Which Way Should a PSU Fan Point?

December 14, 2015 | By Mason Dunlap | PCDIY

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Take a look at your PSU; it should have a large intake fan on one of its panels. This fan pulls air into the unit in order to cool its components. After reading this article, you’ll understand to how install your PSU into your PC case with the intake fan pointing in the proper direction.

Why is it Important to Have the PSU Fan Pointing the Right Direction?

If you want to enjoy being able to power on your PC for many gaming sessions to come, it’s important to make sure you are taking care of your PSU. You can do this by installing it with the fan pointing in the correct direction. Doing so will help ensure proper ventilation and a long life for your power supply unit.

Remember that too much heat can kill a PC dead. If you install the PSU improperly, the unit won’t be able to cool itself sufficiently, and it will slowly kill itself over time. Without a functioning PSU, you’re computer simply won’t turn on, regardless of the condition or quality of the rest of its components.

Determining Which Way Your PSU Fan Should Point

Which Way Should a PSU Fan Point?

The direction of the PSU fan is crucial for airflow.

To figure out whether your PSU fan needs to point up or down, start by looking over your PC case. Determine where the PSU is intended to fit; this is typically at the bottom of the case in most modern chassis designs.

Once you’ve located where the PSU will sit, check the case for any grills or vents directly beneath this location. Again, many modern PC cases will also include some type of grill to aid in ventilation of the PSU.

If your PC case has some sort of grill below where the PSU sits, then you should install your PSU so that its intake fan is facing towards it. In other words, your PSU’s fan will be facing downwards. The reason for this is so the PSU intake fan will suck cool air into the unit from outside the case.

If your PC case does not have a vent for the PSU’s fan, then you should install the PSU with its fan facing upwards. The fan will be facing the rest of the components on the inside of the case; it will be pulling air into the PSU from inside the PC case. The air might be warmer than the cool air outside the case, but it will still be maintaining airflow.

Never install a PSU with its fan facing towards a solid panel; without proper airflow, the PSU has no way to cool itself, and it will burn out quickly. RIP PSU.

Extra Steps to Take Care of Your PSU

Which Way Should a PSU Fan Point?

If your PC case has a vent on the bottom for your PSU intake fan, and you’ve installed the PSU with the fan facing downwards, you should take some extra steps to help ensure proper airflow.

Keep it Off the Ground

Be sure to maintain at least a small amount of clearance between the bottom of your case and the ground. Even if you’ve properly installed your PSU fan facing the vent in your PC case, it’s pointless if it can’t draw in any air from outside!

You can help ensure that your PSU is maintaining proper airflow by slightly raising your case off the ground. This can be done with practically anything; just make sure there is a clear path for air to find its way to the PSU intake fan. Do this to keep your PSU from suffocating.

Keep it On a Flat Surface

If your case is resting on carpet, consider placing it on a hard, flat surface instead. This will help prevent the PSU intake fan from sucking in carpet fibers and helpless dust bunnies caught in the crossfire. Just find a piece of solid material that will act as a barrier and place it between the carpet and your case. You’ve just saved the lives of countless innocent dust bunnies – achievement unlocked.

Happy Venting

Remember to install your PSU with its fan facing a source of good airflow. Many modern cases will have a vent built in to help with this. Once you’ve got things squared away, your PSU will be breathing happily. Game on!

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Mason Dunlap

Mason Dunlap

Mason “MasonRL90” is a Social Media Specialist, Rocket League Ops, and Influencer Program Manager at NZXT. His goal is to grow the Rocket League community through great content and personal involvement in the scene.