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Deskmini X300/A300 rear exhaust

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Kozmik View Drop Down

Joined: 01 Mar 2021
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    Posted: 01 Mar 2021 at 7:36am
After lots of trial and error, I figured out how to fit an exhaust fan into my X300. I have no doubts this would also apply to the A300. Since I looked for someone who successfully pulled this off, and was unable to find anyone who has, I figured someone might appreciate this knowledge.

My Deskmini build is intended for casual use and media playback alongside my spendy gaming PC, since I spend very little time actually utilizing that kind of power. The focus of this build is to have competent graphics for 4k media, be as power efficient as possible, and absolutely silent.

Here is how I pulled this off:

Deskmini X300W w/ extra usb ports & rear audio jack
WISE TIGER AX210NGW Wifi/Bluetooth Module
Ryzen 3400GE (from ebay for $140)
Noctua NH-L9A Cooler w/ MX4 (low noise adapter installed)
Noctua NF-A4x10 fan (low noise adapter installed)
Patriot Viper Steel 16gb 3000mhz (clocked to 2933mhz)
Samsung 960 Evo 250gb
WD Blue NVME 1tb

After putting this build together, I got to thinking how much cooler the CPU and the rest of the internals would stay in the long term with at least a tiny bit of exhaust. So I hunted around and the Noctua NF-A4x10 was the only fan that seemed potentially capable of pulling this off. Part of my thinking was, the board has two fan headers, so why not utilize the second one? After attempting to install it in multiple locations (and leaving a few enlarged ventilation holes on the side (or top if sitting vertically), I found one spot that not only makes good utility of the exhaust air, but is also in the rear of the box, meaning I'll never hear it running. If you are using any cooler other than the Noctua L9A, you should have more options in terms of placement on the rear, but in my case having the L9A (a crucial piece to achieve silence in this unit)left me with literally one spot to mount the fan.

At the rear of the unit, to the left of the slot for the optional rear audio jack, there are two rows of 11 holes running horizontally. The top right one of those holes is where the top right of the fan screws in. These holes are just large enough to allow the included screws to fit. If you do this, I suggest partially screwing in two corners and then finishing the job.

The only logical orientation for this fan is exhaust since the cooler is pulling cool air in, that air can simply use some help getting out of the case. Personally I would recommend finding a speed that works for you and is tolerable noise wise and just running that speed 100% of the time, as exhaust works best at a static speed. I have mine running at 2450 rpm and it is entirely inaudible. My L9A cooler runs at about 850 rpm and is also entirely inaudible. CPU tends to sit below 40C, and with 4 cores and vega 11 graphics and ZERO noise I am very satisfied with this machine.

If you are like me and have a $3k gaming PC that you only use just a few hours a week, but you also use that PC for your everyday tasks like watching videos, checking social media, writing, editing photos, managing ads, etc. this might just be the example for you to get something put together.

I am super happy with this machine, just hope someone out there can benefit from this!
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