I'm looking to get 1 or 2 additional case fans in my Fractal Design R4 because the GPU temperature is getting too high (90C) under full load as it is now. I don't know much about this topic and there are literally hundreds of options! Can anybody offer me some advice, mostly which brand I should choose. Also, I'd prefer to keep the price to a minimum while getting decent airflow and a quiet system. Are the connections uniform, i.e. will all fans fit on my motherboard?
In your opinions, is it best to add an additional input or output fan? I plan on placing an input fan on top and leaving the side open with a filter for dust. The side will then serve as input (without fan).
Usually brands like Cooler Master, Corsair, Cougar, NZXT, Rosewill, XIGMATEK, and Bitfenix are all reliable fan choices. Bitfenix usually is a bit more expensive of the lot. Honestly if temperature is your problem I would go for something that moves the most air even if its a little more expensive. If you check the description when you click on one of these fans and go down to the bottom of the description, there will be a spec that says air flow or it could just say CFM (Cubic feet per minute). The higher the number the more air it moves. Out of brands I have always stuck to ones I've had experience with or trust them which are listed at the top.
To answer your second question we really need to know how many input fans you've already got, how many output fans you've already got, and where they are mounted. Usually exhaust or output fans go on the back and in the top while input fans go on the front, side, and bottom of the case. If it's your GPU that's getting too hot you should put a fan on the side to blow directly on it and since hot air rises it will run up to your exhaust fan on the top and blow it out. So in short if you buy 2 fans you should put one on the side to cool your GPU and another on the top for exhaust.
I've currently only got the standard 2 fans that come with the case installed, which is 1 front intake and 1 rear exhaust. I've 'opened' the side fan position (just removing the plate in front of it) and that decreased temperatures significantly and the air flows inward. I like your suggestion to place 2 fans (side and top). There seems to be only a very limited amount of space on the side, but I guess thats standard and should work. I'll look into the brands you mentioned!
Well as far as cost goes those seem like a great deal. I don't use dust filters unless they are built in to the case. Its pretty easy to find somewhere to clean out the case with an air compressor or buying compressed air cans. I usually do it about once every 3 months unless its exceptionally filthy. Your motherboard only supports 3 chassis fans, so you probably need to get a fan controller that supports 4 fans or just plug them into your PSU. I'm not sure where you are otherwise I'd post a link, but if you find a site that ships to you, I would suggest a NZXT Sentry 2 LCD Touch Screen Fan Controller. Looks like its somewhere between 25-35 euros. I've got one in my build, it supports 5 fans and 5 temperature probes. You can set the temperature alarm to make sure your GPU doesn't overheat. The CPU fan has a plug on the motherboard so that should be fine. Hope I could help!
Thank you for your help. I bought 2 BitFenix Spectre Pro's and 1 dust filter for the intake, since they are cheap anyway. I'll also clean it like you suggested. I've got a few final questions:
- Can I use the CPU_OPT connection for a case fan? It appears to be the same connector.
- Is there any advantage to using the mobo or PSU to connect the fans? I want them to run on max speed almost always.
- There is a 7V-17V switch on the front of the Fractal Design R4 case to control fan speed manually, I guess this is connected to the mobo only?
- The fans I ordered are 3-pin and the connections on the mobo are 4-pin, is this a problem?
I reckon I'll fit the last fan on the PSU if that has no disadvantages considering I want them to run 100% all the time anyway.
No on the CPU opt connector. The only advantage using the motherboard connector is with 4 pin PWM so the board can control the speed. In your case from the PSU will give full speed.
Pretty sure the switch you have on the case would be connected to the PSU and then fans to it like normal manual fan controllers.
3pin fans fit 4 pin connections but loose the PWM function.