Which fan brand to buy?

By TeamworkGuy2 · 14 replies
Nov 17, 2010
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  1. I was searching through newegg's extensive case fan selection and found that
    there were over a hundred, 120mm fans, and twenty or more brands.
    Which brands are better, more reliable/durable? What should I expect to pay: $5 - $25 for a 100 or 120mm fan?
    From what I have heard, brands like Rosewill, Antec, Thermaltake, and Cooler Master are good, am I correct?
  2. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    Depends what your expectations are.
    A few things to take into consideration are:
    Bearing type
    Sleeve bearing -cheap, noisy and gets more noisy very quickly as it ages and the lubricant dries out. Not recommended for horizonal use.
    Rifle bearing- same deal as sleeve except that the spiral grooves (rifling) on the bearing surface allow the lube to be pumped over the whole bearing surface so it can be mounted horizontally.
    Ball bearing- Better than sleeve/rifle. Expect to pay a bit more than the these also. relatively quiet for most of it's lifetime but can age prematurely (as do sleeve/rifle) with excessive dust buildup.
    Fluid (sometimes marketed as Fluid Dynamic or Enter) bearing- sealed bearing-pretty much silent, long service life, fairly expensive.
    Magnetic bearing uses two magnets repelling each other instead of a physical contact area within the bearing. The only noise is that of air flowing over the fan blades. very long service life.

    In addition any of these fans can have PWM (pulse width modulation) -variable speed control that can be altered automatically via software. Characterised by having a four-pin connection -either fan header, or molex.

    The most important value tends to be the actual volume of air a particular fan can move (how much pressure it generates) since a lot of fans will state a number in cfm (cubic feet/min) or m³/hr (cubic meters/hour) which in actuality bears no relation to it's ability. Note the testing methods employed here and here. Even though the second testing method may seem a little primative, both are more representative of real-world usage.
    Examples of "good" fan construction/design allied with quiet operation and longevity would be those from Scythe, Noctua, Noiseblocker as well as *some* Thermaltake, Sunbeamtech, CoolerMaster and Gelid
  3. Vernon

    Vernon TS Rookie

    i suggest Cooler Master.
  4. TeamworkGuy2

    TeamworkGuy2 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 191

    Thanks very much dividebyzero, I read the articles you linked to.
    I think the Scythe Gentle Typhoon is about what I what when I build: not to expensive, quiet, and fairly good airflow.
    Any other suggestions/comments?
  5. RayRay

    RayRay TS Booster Posts: 76

    i like Noctua.

    got some SilenX fans too. comments?

    no experience with the other products.
  6. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,182   +469

    I've had two negative experiences with 120mm SilenX case fans so I can't recommend them. While I'm sure plenty of people have had no problem with them, that wasn't the case with me. I bought one and later bought another. Each time there was a bearing noise and with each one the noise was a little different but definitely some kind of bad bearing noise. Maybe it was a fluke but with other brands available I ran out of patience.
  7. TeamworkGuy2

    TeamworkGuy2 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 191

    Ok, thanks for the info.
  8. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    I use 3 Xilence silent 120mm fans in my case, and I'm very impressed with them. I'm not sure if they're available in the US though!

    Next time around I'll probably go for Scythe or Noctua fans.
  9. zatchbell32505

    zatchbell32505 TS Rookie

    how much cooling you need?
  10. PcModGods

    PcModGods TS Rookie

    i have 6 tornado fans

    all tornado fans all at 100 percent at all times ooooooooooooo aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa push those cfm's
  11. RyuSageri

    RyuSageri TS Rookie Posts: 16

    I use Noctua for case fans. With the low noise adapters they push a good amount of cfm through and work really quiet. However some people complain about the color of Noctua fans. If you are ok with sand/dark orange color for a case fan, than I highly recommend Noctua.
  12. Lokalaskurar

    Lokalaskurar TS Enthusiast Posts: 544

    You know? Nothing sucks more than a fan from Zalman. And Cooler Master fans usually blows.

    Make your pick carefully, some brands are better than others depending on certain tasks ;) .
  13. Mizzou

    Mizzou TS Enthusiast Posts: 823

    I've had good luck with Noctua, the color scheme is a bit weird but it's a quality product.
  14. RayRay

    RayRay TS Booster Posts: 76

    Just got a bad experience with one of my SilenX fans. It started to make some bad noises a few days ago, but it's replaced now. Did that a few hours ago.
    The SilenX fan lasted around 9 months. lol.
  15. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    Most recent fans I bought are Akasa Viper 800-1900rpm fans. Bright yellow but can shift serious amounts of air. Using then in push/pull configuration on a water cooling radiator, where the static pressure they put out can be as important as the CFM. Very quiet but still reasonably decent performance even at lower speed. Depends on what you want, silent or extreme performance. Very happy with them in comparison to the Corsair case fans that came with my case and the radiator. Also read some good reviews about Xigmatek fans although haven't tried them out yet.

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