funkyfresh computers and accessories

Best PC Case Fans For High Performance Cooling and Low Noise

We’ve been testing a variety of 80mm, 92mm and 120mm fans. The goal was to find the fans that moved the most amount of air while making the least amount of noise. We also only looked at PWM fans so we could dial in cooling performance while minimizing the overall decibel level of the fans. We highly recommend PWM fans if your motherboard supports it. It’s a much better way to dial in the optimal settings to maximize cooling while minimizing noise.

For example, a motherboard may offer 4 classes of cooling performance such as low noise, balanced, performance and full speed. In balanced mode you’ll start hearing the fans but it’s usually unobtrusive. As you ramp up to performance speeds and above it can get very loud, especially with more robust designs that are rated at higher RPMs.

We’ve found that well designed fans that rotate at 2700RPM or lower are generally unobtrusive and quiet. So, if you don’t have the ability to control the fan speed and will be using 3 pin connectors and noise is an issue, you should keep this in mind.

All of the fans we looked at were capable of high RPMs and if not controlled properly will operate at the highest speed. We don’t recommend this approach as it leads to more noise and more airflow than is necessary for proper cooling.

For example, when we boot a Supermicro workstation with a 92mm Delta exhaust fans, 2 Nidec CPU fans and 4 Sanyo Denki mid-case fans it sounds like a small aircraft. However, once the system completes the boot sequence and launches windows it fades into the background as the fans are operating well below the maximum rated output.

If your PC case can accommodate a 120mm fan you’re in luck because the larger the fan, the lower the RPM required to move the same amount of air compared to a smaller fan. So, generally, large 120mm fans are pretty quiet. Even when operating at high RPMs these fans do not produce the whine of smaller fans.

However, not all fans are created equal. There are ball bearing fans and sleeve bearing fans, plus various fin and housing parts that can all be tweaked for maximum performance with the least amount of noise. Ball bearing designs tend to be the most robust whle sleeve bearing designs can be quieter. There are some other design considerations but overall we were happy with the ball bearing designs from our preferred vendors.

When choosing a case fan we recommend the following brands for maximum performance and robust designs: Nidec, Delta, Skythe, Sanyo Denko and Cooljag/Everflow. These are the same suppliers you’ll find in high end workstations and telecommunications gear. The parts cost a little more but it’s worth it. You’ll get better CFM ratings with lower decibel levels and higher MTBF ratings. And that’s what we want. Lots of air, less noise, longer life.

FrozenCPU and SuperBiiz are just a couple of online sellers we’ve had a good experience with. They both offer a wide variety of parts at reasonable prices and SuperBiiz often includes shipping.

Good luck and keep it cool!

Visit Scythe for more information.
Visit Nidec for more information.
Visit Delta for more information.
Vist Sanyo Denki for more information.
Cooljag/Everflow for more information.

TP-LINK TL-WR1043NDT Wireless Router Review

TP-LINK is making a good name for itself as it aspires to be one of the top three networking companies serving the SOHO market. The TL-WR1043NDT is a good example of why the company is so competitive.

The TL-WR1043ND 300Mbps billed as the “Ultimate Wireless N Gigabit Router” offers incredible value and performance in a small footprint that will be equally at home inside or outside a wiring closet. We popped it in a small Leviton box.

We replaced a D-Link DIR-655 Xtreme N Gigabit Router with the TP-LINK TL-WR1043NDT and instantly experienced more reliable performance. The two products resemble each other in design and features and we wouldn’t be surprised if TP-LINK was an OEM for D-Link.

Compared to the DIR-655 the TL-WR1043ND has a cleaner software interface and can be flashed with open source software such as DD-WRT. We tested it streaming media via a Synology NAS to a smart TV and it was noticeably faster than the D-LINK. Web browsing while moving large files via FTP was still pretty snappy. 

Primarily the biggest difference compared to the D-LINK DIR-655 wasn’t peak levels of performance but rather a consistent level of sustained and predictable performance. The TL-WR1043NDT works well and doesn’t randomly drop connections very often. We got kicked offline randomly only once during our testing and found the TL-WR1043NDT to be a very stable router.

With a street price currently hovering about $50 you simply can’t go wrong with the TP-LINK TL-WR1043NDT. It offers outstanding value and upgradability with a straightforward and easy to use design.

Check out all the specs and learn mor about TP-LINK here.

StarTech SATA Dock eSATA and USB 3.0 Review

Startech puts a new twist on the standard SATA dock by adding a fan to keep things cool. The SATDOCKU3SEF SATA dock includes eSATA and USB 3.0 ports and can accommodate both 2.5 and 3.5 drives.

The 80mm fan worked well to keep our drives cool including high performance 10,000 RPM models. It’s quiet and after having a drive plugged in for a while you forget it’s in an external dock.

Swapping out drives requires powering down the unit. If a similar make and model is inserted the system may recognize it instantly. If it’s a different model than it may require futzing a bit to get it to recognize the drive.

All in all, not that much different than previous docks that all seem to be OEM’d from the same factory in China anyway. The addition of USB 3.0 and eSATA is nice.

Vist StarTech for more information.

More Articles ...

  1. Synology DS1511+ NAS Review
  2. iRig Mic Review
  3. Hitachi Ultrastar 7K3000 3TB Drive Review
  4. Linksys E1000 Wireless Router Review
  5. Seagate GoFlex Ultraportable External Drive Review
  6. Lenovo Idea Center K300-52162FU Review
  7. The ASUS UL30Vt-A1 Thin and Light Notebook Review
  8. SanDisk Blade USB Flash Drive Review
  9. Samsung S2 USB Portable Drive Review
  10. HP P6310Y Desktop PC Review
  11. Motorola SB6120 Extreme Cable Modem Review
  12. Hawking HWREN1 Hi-Gain Wireless-300N Range Extender Review
  13. Corsair P256 SSD Review
  14. Pioneer BDR-205 Blu-ray Burner Review
  15. KIDO'Z Fun and Safe Website for Kids
  16. Windows 7 Is Worth It
  17. Linksys WMP600N Wireless Network Card Review
  18. Dell 3007WFP-HC 30 Inch Monitor Review
  19. Averatec D1200 All-in-one PC Review
  20. Dell Latitude 6400 Review
  21. Getting Cozy wtih Mozy: Review
  22. SanDisk Ultra Backup USB Flash Drive Review
  23. Western Digital Passport™ Essential™ Review
  24. Verbatim PhotoSave DVD Review
  25. Altec Lansing Orbit-MP3 Speaker Review
  26. Aluratek USB Internet Radio Review
  27. Pinnacle PCTV HD Pro Stick Review
  28. Xobni Email Plug In
  29. Verbatim Corporate Secure USB Drive Review
  30. Airlink101 300N Review
  31. Norton Antivirus 2008 Review
  32. Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000 Review
  33. Buffalo Technology DriveStation Duo 1TB Review
  34. Carbonite Online Data Backup Review
  35. Vantec Nexstar 3 Review DIY hard drive expansion made easy
  36. Sony BWU-100A Blu-ray Burner Review
  37. D-Link DWL-G132 Wireless USB Adapter Review
  38. Primera Bravo SE Review
  39. Canon Pixma iP6700D Review
  40. Samsung 940T Review
  41. Belkin Pre-N Router and PCI/PCMCIA cards Review
  42. USR 9600 USB Phone and Skype Review
  43. HP Photosmart 2575 Review
  44. IBM R51 ThinkPad Review
  45. Primera Bravo Pro Duplicator Review
  46. SageTV 2.2 Hauppauge PVR-150 Bundle Review
  47. Cambridge PC SoundWorks Review
  48. Velocity Micro Review
  49. Averatec 3270 Notebook Review
  50. World Tech Keyboard for Sony Vegas Review
  51. ATX Power Supply Recommendations
  52. Digital Audio Labs Card Deluxe Review


Genelec 8030C 5” active…

Oct 23, 2018 Production
The Genelec 8030C 5” active monitors are a very good choice for transparent and accurate…

RAVPower RP-PC029 6-Port…

Oct 22, 2018 Computers and Stuff
The RAVPower RP-PC029 6-Port Desktop Charger is sturdy and well made. It can charge any…

Startech DisplayPort to DVI…

Oct 19, 2018 Computers and Stuff
startech DVI 512
You've got a new video card and an older monitor and now your monitor isn't working at…

Canon TS9120 Inkjet Printer…

Oct 18, 2018 Computers and Stuff
TS9120 RED 1 xl
Finally a decent inkjet printer that has all the capabilities you need in smart compact…

Crucial MX500 1TB 3D NAND…

Jul 23, 2018 Computers and Stuff
The Crucial MX500 is a 2.5 inch SSD designed to be installed inside a notebook computer.…

G-Drive Mobile SSD R-Series…

Jul 23, 2018 Computers and Stuff
gdrive ssd r series
The G-Drive SSD R-Series includes a USB-C port and is USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt 3…

Nvidia Quadro P4000 Review

Jul 21, 2018 Production
p4000 ff
We like the single slot GPU because it allows us to use all the available PCIe slots in…

Moog Subsequent 37

Apr 17, 2018 Production
Default Image
great demo of this amazing synth

Lynx E22 Versus RME Audio…

Sep 06, 2017 Production
When it comes to audio cards that go inside your workstation the options are getting more…

How to Make a Candy Corn…

Oct 27, 2016 House Stuff
Default Image
A good one for the season and fun for the kids.

Edius 8.22 Review - Powerful…

Sep 13, 2016 Production
Edius 8.22 from Grass Valley is the latest update that adds LUT and tracking support.…

See a Funky Beach Home Made…

Jul 08, 2015 House Stuff
Default Image

Ultimate Man Cave: Missile…

Apr 08, 2015 House Stuff
Default Image
This is awesome!

NVIDIA Quadro K4200 Review

Jan 09, 2015 Production
We've been doing an extended review of the Quadro K4200 and it's been rock solid. It's…

JBL EON206P Portable PA Review

Jan 08, 2015 Production
The JBL EON206P portable PA system surprised us with how much sonic punch it packs into a…

Panasonic AJ-PX270…

Jan 06, 2015 Production
Default Image
The PX270 is an amazing HD camera for ENG, corporate and documentary work. Over the years…

Boris FX BCC 9 Review 2014

Nov 26, 2014 Production
If you buy only 1 VFX package for your NLE this year we highly recommend Boris Continuum…

HP Z230 Workstation Review

Jul 15, 2014 Computers and Stuff
The HP Z230 is a single CPU workstation that looks similar to other workstations in the Z…

Logitech Harmony 650 Remote…

Jul 05, 2014 Electronics
The Logitech Harmony 650 Universal remote is super easy to program and works great but is…

Sony Vegas Pro 13 Review

Jun 24, 2014 Production
Sony Vegas Pro 13 feels a lot like Vegas Pro 12 with some minor updates to the UI. It…

Samsung 1TB 840 EVO SSD Review

Jun 11, 2014 Computers and Stuff
Samsung 840 EVO 1TB SSD is one of the best values in a high performance SSD. We used it…

Convergent Design Odyssey7Q…

Jun 09, 2014 Production
The Odyssey7Q combines a high quality 7.7 OLED monitor with an SSD based recorder to…

Pixelan DissolveMaster Review

Feb 13, 2014 Production
Default Image
Pixelan Software’s DissolveMaster provides endless options for creating compelling…

Beautiful Holiday Tabletops…

Dec 13, 2013 House Stuff
Default Image
Check out the hurricanes. Super cool.This design is moderm but still warm and welcoming,…

Houzz - Home Remodeling and…

Nov 22, 2013 House Stuff
Default Image
If you're doing any work on your home you have to check out houzz.


Coffe Mugs Made from Recycled…

Aug 05, 2018 Art and Design
Default Image
They're are pretty cool looking too.

The Fall Colors of New…

Sep 22, 2016 Art and Design
Default Image
Another reason to love the fall.

Take the Mesmerizing Tour of…

Sep 09, 2015 Art and Design
Default Image

Incredible Bodypaint Art -…

Apr 02, 2015 Art and Design
Default Image
This is awesome.

Man Turns His House Into…

Dec 21, 2014 Art and Design
Default Image
This is one house you have to see in action to believe. Amazing!!!

Danny Macaskill...Always…

Oct 06, 2014 Art and Design
Default Image

Logitech Harmony 650 Remote…

Jul 05, 2014 Electronics
The Logitech Harmony 650 Universal remote is super easy to program and works great but is…

24 Hours of Happy - Just…

Dec 18, 2013 Art and Design
This is one of our favorite creative projects we've seen in 2013. Great song and steady…

HP Unleashes Thunderbolt for…

Sep 12, 2013 Technology
The new HP ZBook 17 Mobile Workstation should make a lot of mobile video editors happy.…

Bose SoundLink II Mobile…

Feb 21, 2013 Electronics
The Bose SoundLink II mobile Bluetooth speaker sounds very good, is extremely easy to use…

Sanyo eneloop Rechargeable AA…

Feb 02, 2013 Electronics
Sanyo eneloop AA rechargeable batteries are good a place to start when investing in…

iPad mini Versus Kindle Fire…

Dec 27, 2012 Electronics
The Kindle Fire HD is an appealing product and a great choice if you consider it a media…

The Roku 2 XS Review

Dec 18, 2012 Electronics
The Roku 2 XS is a great gift for anyone with a high speed Internet connection that wants…

Fuji XP50 Waterproof Camera…

Jul 24, 2012 Electronics
The Fuji XP50 waterproof camera is an affordable option that takes pretty good photos…

How to Install an SSD Drive…

Jul 07, 2012 Technology
Default Image
If you've been thinking about upgrading your system to an SSD there's never been a better…

How to Install an SSD Drive…

Jun 08, 2012 Technology
Default Image
Here's a short video that shows you how to install a solid state drive in your notebook…

7200RPM Hard Drive Versus an…

Jun 02, 2012 Technology
Default Image
Another reason to love SSDs. Those faster boot times really add up over time. And wih OS…

LED versus Plasma versus LCD:…

Apr 12, 2012 Technology
Samsung is cranking out some amazing smart televisions with Internet apps and menu…

How To Choose A Memory Card…

Mar 05, 2012 Technology
Default Image
There are lots of suppliers of memory cards out there. SanDisk breaks it down in under 2…

First Android OS Watch: Sneak…

Mar 01, 2012 Technology
Default Image
Synch this to your smart phone using Bluetooth and you can do quite a bi with this watch…

ASUS ZENBOOK™ Ultrabook…

Jan 13, 2012 Technology
Default Image
One of our favorite new products from CES is the new ASUS ZENBOOK. This is going to be a…

Sonos Play:3 Review

Jul 25, 2011 Electronics
The Sonos Play:3 sounds great for background music but is slightly underpowered and lacks…

Join Me - The Fastest and…

Jul 15, 2011 Technology
If you’re looking for the fastest and simplest way to share what you see on your computer…

Reverb Controls on Lexicon 224

Jul 08, 2011 Technology
Here's a brief demo of the Lexicon 224 in action. Using a simple drum beat you can hear…

Uniden DECT 1480-3 Cordless…

Jun 18, 2011 Electronics
If you still like the convenience and reliability of a traditional landline and are in…