How to mount PC fans

Who I am
Pau Monfort


Before getting into the tutorial, I'd like to list a few requirements to be checked carefully, without which it is not possible to correctly mount the fans in a PC.

La size of a fan it is definitely a fundamental element to know before buying one. If you buy a 200mm diameter fan and your case only has 120mm slots, you are definitely not getting a good deal. You must know, in fact, that PC fans are made in different formats, expressed with a measurement in millimeters that identifies the propeller diameter. The measurements can generally range between 80 mm, 92 mm, 140 mm, 200 mm.

You stai chiedendo where to mount pc fans? Well, each case has, inside, special housings for installing fans: you can recognize them by the fact that often (but not always) they are slightly concavi e squared and they have 4 holes for fixing the fan. You can take the size of these housings to figure out what kind of fan you will need to purchase. The dimensions of the diameter are not everything, however: it is also important to know the depth of the fan, especially if there is not much space available inside the case, since the risk of coming into contact with other hardware components and therefore being blocked in the installation of the fan is high.

La rotation speed of the fan, expressed in RPM (Revolutions Per Minute, i.e. rotations per minute) is an important fact to know, as the greater the rotation speed of the propeller, the greater the air flow pushed by the fan. This data should not be confused with the volume of air (measured in CMF or Cubic Feet / Minute, i.e. cubic feet per minute) which indicates, instead, the mass of air that the fan is able to move in the case. These are data that you will always find in the technical data sheets of the fans on the market.

As the speed increases, the noise generated more and more noticeable and at times it can be really annoying. Noise is a certain and quantified datum expressed in dbA (decibel type A) which always accompanies the technical data sheet of a fan and it could be interesting for you to know it before proceeding with the purchase, especially if you are a lover of "zero-noise".

2, 3, 4 pin? The fan connectors can be composed of 2 or more pins, depending on the functions they are able to offer. With 2 pin you will have a static fan (called Static Pressure or SP); with 3 pin you will have a fan capable of providing the motherboard with its rotational speed parameters in read-only mode; while with 4 pin you will have a fan (called AirFlow or AF) whose rotation speed can be controlled and then dynamically adjusted by the motherboard based on the temperatures detected.

Each fan is designed for different purposes, to be controlled or to blow statically; depending on its function you will have, as just mentioned, a connector with 2 or more pins, but the final choice you will have to make based on the connectors present (and available) on yours motherboard. If you have free 3- or 4-pin connectors on the motherboard, you can opt to purchase a dynamic fan. If you do not have connectors, however, you will need to connect the fan to the cables of the PSU (power supply) by means of an adapter, without therefore being able to control it.

Below I propose some examples of PC fan adapters easily available online, to be connected to the power supply cables if your motherboard does not have free connectors. In the first case you can see a MOLEX connector adapter (old PSU) and in the second case an adapter for SATA connectors (more common in current PSUs).

See offer on Amazon See offer on Amazon See offer on Amazon See offer on Amazon

The last non-fundamental requirement, which you will surely be interested in considering, is theaesthetics. As you well know, there are colored, dark, clear fans and equipped with LED lights. If you have a PC already adorned with RGB lights, you will be happy to look for a fan with support for colored LEDs, otherwise you may be looking for a simple solid color fan and save some money.

Below I propose some examples of 120 mm fans easily available online with 3-pin connector and maximum static rotation speed at 1.800 RPM.

See offer on Amazon See offer on Amazon

Below, however, I propose some examples of fans with dynamic airflow that can vary from 500 to 1.800 RPM, with 4-pin connector and always in the dimensions of 120 mm.

See offer on Amazon See offer on Amazon

How to mount PC fans

Here you are at the focal point of the tutorial! Let's not get lost in other talk and see immediately how to mount PC fans, more particularly those of a fixed PC. You will see that it will be a less complex procedure than expected and easily repeatable if necessary in the future.

First of all, unplug your PC from power. It is not essential to unplug it from the USB cables and rear video cables, but for your convenience I suggest you unplug it entirely and place it on a table or in a spacious area where you can move freely. Also remove the rear screws that stop it side door. Then, if you have a lever that acts on an opening mechanism, use it to open the door; otherwise, slide the door sideways until it is removed.

You will immediately notice the fans present and how they are attached to the case. If you need to replace them, all you have to do is unplug theirs connector 2 or more pin power supply cables, remove the 4 screws that keep them fixed to the case and replace them with the new fans you have purchased, fixing them carefully in order to avoid possible vibrations. Use the power connector that was connected previously (if compatible). If not, you will need to use an adapter as seen in the previous chapter.

If you want instead add fans, you must first identify the support for installing the extra fans on the case, usually located in the parts top, front e back of the same. At this point, you need to establish the towards PC fan mounting, in order not to oppose the flow of air emitted by the other fans that you will install or by those that are already present in the case.

The best suggestion I can give you is to mount PC cooling fan oriented so as to favor the current air flow. If you are placing the fan near an existing fan, follow its orientation; if, on the other hand, you are installing it on a fanless side, you need to consider whether to expel the air or introduce it into the case.

Typically, front-facing fans are oriented to draw air in to the case. The posterior and upper ones are oriented, however, in such a way mirror it. This configuration creates a flow ofpassing air, that is a continuous recirculation of air which contributes to the reduction of the accumulation of dust.

If all the fans expelled air, it would create a small void in the chassis which, from the results obtained, does not seem to be an effective cooling method. Conversely, if all the fans pulled air inward, you'd get good cooling but with it, you'd get an accelerated accumulation of dust on internal components or filters (if any).

When you have screwed in the new fans and connected them correctly to their power connector, you can close the case and connect the PC to the power supply to finally see the new fans working.

If you have any problems, if you need some visual support, you can try searching YouTube for a video tutorial on installing the fans. You can find plenty of them, both in in your languagen and in other languages. Watch out for comments: try to only follow tutorials with a good "reputation".

How to mount laptop fans

In case you want to know how to mount laptop fans, the best suggestion I can give you is to understand if your laptop chassis is designed to support one or more additional fans, as it is generally not granted due to the limited space available and also due to the sophisticated design of the other internal components.

In this case it is much more difficult to mount a fan (if not impossible). If you still want to try the enterprise, I suggest you contact a computer assistance center or if you want to proceed with the do-it-yourself, carefully search for some information and tutorials on iFixit (a famous site where there are tutorials, both written than videos, on the procedures for opening and repairing various technological devices, with the possibility of purchasing the material necessary to put them into practice), Google and YouTube.

How to mount PC fans

Audio Video How to mount PC fans
add a comment of How to mount PC fans
Comment sent successfully! We will review it in the next few hours.