How Many Fans Should A Gaming PC Have?

Mehak Sohail | Last Updated On February 4th, 2022

The number of fans in a gaming PC is important for cooling. A lot of people think that they need to have the most powerful graphics card possible, but this isn’t going to do you much good if you don’t have enough power to keep them cool. Fans are responsible for keeping your computer cool by removing the hot air and bringing in cool air – it’s important that you get the right amount of fans for your needs.

The quick answer is that a gaming PC should have 5 fans: one fan for your CPU, one fan for your GPU, one for your PSU, and two fans for your case.

In this blog post, we will discuss how many fans should be on board with a gaming pc and what type of fan configurations work best!

How Many Fans Should A Gaming PC Have?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the number of fans needed for a gaming pc will vary depending on your specific setup. However, we can provide some general guidelines that should help you determine how many fans you need.

For a gaming pc, it’s recommended that you have at least one fan for your CPU, one fan for your graphics card (GPU), one for your PSU, and at least two fans for the case.

One Fan For Your CPU

It’s important to have a powerful cooling system with enough power to keep up with your PC components like your graphics card or GPU. So you should make sure that there is always an extra flow of fresh air by adding a fan to your PC’s CPU.

One Fan For Your GPU

Although the cooling system you choose will depend on how powerful your graphics card is, it’s important that if you want to keep it working at an optimal level over time, then having extra fans can greatly reduce the risk of overheating and thus provide a longer lifespan for your graphics card.

It’s worth noting many graphics cards have fans built-in.

One Fan For Your PSU

While you do want a fan for your PSU (check also the best PSU brands here), it’s worth noting most if not all PSUs will have a fan built-in.

Two Fans For Your Case

A general rule is to have at least two case fans in your gaming pc, one intake, and one exhaust fan. This is because case fans provide an extra layer of general cooling so that you can keep everything running smoothly without overheating or failing due to a lack of airflow.

Are More Case Fans Better In A Gaming PC?

Blue cooler fan with motherboard inside a computer

Adding more case fans than the ones recommended can actually do more harm than good. Too many fans will create a lot of noise and it could also lead to overheating if they’re not properly regulated.

So, while adding extra case fans might give you that peace of mind that your gaming PC is running as cool as possible, it’s important to use the right number of fans for your specific setup.

What RPM Should My Gaming PC Case Fans be?

The RPM or rotations per minute of your pc fans will depend on the specific type. Most fans usually spin anywhere between 1200-3000RPM, but it’s worth noting if they spin faster than this then you might run into some problems with noise and fan overheating so make sure to keep an eye out for that range.

Learn about the causes and how to fix a PC fan that’s making rattling noise here.

Where Is The Best Placement for Fans in Gaming PCs?

When it comes to the placement of your gaming pc case fans, there is no real consensus as each person will have their own preference. However, we can provide some general tips for fan placement.

Your CPU fan should be placed at the back of your PC so that it pulls cooler air from outside and pushes it through to the graphics card. The GPU fan can either go on top of or next to your graphics card, with the intake facing out. The PSU fan should be placed at the back or bottom of your PC, and the case fans can go in any location that has room.

Ideally, you want to have an equal amount of intake and exhaust fans so that cooler air circulates properly within your system. Having a fan blowing directly onto your GPU can actually cause it to overheat.

We have an article here for the best open air PC case and quiet PC case for silent PC that you might be interested in.

Should Graphics Card Fans Always Spin?

No, graphics card fans do not have to always spin. In fact, spinning them at full speed all the time can actually damage your graphics card over time.

Most GPUs will have a thermal sensor that will automatically adjust the fan speed as needed depending on how much hot air is around it. So, if you’re playing a game and your GPU is running hot, the fan will spin up to lower the temperate by blowing cool air on it. But, if you’re just browsing the web or working on a document, the fan will likely be at a lower speed.

Can You Have Too Many Case Fans In A Gaming PC?

It’s possible to have too many fans in your system. This is because, with too many case fans, you will notice that it can be rather loud when compared to having just a few fans running at lower speeds.

Too many case fans might also cause overheating problems as well since there won’t be enough space for the air to circulate. So, if you’re thinking of adding more fans to your system, make sure that it’s something that is needed and not just for show.

How Can I Avoid Negative Pressure In My Gaming PC?

Negative pressure can happen when there is more airflow going out of your system than coming in. This can cause problems such as dust and debris being pulled into your PC, which can then lead to overheating. If anything, you want to aim for positive pressure in PC.

There are a few ways that you can help avoid negative pressure in your gaming PC:

  1. Make sure that you have enough case fans – ideally an equal amount of intake and exhaust fans.
  2. Make sure that you have intakes at the bottom, back, top front, etc., so that air can circulate properly within your system.
  3. Avoid placing too many case fans in one location – this will cause an imbalance
  4. Consider using liquid cooling instead of conventional fan cooling. This will allow you to achieve the same cooling results, but without negative pressure issues becoming an issue.

Case Fans vs Liquid Cooling

Close-up Liquid cooling system in computer

Another popular option to keep your system cool in a gaming pc is liquid cooling, which uses a radiator and water pump to keep the system chilled. Another option is air cooling, which relies on fans to push or pull air through the system.

While air cooling is generally cheaper than liquid cooling, it can sometimes be louder and doesn’t cool your components as well. Liquid-cooled systems tend to have their own radiator that you attach the pump to but don’t need intake fans for in order to keep everything cold.

The problem with liquid cooling is that it can be an expensive investment since the radiator and pump need to come together. It also requires that you have a free power supply connector for your water cooling unit as well. Also take note that not all PC cases are for watercooling so you need to search for the right PC case for watercooling.

Is It OK To Run GPU Fans At 100%?

No, it is not OK to run GPU fans at 100%. In fact, running the fan at 100% can actually do more harm than good. The fan was designed to spin at a certain speed in order to keep the graphics card cool. If you run the fan at 100%, it will cause the card to overheat and could potentially damage the hardware.

Most GPUs will have a thermal sensor that will automatically adjust the fan speed as needed. So, if you’re playing a game and your GPU is running hot, the fan will spin up to cool it down. But, if you’re just browsing the web or working on a document, the fan will likely be at a lower speed.

Are Two Case Fans Enough For A Gaming PC?

Typically, two case fans would be enough for a gaming PC (as long as you also have fans for your PSU, CPU, and GPU). Usually, the stock configuration of most pre-built PCs will have just one case fan that fits into your case and then another case fan mounted internally on top of or near your graphics card to keep everything cool.

Summary

In summary, you want to use the right number of case fans for your specific setup and make sure that they are placed in the correct locations. Graphics card fans do not always have to spin, and it’s possible to have too many case fans in your system. Running GPU fans at 100% can actually damage your graphics card over time. So, be sure to keep an eye out for the number of fans that you have and where they’re located.

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