What is the difference between CPU fan and system fan?

Asked By: Atidzhe Barbeyto | Last Updated: 9th March, 2020
Category: technology and computing computer peripherals
4.8/5 (735 Views . 23 Votes)
System Fans aka SYS fans are regulated by the temperatures on the Motherboard or run at a specified rate. CPU fans are regulated by the heat of the CPU… (So they'll work faster if the CPU is hotter, and run slower if the CPU is cold).

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Accordingly, what is the difference between a case fan and a CPU fan?

Well the CPU fan is for the fan on the CPU, while the chassis fan is for fans on the case (aka chassis). All right, enough with being a smartass. Chassis fans are typically 'dumb' fans which spin at a specific speed. If you want your fan to spin slower/quieter then you add a fan line resistor.

Also, which fan is the CPU fan? A CPU fan is a fan that mounts on top of your CPU. A CPU fan, is also known as a CPU cooler, or heatsink. The CPU cooler will have a base that sits on top of your CPU, which is normally made out of copper, aluminium, or a combination of both. The base will have heat pipes that connect to fins, where the fan sits.

Herein, can you use a CPU fan as a case fan?

Yes you can use it as a case fan. Just plug the black yellow green wires in. (The blue will hang over the fan header.) Yes you can use it as a case fan.

What is a SYS fan?

Updated: 04/26/2017 by Computer Hope. Alternatively referred to as a system fan, a case fan is located inside a computer, attached to the front or back of its case. Case fans help bring cool air into and blow hot air out of the case.

37 Related Question Answers Found

How big is a 120mm fan?

What size for a 92mm fan? According to google, 120mm is 4.72 inches.

Do I need a case fan if I have a CPU cooler?

You will need a fan on your CPU cooler and videocard, but for your current setup a case fan won't do much other than create extra noise. If the side covers are both on when using the computer, then yes a case fan would be required to prevent overheating.

What is a CPU cooling fan?

A computer fan is any fan inside, or attached to, a computer case used for active cooling. Fans are used to draw cooler air into the case from the outside, expel warm air from inside and move air across a heat sink to cool a particular component.

Can I use 3 pin fan CPU?

Apparently a 3-pin fan can plug directly into a 4-pin socket. Two of the pins provide power to the fan, the 3rd provides an RPM pulse to the motherboard to read the speed. The 4th pin is for PWM speed control. If you plug a 4 pin fan into a 3 pin socket, the fan speed will be controlled by voltage and it'll still work.

How do CPU fans work?


Heatsinks use either copper, aluminum, or a combination of the two in order to move heat from the base of the cooler through heatpipes to the heatsink. A fan then blows air through the heatsink to move the heat into the air, and then out of the system, effectively keeping the CPU within safe operating temperatures.

Do fans need to be connected to motherboard?

Power fan is for your PSU. On some units the fan will be speed variable, this is where you plug it into your motherboard to control the speed. Go ahead and plug your fans into your motherboard, advice like that is what you see in youtube comments.

What are fan headers?

a fan header is the 3 or 4-pin socket on the mobo that supplies power to a fan. Some additionally can read the fan rpm (if signalled) & also have the voltage on them varied hence control fan speed. It is possible to power fans directly from the PSU or via a fan controller though so it isn't necessarily a drawback.

What is the meaning of CPU?

CPU (pronounced as separate letters) is the abbreviation for central processing unit. Sometimes referred to simply as the central processor, but more commonly called a processor, the CPU is the brains of the computer where most calculations take place.

Do you need a CPU cooler?

Do you really need a cpu cooler? You have to have a cpu heatsink even if you are not overclocking or the CPU will burn up. If you are not overclocking you can use the stock heatsink and you will be fine, but if you are getting an OEM cpu that does not come with a heatsink they you must buy one.

Where do you plug in a second CPU fan?


When using 2 fans, please connect one of the fans to the CPU-Fan header and the second fan to one of the Case-Fan headers of your mainboard. Alternatively, you can also use a 3-pin Y-cable in order to run both fans via the CPU-Fan header.

How many case fans do I need?

It is always our recommendation that you buy cases with a minimum of 3 fans (or at least slots for adding them yourself) for gaming systems, not counting the power supply, CPU, and GPU fans. I know we say this about a lot of things (especially power supplies), but you really don't want to skimp on cooling.

How do you install a case fan?

When mounting case fans, air flows across the open side towards the side with the protective grille, like so: So the open side of the fan should face outside the case for intake fans on the front or the bottom, and it should face inside the case for fans on the rear or top.

How does an aluminum heat sink work?

The heat sink has a thermal conductor that carries heat away from the CPU into fins that provide a large surface area for the heat to dissipate throughout the rest of the computer, thus cooling both the heat sink and processor. Both a heat sink and a radiator require airflow and, therefore, both have fans built in.

How do you describe a motherboard?

The motherboard is a printed circuit board and foundation of a computer that is the biggest board in a computer chassis. It allocates power and allows communication to and between the CPU, RAM, and all other computer hardware components.

What is the purpose of thermal paste?


Thermal compound, also known as thermal paste and thermal grease, is a material used to fill the microscopic gaps between a computer's CPU and its heat sink. Thermal compound significantly increases the heat sink's ability to cool the CPU, allowing the CPU to run at a higher speed and improve system performance.

What's a PSU on a computer?

A power supply unit (or PSU) converts mains AC to low-voltage regulated DC power for the internal components of a computer. Modern personal computers universally use switched-mode power supplies. ATX power supplies are turned on and off by a signal from the motherboard.