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How many fans do you have on your PC case?

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My profound morning shower thought today was "what's better two 140mm or three 120mm front intake fans". I figured I would make a poll to ask people what they thought but then there are so many options; number of fans, fan speeds, fan sizes, fan placement, etc., etc., and what about about out take fans? So I figured people could just post what they have if they like to.

I currently have two enermax TB twister 140mm fans up front as intake,
one noctua 140mm fan on the roof mount and one noctua 120mm on the rear for out take
 
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Phanteks Luxe 2, 1x140mm bottom, 1x140mm rear, 1x140mm roof, 2x120mm right side panel. In front still without fans, maybe I will add 1x140mm. All Arctic F series Silent FDB.
 
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3 x 120mm intake (@800rpm) and 1 x 120mm exhaust.

one of the 120MM intakes is just a double wide rad in push pull, ramps with cpu heat, and the 120mm exhaust that ramps up with PCH chip temp (so it ramps up exhaust during gaming when the gfx heats up).
 
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No space for case fans here :D
 

rtwjunkie

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My Main Sydtem:
2x 140mm Cougar Vortex HDB front intake
1x 140mm Cougar CFD white LED bottom intake
1x 140mm Fractal R2 top exhaust
1x 140mm Fractal Venturi HF-14 rear exhaust

The above has been carefully calculated by cfm to be very close to balanced, with slightly more air going in than out. My temps are always fantastic.
 
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At the moment 2 intake, 2 on cooler, and 1 exhaust. I have ran as few as 0 and as many as 10. I have a box of used parts with about 30 old fans in it.
 
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My own case has 2 Zalman fans at 1000rpm, brothers' case has 5 Scythe Glidestream 1200rpm running at about 800rpm, 2 intakes and 3 exhausts. That case (Zalman Z3 Plus) has hands down the best cooling of all the cases I've worked so far.
 
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Two 140 bottom mounted intake, one 140 top mounted exhaust, one 120 rear mounted exhaust, one 140 internal circulator.
 
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2 x 140 intake
1 140 exhaust
The CPU fan gives pretty good exhaust flow as well.
 
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Depends on the case really,
1st HTPC: none
2nd HTPC: one 120 mm for the tower cooler, that does protrude substantially from the case itself.
the last daily used one has:
1 front intake
3 bottom intake
1 back exhaust
1 back exhaust in PSU
All fans (except PSU) are arctic cooling F12 PWM
It also has an external radiator with 18 fans (9 fans in push and 9 in pull)
All fans running approximately at 500 rpm at desktop and ramp up to round 1000 rpm when needed, since the driving voltage has been lowered in a fan controller.
Most noisy component is the D5 pwm pumps (witch were an improvement from the MCP 35x)
 
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I suppose for this I'd need a case.........
 
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My PC A05 case has 3 fans. Keep in mind the internals of my PC A05 case are upside down.
1) Top intake Yate Loon D14BH-12 140mm
2) Front intake Corsair SP120L 120mm (mainly just vents the hot bezel air from the power supply's exhaust)
3) Rear exhaust Corsair SP120L 120mm

Corsair fans are the high performance PWM grey ones from an H100i.
 
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"what's better two 140mm or three 120mm front intake fans"
Two 140mm fans - obviously! Why? Again, that's obvious. Two fans are quieter than 3.

Now don't go interjecting a bunch of "what ifs" in some futile attempt to discredit that claim. If you want to do that, use specific model numbers for the 140mm and the 120mm fans. And be specific about your definition of what "better" means in your scenario.
 
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The normal for my Video Server (1 120mm Front) and for my Main Rig (120mm rear/front) though I would mod for my video Server but not at this time
 
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6x120mm intake, 1x140mm exhaust, 2x120mm exhaust
 
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3x Cougar Vortex HDB 120mm as front intake
2x Cougar Vortex HDB 120mm as exhaust
 
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I've got the 3 fans that came with my Corsair Obsidian 750D Airflow Edition case. 2 front intake, 1 rear exhaust. They seem to be doing a good job pushing heat out of my rig so I haven't bothered to add any more although there are several more places that I could if I ever need to. This PC case is certainly not the best out there but it's the nicest case that I have ever owned.
 
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1 - 200mm top exhaust

There are two 120mm push fans on the H100i cooler, but I just have the 1 exhaust fan.
 
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6 120mm front intake in push/pull with 3 120mm exhaust (1 rear/2 top in my main Pc.

3x 140mm front intake with 3x 140mm exhaust (1 rear/2 top) in my secondary pc.


All configured to run at 800-1200 RPM depending on what my GPU is doing.

My Rowenta Turbo Silence table top fan make more noise than my pc.
 
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1 intake, 3 exhaust (1 rear, 2 top), 120 mm all of them. I've been considering installing a second intake fan, but the only place remaining is pretty much covered with hard drives. Seems kinda pointless. And since my current rig is still being fine tuned, I haven't settled yet on any specific setting for the fans, although they can spin up to 1600 RPM if needed...

And I also need to fix that cable mess I have inside the case, so... Lots of work left to do :laugh:
 
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In my server case got 8 -140mm and 1- 120mm
also a 70mm just looked lol for chipset
 
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I always try to minimise the amount of case fans running because less airflow means less noise and less dust.

At idle, only 1 x 140mm top-mounted exhaust fan is running at 350rpm.
Under load, the exhaust fan ramps up to 800rpm and then a 120mm intake fan kicks in around 500rpm.
There's a second 120mm intake fan but it never turns on because temperatures are pretty good.
 
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In my Meshify C I have 5x 120x38's and a single 120x25 for the hdd bay. Three intakes at the front, 1 intake top front, 1 exhaust top rear, 1 exhaust rear. Better than open air lol. Not too loud, you can hear it. But with the kids, stereo, etc it really doesn't bother me. And now the kids are in bed, its quiet, and its really not bad. I run them at 7v, but at 12v its a different story. Hairdryers.

Edit:

I myself normally wouldn't run an intake next to an exhaust, but my fronts will push right out of the top at 12v with no fan up there, so I've got it there to push the incoming air straight through the cooler. The two exhaust are literally acting as push/pull against my cooler since there is a about a mm or two of clearance on both sides lol. At normal quiet speeds, its not what you would expect, it still throws air, but quietly :D

 
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I have four Cryorig XF140 fans in my Phanteks Enthoo Pro M. Two are in the front as intakes, one is on my R1 Ultimate, and one is in back as the exhaust.
 
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All I've got are two Corsair ML 140's on the front intake. Whether I go 120mm or 140mm, my case can only take two front fans so 140mm it is. They peak at around 1100 rpm but typically it's more like 500-800. As far as I can tell, more air cannot physically be drawn to the case. It overcomes the restriction of the filter and front panel about as well as possible. If I run the same stress test, one run with those fitted and another without, I see roughly the same temperatures at the same speeds. It's a good balance. Suckers have some pull even at low RPM's and they're pretty quiet!

My case (NZXT S340 Elite) also has a top 140mm and rear 120mm exhaust spot, but I don't populate them. I found that all they were doing was making the front intake work harder to push the same air through and directly contributing to noise themselves. The flow pattern just wasn't right, I think. The exhaust must've been throwing a wrench in it. I had exhaust from the GPU being drawn right back in underneath. CPU cooler was working harder, too. Just removing the exhausts reduced its RPM's a good bit. And that's not to mention the dust being sucked in from god knows where. My setup runs much quieter, holds lower temps, and draws in far less dust without the exhaust fans. But I think the worst part was the nasty resonance the exhausts caused. Just no benefit. I mean, it ran fine with them in and I kind of figured "why not?" but it really was holding things back more than it was helping.

It really does perform great this way. I run a Ryzen 2600 at 4ghz all-core and verrry rarely does it ever break 55C. And by then my CPU cooler (Dark Rock 4) is just *starting* to approach 1000RPM. More typically I'm seeing maxes of 800, over several days running and carrying out all sorts of tasks. Meanwhile my Strix 2060 will boost to nearly 2100mhz barely breaking a sweat. The only two games to ever push it over 70C have been Metro Exodus and SOTTR... and even then it's just barely hitting 70. Most games are lower to mid 60s. The fans there can get up to 1600RPM under heavy strain, but that really isn't loud for that cooler... ~50% of max speed. And that sucker kicks up some watts! Just shy of 200w, in fact. Decent amount of heat coming off of it, but it all makes it out easily.

I've put in a lot of time to getting the best, quietest performance out of this setup, playing with different configurations of different fans, a couple of different CPU coolers, OCD fan-curve tweaking... everything I could think to isolate, I did. I also did my best to find the best performance compromise for my CPU. The boost on the vanilla 2600 is kind of a shame. Very efficient, but it leaves a lot of the performance off of the table for anything that hits multiple cores. So it had to be all-core, which means more heat and power consumption. After extensive fuckery I found the max all-core to be 4.3ghz! But as tempting as it is to run it there just because I'm lucky enough to have one of the few that does it well enough to actually run it there continuously, the heat is too much. I take that voltage headroom and use it for efficiency. It has the headroom and stability to run that 4.3ghz OC, so it also doesn't take as much as your typical 2600 to run lower. I don't fear the heat, but I greatly dislike the screaming dinosaur sounds my computer makes when I run it that way.

4ghz ended up being the ideal point. Past that, the performance gains aren't as significant as they are at any point below it, and the power usage starts to go up at an exponential rate. Not just more voltage, but quite a lot more current when those cores start getting nailed. 4ghz is stable at 1.1ish volts, which as far as I can tell is about the best voltage you can ask for. But to get to 4.1 I'm already getting closer to 1.3v. That combined with the extra current needed results in a 10C temperature increase on the same fan curve. 4.2 is another 5C over that, as well as firmly over 1.3v. 4.3, I'm approaching 1.5v and going over 200w... nuff said. It clearly likes 4ghz best, so that's where it stays!

And then, there's other little things. I've got rubber washers on both sides of the screws for my intake fans, just to help dampen vibrations. And it does seem to help. I also try to keep all of the space around the machine open and keep everything clean to minimize obstruction... and I also have it near the AC exhaust. The GPU was a little tricky. There is a certain RPM range you have to stay out of because it makes a resonant humming sound, so I set the curve so it never lingers there. Just a steep jump at that RPM range. Hueristics help significantly, too. Temperatures are just slightly higher due to the response delay, but they're also more stable... RPM's overall tend to stay a bit lower. And idle-stopping with this card is out of the question... the fans on this card are ridiculously noisy when they start up... not to mention when they first kick-up they go up to very high RPMs before settling down... I mean, when you're going from no load to high load and temperatures jump, makes sense the fans might too. Some cards handle it better than others. But with the Strix, I couldn't have that obnoxious shit randomly bothering me.


I'm at a point where I don't wonder what's best for my setup, fans/cooling-wise. I just feel like there's nothing left to optimize. It does everything I need it to nice and snappy-like and I barely know it's there by the sound. Meanwhile the parts inside are staying (I think) pretty respectably cool. I picked the parts I did partially with efficiency in mind. Right out of the box, both the Ryzen 2600 and many of the RTX 2060 cards are pretty easy to cool. With optimal configurations they really shine in that department. It's really what they're best at - they do well delivering solid performance with really good thermals. I mean, a decent sized tower cooler, two fans, and a chunky, triple-fan GPU cooler get the job done well enough I think.

It's interesting to see how people run their airflow. Everyone has their rules for what works and what doesn't, but honestly I think advice can only take you so far. The only way to know what's best for your case, parts, and cooling solution is to play around with it. There's nothing mystical or arbitrary about it. All you have to do is apply some basic rigor. That's the only way to know. What generally makes sense may not be the best, depending on the case layout, placement in the room, and components inside.
 
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