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Case Fans & Fan Controller

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June 27, 2012 12:45:38 PM

Hi, I'm currently in the market for two new 120mm case fans to replace my outdated ones in my Thermaltake Armor case along with a fan controller as that seems necessary. I have been looking at Scythe and Gelid along with a few other brands. My main question is, should I buy a higher rpm fan and just turn them down to a lower rpm when I'm not gaming? Also, what do you folks suggest as a good fan and controller?

Thanks
June 27, 2012 1:17:02 PM

By adding a fan controller your introducing "One more component that could go bad". From what I have read, no fan controller gives you "true temps" of your system. This could lead to over heating, especially if you are overclocking. I just connected my case fans to the PSU and let them run full. I think I have 1 exhaust fan connected to the mobo, but thats about it.
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a b K Overclocking
June 27, 2012 1:47:24 PM

i have one of the old original TT armor cases and scythe kaze master pro fan controller, i pretty much have every fan in my case connected up to it (all bar the psu fan lol), the beauty about this controller is the ability to completely turn off fans when they are not needed.

as to what fans to get, there are a gazillion and one different models and coloured fans, i would just pick fans that you prefer to have/see in your case
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a c 131 K Overclocking
June 27, 2012 1:50:51 PM

I prefer simplicity of using a fan at constant speed.

If stress raises the temperatures, so be it.
CPU and graphics cards are built to handle higher temperatures.

If you have a real heat problem, consider replacing your case.

I think Noctua makes the best fans for quiet and efficiency.

As to a fan controller, perhaps a simple cheap one like the zalman fanmate would do.
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June 27, 2012 2:30:26 PM

i have the NZXT Sentry 6 channel fan controller
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hooked up to 6 NZXT 140mm fans
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I am super happy with both, the fans are quiet and push a ton of air, and the fan controller dose exactly what I want it to.(Even though it only allows the fans to spin down to about 40%, and not turn completely off with the scythe that someone mentioned earlier)

And I will be honest with you, while I love this setup as it is completely silent with good airflow, it is much more important to get yourself some fans that run quieter at full speed that to get some louder fans and turn them down with a fan controller.

My old rig had 5 Cooler Master Sickleflow fans, as even though they moved a ton of air, they were pretty loud compared to my new NZXTs. So even running 6 new fans at full speed was about a quarter as loud at running 5 of my old fans. Add in the Fan controller and the only fan that you can hear is the PSU fan.

In regards to your question, a fan controller should not be considered unless you are unhappy with the noise the fans are making.

And if you are unhappy with the noise, I would recommend buying new quieter fans instead of buying a fan controller.

Another thing that I should mention is that not all fans will act friendly with all fan controllers. I connected 2 of my Sickleflows to my NZXT fan controller and when I would turn those fans down, they would start making a knocking sound and after awhile the fan actually quit working, so keep that in mind as you are looking at things.

Hope this helps :) 
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June 27, 2012 4:03:42 PM

It seems that a fan controller might be a purchase made after I see how the new fans perform/sound. My next question is, at what rpm is a case fan considered overkill?
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a c 131 K Overclocking
June 27, 2012 4:14:31 PM

hitrun said:
It seems that a fan controller might be a purchase made after I see how the new fans perform/sound. My next question is, at what rpm is a case fan considered overkill?


It depends on the size of the fan. Larger fans can deliver more air at the same rpm.

I think that in a case, 900rpm is hardly audible, 1100rpm is quiet. More than that starts to get noisy.
Your sensitivity may differ. Once you start down the quiet computing path, there is no stopping.

To learn more about quiet and fans, do some research at www.silentpcreview.com
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June 27, 2012 7:22:03 PM

I have been doing more research but am still curious since I have not seen a guideline for cfm. Is there a certain number I should be looking for to achieve good airflow through my case, especially since it's a gaming rig?
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April 4, 2013 1:37:24 AM

I am just going to get a fan controller to make my computer setup/rig look AWESOME! I have a Zalman Z11 case and that case support up to 8 fans and you get 5 fans preinstalled, witch is always good. :) 
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