Want to make your PC as quiet as possible? You’re not the only one! Thousands of people in the US and worldwide hate hearing their computer fans noise. Whether it’s annoying you while taking headshots on COD, preparing that Power Point presentation for work, simply making your woman and child hate you for ruining their sleep, there’s a simple cure; QUIET CASE FANS.
What does a case fan do?
A case fan blows cool air inside the computer case, and it blow hot air out. By doing so, it improves the computer’s performance. It also increases its live span by preventing overheating of the processor and other parts that make your mechanical beast a true powerhouse.
Unfortunately, a case fan can be a noisy little assistant. Especially if there’s dust and dirt on the blades or covering the small holes of its case. Before you buy a quieter model, you may want to clean these first and see if it makes your current case fan quieter.
If not, you can get a new case fan that is much quieter by design. I’m talking levels of quiet that will make your ears pop as they try really, really hard to pick up the sound. It’s not gonna happen. These are the top 3 quiet case fans to look for:
ARCTIC F12 Silent – BEST BUDGET CASE FAN
Case fans are not expensive. Even the best ones ever don’t exceed $50. But this 120 mm case fan costs around $10 (yes, 10) in any PC hardware store that sells it. And it’s really chilly and quiet! It’s a German, with a well lubricated and fast motor that makes those blades spin with cold precision. Don’t believe me? Check out the 2500+ customer reviews on Amazon.
This is the most popular case fan on the market, and a no-brainer if you’re looking for a proven option. The only downside are the relatively thin blades. While this makes it quieter, it also makes it less durable than the fans made from harder plastic.
If you decide to get this case fan, I suggest buying 1-2 more just to make sure you’re covered if you need a quick replacement. Other than that, Arctic F12 is a really solid option.
CORSAIR Quiet Edition – OVERALL BEST CHOICE
Corsair has been the most reliable name in the case fan industry for years now. They produce excellent fans that are both durable and quiet, always on the edge of technological improvements. I have a Corsair cooling my desktop as I’m typing this. And I can’t hear a bloody thing!
What’s funny is that I don’t even have the “Quiet Edition” case fan, which makes me wonder if this one is even necessary or you could just get a regular newer Corsair fan. But what makes this one even quieter? It has low-pitch blades, designed to reduce noise while delivering air pressure. It also has rubber corners to reduce any vibrations.
If you want to make hundred percent sure that your fan will be a quiet servant of the machine, this is the option on the market. Plus it has a 2 year warranty, so there’s really no risk involved in the purchase.
My Corsair fan had it’s 3rd birthday recently and it’s still working perfectly (But I must stress that I clean it every 2 months on average. Maintenance IS important.). They grow so quickly, don’t they?
NOCTUA Premium-Grade Quiet – BEST ALTERNATIVE
Some users prefer Noctua over Corsair. The fact is that both produce excellent case fans and they’re direct competitors.
This 140 mm fan was made to rival Corsair Quiet Edition, and it’s certainly done well at that. It’s slightly more expensive, but you also get additional versatility (easy installation on CPU coolers) and a whooping 1500 rpm maximum speed.
And as the manufacturer loves to point out ALL THE TIME, has received over 100 recommendations from hardware magazines and websites. They’re also confident in the fans durability, providing a 6 year warranty! While I personally prefer Corsair products, this is a cool(ing) and silent friend that any computer would be happy to have.
Case Fan Buyer’s Guide & FAQ
How do you measure a case fan’s speed?
The measurement that is used for fan’s speed is RPM. That’s short for revolution-per-minute. In other words, how many times the blades spin in one minute. The Noctua fan I mentioned above has 1500 RPM as its maximum speed, which is quite impressive.
Manufacturers will almost always specify the maximum RPM. However, the maximum RPM by itself is not that important, as the case fan will very rarely employ it. It’s more of a way to demonstrate the power of the motor and its capabilities.
Generally, faster spinning produces more noise. That’s why when you’re using a demanding program, your fan will spin faster to cool the hot components and by extension produce more noise.
If there is a lot of dust and dirt blocking the fan, it will also spin faster in an attempt to cool better. So cleaning the fan once every 2-3 months is a minimum requirement for it to function optimally.
What is the best size for a case fan?
Generally speaking, bigger is better. Bigger fans can produce more air flow without having to spin as fast as smaller fans. Therefore they produce less noise.
Standard case fans are 120 mm, 140 mm or 200 mm in diameter. Therefore, getting the biggest fan you can fit inside your computer is a good way to minimize fan noise.
What are the bearing types in case fans?
Case fans can have one of these 4 distinct bearings:
SLEEVE BEARINGS – These are the most affordable bearings, and the most often used in case fans. They don’t work well in high temperatures and when the fan is placed horizontally. This is not an issue with case fans however, as they’re almost always placed vertically, and they’re not exposed to excessive heat.
BALL BEARINGS – These are the quietest bearings. They’re also the most durable and they can be placed vertically or horizontally without having an effect on performance. These ball bearings are typically found in more expensive case fans.
HYDRO BEARINGS – These bearings typically have a self-lubrication system that improves and silences the fans performance. This is a direct upgrade on sleeve bearings. Just like ball bearings, hydro bearings are found in more expensive fans. One exceptional quiet fan that uses hydro bearings is Aurora C5 by aigo.
RIFLE BEARINGS – It’s a medium option between sleeve and ball bearings both in terms of price, sound and performance. It has a spiral groove in it that pumps lubricating fluid from the reservoir.
Overall, hydro bearings and ball bearings are the best ones for case fans.
I hope you like my top 3 recommendations. I’ve taken into consideration the price, specifications, durability, warranty and reviews from happy or unhappy users. These 3 case fans came out as the overall best options.
If you spend a lot of time on your computer, especially working on projects, then you know how annoying environmental noises can be. Both for concentration and for relaxation.
I hope you find my recommendations helpful and you’ll transform your noisy computer into a silent monk in no time.