Technology has come a long way in computers, but it is impossible to avoid the use of fans. Components in a computer heat up very quickly, especially during intensive work. Almost every computer needs fans that will help to cool things down and regulate temperature as much as possible.
All PC fans have different levels of intensity. They might not run at all when doing simple tasks on the computer, but they can kick on and run at full blast if the computer is heating up when editing video, playing video games, and more. Having a fan that runs constantly and makes a lot of noise can distract people from their work, which is why they are always looking for quiet fans in general.
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Below, we take a look at the quietest PC fans on the market right now. Then, we also discuss a few ways to reduce fan noise even more, and why they matter so much in the first place.
The Quietest PC Fans Available Right Now
1. Noctua NF-S12A PWM
Since its release, this has been one of the best 120 mm options for any PC owner out there. It is very affordable, easy to install, durable, and more. Simply put, most people think it is very easy to go with this affordable fan and never look back.
Noise level sits around 15 to 20 decibels at max. It can keep everything so quiet thanks to the anti-vibration rubber pads used on the corners, not to mention the high-quality blades. Noctua offers a few different computer fans out there, but this one stands out in a pretty crowded field right now.
They know that for a lot of people, they want something simple and versatile enough to go into many different options. Some will even use this fan for heat sinks, radiators, and other similar machines.
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2. Noctua NF-A12x25 PWM
If the model above is not good enough, this is a step up from that quality for many people. It is a hybrid fan that provides great airflow throughout the computer, and one of the most noticeable differences are the blades that are closer together.
This provides more efficient airflow, and air can get up to a speed of 2000 RPM.
This fan is a little bit louder than the one above, but still sits just over 20 decibels at a max. It has a lot of the same design features that keep vibrations down and everything as quiet as possible, but most people are going to go with this because of the premium speed it provides.
Static pressure is also noticeably increased, which is always a good thing for some CPU owners.
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3. be quiet! Silent Wings 3 120 mm PWM
In the last few years, be quiet has closed the gap between them and Noctua when it comes to high-performance PC fans. This is perhaps their best one right now, and it is simply effective in every way. It also just so happens to be the quietest option out there for anything and that has this type of speed.
Many people are simply amazed that this offers 1450 RPM, 1.79mmH20 static pressure and a noise level that is barely above 15 decibels. If a person wants a truly quiet option, this brand lives up to its name.
There is a bit of a premium for this level of noise control, but most people think it is worth the extra bit of an investment. It also is a very sleek all-black style, which gives it a modern, efficient look.
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4. Cougar Vortex PWM fan
Over the years, Cougar has focused on helping gamers keep their computers as cool as possible at all times. It can sometimes be pretty overwhelming to deal with an overheated computer, but cougar enhances the entire game and experience with a line of products.
Not only does this fan stay well below 20 decibels with maximum noise, but it is also recognized as one of the most durable options a person could invest in.
There are so many different companies out there that provide relatively quiet fans, but durability takes a hit. Even compared to all the other options on this list, there won’t be a more durable option available for people to take advantage of.
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5. Fractal Design Silent Series R2 140 MM
Fractal Design makes a few different fans for PC owners, and they also have their own line of CPU water coolers for additional cooling. What they seem very focused on is having a quality option in the 140 mm size.
Most of the ones listed above all have options at the size as well, but it’s important to have companies out there that specialize in one size over the other. That seems to be the case from Fractal, as they have figured out a way to make this fan sit right at 1000 RPM with a noise level of 18 or 19 decibels.
Generally speaking, 140 mm fans will be a little quieter than 120 mm ones. They are capable of generating higher airflow and not having to reach super high fan speeds. That is why if a computer can take a 140 mm fan, it usually is the recommended way to go.
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What Happens to a Computer if it Doesn’t Have a Way to Cool Itself Down?
It might not seem like that big of a deal initially if a fan goes completely dead, and from a strictly sound perspective, some people might like it when it happens. However, a fan that is dead for too long can cause some serious issues for computer owners, and that is why it needs fixing as quickly as possible.
For older computers, it can be particularly tough to deal with. Newer computers have safeguards in place that will shut down a computer or slow it down to reduce the heat. If this doesn’t happen and kicks in automatically, a computer can break because of all the heat. It’s great to have that built-in, but it shouldn’t be relied on in case something does happen.
Fixing a fan is easier than ever these days, and a lot of people can do it on their own without having to take it into a computer repair shop. That is why there excuse to not get a fan quickly repaired once the fan goes bad.
Why do PC Fans Vary in Price so Much?
When looking at a fan and what is made of, the price seems a little high to some people. It is true that most fans, even the high-end ones, contain some pretty inexpensive components. However, most people are paying more money for fans that run quietly.
There is also the durability factor to consider. A fan needs to be made of the right materials to last a long time. No one wants to make a habit of constantly replacing their computer fan.
What Are a Few Ways to Keep a Computer Fan From Kicking On?
The best method to make a computer extremely quiet is to keep the computer fan from kicking on in the first place. It takes a little bit of sacrifice for some people, which is more than they are willing to do if they enjoy something that simply kicks the fan on every single time. However, some adjustments might be easier to pull off than others.
Put the Computer in a Cool Area
A computer should never be in direct sunlight, or near a heater for that matter. Try to keep the system in as cool of an area as possible. The few degrees that are saved in this way can help quite a bit.
Don’t Surround it With a Lot of Items
A computer needs a good amount of airflow to keep everything running cool. Try to allow for a good amount of space around the computer. Putting things around the computer will warm it up a little too much, and people will become frustrated with that.
Close Out Unused Programs and Websites Using a Lot of Energy
Too many people get in the habit of having a lot of programs and websites open that they are not actively using. Once that starts to add up, it heats up the computer more and more. If it’s not in use, close it out. It might make the difference between a fan kicking on, and everything running relatively cool.
Look at Water Cooling Kits
Some people who play a lot of games on the computer or do other high-end graphic stuff will need something more fans to keep everything in check. Water cooling kids can help fans out, pumping cold water right up next to the CPU in tubes.
This might initially seem pretty crazy for people who know all too well about the damage water can do to a computer, but these are safe and completely contained. Other than a very, very freak accident, there is nothing to worry about with a cooling kit like this.
Caring for a fan
The first step any person should take when there are fan issues is to simply clean the fans as much as possible. When a person opens up the case of the CPU, there will be several fans located inside. One is usually placed on top of the CPU, while another is near the power supply. Pending on the layout, there might be other fans in the front or back of the CPU.
The best way to clean out fans is to use canned air and a dust rag for certain crevices. It usually doesn’t take much time or effort at all, and people will notice a pretty big change.
If the change is not there, other options include adding another case fan, or upgrade the current fans in the unit.
Why a small investment makes a huge difference
A basic fan to help cool a home is usually pretty expensive, so the prices for a PC fan might seem a little too much to some people early on. However, people need to realize that fans are extremely important to a computer. If a computer doesn’t have properly working fans, there is a serious chance that something horribly could go wrong.
Investing in something fairly inexpensive now will help in the long run. It is one of the smartest investments a person can make, especially if they are planning on constantly using a computer that is going through a lot of intense work. Computers are not built to handle all types of intensive CPU usage without a little bit of assistance from the cooling department.
Fans don’t have to be loud, despite what some people might think. Even when a fan is running at full blast, it’s still perfectly fine to expect a fan to not make so much noise that it distracts from everything else going on.