Question Which case fans are best for air flow and lowest and smoothest noise

Apr 26, 2022
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Which fans would these be. I have heard most Noctua are great? Are Be Quiet Silent Wings 3 really good as well or are they overhyped for air flow at low noise levels??? I heard Gamers Nexus mention they are quiet because they spin slower than others?? I did notice some new Be Quiet Silent Wings 3 I tried seemed to have more of a audible hum harmonic noise at 1000 RPM and not just air flow smoothness low noise like 1000 RPM quiet fans should have.

Yet some older ones seemed quieter and smoother also at 1000 RPM. All were 140mm
 
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Apr 26, 2022
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I feel the best fans that hit all the boxes and don't look like my cat litter box are any of the corsair Maglev fans, Also they last pretty much forever due to no friction.

By saying not look like cat liter box, you men actually look good. I mean I do not care about RGB or looks much at all. The only ones that look somewhat ugly are Noctua Orange and white and even those are not that bad. And they have exact same available in black

Are the Corsair Maglev fans better with no friction and thus less harmonic noise at a certain RPM than the Be Quiet Silent Wings 3
 

geofelt

Titan
What is your prospective build?

For quiet, pick a fan that gives you adequate airflow at the lowest RPM.
A case with a 200mm front intake running at 600RPM will be virtually inaudible.
Next best might be two 140mm fans running at 900 rpm.
Pick the case first, then the fan.
 
Apr 26, 2022
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What is your prospective build?

For quiet, pick a fan that gives you adequate airflow at the lowest RPM.
A case with a 200mm front intake running at 600RPM will be virtually inaudible.
Next best might be two 140mm fans running at 900 rpm.
Pick the case first, then the fan.

My prospective build:

Intel Core i9 12900KS with Hyper threading disabled and mild p core overclock possibly and cooled by Noctua NH-D15S with 2 140mm fans at 1000 RPM or slightly lower

Asus Tuf NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 video card

2 SATA SSDs in back of the case

2 NVME drives

No HDDs nor 5.25 CD/DVD/Bu ray drives
 
Apr 26, 2022
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What is your prospective build?

For quiet, pick a fan that gives you adequate airflow at the lowest RPM.
A case with a 200mm front intake running at 600RPM will be virtually inaudible.
Next best might be two 140mm fans running at 900 rpm.
Pick the case first, then the fan.

As for the case, is having 2 140mm front intake fans at 900 RPM preferable to having 3. And having 1 200mm 600 RPM fan preferable to having 2 for thermals?
 

geofelt

Titan

Lafong

Respectable
As for the case, is having 2 140mm front intake fans at 900 RPM preferable to having 3. And having 1 200mm 600 RPM fan preferable to having 2 for thermals?
You can't know much without some degree of experimentation.

"Preferable"....?? No one knows where you will actually draw the line on the tradeoff between noise and temperature.

General rules to get you started:

use PWM fans if possible.

get highly familiar with fan controls in BIOS

use as large a fan as will fit in the mount;

if noise is an issue, run them as slow as your fear of temperatures can tolerate; some people will tolerate a lot of noise or expense to get 65 degrees rather than 70 under a given load; others wouldn't care at all about the 5 degrees difference

don't expect a lot of improvement from the 4th, 5th, or 6th fan; fewer can be as good or better.

case choice and ambient temperatures are highly important.

expect that you will probably end up buying a fan or two you will regret
 
Apr 26, 2022
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You can't know much without some degree of experimentation.

"Preferable"....?? No one knows where you will actually draw the line on the tradeoff between noise and temperature.

General rules to get you started:

use PWM fans if possible.

get highly familiar with fan controls in BIOS

use as large a fan as will fit in the mount;

if noise is an issue, run them as slow as your fear of temperatures can tolerate; some people will tolerate a lot of noise or expense to get 65 degrees rather than 70 under a given load; others wouldn't care at all about the 5 degrees difference

don't expect a lot of improvement from the 4th, 5th, or 6th fan; fewer can be as good or better.

case choice and ambient temperatures are highly important.

expect that you will probably end up buying a fan or two you will regret

Yeah I hear you there. I mean is a biggr fan and less always better than smaller and more for airflow and low noise generally.

I mean is this fan really that good. Its 120mm and they have not yet released 140mm version

https://www.amazon.com/Noctua-NF-A12x25-PWM-Premium-Quality-Quiet/dp/B07C5VG64V

I have read this is by far the best fan in terms of little harmonic noise and overall noise and has good airflow for all applications whether heatsinks radiators or case fans

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwftVMGPOiI


Do yo believe the hype and are these fans worth the high price premium and significantly superior or is it almost no difference compared to other good silent 120mm fans?

I am thinking about getting a bunch of these for a Phanteks Enthoo Pro 2 4 in front instead of 3 140mm as it seems 140mm blade is obstructed by the 120mm fan mounts which can create harmonic noise I think. And that is on other cases that have both mounts as well.

With that case is there improvement form 4th and 5th fans especially as you need at least 4 140mm or 4 120mm to cover all front chassis. and one rear of either type.
 
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Lafong

Respectable
https://www.amazon.com/Noctua-NF-A12x25-PWM-Premium-Quality-Quiet/dp/B07C5VG64V

Do yo believe the hype and are these fans worth the high price premium and significantly superior or is it almost no difference compared to other good silent 120mm fans?
I have used that Noctua model for at least 5 years.

No complaints. Quiet. I run all case fans at about 500 rpm. I have no temp problems, but would live with higher temps if necessary to keep noise down.

"Worth" is a purely personal judgement. If you are eating cat food, probably not worth it. Probably yes if you ate Chateaubriand last night.

"Significantly superior".....hard for me to say yes to that. I'm sure I would be happy with other fans. None of them are silent. The differences are minimal IF you don't get a bad example by bad luck.

How much can it matter if your interior case temps are X rather than X minus 5? Do you throw yourself on a railroad track?
 

geofelt

Titan
At some level, all fans are the same when running at the same RPM.
There may be differing tonal qualities, but that is not so important if the fans are running at low RPM where you can't hear them anyway.
When contemplating a top end build as yours, I see no value in budget considerations.
Noctua makes top quality fans. I would go with something like this:
https://www.newegg.com/noctua-chromax-black-swap-case-fan/p/1YF-000T-000D6?quicklink=true
Newegg reviews are all positive.
I would put two in front as intakes and one at the rear as exhaust.
The rear fan is there mainly to direct the airflow over the motherboard, cooler, and graphics card.
That should be sufficient.
Consider that one of the 140mm front fans can supply the fresh air to the NH-D15S fans, and the other has about the same cooling capacity as a graphics card with several 100mm cooling fans.
You can always add another later if you want.
The fans are PWM speed controlled which means that motherboard speed control is available.
These fans can run up to 1500 rpm if need be.
Or, if you prefer a constant fan speed(I do) noctua supplies some low noise adapters.
 
Apr 26, 2022
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I have used that Noctua model for at least 5 years.

No complaints. Quiet. I run all case fans at about 500 rpm. I have no temp problems, but would live with higher temps if necessary to keep noise down.

"Worth" is a purely personal judgement. If you are eating cat food, probably not worth it. Probably yes if you ate Chateaubriand last night.

"Significantly superior".....hard for me to say yes to that. I'm sure I would be happy with other fans. None of them are silent. The differences are minimal IF you don't get a bad example by bad luck.

How much can it matter if your interior case temps are X rather than X minus 5? Do you throw yourself on a railroad track?

Has it even been around 5 years. Not even 4 per Amazon as it says date first available was May 2, 2018 so barely under 4 years. Are you sure it is the same model

And is that model superior to even other good Noctua fans?? It is a hefty price to pay for it, but it just may be worth it
 

Kona45primo

Prominent
Jan 16, 2021
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I've been happy with Noctua. Had a case with poor airflow, super cheap case that I filled with 4 Noctua 120's... It helped but was still hot.

Upgraded the case to a Lian Li mesh2 performance and temps dropped 15 degrees. I did move the fans over and set them up for silent operation until system is stressed.

So, case fans are good but they aren't a great investment if your case design is sub par.
 
Apr 26, 2022
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I've been happy with Noctua. Had a case with poor airflow, super cheap case that I filled with 4 Noctua 120's... It helped but was still hot.

Upgraded the case to a Lian Li mesh2 performance and temps dropped 15 degrees. I did move the fans over and set them up for silent operation until system is stressed.

So, case fans are good but they aren't a great investment if your case design is sub par.

Which case did you have before Lian Li LanCool II Mesh that had poor airflow??
 

Lafong

Respectable
I rechecked my records.

I bought a Noctua S12A in August 2016.

For 19 dollars and 13 cents, free shipping; Amazon.

The A series you refer to is very similar. Their F series is more suited for use on a heatsink.

It's pathetic that prices have risen that much.

I'd personally balk at that price, but suit yourself.

The differences are minimal among "decent" fans. Most people could not care less. Few people on this forum are "most people".

If you are highly concerned, then clearly you buy 10 or 20 fans and experiment all you want.

At the other extreme, pick out a couple of 10 or 15 dollar fans with decent reviews and be happy.

I have NO IDEA where you fall between those 2 positions.
 
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