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As I noted in another question, I replaced a 2.6 GHz Pentium 4 with a 3.4 GHz Pentium 4. Unsurprisingly, it causes my little Shuttle XPC to ramp up its variable speed Sunon KD1208PTB1 80x80mm fan frequently. That fan is rather noisy when running at anything above a low speed. It has a 3 pin connector. If I find another 80x80mm variable speed fan with a 3 pin connector, is it safe to presume the power management system will be able to control it? Looking at that Sunon model, I don't see anything to suggest it uses any sort of proprietary control mechanism.

Also, is air displacement per minute the main specification I should consider when looking for a quieter fan that will still do the job?

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Yea you do want to look at displacement per minute as a specification. It also depends on the brand that you buy. Also use fan software to control them if you are overly demanding of your auditory requirements hehe – AlanTuring Oct 1 '12 at 1:27
Find yourself a flange for a larger fan if it'll fit. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Oct 1 '12 at 1:57
Thanks, Alan and Ignacio. So, if my current fan has a displacement of 40 cfm, I would want one with the same or better, correct? That's probably a dumb question, but I didn't want to assume. Can I safely assume that another 3 pin connector fan will be able to be revved up and down by the BIOS fan control or does that require something more? – Timothy R. Butler Oct 1 '12 at 6:17
I've been doing research and a lot of the fans seem to have a 4 pin PMW control mode. I'm assuming that since my board only has 3 pins, it is using voltage control to control fan speed. I'd think that any fan could be controlled this way, but I've read some mentions of PMW fans running at full speed one connected to a three pin connector. Is that true? – Timothy R. Butler Oct 1 '12 at 7:24

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