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December 03, 2002 04:06 AM PST

CPU Fan Comparison

Author: JimAdkins. 6554 Reads
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I have always been interested in getting the most bang for my buck. When I'm at the store I always buy a 2-liter of Mountain Dew and a cup of ice instead of paying $1.09 for a 20 ounce. In computers, this means I will usually buy a speed grade or two beneath the fastest and then overclock it. This strategy with CPU usually saves me several hundred dollars. I am not sure whether I do this because I am cheap, or just poor. If I ever strike it rich I'll let you know.

I also want the most bang for my buck with CPU fans. I want it to blow like a hurricane force gale, and yet be as quiet as a whisper. So I scrounged up four fans. Two I had laying around, two were provided by our friends at Crazy PC, and I decided to find out in fact, just how much better the noisy fans performed than the quieter ones. If I am going to put up with all that noise I want to know exactly how much extra cooling performance I am buying with using a noisy fan.


Smartfan Fan     Sanyo Denki Fan


Delta 80mm Fan     Tornado Fan


Since this is meant as a short fan noise/temp comparison, and not a product review, now that we have the specs out of the way, let's get to the dBA/performance graph.


Once again I would like to thank Crazy PC for their generosity to this site.


After looking at the numbers my personal choice for CPU fan would be the Thermaltake Smart Fan 2. Lets be clear if the Tornado had performed 10C better than the competition, or if my computer was only used for gaming the Tornado would then be a no-brainer. That's not the situation though. My main PC is run 24/7 and is located ten feet or so from my bed. A 3C CPU temperature reduction does not for me justify the 9dBA of additional noise that it brings. In your personal situation though it just might.


12-05-02 Several readers have brought to my attention a fairly obvious oversight I made here with not mentioning what type of HSF I was using. As different types of HSF have different cooling characteristics. The HSF used for all these tests was the Thermalright SLK-800.

Jim Adkins

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