When we use the computer intensively, either with games or programs that consume large amounts of resources, it causes the components to heat up, affecting the stability of the system and its useful life. And what to say when we overclock and need to keep control of the temperatures of both the CPU and other vital components.
For this reason, we are going to see which are the best fans that we can buy for our box, distinguishing mainly for its value for money, sizes and noise levels. But before we will also see what are the key points that we have to take into account when opting for one model or another:
Tips when choosing
Case fans come in a variety of sizes and are measured in millimeters. The most common measurements are 80mm, 120mm (the most used) and 140mm. The larger the size, the greater the capacity to move air with the same speed, which makes them quieter. Choose the size that fits your box by looking at the manufacturer’s specifications, the bigger the better.
Fan speed is measured in revolutions per minute (RPM). The higher the spin speed the more noise but also the higher the cooling power (as a general rule, although later we will see that it depends on each fan and the quality of it will make more or less noise at the same speed). There are many models mentioned in saim deals with speed regulation, ideal for those users who are looking for the lowest possible noise.
The best known of sound or noise is the sound pressure level (SPL) that is measured in decibels. But this is a basic measure of “volume” or amplitude. But beyond the SPL, there are other elements such as the tonality (that high-pitched sound that we can find in other electronic devices and that sounds like a tone) and regular or irregular deviations, which includes a range of sounds that some fans emit based on how we place them, or the speed at which they work.
This specification tells you how much air the fan is capable of moving per minute. Higher numbers mean more cooling, although it may come at the cost of being slightly higher. Again, their fans don’t have to run at full power all the time, so choosing one with a high CFM is usually a good option.
Current case fans come with 3- or 4-pin motherboard connections. A standard three-pin fan runs at its normal speed and is regulated through the sensors on the motherboard. Four-pin fans can be controlled through software or a rhombus. This allows us to control the revolutions and increase or decrease the speed to adjust depending on the performance/noise that we want.
Apart from the noise and effective cooling, reliability is another important point to keep in mind. Unfortunately, the build quality and reliability are impossible to test without a long-term study with large sample size. The most important factors are:
- Bearing type.
- Average life in hours that the manufacturer assigns. Also keep in mind that if we reduce speed we will increase the useful life, and currently most fans tend to hold up without wearing out.
- Manufacturer: Some manufacturers are known to be generally better or worse than others. This is especially noticeable in the quality of the manufacture, in the details and in the type of plastic. Some fans like the Noctura include anti-vibration screws to hold without transmitting vibrations to the case.
The best brands of fans that we can find are:
- Noctua: The Austrian brand is synonymous with quality and silence. Born in 2005, it is specialized in the refrigeration market for enthusiasts and we can say without a doubt that it is one of the best brands today.
- Corsair: Manufacturer of all kinds of high-performance components for PCs, it is a benchmark when it comes to high-end and as it could not be less, it is also in refrigeration, from its fans to liquid cooling kits.
- Tacens: The brand is best known for its quality/price ratio with its Aura range and its Anima white range.
- Noiseblocker: Noiseblocker is a German brand with few years in the market, specialized in fans. And he’s good at it because you won’t find anything quieter on the market.
Arctic: The Swiss brand that started in 2001 as “Arctic Cooling”, has gone from being one of the references in refrigeration to producing all kinds of computer components and accessories.