Replacing PC fans


Wasn't sure where this question should go so took a shot. I just purchased a new system in the Corsair 550d case which comes standard with two fans in the front and one in the rear as exhaust (all three are 120mm fans - the rear can be exchanged for a 140mm one). I decided to replace all three fans for better quality ones that run quieter and upgrade the rear to a better quality 140mm fan. All three current fans are plugged into 3pin plugs and I assume run at 100%.

My question is: Is it a good idea to buy PWN fans for all three and plug them into 4 pin plugs? I'm new at replacing fans but figured it might make more sense to have the control ready should I decide later to tweak the speeds. Also, when I change the fans do the PWN fans have to be adjusted when I put them in or do they start off automatically at 100% and I can adjust them down?

Final question: I use an open air cooler on my CPU and want to upgrade that fan also. Is it a good idea to use a PWN fan on the CPU cooler or should I just go with the non pwn fan and let it always run at 100% on my CPU?

Just confused about buying fans and what's appropriate for these areas. Thanks
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More about replacing fans
  1. The main problem about having fans run at 100% speed is the noise. If you don't mind the noise then there's no point in wasting money on fan controller stuff. I've never used such devices but I assume that when plugged the fans will be defaulted to some percentage and then you adjust them to whatever you want.
  2. What I'm really trying to figure out is the PWN fans. I know they help me control the speed of the fan via the motherboard but I wanted to see if I should use something like that on my CPU open air cooler. Also, if I install PWN falls do they default to a certain % speed when I first start using them?
  3. 3-pin fans don't have to run @100% all the time. They can be controlled with voltage. My Gigabyte 990fx ud3 "senses" what kind of fan is connected to each fan header and uses the appropriate means of control.

    I'm sure some boards require manual selection of the control method in the BIOS, while others may have no way of switching at all.

    Now if you have fans plugged into a molex adapter, (12v all the time) then they will probably run full speed all the time the computer is on. The front fans on my Corsair 400R are connected this way, but they are quiet fans, so it doesn't bother me.

    I would check the specs on your motherboard to figure out how they will control the fans you connect to the different fan headers.
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