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Can I get some advice on case Fans

By Frag-o
Oct 26, 2003
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  1. Can I get some tips or advice on case fans? I would like to add a front case fan and a rear case fan, but I am not sure what to look for. I have seen 50 mm all the way up to 120 mm, and flow rates that make a little bit of sense to me, the bigger cubic feet per minute the better right? I am not sure what size to buy or what brand is worth buying. I would hate for my case fans to burn up while I am not home and have my computer burn up. I have a standard ATX tower, with pre drilled wholes, do I measure the wholes to find the size?
     
  2. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,304   +52 Staff Member

    The largest fan possible that fits in your case should be the best buy as far as noise vs CFM / airflow is concerned.

    CFM is cubic feet of airflow per minute. The higher the number, the better. RPM is the rotational speed of the fan. The higher this number, the noisier and greater then CFM becomes. Dba is the loudness of the fan. The higher this number is, the more loud. the fan will be.

    There are also two different kinds of connectors, 2 pin and 3 pin. 2 pin runs at full speed, while 3 pin fans adjust their speed to match the amount of cooling needed.

    Ball bearing is generally accepted as the most reliable and quiet type of fan.

    Most cases come with the standard size (80mm / 8cm), but many cases do have 90mm or even 120mm fan bays. It really depends on how your case is made. You can always measure the space in your case for fans and figure out what size of fan you need.

    As far as brands go, I haven't had any problems with any fans ever quitting on me except for a couple of antec fans. Not sure if that is a good indicator of "buyer beware" though. Panasonic Panaflo fans are certainly good quality, but I can't really recommend those over any others. I've also been pretty happy with some of my Coolermaster fans I've purchased in the past.

    If your case fans quit, I don't think there will be any immediate danger to anything in your system. So don't worry so much about finding the world's most reliable fan. Just find one with good specs (good CFM, good Dba "quietness" and the right size).

    Your "typical" 80mm fan has about 25 CFM, maybe 32Dba or so. So you can compare to that. 25Dba and less is considered very quiet. 38Db or higher in my opinion, is very loud.
     
  3. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,928

    And every 3db increase in noise level equates to double the noise (26dbA is *twice* the noise level of 23dbA). Two fans of 23dbA create the same noise as one fan at 26dbA, but those two fans will shift a lot more air.
     
  4. conradguerrero

    conradguerrero TS Rookie Posts: 357

    whatever u do dont get one huge, loud fan if u can get quieter, smaller fans.
     
  5. Th3M1ghtyD8

    Th3M1ghtyD8 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 794

    One large fan, is usually quieter than several smaller fans, simply because the larger a fan is the slower it can spin (rpm) in order to maintain the same airflow (CFM)
     
  6. Stephen79

    Stephen79 TS Rookie Posts: 66

    my skyhawk case came with a standard 80mm fan and its very noisey. I find hitting the vent (tapping it) will stop the level of noice, but having used several (cheap I assume as they came as standard with our work based cases) most of them do tend to make a fair amount of noise after a while.

    Whilst we are on this topic, anyone got a link to these 80mm fans with led's in? I fancy a lum-blue one ;) to replace this now noisey fan I have.
     
  7. conradguerrero

    conradguerrero TS Rookie Posts: 357

    ya well thats y i said LOUD lol

    like a vornado or w/e they call them now ie 80cfm and 56 db
     
  8. Frag-o

    Frag-o TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    At risk of sounding like a newbie to computers, well I haven't had much experience in the way of fans, how do I determine the size of the fan I need or better the size of the fan that will fit.

    On the noise thing, really loud fans like a plane taking off is deffinetly out, but a moderatly loud one I don't mind. I usually have 400 watts of music playing while playing on the computer. My neighbor's house caught on fire (she is a bad cook) I didn't even here the fire trucks pull up. It took them several minutes to get my attention to look in my house for damage, when I have tunes on and blasting punks I can't be bothered. :D
     
  9. Grey Area

    Grey Area TS Rookie Posts: 17

    I have a Thermaltake Xaser III case that comes with SEVEN built in 80mm fans. It is quieter than my old case which has ONE case fan, so there ARE very quiet fans out there.

    As to links (and I've assumed you're looking for UK supply) try;

    www.tekheads.co.uk

    When you get there, they also have a partner site called "Extreme Cooling", which does all the jazzy glowing fans and lights and stuff :)
     
  10. Stephen79

    Stephen79 TS Rookie Posts: 66

    nice link
     
  11. Th3M1ghtyD8

    Th3M1ghtyD8 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 794

    http://www.ebuyer.com

    have a full range of modding accessories, with coloured LED fans costing as little as £2
     
     
  12. benwalburg

    benwalburg TS Rookie Posts: 17

    get a fan speed controller....SVC has them on sale for 4 channel (4 fans) controller for 15$ right now

    http://www.svc.com
     
  13. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 5,899

    Or you can get a Zalman Fanmate for $3.99 on NewEgg

    I don't think it will work if you only have a Molex connector on the case fan though.

    [​IMG]

    Product Link

    PS. I am not in any way sponsored by Zalman no matter what it looks like.;)
     
  14. benwalburg

    benwalburg TS Rookie Posts: 17

    Those are nice little fix...but if you have more than 1 fan, you are gonna have lots of small boxs.
    Just get fan speed controller...they take 3pin and 4pin connectors. And nice looking, colorful appearence. Also only 15 bucks....(so not much diffrence then 4 of those small buggers..which then you would need to buy 3 to 4 pin converters (.50 cents each)
    So same price...you get nice looking mod
     

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