Chassis fans. Which are the best?

By nebulus · 11 replies
Feb 18, 2003
  1. I am going to buy some fans for my Chassis, but I dont know much about manufacturers of them, i.e. the ones who have the best reputations for making good quality fans. I would like to know which are the best bet to buy.
    I live in the UK and have looked at some sites, where I have seen Papst, Sanyo Denki, and Delta fans for sale, quoted as being good quality. Seeing as fans are cheap and can dictate quite a bit of noise output, I shall be looking to buy ones which are fairly silent.
    Obviously I could dig out info from the net, as there isnt much to know about simple case fans, but I just wondered if any of you had suggestions or recommendations, based on your experience and knowledge of these devices?

    Also, I would add that I only have two spaces at the rear of my case for the fans, and would like to ask, should I buy one for sucking air in and one for blowing out, or do I only require one fan to do one of these chores? I ask this as my old PIII-machine (pre-built) did not have 'any' chassis-fans pre-installed and so I am unsure what I will need with my newer rig. Maybe I dont need any at all? Advice please people :D
  2. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549


    Try these YS-Tech fans as used by CoolerMaster (despite making their own fans). Very cheap, very quiet (for their rated output) and very reliable. I've used their FD8125 SILENT 80mm Fans (£5.64 ea), which you can find here ...

    I'd set them both up to expel air from the case (note: fans can be fitted any way round to suit your prefered airflow direction). As you are probably aware PC cases are not airtight so setting them both to blow air out of the case will ensure that you get a nice flow pattern for cool air entering and leaving the case. If you were to set them up one blowing the other sucking you would be unlikely to get the best cooling effect with your case.

    You could spent a lot more on case fans (see other fans on this site), but I really doubt that they will be any better than these.
  3. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Maniac Posts: 2,244

    I don't like recommending a brand name when it comes to fans because there are many that are of the same quality as others, the main difference being a name. I will however tell you what to look for. Look for a trusted brand(as with any purchase) but mainly look for a brushless, ball bearing fan. These fans last much longer. They have no brushes to wear out and the ball bearings are much smoother than sleeve bearings. You'll also want to look at the airflow. The amount of air that the fan can move (CFM) will be one of your biggest concerns. The decibel level may also be a concern.
  4. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,704

    I would reccomend you have those two in the back blowing air out. Hot air rises, so you don't want to be suckin in air in the middle of the case.

    I can't really reccomend a good brand...But it seems to me that Sunon has the widest range of fan speeds.
  5. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    As Nic said, set up the fan(s) to blow air out, which you can do by turning the fan round either way. Maybe connect the fan to the PSU without screwing it on and power on to feel which side of the fan is blowing the air. Then position accordingly.

    If you blow air in from those upper rear mounting grills, you may actually make your computer warmer. I did this by accident once, so I know that its true. There could even be 10C in it!
  6. nebulus

    nebulus TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 32

    Thanks for this info, very informative. I shall buy maybe 1 or 2 of the silent YSTech Fans as suggested by Nic (Thanks Nic), and I shall position them to blow the air out, as recommended by all.

    » Speed - 1850RPM
    » Output - 27CFM
    » Decibels - 20dBA

    Do you think I should have more than one? My system is not overclocked or anything like that, but is fairly powerful (see 2nd system spec in profile). I am thinking that because of the sacrifice in airflow for a silent fan, maybe I should have two, but this would be a combined noise output of 40db, which is more db than a single 'non-silent model' YSTech fan with a 45.2CFM.
    Do you think that I would require more than 27CFM for my system?

    Wish I could listen to these fans to compare the noise output before I buy :(

    btw, it doesnt say whether these are brushless or ball bearing fans as you recommended StormBringer. But as they are so cheap, I dont think im too worried about buying replacements, if they wear out in the future, but thanks for the advice anyway :)
  7. Th3M1ghtyD8

    Th3M1ghtyD8 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 664

    The recommended airflow, is to have one fan at the top rear (in most cases below the PSU, which also has its own fan blowing out, or if you have an expensive PSU 2 fans), blowing air out, and one at the front sucking air in.
  8. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    I am thinking that because of the sacrifice in airflow for a silent fan, maybe I should have two, but this would be a combined noise output of 40db, which is more db than a single 'non-silent model' YSTech fan with a 45.2CFM.

    Actually, two of these YS-TECH fans (20dBA noise each) would give a noise level of only 23dBA/27CFM combined (you add 3db for each doubling in noise power - so a single 35dBA/45CFM fan would generate about 16 times (35-23=12, 12=4x3, 2x2x2x2=16) more noise power than two 20dBA fans as well as less airflow). This is because noise is measured on a logarithmic scale (decibels). Think of it another way - you have doubled the airflow by using 2 fans, but the airflow is through twice the area. You get the greatest noise (more turbulence) when trying to squeeze a large airflow through a smaller area and this is why a single higher speed fan would be considerably noisier.

  9. nebulus

    nebulus TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 32

    Oh my god Nic, nicely put, how do you know all this? You are a chassis-fan-genius, or do you work for YSTech or something? :D
    2 Silent YSTech's it shall be :grinthumb I shall order them from overclockers right away :)

    Thanks all ;)
  10. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    Yeah, that's right.

    One top rear blowing air out, one bottom front sucking air in.

    That's how I have my server, and I am going to do that as well in the new server I am building next week.
  11. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    Final Comment ...

    ... it doesnt say whether these are brushless or ball bearing fans as you recommended StormBringer.

    The YS-Tech fans are both brushless and ball bearing, with a life expectancy of around 80,000 hrs (about 9 yrs of constant runtime), so they will most likely outlast your PC.

    One top rear blowing air out, one bottom front sucking air in.

    I agree this would be the prefered setup if both fan mounts are on opposite sides of the case. Really it all depends on the case layout and fan mount positions.

    Signing out ....
  12. nebulus

    nebulus TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 32

    Made a purchase

    Ok, an update...

    Visited last night after posting, and discovered to my utter dismay that the postage fee was more than the cost of a single one of those fans, £5.50! :eek:
    So went into town here today to see what I could root out, because I have a friend who works in a Hardware Outlet. I popped in there and haggled his boss to sell me a Cooler-Master Neon fan for just £4.00, heres the specs:

    4 blue Neon L.E.D's, whoooo :D
    Output: 30 CFM
    Acoustics: Silent 25dB(A)
    Rotation Speed: 2500 RPM
    Life Expectance: 50,000 Hours continuous

    Brushless with rifle bearings :grinthumb

    Well, exciting stuff huh? :p It's in my machine now and I can hardly hear it!
    I Dont really care for the Neon gimmic, as I have a closed chassis, but it was the only decent one they had, all the others were cheap tack generic models, but some pretty colours are shining out the back... Wonderful :cool:

    I shall bear in mind your suggestions for fan positioning if I decide to overclock in the future, but for now this one feels like its sufficient, although I havent measure the temp yet.

    As for all youre advice and guidance, it was more than sufficient, thanks guys, I am now an expert on these things, hehe. Cheers!
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