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How many case fans needed for minimum cooling

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Last response: in Components
May 4, 2010 7:33:56 PM

I am having trouble choosing between the Lancool K56 and the Lancool K60? I am looking for a case that will be fairly quiet, have 'enough' cooling, and last me for a few builds. My problem is that since I am a first time builder I do not have a sense of how much case fan cooling I need to run a non-overclocked system safely (and quietly).

Future Crossfire setup is not out of the question, but for the moment I will be running:
Phenom II X4 955 (with stock fan)
Gigabyte 890GX
Radeon 5670 (Sapphire)


K56: 120mm intake, 120mm exhaust
Pro: Smaller than K60, and theoretically quieter
Con: does not come with bottom filter, and same cost as K60 after this is ordered

K60: 140mm intake, 120mm exhaust, 2 x 140mm exhaust
Pro: more case and fans for same cost, and all filters are included
Con: 1.5 inches taller, and theoretically louder

So, is my assumption that the K56 will be quieter correct?

Is the K60 overkill for my cooling needs? Or will the K56 potentially run too hot (and thus be loud)?

Is the K56 too limited to run a future crossfire setup, or will the 2 case fans be 'enough'?

Thanks for any help and advice.

More about : case fans needed minimum cooling

a b ) Power supply
May 4, 2010 7:50:48 PM

I would say that the K56 would be quieter simply due to it having less fans than the K60. Although obviously the K60 would have superior cooling. Cooling is one of those issues thats subjective and down to the individual's needs. It's hard to recommend how much cooling you will need since it depends on several factors, probably the most important being the ambient temperature of the air surrounding your PC.If you live in a particularly hot area then you will obviously need more cooling and vice versa.

Of course, when it comes to PCs things can never be too cool since heat build up reduces the life expectancy of all components. Does the K56 have the option to install more fans than the two that come pre-installed? If so, my advice would be to go for the K56 and see how things go and maybe add more fans at a later date. If you live in a particularly hot area or are worried at all, grab the K60 with more fans. If you find it to be too loud you can always swap out the pre-installed fans with quiter ones in the future.

In general, a quieter fan will be one that has a higher CFM value (it moves more air per revolution) and a lower RPM value (it spins slower and therefore produces less noise). may be worth your while having a look at for more info on optimising your cooling whilst keeping noise levels down. Hope this helps!
May 4, 2010 8:00:36 PM

Thanks for the response. Yeah, thats the rub...the K56 has only the 2 fan slots, so there can be no upgrading. I would say the the the ambient temp will never be above 80 degrees, and will be around 65-75 most of the year. Does that constitute as a 'hot area' in computer terms?
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a b ) Power supply
May 4, 2010 8:25:10 PM

80 degrees Farenheit is roughly around 25 degrees Celsius so that doesn't sound particularly hot, although its hotter than average here in the UK! To be honest, eithr case will have more cooling potential than a standard OEM case. I wouldn't bother with the dust filter either, just make sure you keep your system clean. It's a tricky one to call but as I mentioned, there's no such things as too cool for PCs so if you're at all worried, I'd go for the K60 especially if you aren't on a particularly tight budget. You always have the option of upgrading to quieter fans in the future if you feel its too loud.

Are you particularly limited to those two cases? There may be alternatives than can provide better airflow and features for about the same price. How much are you looking to spend on a case?
May 5, 2010 12:25:27 AM

Again, thanks for the reply. No, I am not married to these cases, but I like the Lancool aesthetic and they look like good quality and a decent price. I have looked at at the Antecs (Solo, Mini P180, P183), but I think I like the Lancools better. Anyway, given that the K56 cooling should be fine, I think I am going to go in that direction. One aspect I did not mention before is the wife factor, which definitely favors the K56. While the K60 is understated as far as gaming factors go, something tells me that if I come home with a 20x20 inch case with a top fan grill she is going to give me some looks. The K56 is only 1.5 inches shorter, but that is only slightly higher that the ugly Dell I am replacing. Cheers.