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What coolers/How many fans do i need for 2000$ build (first time)

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January 16, 2011 1:12:00 PM

I'm looking around for parts of my new gaming rig (first time i build one), but i have no idea what cooling system i need.

1. I want air cooling on my NZXT PHANTOM case, but don't know how many fans i need, and where to place them in my case. I want enough air flow, so my computer won't overheat...

2. Again, i have no idea, but does a cooling system start automatically when something gets to hot? I know, on any normal computer it probably does, but is it standard or does some component take care of it? (like the motherboard?)

3. How does fan control work ?(since i have that feature on the case)
a b K Overclocking
January 17, 2011 8:47:17 AM

That case already comes with 4 fans, so the cooling is pretty good.. but I believe it can take up to 7 which a lot of people would max out straight the way.

I personally never use the stock fans that come on a case as they're often cheap and noisey (after a few months use anyway). I always prefer to buy some good quality fans from Scythe or someone else with good quality products.

So to answer question one.. you can either leave it how it is and add fans later on if you think it's getting too hot. Or you can buy 3 fans (or 7 fans to replace the stock fans as well) and max the case out.

Your fans that are plugged into the motherboard are motherboard controlled. They often run at 100%, but software will allow you to take control of these either in an automatic or manual way.

Fans that are plugged straight into your power supply (via 4-pin molex normally) will always run at 100% and have no way of controlling how fast they spin.

If you have a fan controller, you plug your desired fans into the controller which is in turn connected to your power supply (some controllers might have a different setup to this.. don't shoot me if I've got it wrong ;)  ). From there, you can have your fans running at 100%, or restrict their airflow by turning them down on the controller.

However you have your fans set up, they will start spinning as soon as the computer is turned on.

As for coolers.. make sure you have a good CPU cooler. Even if you have amazing case airflow, a good CPU is very important. If you're using AMD they have a feature called Cool 'n' Quiet which will keep your CPU fan as low speeds (quiet) and will turn the fan up when your CPU gets hot (keeping it 'cool').

Hope this answers some questions.

ace
a c 108 K Overclocking
January 17, 2011 1:45:21 PM

Have you decided what components you will have in the case?

The graphics card is the most heat producing component. If you get one with a dual slot direct exhaust cooler, you will nhave no problem. A EVGA GTX580 would be a good example. Newer cards are built on 40nm technology, and generate less heat than older cards. If you are looking at dual cards,(which I do NOT recommend as a rule) get a motherboard with extra separation of the pci-e slots. If you mount two cards next to each other, the top card will run much hotter because of restricted airflow.

The CPU has been an issue in the past, but the newer 32nm cpu's like sandy bridge do not need much cooling. Any tower type cooler with a 120mm fan will be fine.
The CM hiper 212 is a decent inexpensive one. About the best is the prolimatech megahalems rev b. It is easy to install also.

The PSU generates a bit of heat, particularly under load. It will take care of itself. Do not count on the psu to help with case cooling. The silver and gold certified units are a bit more energy efficient, and will generate less heat. The silver units may not have much of a price premium.

I do not like to hear automatically adjusting fan speeds. I find a steady sound to be less obtrusive. For the graphics card, and psu there is not much you can do, but for the cpu cooler you can specify no fan control in the bios. Under load, parts will get hotter, but so long as the heat is not excessive, there is no problem.

Fans will start when the system is started, regardless if they are plugged into the motherboard or the psu.

A fan controller will have a rheostat that will reduce the voltage to a fan to make it run slower. This is useful if you have a high rpm noisy fan that needs to be slowed down.

Your case has all you need, do not worry about it.

I suggest you download and read, cover to cover, the case manual. The mobo manual too.

----good luck---

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January 17, 2011 5:36:21 PM

Thx, geofelt and acer, but i still have some questions though (lol, HERE WE GO AGAIN...)

1. I read somewhere that you basically need 1 front fan that sucks in cool air, and one rear fan, that blows out the hot air. Can i buy any sort of fan for this that has the right size, and will it do those things automatically, or do i have to reverse a fan, so it "inhales" the cool air...???

2. How can i be sure that my PSU has enough "wires" to connect to all my fans, and my motherboard has enough "holes" to plug in some of the fans?

3.Does it matter which fan i connect to mobo/ PSU?

Plz don't ask what PSU i chose, because i still haven't got a clue (but i'm busy working on it)

Sorry, i know use some non-pro names like "wires" and "holes". I'm not a native speaker, and don't know the exact name of everything. I hope you still get my point, though.


a b K Overclocking
January 17, 2011 5:50:14 PM

1.You have to turn the fan the other way so that it draws air inide.
2.I bet your psu and motherboard won't have enough wires.For that you use adapters often supplied with the fan;)
3.Yes,those connected to the motherboard can be software controlled,those on the psu can't.

BTW,holes and wires that connect stuff are called connectors.

a c 108 K Overclocking
January 17, 2011 5:52:24 PM

1) The case requirement is that there be a good capacity for intake air. To my mind, this means two 120mm intake (or output) fans. Or the equivalent.
In your case, a side 230mm intake fan is plenty.

2) Any psu will have sufficient molex(4 holes) connectors for fans or whatever. Most fans will have molex connectors with two sides so you don't use up your connectors. It is just not a problem. The motherboard will always have a cpu fan connector(for your cpu cooler) that can sense fan speeds. There may be some additional 3 pin connectors to let you attach some case fans. The first two pins are 12v power and ground.The third pin is to report fan speeds. Again, not to worry.

3) No, the only hard requirement is that the cpu cooler fan be connected to the cpu fan header on the motherboard. The cpu will not start without it.

4) Your psu requirements are almost entirely gated by the graphics card/s. If the psu has sufficient 6 or 8 pin pci-e connectors for your graphic card/s it will likely be sufficient.
Do not skimp on PSU quality. Quality units come from Seasonic, Antec, Corsair, XFX, and PC Power & cooling, to name a few.
a b K Overclocking
January 17, 2011 7:54:28 PM

geofelt said:
Cases are a personal thing. But, I agree.
A good low cost case is the Antec 300 illusion model:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I like the futuristic,race car look of the phantom.It is much better looking than my boring 690 and a full tower.It also has enough features to justify its price.
a c 131 K Overclocking
January 17, 2011 8:35:50 PM

In a $2k gaming rig, I'd anticipate twin GFX cards and overclocking to be in the mix. The most common case options are the HAF-X (7 fans) or DF-85 (8 fans). The DF provides speed control for all the fans, variable speed knobs on the front / 3 speed switches on the others.

A hi end enthusiast MoBo (i.e. Rampage Extreme series) will have as many as 8 chassis headers ... unfortunately most case manufacturers provide molex connections on the cable ends making life difficult. I remove these and put on 3 pin fan connectors so I can control these via the MoBo software. Most MoBos typically only have 2 or 3 chassis fan headers again making life difficult.

So unless ya have:

- the built in speed controls like on the Antec 1200 / DF series
- A MoBo w/ enough chassis fan connectors and a case with 3 pin connectors on the fans


ya left with a fan controller as the only means to control fans. This one provides molex to 3 pin adapters if needed and will allow ya to gang multiple fans on each channel.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E161...

January 18, 2011 3:49:11 PM

Cases are indeed a personal thing.
lol, BeCoolBro was right, I chose the phantom because it looks fuckin' sweet to me!!
Personally i think all suggested cases above are "fugly" (as you guys like to call it)
But yea, no offense of course

And i'm almost 100% sure that i'm not going to use the fan controls... Fans just need to keep everything cool, and so what if they run all the time. I don't care...
!