The quietest gaming cases are typically going to allow the most room for airflow and case fans specifically designed for their form factor. You may want to take into account how a case looks and its price before you buy it, but remember that they can be easily switched out later.
Important CPU Specs
These have become virtually standard, but some cases do not come with them. Consider whether you prefer the speed of silence or the sound of flow as your fans kick up.
This is also a safety precaution in case something happens to the fan while plugged in, if it’s switched off then there should be no damage done.
Consider these options when choosing what’s right for you: O N/P W/-12V,-5V,-3.3 V (reduced power mode), and Fanless Mode. The -5V and -12V is mainly used for older hardware that doesn’t need them anymore though most modern motherboards don’t support them anymore either so they serve very little purpose nowadays.
Fan Noise Level:
The amount of noise the fans make is also an important factor to consider depending on whether you want maximum airflow or if the low-noise output is more desirable.
PWM-control is a fancy term for speed control with every 5V input written by the motherboard to control fan speeds, usually ranging from 500~2000+ RPM but hardly anything over 1500 in many cases. It’s also far less precise than digitally controlled ones even at 2000 RPM.
These are generally not found anywhere other than mini-ITX cases and will be used in situations where silence is crucial. The added benefit of PWM-controlled fans is that they can automatically change speeds based on how much heat your system generates using volumetric airflow or thermodynamic airflow.
Thermally Controlled Fans:
This is where having good airflow can help, but also the noise level of the fan itself matters a lot in this situation. Ideally, you want fans that won’t be louder than your GPU or CPU coolers at full speed so that they’re not overpowering other components’ cooling abilities. Having quieter fans will allow for more enjoyment when gaming by allowing better immersion into gameplay without all the extra background noise in an otherwise quiet environment.
If you have great airflow already and don’t need lots of fans then you might not care as much about this because it’s unlikely that your system will ever get too hot, to begin with, if everything else is done right & proper!
Fans are often overlooked even though they’re arguably the most important part of your computer case other than the option for water cooling. I would recommend reading as many user reviews on fans as possible and figure out where you want to place them in your build before purchasing so that it’s the easiest process possible in the long run.
The placement of fans is also an important aspect to consider, especially if upgrading your GPU or CPU cooler because it may not fit with certain cases. The same applies to liquid cooling radiators!
Here are some common locations (and their advantages) that fans are used:
Top/Front/Rear. (Intake – Air is drawn into this location)(Exhaust – Hot air is let out through here.)
Bottom/Side/Top. (Intake – Air is drawn into this location)(Exhaust – Hot air is let out through here.)
This point ties in with a lot of what I’ve mentioned above, but it’s important to consider how many fans you need for your computer case. If you have lots of airflows and don’t need all that many fans then having one might be sufficient enough.
Sometimes the stock fans are just fine because they’re designed to run at maximum speeds so adding more isn’t necessary unless you want an extra layer of insurance against overheating. Generally speaking, going below 5-7 should be considered if there’s already plenty of air flowing inside your case.
Some cases even come with 2 pre-installed fans, one positioned where the CPU is and another in front of your drives!
A lot of people might not care so much about this point but I know some of you do. Some fans are designed to produce as little noise as possible while others are just the opposite! You’ll want less noise if it’s at all possible.
The overall design and quality of a fan also matter because they can either last for years or be a piece of junk that breaks after only a few months.
The way fans are designed & how much heat they can dissipate become very important here, especially if you have a high-end GPU or CPU that needs proper airflow going through them. There’s nothing worse than having a loud fan that cannot keep up with your hardware, so choose carefully!
Air cooling isn’t possible without great airflow since it’d be far too taxing on fans to cool down even modest overclocks unless done properly by hand. Most small cases don’t allow for many options in this scenario and will require some heavy modifications before being considered again for use other than air cooling. A lot of these changes can also reduce noise levels considerably and for that reason, I cannot stress how important it is to consider what you’re building before even buying a case. It’s also worth noting that many cases come with dust filters and are usually fairly easy to clean out when they get full of dust!
Fan Speed & Noise Levels:
If you’re using turbo mode or other built-in technology, then make sure your fans can handle the extra load. Otherwise, just leave everything on manual and adjust based on temperatures if needed! You’ll be fine in this scenario since most stock CPU coolers won’t allow for overclocking.
A lot of times the stock fan controller options are pretty terrible because they don’t go high enough in terms itself of the fan speed, so if you’re using something like Noctua or some other high-end brand then don’t even bother messing with it unless your case comes with support for a bunch of fans.
I’ve heard some people have issues when using RPM monitoring software to control their fans and CPUs because they cannot get PWM headers working properly in their board, (which causes the fans to spin at full speed) so just make sure that your motherboard can handle PWM controls if possible before using anything else!
If you already have a liquid cooling setup then this point doesn’t apply to you, but if not then read on. (Liquid cooling is essentially custom water loops designed specifically for your PC with as many features and components that you can fit in.)
You want to keep things cool right? So obviously the faster the air moves through your radiator or CPU/GPU block then the better it’ll be at dissipating heat. This isn’t always possible though because there’s only so much room inside of a computer case which is why radiators are usually mounted in top locations.
Airflow velocity also plays an important role when it comes to ensuring that your sensitive components don’t overheat during intensive sessions. There are 3 main methods to increase airflow velocity: Fan size, fan design/location, and fan controller.
A fan controller is a must if you want more control over how fast your fans spin because let’s face it sometimes they can get a little loud for my tastes. I would recommend picking one up if you plan on overclocking or using liquid cooling and also if there isn’t room for extra fans inside of the case then getting a 2-fan controller is probably your best bet.
There are 3 main types of controllers available: variable speed, fixed speed, and voltage controlled. Variable speed is what most people use so choose whichever works best for you but be sure that you have enough room for both/all of your fans because some controllers can take up a lot of space.
If you’re trying to get more airflow inside of your case then be sure that the fan location and design will aid in directing this airflow towards certain locations within the case such as where the radiator is, etc! The main aspect of this design would be like I said earlier which is the blades. There are 3 main types available: bladed, smooth, and other.
Air Cooling vs. liquid cooling:
This is a huge debate and can be very subjective but I’ve broken it down to what I’ll call the “most common” pros/cons of each option.
Most enthusiasts will tell you that air cooling is less efficient overall than liquid cooling, yet others will argue about how much energy PC components consume as opposed to your actual power supply which usually doesn’t vary too much unless you get an inefficient cheap one.
Another thing to consider would be if you have good ventilation in your case then air cooling may be more than enough for keeping all of your heat under control, but if not, then requesting help from any water cooler could prove useful!
I don’t think this point should matter so much because most “normal” users would never have any reason to go around changing their CPU/GPU coolers every year. I mean, if you’re computer is causing a lot of problems then yes do something about it but otherwise, things like this are usually only worth the hassle if you play lots of games and end up becoming super competitive about it or something!
If you want to be extremely competitive at MMORPG’s such as World of Warcraft – which tends to vary in temperature depending on where you are on the map for example – then getting liquid cooling might be helpful so that your fans can keep up with all the heat in your case! They may also help a lot more when overclocking because most air coolers generally don’t come with some sort of warranty and will often cost more when there’s an issue, whereas liquid cooling is generally much easier to fix.
The biggest pro of air cooling would probably be because it can be a lot cheaper than getting liquid cooling initially but some may not see that as a factor!
This point is relatively unimportant but I’ll bring it up anyway because some people like LEDs and they’re just cool to look at! The overall LED quality seems pretty subpar in many cases with lots of cheap plastic being used for the fans which can become a safety hazard rather than an attractive feature.
However, if you do opt to go this route then make sure that your case comes with removable fan blades so you don’t have to rip out the LEDs when cleaning everything out.
In addition to just RPM speeds, some case manufacturers have added features such as PWM-controlled fans that can automatically sense temperature changes and switch speeds accordingly.
This is ideal if you’re looking for silent operation when gaming but louder noise levels for those cooler times when doing simple work like web browsing or word processing. Whatever your needs are, having this feature allows you to set it up once and not have to worry about changing settings again & again according to your condition.
This also saves battery power used by higher RPMs because there’s no point in running them faster than necessary. Some cases also come with built-in LED lights (or you can add them yourself for additional customization) but with the added benefit of being able to change white to whatever color you want! This is especially important if you have limited space or planning on using this case in a bright room.
To sum things up, cooling down your computer components means that they will be able to perform better and last longer than intended. That’s why it’s important not just to care about how well it works now but also further into the future as well!
Your computer parts will continue getting hotter & hotter until they die, which is why it’s important to consider the best type of cooling solutions possible for your gaming PC build! Of course, there are tons of cases that support water-cooling options at higher price points, but those that don’t can always make the most of what they’ve already got.
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