Cooling for a complete beginner!


Well-known Member
I have a problem with my hi-fi and AV components overheating in the rack. So although it's not actually to be used in a PC, I thought that you computer guys might be the best people to ask for a solution.

I'm looking for a cheap and silent cooling solution. I have an AVR on top of a stereo amp (not ideal to stack I know, but I have no choice). Recently the AVR has been cutting out, and I think that it could be overheating, not being helped that the room is so warm because of the weather.
There's a couple of inches clearance between the AVR and the shelf above, but about 10-15 cm of amp sticks out at the back, so no shelf above that.
The vents for both amps are at the top and bottom, nothing on the sides.

Solutions I have thought of are:
A few small-diameter fans blowing across the top of the AVR, or across the gap between the amps.
A larger fan or two (but pretty slimline) blowing upwards, either on top of the AVR (so sucking through), or between the two amps (sucking through the stereo amp and blowing up through the AVR).

I have no experience in building a PC. With computer fans, is it possible to attach them without screws or anything? How are they powered and controlled? Anything else I should know about? Which of my configurations sound sensible?

I don't think I really need temperature control. I have one of those fancy plugs where it detects one device being switched on (my AVR) and then supplies power to other sockets. So I could just stick it on that so it comes on whenever the AVR is on. As long as it really is pretty silent.

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Distinguished Member
Fans are 12V and aren't controlled, they're on when receiving power and off when not. Speed can be varied by reducing the voltage or by sending them a PWM signal (newer 4-pin fans). If your plug is 230v AC then it won't work off that, cheapest solution is probably to look for a low voltage DC line inside the AMP/Receiver as they'll have similar power requirements but you could adapt a cheap 12v charger.

Standard mounting is four holes in each corner that's typically screwed through but they come with chunky tabs at the corners so gluing or taping should be easy if that's more suitable. My inclination would be the open the cases and mount them on the inside surface of the vents but outside should work as well.


Well-known Member
Ok, thanks. I'd prefer not to open the cases on my units, as it's all in warranty. So a kit list of a couple of 12v fans, plus a 12V AC/DC adaptor with the end cut off and then soldered onto the fans should do it? (I wasn't suggesting to plug the fans straight into the mains, but I didn't know if there was a special power supply available for them.)

Any tips on where to buy fans from? Suitable size or price-point to be looking at?


Distinguished Member
They're normally just powered off the system power supply, but they're big boxes and often require motherboard load to turn on so I'd just pick up a cheap 10-20W power supply.

Biggest that'll fit is your best bet, larger fans are quieter for the same volume of air moved. Computer fans are standard up to 120mm but there are a few 140mm/200mm/250mm ones around that may have different style mountings.

Where to buy, hmm. QuietPC have a good selection of silent and quiet fans but can be expensive, especially on delivery, so you might want to look on somewhere offering free or cheap delivery like Amazon, Ebuyer or Oyyy which will often have similar selections but it's harder to tell the fans apart.

I generally just find the most recent roundup I can find and buy the recommended one, I wouldn't spend more than about £5-10 per fan but if you want a particularly thin one to go between the cases (25mm is standard) then you may need to look at a little more. Something like the £5 Nexus basic gets good reviews and would do fine. Comes with a molex/peripheral adapter too so it should be less fiddly to power than the dedicated fan connectors.


Well-known Member
Ok, thanks - I'll look into that. I think I might look for a slimline one so I have the option of putting it between the two amps. With the size of the feet, I'd estimate that I have about 15mm to play with.

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