Hardware: Installing Noctua fans in a Sonicwall NSA 3600

This is my experience with installing aftermarket fans in my Sonicwall NSA 3600.

Table of Contents

Why did I install new fans?

My rack cabinet is in my room, so I need all my equipment to be low noise.
It’s horrible trying to sleep with a loud fan in the background.

What fans did I pick?

The two rear fans are powered by a 3-pin connector.
The fan in the PSU is a 2-pin connector.
All of them are 40mm.

So the perfect choice in my opinion is the Noctua NF-A4x20 FLX.

It is a 3 pin fan, so it fits nicely with the 2 3-pin connectors.

This Noctua fan includes an “OmniJoin” connector set. It is perfect for installing the Noctua fan in the 2-pin PSU.

Replacing the fan in the PSU

Replacing the fan in the PSU is kinda tricky. It is not very easy to get to it.

You have to unscrew all the screws, which is very hard because some of them are hidden! So people like me don’t try to open up the PSU.
I have uploaded a picture of where the hidden screws are, you have to tear away the paper on the top.

Replacing the fan in the PSU is kinda tricky. It is not very easy to get to it.

You have to unscrew all the screws, which is very hard because some of them are hidden! So people like me don’t try to open up the PSU.
I have uploaded a picture of where the hidden screws are, you have to tear away the paper on the top.

When you finally have got the PSU open, you have to cut the wire to the old fan and use the OmniJoin from the Noctua, to connect your new fan.

Fitting the 2 rear fans

I could not get the 2 3-pin connectors closest to the back to work. So I had to use the other ones towards the side. It worked out fine. I just had to cut some of the “CPU airflow plastic case thingi”.

The stock fan screws for the back didn’t work with the Noctua fans.
I had to use the included fans. So no problem.

Noise difference

In the end, it worked out great. This is the noise measured about 30cm away from the rear.

By the way, the before noise is not 73 dB. That is because when I touched my phone to take the screenshot, the noise increased. The before was about 50 dB and after 24 dB.

I can still hear the Sonicwall, it is not silent yet. Still too loud for my taste. But it’s liveable now.

In the future, i will soundproof my rack cabinet even more.
I might also try connecting the low-noise adaptor that you get with the Noctuas.
I’m just kinda worried about the temperatures, the Sonicwall is quite toasty. The original fans were a lot stronger.

Comments

2 Responses

  1. You are the first person I have seen ever post internal photos of the NSA 3600! Do you have any more high resolution photos of the internals?

    I would be very interested to see more of the board! I am debating buying one to see if it is possible to port pfSense or OpenWrt on it, but there is absolutely no detailed information about the hardware available!

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