Question Comparing two 120mm chassis fans

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
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I have a Fractal Design Focus G mid-tower case which includes two front-mounted chassis fans. According to the case specs, this is the model of fan:

I'm considering (as a very low priority) replacing those fans with BQ Shadow Wings 2 fans, mainly to try to further reduce noise levels (though I am wondering whether I'm making a fuss over nothing as my system is pretty quiet already):

So BQ's fans have a significantly lower decibel level (15.9dbA vs 24.8) and a little (?) lower airflow reading (38.5 vs 41.8).

The rest of my system spec is as follows:

Case: Fractal Design Focus G Midi
CPU: AMD Ryzen 7800X3D
CPU HSF: Noctua NH-D15S, one stock fan idling at 400-500RPM
PSU: Seasonic Focus GX 750 (silent until it is taking a significant load)
RAM: 32GB DDR5-6000 Kingston Fury Renegade dual-channel
Optical: 2x optical drives
Storage: 1x Samsung 980 PRO (Win11 boot), 1x Samsung 840 PRO SATA (Linux boot, soon to be switched for a 970 Evo Plus soon), 1x Seagate 4TB IronWolf NAS SATA

I think my main concern is whether getting fans with a reduced airflow reading is going to have much of a knock-on consequence for the components they're intended to cool.

The HDD's APM is configured to power down after about 15-20 minutes idle.
 

WilliamM2

Platinum Member
Jun 14, 2012
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Just lower the speeds of the Fractal fans. Doesn't take much to make them quieter. I'm guessing you aren't running them at full speed anyways.
I don't trust manufactureres DB claims, they've never seemed very accurate to me.
 

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
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Just lower the speeds of the Fractal fans. Doesn't take much to make them quieter. I'm guessing you aren't running them at full speed anyways.
I don't trust manufactureres DB claims, they've never seemed very accurate to me.

They're on Asus fan management. It's been a while since I played with it, and I remember the early days of Asus fan management and having three profiles, none of which seemed to make any difference to how auto fan speed worked :)

I'll have another play with it!
 

WilliamM2

Platinum Member
Jun 14, 2012
2,368
478
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They're on Asus fan management. It's been a while since I played with it, and I remember the early days of Asus fan management and having three profiles, none of which seemed to make any difference to how auto fan speed worked :)

I'll have another play with it!
Well "auto fan" is auto. It shouldn't change. I set mine to "manual". I also do it in the bios, I hate unnecessary software.
 
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mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
17,671
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Suppose I missed that. How often you need to use them plays into whether they could be external instead.

I looked into that today out of curiosity, and I found an out of stock "ICY BOX" which would need its own mains power and USB connection as well as the clutter that goes with it.

One day I may have to go down this route but I won't be happy about it!
 

BoomerD

No Lifer
Feb 26, 2006
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I looked into that today out of curiosity, and I found an out of stock "ICY BOX" which would need its own mains power and USB connection as well as the clutter that goes with it.

One day I may have to go down this route but I won't be happy about it!
That's what I did a few years ago when I bought that Costco pre-built. Had no ODD or space for one, so I bought one of these:


A nice side benefit is that I can connect an SSD or HDD to it and use that temporarily as an external drive.
 
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StefanR5R

Elite Member
Dec 10, 2016
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A few random thoughts:

Some time ago I bought a Fractal Define R5, and earlier a Define R4. The stock fans which came with them seemed OK for low noise when not a lot of air flow is required, therefore I bought some 120 mm and 140 mm aftermarket fans from Fractal at some point later for a different computer. These fans disappointed me with more noticeable noise, maybe from the bearings. I have no idea if the original fans of your Focus G are of better or lower quality.

In the Focus G, you could apparently also try 140 mm fans in the front. Hard to say though if there are 140 mm fan models within the air flow range which you are needing which would be better options than most 120 mm fans.

If you ever would have to switch to external drive cases, you could power them from the PC's PSU through an adapter cable, instead of the wall wart which comes with the drive case. That would likely be a bit of a DIY venture though, because ready made parts for such a purpose are hard to find. I did this myself with a couple of 12V powered devices and a 5V powered device for some time a while ago.