When building or upgrading a gaming pc, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is how many fans to include. Too few and your system may overheat, but too many and you could wind up with a noisy machine.
Gaming PCs require more cooling than traditional desktop computers. How many fans your PC needs depends on the components inside.
how many fans should a gaming pc have
Many variables affect the number of fans needed. The first is airflow. If you have push-pull fans, or two smaller fans blowing through an enclosure, they will move more air than one large fan moving air in the same direction. More air means better cooling, so this would be an instance where more fans would improve performance.
Another consideration is space. Having more fans may not be an option if you are limited on where you can put fans or how many fans you can include due to physical constraints. This article will factor in available space while remaining within a reasonable budget.
are 2 fans enough for a gaming pc?
In short, no. If you limit your budget to 2 fans, you will likely wind up with a noisy system that doesn’t cool as well as it could.
For example, if we look at the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO heatsink and fan combo, one of our cheapest recommended options for cooling the CPU, we can see it comes included with a single 120mm fan.
If we upgrade this to the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus, which includes one 120mm fan but double the price tag, we will get better cooling performance and nearly the same price.
Here we see that an additional $ gets us a total of 3 fans vs. 2, allowing for better airflow and lower noise levels due to having two fans that can rotate at different speeds.
how many 120mm fans are needed for a gaming pc?
The number of 120mm fans you should use depends on the space available in the case and how much you are willing to spend. Most cases will include at least one 120mm fan, and often it will be mounted on the rear of the case.
For a budget build, we would recommend using only this included fan. For a full tower or mid-tower case, you could add 2 more fans to your build while maintaining good airflow and reasonable noise levels. If space is not an issue, go ahead and add several more 120mm fans for good measure.
What if I’m using an ATX case?
A: If you’re using the standard mid-tower of an entire tower case, you can use 2 additional 120mm fans on your system. For micro-ATX cases, it’s best to stick with just the included fan.
What if I have a custom liquid cooling system?
A: Even if you have a custom liquid cooling system, we would still recommend sticking with just one or two 120mm fans. Depending on your configuration, you could use additional 120mm fans to improve airflow and lower noise levels.
is 1 fan enough for a gaming pc?
No. Having more fans may not be an option if you are limited on where to install fans or how many fans you can include due to physical constraints.
do I need extra fans for my pc?
Having extra fans doesn’t hurt, but it’s not necessary to build your gaming pc. It depends on the components inside and how many fans you currently have.
Can I use an 80mm fan?
A: If you consider using a smaller fan, it’s best not to do so. Smaller fans have lower static pressure levels, leading to worse overall performance for cooling your PC components.
My case only included one 120mm fan. Should I buy more?
A: You can buy more fans and install them in your case if you wish, but it’s not necessary to have a great cooling system. If you are limited on where to put fans or how many fans you can use due to space constraints, stick with the included case fan.
Gaming PCs require improved cooling compared to traditional desktop computers. When choosing how many fans to include, the number of case fans will depend on the components installed and how much space is available. It’s best to stick with just one or two included case fans if at all possible.