The search for the perfect radiator fan

The alternative to direct air cooling

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The search for the perfect radiator fan

Post by paulharmo » Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:11 am

Hi all,

I'm after a new set of radiator fans for my PC. There seems to be no formed decision (that I can find) about the right fan for the job. If my radiator was mounted vertically, everything would be fine - I'd get a Yate Loon L and be on my way. Unfortunately, I'm not so lucky :(

Any ideas on what fan best suits a horizontal application? My radiator is a Black Ice III triple rad on the top of my case, and I'll be blowing air up through the top vents. I plan to get/make a rubber seal for both sides of the fan so that I don't have to cannibalize my case to get the shroud effect. I've currently got Ultra Kazes and they're driving me nuts, and they;re starting to get noisy :|

I have 2 Lamptron fan controllers that I could use - one is a variable controller, but I'd rather not use that, since it has an annoying tendency to make most fans emit a high-pitched whining noise; and the other is just toggle switches. I'm not a stickler for having a silent computer, but very quiet would be a HUGE plus, especially over the noises the UKs are making now. I suppose my preference would be to have a low-ish speed fan with enough grunt to cool my components (overclocked Q9650 and a GTX 285, soon to become just an Ivy Bridge processor).


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Re: The search for the perfect radiator fan

Post by 1398342003 » Fri Aug 26, 2011 8:18 pm

There shouldn't be a significant difference in performance with different radiator orientations regardless of the chosen fans. The only possible problem is an air bubble, which would go to the top of the system and sit there.

There's no decision about the ideal fan because there isn't one. Getting a fan that you'll like is a balancing act. If you want quiet, use one of the SPCR recommended fans. If you want performance, go for something with a higher RPM and a 38mm depth. The 38mm deep fans are louder than the 25mm ones. Either way, you'll want a cheap multichannel fan controller at the least.

I personally use the Scythe S-Flex 1200 RPM model with a controller, with the speed between 600 and 900 RPM. Alternatively, the Noctuna fans aren't bad, but they are pricey.

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Re: The search for the perfect radiator fan

Post by Abula » Fri Aug 26, 2011 8:56 pm

Probably Scythe Gentle Typoon would be ideal for horizontal placement since they use real ball bearing, depending on how much air your need for the cooling, they do them from 500RPM to 5400RPM, if you want more quiet setup go for the 500/800 model, but probably expect higher temps than with higher rpm fan.

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Re: The search for the perfect radiator fan

Post by warriorpoet » Sat Sep 17, 2011 6:00 am

Scythe Gentle Typhoon fans have won their share of radiator-mount fan comparisons because they blend excellent pressure characteristics, airflow and acoustics. These are quiet fans with VERY smooth ball bearings and an unobtrusive noise profile. My preference is the 800 RPM version for their top speed speed sweet spot and their excellent undervolting characteristics, but I've heard good things about the higher RPM variants as well.

Downside? They're pricier than your stock Yate Loon and can be hard to find.

Side note: Ultra Kazes are good for high-flow, high-restriction scenarios, but not much else, and their noise profile is AWFUL.

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