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120mm fan in front

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Oct 24, 2002
I've got blisters and a shredded thumb from some razor-edged case metal... but in only 6 hrs I managed to get a 120mm into the front of my case. (I've always done this... but this case was more difficult than most. Anyhow... Lacking any tools beyond a powerdrill, a nibbler tool (VERY dull), and some very low grit sandpaper. But it only cost me 3$ and was a very effective mod. First I'll list the parts.

Sandpaper: Cheap... like 50 4"x4" sheets for a buck from a dollar store ages ago. = $1
Nibbler tool: Uhh... I bought it from radio shack if I recall, I'm guessing $8
Power Drill: Borrowed
120mm Comair rotron: Bought 5 of these off ebay for something like $20 shipped. Paid another $5 for 4.25 Y splitters and used them as the ends to the fans, = $5 each
Soldering gun and solder to attach the y splitters to the fans cables: $10
Furnace filter: $1
92mm grill: I have no idea where this came from. I've got loads of 80mm grills too and I can not remember ever procuring them, (Free)
120mm grill: A buddy of mine gave me this when I was rigging a Hard drive cooler for a pair of half height drives in a raid which I've since dismantled.
Metal shears: Dull pieces of crap from godknows where
8 Screws: $0.48
8 Winged bolts: $1.36
Drill bits: Couldn't find any so I bought a set for $3 from "Big Lots" (A small version of walmart). "Warning normal use of this product has been proven to cause cancer." I'm not lying to you... That warning is on the package. Big lots only sold cancer bits and I didn't want to drive farther away.

So lets see now....
1.00 (sandpaper)
1.00 (Filter)
5.00 (Fan)
1.84 (Screws and bolts)
3.00 (Drill bits which Im gonna throw out asap. Cancer is bad.)

So a total of $11.84 parts only $3 of which were parts I had to buy now... everything else was leftovers.


Here's what I did.

1. Cut fanhole and drill screwholes in plastic front for 92mm grill.
2. Cut fanhole and drill screwholes in front of case (below 3.5 drives) for 120mm fan and fangrill.
2.5. Sand the edges.
3. Screw the 92mm grill on outside of plastic.
4. Screw the 120mm fan on the inside of the metal case, the 120grill on the outside using a single screw to hold both at each corner (total 4 screws).
5. Pin a square block of the furnace filter material between the metal case and plastic front when you reattach the front.
6. Plug the damn fan in.

Note: Im not a complete idiot I emptied my case before I even began cutting/screwing at the metal. I put the comp back in after I had reattached the front of the case.

Note again: This case was thick steel, at least a mm... closer to 1.5 I'd guess. It took a couple hours to cut the 120mm hole in it. Trust me it was a very unpleasant experience. Oh and I forgot to mention the two bandages used on my thumb in the parts list.

Note: Yeah. I really need a jigsaw.

More noting: The fan is a Comair Rotron 120mm, Muffin DC MC1250MX 12VDC .63A 7.6W It isn't listed on their website so Im not certain on the specs. Looks closest to their MC12B7 (It looks just a touch weaker) which is spec'ed at 102cfm at 48dBA.

The results:

The noise increase is hardly noticable. I'd say this fan and my YS-tech 26 are quieter than two Ys-tech 26's in noise. (I had 2 Ys-tech 26's on my old slot A). As for my temps? Well, I haven't Checked it at load... but at just about Idle (Norton antivirus, zonealarm, Winmx, Trillian, CpuCool, Internet explorer, and Winamp running ... 1-2% cpu usage) I've gone from 45 idle (cover off) and 49 idle (cover on) with 34 case temp (cover off) and 39 case temp (cover on) to 39 idle (cover on) and 23 case temp (cover on)

Thats a 10 degree cpu drop and a 16 degree case temp drop. Although to be fair a little bit of it might be due to change in atmospheric temp, I doubt theres more than 2 degree's celsius of that.

Admittedly it was an unpleasant evenings work and with a small investment and a bit more waiting it could have been done quickly, more stylishly, and with less bleeding... but the temp change is more than I had hoped for so I am happy. I may actually (gasp) get a little overclocking done without having to replace my heatsink... we'll wait and see the Load temps.