I'm retrofitting a Compaq Presario for my daughter. Basically beefing it up to get it's max potential... well, maxed for what I can find for it. It currently has no fans and I'd like to add a chasis fan. The motherboard has a 3-pin chasis fan connector. It is an AmberineM or ASUS A8AE-LE motherboard which has the Q-fan controls for both CPU and Chasis fans in the bios. I want to make use of that since my daughter won't have a clue about messing with fan speeds. So far, my understanding is that 3 pin connectors don't have the ability to regulate fan speeds automatically? And, that you need a 4-pin fan to have power management features? I just need a recommendation on a decent chasis fan to install to the 3-pin motherboard chasis fan connector. Preferably one that would make use of the q-fan control in bios and is balanced between noise and cfm. Help please?
Your understanding is correct that 3-pin fan headers from the motherboard do not regulate the fan speed dynamically. Any fan can use the fan control in the bios because that serves only to provide the voltage supplied to the fan and thereby vary the fan speed.
The rule of thumb is that the bigger the fan, the quieter it is given a certain cfm. But the size of the fan is determined by the fan slots in your case. Here are options from newegg: http://www.newegg.com/Store/SubCategory.aspx?SubCategor...
Refutable manufacturers are coolermaster, corsair & xigmatek. I do not know about the others but case fans are not sensitive components. If you install it & it appears too noise for you, you can slow it down in the BIOS & still get better airflow than before.
Ok, so the bios can control fan speed regardless of the fan or does it need to be a variable speed fan? Like some only list one wattage/rpm while others list 3 different ones.
Yes, the BIOS will control. All fans are essentially variable speed. Usually the BIOS only provides a few steps like 25%, 50%, 75% and 100%. Some indicates 0% but it wont mean the fan has 0 speed. It will have minimum supply voltage & the fan will spin at very low speed.