What is your preference on case & radiator fans? (Price vs Performance vs Noise)

Discussion in 'Overclocking & Cooling' started by DTN107, Jun 22, 2018.

  1. DTN107

    DTN107 [H]ardness Supreme

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    So I understand the fundamentals with static pressure to "push" through some form of restriction (radiator or dust filter) vs high unrestricted air-flow.

    But where do you draw the line where "the more you spend, the less return you're actually getting" ?

    I wouldn't mind if my CPU is running at 60C load instead of 55C if it meant half the cost and/or half the noise level.

    At the moment I'm eyeballing Noctua fans (NF-P14s) since I don't know any better. Is $20/fan the sweet spot these days?

    Let me hear your top choices and order of preferences when it comes to case and radiator fans (price, performance, and noise). Do you buy two different types of fans or do you usually just buy an "all-rounder" to keep things simple?

    I didn't factor in RGB since it is purely cosmetic but if you swing that way be sure to note it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2018
  2. rgMekanic

    rgMekanic [H]ard|News Staff Member

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    I'd say $15-$20 is a good place to be when it comes to fans. If you're already dropping bucket loads of cash on a custom loop, then running $3 fans makes no sense.

    I prefer running WAY too much radiator, and then letting good fans sit there at 30-40% silently. Hell I can completely shut off the fans on my top rad and my idle only goes up 2c.
     
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  3. Nobu

    Nobu [H]ard|Gawd

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    Good fans are good whether against a radiator /filter or in open air. Fans that favor air flow or static pressure are generally a poor choice except when you know that they'll be either highly restricted or truely free flow.

    That said, I dont have a large pool of experience when it comes to fans. Noctua is good and quiet, the cooler master jet flo 120mm fans I had were excellent, but the plastic holding the rubber corners broke off. I have two rosewill 140mm hyperborea fans which push a lot of air, but are a bit noisy.
     
  4. DTN107

    DTN107 [H]ardness Supreme

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    So what fans are you using now?
     
  5. rgMekanic

    rgMekanic [H]ard|News Staff Member

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    4x Corsair SP120's on the top rad, 4x Thermaltake Riings on the basement rad. Then 2x Corsair AF120's front intake, and 1x AF140 for exhaust, all running on an NZXT Grid+ V2

    From the cooler testing, I've been impressed with the Corsair ML fans, they don't move a ton of air, but they are impressively quiet. If you're into lighting the Enermax TB RGB's were awesome, I'm honestly thinking of swapping my Riings for them. Of course Noctua and Gentle Typhoon are always a great option as well.
     
  6. Skull_Angel

    Skull_Angel [H]ard|Gawd

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    I use to be all for cheap name-brand sleeve-bearing fans like Yate Loons for case fans, but after having to replace horizontally mounted ones regularly, I oped to try out something different. Ended up buying several beQuiet! Silent Wings 3 140mm for case fans when I saw them on sale at Newegg; at the half year mark and no issues with any orientation, case is more silent than it's been in years (normally use MB the fan headers to control speed regardless), and case airflow seems as good if not better than it was. It'll take about 3 years before I find out if they were truly worth the investment, but I'm happy with the purchase so far.

    On the other hand, I recently picked up one of Noctua's new NF-A12x25 to try out on my old TRUE Spirit. The price is a bit high at $30, tbh, but I've been surprised by the performance. The design is very close to the Gentle Typhoon and the performance throughout it's RPM range has proven it's not just a knock-off, so far. Adding Noctua's SSO2 bearing to the GT design really seems to have been a benefit to the sound-profile as well; I don't hear any bearing noise when at low RPM, in fact the only sound I ever hear it make is from air being pushed through the fins when it spins up during high CPU loads. Overall, I'm happy with the purchase, but if you can find it on sale, it'll be more worth it.
     
  7. dewbak75

    dewbak75 Limp Gawd

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    I'm currently using Corsair ML fans in my machines(the non-LED Pro versions, I try to avoid making my PC look like a car from The Fast & The Furious), both for the case fans and I replaced the radiator fans with them as well. They generate a fair bit of noise when running at full blast, I never need to run them that fast. During normal use, I never hear them over the game I'm playing or movie I'm watching. I've heard good things about the Noctua NF-A12x25, I might try them in my next build, I just wish they had a 140mm version too.
     
  8. DTN107

    DTN107 [H]ardness Supreme

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    I missed out on the whole Scythe Gentle Typhoon era. Just out of curiosity but anyone remember how much were they going for regularly?
     
  9. pek

    pek prairie dog

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    And you can get grey or black Noctua's now! For those who have case windows.
     
  10. dewbak75

    dewbak75 Limp Gawd

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    For all models?
     
  11. vick1000

    vick1000 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Love my Fractal Venturis.
     
  12. rgMekanic

    rgMekanic [H]ard|News Staff Member

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    IIRC they were about $25-$30. You can still get them
     
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  13. TheFlayedMan

    TheFlayedMan [H]Lite

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    I recently changed the fans that came with my Fractal Design case with NF-A14 ULN fans and am impressed with how quiet they are.
     
  14. Budwise

    Budwise [H]ard|Gawd

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    Its very hard to beat the Fractal Design Venturi's for the price. I've got them on everything now from case fans to my S24.
     
  15. doyll

    doyll Kyle's Thermocouple is HOT

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    Price is really not the way to determine what fans to get. For example here in UK I can get PH-F140MP for £8.13 and PH-F120MP for £7.50 including 20% tax and they both have good pressure and flow ratings and work very well. But in USA they are quite expensive with PH-F140MP being $17-24.69 & PH-F120MP being $14.09-14.99.

    Scythe Gentle Typhoon are Nidec Servo fans that Scythe sold and are now being sold as Darkside Gentle Typhoon by Dazmode.

    I never use airflow fans. All of my fans are rated with at minimum of about 1.5mm H2O static pressure at about 1200-1500rpm. Generally more is better because all specs are given with fan at full speed .. while most of us use our fans from idle to about half speed 99.9% of the time.

    Some of the best fan out right now are be quiet! Silent Wings 3, Gentle Typhoon, ML120 & ML140, PH-F140MP & PH-F120MP, Fractal Design Venturi and many more. There are some quite good low cost fans like Arctic F12 and Arctic F14 all but Pro models. They are typically $6-8 each and will easily last 3-4 years.

    To really suggest fans it would be best for you to tell us what you want to do with them and where on Earth you are so we can pick options available to you.
     
  16. DTN107

    DTN107 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Good info you provided and I'm saying this in no sense of being a jerk at all.

    Most of us here are in the USA. Dare I say maybe more than 90% on this forum?

    The main question was asking what other folks are using and their reasoning instead of asking others to decide for me. I'm just not a type of person to be spoon-fed blindly. It isn't anything about trust or being paranoid but perhaps just my Engineer side.
     
  17. doyll

    doyll Kyle's Thermocouple is HOT

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    I don't know what percent of forum members are American here. I do know many members here and on other English speaking forums are not American.

    The fans I listed are fans I've at least tested for review purposes and many are fans I have used or am using in my own builds.

    Sorry if you feel I was 'spoon feeding' you, but I would rather error on the side of being too detailed than not being detailed enough. I think you would be surprised how many users have no understanding of fan airflow and how it works.
     
  18. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex [H]ard|Gawd

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    Haven't seen NB-eLoop fans listed yet, so I'll chime in with my recent preference for those. I'm using a set of three on my single 420mm rad in an open-air Thermaltake Core P5.

    In terms of noise, these are by far my favorite fans, being primarily a Corsair user prior. The e-Loops aren't on the cheap side of things, but they've got a really nice set of features like detachable cabling, built-in vibration dampeining, and easily-removable rotors (which I appreciate from a cleaning perspective). And they're so so quiet. Even when my loop is loaded and the fans are at 100%, it's a gentle whoosh. Audible, but pleasant.
     
  19. Endurance-vm

    Endurance-vm n00bie

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    I will also throw in my 2cents for the beQuiet! Silent wings. I replaced all my fans in the case with these and they are Dan bear silent. I can’t hear a thing. Plus, my temps are acceptable to me given how quiet they are.