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What's the best 120mm case fan?

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capmoq 28th September 2009, 14:49 Quote
Have really been waiting for something like this. Really nice job.
Would have wanted to see such fans also:
1. Enermax Magma
2. Noiseblocker NB-Multiframe M12-P
3. Cooler Master 120mm Case Fan
ChielScape 28th September 2009, 14:51 Quote
You must have used a malfunctioning Ultra Kaze because my 3000's (all 5 of them) dont make any weird sound whatsoever. Either that or your ears malfunction.
Lizard 28th September 2009, 14:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diosjenin
Any chance you could work an SFF21F and/or an SFF21E into a follow-up article?

We tested both these fans quite a years back (CPC Issue 36), but the testing methodology is pretty much unchanged so the results are more or less comparable.

In short, the 1,200rpm SFF21E moved 61cfm at 25.5dBA, while the 1,600rpm SFF21F moved 76cfm at 33.7dBA. As such, I'd say the SFF21E is a good (albeit expensive) fan, while the SFF21F is too noisy for comfort.
dragontail 28th September 2009, 14:53 Quote
Highly recommend the Sharkoon Silent Eagles. Running 3 in my system; two case fans and one on a Scythe Ninja and they rock. Very quiet, but unlike a lot of the other quiet fans, it provides a decent amount of airflow.
Ross1 28th September 2009, 15:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by dragontail
Highly recommend the Sharkoon Silent Eagles. Running 3 in my system; two case fans and one on a Scythe Ninja and they rock. Very quiet, but unlike a lot of the other quiet fans, it provides a decent amount of airflow.

i highly do not recommend accidentally buying the 2000 rpm models instead of the 1000 ;p. those things are really ****ing loud.
Surnia 28th September 2009, 15:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goty
I think the method for determining CFM is flawed in this article (if only for expressly determining only CFM).

As the garbage bag fills up with air, a pressure gradient forms from one side of the fan to the other, therefore bringing the static pressure of the fans into consideration. i.e. The airflow of each fan will fall off as the garbage bag gets inflated, with fans exhibiting higher static pressure performing better near the end of the test and therefore giving the impression of higher CFM.

I think a slightly better test setup would have been to create a shroud leading to an anemometer, which would remove the static pressure of each fan from consideration until the radiator test (which is where static pressure should actually come into play, anyhow).

+1

no independent measurements were done on static pressure, which is a much less covered, but almost as important figure... granted they're not as important when used as case fans, they're good figures to know when you want to plug them onto radiators or behind a restrictive inlet (dust clogged filter).
RedStak 28th September 2009, 16:29 Quote
I would like to see included Noiseblocker 120mm fans, I think they're among the best i've seen....
Diosjenin 28th September 2009, 16:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizard
We tested both these fans quite a years back (CPC Issue 36), but the testing methodology is pretty much unchanged so the results are more or less comparable.

In short, the 1,200rpm SFF21E moved 61cfm at 25.5dBA, while the 1,600rpm SFF21F moved 76cfm at 33.7dBA. As such, I'd say the SFF21E is a good (albeit expensive) fan, while the SFF21F is too noisy for comfort.

That's a really good thing to know.

Your test had the Gentle Typhoon (D1225C12B4AP-14) get 61cfm at 28.6dBA, and the SFF21E get the same cfm at 25.5dBA. In the US, you can get the D1225C12B4AP-14 for $13.20 (platinummicro.com), and the SFF21E for $12 (directron.com), which makes the SFF21E by far the better buy...
pizan 28th September 2009, 16:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by capmoq
Have really been waiting for something like this. Really nice job.
Would have wanted to see such fans also:
1. Enermax Magma
2. Noiseblocker NB-Multiframe M12-P
3. Cooler Master 120mm Case Fan

+1 Maybe make that the Cooler Master R4 fans
TSR2 28th September 2009, 16:54 Quote
That is a very good article about an often neglected piece of hardware, however I am slightly intrigued as to why you gave the TK-121 an 8 for value, when its main use appears to be shifting air through the radiator?
Motoko 28th September 2009, 17:20 Quote
ah yes i remember this article in the magazine, because of it i bought 3 sharkoon 1000's to replace the case fans in the antec 902 and its near silent :D
Lizard 28th September 2009, 17:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by TSR2
however I am slightly intrigued as to why you gave the TK-121 an 8 for value, when its main use appears to be shifting air through the radiator?

Sorry for the confusion, it was a typo - the TK-121 should have for a 4 for value. It's correct now, so thanks for bringing it to our attention.
akibro 28th September 2009, 18:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by capmoq
Have really been waiting for something like this. Really nice job.
Would have wanted to see such fans also:
1. Enermax Magma
2. Noiseblocker NB-Multiframe M12-P
3. Cooler Master 120mm Case Fan

I must agree. I would have liked to have seen the Cooler Master 120mm in the test. I have an ugly HAF932, even with eight 120mm, one 140mm and two 200mm they are all hardly audible and air seems to pump through the case. Slightly overboard ;) I know
drakanious 28th September 2009, 21:15 Quote
I'm really disappointed with your testing methodology here. A comparison of temperature deltas with all of the fans mounted on a "standard" CPU cooler (ThermalRight Ultra Extreme comes to mind) would have been much more useful.
Darkraven 28th September 2009, 21:20 Quote
Pretty much confirms that fan stats are waste of space, where do they find the hats that companys pull their figures from ??? Buying fans has always been a crapshoot.

The old standby Thermaltake A1926 for me is sorely missing. Always knew the 31dBA rating at 2000rpm was crap but would like to know if they actually put out the rated 78cfm and how much they drop when rpm lowered.

I do wonder bout the static pressure build up and how it effects your test method tho. So many things effect that, would still be difficult to evaluate I guess. Filters, and spacers come to mind.

And like some others posted, would have been nice to see Enermax Apolish included. Yes, I admit the bling has caught my eye, lol. But also remember how quite the fan was in my Liberty PSU. Defunk now but that was modding mishap, not Enermax fault.

Thanks for the article, look forward to next. Now if companys would just get on the bandwagon and get out more 140mm's and get honest with their specs. Dreaming huh !!
Dazza007 28th September 2009, 21:44 Quote
On reading your article I browsed scans list of fans and found the noise levels on thier site match your readings, the Noctua NF-S12B ULN are rated at 6.8db 700rpm 56.9cfm which is ridiculously low, are the figures shown on scan, the manufacturers claims or scans claims because this seems like a very bold claim and might not be correct. if they are correct I'm getting some asap.
Otto69 28th September 2009, 21:48 Quote
I love fan reviews, but this one is very disappointing. The methodology is clearly flawed. Yes, my favorite fans, the Noctuas, lost miserably, but that's not why :) The fan has to build up a higher pressure to keep the bag inflated than it does merely to circulate air. What this test is doing is akin to trying to "inflate" a glass bottle by blowing in the mouth, then complaining when not enough air passes.

If you want quiet airflow you need a) quiet fans that, all other things being equal, flow as much more more air as the competition, quieter, and b) unobstructed airflow on the input and output side of the system.

I hope that Bit Tech comes up with a more scientific test. As it stands now I've seen better experiments from high school science classes.
FIBRE+ 28th September 2009, 21:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stickeh
I'm so glad when i built my system i bought sharkoon!!
Same here. I wasn't totally sure when I ordered them as there are so many options out there, but they seem to do a good job of cooling my pc's without shouting about it. They were a lot cheaper at the time so I fitted them in both pc's and have a couple spare :)
talladega 28th September 2009, 22:02 Quote
no yate loons. :(

disappoint.
i7lova 28th September 2009, 22:30 Quote
Why no review of coolermaster fans? I jstu recently picked up a 4-pack of 120mm for only 15 bucks here in the us. I was quite pleased with the noise level and it feels like its pulling a decent amount of air to me. All in all though a very interesting article! keep up the good work guys!
Matticus 28th September 2009, 23:02 Quote
This article is the worst thing I have ever read... let me explain, I now have no excuse not to buy 2 or 4 scythe GTs. Damn you bit tech!
dragontail 28th September 2009, 23:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by talladega
no yate loons. :(

disappoint.
The Nexus Real Silent is a rebranded Yate Loon afaik.
Combatus 29th September 2009, 00:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto69
build up a higher pressure to keep the bag inflated than it does merely to circulate air. What this test is doing is akin to trying to "inflate" a glass bottle by blowing in the mouth, then complaining when not enough air passes.

We didn't keep the bag inflated, we stopped recording the instant it was fully inflated so backpressure was kept to a minimum. Yes there is a slight resistance from the bag, but it's actually very small and far from the glass bottle effect you described, as the bag stays in pretty much the same shape when you turn the fan off.

The labs test was not specifically looking at CPU cooler fan replacements. We were testing the fans as potential case fan upgrades which is why we're going to cover many different sizes rather than fans that will be dealing with restrictve coolers and radiators. We'd obviously like to do all three but time didn't permit it:(
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedStak
I would like to see included Noiseblocker 120mm fans, I think they're among the best i've seen....

We did look at getting Noiseblocker and several others including Coolermaster and the Enermax Magma but were unable to get any, in 120mm versions anyway and many had automatic control and as the temperature in our lab fluctuates, we couldn't test them fairly.
hugo60 29th September 2009, 00:17 Quote
Nice article, was actually looking for one to replace the noisy fan on the side of my cm690 case.
Otto69 29th September 2009, 03:19 Quote
"Yes there is a slight resistance from the bag, but it's actually very small and far from the glass bottle effect you described, as the bag stays in pretty much the same shape when you turn the fan off."

Weigh the bag on a scale. In your model, probably about 3/4 of that weight must be born by the air column generated by the fan. That weight is pushing back on the air in the bag. I'm not any kind of physicist so I can't comment much more, but I'd think that atmospheric pressure is trying to push the air back out of the bag as well.

Finally, wondering aloud, pulling air through a radiator rather than blowing it through (and into a captive container) as you're doing seems to be unlike what your experiment represents.
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