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Install a Case Fan

Friday, September 11th, 2009 by | Filed Under: Hardware & Peripherals

There are multiple reasons you’d need to install a case fan in your computer, but we can all agree that they are there for the sole purpose of making your PC all that much cooler. In my case, I’m installing a fan to keep my graphics card from overheating, as my previous card had overheated and burned out. This was probably due to lack of good airflow in the case and the amount of stress the card was under. Now, to combat this problem, I’ve decided to install a case fan. As you can see in the photo below, for this tutorial, I’ve decided to go with the standard Dynex 80mm fan.

To install the fan you’ll need a few things:

1. A Fan (screws included)

2. Scissors (to open the near impossible plastic packaging)

3. A screwdriver


There are only two reasons that I went with this fan over any of the other fans I might have chosen:

1. It’s a small and cheap fan. (it doesn’t need to be huge to be effective)

2. No LEDs! There’s nothing I hate more than computer parts full to the brim with LED lights that burn your eyelids as you try to sleep.

OK, now let’s move on to getting this fan into the case. First, you’ll want to power off your PC and unplug everything from the back of the tower, so you can put it on the floor and get working on it. Now lay your case down on the floor and open up the side. First and foremost, if you have an anti-static band, connect it all together and go straight ahead, if you don’t, simply touch the bottom of the case to release whatever static buildup you have in you and continue. The reason we do this is because if we happen to touch any of the chips in the PC with static charge in us, it could damage the chips.

Now if you look at the back of the case, you should see a slot at the back of the case where a fan can go. Depending on your case, you could also have a slot on the siding of your case. Here is what mine looks like:


Now, before we go about installing the fan, we need to figure out what we want to do with it. Do we want it to blow air in? Or blow air out? It all depends on your situation. In my case, I’ll have one fan blowing in cold air but eventually that will get hot and raise the temperature in the case, so I’ll want this back case fan to blow that hot air out. Now here comes the hardest part of installing a case fan; figuring out which way the fan is blowing. In most cases the fan will have arrows indicating air flow direction, unfortunately for me, this particular fan didn’t. The best way to go about discovering which way the fan blows, is to plug the fan into the PSU and find out for yourself.

Depending on what fan you have, you might have to take a different route, but in my case, the fan can with two connectors, a Molex male and female.


Simply plug either of the connectors into their opposite Molex connector coming from the power supply unit, and see which way she blows, of course you’ll have to plug the PSU back in to the power socket and turn the PC on to find out. Once you’ve figured out which way the air blows, unplug the PSU again and unplug the Molex connector from the fan. Now you’ll want to take the screws that came with the fan and continue to screw in the fan.



Once the fan is secured, plug it back into the PSU and you’re ready to go!

~Natasa Shepherd

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