Computer Fan Choices

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What to look for when choosing a computer cooling fan What to look for when choosing a computer cooling fan One of the most commonly overlooked aspects of a computer system is the cooling fan. This device is intended to keep the delicate internal components functioning at an optimal level. Any or all of these parts have to work together in harmony or the entire system will overheat and crash. Of course this is the worst case scenario, but in truth excess heat inside a CPU will cause most of the internal components to have their usable life span significantly shortened.

So it is important to know what to look for when choosing a computer cooling fan.

The first thing to note is the quality of the component that is selected. Most PC's these days use cooling fans to keep the ambient temperature at the recommended level. So a reliable fan is a must when searching for this particular item. For serious computer users, a brand name will ensure the type of reliability that is necessary. Since the difference in cost is negligible when compared to a no name brand, it doesn't make sense to save a few pennies now and end up paying a lot more when the entire unit dies.

It is easy enough to find out which fan to purchase by simply reading some of the major forums online or by perusing a well known computer magazine to see what their experts say about this topic.

Another matter is the size of the cooling fan. In this case, bigger is the way to go. A larger fan can move more air quickly inside the computer case and it can also do this more quietly. Users who can afford to go for this option should do so by all means. A larger fan will be able to distribute the air flow quickly around the fragile components, and since it can run at lower speeds, will produce significantly less noise than a smaller counterpart.

Mountings are another criterion to be looked at when buying a fan. These items can help to reduce shock and vibration caused by the rotating blades. Not all models will come with elastomeric style mountings, but these should be strongly considered before purchase. If the desired model only has screws to fasten it down, then optional mounting gear should be strongly considered.

The connection to the power supply is also a factor to take into account. Most cooling fans have either a three or four pin connection option. With the four pin connector style, the motherboard can control the speed of the fan as it connects directly to this most important of components. The advantage of this method is for times when the computer is not being used and there is not as much call for cooling purposes, the speed of the fan can be reduced as necessary. This is a great way to keep the cpu cooling fan functioning properly since it doesn't need to be going full bore at all times.

The three pin connectors have the option of hooking up directly to either the power supply of the computer itself, or to a separate location on the motherboard.

The last item to be considered when shopping for a computer cooling fan is the controller. There are some models that come with their own speed controller. A connection between the unit and the power supply is interrupted by a resistor or a potentiometer which provides feedback. These devices can be easily purchased and installed by an experienced user. Slowing down the computer cooling fan can reduce noise and lead to a longer life span.
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Daniel Mackleburg has 1 articles online

Daniel Mackelburg
Mechanical Engineer

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Computer Fan Choices

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This article was published on 2010/12/16