I started on a vendetta to try and get my computer to run a bit quieter. Although I think the main culprit of noise levels is the stock CPU fan, the case fans in the Corsair 300R were making some noise, so I bought a few other fans to try out.
The fans were:
- CoolerMaster SickleFlow 120mm ($8)
- Aerocool SharkFan 120mm Blue Edition ($13)
- Antec TrueQuiet Pro 120mm ($20)
I don't have a dB meter -- quantitative testing isn't how I roll -- so I was just going by the ear test.
The CoolerMaster SickleFlow was the cheapest and was pretty loud, louder than the stock case fan.
The Aerocool was initially really loud as well, but then I realised the "extension lead" in the packet for a voltage reducer. With this fitted it reduced the noise to about the same as the stock fan.
The Antec TrueQuiet Pro had a physical switch for adjusting the speed. At full speed it too was louder than the stock fan, but when switched down to low speed it was quieter.
Spending the extra for something like the TrueQuiet Pro is worthwhile if noise levels are important.