Inside be quiet!


be quiet! fan guide - Update March 2024

From stylish fans with ARGB lights to high-performance static pressure fans for radiators – We’ve got them all. But which are the right choice for you?

Unless you are building a completely fanless PC, which is difficult these days with rising processor and graphics card core temperatures, your computer needs some cooling fans. But which fan should you choose for your case? What if you want to add some bling to your system alongside the fans? Would you benefit from replacing the stock fans in your case or on your radiator?

Whichever fan you pick, be sure to consider the static pressure, airflow, noise level, color, and lighting options that best suits your needs. With our range of models, we offer specialized solutions as well as all-rounders with the perfect balance between performance and noise. All be quiet! fans may look similar due to the airflow-optimized fan blades, but under the hood there are significant differences to consider.

PWM and voltage control

Many be quiet! fans are available as PWM versions with 4-pin connectors or voltage-regulated versions with 3-pin connectors. The maximum RPM is usually the same for both versions, but the minimum RPM can be different. PWM fans always run on 12 volts, while a 3-pin fan needs a minimum voltage, usually around 5-6 volts, to even start. At 5 volts, the RPM is usually higher than the minimum that can be achieved with PWM control, which is only limited by the fan motor. Sometimes, the PWM version is a little bit more expensive, but the difference, if any, is small.

If your motherboard or fan controller supports PWM control, we always recommend using it, even though many modern motherboards can dynamically control 3-pin fans as well.


While this article primarily speaks to performance and noise, some be quiet! fans offer different color options. The Silent Wings Pro 4, Silent Wings 4, Light Wings, Shadow Wings 2 and Pure Wings 3 series are available in white. Light Wings is also the be quiet! fan series with impressive integrated ARGB lighting – and included ARGB hubs, if you choose the triple pack.


High static pressure for water cooling

High static pressure fans move more air through restrictive components, such as water cooling radiators. The tighter the radiator fins and the thicker the radiator, the more resistance the fan must overcome. Higher fan pressure helps keep the coolant cool as it passes through the radiator. Our high-speed fans often come with 9 fan blades to build up more pressure. Other measures, such as a sealed frame to avoid air leaks, also help direct the air where it is needed. The following be quiet! fans are recommended for use as radiator fans.

  • Silent Wings Pro 4 –3,000 RPM (120mm) | 2,400 RPM (140mm)
  • Silent Wings 4 high-speed – 2,500 RPM (120mm) | 1,900 RPM (140mm)
  • Light Wings high-speed –2,500 RPM (120mm) | 2,200 RPM (140mm)
  • Pure Wings 3 high-speed –2,100 RPM (120mm) | 1,800 RPM (140mm)

Ideal case fans

Finding the right case fan involves managing a perfect balance between performance and noise. A case fan’s job is to draw cold air into the case and exhaust warm air. Our recommendations below also consider the noise level, as lower RPM fans are a little easier on the ear than the high-speed static-pressure variants. Higher RPM case fans also suffer from diminishing returns. The right fan should complement the look, performance and sound quality of your case.

Another factor to consider is ease of installation. Unlike on a radiator, case fans do not necessarily need to be mounted with screws. Push-pins are much easier to use and do not require any tools. The following be quiet! fans are recommended as case fans.

  • Silent Wings 4 –1,600 RPM (120mm) | 1,100 RPM (140mm)
  • Light Wings –1,700 RPM (120mm) | 1,500 RPM (140mm)
  • Shadow Wings 2 – 1,100 RPM (120mm) | 900 RPM (140mm)
  • Pure Wings 3 – 1,600 RPM (120mm) | 1,200 RPM (140mm)

Silent PC builds

Noise pressure is measured in decibel. The impression a noise makes on human hearing is A-weighted and expressed in dB(A). For our data sheet, we measure the fan noise in an anechoic chamber with an extremely low noise floor. For example, a quiet apartment will usually have a resting noise floor of around 35-40 dB(A).

While all be quiet! fans have the potential to run very quietly at low speeds, some are more designed for silent operation than others. They often feature some kind of decoupling to prevent fan vibrations from being transmitted to the case frame, such as rubber damping on the mounts, a rubberized fan frame or push-pin mounting. The following fans are among the quietest at full speed.

  • Silent Wings 4 –18.9 dB(A) (120mm) | 13.6 dB(A) (140mm)
  • Light Wings –20.6 dB(A) (120mm) | 23.3 dB(A) (140mm)
  • Shadow Wings 2 – 15.7 dB(A) (120mm) | 14.7 dB(A) (140mm)
  • Pure Wings 3 – 25.5 dB(A) (120mm) | 21.9 dB(A) (140mm)

Small form factor builds

Small form factor builds may require smaller fans. The Pure Wings 2 series includes 80mm and 92mm versions to accommodate this need.

To learn more about the differences between each be quiet! fan, please watch the videos below.