One of the components in the system I recently build was a ThermalRight SK6 copper heatsink with a 60mm Delta fan. This HSF combo provides excellent cooling, which comes at a price: noise. The Delta AFB0612EH moves about 37CFM at over 7000 RPM, and you can hear it clearly over the noise of the 4 80mm case fans in my Antec SX1040 case.
While this setup is definitely quieter than the previous case, a Addtronics 7896A full tower, I was wondering if there is a way to quiet this puppy down. CoolerGuys offered an interesting possible solution to this issue: replace the small, noisy, high-RPM 60mm Delta fan with a bigger, quieter, lower RPM 80mm fan. So how do you fit an 80mm fan on a heatsink that was made to mount 60mm fans? With an 80 to 60 mm fan adapter.
The concept is simple: Remove the 60mm fan from the heatsink. Place the 80/60 adapter on top of the heatsink and position it properly. Use the mounting screws to securely fasten the adapter to the heatsink.
Sounds pretty straight forward, right? It pretty much is. The screws that mount the adapter on the SK6 just wedge themselves in between the heatsink fans. The design might be a little awkward, but it works, the adapter was held firmly in place. Mounting the adapter is easy. However, you have to remove the heatsink from the CPU before doing this installation, you won’t be able to do this otherwise.Now mount the 80mm fan on top of the adapter, connect the cable to the proper connector on your motherboard, double-check your work, and fire it up.
Once the adapter and fan are mounted, just reattach the heatsink and you’re ready to go. The main thing to pay attention to is that this monstrosity has enough clearance for height. The adapter adds over 1½” to the height, plus whatever the bigger fan adds. In the sample picture below, I mounted the adapter and the 80mm fan on top of a stock AMD Athlon heatsink. It increased the height from originally 2¼” to 4¼”! You have to make sure that you have enough space in your case and keep all cables out of the way. Adding a fan grill might be a good idea for extra protection. Double-check that you attached the heatsink properly, because once you put this in your case, it will be hanging at a 90 degree angle and exercise a certain amount of extra pull. You don’t want this brick come crashing down into your case.
The decrease in noise was noticeable. Instead of having the high-pitched whine of the 60mm Delta fan standing out over the case fans, the Sunon fan blended in with the other case fans and made for a much more subdued and tolerable noise level. Definitely an improvement, goal accomplished.In my case, I replaced the Delta fan with a Sunon 80mm KD1208PTB2-6 can that supposedly moves the same 37 CFM at a much lower 3000 RPM. While I didn’t make a science experiment out of it, I took note of the CPU temperature as recorded with Motherboard Monitor 5 before and after the switch, as well as the noise level difference.
What about temperature? When I compared temps using the Motherboard Monitor readouts, I realized that’s where I paid the price for the decrease noise level. Even though the Sunon was supposed to move the same 37 CFM, temps were up noticeably by almost 10 degrees Fahrenheit. I double-checked the installation, making sure that everything was working properly and mounted correctly. After running the system with this setup for a few days and observing temperatures on a regular basis, it was clear that increased temps was the trade-off for less noise. Since I was planning to overclock the system soon, I removed the adapter and reverted back to the 60mm Delta fan. After switching fans and reseating the heatsink with a tiny bit more artic silver heatsink compound the temperatures went down 10-12 degrees again.
The adapter works well and enables you to mount 80mm fans securely on your existing heatsink. If your goal is to reduce noise level by installing a bigger fan with lower RPM this can do the trick, though you might be able to accomplish the same by simply replacing the existing fan with one of the same size but lower RPMs. If your goal is to get better cooling by mounting a bigger fan with high RPM, such as the Delta 80mm Case fan (Ultra High Speed 68CFM), and you don’t care about the noise level, then this could be your ticket.
This adapter might not be for everybody, but as long as you know what you want and what you can expect, it can come in really handy.
Props to Todd at CoolerGuys for providing the review sample.
Submitted by: Alex “crazygerman” Byron