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Computer case fan duel!

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  • Cases
  • Computers
  • Fan
  • Components
Last response: in Components
November 23, 2013 4:03:53 PM

So. Here's the first thing I need help with. I have 15USD left before my budget on my first built caps out, and I need some case fans for my Apevia X-Sniper 2. It comes stock with one blue LED fan on the front, and that's it, so I need something for the back. I was going to go with the Xigmatek FCB something-something-something 120mm fan. It pushes 61.375 cfm at "under 20" decibels. Is this good for a fan? I can pick up 2 for 10USD at newegg, so that's a plus.

The main concern I have is on the side panel. There are mounting holes for either one 200mm fan or two 120mm fans. What should I eventually go with? The 200mm fan is larger and therefore quieter, but it doesn't push as much air as two 120mm fans. With the side fan(s), I eventually hope to have two front fans, two top fans, one bottom fan, and one back fan, all 120mm. This will obviously generate quite a bit of noise, which I am somewhat concerned about. I don't even know if I need that much airflow, but I am kinda new to this and want to keep things cool. Realistically, I would think that one top, one bottom, one back, one front, and something on the side (either two 120mm or 1 200mm) would do me fine.

But, I don't know that for a fact, and that's why I have turned to the community! If you can help me out with this, that'd be great and I'd really appreciate it! Thanks a million! :) 

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November 23, 2013 4:13:02 PM

Honestly, one on the front and one on the back, as long as they're good, will be more than good enough. Beyond than, in my experience, adding additional exhaust to the top is the next best step.

I haven't heard good things about adding fans to the bottom, and mixed reviews on side fans. I personally forgo side fans since they seem to be a lot louder on my case.
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November 23, 2013 4:17:04 PM

Calculatron said:
Honestly, one on the front and one on the back, as long as they're good, will be more than good enough. Beyond than, in my experience, adding additional exhaust to the top is the next best step.

I haven't heard good things about adding fans to the bottom, and mixed reviews on side fans. I personally forgo side fans since they seem to be a lot louder on my case.

Cool! Thanks for resolving that part for me! :D 
Now do you know anything about the 200mm vs 2 120mm problem? I hope to move up from here and build more complex systems than I currently have that will need ridiculous case cooling.
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November 23, 2013 7:41:24 PM

Unless you plan on doing some extreme sort of overclocking with your GPU, I honestly wouldn't worry about having a side-panel fan. I have heard people say that it has increased the temperature of their CPU; it's just a case of how it can mess with the airflow dynamics of the case. Added with the fact that, generally, side fans seem to get this added annoying higher-pitched sound from sucking air through those holes in the side panel just turns a lot of people off to them.

If you must have one, though, I think even a low-end 200mm would be more than enough. Like you said, the big advantage of a 200mm fan is that its quiet. As a general rule, it can move twice as much air with half as many RPM. That said, try to get something that moves ~70 CFM. I mostly deal with 120/140mm fans, so if someone can chime in and point you towards the best buy, that would be great. If you're looking for raw performance, I spotted this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... *shrugs*

Honestly, as a general rule, everything beyond one fan is in the realm of diminishing returns. Here are a couple of articles from Hardwaresecrets that are worth looking at:
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Which-is-the-Bes...
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Which-is-the-Bes...
You'll notice that added a second fan (front+rear) gives them only an added 1C gain. This is also only a 8C with having no fans. These are also their own results, everyone else's is different to a degree. I did a similar test with a case I have, and the difference between having no fans and the case open was almost 20C, and adding one fan to a closed case dropped the temperatures 10C.

Here is some additional food for thought: in the current case I have, a Corsiar 300R, I have five fans installed. Two 140mm in front, an 120 on the back, and two 120 on the top. All are rated for ~70CFM, and all are hooked up to my hardware fan controller. Putting my fans to full gives me a decrease in CPU temperature by 2C. (That's an increase from the fans supposedly moving 30 CFM to 70 CFM.) Most of that credit goes to my outtake fans, but it is the increase to my intake RPM that gives it the nudge to 2C.
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