Your CPU fan is an integral part of your PC that ensures the internal component of your PC does not overheat. As it is such an essential part of your PC, it is vital to get it right. Not all CPU fans are the same; they differ in size and speed measured in RPM. So, what is a good RPM for a CPU fan?
A good RPM for a CPU fan depends on the size of your fan to keep your CPU cool while being quiet. The size should be two-thirds of the maximum speed of the fan. Hence, if you have a 140 mm fan, an RPM between 600 and 800 RPM is ideal; if you have an 80 mm fan, an RPM between 1250 and 1600 mm is perfect.
A CPU fan might not be the most expensive component on a PC build, but it will help keep your PC at optimal temperature. So, in this article, we will discuss how to check the RPM of your CPU fan, amongst other things.
How To Check the RPM of Your CPU Fan
Now that you know your CPU fan’s ideal speed, you need to check the speed at which it operates. If you are building the PC yourself, when you purchase the fan, you should be able to find the RPM of the fan in the description. However, if you didn’t build the PC, there are a few ways you can check the RPM of your CPU fan.
Below are the two ways you can check the RPM of your CPU fan.
Method #1: Using BIOS
Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) is a built-in processor software that helps your PC to boot. The BIOS lets you control the core hardware component on your motherboard. In other words, it is embedded into your PC motherboard. All PCs use a BIOS in one way or another, even if the display can be a bit different.
Here’s how to use the BIOS to check the RPM of your CPU fan.
- Reboot your PC and enter the BIOS menu.
- Depending on the model of your PC, you can repeatedly press either the F2, F10, F11, F12, or Del button while your PC reboot to enter the BIOS menu.
- In the BIOS menu, navigate to the “Hardware Monitor” section, then find the “Fan Control Settings”.
- In the “Fan Control Settings”, you can see the fan speed and adjust the fan RPM.
Method #2: Using a Third-Party App
Another way to check the RPM of your CPU fan is to use a third-party app such as SpeedFan. However, it is worth noting that there are several such apps. Still, SpeedFan stands out as it provides helpful information about several sensors on your motherboard, such as temperature, voltage, and speed, all from within your OS. Note that the SpeedFan app only works on Microsoft PCs and uses a self-monitoring analysis and reports technology (SMART).
Here’s how to use SpeedFan to check the RPM of your CPU fan.
- Download the SpeedFan app on your PC from their official website.
- Launch the app and click on “Configure”.
- Navigate to the “Fan” tab, and select the “CPU fan” to view the fan speed from the option.
- You can also adjust the fan speed in this section of the app.
Does the CPU Fan Speed Matter?
If you care about the health and performance of your CPU, then yes, the CPU fan speed matters. While the CPU fan does an excellent job at cooling your CPU, more factors are at play in cooling down your PC. This explains why if you double the CPU fan speed of your PC, your CPU temperature does not drop twice as low. Similarly, if you double the number of CPU fans on your PC, it does not cool twice as much. While doing any of both will help to reduce the temperature, its difference is not as drastic as many would expect.
So, while seeking the ideal CPU fan for your PC, you should also consider other factors. The radiator, heat pipes, heat spreader, ambient air temperature, etc., are all responsible for cooling the CPU. Therefore, if you focus all your attention on getting the best CPU fan and fail to get the best of other components, you will run into issues, especially when performing demanding processes like gaming or mining crypto.
Larger fans have lower RPM than smaller fans and are more efficient. Also, larger fans tend to be quieter because they have a lower RPM than smaller fans.
When choosing a CPU fan, you should consider the RPM of the fan as well as the size of the fan. Meanwhile, you shouldn’t get a fan with a high RPM, which means it would use more power and make more noise. Instead, depending on your PC build, you want a medium to a large fan with a moderate RPM, as they will be more efficient.
You should also note that while your CPU fan might have a certain RPM, it doesn’t mean that the fan will always spin at that speed. So, use the BIOS or a third-party app that suits you to adjust your fan speed when your PC is running at a specific temperature.