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Get Optimal Airflow Using 4-Pin 120 mm Computer Fans

For the layman, the computer case fan is one of those parts that seemingly does not deserve a second glance. In reality, their importance in terms of performance and the longevity of your computer cannot be understated.

Why Is Cooling So Important?

  • Airflow: Both air-cooled and water-cooled setups require some sort of way to draw heat away from the inside of the PC case. This keeps the interior temperature in check to prevent overheating important components like the CPU, motherboard, RAM, and graphics card.
  • Heat Dissipation: Case fans are only part of the story, but they play an important part as well. Cooling the components begins with directly drawing the heat away from the component in question. They do this by attaching an aluminum heat sink directly onto the component using a thermal compound. The base of the heat sink conducts the heat from the component and brings it to an assembly of thin fins. This is the point where the case fans blow the hot air in between the fins out to the exhaust.
  • Component Lifespan: Having proper cooling improves the performance of your components and contributes to their longevity as well. While a CPU running at 90 degrees Celsius can still operate, having it run at such temperatures for long periods will spell the death of it.

What Are the Advantages of Using 120 mm Fans?

  • Volume: Because of its dimensions, 120 mm PWM (or pulse width modulation) case fans can move a lot of air. This is typically measured in CFM or cubic feet per minute. With around 45.8 CFM of velocity, you can optimally move plenty of the air from within a large tower case.
  • Diameter: A 120 mm PWM case fan does not have to spin as hard as an 80 mm cooling fan to move lots of air. Because of this, the former type is quieter at nominal loads and can proficiently move a lot of air when temperatures skyrocket.
  • Options: You can buy 120 mm case fans in many pin configurations and CFM settings, including three-in-one sets with an LED controller for customizing color along with PWM features that allow tweaking the RPMs to optimize noise and cooling efficiency depending on workload intensity.

How Do I Install 120 mm Fans?

  • Measure and Plan: Clearance is the biggest issue you can face when installing a cooling fan. Inspect the fan thickness to determine how much space you need to leave between components and the exhaust ports.
  • Mount and Wire: Screw the fans top the rear, top, front, and bottom of the case depending on your setup. Use cable ties to tidy up the wiring and plug the 4-pin connectors into the power supply. When installing a CPU PWM fan, you must plug in the small 4-pin connector to the motherboard to supply it with power.
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