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How to install a computer cooling fan

Computers operate best when they are cool. Unfortunately, they generate a lot of heat while operating. This is where cooling fans come in. A properly cooled system will greatly outperform a machine that is more powerful but lacks adequate cooling. Below is a simple guide to installing several different types of cooling fans in your computer and an explanation on how to utilise them most effectively.

Case fans

These are the simplest fans to install, because there is usually a place already provided for them that only requires the user to find a fan of the right size and with the right plug on it. From there, it is simply a matter of putting in the screws that hold the fan in place and plugging it into the motherboard.
Some things that need to be considered when purchasing or installing case fans though, are the above mentioned plug type, available space (both now and in the future), and the fan's noise level. Plug type This is important because your motherboard will only have a limited number of available power outlets and they can be in several different PIN numbers and alignments. Check which type you have available before purchasing a case fan. Available space One of the most common and beneficial places for a case fan is near the video card. Unfortunately, video cards continue to grow in size and case space is limited, so make sure that you know how much space is available for your fan and buy one that will fit in the space.
Also, because fans come in several different sizes, make sure that you buy one that will mate with the case's fan port. Noise level This may not sound important, but some of the more powerful fans available make a lot of noise. Consider that if you are adding several of them, this can become significant and annoying.

CPU and video card fans

Unlike case fans, which can be simply screwed in and forgotten, CPU and video card fans will need some extra materials and labour. This is because both have heat sinks that the fan will, most probably, be attached to.
If the fan can be attached or replaced without removing the heat sink, the process is no different than the case fan, but if the heat sink needs to be removed, keep in mind that when reattaching it to its component, you will need to use a small amount of thermal paste to secure it. The importance of this cannot be overstated, since without thermal paste a CPU or video card can generate enough heat to damage itself in seconds.

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