How many Fans should a PC have?

Besides the processor, the graphics card, the motherboard and the power supply, cooling is also an important component for the gaming PC.

The above-mentioned components generate a lot of heat during gaming and have to be cooled well. If the fan system of a computer is too weak or does not work properly, you will notice performance losses while gaming relatively quickly.

Furthermore, the fan is sometimes one of the biggest sources of noise in a gaming PC and can be a big disruptive factor when gaming.

It is important to know that nowadays most components of modern gaming computers have a fan themselves. However, even if the graphics card or power supply already have a fan, this does not mean that the gaming PC is optimally cooled.

The fans of the power supply or graphics card are located inside the case of a gaming PC and first have to be supplied with an appropriate air flow. The case fan is responsible for this and good gaming PCs usually have several of these case fans installed.

I will give you useful information about fan cooling for your gaming PC and show you how many fans your gaming PC should have.

Why are good Fans important for your PC?

If it gets too warm in your PC, system crashes are the result. The components then lose their performance and even the simplest applications can no longer be run. In the worst case, your hardware will suffer long-term damage and will have to be replaced. Sophisticated PC fans is therefore not only recommended for true professionals, but also for hobby users.

Especially in summer, when the general ambient temperature is elevated, the regular operating temperature of your PC also increases. This means that even without increased performance, there is a greater heat development. Are you dissatisfied with the performance of your PC, although the built-in components are designed for more? The reason for this may be suboptimal airflow in the computer. Among other things, the base temperatures of the respective hardware can provide signs for this.

What are the normal Temperatures in a PC?

Every component in your PC has an optimum temperature at which it performs best. This value can easily be exceeded every now and then. If frequent overheating occurs or too much heat is generated, the components can be damaged. But which temperatures are normal for your CPU while gaming?

What does the optimal PC Airflow look like?

The basic principle of optimal airflow is very simple: the fan sucks cooler room air into the heated interior of the case and at the same time expels warm air from the case. This way, the hardware components are cooled twice – once by the airflow itself and, in addition, by the cooler air that replaces the warmer one.

Correct mounting of the components is essential for optimized PC airflow. If they are misaligned, the cooling performance is significantly reduced. Ultimately, not all components can be reliably supplied with fresh and cold air and the entire cooling system becomes inefficient. The following tends to apply: The attachments for the fans located on the housing are good directional guides. The fans need to be attached to them, but you should also make sure that the potential direction of the airflow fits. Therefore, make sure that the airflow is front to back and bottom to top. This way you can make sure that all installed components are cooled well!

How many Case Fans do I need?

Generally, the number of fans depends on the case used and in general, not too many fans should be installed. If you have too many fans that transport fresh air into the case, but too few that extract warm air, a heat buildup will occur. Three fans are optimal for most PCs. One or two fans should be installed at the front of the gaming PC and one at the rear of the case. The fan at the front of the case supplies the inside of the case with fresh air and cools the storage media. In addition, the front fan generally supplies the existing hardware with cool air. The fan at the back of the gaming PC removes the warm air from the case and also ensures that the fan of the power supply does not suck in too warm air.

How many Fans do you need in your PC Case?

How to optimize the Airflow?

Finding the ideal fans for your PC is one thing. Of course, it’s important to choose high-quality coolers. But aside from that, much of the performance of your fans depends on how they are installed and oriented. How do you plan the PC airflow so that optimal cooling is provided?

Choose the right location

The location of the computer has a major impact on heat generation. As a general rule, there should be as much open space around the tower as possible. Therefore, do not place the computer directly against a wall, a cabinet or the side of a desk. Therefore, do not use it under any circumstances if it is placed in a cupboard! The heater should also be a good distance away – at least in winter. Do you have underfloor heating? Consider storing the PC a little higher up. Often underestimated, but nevertheless a great heat factor: sunlight penetrating through the window. The rays have great power at any time of the year and can provide a not-so-small amount of heat.

Identify the hot zone

Every computer has them: Particularly hot zones that could use some extra cooling. Analyze the components of your PC that get enormously hot and place the fans appropriately.

When creating your cooling system, you should also take the chimney effect into account. The principle behind this is this: warm air is lighter than cold air, which is why it rises. This means that warm air finds its way out of the case on its own, just by rising upward. That’s why it’s so important to provide air holes on the case lid as well. Make sure you do this, you can also cool your PC passively, which can save power as well as provide lower operating noise.

Organize the cables and hardware

Cable management is key when assembling a PC on your own. Unsorted and wildly hanging cables are not only an obstacle to PC airflow, but can also be annoying and a hindrance when cleaning or rebuilding the PC. The practical thing is that modern PC cases arrange a consistent cable management through fastening options and cable shafts, without much initiative on your part.

But not only cables, but also too large or inappropriately arranged hardware can disturb the PC airflow! Therefore, pay attention to a space-saving approach when assembling the components. For example, it is ideal to mount the long and flat components – hard disks, GPUs and drives – as horizontally as possible. This leaves plenty of room for air to cool! Of course, it’s also a good idea to go for very space-saving hardware right from the start.

Install the fan correctly

For your new fan to work well and reliably, it must be installed in the right place in your PC. A cooler has two different sides. One is open, usually you can see the fan there. The other side is optimally protected by a grille. At the bottom and front, the open sides should face outwards, at the top and back of the case it is better if the free part faces inwards, into the case. In this way, you create an optimal PC airflow, which can provide the best possible cooling. On the other hand, wrong mounting will lead to overheating of the PC in the worst case.

Adjust the air pressure

There are three different types of air pressure that can occur in a PC case: positive, negative and balanced air pressure.

  • Positive air pressure: This is where more air is pushed into the case than the fans can push out. This results in less cooling, but the amount of dust that gets into the case is significantly reduced.
  • Negative air pressure: With negative pressure, more air is blown out than in. Cooling is stronger, but more dust particles also find their way into the case.
  • Balanced air pressure: With the balanced approach, as much air is pumped into the case as goes out the other side. This method is hard to achieve.

Take care of dust

Getting small dust particles inside the computer is almost unavoidable and not a big deal as long as the case and components are carefully cleaned on a regular basis. If the dirt is not removed from time to time, it quickly affects the cooling performance of the fans. The airflow no longer passes through the case unhindered and adds dust to everything.

The solution is either special dust filters or careful cleaning. First use a vacuum cleaner on the lowest setting to remove the coarsest dirt. After that, you can take care of the finer details with a special compressed air spray.


Are you wondering how many fans you really need in your PC? That depends on your components and the use of your PC. An office computer usually gets by with two fans that form an airflow. A gaming computer, on the other hand, may well need up to eight. While that’s a bit overkill for most, it’s best to use a good average of three to four.

The system is supplemented by special cooling systems for the graphics card and the CPU – these are especially predestined for overheating.