I currently have a mini tower containing an SSD, one 2TB HDD and one 3TB backup HDD. Thanks to this Stack site, I recently installed an Arctic Freezer 11 LP for a CPU cooler, which is now the only fan in my system apart from the one on my Corsair VS550 PSU (which faces backwards, towards the rest of the components).

I feel like I need an exhaust fan in there just to offset the high temperatures of my drives, the SSD in particular:

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However, I know very little about coolers, so I'm unsure whether a back exhaust fan would be installed to the inside or the outside of my mini tower's back grill. If it's the former, then as well as fitting in the case's back grill size of around 10 CM/3.5 inches, the exhaust fan in question would also need to have a depth of less than one inch to prevent it colliding with the Freezer 11 CPU cooler.

To add to the conundrum, I'm on a low income, so the cheaper the proposed fan is the better.

TL;DR: I'm looking for the cheapest, quietest low-profile exhaust cooler that will fit in my PC.

Would really appreciate some help with this one, I understand there's a lot to consider.

  • Other option is you can stick a thermal pad and a copper sheet/heatsink on your SSD, that might improve thermals. Aside from this you can get a cheap 12V fan with 2 wires and undervolt it to about 6-8V with a series resistor, it would be as quiet as brand fans but less efficient and you wouldn't be able to control it's speed. – Jzuken Nov 21 '18 at 20:59

Coming from someone with a lot of fans in his system ill share what my experience with them is. The amount of fans is not nearly as important as a good air flow. You need a good way for air to get into you case and (what most people forget) you need a way for air to be blown out of your case. It would be counterproductive to get the one but not the other and as you stated you only have a fan on your CPU and PS this is a bare minimal of fans. (Are you sure your case does not have any fans?).

My advice for you would be to see where the air goes now and how you want to get rid of said air. If your desktop is placed inside a desk, hugging the back wall or tucked in a corner be aware that that seriously limits the air flow out of your case. If I was in your situation I would place it in an air flow rich place and not on the floor (which attracts a lot of dust).

If you want to buy only a single fan

Place a fan in the front of your case (if your case allows that) blowing into your pc letting the hot air be taken from this flow to the back of the case.

If you want to buy two fans

Place a fan in the front of your case blowing inwards and place a fan at the back blowing outwards. This would allow cool air to be mixed with the hot air your PS and CPU fan are blowing into the case. The fan at the back would collect this mixed air and blow it out the back since the fan in the front causes the air to be blown to the back of your case. (Dont place it close to the back wall though!)

For brand recomendations, personally I really like the be quiet! series and the Silent wings 3 are also quite cheap ~20/25 euro's.

(Oh and also, cyber monday is comming up ;) )

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