Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

DIfferences between case fans?

Last response: in Overclocking
November 6, 2009 2:38:48 PM


I am not very knowledgeable when it comes to hardware, so I tend to read a lot and ask people before I buy anything. Now, I have been building a new system for a while and I have a solid setup now but I am unsure as to what fans to get.
My main focus lies on noise reduction since my hardware won't get very hot anyway.

So, is there anything in particular I should look for when purchasing a fan other than the level of noise and how it's controlled? Any recommendations for a particular brand/fan?

This my build:

Case: Antec p183

CPU fan: Noctua NH-C12P


CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965

PSU: Corsair CMPSU-550VX


HDD: 2x Seagate ST3500418AS 500 GB

RAM: G.Skill DIMM 4 GB DDR3-1333 Kit

More about : differences case fans

November 6, 2009 2:59:50 PM

if you're asking about case fans, I would suggest Yate Loons. They sell cheap at about 3 bucks, and have high CFMs of about 80-90. CFM (cubic feet per min) tells you how powerful the fan is. most 120mm fans aer about 35-40CFM
November 6, 2009 6:13:55 PM

This is the monster case that has the PSU in the bottom, the top has 2 120mm case fans...

The fans should be included but if they arent, I think most 120mm fans will do.
But to be sure, a fan sells for rather cheep so paying the extra few dollars extra should ensure better quality.
Related resources
a c 105 K Overclocking
November 6, 2009 6:51:13 PM

Antec TriCools Are quite good and have 3 selectable speeds to balance cooling/noise levels. They also come in different LED colors or even with no LEDs.
November 6, 2009 7:44:13 PM

There are quite a few different factors that distinguish
one fan from another:

* size: 80, 92, 120, 140mm or larger

* location of fan grills within your chassis

* presence of dust filters, or not

* 2-conductor or 3-conductor (3rd wire is usually rpm feedback)

* thermal controlled, via thermistor, or not

* speed switched, e.g. 2- or 3-speed, or not

* colored LEDs or not

Also, the number and capabilities of motherboard
fan headers do affect fan choices: e.g. some
motherboard monitoring software won't work
unless all fan headers are connected to compatible fans.

In general, the latest and best ventilated cases
are those that use larger fans which move more air
and make less noise than smaller fans.

For cases that implement some of the latest
in ventilation know-how, see the Cooler Master
Storm Sniper and similar offerings by CM and
other manufacturers who have caught on
to the "stack effect" -- hot air rises:

Rodney Reynolds also has another one of his excellent
video reviews of this Storm Sniper at .

Thermaltake's Element V is worth a look too:

Thus, cases that intake cooler air via one or more fans
in the bottom panel, and exhaust with one or more fans
in the top panel, are now among the "state-of-the-art".

Frankly, Antec has been playing a bit of "catch-up" recently:
it took them quite a long time to add an opening in the
motherboard tray immediately below the CPU socket --
to permit easy upgrades to HSFs with proper backing plates.

November 6, 2009 9:11:05 PM

Wow, that's quite a bit of insight right there, thanks! Now I have at least some sort of idea what I'm dealing with.
I guess I will pay attention to all of those things and simply compare a few popular models. And based on what you said the case I picked (Antec p183) should be perfectly fine as well. Certainly should provide better airflow and less noise than the Antec 300 I already have. (Which is also why I want to replace the stock fans..they are quiet on their lowest setting but I'd prefer something even quieter.)
a c 151 K Overclocking
November 6, 2009 11:41:02 PM

From Antec site

Cooling system:
- 1 rear (standard) 120mm x 25mm TriCool™ fan
- 1 top (standard) 120mm x 25mm TriCool™ fan
- 1 lower front chamber - 120mm fan (optional)
- 1 upper front chamber - 120mm fan (optional)
- 1 middle chamber - 120mm fan (optional)

So you can add three (3) 120mm fans.

Suggest these:

3 apeed

39/56/79 cfm
25/28/30 dba
1200/1600/2000 rpm
0.13/0.2/0.24 amp draw
November 10, 2009 6:22:34 PM

This is a very tricky area, i posted something quite similar.
First of all, dB and CFM that companies state their fans have is a flat out lie.
2nd most sites measure diffrently the fans.
3rd forum and cutomers reviews vary a LOT.
The onyl fan almost everyone seems to be positive about out there is Sycthe gentle typhoon xxxxxxxxxxxxxx-15 series (1850 RPMs).

Id get it myelsf if those were available here.

Apart from that i saw like 6 models taht "seem" to be good:

Tacens Ventus/Syche silent eagle 1000/schythe S-flex 1200 RPM/Enermax Magma

But tehre are negative and positive opinions about those.
a c 151 K Overclocking
November 11, 2009 8:29:02 PM

Granted that different sites test things differently but most are consistent in their testing procedures. The Prolimatech Megahalems for example gets different readings on all the test sites but it consistently garners the top nod almost across the board.

One of the things that puzzles me is when a fan recommendation is made that grossly exceeds manufacturers recommendations. Prolimatech for example recommends 800-1200 rpm for their unit and you will often see 2,000 rpm fans recommended for it. The fan speed / pressure / volume which is ideal for a particular installation will depend on the specific fin thickness and spacing.

Also a fan which makes a great case fan does not necessarily work well as a HS fan. Many of the old forum sites I had linked on this subject have grown out of date. This is what I have been using of late as my source of info:

General Reading -

Recommended Fans -
Latest Roundup -

November 12, 2009 12:52:18 AM

Cooler master fans are nice. 69 to 79 cfm depending on the model, and all of them are usually 19-24ish dba
a c 86 K Overclocking
November 12, 2009 1:12:52 AM

Jack, are you believing what the write up says or the reviews?

Maybe you can find that exact fan in one of these sites. Then I'll say we got a oddity here, the writeup, usually copied from the marketers hype is correct. Some fan info Fan reviews, skewed to radiators, some are older fans
a c 151 K Overclocking
November 17, 2009 6:54:20 PM

I'm a bit confused by your wording .... it appears that you saying that marketers hype is correct :)  .... which I don't think you meant.

I spoke directly to Prolimatech.....they said to not use a fan > 1200 rpm. So I looked for the best flow / noise ratios while making sure that the fan could also produce adequate pressure levels to overcome friction thru the fins.
a c 86 K Overclocking
November 18, 2009 5:09:39 AM

As long as your using independent reviews, not the marketers hype in the place you buy it, cut n pasted you'll be fine. You want a higher pressure medium CFM fan.

Dig into the links I gave you. It's not easy, but in time you'll figure it out. be thankful fans are cheap.

I'd like to see a 14DBA fan at 1200 RPM. What were the testing parameters? 6 ft away? You know what 14 dba sounds like? You can't barely hear it. Thats why you need someone who can test 20 fans at once under the SAME test.

From dba wiki
Normal conversation at 1 m 2×10−3 – 2×10−2 Pa 40 – 60 dB
Very calm room 2×10−4 – 6.32×10−4 Pa 20 – 30 dB
Light leaf rustling, calm breathing 6.32×10−5 Pa 10 dB

Someone 6 ft away breathing, think about it.................