Loud case fans on Fractal Define 7 | PCSPECIALIST

Loud case fans on Fractal Define 7

rchrdp

Member
Got my new build today. Spec below. Very pleased overall, but I have a problem.

I went for the Fractal Define 7 case because I wanted a quiet machine. But the PC is running pretty loud :-( As far as I can tell the case fans (two front, one rear) are running fast, and creating significant noise. Changing settings in UFEI or with ASUS Fan Xpert 4 doesn't make any difference - the fans seem to run at one speed only (loud!). The machine is in a cool room with no load. The case has a Nexus+ 2 PWM fan hub, and all three fans are plugged into it.

Any ideas on what I'm doing wrong? Thanks!

Case FRACTAL DEFINE 7 BLACK QUIET MID-TOWER CASE
Processor (CPU)AMD Ryzen 7 3800X Eight Core CPU (3.9GHz-4.5GHz/36MB CACHE/AM4)
MotherboardASUS® TUF GAMING B550-PLUS (DDR4, USB 3.2, 6Gb/s) - ARGB Ready!
Memory (RAM)16GB Corsair VENGEANCE DDR4 3200MHz (2 x 8GB)
Graphics Card6GB NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 1660 SUPER - HDMI, DP - GeForce GTX VR Ready!
1st Storage Drive1TB SEAGATE BARRACUDA SATA-III 3.5" HDD, 6GB/s, 7200RPM, 64MB CACHE
1st M.2 SSD Drive500GB SAMSUNG 970 EVO PLUS M.2, PCIe NVMe (up to 3500MB/R, 3200MB/W)
Power SupplyCORSAIR 750W RM SERIES™ MODULAR 80 PLUS® GOLD, ULTRA QUIET
Power Cable1 x 1 Metre UK Power Cable (Kettle Lead)
Processor CoolingCorsair H100i RGB PLATINUM Hydro Series High Performance CPU Cooler
Thermal PasteSTANDARD THERMAL PASTE FOR SUFFICIENT COOLING
Sound CardONBOARD 6 CHANNEL (5.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)
Wireless/Wired NetworkingWIRELESS INTEL® Wi-Fi 6 AX200 2,400Mbps/5GHz, 300Mbps/2.4GHz PCI-E CARD + BT 5.0
USB/Thunderbolt OptionsMIN. 2 x USB 3.0 & 2 x USB 2.0 PORTS @ BACK PANEL + MIN. 2 FRONT PORTS
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home 64 Bit - inc. Single Licence [KUK-00001]
 

SpyderTracks

Huntsman
Moderator
They aren't PWM fans so aren't speed adjustable, they operate at a static 1000rpm.

BUT they certainly shouldn't be loud in any way, it's a very quiet case!

Can you take a photo of the rear fan perhaps? Hoping to see the label just to confirm they're the right fans. They should look like these:


Can you perhaps take a recording of the sound also and upload it so we can hear what you mean?
 

rchrdp

Member
Hi @SpyderTracks Looks like the fans are correct, and they are wired correctly into the Nexus+2. I didn't realise they were static fans.

It's the noise from the rear fan that I hear the most; that's the one with no case cladding, so it makes sense I'd hear it.

I'm coming to the conclusion that the setup is quiet, it's just that my idea of quiet is more extreme than most. There is heat and it has to be extracted somehow! To give you an idea, I run my laptop processor-limited to prevent the fans kicking in :)

I love the Fractal Define 7 case - it's a great piece of engineering. My next move might be to try and find a quieter PWM fan for the rear.

Nexus2
Nexus2.JPG


Fractal Dynamic X2 GP-14
FractalFan.JPG
 

Attachments

Last edited:

Nursemorph

Spamtastic
I can't add anything as i have never heard that case in action. However, if I was you, I'd push those 2 right hand side connectors in properly, especially the one on the end....won't make a difference to the fan (I doubt) but it still should be pushed in fully anyway.

Having looked at it, if the far right connector is the rear fan, then I wonder...as that connector is not connected right at all to my mind...looks like it is connected slightly out of alignment (whether that's intentional due to the connectors or not I don't know). If it was me, I'd pull the connector out completely and re-attach it, making sure it's seated correctly (looks to me like it should be a couple of mm to the left)
 

rchrdp

Member
Thanks @Nursemorph I think the connectors you see are 3x fans (front, front, rear), then power, then the link to CPU_FAN on the motherboard. Pretty sure they are all connected OK, and all three fans are spinning. But the cables are a bit tighter than I'd like, so I'll try to loosen some of them off a bit and re-seat the plugs.
 

Nursemorph

Spamtastic
The first 3 on the left look fine...it's the last 2 that I wouldn't be happy with (though the second to last on the right needs pushing in by a millimetre or so)....it's the far right one as not only isn't it pushed in fully but it is not in the right place..looks almost like a 4 pin connector has been pushed into a 3 pin socket so it ends up slightly off if you get what I mean. The connector should be like the one next to it, not off to one side
 

rchrdp

Member
Here's a short clip of the rear fan; not sure if you can hear the noise on the clip! https://easyupload.io/8ofdq2

Is it possible that the fans in the case are interacting somehow, and the resulting airflow is creating noise at the rear? This is my first "build", and I'm learning fast!

Case has:
Front: X2 GP-14 (2 fans)
Top: Corsair H100i (2 fans)
Rear: X2 GP-14 (1 fan)
 

rchrdp

Member
Update: I've done some research. It *should* be possible to vary the speed of the X2 GP-14 fans that come with the Define 7 case.

They are not PWM, but they should still change speed based on DC input voltage. Not clear why this isn't happening, but it could be because they are 3-pin fans plugged into the 4-pin PWM outputs from the Nexus+ fan hub. Or because the hub isn't picking up input control from the CPU_FAN connection to the motherboard.

Either way, everything I've read suggests that the fans are loud because they are running full speed, and they don't need to be.
 

SpyderTracks

Huntsman
Moderator
Update: I've done some research. It *should* be possible to vary the speed of the X2 GP-14 fans that come with the Define 7 case.

They are not PWM, but they should still change speed based on DC input voltage. Not clear why this isn't happening, but it could be because they are 3-pin fans plugged into the 4-pin PWM outputs from the Nexus+ fan hub. Or because the hub isn't picking up input control from the CPU_FAN connection to the motherboard.

Either way, everything I've read suggests that the fans are loud because they are running full speed, and they don't need to be.
They do 2 versions of the same fan, 1 is PWM with 4 pins and one is non PWM with 3 pins. If a fan isn’t PWM then it’s not speed addressable. The 4th pin is what regulates voltage.

The fan controller should not be plugged into the CPU_Fan header, that’s for sure, should be in one of the CHA_Fan
 

rchrdp

Member
Thanks @SpyderTracks I've logged a ticket with Fractal Design to ask them how they advise the fans should be configured. After all, they supply them along with the case. And I agree, it seems odd to have them driven from CPU_FAN.

The ASUS BIOS on the B550 motherboard offers options to vary fan speed by PWM (4 pin fans) or by DC Voltage (3 pin fans). More research to be done here.

Did you have a chance to listen to the clip of the rear fan operating? https://easyupload.io/8ofdq2 Sound loud to you?
 
Last edited:

SpyderTracks

Huntsman
Moderator
DC Voltage (3 pin fans). More research to be done here.
Ah, ok, that’s new to me, apologies wasn’t aware of that. In that case it should be doable.

It's hard to tell from the video, but that case should really be almost whisper quiet, that's the whole point of it, so I don't doubt it's too loud if you're noticing it more than a tiny background whisper.

See what Fractal say, but also don't be shy about contacting PCS, they should be able to help out also.
 

rchrdp

Member
New info from Fractal Design. Posting this in case it helps anyone else.

1. The X2 GP-14 case fans must be plugged into the 3-pin outputs on the Nexus+ fan header. Mine came connected to the 4-pin outputs; they will get power from there, but no DC speed control.

2. The fan header takes an input from CPU_FAN (far right) and drives the CPU fan (in my case a Corsair H100i) from the right-most 4-pin output.

So I have some rewiring to do, which is disappointing.

1596442568047.png
 

SpyderTracks

Huntsman
Moderator
New info from Fractal Design. Posting this in case it helps anyone else.

1. The X2 GP-14 case fans must be plugged into the 3-pin outputs on the Nexus+ fan header. Mine came connected to the 4-pin outputs; they will get power from there, but no DC speed control.

2. The fan header takes an input from CPU_FAN (far right) and drives the CPU fan (in my case a Corsair H100i) from the right-most 4-pin output.

So I have some rewiring to do, which is disappointing.

View attachment 17665
Interesting, thanks for feeding that back.

I would send PCS and email with your order number just outlining the fact the wiring was incorrect and maybe including the photo's, just so they're aware and can relate that back to training. They need to be made aware of these inconsistencies so they can work to prevent them in the future.

I'm very glad you looked into this further, I had absolutely no idea how the wiring would work at all, was completely wrong about almost everything! o_O Thanks for the photos also, helps make sense of the way it's supposed to be set out.
 
Top