Below is a list of common questions asked by PC builder on equipping their heatsinks and radiators with fans in push, pull or push pull format and includes some advice/recommendation on which to use!
Should I configure my fans in push or do I want my fans in pull?
Push means pushing air through the fins of the heatsinks/radiators out the other side whereas pull is having the fans pulling air through the radiator/heatsink’s fins. The answer to this question is not that simple! There are a few things to consider. The first is performance. Assuming you have two 120mm fan placed on either sides of a dual 120mm radiator does not matter as both pretty much perform the same. The second is maintenance, having the fan to push air through the radiator causes dust to built up significantly faster as its trapped between the radiator and the fan. Therefore, setup your fans to pull air from radiator/heatsink.
Should I configure my fans in push pull?
No. There are so many fans in the market that are optimized for pressure such as Corsair SP120 Quiet/Performance Edition (SP = Static Pressure Fan), Noctua F-Series, Silverstone Air Penetrators and Scythe Gentle Typhoon. If you use the optimized pressure fans on both side, you are just increasing the noise. You can’t get air to get anymore faster in an open environment. If you have non-optimized pressure fans (such as Noctua S Series that has lots of gaps/room between fan blades), it will leak out air and does not push thick air even though its running at 10,000 RPM. Therefore, use a proper static pressure fan and you are good to go.
What is the best fan configuration to use? Push or Pull or Push Pull?
The best fan configuration would be pull and use a static pressure fan to push thick-compact air through high resistance objects such as hard-disk cages, aluminium-metal fins of a heatsink-radiators and pc case exhaust with small holes.