Does size of fan determine noise level?


May 11, 2004
Hi all, just wondering if anyone can verify whether the size of a case's fan determine's its noise level. My current PC, which is old as dirt is pretty loud and I'm planning a brand new system and hope to keep performance high, while keeping fan noise low.

I'm looking at Antec's P-160 case, which as 120 mm fans vs. the 80 mm fans in their other cases. Just wondering if the noise level from 120 mm fans could be expected to be louder or quieter than other sizes.

Thank you for any insights.


Dec 15, 2004
Wider fans -> lower RPM for samount of air -> lower RPM=less noise or at least lower frequency but normally 12cm fans are a lot quieter and are able to move more air (which is always good)


Actually it is a combination of factors, and fan blade design plays a large part in it.
But for the most part, a larger blade area can turn fewer RPM's to move same amount of air as a smaller fan at higher RPM's and thus do it quiter.

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Former Staff
Ball bearings are noisier than sleeve bearings
Lose bearings are noisier than tight bearings
Unbalanced fans are noisier than balanced fans
Poorly designed blades are noisier than well designed blades
Fan grilles closer to the fan blades make more noise than fan grilles farther away from the blades
Small grille holes are noisier than large grille holes
Thinner cases are noisier than thicker cases
Faster fans are noisier than slower fans
Larger fans can usually run slower than smaller fans.

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