How to add extra fans to your computer

Written by larry simmons
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How to add extra fans to your computer
Installing additional fans in your computer case helps to keep components cool. (fan blade image by robert mobley from

Modern computer systems generate a large amount of heat that potentially can cause components to fail. The only way to prevent a cycle of overheating followed by failure is by adding greater cooling capacity to your computer system. One method of cooling your computer is by adding extra fans to your case. Placing extra fans where they can direct air current around components prone to overheating will bring down the overall temperature of your system. Lower temperatures mean a longer lifespan for components, greatly increasing the stability of your system.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Case fan
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Compass
  • Rotary tool
  • Metal punch
  • Drill
  • 3/16-inch drill bit
  • Fan grill
  • Fan screws

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  1. 1

    Choose the fan you wish to add to your computer. Case fans commonly come in two sizes, 80mm and 120mm. Use an 80-mm fan for a more directed airflow, when cooling a specific component such as your computer's random access memory or central processing unit. Use a 120-mm fan for more general cooling options that cover a large section of the case.

  2. 2

    Measure the fan and then measure the area of the case where you wish to install the fan. Measure the width and depth of the space to endure there's enough room in the case at the selected area.

  3. 3

    Remove the side panel from the case and place it on a clear, flat surface.

  4. 4

    Mark the inside of the panel where you're placing the new fan, using a pencil. Use a compass to mark the radius of the hole you're cutting into the case. The radius should be the same size as the radius of the fan blade.

  5. 5

    Take a rotary tool and cut the marked hole from the panel. Sand the edge of the hole to prevent injury when handling the fan installation.

  6. 6

    Place the fan over the hole and then mark the screw holes in the fan against the inside of the case. Remove the fan.

  7. 7

    Place a small indention at each of the screw holes using a metal punch. Place the 3/16-inch bit into your drill and drill through the indention to create the fan mounting holes for the screws. Remove any metal shavings left from the drill using a damp towel.

  8. 8

    Place the fan grill on the outside of the case aligned with the mounting holes and the fan on the inside. Screw the fan into place from the outside with the four fan screws.

  9. 9

    Place the panel back on the case and then hook the power from the computer power supply to the fan using the four pin-connector from the power supply.

Tips and warnings

  • If a four-pin connector is unavailable, you can purchase a four-pin splitter from a computer store and use it to create a connection by splitting the power cable leading to your hard drive.
  • Keep all metal shaving away from the interior of your computer because the smallest metal bit can cause short-circuiting.

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