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Aesthetics Part Three Fans

This is part three of a series discussing how sometimes aesthetics, and not outright performance, is the primary influence that dictates purchasing decisions of certain types of PC hardware. You can find part one here, and part two here.


There are few parts (or rather, types of parts) that are more innocuous and simple as the humble fan. After all, it is just a collection of shaped aerofoils rotating about a fixed axis, powered by electromagnetics. Most fans available for use on a computer are contained within a square-shaped frame, but there are also circular-framed fans available.

Now some may be questioning the idea that aesthetic considerations are among the reasons why some people buy fans. All that matters is how many CFMs a fan generates, or how much static pressure it can create when used on a radiator (or heatsink). Perhaps the quietness of the fan in operation is also a performance criterion that must be paramount when purchasing a fan.

Well, I would like to humbly posit that sometimes how a fan looks is also part of the equation.

Sometimes LED fans lend an undeniable pizzaz to something as utilitarian as a heatsink doing nothing but trying to keep a CPU relatively cool.

An all-black fan, in comparison, just looks so, well, dull. So much so that the case stickers are on the fan just to dress it up just a little bit.

Now that I think about it, there's something really striking about those orange and black fans, so perhaps they'd look as good on the heatsink (even if they're secured by a ziptie).

If fan aesthetics were not a true consideration, then SilenX's truly atrocious fans would never have been allowed to sell, and Noctua's effective (if unfortunately colored) fans would sell far more than they already do. There are fewer products that I absolutely hate than SilenX fans because of their horrible performance and reliability. I will, however, say that if all a fan had to do was look pretty, a SilenX fan would be difficult to beat.

If aesthetics were not a consideration, then all fans would just be squarish (okay, fine, a few would have circular frames too), with just a bunch of aerodynamic blades around a hub, and most likely black. How boring would that be?

(To be continued in Part Four - Graphics Cards)


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Overclock.net › Member Blogs › Aesthetics Part Three Fans