I need new case fans

One of the fans on the top of my tower is intermittently making a LOUD grinding noise and i think i may need to replaces it.

Two questions really.

  1. How hard is it two swap out the fans on a case. ( from my interactions with swapping GFX card and adding s HDD the case is easy to get into i think)

  2. What should i get.

It’s usually easy as hell.

What size fans do you need?

Do you want loads of air being pushed or silent running?

What colours do you want? :slight_smile:

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Easy peasy to fit, in terms of what you might get, give @adrock a shout, he’s mentioned he had some tasty Noctua ones he could be persuaded to part with.


Easy; 4 short screws (until you get into radiator territory) and a single cable.

find out what it’s attached to; it’ll likely be either a 3 or 4-pin socket.

measure one side of the fan to check the size, it’ll likely be 120mm or 140mm.

might be worth checking if it’s one that you can control, either in software or from the BIOS.

https://www.quietpc.com/casefans <-pick your size and it’ll give you a list of manufacturers/models, their airflow, noise level, and RPM which is largely irrelevant as it has a knock on effect on the first two, and they’re what actually matters.

I have a variety of spare fans…


Ad, you don’t happen to have an all in one cooler fan thing “spare” do you that could fit in the top of my case?

ah cool, i’l have to pop the case open and have alook. I don’t think i need alot of cooling not running a massive card or pushing the HW very hard really but how quit can it make it really with the GFX and CPU fans and the little one on the back of the system.

EDIT: i should say i have two top side fans but only one of them is being a dick is it ok to mix and match them to save a bit of cash?


@Reno, have you considered replacing ALL the fans? :smiley: Mix and match isn’t a technical issue; some folks would want their fans to match/be the same colour/spin at the same speed, and in theory you’ll get different noises, but it’s all subjective so as long as you’re happy with it. My GPU radiator currently has three different fans on it from me faffing with noise tests. Turns out while they all sound different, they’re all quieter than the 92mm fan covering the video ram.

@Leepants do you mean a fan to put on an AIO cooler, or an AIO cooler itself? Either way the answer is i have spares, but i don’t know what you’ve got room for in the top of your case. What case is it? Or do you know what it has space for?

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Mine fan on top was making noise for about a year. I just keep hitting the case when it made the noise to stop it. I did replace the fan recently. Only thing is make sure you put the fan on the right way ie push or pull depending on how you want it to do it. Thankfully new fans come with arrows

AIO cooler itself, buddy. No harm in extra case cooling :slight_smile:

This case - it’s stock, but has a large space in the top that accommodates various cooling solutions.

I really like these fixings nowadays rather than screws:

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@Leepants courtesy of scan:

I might have a corsair H110 on a shelf. If not i’ll at least offer you whatever’s in that box…

Probably need to know what you’re attaching it to (motherboard/cpu socket) to see if i have a mounting plate that fits or if one’s available, though it’s a standard round asetek cooler so i’d imagine so.

@NaloaC do you not find you get more horizontal vibration (or lateral? across the width of the fan) with them? I tried them a while back and ended up with a deeper background hum whenever the fan speed picked up, so i went back to screws. The fans they were on were exhausting mind.

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How’ve you got so much stuff knocking about, you absolute lunatic? :rofl:

partly hobbyism, partly a desire to have spares. Various jobs have taught me the value of redundancy, which means i have a lot of stuff, and then a lot of older stuff i no longer need. For the most part if i’m not going to use something then i’d rather anyone else gets the use out of it than it sit on a shelf.

If you want a cheap turntable, amp (stereo or guitar), DAC, usb audio interface, mouse, or mechanical keyboard, i can probably hook you up :rofl:

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The noisiest fans I have in my 800D are the Nanoxia ones that I have screwed into place. All the rubber mounted ones are places vertically and whisper quiet.

Kinda wish that Noctua still did their black fans.

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Bloody hell! :rofl::rofl:

sorry, i don’t get what you mean, it sounds like you’re comparing apples to oranges. How do you know it’s being screwed in and not: different fan model, speed, size, placement, orientation, whether they’re intake/exhaust, the amount of resistance whatever they’re mounted to is providing? Or did you mount them with the rubber bits, find they were quieter, then switch them back to screws for some reason?

These are the noctuas i have spare, they’re pretty black, the brown bits are removable:

They’re all Nanoxia fans. Same batch and all installed at the same time. :wink:

That does not answer my query. What was your testing methodology? :wink:

Installed all with screws first. Was fine, bit of rattle from 2 of them.

Got rubber grommets, still some rattling.

Got rubber fixings with grommets, pretty damn quiet.

Have 1 x 140mm installed with screws, it rattles a little as the vibration causes the plate it’s mounted to to hum.

I have headphones on anyway, so I don’t really care! :smiley:

did you try swapping them round positions and see if the same two rattled? I went all nanoxia at one point (1400rpm 140mm ones), and three of them needed RMAed from new (2 rattled, one visibly wobbled albeit quietly), and of the 8 i got 5 have since burnt out :confused: they’re lovely and quiet but i ended up changing out all but one (and keeping a spare) because taking radiators out to remove them was getting to be a hassle that happened too often. The exhaust is still one because that’s easy to swap out when it fails, as it already did once.

It’s not that i’ve anything against the rubber things in principal, but i found when i attached fans to radiators they were vibrating and quite loud, and if i got that problem with a screwed or bolted fan i could resolve it by tightening it, and that wasn’t an option with the rubber things. I think my server still uses them on it’s front intakes. None of that was with the nanoxia fans mind, i only tried them when i was replacing those with corsair sp140s.

I’m currently using mostly corsair ML140s; they’re quieter than the SP140s or the noctuas at the same speeds (400-800rpm) and no failures so far. I also swapped them out a couple of times when i had to take the radiators out for other stuff so hopefully they’ve all been running different amounts of time and won’t all fail within months of each other like the nanoxias did.

As I keep my case open most of the time now i’ve been pondering having all my radiators as intakes, but it’s such a faff to remove the top radiator and turn them all round. I know hot air rises but i remain unconvinced that it rises enough to factor into active cooling. But so far i lack the motivation to test it because of the number of screws involved.

Someone should make a simpler mechanic for mounting radiators and fans; they’re standard enough sizes.

On that, what’s with putting the controller for AiO coolers on the block? I feel like if it was on the radiator, where the fans are, there’d be less wiring. You’ve got hoses to the block anyway, so a wire from rad to block to power the pump and report back it’s speed seems like it’d be easier to hide/tidy than the multiple wires going from fans back to the block. I’m assuming there’s a good reason but i can’t figure it out.

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