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 Post subject: Aftermarket case fans for Antec P180 needed?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 9:13 am 
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Posts: 9
Love my new Antec P180, but am looking to quiet the fans a bit. I have a fan controller, but I have 2 questions. I should mention that I have my 6300 OC'd to 3.0 ghz, with a Zalman 9500 and a Seasonic Energy Plus 650w.....so I need something that will give good airflow but won't sound like a jet engine:

1) The Tri-cool fans are too loud for me at HIGH settings, so I have them at MEDIUM. Are these fans pretty good/quiet compared to others on the market, or would I be better off getting another brand of aftermarket fan?

2) I've read the FAQs here, and have narrowed down my choices if you all think that aftermarket is much better. So which of these would work the best (I have more limited selection where I live):

-Noctua NF-S12-1200 120MM Ultra Quiet Cooling Fan 1200RPM
-Scythe S-FLEX SFF21E 120MM Cooling Fan 1200RPM
-Nexus 120MM Real Silent Case Fan 1000RPM

If I get one of these brands, will I notice a big difference between them and the Tri-Cools, perfomance vs noise wise?


Thanks in advance for the help.


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 Post subject: Re: Aftermarket case fans for Antec P180 needed?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 9:59 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2005 11:06 am
Posts: 2049
Location: Klamath Falls, OR
Gunnerbob wrote:
2) I've read the FAQs here, and have narrowed down my choices if you all think that aftermarket is much better. So which of these would work the best (I have more limited selection where I live):

Define "best": cheaper, cooler, quieter, more purple? If best means quieter, please ask for the recommended quieter fan so there's no confusion. :wink:
If you don't have a fan controller, then the one that rotates the slowest will the the one that's quietest. If you do have a fan controller, then the quietest will be the one whose RPM you adjust more slowly than the others. With good modern sleeve bearing fans, they all make the same amount of noise at the same RPM/CFM.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 10:14 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2007 9:01 am
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Ah....the ever elusive definition of "best". Good point ;)

Assume money's not a concern and aesthetics aren't a concern. Keeping my OC'd system cool is a paramount concern, and balancing that with "acceptable"* noise levels is a significant goal of mine.

So that would mean the quieter fan that will still provide a minimum acceptable volume of airflow movement for an overclocked system with an 8800 series video card.


* Acceptable can be defined in this instance by assuming my P180 case is on the hardwood floor, under my desk, and not wanting to hear my fans roaring over the sounds of my games and Photoshop work when the room is empty and TV is off ;)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 10:49 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2006 5:10 am
Posts: 198
Location: Southern Sweden
Gunnerbob wrote:
Ah....the ever elusive definition of "best". Good point ;)

Assume money's not a concern and aesthetics aren't a concern. Keeping my OC'd system cool is a paramount concern, and balancing that with "acceptable"* noise levels is a significant goal of mine.

So that would mean the quieter fan that will still provide a minimum acceptable volume of airflow movement for an overclocked system with an 8800 series video card.


* Acceptable can be defined in this instance by assuming my P180 case is on the hardwood floor, under my desk, and not wanting to hear my fans roaring over the sounds of my games and Photoshop work when the room is empty and TV is off ;)



I have tried , Nexus , Noctua and Scythe S-Flex. medium speed version.

If i where to rank them.

1. Noctua (1200RPM) Sweet spot around 850 rpm. I use a Zalman Fanmate II and a "Y " split fan cable. 3 pin female and 2 X 3 pin male to control my 2 Noctua exhaust fans.
2. Nexus
3. Scythe. Have a faint clicking noise that I dont like. Or maybe I had a strike of bad luck, getting an example that whas faulty in some way?

If you have your case on a hard wood floor? Put something that dampens the vibrations between case / and floor.

Mount your fans with elastic strips instead of screws.

Another thing, that will lower noise and improve airflow. Is cutting out the stamped and honeycombed grilles in the case. Just tape a small but strong plastic bag securely around the inside of the fan hole before you cut. You dont wanna have metal shards or dust on the hardware.

If you feel you must have finger guards for the exhaust fans? Get 120mm ones made out of rounded wire. Those will at least be better than the stamped ones.

Be careful so you does'nt cut away the holes that holds the filters by accident.

If you just have one dvd or cd combo? And have the upper 3 X 5.25 cd bays free?

Then you can make this a very good passive intake. By just removing the plastic and metal covers for those bays. And taping 4 foam strips in a suitable size to the opening, using double sided tape. And then just wedge a 120mm washable fan filter in between those strips. Also, tape up all holes in the cd cage to prevent air leakage.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 11:43 am 
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Awsome info and advice there, much appreciated. I was leaning towards the Noctua.

I'll also look at implementing some of your other ideas, it'll take a bit of time, since I want to do this right. I have silicone pads on the feet for the case on the floor and have isolated my hard drives in the bottom cage of the P180. I removed the blowhole fan and put it in front of the empty middle hard drive cage, closer to the front of the case, to improve the airflow across my 8800 GPU. All the cables are very tidy, tucked behind the mobo, behind hard drive cage, etc. Looking at getting a new Samsung DVD drive to help keep noise down there.

Definitely will be a work in progress, but I enjoy tinkering.

Thanks again for the help, if anyone has more opinions/suggestions, I'm definitely open.

Glad I came to these forums, this is just the type of expert help I needed. :P


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 12:33 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2006 5:10 am
Posts: 198
Location: Southern Sweden
Gunnerbob wrote:
Awsome info and advice there, much appreciated. I was leaning towards the Noctua.

I'll also look at implementing some of your other ideas, it'll take a bit of time, since I want to do this right. I have silicone pads on the feet for the case on the floor and have isolated my hard drives in the bottom cage of the P180. I removed the blowhole fan and put it in front of the empty middle hard drive cage, closer to the front of the case, to improve the airflow across my 8800 GPU. All the cables are very tidy, tucked behind the mobo, behind hard drive cage, etc. Looking at getting a new Samsung DVD drive to help keep noise down there.

Definitely will be a work in progress, but I enjoy tinkering.

Thanks again for the help, if anyone has more opinions/suggestions, I'm definitely open.

Glad I came to these forums, this is just the type of expert help I needed. :P





You're welcome.

Another thing. If you have'nt already thought about it?

As you have the empty hd cage with the fan as additional vga cooling?

Have you sealed all the holes in the hd cage?

I had a fan like that before. And those holes did make a whistleing kind of noise, until I taped up the cage.


Now I have no intake fans at all. Just 2 exhaust Noctuas. And one of them are ducted to my Scythe Ninja Plus heatsink (without fan). Then I have the extra intake I told you about before.

Amazing that there is enough space in the P180 for such a long card as the 8800, when using the upper hd cage / fan. How big is the distance between the rear of the card and the fan at the hd cage?

The Samsung is a good choise for a silent drive.

Another thing you can do, that i forgot to tell you before. Is that after cutting out those grilles. The edges may not look very pretty. Tip:

Get some "U" shaped rubber, window or door isolation and glue this to the edge of the fan hole. Just make sure you stretch the isolation strip enough. So it wont get caught by the fans blades.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 7:09 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2006 11:27 pm
Posts: 116
where?wolf wrote:
Another thing you can do, that i forgot to tell you before. Is that after cutting out those grilles. The edges may not look very pretty. Tip:

Get some "U" shaped rubber, window or door isolation and glue this to the edge of the fan hole. Just make sure you stretch the isolation strip enough. So it wont get caught by the fans blades.


Here's a tip to go with that one that I picked up on these forums-

This is the stuff, if you're looking for that u-shaped rubber stuff:

http://www.mcmaster.com/nav/enter.asp?pagenum=3619

I used part #8510K113 on a fan hole I cut out of the metal on a P180, fits perfectly. You'd want something with a wider channel if you're putting it on something that's thicker than that. I have also used the "door trim" from the auto parts store that you'll see people suggest, the McMaster stuff beats it all to heck. Much, much easier to work with.

Also, I've read that you should avoid the Noctua for heatsink use, but it's good for exhausts. The word is that it under-performs when there's significant impedance to airflow, like trying to blow through the fins on a heatsink. Between the Scythe and the Nexus, I believe the Scythe's bearing is supposed to last longer in a hot environment, so that might give it the edge on heatsink use. On the other hand, I've seen countless pics of people using Nexus fans on their heatsinks, and not yet heard one story of fan failure, so maybe it doesn't matter so much.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 2:46 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2006 5:10 am
Posts: 198
Location: Southern Sweden
Kremmit wrote:
where?wolf wrote:
Another thing you can do, that i forgot to tell you before. Is that after cutting out those grilles. The edges may not look very pretty. Tip:

Get some "U" shaped rubber, window or door isolation and glue this to the edge of the fan hole. Just make sure you stretch the isolation strip enough. So it wont get caught by the fans blades.


Here's a tip to go with that one that I picked up on these forums-

This is the stuff, if you're looking for that u-shaped rubber stuff:

http://www.mcmaster.com/nav/enter.asp?pagenum=3619

I used part #8510K113 on a fan hole I cut out of the metal on a P180, fits perfectly. You'd want something with a wider channel if you're putting it on something that's thicker than that. I have also used the "door trim" from the auto parts store that you'll see people suggest, the McMaster stuff beats it all to heck. Much, much easier to work with.

Also, I've read that you should avoid the Noctua for heatsink use, but it's good for exhausts. The word is that it under-performs when there's significant impedance to airflow, like trying to blow through the fins on a heatsink. Between the Scythe and the Nexus, I believe the Scythe's bearing is supposed to last longer in a hot environment, so that might give it the edge on heatsink use. On the other hand, I've seen countless pics of people using Nexus fans on their heatsinks, and not yet heard one story of fan failure, so maybe it doesn't matter so much.




The Noctua fan works well on heatsinks, providing the distance between the fins are'nt too tight. It does'nt work on heatsinks like Thermalright XP 90 for ex.

But on sinks like the Scythe Ninja it works very well.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 8:53 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2007 9:01 am
Posts: 9
Well, I already have the Zalman 9500 installed. At low speeds it's great, but when I crank it up it's the loudest thing in my case! So I'm gonna try reseating it tomorrow and watch the temps.....with my CPU highly overclocked I want to keep it cool but I can't have the Zalman at top speed. I have it on a fan controller and keep it tuned to "just below" what I consider audible. It's a bit higher than low.....but gotta watch temps.

I think I'll go with the Noctua's for intake/exhaust, and then work at dampening up some of the holes, etc bit by bit. I may also sell the Zalman 9500 to my buddy and get something else that's quieter and keeps very cool on an OC'd CPU.

I bought the Zalman because it looked great in my old case.....all windowed, P.I.M.P, LEDs, UV lights, etc. I guess I went through a "bling phase" LOL. I sold that rig and am now going with a "mature" case and build ;) Besides, now my toddler and baby don't even notice this case/noise.....they were attracted to the lights and bling of the old one and constantly pulling on the cables, switches, etc haha. :)

I live in Canada, so my product selection is more limited. I see that NCIX has the Noctua fans, but I'm looking for a supplier in the Toronto area if possible so I don't have to wait. I've checked some of the recommended suppliers listed around this site but can't seem to find any near me that sell the Noctua.

Anyone know of suppliers/retailers near Toronto where I can get some Noctua fans?


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