Question Is it possible to replace the 120mm CPU cooler fan with an RGB type (Ryzen 1500x + Asus Prime X370 Pro)

sampak

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OK quick setup - I have a Ryzen 1600X on an Asus Prime X370 Pro, and wife has an1500x + Prime X470 Pro mobo. I have a Thermaltake View 37 RGB case, and my wife's case is a View 32 RGB.

Without much forethought I bought us both the same Zalman CNPX9S coolers...with.. those... glaring... white..LED fans blasting out bright light out of our clear side panels. The View 32 and View 37 both come with a 5v controller + 3 RGB fans. To match the aesthetics we'd like to swap the white LED fan on the CPU cooler with some RGB type of fan (preferably not something expensive but meh) -- a plane RGB or similar to T.Take's Riing type to match the TT View 32's stock case fans.

Are there any fans that will work? I understand a CPU fan needs to be PWM to work in that role. I also understand both our mobo's only support 12v Aura RGB. What can I do here besides return and buy another cooler (seems like an RGB cooler fan should be a simple want? lol).
 

anotherdrew

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PWM is actually not required. You can use a 3 pin fan on a CPU cooler. You will have less control over the fan RPMs.

So, you can replace the CPU cooler fans with any fan you want. The issue is that cooler fans tend to have a higher static pressure so that they can move air through a restricted area (like the fins of the cooler). Without that, you might have pretty fan that does a poor job of cooling your CPU. Thermaltake does make a high static pressure ring fan ... it's not cheap.
 

Paperdoc

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If you want to control the RGB lighting effects in the new CPU cooling fan using the RGB control hub and front switch built into your case, you are limited to only the ThermalTake Riing 12 LED RGB fan, and it does NOT have the air flow rating of the fan on your Zalman CNPS9X Optima CPU cooler. The latter has a fan delivering max 61 CFM air flow (no max backpressure specified), whereas the TT Riing12 LED RGB can do 40 CFM. You are so limited because the case and its RGB Hub are limited to working with only that fan series from the ThermalTake line. Searching a bit finds that the Cooler Master MasterFan MF120 RGB fan can deliver 59 CFM, max backpressure rating 2.1mm water (reasonable for CPU heatsink fins). Compared to the original Zalman fan, it runs a bit faster with slightly higher noise to do that. It is a 4-pin PWM type fan with the plain RGB (4-pin, 12 VDC) lighting system in its frame. That is the type of RGB header you have on both of your mobos. Thus you could plug the RGB cable from such a fan into your mobo plain RGB header and use the Aura Sync software tool to power and control the RGB lights in the fan. That lighting display would NOT be exactly the same as your case fans, but similar.

It appears to me that the fan on your Zalman CPU coolers is held in place by a single springy wire at each of its four corners, so you should be able to replace it with any standard 120 mm fan because they all have similar holes. In doing that, observe carefully the ARROWS on the fan frame. Most fans come with two. One points around the frame to indicate the direction of blade rotation, but some fans omit those these days. The other points through the fan to indicate the air flow direction. So make sure the replacement fan blows air in the same direction (I expect, into the fins) as the original fan.
 
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DMAN999

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I have 2 ARCTIC BioniX F120 (Black with White Accent) fans on my Arctic 33 eSports cooler and they work well. The white reflects my RGB lighting so they look good even though they don't have their own lighting. They sell for $14.99 on Amazon and $13.99 direct from Arctic.
They also have a 10 year warranty.
https://www.arctic.ac/us_en/bionix-f120.html
 
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Paperdoc

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OP, you asked specifically for a replacement fan that has RGB lighting in it, so I did not look more broadly. But I agree with anotherdrew - personally, I would not bother looking for the RGB feature. Once you decide that, I also agree that your best choice might be from the Noctua line. Generally their fans are reputed to be quiet and long-lasting (verified by user comments) with 6-year warranties (the last longer than that!) and good air flow. The model anotherdrew linked to is good with 55 CFM air flow, max backpressure better at 2.6 mm water, and lower noise than either the Cooler Master item I suggested or even the original Zalman unit. As an alternative, the Noctua NF-P12 Redux 1700 PWM runs slightly faster to deliver 28% more max air flow with slightly higher max backpressure at a noise level the same as the Zalman fan. In practice, that means that, for equivalent cooling of your CPU, it likely would run slower and more quietly than the original Zalman fan. This model comes all-grey colour only, versus the two-tone brown of the NF-F12 PWM model. Noctua does not market any RGB fans that I know of.

A small note IF you buy Noctua. They ship their fans with small items called Low Noise Adapters (LNA's) that can be inserted into the fan power cable connection. All these do it reduce the fan speed and noise AND COOLING! They are very useful if your fan is connected directly to a fixed full 12 VDC power source with no speed control, and you need to reduce its fixed speed to a lower value. They should NOT be used when you use a mobo header for power and automatic fan speed control.
 
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DMAN999

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I know the Noctua fans work well but they are just too ugly (IMO) for me to use where they can be seen. ;)
Has any PC been brown/tan since the 80's/90's ?
 
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sampak

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Thanks for the various suggestions and feedback, everyone.

I didn't think about static pressure but I've slowly become aware of the design and purposes of fan CFM vs pressure in PC usage (ironically understanding it from my RC flight hobby years ago but didn't think it mattered or was differentiated in PC fans, lol).

I actually did just buy a MF140 rgb 12v for my exhaust fan so a MF120 would work-- however as mentioned above the pattern won't match my case's factory controller color shifts.

As for the Noctua -- yeah the price and purpose are great alternates but the oddly rustic flavored color scheme -- maybe better suited for a steamounk build haha. However I did scroll and find a grey unit as mentioked above too. Hmm.

My wife is totally fine with a black cooler fan because she believes the mismatching rgb patterns would look worse. I do like the idea of a white or maybe reflective frame to highlight the Riing fans colors some.

I may do that. A good non flashy purpose built cpu cooler fan. Have yet to decide what theme my case will be. If it's anything like my mind, it'll spell ADHD all over, heh.

Thanks everyone.
 
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