1) Antec True Quiet 140 imo its the best 140mm fan tonally (but there are limited 140 options, on 120s is much easier to find good fans), and its range is pretty solid still for someone looking for quiet fan, but do remember we add fans for cooling and at 200rpm they don't move much air so kinda defeats the purpose... sort of speak. What im trying to say is that fans do have to have an impact for you to add them, else they are not worth placing, that said i still think its a wonderful fan for it price and sonic signature, just be careful into lowering to much to the point that it wont cool enough.
Yes. The idea (one of the test i will try to understand more by myself once i will have the new rig) is: according to logarithmic way the noise rise, would be better 3 inaudible fans than 1-2 at higer rpm/noise. What i will have to check is if 3 big fans will be able to keep cool the system. Maybe not: i will test. Of curse i will use other tricks if needed (es undervolt, add a discrete vga etc). Right now, the only problem i'm afraid is if that fans at their max rpm will be able to avoid thermal throttle: if not this will became a big issue. But i'm confident about.
2) Antec True Quiet 140 are able to drop off to 200rpm only on an Asus motherboard with FanXpert2, the reason is even though the bios has a higher restriction, FanXpert2 overides it. On MSI it has 50% restriction on CHA_FAN headers, so the least you can drop them is around 400rpms, not sure on AsRock SYS_FAN headers.
Ok, i will take into account. But i think i will buy to test: for 10€ is ok. Can be usefull for other pc build where i will have less claims. And i'm curious to make experience about silent fans and face it against noctua.
3) I prefer BIOS fan control out of trying to be minimalist into whats loaded in memory, and this also gives me the flexibility to move into other OS and still have the same fan control as i have with windows, as its all manage by the bios. But there is nothing wrong with software based, before FanXpert2 and even now there are lots of people that use Speedfan with great success, but personally i never been lucky with it, some sensors either are not supported or i cant reach what i want with it, but i blame more myself into not dealing with it. But overall im very pleased into how it turn out with MSI and bios PWM fan control (i have not tested voltage controlled headers on pure bios).
When i started my search for silence, i fallen in love with fan xperts, but i read so many issues over internet about bundle software in generale and specifically about Asus AI 3, included disinstallation issues, that i decided to look for the best bios fan management. And i think that a low level control is more solid and reliable than a software control. The result of this considerations (right or wrong they were) led me to buy an Asrock, also if are considered the cheapest mobo, and in my country they don't give direct worrenty (incredible!). Speedfan seems to be less intuitive, and may not work well with a specific hardware (just now i discover that the user "Tzeb" uses well on this model of mobo, but until today i couldn't be sure of that). To buy a mobo on which build a brand new pc, and after discover to have issues with speedfan (or simply being unable to use), for me was just an unaccettable choice. I'm not enought experienced.
4) You should check well the AsRock bios for the voltage controlled headers, because in most cases it has much higher restrictions than the PWM headers, for example MSI restricts to 50% as the minimum, and ASUS i believe its 40%, so its a lot higher, and this is the trend in most motherboards, i would expect AsRock to be very similar, so check this before committing into 3pin fans.
I'm not really worried about. As i said, i can plan a different use of a 10€ fan if from bios it won't work. Right now i also have some analogic fan controller. But on the new pc i don't want to use. I want an automatic but reliable and rock solid regulation of fan speed, as technology is today many step forward since i decided to bought the analogic fan controller for my actual/old pc.
5) Get the fans to whatever you case can handle, if its 120s go for 120s, if its 140s go for 140s, there are lots of good options on 120s 3pins, like Noiseblocker M12 S1, Scythe Gentle Typhoon AP12, Nexus Basic 120, etc. For 4pin PWM i would still go with NF-S12A PWM, really a nice fan with very good range of control, as an alternative Scythe Glidestreams PWM might be cheaper and should be pretty decent, just i don't think they will drop as low as the noctuas.
Today i can't mount 140 direct to the case, but in a few mounts i think i will change the case (just the time to make some test with new pc and understand how it works and what i need), and a slow fan on the top as exhaust could be interesting. At least today i can use it with a Zalman bracket/arm i have, to avoid the problem of 120mm fan case attach. And i can use as an emergency fan: if temps rise too much it start running, and not at very low rpm. In case of high temps and risk of thermal throttle, is no more a matter of silence: the first target become to avoid shut off. I can accept a limited amount of noise for a limited time. The eshop doesn't have Scythe.
I have no experience with Antec True Quiet 120, so take my comments with a grain of salt, but they are not as good at least according to the SPCR Fan Roundup #6: Scythe, Noiseblocker, Antec, Nexus, Thermalright, try to the read that roundup fully, as they not only test the Antec True Quiet 120, but they some of the best 120mm fans on the market, like i posted on 5.
i read in the meanwhile you posted this answer: as you can read above, and the result is i decided to avoid 120mm in favor of 140mm, though case issue.
One last recommendation, and this basically how i would do it.
If you want go with Antec True Quiet 140s, i would favor an Asus motherboard with FanXpert2, and a case like Fractal Design Define R4, to me its the easiest way to do an extremely quiet setup.
If your case has 120s, then i would go with NF-S12A PWM for the case fans and control them via SYS_FAN1, if more add more than 2, then consider getting a PWM fan splitter that draws the current from the PSU, and just the signal for the motherboard, this is not to overload the motherboard header.
If you are set on the HR22, the ideal fan imo for it is the Noctua NF-A15 PWM, mostly because its a very similar fan to the TY141, so it should fit with the included clips, has a very good PWM range of control, and should be very quiet at low rpms. In case you are not 100% sure on the HR22, then also consider the Noctua NH-U14S Slim 140mm Tower Cooler, its performance is very similar to the HR22 on 6V, higher than that the U14S beats slightly the HR22, and i would assume that below 6V, the HR22 should win also to the U14S, mostly because of its design to work better passively or with little airflow, but U14S also comes with the fan already so should be a cheaper option than buying the HR22 + fan, either way just throwing some options for you to consider.
The other 2 fans are the noctua you suggested. Hope i won't need really a 3rd fan always on. Antec is just a whim: i won't build the pc on it. If work is ok (i can also try asrock software if can do better than bios, or use the double settings you said: at start controlled by bios n high rpm, and after on the software to low rpm), if not i will use in my 2nd pc. Anyway i'm buying this pwm splitter (http://www.gelidsolutions.com/products/ ... d=63&tab=1
), to be covered in case of future purchase of pwm fans (although i could use the noctua's one, without psu molex).
As passive mode is my primary target, i will try HR22. If is going to be a total fail (i don't belive so), i will change heatsink.
I will post my experience, tough i will need days to receive the hardware and strart testing. The shop where i'm buying has good prices but slow services.
ASRock UEFI usually works with SpeedFan, which has no calibration procedures but I prefer it over fancier option.
IMO the 120 isn't on par with the TQ140, and it can't go as low as it, but it's not a bad fan: I used it, as well as the TwoCool 120, and then dismissed.
If you're looking for a cheap, lowish-able 120mm 3-pin fan, look at Scythe: the 800rpm rated model can go as low as ~200rpm (as usually also the PWM ones), the 1200rpm rated models can go as low as ~350rpm.
They have fairly benign sound signature, but also some sample variance (so shit happens, particularly with reference to clicking), tonally I prefer the Slipstream (end of life) over the Glidestream.
As i wrote above, after reading SPCR test, i will avoid 120mm True quiet. But Scythe is not sold by my dealer. But i will take into account for future choice.....
The Antec True Quiet 140 can go as low as about 150-170rpm with ASRock UEFI
This question is more for the future for me, but you are saying you can drop the Antec True Quiet 140 on pure bios on SYS_FAN header below 200rpms? I guess if the SYS_FAN2 or 3, have the same multiple breakpoints, you could place it high on let say 20C and drop it to to the least you can on 30C (or whatever the idle temps are), like something to start them and avoid what happens on the MSI mobo with the starting voltage, then again i might be mistaken on MSI as it has a 50% restriction on the CHA_FAN headers, so this could be the reason of the 400rpms on it.... that reminds me i have to test this also.... =(
Not sure, i will have to confirm once i will have the hardare on my hands, but (maybe it was for asus only) you shouldn't be able to give value that are lower than the previous breakpoints. The curve can only rise.
But i can't confirm this now.
For me isn't a big issue the cpu fan 1/2 mirrored control; is a good thing: if i need 2 fans i use either 2 pwm (and i don't see the benefit of giving 2 different settings), or 2 3pin fans (again with a split and same settings). The utility of haveing a 3 pin and a 4 pin is that on the cpu i have the flexibility to use or a 3 pin or a 4 pin fan. And, as i can see, always with the most granular control that asrock give (also for the non pwm fan).