Question PWM, PST, and Fixed Fans. HELP!

May 20, 2019
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Hello!

I was wondering what the difference was between PWM, PST, and Fixed fan speeds were. I am looking to buy silent fans for low speeds for when I am browsing YouTube and higher speeds when I'm playing FH4, per say. I am tired of hearing a jet engine in my ear. I was looking at the ARCTIC F12 PWM Rev.2 Fans, but I'm not exactly sure how they will perform. I am on a very tight budget. There are other types of the ARCTIC fans. I would like to pay less than $10 for each fan.

I am attempting to buy three fans for my Cooler Master MasterBox Q300L. One above the cpu, and two in the front, each being 120mm. I was going to use this fan controller: https://www.amazon.com/DEEPCOOL-Supports-Non-PWM-Occupying-Motherboard/dp/B07DDC27BD/ref=sr_1_6?keywords=4+pin+fan+hub&qid=1558302986&refinements=p_n_feature_keywords_three_browse-bin:5462063011,p_72:1248879011&rnid=1248877011&s=pc&sr=1-6 with these fans: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H3T1KBE/?tag=pcpapi-20&th=1

I have an ASUS Prime B350m-e Motherboard and I am also not sure if that will have the proper connections.
 
May 16, 2019
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The Arctic fans are surprisingly good for the money. I have a case full of them in various flavours. They closely match the new budget-orientated Noctua Redux fans for airflow and noise levels at a fraction of the price.

The PWM fans are what's needed for a 4-pin header like the one for your CPU fan. PST allows you to chain PWM fans from the same 4-pin PWM header. The fixed speed fans aren't actually fixed speed as these can still have their RPM controlled on nearly all motherboards via a standard 3-pin fan header.

I have mine all set up via Smart Fan in the BIOS/UEFI on my Gigabyte motherboard to run slowly enough to be almost silent when the PC is idle. They'll still shift a ton of air fairly quietly when needed.

They're reliable too. I can't remember exactly when Arctic Cooling first appeared on the scene, but I've been buying their fans almost exclusively ever since and never had one fail yet.

There are more expensive fans that will outperform them, but there aren't many other fans I'd put my complete trust in down at the price the Arctic Cooling fans sell for.
 
Reactions: Veni161

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
One above the cpu, and two in the front
And does that include the pre-installed fan in the rear? I cannot seem to find any information on that fan, but I'm going to assume it is likely a 3 pin voltage controlled fan.

WHERE do you have this fan connected to? Molex adapter straight to the power supply or one of the motherboard chassis headers?

Regardless, that fan controller will connect to the single 4 pin PWM header on your motherboard and will work with those three PWM fans, BUT, if you have a three pin voltage controlled fan in the rear exhaust location it will NOT work with that.

This however, will work with both the PWM fans AND the 3 pin voltage controlled fan, so that they are ALL speed controlled based on temperature change and are not going full speed all the time like a "jet engine".

https://www.amazon.com/Phanteks-Universal-Fan-Controller-PH-PWHUB_02/dp/B07NHQRCRM/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=PH-PWHUB+02&qid=1553919409&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull
 
Reactions: Veni161
May 20, 2019
6
1
15
0
The Arctic fans are surprisingly good for the money. I have a case full of them in various flavours. They closely match the new budget-orientated Noctua Redux fans for airflow and noise levels at a fraction of the price.

The PWM fans are what's needed for a 4-pin header like the one for your CPU fan. PST allows you to chain PWM fans from the same 4-pin PWM header. The fixed speed fans aren't actually fixed speed as these can still have their RPM controlled on nearly all motherboards via a standard 3-pin fan header.

I have mine all set up via Smart Fan in the BIOS/UEFI on my Gigabyte motherboard to run slowly enough to be almost silent when the PC is idle. They'll still shift a ton of air fairly quietly when needed.

They're reliable too. I can't remember exactly when Arctic Cooling first appeared on the scene, but I've been buying their fans almost exclusively ever since and never had one fail yet.

There are more expensive fans that will outperform them, but there aren't many other fans I'd put my complete trust in down at the price the Arctic Cooling fans sell for.
Thank you for the information about the fan reliability and definitions of the types!
 
Reactions: RayOfDark
May 20, 2019
6
1
15
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Yes that does include the pre-installed fan in the rear. I do not have the fans yet. I was planning on connecting the fan controller I listed to the 4-pin header on the motherboard. I believe there are two of those, one for cpu and the other for anything else. I was going to route the controller from the 4 pin on the mobo to the back of the case and hook in the 3 fans there. Would occupying the other 4 pin leave the rear fan unable to hook up?
ALSO! If I do buy three of those specific 4-pin PWM ARCTIC fans I listed, I can hook them all to the fan controller that I listed and it will raise and lower speed right? The rear 3-pin fan can also connect to that because it has four slots. I understand that a 3 pin can connect to a 4 pin but the PWM option for that wont be an option, correct? That is okay with me if only one fan is uncontrolled.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
If that rear fan sounds like a jet engine now, it's going to be even louder with three other fans running, even controlled, if that fan is still running full speed, which it will be connected to that controller.

For an extra ten bucks the Phanteks controller is a far better option since you can control ALL of the fans off it it, whether three or four pin. Ten bucks is a small price to pay to restore a bit of sanity from full speed fans.
 
May 20, 2019
6
1
15
0
If that rear fan sounds like a jet engine now, it's going to be even louder with three other fans running, even controlled, if that fan is still running full speed, which it will be connected to that controller.

For an extra ten bucks the Phanteks controller is a far better option since you can control ALL of the fans off it it, whether three or four pin. Ten bucks is a small price to pay to restore a bit of sanity from full speed fans.
I completely agree. Thank you for the Phanteks find. If I do end up buying better or more fans I am sure that will come in handy. Thank you very much!
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
In the mean time, what you might want to do is make sure that your rear fan is connected to the motherboard chassis fan header, and then go into the BIOS and click on the Q-fan controls. Most of these boards have the ability to change from controlled PWM to controlled voltage controls. I don't know on that board, and the manual is useless for that model going into very little detail. I think you'll have to manually check yourself to see if the PWM vs DC (Voltage controlled) options are there for the Qfan control system. If they are, then you can likely at least set that fan header to not be full time full speed, and run variable voltage controls through that header to that fan until you add the other fans and controller.
 

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