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What's the best 120mm case fan?

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RawZ 29th September 2009, 11:59 Quote
I'm a bit confused here. Great article. Read it in CPC. Best review yet!

However, i was reading the comments on the article and in CPC #36, you reviewed the S-FLEX E fan from Scythe. According to the mod, he got 61CFM @ 25dB. With that said then, wouldn't that be best recommended over the Gentle Typhoon AP-14 as it had the same CFM, but @ 28dB?

Not too mention the S-FLEX range has a lot better static pressure than the Gentle Typhoons, & "Fluid Dynamic Bearing" technology.
Goty 29th September 2009, 12:47 Quote
The Gentle Typhoons actually produce much better static pressure in real world testing, and while the S-FDB bearings are nice, the GTs have some of the best balanced bearing you'll find anywhere, leading to a much different pitch (a much lower pitch) when compared to most fans, so 28dB doesn't sound anywhere near as loud as the 25dB produced by the S-FLEX fans (this being my own experience, of course).
[USRF]Obiwan 29th September 2009, 15:58 Quote
For extreme airflow: Get some delta's and earplugs...

If you have a window, and replace the space with all delta fans pushing air outside, you would probably be suffocated within a hour!

:D
outlawaol 29th September 2009, 18:25 Quote
Im surprised you didnt hit up any silverstone fans. I swear by them, granted they are a tad noisy. But with a rheostat that mine came with, it is just a turn of the dial and it quiets it right down. Plus these fans move a lot of air.
Skill3d 29th September 2009, 21:21 Quote
the noctua pf 12 is more silent when its revvin' at max speed?
Thanh55 29th September 2009, 21:58 Quote
Since the last case fan lab test (not this time), the Sharkoon Silent Eagle 1000 served me well till to day. Very nice to see it still one of the good fan this time.
Red 5 29th September 2009, 23:14 Quote
It would have been nice to see some standard fit fans from different case manufacturers as a base reference, but acknowledge that would have added more work testing, and maybe have been difficult to get hold of.
BLC 30th September 2009, 13:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by [USRF
Obiwan]For extreme airflow: Get some delta's and earplugs...

If you have a window, and replace the space with all delta fans pushing air outside, you would probably be suffocated within a hour!

:D

+1! I had two 60mm Delta "Screamers" as heatsink fans on my old VP6 (I was into dual processors before dual cores were cool! ;) ) and the noise they made was horrendous. When they were described as "Screamers", they weren't far wrong. Even at half power on a fanbus they still made a hell of a racket.
Nikos_85 30th September 2009, 17:13 Quote
Good article. I would of liked to have seen the Silent Eagle SE reviewed especially as its the successor to one of your recommended fans. Also it looks like you should have included some models from the last set of tests. “SFF21F moved 76cfm at 33.7dBA” which might beat the Gentle Typhoon 50.2cfm at just 21dbA for best airflow to noise if attached to a fan controller.
MiNiMaL_FuSS 30th September 2009, 22:32 Quote
V.nice.

Any chance you can produce the stats for a Gentle Typhoons when you swich the wires for a simple 7v mod? seems a cost effective way to use them? might be a winner!
Nelly 3rd October 2009, 22:37 Quote
Great Review but their is a few cheap as well as expensive fans that are good for price/performance.

Any chance of adding these to the review as soon as can be done?

Akasa AK-FN057 Apache : CFM 57, DB(A) 16
Enermax Magma UCMA12 : CFM 69, DB(A) 18
Noiseblocker BlackSilent Fan XLP : CFM 75, DB(A) 31 (Maybe others in the BlackSilent-Series)
Noiseblocker Multiframe S-Series MF12-P : CFM 78 , DB(A) 29 (Maybe others in the Multiframe S-Series)
Yate Loon D12SL-12 : CFM 47, DB(A) 28
Yate Loon D12SL-12D : CFM 48, DB(A) 23
rickysio 10th October 2009, 08:27 Quote
Simpler test would be to use the fans on a STANDARDIZED CPU cooler, and record the delta T of the CPU in question.

Do it in a air conditioned room to maintain more equalized temps.
lepre 11th October 2009, 13:51 Quote
The "Airflow vs Sound Pressure" graph is a bit strange because of the logarithmic nature of the dB scale.

Would be helpful to add the sound pressure in the airflow graph and viceversa.

Anyway nice review, very helpful as always.
Mythmaker 30th October 2009, 12:50 Quote
I registered an account to post this lol.

I'm quite surprised that the Scythe Kaze Jyuni Slipstreams are not included. 1900rpm, 110CFM with 37dBA, Scythe rated them an amazing 46% more CFM than the S-Flex G (1900rpm, 75CFM with 35dBA) with just 2 more dBA.
CrayOne 1st November 2009, 21:32 Quote
> sound pressure (in dBA), which most people confuse with noise.
You are right. I am confused.
How full speed could generate less sound pressure than min speed ?

May be "Sound Pressure" and "Airflow vs Sound Pressure" graphs have some errors.

Example 1:
Gelid Wing 12 FN-FW12-15-B (max speed) 24.2 dBA
Gelid Wing 12 FN-FW12-15-B (min speed) 36.3 dBA

But you wrote for Gelid Wing 12 :
At maximum speed, it produced 51cfm while emitting an annoying tonal 36.6dBA.
At minimum speed, it emitted just 24.2dBA

--> min/max speed description has been swapped and value are not the same (36.3 or 36.6 ?)

Exemple 2:
Noctua NF-P12 (max speed) 22.9 dBA
Noctua NF-P12 (med speed) 27.2 dBA
Noctua NF-P12 (min speed) 32.8 dBA

But you wrote for Noctua NF-P12 :
... the Noctua NF-P12 spins at just 1,300rpm ... speed can be adjusted... to 1,100rpm or 900rpm.
At 900rpm, the NF-P12 failed to inflate the black sack, so its cfm would appear to be 6cfm or less.
At 1,100rpm, it produced 18cfm and emitted 27.2dBA.
At full speed, it shifted 34cfm but was a rather noisy 32.8dBA.

--> min/max speed description has been swapped in graphs.

Am I wrong ?
Thanks
CrayOne 1st November 2009, 21:37 Quote
.
Zeali 16th November 2009, 01:59 Quote
I just bought Sharkoon Silent Eagle 1000 120mm to compare them with Noctua NF-P12.
I've had NF-P12 for about 2 years now and when i read your article i was disappointed with Noctuas performance so i wanted to give Silent Eagles a try.

I tested the airflow against my hands and legs(not that scientific but enough for me)
Noctua: Airflow was noticeable from 20 cm and the noise at 1300 RPM wasn't loud. After closing my case only thing i head was small sound of airflow

Silent Eagle: I didn't notice almost any airflow when testing the fan from 20 cm. About the noise, i was truly surprised how quiet the fan was. I couldn't hear the fan from 10 cm away. After closing the case i could only hear tiny tiny airflow but that was probably my GPU and CPU fan.

When Noctua NF-P12 was running at 900 RPM the Silent Eagle was quieter and probably had better airflow but when thinking of case with full of hot components my number one choice still remains as Noctua NF-P12.

Bottom line. If you really want a quiet PC and don't have that many hot components i truly recommend Silent Eagle 1000 but for noise-performance my choice still remains as Noctua NF-P12 and i feel the test wasn't accurate on Noctua NF-P12.
mooh 18th November 2009, 20:34 Quote
I have to go ahead and be a grumpy critic. I still think a better way to measure cfm is to measure the air velocity inside (and at then end of) a cylinder, effectively an air flow meter. First unrestricted, then apply perforated plates to the front and back of the cylinder to simulate the pressure drop caused by air restriction of typical computer cases.

Guess you could do worse than blowing up a bag though, you could have used a water balloon.

Secondly, the "Airflow vs Sound Pressure" graphs are very misleading. A reversed hoover would score great. To get more accurate airflow-vs-noise numbers (if you have correct airflow numbers), you need to convert dBA to sone. Or better yet, put the the baseline 1 at 0.125 sones (approximetely 10 dBA) which is practically inaudible. The formula goes:

percieved_noise = 2 ^ ((sound_pressure / 10) - 1)
ehume 10th December 2009, 05:01 Quote
I wish I had read this article long ago. I wasted money on Scythe Flex fans - low cfm, loud noise. OTOH, I am well pleased with my Gentle Typhoon 1450. It quietly blows a nice amount of air through my Megahalems.

I like your methodology better than the alternate: put the fan at one end of a plastic bottle with an iarflow meter at the other. Your results correspond better to my experience with several of these fans. Their results misled me into purchases I now regret.

Now - you have done 80mm, 92mm 120mm and 200/220mm fans. What about 140mm fans? I put a Noctua NF-14P on my Megahalems, and it was slightly louder than an NF-12P on the cooler, and appeared to push about the same amount of air. This means the NF-14P will go on the top vent. But what should I buy for a second 140mm?

So far the Gentle Typhoon 1450 puts the most air through the Megahalems with the least noise. I am waiting on an Ultra Kaze 1000rpm and will compare them.

Thanks for the great work.
tonschk 17th December 2009, 21:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baz
Quote:
Originally Posted by billysielu
Hard to believe there's such a big variation in products which are essentially identical.

I was really surprised by this too, but when you think of the huge differences in F1 car performance caused by minor additions in aerodynamic design, you start to understand how a few extra mm of plastic or a a few degrees of fin pitch can make a big, big difference.

I agree Totally ....... " a few extra mm of plastic or a a few degrees of fin pitch can make a big, big difference "
Picarro 17th December 2009, 21:35 Quote
Just a quick question. I am about to buy the Corsair H50, and I want some fans in push-pull config. I was looking at the Scythe GT's, since they seem to be the best, but can you recommend anything else?

Might be a bit off-topic, but -^O^-
A3DSAIL 1st February 2010, 02:03 Quote
Picarro, Check out the article on installing the Corsair H50 over at LegitReviews ( http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1025/1/ ) to see what results Shane Higgins got when he sandwiched the H50 radiator between a pair of Noctua NF-P12's in an exhaust configuration instead of the intake method Corsair recommends ( http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1025/6/ ). The Noctuas claim excellent air flow to noise ratio, but these bad boys aren't cheap. I found them at Moddersmart for $17.95 USD (Performance-pcs has them at $21.95, but their shipping was a couple of bucks less than Moddersmart).
idontwannaknow 26th February 2010, 20:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeali
I just bought Sharkoon Silent Eagle 1000 120mm to compare them with Noctua NF-P12.
I've had NF-P12 for about 2 years now and when i read your article i was disappointed with Noctuas performance so i wanted to give Silent Eagles a try.

I tested the airflow against my hands and legs(not that scientific but enough for me)
Noctua: Airflow was noticeable from 20 cm and the noise at 1300 RPM wasn't loud. After closing my case only thing i head was small sound of airflow

Silent Eagle: I didn't notice almost any airflow when testing the fan from 20 cm. About the noise, i was truly surprised how quiet the fan was. I couldn't hear the fan from 10 cm away. After closing the case i could only hear tiny tiny airflow but that was probably my GPU and CPU fan.

When Noctua NF-P12 was running at 900 RPM the Silent Eagle was quieter and probably had better airflow but when thinking of case with full of hot components my number one choice still remains as Noctua NF-P12.

Bottom line. If you really want a quiet PC and don't have that many hot components i truly recommend Silent Eagle 1000 but for noise-performance my choice still remains as Noctua NF-P12 and i feel the test wasn't accurate on Noctua NF-P12.

I actually think what you say is a lot more accurate than the results of this fan test. Instead of inflating a black plastic bag, what should have been done is to look at the change in system temps and CPU temps when each fan is installed into a case and onto a standard heatsink. In almost every other test that I've seen done like this the Noctua fans, especially the newer ones like the Noctua NF-S12B FLX, came out top or near top for keeping down temps. The Silent Eagle 1000 used to be top for these tests about 3-4 years ago but in more recent tests they can't really compete with the newer fans and so they end up in the middle of the pack.
procrew45 14th June 2010, 11:27 Quote
You've got the best thing going here since Haagen Dazs icecream. Just don't let Goty tell us that 28 dB is quieter than 25 dB... It might sound differently. I've got 5 SFF21G's running at 1400 rpm's, and have good airflow through my case and through HR-03 GTX and H50, and the system is audiable but has a pleasant low toned note, though I am thinking about the typhoons.
Ruskie 5th January 2011, 03:56 Quote
I know I've joined this thread late but this is a great insight! Thank you for testing and posting this! I have a question and I know u guys can help... I want to increase the static pressure going through my water cooled radiator. I have 2x scythe gentle typhoons 1450rpm new (bought these mainly for the low noise level of them) Basically I have figured out a way of diy mounting these in series with a tube in between as a spacer. What I want to know is the optimum length i should cut this length of tube at to get the highest static pressure out of it?

I know
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