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 Post subject: Single 120/140mm fan for 4L Mini ITX build. BeQuiet fans?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:36 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:41 pm
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Hi spcr,

Newbie here but I'm a member of several tech forums but as I prefer silent over actual cooling results, I figured spcr would be the best place to ask for advice.

My current build consists of an acrylic case that is 21x22x8.5cm (4L) with an undervolted AMD A6-3500 (1.1V with a 5% overclock), Asus F1A75-I Deluxe and a 120W PicoPSU (the one with no power boards), a crucial M4 64GB and a WD Scorpio Black 250GB 7200RPM 2.5" HDD. The WD Scorpio Black is loud so I've just gotten a Samsung M8 500GB 5400RPM 2.5" HDD to see if I can bare the sound from a HDD. However, I think I'm going to go for two 128GB SSDs as I'm a "low powered" user so I don't need so much storage. They mount underneath the motherboard in the case. I may move my stuff into a Streacom F1C/Wesena ITX2 as they are smaller at only 3L (19.7x19.7x75cm) but here's my plan regardless of the case I go with:

I plan to somehow cut holes at the top of the case which will be lines (BeQuiet E7 PSU series style) and then I will mount either a 120mm or 140mm fan. I've tried this right now with my current hardware and as my current acrylic case has no holes for exhaust with only tiny vents at the top, the CPU temp is in the low 30s when idling but if I move the lid open, leaving about 5cm of a gap, the temperatures drop to low 20s for the CPU. This obviously means that my plan will work easily. This is with a Thermalright AY-140 spinning at around ___ (need to check) RPM. It's very quiet and the airflow is good enough, however, there's one problem with this fan. The problem is that it's really, really ugly. I'm really into aesthetics so I don't mind paying a bit more for similar performance.

I think a 140mm would be better as 120mm fans are generally louder with higher SP which I believe I don't really need. I would also prefer a 140mm fan as it would be able to blow over the chipset and PicoPSU as well as the CPU cooler of course. I need to emphasize I don't need that much airflow though and that silence is more important. As long as it's enough to move air then it's fine as I've run the PC with only the cooler's 70mm fan on and although the chipset and PicoPSU got hot, they've never given me any problems.

I really, really like the looks of the BeQuiet! fans and have seen good recommendations for the Silent Wing 2 (Dark Wing) fans but my board only supports PWM fans (has 2 4 pin headers) and I can't control 3 pin fans at all. I was thinking of getting the Shadow Wing 140mm pwm fan but it performs worse than the SW2 both acoustically and thermally from what I have managed to gather. Is there a neat way that I would be able to slow down the fan? I do know how to solder if that helps. The resistors look really ugly and being a mini ITX case, cable management is very important. The PicoPSU cables I've cut to custom length and my SATA cables are 15cm too with all the cables in the case braided, I really don't want to run a resistor cable. Seems I should be looking for aestheticallypleasingandsilentpcreview ha.

Anyways, it's 3:30am so I realise my ideas aren't fully getting across and even when rereading my post it's a bit jumbled up. Hope you guys can understand what I'm looking for and give me some advice. Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Single 120/140mm fan for 4L Mini ITX build. BeQuiet fans
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:58 pm 
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There are not that many choices when it comes to 140mm PWM fans. It might be worth considering the Phobya G14 Silent Black see http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?273250-Phobya-Nano-G14-PWM-Black-Silent-Edition-Fan-Review. With either this fan or the Be Quiet you could use the motherboard fan control facilities to keep them at the low end of their speed ranges which should minimize noise. As far as I can see, both have the same 600 to 1000 rpm range.

As to fan control, your Asus motherboard has similar facilities to other boards from this manufacturer. So if you look at the Monitor section of the BIOS you will find that for the CPU fan there is a choice of Silent, Standard and Turbo profiles and a manual mode. Normally selecting the Silent profile in the BIOS should be enough, as it will hold the fan at the lowest duty cycle up to about a 40C CPU temperature. There is also Fan Xpert which is a free download from the Asus website as part of the AI Suite II. Fan Xpert includes a fan calibration facility which can be used to see just how low your fan can go. This may be lower than the nominal 600 rpm, and with the Be Quiet in particular could be more like 400 rpm. Asus normally set a lower CPU fan speed limit of 600 rpm in the BIOS, this should be set to Ignore. If the BIOS Silent profile is not enough, you can set a User profile using Fan Xpert. This can be done to some extent by using the BIOS Manual profile, but it easier to do with Fan Xpert because it displays a graph of the profile. And you can click on the Apply button to see immediately what effect it has. One thing you can do with the User profile is just set the lowest possible fan speed as a constant if your system can tolerate it, but at something like 75C processor temperature the fan speed will go to 100%.


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 Post subject: Re: Single 120/140mm fan for 4L Mini ITX build. BeQuiet fans
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:22 am 
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Dabb wrote:
I think a 140mm would be better as 120mm fans are generally louder with higher SP which I believe I don't really need.
It is actually just the opposite. All things equal smaller fans handle high static pressure better than larger fans. It is actually sort of logical, but also sort of hard to explain.

What isn't so logical is that by and large, the quietest fans seem to be 120mm fans. If you are looking for high SP performance plus quiet... go for the Scythe Gentle Typhoons. If you can still pick up an 800 rpm one, I would grab it.

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 Post subject: Re: Single 120/140mm fan for 4L Mini ITX build. BeQuiet fans
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 4:08 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:41 pm
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lodestar wrote:
It might be worth considering the Phobya G14 Silent Black see http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?273250-Phobya-Nano-G14-PWM-Black-Silent-Edition-Fan-Review.
As to fan control, your Asus motherboard has similar facilities to other boards from this manufacturer. ... One thing you can do with the User profile is just set the lowest possible fan speed as a constant if your system can tolerate it, but at something like 75C processor temperature the fan speed will go to 100%.


Not too keen on the Phobya fans I'm afraid, but thanks!

Yup, I've set the BIOS control to manual and put it on the lowest RPM settings and set super high thresholds for temperatures as AMD Llano runs cool enough so my fan never throttles to 100%

ces wrote:
It is actually just the opposite. All things equal smaller fans handle high static pressure better than larger fans. It is actually sort of logical, but also sort of hard to explain.

What isn't so logical is that by and large, the quietest fans seem to be 120mm fans. If you are looking for high SP performance plus quiet... go for the Scythe Gentle Typhoons. If you can still pick up an 800 rpm one, I would grab it.


Perhaps I didn't word it correctly, I did understand that smaller fans provide more static pressure, hence i chose a 140mm as I don't need the static pressure I believe (but I'm not 100% sure because I believe just running some airflow over the board is enough - I don't need to PUSH the air over the board)

I didn't know that the 120mm fans are quieter though, I've not actually seen a 120mm fan quieter than the Thermalright TY-140 and the Thermalright X-Silent 140mm. I'm not sure what happened to my Thermalright X-Silent though, I remember it was very quiet and I've been trying to find it in my storage boxes but not having any luck. Also tried to check if I sold it by no evidence either... I just remember it was a really good fan but it was only 3 pin.

Anyway, I think the thread is slightly missing the main question. I want to ask is there a neat way of running a 3 pin fan at a lower RPM without using BIOS or an adapter? I.e. can I solder something, or switch cables or something? I remember with molex powered fans, I could switch some cables and it'd run at a lower voltage. Could I for example solder the resistor on the fan wire?

Thanks!


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