Best 120MM 4Pin CPU Fan

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Best 120MM 4Pin CPU Fan

Postposted on Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:30 pm

Gerbils,

My current setup has a Thermalright Ultra-120 heatsink on an Asus Sabertooth P67 motherboard, and the fan that comes with it doesn't work with the on-board fan controller. I believe this is because the fan is only 3 pin, when I think the motherboard may only be able to control the RPM of 4 pin fans. Can anyone recommend a quiet reliable 120MM 4pin fan that I can use to replace the current one? Price is not a giant concern, I am fine with spending anything under $30 (it better be a really nice fan though!). Thanks everybody for any suggestions you can give!
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Re: Best 120MM 4Pin CPU Fan

Postposted on Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:43 pm

One of the newer Noctua's, a Scythe S-Flex, possibly a Silverstone 'Air Penetrator' if those come in 120mm. Just remember that it's an HSF fan that needs a high static pressure, not a case fan.
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Re: Best 120MM 4Pin CPU Fan

Postposted on Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:46 pm

Airmantharp wrote:One of the newer Noctua's, a Scythe S-Flex, possibly a Silverstone 'Air Penetrator' if those come in 120mm. Just remember that it's an HSF fan that needs a high static pressure, not a case fan.


I have S-Flex's for the rest of my case, but they don't work with the onboard either (I have them in 800RPM form anyway so doesn't matter much). I'll check out the Noctua's and Silverstone

Edit: The Noctua's seem really nice, and I don't care about the color. Which of the three on NewEgg do you think would be best for a CPU? What makes the strange beveled fan any different from the others?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductLi ... ame=Noctua
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Re: Best 120MM 4Pin CPU Fan

Postposted on Tue Aug 07, 2012 5:58 am

Are you sure it doesn't work with 3 pin fans? I've never seen a board that couldn't control 3 pin fans as well as 4 pin fans...
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Re: Best 120MM 4Pin CPU Fan

Postposted on Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:48 am

Akasa Apache is one I found worked really well for heatsinks. Satisfied my requirements for a quality FDB bearing and low RPM. Comes in a 4-pin PWM version too.

I don't think there's a major advantage of PWM over voltage-control, but some fan controllers don't offer as many control options unless they see a PWM fan connected. YMMV depending on your board I guess.
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Re: Best 120MM 4Pin CPU Fan

Postposted on Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:57 am

Waco wrote:Are you sure it doesn't work with 3 pin fans? I've never seen a board that couldn't control 3 pin fans as well as 4 pin fans...

I'd say of the motherboards I personally own, it is pretty evenly split between ones that will control 3-pin fans, and ones that will only run 3-pin fans at full speed.
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Re: Best 120MM 4Pin CPU Fan

Postposted on Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:52 am

Yeah, most case fans will be around 1.5 - 1.65 mmH2O static air pressure. The higher the static air pressure, the better the fan's ability to push air through a heatsink. Case fans are just designed to get lots of unrestricted air into a case.
I would grab a Cooler Master Blade Master. 4-pin connector, variable speed, and up to 3.9 mmH2O
Or this Xigmatek fan which would be a bit quieter, with a higher CFM, and pushes 2.3 mmH2O
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Re: Best 120MM 4Pin CPU Fan

Postposted on Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:00 am

First, try sticking the 3-pin fan into the fan header marked as the "CHASSIS_FAN" (probably abbreviated to "CHA_1" or something on the board).

I have a Z68 Asus Gene z and while the CPU 4 pin fan header can't do voltage control for 3 pin fans, apparently the chassis 4 pin header can.

If that doesn't work, I've heard good things about cougar fans for use on heatsinks: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... ugar%20pwm

I'll let you know myself; I ordered one and it should be here Wednesday. :D
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Re: Best 120MM 4Pin CPU Fan

Postposted on Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:43 am

just brew it! wrote:
Waco wrote:Are you sure it doesn't work with 3 pin fans? I've never seen a board that couldn't control 3 pin fans as well as 4 pin fans...

I'd say of the motherboards I personally own, it is pretty evenly split between ones that will control 3-pin fans, and ones that will only run 3-pin fans at full speed.

Really?

Hmm...I'll have to double check the ones I have. I don't often use the CPU fan port but I usually do control fans with the other connections on the board...
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Re: Best 120MM 4Pin CPU Fan

Postposted on Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:59 am

It for sure cannot control 3 pin fans. None of them work if they are not 4 pin for this motherboard from the looks of it. I've never heard of that particular type of Cooler Master fan before. Does anyone have any further insight on the 3 Noctua's or maybe the linked Cougar? Preferably if someone is using them now.
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Re: Best 120MM 4Pin CPU Fan

Postposted on Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:00 am

DPete27 wrote:Yeah, most case fans will be around 1.5 - 1.65 mmH2O static air pressure. The higher the static air pressure, the better the fan's ability to push air through a heatsink. Case fans are just designed to get lots of unrestricted air into a case.
I would grab a Cooler Master Blade Master. 4-pin connector, variable speed, and up to 3.9 mmH2O
Or this Xigmatek fan which would be a bit quieter, with a higher CFM, and pushes 2.3 mmH2O


Also where did you grab your information about mmH20 from?
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Re: Best 120MM 4Pin CPU Fan

Postposted on Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:58 am

StuG wrote:I've never heard of that particular type of Cooler Master fan before.

It looks similar (possibly identical) to the ones they use on their heatpipe coolers. The only concern I have with CoolerMaster's fans is that they use sleeve bearings. That said, I own multiple CoolerMaster heatpipe coolers (at least a couple of which have been in operation 24x7 for nearly 2 years) and have not had issues with any of the fans, so they seem to be of decent quality.
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Re: Best 120MM 4Pin CPU Fan

Postposted on Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:30 am

Noctua. Their company is built on quiet and reliability.

I have a Noctua heatsink which is now on it's third socket (thanks to free socket adapters). Whilst I didn't get another noctua fan, the one I had was still working beautifully after several years and would have been fine were it not for the 3-pin fan controller problem that you also seem to be experiencing.
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Re: Best 120MM 4Pin CPU Fan

Postposted on Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:31 am

I use the Scythe Gentle Typhoon 1850's with my Corsair H80, but for the life of me I can't remember if its a 3 or 4 pin. I'll roll the dice and say its a 3 pin.

Newegg is no help, as they have it listed as a 3/4 pin power connector.
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Re: Best 120MM 4Pin CPU Fan

Postposted on Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:45 am

DPete27 wrote:Yeah, most case fans will be around 1.5 - 1.65 mmH2O static air pressure. The higher the static air pressure, the better the fan's ability to push air through a heatsink. Case fans are just designed to get lots of unrestricted air into a case.
I would grab a Cooler Master Blade Master. 4-pin connector, variable speed, and up to 3.9 mmH2O
Or this Xigmatek fan which would be a bit quieter, with a higher CFM, and pushes 2.3 mmH2O

another vote for the Blade Master if we're talking PWM fans.

I've got 2 on my Venomous-X RT and another for rear exhaust. They push a ton of air and at full speed the sound they make is a wooshing/air rushing noise. But I can't hear them over my case fans like 90% of the time.
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Re: Best 120MM 4Pin CPU Fan

Postposted on Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:22 am

StuG wrote:Also where did you grab your information about mmH20 from?


Click the links in my previous post. They will take you to each manufacturers website for each respective fan. Although they publish the most tech specs of any online retailer, newegg unfortunately rarely lists the static air pressure, you have to google each fan and go the manufacturers website. My rule of thumb: if the manufacturer doesn't list the static air pressure, they must not be focused on optimizing for it = omitted for CPU cooler applications.
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