Questions about my PC's cooling upgrades

Mar 21, 2020
22
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Hi everyone,

I got my new system in May and now I want some upgrades to its cooling. Now, I have my Phanteks P400A case with 3 front panel fans and my Ryzen 5 3600 CPU stock cooler fan.

I want to add two fans to my system, one to the rear, one to the top.

I don't know very much about intake / exhaust fan and where they are placed in a case.

For my case, I guess all my 3 front panel fans are intake fans pulling air into the case and I need two exhaust fans to complete the air flow in my case. Did I get this right???

Just want to make sure I got what they do before I buy anything and can you recommend me any well priced fans that will do my job well?

Thanks :)
 
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Kaamos_Llama

Community Contributor
Jan 31, 2020
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407
780
You can get really into the fine points of fan testing and cooling, and there's always a balance between noise and cooling power to be found. It really depends how far into it you want to get. You can test various setups and record the temperatures to see which is most efficient (if you're weird like me) Or you can just throw in a couple more and everything will be fine anyway. You could even just move your front bottom fan to exhaust and see if it changes anything before you buy anything

If you do decide to change it up I would start by fitting a 120mm fan in the back and a 140 on the top back position. Generally people have a bit more intake than exhaust, or a 'positive pressure' setup. The idea being it prevents dust from entering the case. I'm not entirely sure that's true, in reality but either way it works well enough. So with 3 in and two out you'll be fine. I suggest you buy fans around the same RPM as the ones you have in the case. I like to use 120mm fans @ 1200-1500 max rpm, and 140's at 1000-1200 as I find they are too loud for me beyond that speed.

Just get whatever fans you like the look of that are of a similar rating to your current ones. You can get pretty granular with static pressure and noise testing as intakes and so on but for the most part it doesn't make much difference for case fans really.
 
Mar 21, 2020
22
9
15
You can get really into the fine points of fan testing and cooling, and there's always a balance between noise and cooling power to be found. It really depends how far into it you want to get. You can test various setups and record the temperatures to see which is most efficient (if you're weird like me) Or you can just throw in a couple more and everything will be fine anyway. You could even just move your front bottom fan to exhaust and see if it changes anything before you buy anything

If you do decide to change it up I would start by fitting a 120mm fan in the back and a 140 on the top back position. Generally people have a bit more intake than exhaust, or a 'positive pressure' setup. The idea being it prevents dust from entering the case. I'm not entirely sure that's true, in reality but either way it works well enough. So with 3 in and two out you'll be fine. I suggest you buy fans around the same RPM as the ones you have in the case. I like to use 120mm fans @ 1200-1500 max rpm, and 140's at 1000-1200 as I find they are too loud for me beyond that speed.

Just get whatever fans you like the look of that are of a similar rating to your current ones. You can get pretty granular with static pressure and noise testing as intakes and so on but for the most part it doesn't make much difference for case fans really.
Oh thanks so much for your feedback. How can I check the RPM of my current fans?
 
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Mar 21, 2020
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No problem. Looks like they are around 1300 RPM according to the Gamers Nexus review.
Thanks again! This will be my first time installing a fan to my case, installing any component actually as my PC was built by the store I got it from. Am I going to connect my fan to one of the SYS FAN pins?
 

Kaamos_Llama

Community Contributor
Jan 31, 2020
353
407
780
Depends, I should have thought about it before sorry. What brand and model is your motherboard? It would be good to know that you have enough fan headers to run more before you buy them. Its possible to use splitters so you can run two off of one, if you have any. If not your local PC store should have them if you need.

You most likely want to buy PWM controlled fans, so that your motherboard software can control them more easily.

You can tell if your current fans are PWM by checking that the connector has 4 holes.

If your case has a fan controller that the fans are plugged into rather then the motherboard its possible that its voltage controlled and uses 3 pin fans. In which case buy 3 pin fans, but I think that unlikely.
 
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Mar 21, 2020
22
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Depends, I should have thought about it before sorry. What brand and model is your motherboard? It would be good to know that you have enough fan headers to run more before you buy them. Its possible to use splitters so you can run two off of one, if you have any. If not your local PC store should have them if you need.

You most likely want to buy PWM controlled fans, so that your motherboard software can control them more easily.

You can tell if your current fans are PWM by checking that the connector has 4 holes.

If your case has a fan controller that the fans are plugged into rather then the motherboard its possible that its voltage controlled and uses 3 pin fans. In which case buy 3 pin fans, but I think that unlikely.
I have a MSI B450-A PRO MAX . I checked my BIOS for my fan slots and there were two available.
View: https://imgur.com/NjXqNqH

And strangely, one of my fans were running at higher RPM but I couldn't find an option to match my slower fans with the higher one :(
I also didn't get why there is an option to select PWM or DC, if the fan is 3 pins already.
I will possibly buy a Noctua and they come with 4 pins, so am I going to connect it to one of my empty 4 pin SYS FAN slots to get it working?
 

Kaamos_Llama

Community Contributor
Jan 31, 2020
353
407
780
The 4 pin Noctua will work fine. The fan that's running at full looks like its attached to the AIO pump header. If it works the same as my Asus board it stays at 12v dc mode all the time as that's what an AIO water cooler pump needs I think. I managed to adjust mine down using the Asus AI suite software in Windows. But I had to create custom profiles as all the default ones kept that fan at full revs all the time.

Good that you have the option to control DC fans too, I guess that's standard now as my current mobo has it but my previous one didnt. BTW If you set the header to DC and attach PWM fans they will run at full speed all the time, but it wont break anything.

You may be able to do something similar if MSI has a software suite for fan control. If not I know people use Speedfan, but I only tried it briefly and didnt really like it myself.
 
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Reactions: goko14
Mar 21, 2020
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The 4 pin Noctua will work fine. The fan that's running at full looks like its attached to the AIO pump header. If it works the same as my Asus board it stays at 12v dc mode all the time as that's what an AIO water cooler pump needs I think. I managed to adjust mine down using the Asus AI suite software in Windows. But I had to create custom profiles as all the default ones kept that fan at full revs all the time.

Good that you have the option to control DC fans too, I guess that's standard now as my current mobo has it but my previous one didnt. BTW If you set the header to DC and attach PWM fans they will run at full speed all the time, but it wont break anything.

You may be able to do something similar if MSI has a software suite for fan control. If not I know people use Speedfan, but I only tried it briefly and didnt really like it myself.
Thanks a lot for all help :)
 

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