The best guide for PC Fan Airflow Direction

We can see that desktop computers have a fan cooling system. Even the laptops also have a fan cooling system. But laptops are not our topic now. In desktop PCs, we need to optimize the PC fan airflow direction. This guide will help you to do that.

Have you ever think, what’s the need of cooling to the computers?

All the electronic components in a computer are designed to operate under specific operating temperature ranges. When the current is passing through them, they can dissipate some energy in the form of heat because of the internal resistance of the computer components. If we don’t remove this heat in the computer case, it will lead to the damage of computer major components like motherboard, processor, GPU’s, etc.

So, we need a cooling system for the computers.

PC cooling system :

The process of controlling the temperature rise in a PC with the help of CPU fans and liquid cooling, then it is called a liquid cooling system. In the olden days, we have only CPU fans to control the CPU temperature. But now, liquid technology is dominating fan cooling. However, based on the CPU architecture, the operating temperatures are different.

The liquid cooling is costly but shows a high impact on temperature control. So, mainly liquid cooling is used for the processor cooling instead of the entire CPU case.

What is a CPU fan?

A CPU fan is nothing but a small fan that can fit into a CPU case and helps to occur the airflow in it. It is the most effective thing that we used to cool down the CPU temperature. This is also called a computer cooling fan.

Mounting the fans at the front and rear positions are important than the top and bottom positions.

Based up on different factors, like RPM, lifespan, noise level, etc, the best CPU fans are listed.

We are using fans in the computers because of the following advantages.

  • The cost of the fan is less.
  • The consumption of power is low.
  • We can reduce the temperature effectively with the help of fans.
  • Easy to install.
  • If the fan has an RGB lightning, it gives a colorful look to the computer

Now, we will look at the best airflow optimization in a CPU case. First, we need to know the direction of airflow, if it passes through the fan.

If you know this, it will be easy for you to do the best optimized airflow to your CPU case with no doubt.

Fan airflow direction
Fan Airflow direction

Always remember that the grill side is the way of air out-coming through the fan.

The CPU fans are capable of intake the fresh air from the atmosphere and exhaust the hot air to the atmosphere from the CPU. We can use them well for the efficient working of computers.

Types of airflow in a CPU case

Based upon the pressure inside the CPU, these are the three types of air pressures. We will see each of them and conclude which one is best for the PC airflow optimization in a case.

  • Positive air pressure
  • Negative air pressure and
  • Neutral air pressure

We will discuss one by one, so you will get to know which is the best air pressure for a CPU and also the airflow direction.

Positive air pressure – (more ‘intake fans’)

The CPU case in which more intake fans present than the exhaust fans then the pressure inside the CPU is called a positive air pressure.

Positive air pressure
Positive air pressure

This is not the best air pressure inside the case because even the input air or fresh air is high, the output air is low this means it does not exhaust the hot air from the CPU as the required level.

This leads to the generation of more air pressure inside the case and eventually leads to the damage of hardware components or weakens the system performance.

Negative air pressure – (more ‘exhaust fans’)

If the system is having fewer intake fans and more exhaust fans, then the pressure inside the CPU is called as Negative air pressure.

Negative air pressure
Negative air pressure

Even the negative air pressure also doesn’t suit for CPU because the intake fans are low means the fresh air coming from the atmosphere is low and it leads to raise the temperature and pressure inside the CPU.

So the computer loses its stability because of this negative air pressure and also effects on system performance.

Neutral air pressure – (intake fans = exhaust fans)

This pressure occurs by having an equal number of intake fans and exhaust fans in the CPU.

Neutral air pressure or Best airflow optimization in a CPU case
Neutral air pressure

The neutral air pressure or airflow is the best airflow for a computer case because the balanced airflow occurs because of the same number of intake and exhaust fans, and it leads to control the temperature of the CPU. So, the computer efficiency will increase by this airflow optimization.

The following comparison table of the above three air pressures for your better understand.

Sourcepositive Air pressureNegative Air pressureNeutral Air pressure
Intake fansMoreLessEqual
Exhaust fansLessMoreEqual
System stabilityLowLowHigh
Comparison of air pressures in the CPU

How fan help in cooling the CPU?

In the very worst case, you have at least one intake and one exhaust fan. If you can’t provide the fan cooling to the CPU, the temperature gradually increases, and it leads to burnout the motherboard or processor.

All the normal processors we are using in our computers can work well in between 40 to 85 degrees Celsius. These are the extreme levels of the CPU’s. The lower limit is not our problem because of the room temperature. But the upper limit can accumulate. So, we can control the CPU temperature by using fans.

For example, if the processor is at 81 degrees Celsius temperature when we turn on the computer with no fans in the CPU case except stock cooler, the temperature will raise from 81 to 82, 83, 84,… and the system will burnout or giving trouble like Blue Screen Of Death BSOD.

To avoid this, we can install one intake and one exhaust fan. Because of these fans we can control the temperature of the processor from 81 to 78 degree Celsius. And we can achieve more temperature control by installing more fans.

Also, remember the thing that the diameter of the fan matters here.

ANT 120 mm RGB fan
ANT RGB 120MM fan

I found this ANT 120MM RGB fan on Amazon. Really, it’s cool and colorful.

I recommend all of you install as many fans as your CPU cabinet or case supports. And for gaming PC’s you must use all the fan slots available in the case.

My word :

There are some things that I need to share with you. So that, you can avoid to make mistakes.

Clean your PC frequently :

You need to keep your PC clean. Dust is one of the most unwanted factors in a computer. High dust in a CPU indicates the high-risk level. Dust can damage any component in your CPU like hard disk, Motherboard, GPU, etc.

For every three months, clean your PC by dissembling the CPU and mount it. If you don’t know how to assemble a CPU, go through the guide of the PC build.

Provide enough power supply :

As the number of fan increase in a CPU case, the power requirement also increases. If you have a good RGB lightning fan and a weak power supply like 200Watt SMPS, your PC will get into trouble.

A low-powered Power Source Unit (PSU) can’t deliver enough power to various things like RGB fans, GPU, etc, and result, you’ll get lag in performance.

When the PC is in high-performing mode like gaming, rendering, etc., the computer will hang or stops working.

So, maintain a good power source.

Use latest technology :

Liquid cooling is the latest cooling technology that are using in computers. If you want to build your own PC, make sure you are using the latest technology like featured motherboards, CPU case, CPU fans, liquid cooling technology, etc.

The selection of CPU case is in a way that the CPU case must has an option of fan installation on four sides (front, rear, top, and bottom).

Conclusion :

The final thing here I want to say is, “The more fans we put, the more cooling CPU takes, and the more performance we’ll get.” I think you might have understood the optimization of PC fan airflow direction in a CPU case.

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Author: Aswarth

Hey Guys, I'm an Electrical Engineer who is interested to learn Technical stuff in deep and want to give you the best quality information on this blog.

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