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Quiet fans, suggestions appreciated

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January 22, 2011 9:20:15 PM

I've been running my new SB build for a week now. I'm more than happy with everything except the decibel level of the fans on my Megahalems. I've got everything tweaked and the final step is lower decibels. I decided that cost is not an issue on these fans. I'd like a pair of 120x120x25. No compromise.

Any suggestions?
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January 22, 2011 10:06:56 PM

davcon said:
Here's a test of 65 fans on the Mega.
http://www.overclockers.com/65-fans-tested-megahalems/
San Ace's were the best.
The most balanced fan was this it has 4pin and good cooling and noise characteristics.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Thanks for the link. I just found these test results. Of course there are more variables to consider than just db, but the 2600K runs so cool that I think I can get lower db without a temperature compromise.

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/coolers/display/120mm-...

Looks like the Scythe KamaFlow 2 is a good all-rounder.

His Editor's Choice was the: Noiseblocker NB-BlackSilentPro PL-1,
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a b K Overclocking
January 22, 2011 10:22:48 PM

DogsOfWar - I would like to point out that noise is relative. One person's quiet pc is another person's vacuum cleaner. Everybody does not hear the exact same thing. In addition the dba ratings that companies use in their advertising are usually overly optimistic. Typically they measure fan noise by putting a fan on a work bench with a microphone placed about 1 meter away from the fan. That is not the same as actually installing a fan in a pc and taking measurements.

Davcon - WOW! Very interesting test results. What got my attention was the medium speed Panaflo. Twenty years ago we were installing the high speed Panaflo's in our systems because Intel kept making cpu's that ran hotter and hotter. The high speed Panaflo's sounded like jet fighters at full throttle. We didn't care about noise. It was cooling that mattered.
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January 22, 2011 10:39:19 PM

JohnnyLucky said:
DogsOfWar - I would like to point out that noise is relative. One person's quiet pc is another person's vacuum cleaner. Everybody does not hear the exact same thing. In addition the dba ratings that companies use in their advertising are usually overly optimistic. Typically they measure fan noise by putting a fan on a work bench with a microphone placed about 1 meter away from the fan. That is not the same as actually installing a fan in a pc and taking measurements.

Davcon - WOW! Very interesting test results. What got my attention was the medium speed Panaflo. Twenty years ago we were installing the high speed Panaflo's in our systems because Intel kept making cpu's that ran hotter and hotter. The high speed Panaflo's sounded like jet fighters at full throttle. We didn't care about noise. It was cooling that mattered.


Hey Johnny-- Indeed noise is relative. And I do always take vendor specifications with a grain of salt. As such, my request on this board for real-world results from builders. Interestingsly, I do have one Panaflo (model unknown) now on the MegaH, and even at moderate speeds, it sounds like a jet-fighter. I tested it against the other fans in my rig at the same speeds, and it is clearly louder. It will be one of the fans I remove.

Any suggestions for a decent cfm/dba fan in your experience?
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a b K Overclocking
January 23, 2011 12:35:56 AM

If memory serves, Prolimatech recommends cpu heatsink fans in the 1,200 to 1,600 rpm range for optimal performance. In order to reduce the noise level that would probably narrow the recommendation to 1,200 rpm fans.

Have you taken a look at the 120mm fan recommendations at Silent PC Review?

http://www.silentpcreview.com/article63-page2.html

The SPCR recommendations are not up to date but still interesting, especially how they try to describe the noise that a fan makes. If you rummage around you can find reports about individual fans. I couldn't quite match up the SPCR list with the Overclockers list. I did not recognise a lot of the brand names on the Overclockers list.

Over the years I think the names mentioned most often at this forum for quiet fans that still cool fairly well are Noctua, Yate Loon, and some of the Scythe models. That's not to say that there are other less well known fans that might perform better.

There are two other alternatives - You could let your pc system control the cpu heatsink fan. That's what I do. The system adjusts fan speed as needed. The second alternative is to use a fan controller so you could adjust fan speeds to your satisfaction.
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a c 183 K Overclocking
January 23, 2011 1:20:14 AM

Yep! anything i've read regarding the Megahalems recommends 1600 rpm fan speed due to the fin spacing.
Probably the most recommended fans when all sources and reviews are considered is the Scythe S -FLEX,Noiseblockers and the ones JohnnyLucky mentions.
I personally use Thermalright fans which are very quiet imo and usually never mentioned or reviewed.
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a b K Overclocking
January 23, 2011 5:30:57 AM

I have been using the Scythe S-Flex 1600 rpm fans for the past 4 or 5 years. I'm quite satisfied with their performance. They are not ultra quiet fans. The noise they do generate does not bother me.
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