Question Best method for shaving a case fan? Noctua NF-A20 (200mm)

Mar 6, 2021
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Hello,

I am replacing the Cooler Master 200mm fans in my HAF-X case with Noctua equivalents.
So far everything has gone smoothly, but the top plastic piece will not go on with the Noctua fans as they are squared instead of shaved like the Cooler Master.
I feel bad butchering these beautiful fans, but if I can shave off the corners to the inside holes they should clear.

Would a dremel tool with a sanding band work?
Any other suggestions besides keeping oem fans?
I need to shave away the Noctua edges as pictured in blended photo.

Noctua NF-A20 (200mm)


Cooler Master A20030-07CB-3MN-F1 (200mm)


Blended (rough)
Here is what I need to shave or cut away:


Thanks!
 
Last edited:

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
No.

If you do that, or try modifying the frame at all, the fan is ruined. You will completely eradicate it's ability to operate as designed and will have defeated the purpose of buying a high end Noctua fan altogether.

Use the fan elsewhere and get a different fan, or get a different case, or mount the fan INSIDE the case rather than on top, if possible. Or, use a smaller fan up top. A 140mm Noctua NF-A14 is an excellent choice for a top-rear mounted exhaust fan.
 
Reactions: zak88lx
Mar 6, 2021
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Appreciate the advice.

Should I get 2 new CoolerMaster 200mm, or should I try the BitFenix shaved 200mm fans instead? Not sure if BitFenix would be any better than OEM CM units.

 
Last edited:

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Is there no chance you can mount the fan on the underside of where it normally mounts?

What CPU cooler are you running? I'd at least try to see if there was any way it could be fit under the top instead of above it. And then, if not, then with this particular case I'd say you're stuck with the CM fan, and to be fair when the cooling system arrangement and speed configuration are controlled properly, the Megaflow fans are fine. They are quiet normally because they never move all that fast and even so they move a good deal of air.

What is your full fan configuration and what hardware are you running?
 
Reactions: zak88lx
Mar 6, 2021
13
3
15
0
Is there no chance you can mount the fan on the underside of where it normally mounts?

What CPU cooler are you running? I'd at least try to see if there was any way it could be fit under the top instead of above it. And then, if not, then with this particular case I'd say you're stuck with the CM fan, and to be fair when the cooling system arrangement and speed configuration are controlled properly, the Megaflow fans are fine. They are quiet normally because they never move all that fast and even so they move a good deal of air.

What is your full fan configuration and what hardware are you running?
I tried mounting on the underside of ceiling, but the rear fan hits the motherboard tray and the front fan hits the drive cage.

The fan configuration is:

-CPU cooler (be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 250W TDP)
-Front intake (Noctua NF-A20 PWM 200mm)
-Side intake (Noctua NF-A20 PWM 200mm)
-Rear exhaust (Noctua NF-A14 PWM 140mm)
-Top exhaust (CM Megaflow 200mm x 2)

For hardware I am running the following:

-Mobo (ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero X570)
-CPU (AMD Ryzen 5950X)
-Video (ASUS TUF 3070 Ti)
-PSU (ASUS ROG Strix 1000W)
-Memory (G.SKILL Ripjaws 32G)
-Storage (980 PRO M.2 SSD 1TB and 980 PRO M.2 SSD 2 TB)

Thanks!
 
Last edited:

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Yep. With a little more investigation, it seems that the HAF-X was designed to ONLY be used with the CM 200mm fans. You CAN however mount pretty much ANY 140mm fans there, and to be honest, that's all you really need anyhow.

Believe me, I've done TONS of work, research and modification, with a number of CM cases and fans, and I've learned some things. Not the least of which is that one good 140mm Noctua fan will move more air, and although it will be at a higher RPM, it will likely be QUIETER than practically any other fan, regardless of size, at an equal RPM. And, will still move a lot of air.

So, if you really feel you have to have a 200mm fan, use the Megaflow, considering the fitment requirements, but if ACTUAL cooling performance is the primary concern, just put any 140mm Noctua fan there, preferably the AF14 PWM (Black version preferred in most cases, just, because), and you'll have more than sufficient cooling performance anyhow.
 
Mar 6, 2021
13
3
15
0
Yep. With a little more investigation, it seems that the HAF-X was designed to ONLY be used with the CM 200mm fans. You CAN however mount pretty much ANY 140mm fans there, and to be honest, that's all you really need anyhow.

Believe me, I've done TONS of work, research and modification, with a number of CM cases and fans, and I've learned some things. Not the least of which is that one good 140mm Noctua fan will move more air, and although it will be at a higher RPM, it will likely be QUIETER than practically any other fan, regardless of size, at an equal RPM. And, will still move a lot of air.

So, if you really feel you have to have a 200mm fan, use the Megaflow, considering the fitment requirements, but if ACTUAL cooling performance is the primary concern, just put any 140mm Noctua fan there, preferably the AF14 PWM (Black version preferred in most cases, just, because), and you'll have more than sufficient cooling performance anyhow.
Ok, I will definitely consider the 140 for top exhaust, as I am definitely a Noctua fan thus this entire project to replace all CM fans with Noctua.
I looked at the mounting holes and not sure if a 140 can be mounted, but I will give it a try.

Thanks for all of your help!
 
Reactions: Dark Lord of Tech
Mar 6, 2021
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You CAN however mount pretty much ANY 140mm fans there, and to be honest, that's all you really need anyhow.
Ok, I have taken your advice Darkbreeze.

The top of HAF X case only has mounting holes for 2x 200mm fans, so I had two adapters 3D printed which will allow me to step down from 200mm to 140mm, and I will then mount two Noctua NF-A14 PWM 140mm fans on the top for exhaust.
The prints turned out awesome:

 

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