Traditional personal computers (PC) are fitted with microchips that heat up on extended use. Since it can affect the PC’s performance, there is an inbuilt fan to cool down the heated components. The whirring of the fan can be a distraction in audio-sensitive environments – such as the operating theatre. Thus, a fanless pc is preferred for such applications. Here are the additional features and benefits of a PC without a fan.
Studies have shown that the human brain loses visual and auditory attention when exposed to noise levels of 65dBA (adjusted decibels) and above. (Note that 25dBA is a whisper and 100dBA is a shout). It can especially be problematic when you are engaged in activities requiring higher concentration levels, such as studying and working. The loudest components – its fan and storage drives – can emit up to 75dBA, thus distracting you from work. A fanless pc being significantly more silent is ideal when you want to reduce exposure to distracting background noise.
Traditional PCs use graphic cards and spinning hard drives that get relatively hot. Fans are, thus, a necessity to cool them down. The components are carefully designed to generate less heat in PCs without fans. For instance, the spinning hard drives are replaced by solid-state drives with no moving parts. The fans are replaced by heat sinks – metal boxes that exchange heat through contact. Unlike fans, they don’t rotate – so they consume less power and are less susceptible to malfunctioning. Lower power consumption also implies that a heat-sink PC stays cooler than a conventional PC.
When a fan cools a PC, it needs sufficient space for adequate airflow. Therefore, apart from the fan itself – which can be as large as 4.7inches in diameter – an additional 0.5 inches are provided around it to allow for heat exchange. Some PCs even have multiple fans. Eliminating the fan allows the PC to be significantly more compact.
Additionally, PCs with fans need to be placed where the fans are not obstructed by a wall, machine, or other items. On the other hand, PCs without fans can be placed or mounted anywhere – including moving vehicles and boats. Industrial rated PCs are even suitable for locations where the temperature can range from 0 to 60 degrees Celsius.
PC fans can work by either blowing air out or drawing air into the PC hub. In the latter case, the fan also gathers dust and debris along with cool air. It settles on the sensitive components of the PC and can potentially harm them. A PC without a fan does not draw in air or debris, thus preventing dust-induced damage.
Due to low debris accumulation and fewer moving components, a PC without a fan is generally more durable. In a conventional PC with one or more fans, there is a higher chance of failure due to dust Additionally, if the fan malfunctions, the rest of the components may get seriously damaged due to heat.
Further, more resilient varieties of fanless PCs can be used 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The components are chosen to have a long lifecycle and do not go obsolete for decades.
A Fanless PC is ideal for uses where low noise, high durability, longevity, and compactness are highly valued. Consult your computer technician to evaluate whether you need the PC for moderate, heavy, or intense uses, and choose an appropriate device.