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8/1/01 Wednesday's News: Story DetailReturn to News Page

Info on Quieter Fans for G4 Towers:
Published: 8/1/2001
In reply to a G4 owners comments in yesterday's news, readers sent info on their searches for quieter fans.

Update: A Quicksilver owner wrote an article w/photos on how he reduced fan noise in several areas.

" After reading the QuickSilver overclock reader report, I thought I'd toss in a few notes on fans.

This is a general tip altogether, but not all fans are created equal, and it wouldn't surprise me if Apple was using cheaper, noisier fans in its G4s. I conducted an extensive test of many different fans to place on top of my G4 CPU upgrade in my Beige G3. I also purchased two 92 mm Panaflo L1A fans for intake and exhaust for thr machine...I sacrificed the CD-ROM drive-bay and floppy-drive for this fan. The extra circulation does wonders...between 8-12 degrees C difference.

I'm not sure what the big fan is on the G4...it looks like a 120 mm unit, but it also looks like it is encased in a metal cage.

Good, quiet fans are made by Panaflo (L1A series, L = low speed) Papst (hard to find,) and a few other manufacturers. Fans to avoid are any made by Delta or YS-Tech. They are really good at pushing large volumes of air, but they are *very* loud. Sanyo-Denki also makes some quiet fans...they also make some very loud ones as well. 60 mm and bigger fans should be considered fingerchoppers though, especially the ones that spin at high RPMs. Proper measures should be used to protect fingers and other body-parts from the blades...grills are always a good precaution, though the G4s already seem to have them.


These are PC enthusiast oriented sites except for Jameco, which is more of an engineer or hobbyists electronics and parts catalog.

Most of these places will list the important specs:

1) brand
2) dimensions
3) noise (dBA lower is better)
4) volume (CFM higher is better)
5) connector type (sometimes bare wire)
6) electrical specs (watts, amps, volts)
7) RPM

Eugene Chan"

" About that G4 733 overclocking article...

The G4 Digital Audio also has 4 fans. CPU fan, case, Power supply fan, and video card fan.
(The GeForce2MX, Rage128 pro and Radeon OEM graphics cards don't have a fan on the heatsink, these cards are shown in photos in articles on the Video cards page. The GeForce3 and Radeon Retail cards do have fans however. The Dual G4/533 and G4/733 DA models do have a CPU fan, but the single G4/466 does not a reader said. not sure about the single G4/533 DA model.-Mike.

I strongly recommend replacing the case fan, power supply and CPU fan from 1coolpc.com. They used to be known as 3dfx cool.


You can disconnect the video card fan, it's not necessary once you upgrade the case fan.
[I would not recommend disconnecting the graphics card fan personally, since the heatsink area is not that large on a fanned heatsink typically. A case fan may not adequately cool the card - it might, but may not and I'd rather leave the fan active, or replace the heatsink with a larger one if counting on the case fan to cool a chip like the GeForce3 for instance. For the cards I've seen, the Case fans (PS and case) make by far the most noise.-Mike]

By doing this, you can knock off up to 1/4 of sound from these wind tunnels. I've done this mod on the G4 DA and my quicksilver 877. A hell lot quieter than my Dell P3-866 (sounds like a server).

Another thing I also recommend... put foam padding and card board around the hard drives and put a duct ventilation on them. I've cut the sound from the hard drives by 50%.
Ryan Suh "

I have never had a G4 hard drive that was noisy (Maxtor and IBM 75GXPs), I never hear them over the case fans and even in a Firewire case they seem very quiet typically, with just some muted sounds when the head is accessing/seeking data. But as noted last year in an article here on the Systems page, G4 Macs section I did put foam padding on a G4's fan to isolate it which reduced the noise.

Other Sources of Fans:

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