Discussion Do case fans even do anything?

Jacob 51

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Dec 31, 2020
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So I was curious if my case fans are even doing any cooling. I plugged them out and ran the PC.

After putting 100% load on the CPU, I saw that there was little to no difference. It was on 65 C both with case fan turned on and off.

This led me to thinking if investing money on the case fans was a waste.
I have 3 case fans, one to the back that directly exhausts the hot air from the CPU cooler, two intake fans on the top, one fan on the front.
All are ANT esports fans

Also, I noticed that the air filter on the top affects the airflow a lot.
 

Aeacus

Glorious
Ambassador
You have these fans?
Specs: https://antesports.com/product/ant-esports-superflow-120-auto-rgb-v2-1200-rpm-case-fan/

If so, the 38 CFM they can produce is very little and there's no wonder why you can't tell a difference of them being on or off.

Now, if you'd have a proper 120mm fan, with 75 CFM, like my Corsair ML120 Pro LED fans are,
specs: https://www.corsair.com/us/en/Categories/Products/Fans/ml-pro-led-config/p/CO-9050042-WW#tab-tech-specs
Then you could tell a difference.

Not all fans are created equal. That actually goes for all other PC components as well.

Also, I noticed that the air filter on the top affects the airflow a lot.
Since your fans have static pressure of 1.0 mmH20, they will have very hard time to push the air through the filter, hence why the filter blocks the airflow so much.

Now, if you'd have proper case fan, with good static pressure, filters wouldn't be an issue either. Like my Corsair ML120 Pro LED, that has static pressure of 4.2 mmH2O. (Now you may figure out by yourself why i have these fans in use and not the fans you have.)

Edit:
The fans you have, cost 549.00 Indian Rupees per fan, which makes 6.36 Euros. My Corsair ML120 Pro LED fan costed me 25 Euros, per fan (2,156.70 Indian Rupees).

If you pay peanuts, you will get monkeys.
 
So I was curious if my case fans are even doing any cooling. I plugged them out and ran the PC.

After putting 100% load on the CPU, I saw that there was little to no difference. It was on 65 C both with case fan turned on and off.

This led me to thinking if investing money on the case fans was a waste.
I have 3 case fans, one to the back that directly exhausts the hot air from the CPU cooler, two intake fans on the top, one fan on the front.
All are ANT esports fans

Also, I noticed that the air filter on the top affects the airflow a lot.
Much depends on configuration. A cool processor under a good cooler doesn't need much of help, some hot CPU under inadequate cooler needs a lot of help.
There are also other parts to consider, like VRM cooling as well as chipset, maybe RAM and disks. In some cases, GPU may be hottest element in whole configuration. Case cooling may play large role in keeping those parts cool enough.
Air filters can be restrictive up to 50% and there's no use for them with exhaust fans where they do nothing useful.
All together, it's better to provide good airflow in the case than none at all. If noise is of concern, you can always set their speed curve so they run at minimal speeds until case temps reach some critical temps.
So, it's better to have them and not need them than not to have them when needed during some hot summer day.
 
Last edited:
Sep 25, 2021
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Case Fans move air out or in the enclosed environment (your case). If you allow air to remain static, it will continue to increase in temperature. CPU's tend to run pretty hot, so ambient temps are not going to have a huge impact on them. However do not forget that the motherboard, Ram and anything else that has current running through it will also generate heat. Case fans will not greatly impact the CPU, until the air inside gets to really high levels. However, case fans do move out stagnant air that is usually of a higher temperature than air outside the case.
 
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Jacob 51

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You have these fans?
Specs: https://antesports.com/product/ant-esports-superflow-120-auto-rgb-v2-1200-rpm-case-fan/

If so, the 38 CFM they can produce is very little and there's no wonder why you can't tell a difference of them being on or off.

Now, if you'd have a proper 120mm fan, with 75 CFM, like my Corsair ML120 Pro LED fans are,
specs: https://www.corsair.com/us/en/Categories/Products/Fans/ml-pro-led-config/p/CO-9050042-WW#tab-tech-specs
Then you could tell a difference.

Not all fans are created equal. That actually goes for all other PC components as well.



Since your fans have static pressure of 1.0 mmH20, they will have very hard time to push the air through the filter, hence why the filter blocks the airflow so much.

Now, if you'd have proper case fan, with good static pressure, filters wouldn't be an issue either. Like my Corsair ML120 Pro LED, that has static pressure of 4.2 mmH2O. (Now you may figure out by yourself why i have these fans in use and not the fans you have.)

Edit:
The fans you have, cost 549.00 Indian Rupees per fan, which makes 6.36 Euros. My Corsair ML120 Pro LED fan costed me 25 Euros, per fan (2,156.70 Indian Rupees).

If you pay peanuts, you will get monkeys.
These are the fans.
https://antesports.com/product/superflow-120-kit
So........
Paying for these fans was a waste and they were only for aesthetics?

Man I do regret buying these.

Do you recommend any good fans that perform well too? I'd pay upto $120
 

logainofhades

Titan
Moderator
So I was curious if my case fans are even doing any cooling. I plugged them out and ran the PC.

After putting 100% load on the CPU, I saw that there was little to no difference. It was on 65 C both with case fan turned on and off.

This led me to thinking if investing money on the case fans was a waste.
I have 3 case fans, one to the back that directly exhausts the hot air from the CPU cooler, two intake fans on the top, one fan on the front.
All are ANT esports fans

Also, I noticed that the air filter on the top affects the airflow a lot.
Intake on the top is a bad idea. Heat rises, so those should be exhaust.
 

Jacob 51

Upstanding
Dec 31, 2020
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Intake on the top is a bad idea. Heat rises, so those should be exhaust.
That's another problem.

I can install the 3 fans on front of the case, but the problem is that there is no vent or anything to let the air flow from the front. There is just one small opening for air to pass. Look at this:
https://www.amazon.in/Ant-Esports-ICE-130AG-Motherboard-Preinstalled/dp/B08D6G6LMK/ref=sr_1_5?adgrpid=109269821279&dchild=1&ext_vrnc=hi&gclid=CjwKCAjw-sqKBhBjEiwAVaQ9a3rkCmUm2lR9fBiRSw2AdboXRRHhHI2D0BhKbmX8BsL1dB4wYoWrORoCvUcQAvD_BwE&hvadid=468616528215&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=9302121&hvnetw=g&hvqmt=b&hvrand=12129788013319149475&hvtargid=kwd-1233050073032&hydadcr=2002_1969367&keywords=ant+esports+ice+120ag+cabinet&qid=1632836461&sr=8-5

Installing fans on the front won't intake air.

what if I put all the fans to exhaust and no intake?
 

Phaaze88

Titan
Ambassador
And this is where positive/neutral/negative pressure starts to matter more: in an airflow restricted chassis.
It should be more effective if you moved the fans where air resistance isn't as strong - so, do top and rear exhaust.
Remove the top filter when using the PC, but put it back on when you're done for the day.

But those fans really do lack muscle.
Like, there's no reason NOT to run them at 100%.
 
After putting 100% load on the CPU, I saw that there was little to no difference. It was on 65 C both with case fan turned on and off.
Even if we don't take into the account that your fans and case may not be the best setup for optimal airflow, this doesn't really say anything that useful. Was the CPU performing exactly the same in either case? Because if the CPU was performing better with the fans on maximum, then the case fans were causing an improvement. The CPU was just using the extra thermal headroom to boost further.
 

Aeacus

Glorious
Ambassador
So........
Paying for these fans was a waste and they were only for aesthetics?
Pretty much, yes.

Do you recommend any good fans that perform well too?
When it comes to the fans, you can't have both at the same time: good airflow and low noise. Either it's good airflow with high noise OR bad airflow with low noise.

Though, there are fans out there that struck near perfect balance between good airflow, good static pressure and relatively low level of noise. But those fans come with premium price and question here is if you're willing to pay the price.

If you are, then look towards Corsair ML Pro series fans,
120mm, specs: https://www.corsair.com/us/en/LED-Color/Fan-Size/Package-Quantity/ml-pro-led-config/p/CO-9050042-WW
140mm, specs: https://www.corsair.com/us/en/LED-Color/Fan-Size/Package-Quantity/ml-pro-led-config/p/CO-9050048-WW
review 01: https://www.kitguru.net/components/cooling/leo-waldock/corsair-ml140-and-ml120-fans/
review 02: https://thepcenthusiast.com/corsair-ml120-pro-led-120mm-pwm-premium-fan-review/
120mm, pcpp: https://pcpartpicker.com/products/compare/LkJkcf,GXkwrH,MpBrxr,wPFXsY/
140mm, pcpp: https://pcpartpicker.com/products/compare/D34NnQ,cfyxFT,sYNypg,ycH48d/

In my Skylake and Haswell builds (full specs with pics in my sig), i have those very same fans in use (red LED in Skylake, blue LED in Haswell) since these fans are one of the best (if not the best) fans when it comes to the balance in airflow and static pressure. Sure, ML Pro LED fans have premium price but they also have mag-lev bearing (one of the few fans that have it). Mag-lev bearing has essentially limitless lifespan, while other bearings have limits, like: sleeve bearing - 20.000 hours, ball bearing - 60.000 hours, fluid-dynamic bearing - 150.000 hours.

Pros/cons wise, you're looking at:
120mm
Pros
  • great airflow (12 - 75 CFM)
  • great static pressure (0.2 - 4.2 mmH2O)
  • great RPM range (400 - 2400 RPM)
  • PWM control (4-pin fan)
  • mag-lev bearing (300.000+ work hours)
  • 4 color options (red, blue, white LED and non-LED version)
  • warranty 5 years
Mediocre
  • noise output (16 - 37 dB(A))
  • power draw 0.299 A
Cons
* price

140mm
Pros
  • great airflow (20 - 97 CFM)
  • great static pressure (0.2 - 3.0 mmH2O)
  • great RPM range (400 - 2000 RPM)
  • PWM control (4-pin fan)
  • mag-lev bearing (300.000+ work hours)
  • 4 color options (red, blue, white LED and non-LED version)
  • warranty 5 years
Mediocre
  • noise output (16 - 37 dB(A))
  • power draw 0.276 A
Cons
* price

Note: Corsair ML Pro series fans aren't RGB. They are either single LED color or no LEDs at all.

------------------------------------------

Now, if you still want RGB fan, then best 120mm fan by performance and which also supports MoBo RGB solutions (Asus Aura Sync, MSI Mystic light etc) is EK-Vardar EVO 120ER RGB (77 CFM, 3.16 mmH2O),
specs: https://www.ekwb.com/shop/ek-vardar-evo-120er-rgb-500-2200-rpm
review: https://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/EKWB/Vardar_EVO_120ER_RGB/
amazon: https://www.amazon.com/EK-Vardar-EVO-120ER-500-2200-Pack/dp/B07S95W4F2

For other RGB LED fans, look under the spoiler where i've composed the list of many RGB LED fans on the market, with specs comparison between the fans.
Note: the fan list is 1 or 2 years old and i haven't updated it lately. Also, the fan spec links may not work.
(click on spoiler to view)

Specs:
Akasa Vegas AR7: http://www.akasa.com.tw/update.php?tpl=product/product.detail.tpl&no=181&type=Gaming&type_sub=RGB LED Fan&model=AK-FN099
Akasa Vegas R7: http://www.akasa.com.tw/update.php?tpl=product/product.detail.tpl&no=181&type=Gaming&type_sub=RGB LED Fan&model=AK-FN098
Akasa Vegas X7: http://www.akasa.com.tw/update.php?tpl=product/product.detail.tpl&no=181&type=Fans&type_sub=LED&model=AK-FN093
Cooler Master MasterFan Pro RGB: http://www.coolermaster.com/product/Lines/case-fan/
Corsair SP120 RGB: http://www.corsair.com/en-us/cooling/sp-series-fans
Corsair HD-series RGB: http://www.corsair.com/en-us/cooling/hd-series-fans
Corsair LL-series RGB: https://www.corsair.com/eu/en/Categories/Products/Fans/ml-config/p/CO-9050071-WW
Corsair ML Pro RGB series: https://www.corsair.com/eu/en/LED-Color/Fan-Size/Package-Quantity/ml-pro-rgb-config/p/CO-9050075-WW
EK-Vardar EVO 120ER RGB: https://www.ekwb.com/shop/ek-vardar-evo-120er-rgb-500-2200-rpm
Lian-Li Bora Lite 120: http://www.lian-li.com/bora-lite-120
NZXT AER RGB: https://www.nzxt.com/products/aer-rgb
Thermaltake Riing 12: https://www.thermaltake.com/riing-12-led-rgb-fan-single-fan-pack.html
Thermaltake Riing 14: https://www.thermaltake.com/riing-14-led-rgb-colors-fan-single-fan-pack.html
Thermaltake Riing 12 TT Premium: https://www.thermaltake.com/riing-12-rgb-radiator-fan-tt-premium-edition.html
Thermaltake Riing 14 TT Premium: https://www.thermaltake.com/riing-14-rgb-radiator-fan-tt-premium-edition.html

120mm airflow:
77 CFM - EK-Vardar EVO 120ER RGB
54.4 CFM - Corsair HD120 RGB
52.44 CFM - NZXT AER120 RGB
52.0 CFM - Corsair SP120 RGB
48.8 CFM - Cooler Master MasterFan Pro 120 Air Flow RGB
48.79 CFM - Thermaltake Riing 12 TT Premium
48.31 CFM - Lian-Li Bora Lite 120
47.3 CFM - Corsair ML120 Pro RGB
43.75 CFM - Corsair LL120 RGB
42.7 CFM - Cooler Master MasterFan Pro 120 Air Balance RGB
41.9 CFM - Akasa Vegas X7
40.6 CFM - Thermaltake Riing 12
35.2 CFM - Akasa Vegas R7
35.2 CFM - Akasa Vegas AR7
35.0 CFM - Cooler Master MasterFan Pro 120 Air Pressure RGB

120mm static pressure:
3.16 mmH2O - EK-Vardar EVO 120ER RGB
2.25 mmH2O - Corsair HD120 RGB
2.01 mmH2O - Thermaltake Riing 12
1.78 mmH2O - Corsair ML120 Pro RGB
1.61 mmH2O - Corsair LL120 RGB
1.45 mmH2O - Corsair SP120 RGB
1.45 mmH2O - Cooler Master MasterFan Pro 120 Air Pressure RGB
1.35 mmH2O - NZXT AER120 RGB
1.23 mmH2O - Lian-Li Bora Lite 120
1.14 mmH2O - Akasa Vegas X7
1.11 mmH2O - Thermaltake Riing 12 TT Premium
1.04 mmH2O - Akasa Vegas R7
1.04 mmH2O - Akasa Vegas AR7
0.96 mmH2O - Cooler Master MasterFan Pro 120 Air Balance RGB
0.88 mmH2O - Cooler Master MasterFan Pro 120 Air Flow RGB

140mm airflow:
91.19 CFM - NZXT AER140 RGB
74.0 CFM - Corsair HD140 RGB
73.91 CFM - Thermaltake Riing 14 TT Premium
55.4 CFM - Corsair ML140 Pro RGB
53.0 CFM - Cooler Master MasterFan Pro 140 Air Flow RGB
51.5 CFM - Corsair LL140 RGB
51.15 CFM - Thermaltake Riing 14
46.2 CFM - Cooler Master MasterFan Pro 140 Air Pressure RGB

140mm static pressure:
1.85 mmH2O - Corsair HD140 RGB
1.78 mmH2O - Corsair ML140 Pro RGB
1.59 mmH2O - Cooler Master MasterFan Pro 140 Air Pressure RGB
1.58 mmH2O - Thermaltake Riing 14
1.52 mmH2O - NZXT AER140 RGB
1.52 mmH2O - Corsair LL140 RGB
1.38 mmH2O - Thermaltake Riing 14 TT Premium
0.54 mmH2O - Cooler Master MasterFan Pro 140 Air Flow RGB

I can install the 3 fans on front of the case, but the problem is that there is no vent or anything to let the air flow from the front.
Based on the linked image, i can see some grille at the bottom of the front panel. For such a case, that is made for eyecandy, with little, if any, thought about cooling the PC, the only fans that do relatively well at the front, are high static pressure fans. Since those fans have the power to suck the air in. E.g Corsair ML Pro series or EK Vardar EVO 120ER RGB.
 

Jacob 51

Upstanding
Dec 31, 2020
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Even if we don't take into the account that your fans and case may not be the best setup for optimal airflow, this doesn't really say anything that useful. Was the CPU performing exactly the same in either case? Because if the CPU was performing better with the fans on maximum, then the case fans were causing an improvement. The CPU was just using the extra thermal headroom to boost further.
Oh, while we're at it, I'm noticing that my processor is only boosting to 3.5 GHZ and not 3.6 GHZ.

It used to reach 3.6 GHZ before. Now it reaches that periodically.

Here is where the specs come into play
Core i5 3470
GT 1030
12 GB RAM
Cooler Master 450 watt MWE V2 Bronze
 
there are plenty of powerful yet relatively quiet fans available out there that offer high air pressure at lower dB.
people hooked on Corsair products may just not realize this.

if you really want optimized temperature plus performance you should really look into a new case along with new fans and possibly a new cooler to go with them.
didn't notice you mention the cooler being used.
 

Jacob 51

Upstanding
Dec 31, 2020
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there are plenty of powerful yet relatively quiet fans available out there that offer high air pressure at lower dB.
people hooked on Corsair products may just not realize this.

if you really want optimized temperature plus performance you should really look into a new case along with new fans and possibly a new cooler to go with them.
didn't notice you mention the cooler being used.
I don't think that its necessary since the temperatures don't go above 70C
CPU fan is Antec A30.
 

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