Can CPU Fans & Case Fans Replace Each Other? [The Truth]

CPU and Case fans are one of the most critical fans nowadays. Both help cool down your PC and give you solid performance, especially if you’re doing gaming, streaming, and other heavy works.

But suppose you have some extra CPU fans and want to use those in place of Case fans, or you have additional Case fans and might be thinking of inserting them on your CPU.

So is it possible or not? If it is possible, then how? I have discussed everything around this topic in detail, so keep reading to know more about this.

Can CPU Fans & Case Fans Replace Each Other

Can CPU Fans be Used as Case Fans?

YES! You can use your CPU fan as a Case Fan. There is no hassle in doing this; the case fan will work the same as the CPU fan. But, you may have issues with installing the PC case. Your PC Case or the side panel might not close properly.

Closing the Case properly is important to have a good airflow inside of your Case and also it prevent you from dust.

But, in summer, you may like to have the side panel open. So if this is not an issue for you, you can use it. But, if your case is not fitting correctly, then it is always better to buy a proper Case Fan; here, you can check some of the best case fans on amazon.

Also, there is another issue you can have, the CPU fan might have four wires or connectors, and if you have only a place for three connectors, it can be a problem.

But the solution is, you can only use three wires [black, yellow, green, skip the blue or you test] instead of the 4, and worry about the adapter on the head; you can cut it off.

There is also another solution, you can use an 4 pin to 3 pin adapter to make it happen. Here you can find this type of adapter on amazon.

Note: You should have a CPU fan, don’t just remove the CPU fan and use it in place of a Case fan because a CPU fan plays a vital role in cooling down your whole system and increasing performance.

Will You Get the Exact Benefits?

So if you’re concerned about how much effective it will be then here is your answer.

You’ll get almost the same or nearly identical benefits or advantages, but the airflow might be pretty different from the previous. The main concern is with the case; it can’t be close properly in most cases.

But, you can have a try because maybe it can fit in your case. It can be quite problematic with an open case as it can attract dust, but you can get more cooling with an open case in the short term.

Can Case Fans be Used as CPU Fans?

YES! You can use a Case fan on your CPU as most fans work similarly. But, it is not recommended to have a Case fan in place of your CPU fan because the CPU fans are designed differently to create more static pressure and pull out the hot air.

Whereas the Case fan is known to maintain a smooth airflow inside of your PC Case. So both the fans are important and are quite different from each other.

To get an excellent performance while playing games and other works, it is best to have a proper CPU cooling fan.

So if you’re planning to install a CPU fan for your heatsink or radiator, then I always recommend using Noctua, as I personally like this brand; you can check all of their fans and prices from here on amazon.

Note: Most people hardly use Case fans as CPU fans; I think the most critical fan, and we should not compromise with this fan.

Is there any difference between CPU Fans & Case Fans?

Here I’ve listed some essential differences between CPU fans and Case fans that you only need to know to understand this topic correctly.

CPU Fans: We can also call CPU Fan a Static pressure fan. Meaning this fan has a static or resistance pressure to blow against to move the hot air in a particular direction. The speed of this fan is quite high which helps to move a good amount of hot air in certain direction to maintain the temperature inside of your CPU.

CPU has heat sink so the fan blow the air though the heat sink and its help to blow the hot air quickly. CPU fan is blowing the air though your heat sink. You can see on the image.

Case Fans: We can also mention a Case fan as airflow fan. There are two types of fans for airflowing, one is intake and the other is exhaust. Intake fans collect the cool air from outside and pass it into your case then the Exhaust fans blow the hot air outside of your case.

So both the fans together creating a airflow to cool down the components inside of your PC Case.

But, the CPU fans blow the hot air in a good speed. Case fans create a smooth flow of air inside of your Case.

cpu fan vs case fan

The speed is one of the major difference here becasue your CPU fans should spin more quickly in order to cool down your processor or your PC will shut down. But, in Case fans they just have to maintain a flow of intake and exhaust nothing else.

Fans TypeNormal SpeedNormal SizeCooling Area
CPU Fans3000 to 4000 rpm120mmCPU Unit
Case Fans1000 to 3000 rpm120mmPC Case’s Interior

Is there any Universal Fan for both CPU & Case?

Currently, NO! There is no Fan that can do the same job of cooling both CPU and Case with the same efficiency. Because the work of these two different fans is not the same, one is suitable for static flow, and the other is good for airflow.

So it is better to have different fans for different purposes and places. It can give you the best results.

But, with technology, it can be done; maybe we can have a similar thing like that in the future. In my opinion, particular parts for particular places are the best.

Do You Need Case Fan If You Have CPU Cooler?

YES! You do need case fans if you have CPU cooler. Becasue the purpose of the CPU cooler is different from Case fans. CPU fan blow out the heat from CPU and passes through heat sink to your PC case. Where the Case fans have to blow away the hot air outside of your case.

And the intake case fans take in the cool air inside your PC case. In this way, your PC case has a smooth airflow.

And it is really important to cool your PC as much as possible. The cooler your PC components are, the better your PC will work.

So both the fans are crucial for for your PC. Especially in summer you need more cooling, often you might have issues if you don’t have enough cooling fans.

In summer, the PC components get much hotter than in winter. So you’ll have performance drop, and then you’ll know the importance of the cooling fans.

Do You Need Case Fans If You Have Liquid Cooling?

YES! You do need case fans if you have a liquid cooling system. Liquid cooling is mainly used in CPU and GPU as these two parts get hotter than any other. So components can be cool easily with liquid cooling, but the hot air inside your case should be blown away with case fans.

It is essential to keep a smooth and cool airflow inside your case. If you don’t have a smooth airflow, it doesn’t matter how much liquid cooling you use to your components, as at the end of the day, those components will get hot.

So the PC fans are vital to done this job and thus you should have at least two case fans. One for intake and the other for exhaust.