Whether you are building a new PC, or changing the thermal paste on your CPU, you need to install the CPU fan correctly. If you put the face of your CPU fan in the wrong direction, it will be unable to cool down your CPU. As a result, you might end up damaging your CPU or other components of your PC.
So, which way should the CPU fan face? This is a common question asked by new PC enthusiasts. The answer is that you need to install your CPU fan in a way so that it can pull the air from the CPU and blow the air upwards.
If you are not sure which is the right direction you should face your CPU fan, then this article is just for you. In this article, we will explain which way you should face the CPU fan and how you can determine which is the correct direction. Let’s explore them below!
Which Direction Should the CPU Fan Face?
To determine which direction should the CPU fan face, you need to understand the intent of a CPU fan.
Cooling fans are mainly used to through the warm air outside the PC case. Unlike exhaust fans, CPU fans pull in the cool air. But it doesn’t mean that the CPU fan takes air inside. It also works similarly to an exhaust fan but in a different way.
To be more specific, when the CPU fan runs, it expels air with hot molecules upwards and cool air molecules take around the CPU. That’s how it keeps the CPU safe from being overheated.
CPU fans normally come with a heatsink and have four clips on the bottom side of the fan. While installing the CPU fan, the heatsink should be attached to the CPU and the fan will blow the air upwards.
If you try to install the CPU fan with a heatsink incorrectly, the clips of the fan will not set on the CPU fan socket. As a result, you won’t be able to install the fan on your PC case.
Let’s learn more about the correct direction of the CPU fan below.
Why the Correct Direction of CPU Fan Matters?
If your CPU fan has a heatsink with it, you won’t be able to install it in the wrong direction as there are clips to fit in the CPU fan socket surrounding the CPU on the motherboard.
However, if your old CPU fan is damaged somehow and you have bought a new CPU fan that needs to be installed on the heatsink, then you might easily get confused about which way you should install the fan.
As you already learned from the previous section, the CPU fan needs to face upwards, If you put the CPU fan downwards then you might think it will work like the ceiling fan for the CPU and cool it down.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. In fact, if you put the CPU fan facing downward, then the hot air will continuously spread around the motherboard which will gradually heat up the CPU and other components of the PC.
That’s why the CPU fan is put facing upwards so that the hot air does not reach the components of the motherboard and the exhaust fan can through the hot air outside the PC case.
Now, how should you know in which direction your CPU fan blows air? Read on to learn about that.
How to Determine the Correct Direction of the CPU Fan
If your CPU fan has a heatsink, then simply install it while the heatsink is at the bottom of the CPU fan. But if you only have a fan with no heatsink, then there are still ways to determine the accurate direction you should face the fan.
Method 1: Follow the Indication Arrows on the Fan
Most CPU fans have arrow signs on their body to indicate the direction of the fan. You need to put the fan on your CPU while the arrow directs the opposite way from the CPU. To be more specific, you need to put the fan while the arrow is indicating upwards.
Method 2: Check the Label on the CPU fan
If your CPU fan doesn’t have any arrow sign, then it must have a circular sticker on one side that lists brand and model information. You need to install the fan while the sticker is upward while the CPU will be on the other side of the fan.
Method 3: Follow the Shape of the Fan Blades
If your CPU fan neither has any directional arrow nor any sticker, then you can still determine the right side to face the fan by observing the direction of the fan blades.
From one direction the fan blades will look convex and from the other side of the fan, the blades will look concave.
The convex side will intake the air and the concave side will exhaust the air. So, you need the face the convex side of the fan blade towards the CPU while the concave side of the fan blade towards the opposite direction from the CPU.
All the detailed information on which way should the CPU fan face is explained in this article and after reading the how to determine section from the article, we hope you can easily understand which way your CPU fan should be placed on the motherboard. If you still have any confusion regarding this topic, don’t hesitate to ask in your comment section below. Thanks for reading!