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Question 200mm x 30mm case fans annoyingly loud. Need replacing!

nOOky

Golden Member
Aug 17, 2004
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I have two of the above case fans that are annoyingly loud for about 10 minutes whenever I start my pc. I took it all apart and cleaned and checked everything, that actually made them worse. While I can stand the ticking, I get up in the morning before my wife and she hates it. They are the stock Coolermasters that came with my Haf-X case years ago, and are on top of the case.

I think the Noctua fans are probably my best bet, but I was looking to maybe add a little color. My mobo has RGB headers, but I can live with a static color.

Any suggestions? Amazon reviews are kind of hit or miss, I'm looking for people that have actually had fans stay quiet for years as I plan to keep the case until it disintegrates.
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
14,831
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I can't guarantee anything about noise, but you can try the BitFenix 200mm LED fans to replace the Coolermasters for airflow. Since they have a wider RPM range, you might be able to thermally-control them for net noise reduction. NZXT also makes a 200mm fan, although the fan-hole placement is 1/4" off those for Coolermaster and other makes. [See below the application of wire ties for installation].

I honestly don't have difficulty with decibels for any of those larger fans, but I have a set of strategies for installing all my fans to reduce noise.

Go down to Autozone and buy a $3 roll of self-adhesive rubber hose bandage, first of all. It's a general-purpose item you can use to wrap screws and cushion all the places that have fan-to-metal contact.

Your local electronics store should have little black rubber "donuts" of various sizes, made to put in sheet-metal holes for isolating wires so they don't chafe and cause a short. These, plus some small metal or plastic washers to use with them (to keep them secured under the heads of screws) will allow you to shock-absorb your fan mounts. You can also use nylon wire ties together with the adhesive rubber tape to install fans.

Also, check Performance PCs online, Cooler Guys or Frozen CPU to find rubber fan mounts of various sizes. Use them where possible instead of metal screws.

Once in a while, I have occasion to build duct-boxes to channel air from a 120mm fan to an exhaust port. I build them of black foam-art-board -- also called "foam-core" -- which can be had at such places as Michael's Arts & Crafts, Target and other places. The glue you'd need for such things is called "Hold-the-Foam". You can line a duct-box with Spire acoustic foam-rubber padding cut to size and shape.

But I think the solution to your problem is simply a matter of isolating your fans at their mounts with some of the items mentioned above.

There are two types of noise generated by fans: motor noise or "whine"; and the white-noise of air-turbulence. You can't do a lot about air-turbulence, and it's not nearly as annoying as motor-noise. But choose fans that use ball-bearings, "fluid-dynamic" bearings -- or (at least) rifle bearings. Avoid fans with "sleeve" bearings.

It's also possible to disassemble fans at their hub. You have to remove a "ring-clip" with pliers or a special tool. Then you can lubricate the fan with white lithium grease or something similar.
 

Paperdoc

Golden Member
Aug 17, 2006
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I don't have 200 mm fans, nor any with lights, so my comments are on reputation. Noctuas are quite good, although they make NONE with lights afaik. They tend to be quieter, deliver more air flow, and last longer that others at similar prices. They are warrantied for 6 years, and most find they last longer than that. Still, all fans WILL wear out after many years. And the MOST common cause is bearing wear, which is exactly what you seem to describe.
 
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UsandThem

Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
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When it comes to quality 200mm fans, there aren't that many to choose from.

Like Paperdoc said, Noctua is always a solid choice for a quality fan. Most of the various fans I have in my four computers in the house are various Noctua models, and I've only had one of their fans die the entire time I've used their products, and they promptly replaced it for free after sending a copy of my receipt.

However, Phanteks also offers a very solid choice as well with their PH-F200SP, although if you will run it at higher RPMs, it will be louder than Noctua's 200mm offerings. I own a couple of their 140mm fans, and they are very good quality as well (on par with Noctua). I'm not one who buys fans based on looks (I don't use cases with a side window), I buy them only based on their quality, quietness, and performance.
 

nOOky

Golden Member
Aug 17, 2004
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Yes I'm pretty sure they are worn out. They did not look user serviceable when I had it apart, probably not as well made as an aftermarket fan. I added two Coolermaster fans when I built this system 5-6 years ago, those are still good, I suspect they are better quality.
 

nOOky

Golden Member
Aug 17, 2004
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When it comes to quality 200mm fans, there aren't that many to choose from.

Like Paperdoc said, Noctua is always a solid choice for a quality fan. Most of the various fans I have in my four computers in the house are various Noctua models, and I've only had one of their fans die the entire time I've used their products, and they promptly replaced it for free after sending a copy of my receipt.

However, Phanteks also offers a very solid choice as well with their PH-F200SP, although if you will run it at higher RPMs, it will be louder than Noctua's 200mm offerings. I own a couple of their 140mm fans, and they are very good quality as well (on par with Noctua). I'm not one who buys fans based on looks (I don't use cases with a side window), I buy them only based on their quality, quietness, and performance.

I agree with that, I have the Noctua air cpu cooler with two ugly fans. I was just thinking some ambient light down there would be kind of cool. It sits on the floor by my feet.
 

UsandThem

Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
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I agree with that, I have the Noctua air cpu cooler with two ugly fans. I was just thinking some ambient light down there would be kind of cool. It sits on the floor by my feet.
Some people like lights in their PC, I'm not one of them. ;)

If you need RGB/lighting, you can always use some basic LED strips underneath/the back of the desk for colors.
 

mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
5,865
593
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They are the stock Coolermasters that came with my Haf-X case years ago, and are on top of the case.
There's your problem, if you've never relubed them.

If they are sleeve bearing fans (probably), lube them with a drop of heavy weight oil. If they are too high RPM, use a fan controller or other means to reduce RPM.

If they are the craptacular newer coolermaster design that has no rubber oil bung plug, you can use (whatever) hot thing to melt a hole to add lube. Avoid drilling a hole so debris doesn't get in, shave off any protruding exterior surface to be flat, and slap a sticker or tape on to seal it after lubing. It seems more complicated than it really is. ;) I've never had to replace a case fan except on a fileserver where it ran 24/7 for over a dozen years and I wasn't so often near it to hear when it was making noise due to needing lubed.

Fluid dynamic and rifle are still sleeve bearings. Higher quality "perhaps" but not ideal for horizontal fan mounting, and yet they too can benefit from relubing once they start to get noisy from bearing play. If the bearing is too worn out, it'll pump the lube out and require fan replacement because the relube interval is too short to be practical.

None of the above addresses your replacement fan inquiry, but if relubing doesn't work, it will help keep your replacement fans running longer if they aren't dual ball bearing. Don't oil ball bearing fans, as it'll only make them louder (more often than not).
 
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BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
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Some people like lights in their PC, I'm not one of them. ;)

If you need RGB/lighting, you can always use some basic LED strips underneath/the back of the desk for colors.
I think it's pretty much a given that "LED" fans always seem to have lower quality than those not made to give off light. If I wanted to pick top-end fans for the entire complement of my case, I'd buy Noctua, possibly some mag-lev fans by Corsair like the ML140. Those are all somewhat pricey.

For input case fans, I compromise, so that I try and pick 140mm fans that will throw between 90 and 110 CFM according to their published spec. This was one reason I've been using the Akasa Vipers. Noise? I haven't noticed any. I'm using two Bitfenix LED Spectre-pros in my side-panel, and they don't quite reach a 90 CFM spec. Since these are all thermally controlled, they don't throw their maximum CFM all the time, and I don't have a noise problem.

200mm case fans will give you some "high airflow". But they take up a lot of case-panel real-estate, and are short on static pressure. Truth be told, I chose the Bitfenix fans because I wanted some "Klingon-green" "bling" to complement other case lighting.
 

bigboxes

Lifer
Apr 6, 2002
32,428
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I used to use Vantec's stealth fans back in my 80mm days. When I moved to 120mm fans in 2009, I went with Noctua. Yes, they are butt ugly. But they are quiet. Coupled with a fan controller you can quiet any system. Noctua makes more black fans nowadays which is an improvement, but I don't care too much since I don't have a Window in my case. I prefer quiet.
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
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Some people like lights in their PC, I'm not one of them. ;)

If you need RGB/lighting, you can always use some basic LED strips underneath/the back of the desk for colors.
Actually, except for the two LED fans I use among a total of six 140's, I've got two CC light kits and they're switched. Logisys makes many of those kits. They're maybe less than $10.
 

nOOky

Golden Member
Aug 17, 2004
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Ordered two Noctua's, 4 pin to connect to the motherboard. Reviews show they won't fit without a bit of modding, which is simply some Dremel work on the top of the case. I can handle that.
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
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Ordered two Noctua's, 4 pin to connect to the motherboard. Reviews show they won't fit without a bit of modding, which is simply some Dremel work on the top of the case. I can handle that.
Well, that's "> 80CFM" -- which is good, I suppose. I could consider replacing my HAF-922 200mm fans with those.

I have a different idea, and it could raise some eyebrows here. People may say "Are you deeef?"

I'm going to dump the idea of using Akasa Viper 140's in my next build [See my Coolermaster 83[x] thread]. This new build was supposed to be a replication of what I have currently, in the same case. Those Akasas are rated at 110CFM. The Noctua iPPC-3000 fans are rated at 150CFM. 41 decibels! I'm going to order a pair.

Then, I'm going to pull the Bitfenix Spectre Pro 140's from my side-panel. I may even remove the hinged plastic fan door. Then, I'll lay my case side-panel on the floor, concave side of the large perf-steel screen facing upward, and lay a piece of 1/8" Lexan plate on it -- roughly cut to shape. And The-en! I'm gonna get my heat gun and shape the Lexan to the perf-steel screen. Fitting it on there so it's secure and can still be easily removed will be fairly easy, I would think.

All the fans will be thermally controlled, and the iPPC fans are quiet in a range below 2,000 RPM. But I'm willing to bet that they'll still be pretty quiet with my fan-mounting strategy.

Here's another one. I cannot find a 140mm "round" fan with the air-flow specs that I prefer. A Round fan is a 140mm fan frame and fan with mounting holes which have 120mm fan hole spacing. So I am going to drill with utmost precision some holes at a smaller radius from the fan center. Now, the purpose of this round-fan conversion is to enable mounting on the front of a heatpipe cooler with the existing hardware. So I will need to cut slots in the existing holes to allow the wire retaining clips to fit without interference. And I think that once this is all done correctly, I can always use the fan at some time in the future with its original 140mm holes.
 

Stuka87

Diamond Member
Dec 10, 2010
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I think it's pretty much a given that "LED" fans always seem to have lower quality than those not made to give off light.
LEDs really have no impact on the quality of a fan. There are super cheap fans with no LEDs, and super cheap fans with LEDs. There are certainly good fans that have LEDs, and they will cost a bit more than a similar fans without LEDs.
 

nOOky

Golden Member
Aug 17, 2004
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It certainly seemed like there were a plethora of cheap LED fans on Amazon, which is where I wanted to buy because I could use up some credit card points. However the RGB fans were not cheap, even for the "cheap" ones.

My case has four 200mm case fans (2 on top, one side panel, one back), and one 230mm fan (front panel), and two 140mm fans on the Noctua CPU cooler. For all that, I only hear a faint whooshing sound when it runs normally. I still use an older Vega 64 liquid GPU which uses two fans on the radiator that really spin up under load.

Until I thought about it, I didn't realize I have 9 total fans in my case. It's still one of the best cases for cooling a GPU so I'm hanging onto it!

Edit: 10 fans, I forgot the PSU!
 
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BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
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It certainly seemed like there were a plethora of cheap LED fans on Amazon, which is where I wanted to buy because I could use up some credit card points. However the RGB fans were not cheap, even for the "cheap" ones.

My case has four 200mm case fans (2 on top, one side panel, one back), and one 230mm fan (front panel), and two 140mm fans on the Noctua CPU cooler. For all that, I only hear a faint whooshing sound when it runs normally. I still use an older Vega 64 liquid GPU which uses two fans on the radiator that really spin up under load.

Until I thought about it, I didn't realize I have 9 total fans in my case. It's still one of the best cases for cooling a GPU so I'm hanging onto it!

Edit: 10 fans, I forgot the PSU!
You're not alone. Now that I'm refurbishing my four-year-old system, I thought about reducing the number of fans as i suggested in an earlier post. I'm toying with the idea.

But I'm also inclined to start sealing the case with things like automotive aluminum tape and wads of Spire foam rubber padding. That MAY make it more desirable to eliminate a couple fans.

Also, while my cooling solution works well with a Noctua iPPC 3000 120mm exhaust fan, I decided to investigate how much better I might do for that particular fan deployment to obtain insanely-high airflow (and damn the decibels and full speed ahead!) I found a San-Ace 120x120x38 unit offered on EBay for 10 bucks -- a PWM fan no less. 6,300 RPM! something like 250 CFM in the spec.

Remember the 92mm Vantec Tornado? I just couldn't contain my curiosity for $10 . . . .

I see nobody commented on my plan to turn a "square" fan into a "round" fan, and that's still in the works.
 

nOOky

Golden Member
Aug 17, 2004
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Quietness again! I had to Dremel out 4 pins from the top of the case, they were basically only structural support and spacing pins. Still didn't fit, so I had to remove the top corners of each fan with the Dremel leaving just enough material to ensure the mounting hole had enough material to not break off. I hated to wreck the aesthetics of the fans, but no one will ever know or care as you can't see them anyway. I didn't remember the old ones were always full blast and wired directly to 12 volts. The Noctua came with splitters so I was able to connect both to a spare mobo header. The Noctua fans are sturdy, each corner took about a minute to cut through, I think the plastic was reinforced ABS.
 

Puffnstuff

Lifer
Mar 9, 2005
15,269
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I can't guarantee anything about noise, but you can try the BitFenix 200mm LED fans to replace the Coolermasters for airflow.
I have been running them in my HAF 932 for years with good results. I'm down to the one in the front now as the rest have been replaced by antec prizm 120 argb's.
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
14,831
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LEDs really have no impact on the quality of a fan. There are super cheap fans with no LEDs, and super cheap fans with LEDs. There are certainly good fans that have LEDs, and they will cost a bit more than a similar fans without LEDs.
Yeah -- I stumbled onto an ad for those "NoiseBlocker" fans -- I think they're German. 140mm models will throw out almost 110 CFM. Something like 29 dB for the noise. Pricey!

Ha! I wanted to experiment again -- beyond the NIdec-Servo 120mm AP-30's I tried successfully when I built my Sandy Bridgers. Can't find those anymore! Well! I was doing some web-reconnaisance for fans the other day, and someone was offering Sanyo "San-Ace" 120x38mm high-output PWM fans for $10. Something like 6,300 RPM or 230CFM! So . . . . I bought one! I won't need an LED fan for exhaust. Just some rubber fan mounts and enough layers of Spire foam-rubber around the fan frame to make it a 140mm fan to fit a larger size accordion duct for my Grand Macho cooler. I've had luck muffling fans with that stuff . . . . You still get the air-turbulence with its "white-noise". . . .

I have been running them in my HAF 932 for years with good results. I'm down to the one in the front now as the rest have been replaced by antec prizm 120 argb's.
I haven't had any trouble with them, either. They didn't have the output you get with a certain NZXT 200mm fan I have, but they fit standard 200mm holes in the case. I just think I'm through with 200mm fans for anything but my HAF 922's. It seemed like a good idea -- H-igh A-ir F-low -- but there are other good cases in which you cannot use them.
 
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