Late last winter, my old case fan started making a grinding noise. When I heard the noise, we opened the box up to make sure it wasn’t the CPU cooler and saw that the one fan wasn’t spinning at all. The other one was only moving intermittently and seemed tough to turn compared to how it should feel.
I ordered new fans right away, but the lone functioning one seemed to be keeping things cool enough, so we kept putting off installing them. I had ordered Arctic P12 PWM fans from Amazon since they were cheap, highly reviewed, and would get here quickly. There was no big rush to swap them out, but I wanted to at least have them here in case the final case fan went kaput, and they needed to be changed right away. There’s no place where we could go buy new ones locally anymore, at least none that I can think of. I miss Cyber Warehouse for that sort of thing.
While we were in the computer, I figured it was a good time to change out the power supply too, since that’s been in there for around fifteen years and I think it may be failing. Even if it’s not failing, it makes sense to do it now before it fails in a way that could take the motherboard or more with it. For that, I finally went with a Seasonic. I wanted to do that when I switched the motherboard and stuff out a few years ago, but I saved a few bucks instead.
I thought the old 120 milimeter tricool fans that came with the case were quiet. They were certainly quieter than the fans in the previous computer, but these new ones are nearly silent. I have to have my head near them to hear them running. I didn’t believe the RPMs in the BIOS at first. With the old ones, they weren’t hooked up to the motherboard to control them, so they never registered. Instead, they had a switch in the back of the case to control the speed. I could choose between three speeds, That was a step up from the old case too, and one of the reasons I’d bought the case when we built the Intel quad-core computer.
My current Ryzen system just doesn’t seem to generate that much heat, so the fans should stay on low. My old Q6600 ran hot, and either the heat sink didn’t quite mount perfectly. That’s why I could get away with just one fan running recently. It was even fine on hot days, but I still wanted to get the new ones installed. I figured that if two died, the third one was going to die any day. Moving parts wear out, and fifteen years is more than I ’d expect from a cheap case fan.
Time will tell how they work out, but at least as of right now, I’m really impressed with the fans. I can barely hear them, yet I can feel the air near the vents, so I know they’re working. It didn’t even matter that much whether they were quieter. I just wanted them to function and at least not be much louder than the old Antec ones. It was a pleasant surprise that I could find some without LEDs. The lack of lighting wasn’t a requirement, but it was nice to not have to pay for something I wouldn’t be able to see behind the filters and the front door of the case that is closed. Maybe if they were visible, I’d want the LED ones.