I have a 1U computer I'd like to use at my desk, unfortunately, it is very noisy. It has at least one fan that pushes so much air that it sounds like an helicopter. The fan does not rattle, so the problem is not old age, lack of oil, or dust.

I understand that since it is a 1U, so very flat, it has to have smaller fans that run faster to carry the same amount of air as a 4U which can have a 12cm fan which is pretty much silent as it doesn't need to run that fast, in comparison.

All that being said, is it possible to find fans with the same size and BTU but that does not generate as much noise?

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    I have found some 40mm fans that were quiet (Such as the Noctua NF-A4x10), I suspect yours would be of the same size, however like Junkiebev says, you also have to ensure adequate cooling Apr 5, 2015 at 20:33

1 Answer 1


While you can purchase fans that make less noise, they might not be sufficient for the cooling needs and will probably not be appreciably less loud.

That said, 1U servers are designed to be racked and as such the default settings in the BIOS are generally to run the fans at full speed 24/7 but there may be a BIOS setting to automatically adjust the fan speed based on a detected CPU/Case temperature.

Possibly useful anecdote: I had 2 Solaris 1U servers that were extremely loud and had no way of varying the fan speed that I could determine but when I checked the manufacturer's website I discovered that a BIOS update enabled this option.

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    How would you know whether a replacement fan will give the same amount of cooling? I was thinking that fans were sold with BTU info, but looking into it, I don't seem to see much of that... Apr 5, 2015 at 23:01
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    Case fans generally list a 'CFM' value - The value for throughput in Cubic Feet per Minute.
    – Junkiebev
    Apr 6, 2015 at 13:39

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