How to change fans on your computer

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Valery Aloyants
@valeryaloyants
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Has the computer suddenly become very noisy, generating an annoying hiss of fans or recreating an unpleasant "helicopter" effect every time we open a very heavy game or program? Due to the dust, the air intakes and fans on the PC tend to become saturated, becoming more and more noisy and ineffective over time (they move very little air). This, in addition to causing hearing discomfort, leads to raising the temperatures of the delicate internal components, which can therefore be damaged or last less than expected. If after a thorough cleaning of the dust (internal and external) the noise is still there, we will necessarily have to replace all the fans inside the case.
In this guide we will show you how to change fans on your computer by processor and the circulation fans of the case, so as to drastically reduce the noise produced by the PC, lower temperatures and extend the life of the computer.


Replace the computer heatsink

Inside the computer there are various types of fans: in order to reduce noise or temperatures we will have to change them all, so as to be sure that the air returns to circulate correctly and without impediments.

How to change the processor fan

The most important fan is undoubtedly that of the processor, one of the hottest components inside the case. The processor cooling system consists of a real fan and a heatsink, which has the task of facilitating the heat exchange between the air and the metal surface of the processor. If the fan is full of dust, it will need to spin very quickly to achieve effective heat exchange.


To quickly solve any problem, we advise you to change the fan and the heatsink together, so as to obtain a much more effective cooling system than the one provided by the CPU manufacturer (it clogs up immediately and makes an absurd racket!). The heatsinks are sold to be compatible with both AMD and Intel sockets, so that's enough get the processor socket name to be able to quickly choose a compatible heatsink.

The best heatsinks we can buy for a modern computer they are:
  1. Cooler Master MasterAir (29€)
  2. Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO (34€)
  3. upHere Fan (29 €)
  4. Noctua NH-U12S (59€)
  5. Be Quiet! BK022 (82€)
On all heatsinks we recommend add a good thermal paste, such as the ARCTIC MX-4 (€ 10).
Once we have chosen the right heatsink for our CPU and the case (some are very large, so let's make sure we have enough space inside the case), we turn off the computer, remove the socket and open the side panel of the case, so as to access the internal components. Now let's identify the old heatsink: it will be clearly visible, being the only front view fan with the motherboard. Having identified the old heatsink, we follow its power cable up to the motherboard, so as to identify the socket CPU_FAN (remember carefully where it is, since it will also be used for the new heatsink) and remove the small socket gently.


Once the cable has been removed, we can unhook our heatsink from the motherboard: it is usually sufficient to turn and lift the anchoring clips on the four sides of the cooling block, but on some models it may be necessary to unscrew some screws. With all four blocks unhooked, we raise the heatsink e we check the surface state of the CPU: we will find it dirty with thermal paste, that is the substance that facilitates the heat exchange between the metal surface of the processor and the metal surface of the heatsink. Before placing the new heatsink, we clean the surface of the processor with a small cotton swab dipped in alcohol or a suitable substance, place a drop of new thermal paste on the processor (just a drop the size of a grain of rice) and place the new cooling block, pressing down on the anchor latches to hold it in place. Once the stability of the heatsink has been verified, we connect its cable to the CPU_Fan socket, close the case, supply electricity and turn on the computer: if we have done everything correctly, the PC will start without any problem, with a much more bearable noise (in many cases it will be so quiet that we don't even notice we have turned it on!).

We can learn more by reading our guides on CPU cooler: when to buy it new e If the CPU temperature is high and too hot, what to do to cool it down.

How to change the case fans

On the case there are usually one or more fans, with the task of spinning the air inside and lowering the temperatures of all internal components. They are very important, because otherwise the heat dissipated by the CPU and other components would remain inside, slowly but surely increasing the temperature (and therefore the noises and deterioration).
For good cooling it is always advisable to configure two fans on the case: one in suction (sends fresh air inside) and one in exhalation (throws hot air outside).


The case fans can be accessed both from the rear (near the sockets) and from the front of the case (usually at the bottom), but on some gaming cases we can also find fans at the top or side of the panel. access.
The standard fans are 12mm in size, but on some cases we can also find large fans (14mm), double side by side (24mm) or smaller fans (10 or 8mm). The best fans we can buy for our computer case are.
  1. ARCTIC F8 - 80mm fan (7 €)
  2. ARCTIC F12 - 120 mm (7€)
  3. Be Quiet! BL046 Pure Wings 2 (10€)
  4. upHere 120 mm High Performance Fan (11 €)
  5. upHere 120mm Fan (40 €)
Choosing the fans to use on our computer, we remove the electrical socket, open the side panel of the case, remove the power sockets of the fans (on the motherboard we will find them connected to the sockets Sys_FAN o FAN_1, FAN_2 etc.) and finally identify the fixing screws of the same (they can also be hidden by an anti-dust grid, to be removed with snap mechanisms). To understand the direction of the air flow of each fan, we carefully check the edges: we should find an arrow, so as to immediately understand the direction of the air flow.


Once the old fans have been removed, we immediately fix the new ones, reconnect the power cables in the correct order, we reassemble the side panel of the case and the socket. If everything went correctly, when the PC starts we will hear the new fans start (if they have an LED, we will also see the lights appear).

Change the other fans

Inside the case there are other types of fans that can generate noise and accumulate dust: the video card fans (if present) and the power supply fan).
To reduce the noise of the video card fans, we have seen how to choose a better graphics card, looking for one that offers passive mode, with 0 Decibel mode or with fanless system, which is able to dissipate the heat without the aid of the fans (or rather it keeps them still when the GPU load is minimal).

Another noisy component is the heatsink fan, which can accumulate a lot of dust and generate a noise that becomes unbearable after a few years. Fortunately there are fanless or semi-fanless power supplies on the market, such as those listed below:
  1. Mars Gaming MPB650 650 W ultrasilenzioso (39€)
  2. Corsair TX650M S (92€)
  3. Seasonic Alimentatore PC 650W (108€)
  4. Sharkoon SilentStorm Cool Zero (100€)
On PC power supplies we can also read our guide on Which power supply to choose for the PC and how many Watts are required.

Conclusions

Even if you regularly clean the fans and the case of dust, over time the "spinning" components will become noisy, making the experience in front of the PC quite unpleasant for our ears (especially if we play often or use very heavy programs). By following the advice illustrated above, we will be able to make any desktop computer quieter, improving air circulation, component temperatures and the life of the same.
Very important is to read the guide for manage PC fans for better cooling and airflow.

Speaking of computer temperatures, we can learn more by reading our guides on how Check temperature and heat in the PC e what to do if the PC shuts down by itself.
If, on the other hand, we have a laptop, we recommend that you follow the tips described in our article on How to keep your laptop cool.




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