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Quietest 120mm fans for horizontal mounting?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I am looking for a very quiet fan that is suitable for horizontal mounting. I have tried Phobya G-Silent fans with 'Hydro Dynamic' bearings and they make a grinding noise in this position although they are really quiet when vertical. I have seen people use Noctuas in horizontal position but swapped them for Noise Blockers very quickly, they did not report any improvement (Singularity Computers in a W/C rig where silence was not required). I was thinking of the Scythe GT's as they seem to be fairly quiet and have BB's although some reports state that they are only quiet at certain speeds, I'm not looking for 100CFM or high pressure, the most important factor is low noise, preferably below 17db to replace a slightly noisy PSU fan that hardly moves any air but keeps the PSU running very cool. I don't think putting an inline resistor on this fan would be sensible as it moves very little air right now so if the PSU started to warm up, it would just try to run the fan at max speed.
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post #2 of 15
Thread Starter 
I'm surprised not to have at least one suggestion, there must be people running horizontal fans somewhere, what are you using and how do they sound ?
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post #3 of 15
Hey Indigo,

I use three Yate Loon D12SL-12 fans on my 360 radiator mounted horizontally in the top of my case. They are plenty quiet and seem to move a fair amount of hot air from my radiator. They aren't flashy looking, but the brand has always been synonymous with reliability and they get the job done. I recommend them highly.
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post #4 of 15
I've had used the Akasa Viper 120 and the Cougar Vortex HDB 140.
Both fans uses hydro dynamic bearings.
They were quiet and I've never had issues about any grindind noises.
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post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input guys. I haven't considered YL's before, will have to check them out.

My experience with AKASA fans has not been positive in the past, I find them a little noisy although not tried the Vipers, more research is in order.

I'm considering a Be Quiet Silent Wings, I have a Dark Rock Advanced cooler on order so will get a chance to check out a BQ fan and see what that sounds like in a horizontal position. I am a silence freak so don't mind paying for good stuff but just don't want to have to buy 5 or six expensive fans before I find one that is suitable, what will I do with all the rejects ?
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post #6 of 15
I'm the Akasa Viper 120 and the 140 owner.

Both fans are PWM.
The 120 mm fan runs quiet around 1200 rpm.
The 140 mm fan is rather louder, it isn't quiet like the 120 mm version.

I've heard that the Viper 120 mm has similar noise profile and performance then the GT AP-15 1850 rpm 3-pin.
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post #7 of 15
I recently just got 3 of these little bad boys: SilentX EFX-12-15B 120mm (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835226043)

Two mounted vertically, and one horizontal, they are all quiet ! Vertical made a slight audible noise from 2' away, but after restarting the computer, it went away. The loudest fan I "had" (I ditched it today) was my Xigmatek 120mm pwm that made a HUGE hummmm.

Can't wait to get my Cougar 120mm PWM fan in, will be replacing the Xigmatek as my Heatsink fan, but I will plug it in and change its orientation just for curiosity sakes. I'll let you know.
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post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Very interesting thanks ! thumb.gif

My hearing is very sensitive it seems and I do hear things better than most. Certain frequencies are particularly irritating to me so getting the right fan is crucial. I am using a Be Quiet 800rpm fan on my heatsink right now and it's fine below 500rpm but I can hear it clearly above that speed. At 400rpm and below, it is blissfully quiet, it's also mounted horizontally blowing upwards.
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post #9 of 15
I have yet to find a fan that is "quiet" over the long run when mounted horizontally. this is because the current bearing design are all made for vertical mounting. i studied various bearing designs hoping to find a more compatible one and have thus far failed to find one that will work over time.

the problem resides in the central shaft that the fan blade assembly is based on. bearings are designed to keep that shaft floating with as little resistance as possible when mounted vertically(when mounted vertically the central shaft actually rests ON the bearing itself) or when blowing air directly DOWN. (when blowing down, the static pressure creates lift on the entire fan blade assembly and there is a bearing that counters that lift so when the fan is blowing down there is also a bearing supporting the fan.) but if you try to push air directly UP the bearing becomes useless because at that point the retaining clip (c clip) of that central shaft BECOMES the bearing biggrin.gif so essentially if you have a fan that is mounted horizontally and pushing air UP, then the C clip is the only thing that is holding the entire fan blade assembly onto the frame of the fan. since the c clip is the ONLY point of contact between the frame and the fan blades, that C clip becomes the bearing. over time that C clip will wear down the central shaft as well as the frame/washer that is holding that C clip in place. the effect is over time you will hear more and more grinding sound from the fan from the C clip wearing out.

same concept applies to even the magnetic bearing fans. they are "levitated" only when they are mounted vertically. but when mounted horizontally, they suffer from the same design weakness as their sleeve/ball bearing cousins. this problem is amplified the larger the fan is. on a 80mm fan, you wouldn't notice it as much because the fan blade assembly is "not that heavy". but once you cross over to 120mm fan's the weight of the fan blade assembly becomes significant enough to cause noise to be more noticeable
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Totally agree with that, I was hoping that I was wrong though and someone had managed to come up with a solution to this issue. It really only needs a tiny washer between the C clip and the housing, it would need to be made of a soft material like brass or nylon that doesn't require lubricant but nobody seems to do it. It's been a few years since I last sourced new parts for a build so am finding new stuff all the time that solves many issues but this one is still to be solved. In the short term, I will use the quietest fans I can find but would love to find a long term solution.

I have just fitted a Be Quiet H/S and fan which is blowing air up so I expect that it will need replacing in the not too distant future, when it starts to become audible I will probably turn it over so that it blows down to see if I can get a bit more life from it wink.gif

Thanks for the input thumb.gif
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