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Quietest CPU cooler/fan.

Tags:
  • Heatsinks
  • Cooling
  • Fan
  • CPUs
  • Overclocking
Last response: in Overclocking
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March 6, 2012 10:25:16 PM

I had just finished with my first build yesterday and found my Hyper 212+ CPU cooler fan to be a bit louder than I'd like. Even after lowering the RPM to ~1200, it is still not quiet enough.

I was thinking about keeping the heatsink for now and replacing it with a Noctua NH-P12 fan in hopes it will be quieter. What do you guys think? Are there better options?

Also I would like this fan be later be a case fan when I change the whole cooler to a NH-D14. Silence is of utmost importance.

More about : quietest cpu cooler fan

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March 6, 2012 11:52:00 PM

What are your specs? If you're not dealing with an overclocked processor, you should be good with a large, fanless heatsink. It's got to be big; I don't think the 212+ will cut it without a fan. If money isn't a big deal, and it doesn't seem to be, get a Prolimatech Megahalems. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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March 7, 2012 12:16:56 AM

I'm running an i3-2120. It isn't OCed right now but I do plan on doing it soon. I really would prefer to keep the 212+ heatsink for now and just have a quiet fan

I found a Silenx EFX-12-15 which seems be be pretty quiet. I'll probably even replace my case fans with those too. What do you think?
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March 7, 2012 12:42:51 AM

I don't know much about the different case fans available, but I think almost anything would be better than stock. Check out Scythe, though. They make a whole bunch of Slipstream case fans with different speeds and, therefore, CFM and noise values.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
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Best solution

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March 7, 2012 2:26:58 AM

The Noctua NF-P12 PWM model is a great choice. Just make sure to get the PWM version (4 pin fan connector). I can also recommend the Enermax tb silence pwm 120mm fan for your heatsink. I was recommended the TB silence from another forum member and besides the magnetic bearing I love it. Can't hear it over my other components unless I run prime95 for benching.

As for later using these fans for your case. No reason why you couldn't. They have a higher static pressure to help push the air between those thin fans on your heatsink but I don't see any reason why you couldn't use them on a case depending on the size and distance between intakes and exhaust.
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March 7, 2012 3:54:09 AM

Would the NF-12 PWM be powerful enough as a CPU fan? It pushes out a lot less air than the 212+, but the 212+ is also noisier. The Silenx EFX-12-15 has greater CFM and lower dB but is one speed. The Enermax TB Silence seems to have some complaints with motor noise.

I'll probably use some combination of Scythe Slipstream 800 rpm and SilenX fans for my case.

Is it a good idea to have my front and back fans blow into the case and have my two top fans blow out? Or only the front blow in and the other 3 blow out?

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March 7, 2012 6:29:27 AM

Best answer selected by ohhgourami.
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March 7, 2012 12:55:41 PM

Look here:

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

Note thew comment on the Noctua NF-S12's

Quote:
An effective choice for a case fan, but the questions raised about its pressure make us hesitate to recommend it for use on a heatsink.


Where acoustic performance is as important as thermal performance, I'd look at the following in the order presented:

Phanteks PH-TC14PE
Thermalright Silver Arrow
Noctua DH-14

http://www.vortez.net/articles_pages/phanteks_ph_tc14pe...

Quote:
Taking a look at the results here, yet again we see the results concentrating towards the top of our table. In its default configuration, it is easily ahead of the competition even managing to better the Silver Arrow with three TY TR-140 fans. Adding a third fan generated the best performance without the cost of noise whereas the other high end coolers relied on faster RPM Coolink fans to get anywhere close to the Phanteks’ outstanding results. Even with a single fan or with two NF-P12s, the cooler is comparable to the default Silver Arrow and NH-D14 configurations, an amazing feat by this new manufacturer. Using Q2.S.A, the result was 2.5C better than Noctua’s U.L.N.A and 3C better than the Silver Arrow with its fans reduced to 850RPM.
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March 7, 2012 3:14:42 PM

ohhgourami said:
Would the NF-12 PWM be powerful enough as a CPU fan? It pushes out a lot less air than the 212+, but the 212+ is also noisier. The Silenx EFX-12-15 has greater CFM and lower dB but is one speed. The Enermax TB Silence seems to have some complaints with motor noise.

I'll probably use some combination of Scythe Slipstream 800 rpm and SilenX fans for my case.

Is it a good idea to have my front and back fans blow into the case and have my two top fans blow out? Or only the front blow in and the other 3 blow out?


Typically, Intakes are front, bottom, and side. And exhaust is rear and top. When dealing with 3 or less fans its advisable to start with side intake, then top fan, then rear. When dealing with 4 or more fans I'd advise trying to stick with the traditional front to back air flow.

So I'd leave the rear as an exhaust to help not only exhaust hot air but help pull the intake air up and out.

Unfortunately the specs listed by a lot of manufactures for these fans aren't the best to go by. There's no industry standard they're made to follow. And you might have to do some personal testing to find your favorite fan =). That's why its a good idea to do what you doing and find out what other peoples experience's are with fans they've used.
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March 12, 2012 4:36:42 AM

If / when you decide to upgrade the cooler, put the NZXT Havik 140 on your short list. I did a ton of research and chose the Havik because it was within 1 or 2 degrees of a Noctua NH-D14, but nowhere near as big as one of those honkers, and much quieter. In all the reviews I read, the Havik was either the most silent or in the top 3. I can confirm these reviews. Cools great, and super silent. With the case closed, I can't even hear the fans. And it has 2 fans btw.
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March 19, 2012 11:20:29 PM

As an update, after trying out a few different fans, I found the Scythe slipstreams to be by far the quietest. Silenx actually lies about their specs and Enermax aren't silent.

I plan to upgrade to a Noctua NH-D14 later and replace the stock Noctua fans with Scythes since Scythes are silent and perform similarly.
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