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Wrong fan-setup?! Annoying "clicking" sound on one of the fans?

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#1
once again, im curious about those fans...

1: here is a photo of how my current fan-setup is (ignore the dust as i have removed it all now), but it doesn't make sense the way they're setup... or does it? any thoughts on whether i should drop a fan or two or if i should just mount them differently?

2: there's this annoying "clicking" sound that i hear inside my pc... as if something is hitting the blades of one of the fans... i tried to record the sound, but my phone doesnt manage to catch the sound... i tried to disable 1 fan at a time, but nope... maybe it's the fan of the cpu cooler?

here's the image of my fan-setup:
pcfansetup.jpg


thanks in advance!
 
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#4
The proper formulary for case fans is:
All front, side, and bottom fans should be drawing air into the case.
All rear and top fans should be pushing air out of the case.

This results in the best air flow.
 
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#5
Make sure none of the cables are close enough to interfere with the CPU cooler fan, and if you have the case on carpet, place something under it to lift it.
You don't want more dust being sucked in to the case.
 
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#6
The proper formulary for case fans is:
All front, side, and bottom fans should be drawing air into the case.
All rear and top fans should be pushing air out of the case.

This results in the best air flow.
great! then i shall flip the fan as you suggested. thanks. :)

Make sure none of the cables are close enough to interfere with the CPU cooler fan, and if you have the case on carpet, place something under it to lift it.
You don't want more dust being sucked in to the case.
hmm.. no cables are close the fans, so im not sure what is causing that sound, really.. but i will keep on investigating on that yes.

thank you for that tip! as a matter of fact, when i moved the pc to the living room, it's on a carpet yes. i have now lifted it a little.
 

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#7
A small piece of tubing or a wood dowel make a great stethoscope for closing in on an annoying noise ;)
 
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#8
I recommend you buy one of these....

 

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#9
In case you haven't... Don't forget to check the GPU and PSU fans for the clicking sound.
 
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#10
Clicking fans are usually caused by 4 things:

1. The fan blade is hitting the shroud .... most often occurs on GPU fans as the shrouds are quite flimsy.

2. Cheap PWM fans commonly click )or hum), especially at slow speeds

3. A sleeve bearing or "levitation" fan is installed horizontally ... since it slides on shaft ir it's pushing down, the pressure against the blades is lifting it up but as rom slows, it falls back down making a noise when it hits the stop.

4. A wire r plastic tie is hitting the blades.

Very easy to diagnose... open the case and place finger on each fan, when the clicking stops, you found the problem.

Also ... with rare exceptions ...

-Rear Fans blow out
-Front Fans blow in
-Bottom fans blow in

Top Fans blow out ... unless:

a) There's a radiator there, rad fans always blow in, no exceptions.
b) You don't have 1.5 intake fans for every exhaust fan

-Side Panel Fans - Optional, subject to b above
 

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#11
2. Cheap PWM fans commonly click )or hum), especially at slow speeds
This statement is BS. Ive had Noctua's, Corsair SPs, Gentle Typhoons (the original Nidec/Scythe partnership ones) that clicked when you lowered the voltage with a fan controller. fan motor clicking can happen on any fan. some designs are just better than others.
 
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#12
….Top Fans blow out ... unless:

a) There's a radiator there, rad fans always blow in, no exceptions....
Rubbish, that's your opinion only.
 
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#13
Define "clicking"? I've had Corsair fan in PSU that had spring to hold fan in the bearing shaft and as it was rotating, the spring was skipping over itself, causing clicking on every skip. Then, recently, I've had problem with oscillating noise which isn't exactly clicking when fans were at certain RPM on a curve. Running them at fixed RPM solved it. Which is why I'm asking if it's really clicking or just oscillating... Oscillating noise seems to be an issue with PWM fans sometimes...

Easiest way to find the offender is to stop one fan at a time and see which one is doing it. If it's oscillating noise, try using fixed RPM which solved it for me. If it's actually clicking and nothing is interfering, the fan might actually be defective. Doesn't matter if it's Noctua, I've seen crappy designs from them too...
 

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#14
Top Fans blow out ... unless:

a) There's a radiator there, rad fans always blow in, no exceptions.
Sorry my fellow TPU'er
Fans on Rads Always move Hot Air OUT OF THE CASE.

ONLY AN I**T fILLS HIS CASE WITH HOT AIR
 
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#15
Only time it makes sense to have radiator fans turned inside is if you're using single fan radiator and you have it mounted on front top position, so you're essentially pumping hot air into the top part of the case past other components. It's desired then that your rear exhaust fan is up to the task or you also have top fans. I've used such setup for over 5 years and it worked well and kept CPU exceptionally cooled because it was getting coldest possible air and wasn't affecting graphic card at all.
 

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#16
you could have tightened one too much, and its hitting the shroud, which you probably would have noticed by manually stopping them.

Try checking the

PSU

CPU

GPU

fans.
 
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#17
Radiator airflow is out for Top and Rear and it literally goes on a CASE by CASE basis for front mounted radiators.
 
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#18
you could have tightened one too much, and its hitting the shroud, which you probably would have noticed by manually stopping them.

Try checking the

PSU

CPU

GPU

fans.
Wait.. so when the fans are spinnin, i can manually stop them by putting a finger on the middle? It doesnt shut down the pc or anything? Took a long time for me to get around to this matter, sadly...
 

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#19
ATX factor, Front and Bottom are Intake, rear and top are exhaust.

Fan flow is always towards the Hub
 
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#20
ATX factor, Front and Bottom are Intake, rear and top are exhaust.

Fan flow is always towards the Hub
Ok so the photos i posted in OP are correct, except the bottom fan that i now have flipped?

Also, i can stop the fans manually with my finger when they are spinning huh?
 
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#21
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#22
Rubbish, that's your opinion only.
There will always be a "It never happened to me so it's not real" school of thought. Also the "cheap" adjective eliminates a lot of fans. The cheap ones don't have the extra control ICs that eliminate the PWM sound

PWM click and humming has been well known "feature" of PWM

http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=9340

https://www.ekwb.com/blog/what-is-pwm-and-how-does-it-work/

More quality fans have their own special IC driver chips within the motor hub that generate a sloped PWM signal instead of a flat square one. Flat square signals tend to create unpleasant clicking noises when the fan runs at low speeds. The sudden rise of power when the motor is given +12 volts results in the rotor being jerked, which in some cases creates the clicking sound.
Newer designs, even MoBo utilities, incorporate ramp up and down times. For my build, I ramp the fans up rather quickly in response to rising temps but ramp it down over some 90 - 150 seconds to remove latent heat from coolant. Because of newer fan designs the problem has become less and less over the years. However now we can use PWM fan control PCBs to power less expensive 3 pin fans for less cost and eliminating any PWM noise issues.... the proverbial "best of both" worlds".

Anyone interested in the topic can use a search engine for plenty of descriptions, mitigation measures etc.

https://www.google.com/search?q=pwm+noise&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-1

https://www.instructables.com/topics/How-to-eliminate-PWM-noise-at-slow-speeds-when-usi/
http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=9340

http://educypedia.karadimov.info/library/00771b.pdf

As previously explained, PWM acoustic noise is caused by the impulse torque generated by the fan motor during each active PWM cycle. Reducing this acoustic noise involves slowing the slew rate of the PWM switching, thereby “smoothing” the PWM impulse torque profile.
There's also a hum that is sometimes at low speeds caused with EMI related ...

https://forum.duet3d.com/topic/3590/pwm-fan-noise

I haven't experienced it personally in 10 - 12 years... but we stopped using PWM about 5 years ago. Before that, it was just a matter of either using the right fan or using ones with the "bump" in the cable which had the "thingy" (it's a technical term), that eliminates the noise. You'll see it dsicussed mosatkly on water cooling forums where folks are running a number of rads, oft in push / pull where the mind set is more fans running at lower rpm than less fans running at higher rpms. You are certainly not going to see it on a CLC with fans at extreme speeds. These days, you generally have to get down to 300 - 450 rpm.

As for fan orientation....

front = Intake
rear = exhaust
bottom = intake
top = it depends

If you have 1.3 (Im an anal about cleaning my fan filters kinda guy) to 1.5 (I'm kinda lax in cleaning filters) times as many intakes as exhaust, then top fans can be exhaust. If you ignore this....

a) You will have negative case pressure. and no, dust is not the big issue here.
b) with neg/pres, air has to get in somewhere ... most often that is thru vented slot covers and those large holes on your rear case grille.
c) You can easily test this w/ a $39 garage band fog machine from Amazon. When you do, exhausting the fog between the wall and your case rear, you case immediately fills up with smoke.
d) when you watch the smoke being sucked in, start thinking about where the air is coming from . It takes a few seconds but then comes the light bulb ... my 300 watt GFX card is exhausting right there .... my 750 watt PSU is exhausting right there. Intake air will follow the path of least resistance.... so it's going to go thru those big vents and holes at the rear a lot easier than it will pass thru your dust clogged air filters.

If you don't have that many intakes, then top fans should be intakes. If you have radiator, rad fans are always always, no exceptions intakes. This is the 2nd law of water cooling... 1st is never mix metals within the loop. Even tho CLC sellers violate the 1st rule, they don't violate the 2nd rule.

https://www.corsair.com/us/en/Categ...00i-PRO-RGB-Liquid-CPU-Cooler/p/CW-9060033-WW

Page 4, Panel 3...

Attach the radiator and the fans as shown. For the best cooling performance, we recommend mounting the fans as an air-intake to your PC case.
I liked saying this better when I had Gentle Typhoons on top of the case, and when Id hear what we all learned in 8th grade earth scienc that hot air rises.... no not in a room with a ceiling fan and not in a case when the Typhoons are blowing the other way. If not convinced, spend the $39, grab the fog machine and blow the fog behind ya case ... then watch it fill up with fog. And no, the heat will not get trapped inside... with 2 fans on top, 2 in front blowing in, the elevated pressure inside the case will push out all the hot air inside the case thru the path of least resistance.... those rear grille and slotted covers, taking all the heat out at a rate of around 2 full case vlumes every second.

Think about it this way .... ever use a window fan to cool down a room... do you install both an intake and exhaust fan ? or just use 1 fan and open a window ? Will it be cooler if you use the fan as intake or exhaust ? Neither. Have an exhaust hood over your stove ? Does it have an intake fan ? Well if ya didnt suffocate from lack of oxygen, then an equal amount of air must be entering the kitchen. In any enclosed space, the intake will always equal the exhaust.
 
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