & cpu) indicate a low enough temp that they hardly, if ever, rev up for more than a few moments. i think i would need an actual "Fan Controller" to, you know, control all the fans.
i would love it if it was possible to mount a fan internally at a speficic location near the graphics card. i would like to somehow blow more air over/across the gpu. the nearest thing i've come across for this might be something like Antec's SpotCool : http://www.antec.com/Believe_it/product.php?id=ODAmMTU=
. i am not sure how effective that would be though.
i ran a few of the games that were giving me heat troubles and saw a good 10-15 degree drop under load. things went from 95+ degrees at times to no more than about 85 degrees. yay!
on a final note, i did not come away unscathed. i ended up slicing the tip of my thumb open trying to trim a washer that i wanted to use to help dampen the vibrations of the new fans.