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Air Cooling - High Perf. / Quiet Fan Suggestions

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May 22, 2007 11:38:27 PM

I am getting a new setup that I am building (wishlist here) I am still unsure of what motherboard to get. I plan to overclock the e4400 to around 3.0ghz or higher. I will be using a Scythe Infinity with it, but I am looking into getting better cooling fans for the heatsink and my case.

As for current cooling fans, I have two A2018 fans, one is in front for intake, one is in rear for exhaust. I have a stock fan that came with my case (Thermaltake Shark) on the side grill as an intake to cool my GPU. The Scythe has its stock fan on it.

I plan to have a total of 6 fans in my case: 1 in front - intake, 1 in rear - exhaust, 2 on side grill - intake, 2 on Scythe Infinity for push/pull config.

So, basically my question is, what would be the best cooling fan with a good cfm to dBa ratio to cool my computer?

Thanks.
May 23, 2007 2:45:33 AM

Noctua 120mm @ 1200 rpms are SILENT. Nexus 120mm are also very good. Yate Loon are also good. And the best kept secret is the Coolermaster ones....they are dirt CHEAP and quiet.

And before you get the Infinity, consider the Noctua NH-U12F instead. Take a read:

http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/Cool-Quiet-HSF-...
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May 23, 2007 3:45:40 AM

Niiiiice. Wasn't sure where to find it in the States, I'm in Canuckland and it's fairly easily to find and inexpensive-ish....
May 23, 2007 4:13:49 AM

Ditto on the Noctua's, I have a 1200rpm up the front and an 800rpm up the back to equalise pressure combined with my PSU fan. My PC would be dead quiet if it wasn't for the GFX card :roll: (it's just a placeholder ;)  )
May 23, 2007 4:48:07 AM

I think the OP was asking for the fans only, not an entire CPU HSF. At the same site, the 120mm fans go for $19.75. This is still more expensive than they are in Canada, but the difference isn't enough to write home about.

The Noctuas, I'm sure, are the best you can get right now. With so many fans running, you should have excellent cooling performance even with lower-speed fans. If you are looking to save some money, it tends to be cheaper to buy Yate Loon fans and use fan speed controllers. Each fan/controller combo ends up being about half the price of each Noctua. It's less eligant, but more flexible.
May 23, 2007 7:46:41 AM

Case fans? I dunno, I'm pretty happy with the tricool ones that came w/ my p182 which I keep on the low setting. They are whisper quiet. You might wanna look at a P182 since it comes w/ 3 of them for the money. You should only need to add one extra for an intake.

I'd recommend that you bag that HS and get a Ultra-120 Extreme with a Scythe S-FLEX 1600 RPM fan. Nearly quiet and highly reviewed.
May 23, 2007 9:22:18 AM

Or the great inexpensive option of the Yate Loon D12SL-12. As you pointed out in a nother post, they can be had for $3.50 ($3 if you buy three or more) and are nearly as good as the Noctua fan....
May 23, 2007 2:11:00 PM

Noctuas are the most silent, and they push good air. But they are definitely expensive.

Scythe S-flex is not as silent, but it still very quiet and somwhat cheaper.

Antec Tri-cools are silent on low, but don't push much air. On medium they start to get decent airflow but are nowhere near as quiet as the Scythe or Noctua. On high the Tri-cools are just plain loud.

Nexus are undervolted Yates if I remember correctly. They're very quiet, but airflow is also reduced as a result, and they're not the cheapest.

Yates are quiet and cheap, depending on your preference/tolerance threshold of "quiet", you might want to volt-mod them or hook them to a fan controller at least.

And believe it or not, the cheap LED Coolermasters are quiet and push good air, and are very inexpensive. Best kept secret out there in my opinion.


I've used ALL of these fans, and listened to them side-by-side. Noctuas are clearly the quietest and best noise-to-airflow in my opinon. But the expense is hard to justify. Tri-cools are useless if you don't have them on low, at which the airflow sucks. Scythes don't impress me much, they're not great in either category. Nexus fans are quiet but airflow is too low in comparison to the others. And the Coolermasters are good all-purpose.

That's it in a nutshell. For the money, I love the cheap Coolermasters, then the Yates. I got all Noctuas in my case simply because I want silent, and I got them at a GREAT price, almost 50% off, so I jumped at them. But at regular price I couldn't afford the Noctuas.

Hope that helps.....I don't have hard numbers, just alot of experience building some quiet rigs and sitting besides fans with my ear beside them like a loser LOL. :) 
May 23, 2007 2:57:04 PM

Thanks for all the help, guys...

I'm probably going to go with the Yate Loons, since they are pretty cheap. I'll get the LED versions, though, because I like lighting up my case, lol. I might get four Yate Loons, put 2 on the side for intake, 1 in rear for exhaust, and 1 in front for intake, then put my two thermaltake A2018 fans and put them on my Infinity for a push/pull config. They're loud, but they push a lot of air. Plus I could use the sensor probes if I wanted to. I'm not sure if I'll be able to put an intake fan on the side's top grill, however. I looked at it with the side panel on, and the Infinity only has like an inch of clearance. So I'll get 3 Yate Loons instead.
If I am able to squeeze a fan in there, I'll probably just stick my stock LED fan that came with the Tt Shark case. But then what should I do with the Scythe fan that came with the Infinity?

As for a fan controller, I don't know if I could get one with nobs because the front panel of my case leaves very, very little clearance between it and the 5.25 drives. Maybe if there's a fan controller with an LCD display and buttons instead.

Again, thanks for all the help.
May 23, 2007 5:02:42 PM

Check out the Thermaltake HardCano fan controllers.....LCD display and flat buttons, the newer ones are a bit more money but are very nice.

It's always a very difficult balance between performance and noise.....my whole system is built on such a premise. But it is possible. If you get a fan controller, the Yates sound (no pun intended) like a very good compromise and I'm sure you'll be happy with them.

As for the Scythe....tuck it away, you might need it sometime if something breaks or works loose, etc. It's always a good idea to keep some spare parts laying around.
May 23, 2007 11:11:54 PM

Do you mean the silicon rivets for mounting fans, or gaskets? Or do you mean stick-on foam sound insulation to line your case walls with?

The silicon rivets are pretty cheap and easy to use. I'm using some in a 92mm fan blowing in the side of my case, and I'd say they make a difference. I've also used a silicon gasket to mount a PSU in my media centre, but I'd say you're better off just getting a good quiet PSU to start with.

As for the panel sound insulation, I haven't tried that out yet, but I'm thinking I might. My media centre is pretty quiet, but I could need to turn my fans up a little higher if I end up putting more power-hungry parts in down the road. For a regular desktop, I'd say it's probably not worth it.

Edit: The fan speed controller looks nice, but I don't know much about competing models. If you aren't that interested in temperature/speed display or changing fan speeds on the fly, then you could get a few Fan Mates (CAN$4.55 ea,) and leave those on the inside of your case. It would be much cheaper, but less convenient if you want to access the controllers. You can also mount the Fan Mate on the outside of your case, but that would be ugly for sure.
May 23, 2007 11:42:38 PM

Quote:

And believe it or not, the cheap LED Coolermasters are quiet and push good air, and are very inexpensive. Best kept secret out there in my opinion.


I am using those fans, true they are pretty quite but they don't push that much air, they are rated at 43 scfm which is ok but not out standing. Beside, out of the 4 I have bought, 2 had one led burned/gotten defective within one week of usage.
May 24, 2007 3:20:04 AM

hmmm....I've had good experiences with the Coolermasters. Lucky I guess.

Yes, they push "only" about 43 cfm. Thing is, no "quiet" fan pushes 60cfm +. At least, I've never found one in existence so far that actually do what they may supposedly claim if they push that much air.

That's the tradeoff: peformance vs noise. I wouldn't say 43 cfm is bad, but it's not 100 cfm either. But the tradeoff is your case won't sound like a jet engine either.

The other option is to get a high-output fan and hook it to a controller, then just find the sweet spot for what you think is good. Every person's preference is different, so this would allow greater flexibility to find that happy medium.
November 7, 2007 12:31:59 AM

talk about bumping an old topic... but I didn't want to post a new topic about the same thing.

Anyways, What would be considered "loud" for a fan? I was looking at jab-tech.com, and it has three different speed Yate Loons, one is at ~1300rpm, the second is at ~1650 rpm, and the last is at ~2200 rpm. The slowest one rates at 28 dBA, the medium rates at 33dBa, and the fasted one rates at 40dBa.
I've purchased 3 Yate Loons already, and I believe they are the slowest ones, since they are so quiet that the only thing I hear from them is the blades cutting through the wind. But I was thinking about getting 4 more, and I might get the 1650rpm ones. Do you think 33dBA would be moderate for a fan? Basically I want my computer to be dead silent almost. This Christmas I am going to try to get a CoolerMaster Stacker 830 Evo., and I was going to replace the fans in it and put 7 Yate Loons in it. Then I could use the two CoolerMaster fans to put on the CPU cooler.

What do you guys think?
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