Seriously Cool: Case Fans for Every PC
Components like your CPU and graphics card can make things pretty toasty inside your PC case, especially if you have high end components or you are overclocking your processor. Without sufficient PC cooling power, you could lose a lot of system performance to thermal throttling, or even potentially damage your components through overheating in a worst case scenario. Fortunately, case fans offer an easy way to improve airflow in your case and keep your most sensitive components cool.
Many PC cases come with a fan pre installed, in addition to one or more cooling fans on the CPU cooler. However, it is also common for PC users to add extra computer case fans to improve airflow or swap out existing case fans for models with fan blades that fit their needs better.
Generally, you will want at least one PC case fan on the front of the case and one on the back to ensure steady airflow. If you have components with high heat output, such as an overclocked processor, a high powered graphics card, or a radiator from a water cooling heatsink, you may want to add two or more fans to your PC case for maximum cooling.
Choosing the Best PC Fans to Keep Your Computer Cool
Make sure to account for these key factors when you are choosing a high quality PC case fan:
Fan Size: Many PC builders prefer larger fans with high airflow because they move more air, allowing them to run more slowly and quietly. Depending on the size of your cases fan slots, however, you might need to go with a smaller size.
Cubic Feet per Minute or CFM: This measures the volume of air that the fan can move. A higher CFM generally denotes a more powerful fan with higher airflow.
Noise Levels: Choosing a quiet fan is one of the biggest concerns for many PC builders. Check the decibel rating in the fans specs - over 20 dBA is generally considered moderate, while over 30 dBA tends to be loud. Note that adjusting fan speed can help you make a loud fan quieter, and some fans come with a low noise adapter to help reduce volume.
Fan Bearings: Fans use multiple different bearing types, including sleeve or rifle bearings - the least expensive but highest maintenance, ball bearings - durable and low maintenance, but can be loud and cost more, and fluid dynamic bearings - the most expensive, but the quietest and lowest maintenance.
Power Connectors: More basic fan models typically use a three pin connector to connect to the motherboards fan headers. Models with four pin connectors often offer pulse width modulation, or PWM, for more advanced fan speed control, although you should check to be sure your motherboard supports PWM fans as well.
Shop Micro Centers selection of high performance fans right here, with great deals on top brands like Corsair, Noctua, Cooler Master, and more. For more tools to stay cool, check out all of our air and water cooler options for your CPU, and browse our fan grills and filters to help keep your fans free of dirt and grime