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Good 120mm case fans for new build

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April 4, 2012 3:24:26 PM

Hi,

I'm building a new system soon but can't decide on which case fans to get. Looking for ones that are quiet but still perform well. Was thinking about getting some Noctua NF-P12s or NF-F12s but they are pretty expensive.

Can anyone recommend any other good 120mm case fans that are cheaper or are the Noctuas worth it?
April 4, 2012 3:32:18 PM

Yeah I wish those noctua fans werent so expensive. I like the thermalright x-silent 120mm for case fans. I have two 120mm x-silent fans on top as exhaust, one on back as exhaust and one 140mm as intake. I use a scythe fan controller to control all the fans for best airflow and noise.

I've found myself pretty much keeping the 120mm fans at full speed because I'm happy with the noise level. The 140 I turned down to about 800RPM.

They come with rubber screws too, witch help with noise vibration. They hold the fan in nice and tight. Just don't be shy pulling them threw. You also get 4 standard fan screws, and molex adapter. Fan has a sleeved cable with a 3 pin connector.



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April 4, 2012 5:54:57 PM

skaz said:
Unless the OP has a fan controller (with open headers) those PWM fans are going to be screamingly loud.

Quite true - what're you working with, Ov_?
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April 4, 2012 7:09:38 PM

Thanks for the replies

The Cooler Master and the Cougar fans look good, though a few reviews did say that they're loud which always makes me think twice about whether I should buy them or not. Wasn't intending on getting a fan controller but if it will help with the noise then I'll probably have to get one.

Haven't decided on a final build but it's going to be something like this:

CPU: i5 2500k (planning to OC)
Graphics : GTX 680
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H-GEN3
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 2 x 4GB - 1600MHz
System Drive: Crucial M4 SSD - 128GB
Storage: Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB x 2
Optical Drive: Sony Optiarc AD-7280S
Case: Obsidian 550d
Power: Corsair AX750 or HX750
Cooler: Corsair H100
Fan Controller: ???

Could these fans work with the H100? Was thinking about getting the NF-F12s for it.
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April 4, 2012 9:06:20 PM

Ov_ said:
Thanks for the replies

The Cooler Master and the Cougar fans look good, though a few reviews did say that they're loud which always makes me think twice about whether I should buy them or not. Wasn't intending on getting a fan controller but if it will help with the noise then I'll probably have to get one.

Haven't decided on a final build but it's going to be something like this:

CPU: i5 2500k (planning to OC)
Graphics : GTX 680
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H-GEN3
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 2 x 4GB - 1600MHz
System Drive: Crucial M4 SSD - 128GB
Storage: Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB x 2
Optical Drive: Sony Optiarc AD-7280S
Case: Obsidian 550d
Power: Corsair AX750 or HX750
Cooler: Corsair H100
Fan Controller: ???

Could these fans work with the H100? Was thinking about getting the NF-F12s for it.


Awesome picks for your hardware. 550 looks like a nice case. Nice perks with airflow and noise control. I can recomend scythe for a fan controller. The KM05 kaze modle is nice. Id have to confirm model when I get home though. Can't comment on the h100:
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April 4, 2012 9:29:02 PM

Here's another suggestion, I've always been very pleased with Yate Loon fans. They generally run about $6 for the LED fans, and you can choose either slow, med, or high speed. They vary a little (+/-10%) but all the rated speeds are pretty quiet. I typically get the medium speed which run about 1700RPM and move about 50 CFM.

Here's a link showing the non-LED high speed fan which runs at 2200 RPM and moves 88CFM. That would not be silent of course but wouldn't be nearly as loud as some other fans running at that speed.

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/10455/fan-689/Yate_Lo...

I've had fans from just about everyone, and these are very good for the price. I have some that are still operational after 5 years. I've used them as CPU cooler fans, and they perform well. They are 3 pin, so they aren't PWM but they do a fine job for the price.
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April 4, 2012 10:05:16 PM

ANTEC CASES:

Antec has some nice, inexpensive cases that come with two fans already. If it's a gaming system I'd add a single 120mm to the bottom-front as well.

Case fans:
I usually recommend getting the QUIETEST ONES (16 to 19dB, max 1000RPM). 4-pin MOLEX connector or adapter.

Here's a great case:
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=67322&vpn=ONE&manufact...

Note that this Antec case has 2x120mm fans and also supports USB v3 front connectors.
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April 4, 2012 11:09:47 PM

Will probably get a couple of cougar fans for the H100 to begin with and see how well the PC performs in terms of noise and temp before I decide to get any more fans or a fan controller. Just so I don't go spending money on things I might not need.

That Antec case seemed pretty good, especially for its price, but I'm willing to spend more the 550d. I like it too much.

Another question though, will my motherboard be able to support PWM fans?
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April 5, 2012 12:11:16 AM

Ov_ said:
Will probably get a couple of cougar fans for the H100 to begin with and see how well the PC performs in terms of noise and temp before I decide to get any more fans or a fan controller. Just so I don't go spending money on things I might not need.

That Antec case seemed pretty good, especially for its price, but I'm willing to spend more the 550d. I like it too much.

Another question though, will my motherboard be able to support PWM fans?


It should for the CPU. I'll assume the H100 has a connector to put the two fans on one header. Some mobos include an extra 4 pin header (PWM) for push pull or a rad such as yours. But almost all of them now come with one PWM header for the CPU fan.
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April 5, 2012 3:21:44 AM

Yes your motherboard will have at least one PWM fan header, but that will be for the CPU. This enables the fan speed to change automatically depending on the temperature of the CPU. And PWM is recommended for CPU fans due to the large increase and decrease in temps with the CPU.

Typically though case fans are not controlled by PWM. Although you can use PWM fans for case fans they will run at full speed if connected to a 3 pin header unless controlled by other means. Other means include software like speedfan, physical device like fan controller, or adapter to under volt them.

For your CPU most definitely go with a PWM fan. No doubt about it.

For your case though, you have options. Lots of them now =)

Confirmed scythe fan controlle model is KM05-BK




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November 25, 2012 2:24:52 PM

^^^^skaz Your fan controller looks awesome. All the other ones I've seen look stupid/uselss and have no digital read outs. Your model is exactly what I want but I don't want to drop $50 on it. The amount of control and precision is truly admirable. Also, nice photos.
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November 26, 2012 6:57:47 PM

Thanks. It's a shame, because the soldering work on the controller was horrible. I had to obtain an RMA shortly after purchasing it because the fan 4 header stopped working. It was due to a cold solder joint. =/

They sent me another one and before I went ahead with the installation I checked the joints. Unfortunately that one had bad solder joints too. They were holding the header's in, but it was only a matter of time before the cold joint snapped and I'd be in the same position as before. So I went ahead and re-flowed the joint myself.

They made me pay for shipping too, so I really didn't want to have to send a second one back.

Hard to recommend their brand now after dealing with the soldering issues. =/

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November 27, 2012 3:51:26 AM

skaz said:
Thanks. It's a shame, because the soldering work on the controller was horrible. I had to obtain an RMA shortly after purchasing it because the fan 4 header stopped working. It was due to a cold solder joint. =/

They sent me another one and before I went ahead with the installation I checked the joints. Unfortunately that one had bad solder joints too. They were holding the header's in, but it was only a matter of time before the cold joint snapped and I'd be in the same position as before. So I went ahead and re-flowed the joint myself.

They made me pay for shipping too, so I really didn't want to have to send a second one back.

Hard to recommend their brand now after dealing with the soldering issues. =/


That's a shame. Your controller cost around $40 (amazon) and has issues. I guess it makes it hard to justify buying one. It would be nice to have but not worth cost n headaches.
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