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Next steps for thermal throttling in Torrent Nano

I built my last PC in a [Torrent Nano](https://www.fractal-design.com/products/cases/torrent/torrent-nano/black-rgb-tg-light-tint/). It's great, nicely built, everything goes together pretty well and I can't really complain. However, I lack the experience to know how to address some cooling issues I'm having.

 

Obviously, the Torrent is designed for air cooling. I'm using the stock large 180mm x 38mm fan at the front, which does not provide GPU coverage but blows straight back across the mobo. I'm using a [Noctua NHD9L](https://www.pbtech.co.nz/product/FANNOC4117/NOCTUA-NH-D9L-CPU-Cooler-1x-92mm-Fan-110mm-Clearan), which is the largest air cooler I could fit with an Aorus Z690i Plus mobo (it just squeezes in between the RAM and the SSD heatsink). It comes with one 92mm central fan.

 

Overall games performance is pretty solid, with a Sapphire Pulse 7900XTX and 13600K. However, the CPU really doesn't have any headroom. Although base CPU temps are in the 40's or high 30's, under load (e.g. compiles, encoding, etc.) they will spike to 98-100 and thermal throttling is apparent from 5.1 GHz down to the mid-to-high 4's or lower as time goes on. I've attempted to tune the fan curves as best I can, pretty sure my thermal paste application was sufficient, and I'm sure both fans are active and spooling up under load.

 

I even tried mildly overclocking at one point, but it definitely wasn't having any and got too hot immediately.

 

My question is, what's my next step? Replace the fan at the front with two smaller ones, as some people do, which would provide GPU coverage? I don't have room for fans beneath the GPU (at the bottom of the case) but I could install one at the rear as an exhaust. Any options welcome.

 

Edit: Arch Linux, BIOS version updated to latest. 

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Installing a rear exhaust Noctua 120mm fan helped somewhat. Now we still hit 100 degrees, but it seems to throttle less severely (from 5.1 to 4.8 at worst, mostly around 5.0). I guess I'll see if I can tune the fan curves any better.

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Doing the basics helps! Pulled all the cabling out of the main fan's path (managed to cram the GPU's power cables down beneath the 180mm fan housing) and got very slightly more stable temperatures. Still wish we were down nearer the 90degree mark at max, but I guess we'll live with this for now. Only thing I can think of from here is to swap out the motherboard for one that'll accommodate e.g. an NH-D15, but DDR4 mITX mobos are getting scarcer nowadays.

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