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Do 120mm fans just have louder motors?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I'm in the midst of downsizing my PC and moving over to 120mm fans, but all of the fans I've bought (EK Vardars and Alpenfohn Wing Boost 3) have clearly audible motor noise that vibrates through the case.  It's that annoying grinding sound.  Even outside of the case just holding the fan in my hand you can hear the motor.


All of my 140mm fans on the other hand, three being Noctua NF-A14, and two being the cheap NZXT stock fans, have no audible noise whatsoever.  All you hear is the air and not a peep from the motor or anything else.


So are 120mm fans just more prone to grinding and vibrating noises, or have I just been unlucky?

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Might just be the fans you have bought.


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No, it's definitely not all 120mm fans. And, yeah Noctuas are silent, regardless of size, and even the NZXT fans aren't bad. I've never heard of the one you bought, but if you're hearing grinding noises and such, you either got defective ones or they're just not great fans in general.

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120mms have shorter distance to rotate. Meaning that they usually spin faster for same control settings. The humming from fans is same regardless of the size, if they spin fast enough.

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