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Keep your cool with Zalman fans

By Robert B.

If you’ve followed my progress thus far, you’ll know I have a quiet Zalman power supply and CPU heatsink & fan combo.

In an effort to keep my PC even cooler, I wanted to implement some system fans, but didn’t want to increase my system noise too much.

Naturally, some silent 80mm Zalman fans would work just fine!

Before I purchased mine, I decided where I wanted to mount them in my case. In order to remove the heat most efficiently and prevent dust buildup, I decided to mount an intake fan in the front & bottom of my case, and an exhaust fan at the rear & top of the case.

Why this arrangement?

Well, everyone knows heat rises, so the fan taking air out of the case should be mounted above the fan bringing air into the case. In addition, I have more dust setting behind my case than in front of it, so placing the intake fan in the front prevents as much dust from being sucked into the case.

Your case may or may not have places to mount fans in these locations, so check first before ordering too many fans! Also, check the size of the spaces available in your case. Most have 80 mm slots, but you never know.

Once I received my two Zalman fans I was eager to install them. Each fan came with the fan itself, 4 installation screws, and the silencer module.

Depending on your case set up, the install may be simpler or more complex than mine. To install my fans, I simply popped them into the purple adaptors, no screws required. Your case may not have these, so screwing in your fan will be required. Make sure you tighten it down all the way, as leaving it loose will lead to vibrations and extra noise.

The last thing I needed to do was connect my Zalman fan to a power source. You have a couple of options for this.

On my motherboard, I can connect two system fans directly to it at ports labeled “SYS FAN” (yours may read differently), and the system can monitor the fan speed for me. For these connections, I can connect my fans directly.

If you don’t have these connections on your motherboard, you can use a hard drive power lead from the power supply, but you’ll need to purchase an adaptor cable to connect a system fan to it.

Also, don’t forget to connect the fan to the silencer module and then connect the silencer to a power supply. So, how does this silencer work?

The module is a small resistor that decreases the current to the fan by dissipating heat. Basically, the amount of electricity you send to the fan decreases, causing it to spin much slower. It is this decreased spinning that makes it quiet.

Now, keep in mind it won’t cool as well when it’s in silent mode, but it still works good, nonetheless.

After all was said and done, I am happy with the performance of my 80mm Zalman fans.

The fans themselves are silent, but I do get an odd hum from my case. My best guess is I have some type of “wind tunnel” effect caused by how I have the fans set up. Depending on your case dimensions, or fan setup, you may or may not experience this. But it is bearable and not nearly as loud as my previous single case fan.

In addition, I noticed a slight drop in system temperature, which is ultimately what I was also going for.

Click here to purchase some Zalman case fans for your PC.