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So what fans for this that and what now when etc.

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
At the moment I have a semi-half arsed white-ish build with x99 hardware but I decided to go all out and order a case labs case.

In this case I'm going to need 120mm fans, 1 rear fan and 3 front fans, 1 of the front fans has to be a static pressure fan to cover my HDD cage (that's how it works right?).

I want performance but I don't need jet engines - right now I have Noctua 2000 industrials 140mm which are kinda loud-ish so if I can sacrifice slight performance for some silence that would be great, more than 1500rpm is probably overkill.

Since it's going to be a white build with some black and maybe a slice of red (if I could make it look good) I need matching fans.

The rear one has to be white, doubt I'll accept any exceptions for that unless it's blends in "just enough" for the sake of performance. The rear fan should be LED free.

For the front ones I am considering getting 3 LED fans. I am considering grabbing the Corsair SP120 (for the HDD cage) and 2 AF120 with white or red LEDs. They are black around the edges but I will have white Demciflex filters so the black edges might not be that visible or look out of place but the question then becomes, how will the dust filters affect the glow of those fans? Will the glow even be visible at all?

Price doesn't really matter, peace of mind (and ears) is at stake. Availability is a plus - not sure I wanna order from overseas unless it's something truly exceptional.


Also, I know that LED fans tend to be louder but is it any major difference? If you want glow, is the tradeoff alright or is the noise difference huge?


Apologize for the messy thread, hope you guys can help me out - not really a fan expert so I would appreciate your help.


Ps. I have PWM fans right now but not sure I want it this time - don't want extra software/controlling bloat and 100% fan speed on boot up etc. Ds.
Edited by Votkrath - 11/4/15 at 1:51pm
post #2 of 18
So to clarify, you want four 120mm voltage-controlled fans voltage-control under 1500rpm, three with a black and white color scheme, potentially with red or white LEDs, and one with an all-white color scheme without LEDs. Got it.

Zalman ZM-SF3 is almost certainly your rear pick. Good luck importing.

Aerocool DS120 is probably your front pick. If it's too dark or you want red LEDs, and you don't mind moving less air, you can go with the Phanteks PH-120SP with white or red LEDs.

Whether LEDs are present on a fan should have no practical effect on its noise. In most fans, LEDs are placed in the four corners by the mounting holes, and point towards the fan blades. That means that shrouds or filters that block the edges of the fan might reduce its luminosity, but would by no means block all of the light from the LEDs.

I'm not sure what CaseLabs case you're using, but I know most of them can fit 140mm fans. If you can, I would recommend the Phanteks PH-F140SP, which also has white and red LED variants. It would be perfect for what you are describing.
Edited by gftgy - 11/4/15 at 6:29pm
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
I ordered the sm8... ordered with 120mm flexbays - the HDD cage is only available in 120mm.

The aerocool fans looks nice... seems to be static pressure fans(?). Do they have normal ones too?
Edited by Votkrath - 11/4/15 at 10:28pm
post #4 of 18
The AeroCool DS aren't really static pressure fans. I wouldn't recommend them for use on a thick radiator, but they'll be able to blow past a drive bay or a thin radiator without much issue. Don't get caught up too much on "static pressure" fans and "airflow" fans. It's a good starting point for considering what fans to purchase, but airflow can get much more involved than that. These will do fine for your purpose.
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gftgy View Post

The AeroCool DS aren't really static pressure fans. I wouldn't recommend them for use on a thick radiator, but they'll be able to blow past a drive bay or a thin radiator without much issue. Don't get caught up too much on "static pressure" fans and "airflow" fans. It's a good starting point for considering what fans to purchase, but airflow can get much more involved than that. These will do fine for your purpose.

That's cool. Then I could just use 3 of those in the front.

How do they compare to the Corsair 120mm LED fans? Don't have access to technical info or possible tests right now.
post #6 of 18
Probably quieter at lower speeds, roughly the same at higher speeds. Lower head pressure. Lower top end (the Corsair SP120s go up to 1650rpm). Lower starting voltage (3V). Quieter frame (less vibration transfer to the case).
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Okay, any options for white non-led fans? Not sure how the LEDs will even look with the grill and filters covering it so I wanna see the options I have available to me.

Cooling performance is more important to me than silence but I want something quieter than the noctua industrial 2000RPM which I got now.

The Aerocool fans linked still seem to hold up on paper in terms of performance/noise ratio but is CFM high enough? The white LEDs look kinda weak but that might be the video/pictures not doing it any justice.
Edited by Votkrath - 11/5/15 at 11:59am
post #8 of 18
No LED fans are super-bright. They are all best viewed within a dark environment. If you view them in a very bright environment (e. g. with a camera flash) the LEDs are washed out. In most product photos, the LED colors are added digitally to be "representative" of the illuminated product. In the case of the AeroCool DS 120 photos on Newegg, they actually took the photo with its lights on in an illuminated studio. Its LEDs are no dimmer than any other fan.

As for a black-and-white intake fan without LEDs, I already posted that. The Phanteks PH-120SP. If you need a pure white fan, then get the Zalman ZM-SF3. Is the airflow enough? I can't really say. Other than you saying you were running an x99 build in an SM8, I don't know what you're working with. I don't know the obstructions you will have in the case, or the cooling devices that will conduct heat. An x99 build could range from 250W to 1500W of power consumption (and a roughly similar amount of heat dissipation). Are you going to want to cool 1500W with just four of these fans? Probably not. 700W? You might get away with that.

You say you want something quieter than your 140mm industrial Noctua. Though the Noctua is a plenty fine fan, any 140mm fan that's spinning at 2000rpm is going to be significantly louder than even the noisiest 120mm fan spinning at 1500rpm. We're getting to the point where you might want to undertake more research on your own into airflow, noise, and heat dissipation.
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gftgy View Post

No LED fans are super-bright. They are all best viewed within a dark environment. If you view them in a very bright environment (e. g. with a camera flash) the LEDs are washed out. In most product photos, the LED colors are added digitally to be "representative" of the illuminated product. In the case of the AeroCool DS 120 photos on Newegg, they actually took the photo with its lights on in an illuminated studio. Its LEDs are no dimmer than any other fan.

As for a black-and-white intake fan without LEDs, I already posted that. The Phanteks PH-120SP. If you need a pure white fan, then get the Zalman ZM-SF3. Is the airflow enough? I can't really say. Other than you saying you were running an x99 build in an SM8, I don't know what you're working with. I don't know the obstructions you will have in the case, or the cooling devices that will conduct heat. An x99 build could range from 250W to 1500W of power consumption (and a roughly similar amount of heat dissipation). Are you going to want to cool 1500W with just four of these fans? Probably not. 700W? You might get away with that.

You say you want something quieter than your 140mm industrial Noctua. Though the Noctua is a plenty fine fan, any 140mm fan that's spinning at 2000rpm is going to be significantly louder than even the noisiest 120mm fan spinning at 1500rpm. We're getting to the point where you might want to undertake more research on your own into airflow, noise, and heat dissipation.

Thanks for your input again.


I'm running 5960x, 980 ti and 2 SSDs, 4 HDDs. Might consider adding another 980 ti but it's not happening in a while, if ever tbh.

An AIO solution for the CPU will be mounted at the top.

I was a bit misleading on that noctua thing tho - I am sitting very close to the computer which means I will also hear all the HDDs very well. I will be moving the computer to a different position but it's definitely the fans that are the most audible and the thing I want to reduce the noise of the most, everything else is fine and for the HDDs, the only really way to reduce the noise from those is either going for a NAS solution or do some ghetto rigging.

I never have the noctuas above 1500 really and to be honest, I have always been pretty tolerate to computer noise but after a while I realized these fans showed me where my threshold is, at least when I am going to have to listen to it as much as I do. The reason why I wanted quieter is because I will have 3 fans up front instead of 2... sure they are 120mm instead of 140mm but 3 fans should be louder than 2 anyway right? unless I'm going for something more tolerable.

Just with ear measuring I can say for sure we are talking 30 dB here.

Everything is sitting in a Corsair 780T right now and the default case fans was fine as far as noise goes and they are probably not that good quality fans since the same company sells separate high quality fans.
Edited by Votkrath - 11/5/15 at 3:13pm
post #10 of 18
With an AIO cooling your CPU mounted at the top (at exhaust I'm assuming), and a 980Ti, the four case fans will likely provide enough airflow. However, you should be aware that the case fans won't be the noisiest components in this case. Your AIO fans and the GPU cooling fan will be considerably louder.

Assuming you have a reference GPU, I would recommend grabbing Corsair's newly-released HG10 N980 bracket, and using an NZXT Kraken X41 at your rear exhaust. Then get an NZXT Kraken X61 for your CPU and mount it at the top exhaust. These will fit your color scheme and perform very well. You could then replace the fans with the EK Vardar F3-140ER with white blades when they become available, or the Noctua you're using if black is your thing. Then feel free to use the Corsair SP120 LEDs for the front fans. Those won't be making the most noise.
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