21 DEC

Tech Help - Can you change the fans to make the system quieter?

Published by Richard Parry on 21st Dec 2018

Yes, in all of the chassis we sell the fans that come in them as standard are normal/standard sizes – 40, 80 and 120mm.

All 1U chassis will use 40mm fans (some do have blower fans, but these cannot be changed), so will inherently be much louder than that of a 2U or 3U chassis, that use larger fans at slower speeds. You can still change the fans in a 1U chassis and Noctua amongst others make 40mm quiet fans – however you need to be careful with the airflow, as the reason 40mm fans run so quickly is push sufficient area through a very tight space. If you slow down this airflow you will find components get hotter and depending on the environment the system is within it may cause it to overheat, or at least reduce the lifespan of the components.

Our customers often change the fans in chassis, especially if they’re using the server in an open office environment or at home, as an enthusiast, for example.

Some of our cases use hot-swap fans, primarily in chassis that have hot-swap drive bays. These again are standard fans, which could be replaced with quieter alternatives – you’d just need to ensure the 3 or 4 pin connection wire that comes out of the replacement fan matches that of what was originally in the case – you’d need to replace a 3-pin fan with a 3-pin fan, for example.

An alternative, which could be much easier and cost effective is to fit fan speed limiting devices. Again, Noctua make excellent versions of this, which we can supply in either 3-pin or 4-pin (PWM) setups. These simply connect in-line with each fan and using a built-in resistor will reduce the fan speed. There are different models available for different speed reductions.


If you would like to change the fans in your chassis either before or after purchase, or talk to us about reducing the noise level please get in touch and one of our solution specialists would be happy to help.

Tech Help - Can you change the fans to make the system quieter?

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