Any recommendations on a silent 120mm case fan?

I want to buy 2 silent 120mm case fans. The key word is "silent". I already have two gigabyte case fans that are fairly quite but I want silence since my computer is in the family room. Any suggestions?

If there's no such thing as a silent fan, then just let me know....

PS: Price doesn't matter.

Power Supply: PC Power & Coooling Silencer 750 Quad
CPU: E6600 Intel
GPU: Nvida 8800 GTX
Motherboard: Gigabyte 680 SLI
28 answers Last reply
More about recommendations silent 120mm case
  1. I have and think this is one of the best, imo... even tho the co started out w/bad a publicity stunt... regardless, it is high volume and quiet...

    This old standby is one of the plainest, but also one of the best...

    This one looks good too...imo
  2. +1 for the Noctua 120mm's 18dba. The best fans out there, and getting easier and easier to get your hands on.

    I have one of those. I'd recommend it if you don't want to empty your wallet. It's quiet for me, and moves a TON of air.
  4. And btw, the nexus was ranked 3rd best in the linked review you gave :lol: Noctua got first.
  5. Wow that's good performance but...

  6. Found a site that sells them as apparently Newegg and Tigerdirect don't.

    ... as for how nice they look, there is a version with color LEDs if you want to sacrifice some dba. :wink:
  7. noctua 120mm for the win!!!
  8. Scythe S-FLEX SFF21D 120mm Case Fan 8.7 db and 33.5 cfm, I have yet to see a 120 MM fan that is this quiet.
  9. Quote:

    Those are specs from the manufacturer. All manufacturers have a tendancy to put a positive spin on thier products.
  10. Quote:
    And btw, the nexus was ranked 3rd best in the linked review you gave :lol: Noctua got first.

    Actually, the Noctua is rated the better than the rest of the bunch due to:


    Its airflow-to-noise ratio is its best feature, which gives it enough of an edge to make up for its slightly rougher noise character. The Noctua has seen recommendations around the web, and we have no qualms about adding our own to the list.

    However, in terms of noise Scythe comes in second, and overall third when looking at airflow-noise ratio. The Kama Flow & Scythe Flex comes in first when noise alone is the deciding factor.

    Me? I use Yate Loon Fans in my PC and they are fairly cheap and pretty quiet especially if you drop the voltage to 7v. Nexus fans are cherry picked Yate Loons and spins slower by default.
  11. I'd go with Noctua,

    Remmember to compair fan RPMs

    Scythe have 3 (800, 1200, 1600)

    Noctua have 2 (800, 1200) + you get a Resistor cable (500, 600)

    Noctua list the SF-12 800 as 8db and 34.7CFM

    Anyway if you have a fan with screws you may benifit greatly from some silcone fan mounts or gaskets (Nocuta, Accouti and some others come with them [mounts] scythe dont)
  12. funny, I didn't see the Arctic Cooling Arctic Fan 12.
    Its problem is that it can only be mounted as exhaust - because the fan has reduced vibration thanks to gum holders.
    I have one - it's just silent and sucks air like crazy.
    Consider getting a rheostat for it if your mobo doens't allow system fan modulation - its max RPM being around 1600, the fan itself is silent but the air makes noise going through the case's vents.
  13. My recommendations would be with the Noctua. Just put 3 of them (2 x 120, 1 x 80) into a case for a friend who was moving back from watercooling to aircooling. I added a fan controller and all was happy, this kept everything very quiet and also gave very good airflow. Just to give you a hands on perspective, the rubber grommets keep fan vibration against the casing to a minumum.

    The company i used was Quiet PC in the UK, though for reference i have linked the US site. I am curious why the US site says 8dBA whereas the UK one says 6dBA... I assume those are 8dBA without in-line resistor, and 6dBA with the in-line resistor.
  14. Well there's no such thing is a quite fan. Okay, when it's turned off it's quite. It depends on what you need the fans for. If you want just to move just enough air to cool the components then you'll need a low-cfm fans and for high performance cooling you'll need high-cfm fans. But the more the air moves the louder it gets. But the design of the fans itself can vary and some can reduce the noise of the moving air. Bad fans usually louder because of it's design is simple. Streamline design for fans like the blades, it's shapes and angle can have an impact on fan niose, amount of air and pressure it generates. In my experience, I have used several fans for my computer from $1 low end and $15 top of the line pc fans. Now I'm using the FM121 from Silverstone for my radiator and by far it's the best fan I have used. The price is $10-$15 and that is expensive among 120mm fans. It's adjustable using it's fan speed controller, so you can go silent mode on entertainment like music and movies and go high performance during gaming and other heavy application and overclockings.

    You can easily find this at Newegg, Tigerdirect and other pc online retailers.
  15. I have one of those chuck... and it blows, but is louder than I would prefer... good fan tho...
  16. I think i'm hearing most of you like Noctua as a good quiet fan. Can you adjust the fans speed with a controller like the silverstone Chuck mentioned? If so, I think I'm sold on the Noctua.

    You did say quiet. Hows 8.7db using a fluid bearing sound?
  18. Im getting three Noctua 120mm fans for my 1050 dollar rig.

    From what I hear, theyre worth every penny.

    My Rig (in 2 weeks :) )
    e4300 w/ ACF7P
    Antec P180 w/3 Noctua 120mm's
    Corsair HX520 PSU
    2gb Kingston Value Ram
    WD SE16 250gb
    LiteOn SHM165S
    eVGA 7900GS w/ Zalman VF900
    Bluegears Benspirer
    Edimax Wifi
    Hauppauge 150MCE
    WinXP MCE

    am I missing anything? :lol:
  19. Noctua...I have 5 of them in my case...pretty damn quiet.
  20. I need one more recommendation before I put my order in. I need a CPU Heatsink/Fan that is VERY quiet and does a good job keeping the CPU under 40c. I have the E6600 Pentium and a 680i SLI Gigabyte motherboard (GA-N680SLI-DQ6). One of the things I worried about is there is a big heat pipe that runs right next to the CPU which I think will limit my choices for CPU heatsink/fans. Please keep this in mind when recommending a fan.

    Website for my motherboard:
    Gigabyte 680SLI
  21. If you are looking for a HSF that will keep an E6600 under 40c when the CPU is underload, then you're outta luck. If you're looking for 40c or less while the CPU is idling, then you will have a lot of chioces.
  22. Any 120mm fan is "silent" at a fairly slow speed. Any fan at a high speed is loud. That said, most 80mm fans I've encountered are at LEAST twice as loud as any 120mm fan I've encountered...

    All these recommendations are probably fine, but if you really want the quietest of the quiet, find a review of fans that compares several.

    That's a place you might start. I don't know if they have a review on fans, but I seem to recall a good article about what makes a fan might find it.
  23. More background: I currently have the 3D Aurora tower (Gigabyte version) that came with two Gigabyte case fans in the back of the tower. When I boot my PC up and perform low-end tasks, my Case fan noise is acceptable because I can barely hear them.

    I'm wanting a Case fan that is silent even under high-end tasks like video editing and gaming. Is this possible?

    Would a water cooling solution help with keeping the system silent for high-end tasks?
  24. If you are looking for something "Silent", then most of your choices limit you to roughly 30 db or less, considering that normal ambient sound levels in most homes are around that level. Keeping under the ambient would thus "Hide" any sounds from the fan, effectively making it "Silent".

    A water cooling system will go a long way to making the total system quiet with more effective cooling, but at greater risk, due to the water.

    Finding a good solution to quiet operation while maintaining cool temperatures, even with a water cooling setup is very difficult, at best. Each solution would have to be weighed by its merits and how it applies to your case. The temperatures in your home/office/etc..., the type andbuild of your computer case, your fans, your heatsinks, your power supply, the ambient sound levels, as well as acoustics in your case and your work area all affect this, and must be taken into account.

    /edit...responding to 2nd question...
  25. You might try a new northbridge cooler. If you have a fanned one, it may be producing some of the noise. Typically, 120mm case fans that aren't connected to the motherboard will run at a given speed using molex connectors, but if you have cool and quiet, etc enabled it will rev them up when motherboard sensors sense a rise in temp, provided the fans are speed-controlled by a connection to the motherboard. There's a good chance it's your CPU fan as well. If you're SURE it's your 120mm case fans, you might try swapping out your bridge coolers and maybe your CPU fan. If your fans are revving up it's an attempt to cool something and a better heatsink/fan may make it quieter. Adding a 3rd 120mm fan may actually make your computer quieter as it may drop internal temps and increase airflow just enough to "simma down na" :D Make sure your airflow is right too. Heat rises so taking cool air in the bottom front and exiting out the top rear (unless you have an Antec 900, bleh) is usually best. Your PSU is typically on top in the back for a reason. My Thermaltake Kandalf case has great front to back air flow, and isn't silent, but for a monster PC it's not too bad either. I added the big side fan panel that they have and didn't see any drops in temps, so I suspect it disrupted my airflow and was recirculating air inside my case instead of sucking it through. Just something to keep in mind. You really want a good draft, not just air movement. Dell used to use just 1-90 mm fan to cool some of their P4 dimension desktops. It just pulled air over the CPU heatsink and out of the case. 1 fan was enough to create a good enough draft. Sealing up open PCI slots with a cover may help as well. A good DRAFT over the hot components and out of your case seems to still work the best for air cooling in my opinion.
  26. The Noctuas 120 perform really well in tests but not as well in real life applications

    I have purchased 4 Noctuas after seeing their performance numbers on's tests, but was disapointed by those fans' airflow.

    I made a conclusive comparison test with 4 other fans:
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