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Is it acceptable to build a desktop pc without a case fan?

Posted on 2014-04-15
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Last Modified: 2014-04-15
Hi. I just had a guy build me a cheaper desktop. It has a small msi  m-ATX A55 M-E33 motherboard, an amd 55 chipset, and he used an Xtech mid tower case. The cpu is AMD A4-4000 APU. The bios version, if it matters is 015.031.000.000.  It has 4 gigs of ram.
The hard drive is a 1 tb. Seagate barracuda sata.

Cmos says that the cpu is running about 42 c and the motherboard is 31 C. I ran it for a while before reading these numbers.

I noticed the power supply was just a little noisy so I took the cover off and discovered there is no case fan, just the cpu fan and power supply fan.

Is it even acceptable to build this pc without a case fan? And if so, if one were added, would it make everything run more quietly? I already have a feeling I paid more than I should have for this thing...
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Question by:OutOnALimbAlways
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14 Comments
 
LVL 14

Assisted Solution

by:sentner
sentner earned 300 total points
ID: 40002522
Technically, it's possible, yes... But as you've found, the power supply's fan will be stressed harder, and will thus be louder.  It also will reduce the lifespan of both the power supply and the other components as it won't cool as efficiently.  I'd suggest adding a decent case fan to increase ventilation.
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LVL 17

Assisted Solution

by:pjam
pjam earned 300 total points
ID: 40002526
If those are true temps it is running quite cool.
Unless you bought a very good fan it would only increase the noise.  You might be better off with a better power supply if that is where the noise is coming from, sounds like yours is a cheapy.  Although you did not specify.
How many Watts?
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LVL 35

Assisted Solution

by:Dan Craciun
Dan Craciun earned 300 total points
ID: 40002529
It's OK to run it without a case fan, especially since you don't have a discrete video card.

I usually use 2 fans, one in front that pulls air in and one in the back that blows the air out.

But in your case, I would just buy a silent cooler for the CPU (I favor Scythe Ninja's, but that's probably overkill for your needs).

HTH,
Dan
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LVL 1

Assisted Solution

by:repu1sion
repu1sion earned 300 total points
ID: 40002553
It should be just fine without case fan.
The really hot things are CPU (which has a fan already), and North Bridge on chipset with integrated videocard (which has a radiator as a passive solution I guess).  
42 c is just fine for CPU. If you want to stress test it - you could use some util like "Prime95" and check temperature with "CoreTemp" under 100% of load.
Anyway case fan doesn't do any diff I think.
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LVL 49

Accepted Solution

by:
dbrunton earned 800 total points
ID: 40002555
>>  Is it acceptable to build a desktop pc without a case fan?

Yes.  You rely on the PSU fan and the CPU fan to move the air so cool comes in and hot goes out.  Many are built this way and many are excellent for day to day use.  If however the box is small and crowded heat builds up and kills components.

Better are ones that have a good case fan.  A single case fan should be at the front and bottom of the box and that should pull air into the system.

The noisy PSU is probably due to a cheap fan in it rather than wear and tear.
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Author Comment

by:OutOnALimbAlways
ID: 40002726
Power supply says it is xtech model ATX 550w-piv, so I guess that means 550 watts. It does seem like all the noise is coming from the power supply fan if my ears don't deceive me.  It isn't a noise of dirty or bad bearings; it just sounds like airflow caused by the fan running pretty fast. The noise isn't too bad, just louder than what I'm used to.

I don't think I'll do custom built anymore unless I try to build my own for the fun of it or get a really high end one.  I think big companies can buy stuff so much cheaper that you get more computer for your money, even though you have to deal with oem  garbage ware and no install dvd, and windows 8 (I made sure I got windows 7 pro on this thing along with the install disk).

Judging from the responses so far, I 'll ask the guy about a QUIET case fan but won't worry about it much.
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:repu1sion
ID: 40002733
yeah, seems to be right )
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Author Comment

by:OutOnALimbAlways
ID: 40002754
I snuck in two questions, which I guess they frown on a bit. So just to clarify whether or not the case fan would cut down on the overall noise (One here says yes,  two imply no) I am now going to ask that question in this same desktop pc's  forum.
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LVL 49

Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 40002767
>>  which I guess they frown on a bit.

Not necessarily.  If they are all related to the same problem/subject then there is no problem.

>>  Whether or not the case fan would cut down on the overall noise?

Nope, it won't.
0
 
LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:repu1sion
ID: 40002800
That's funny ;)
More fans - more noise. Less fans - less noise. No fans - no noise.
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LVL 49

Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 40002833
Case fans can be quiet.  But a quiet case fan won't alter the noise from the PSU fan.  

The PSU fan is controlled (if it is controlled) from within the PSU and it's speed depends on power/heat (or some such factor) being generated by the PSU.
0
 

Author Comment

by:OutOnALimbAlways
ID: 40002927
dbrunton, thanks for understanding what I was trying to say. I incorrectly thought perhaps the psu was controlled by the heat sensors on the motherboard as the cpu fan is. Therefore, if you cut down on the total heat, the psu fan would spin more slowly.  If you have 100 fans of any kind in good condition spinning at 1/2 rpm they will make less total noise than one fan spinning at 100 thousand rpms.

I hope I didn't upset anyone by asking the second question in a separate thread.
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LVL 49

Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 40002936
No problems.

Just to reiterate the PSU fan isn't controlled by motherboard.  And cutting down on total heat inside the case through a case fan doesn't affect the amount of heat generated by PSU - it is still the same.
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Author Closing Comment

by:OutOnALimbAlways
ID: 40002963
Thanks to all for the information  you added.
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