120mm Radiator Fan Roundup Part 2: Fan Harderby Dustin Sklavos on October 22, 2012 12:01 AM EST
It's funny, when I did the first 120mm radiator fan roundup two months ago, I wasn't expecting quite the response it got. It was an interesting exercise that seemed worth sharing with the rest of you, and as it turned out, I was mostly right. What I wasn't prepared for was the avalanche of responses from both you and from vendors about the fans that were tested, or more appropriately, the fans that weren't tested. It was obvious there needed to be another run of fans, and that's just what I've done.
Ten new contenders; some pulled from my own stock, one pulled from retail, and some graciously and generously sent by vendors. The results from these fans will be added to what will wind up being absolutely massive comparison charts. There's an entrant from Scythe, Noctua's gold standard NF-F12, the Enermax Magma, and even a couple contenders from Cooler Master and Rosewill. Is there something available that's a better choice for Corsair's H80 120mm radiator, or are the stock fans still the most well-rounded option?
A lot of testing went into this round. Results are still comparable with the older results (and they most definitely will be compared with the older results), but the batch of fans I have available now are an even more eclectic blend. I'll tell you now that there are some results that turned out pretty much as expected, but some surprises and hidden gems here too.
Before we go on it's worth getting a refresher on the previous article. While the next page has the testing methodology again in its entirety, all but the most fundamental information on the original eight fans I tested with will be omitted for the sake of brevity.
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landerf - Monday, October 22, 2012 - linkLook at enermax 120mm fans on newegg. Plenty of batwing fans and some pwm options. I'd look too at the non-batwing TB fans. Their noise-performance ratio seems even better. I replaced my gentle typhoons with them because I've decided I can't take the ball bearing noise.
Speaking of still no GTs? Surprised you don't have them laying around. Seems like everybody has one by now.
Udit - Monday, October 22, 2012 - linkCould you add the Gentle Typhoon 1850rpm to the test please?
Naviblue - Monday, October 22, 2012 - linkI second this, where is the REAL King of the hill at on the charts? At least let us make a comparison to these other fans... Everyone knows Gentle Typhoons are benchmark!
Earthmonger - Monday, October 22, 2012 - linkYou two are kidding, right? That wouldn't be fair at all. This article is intended for tourists, not enthusiasts. Including an enthusiast fan like the GTs in this.. test.. would be plain silly. If you want real testing, this isn't the place for it. Hell, this test doesn't even mention bearing types.
DarkStryke - Monday, October 22, 2012 - linkYeah, don't include one of the best performers when you can hawk a load of mediocre overpriced junk instead!
Good reasoning there bud.
lbeyak - Monday, October 22, 2012 - linkI must third this. From my research the Gentle Typhoons are basically the best 120 mm fans on the market. They are the ones I bought for my personal build.
Sea Shadow - Monday, October 22, 2012 - linkAmateurs, the Gentle Typhoon is child's play. If you want to see a real enthusiast fan go look up Delta or Panaflo. 100-250CFM+ with pressures ranging from 10-30mm+. I use a set of 3 Delta AFB 1212VHE fans for my watercooling loop (which readily double the specs of the "best" gentle typhoon). At 5 volts they are livable and have no trouble forcing the air through the entirety of my case, heatercore and all! Ahh, makes me miss the old days of overclocking my opty 165....
Anyways, I enjoyed the review. It is nice to see what the rest of the market is doing.
iamkyle - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - linkThis man speaks the truth.
Panasonic and Delta Electronics have been putting fans in computers since all before most of you were born.
If they're good enough for IBM XT's, YOU CAN BET they are good enough for a modern rig.
Earthmonger - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - linkWhen I think of the "best balance between thermal performance and acoustics", neither Panasonic nor Delta come to mind. Those are fans with an exclusive focus on performance, and a blatant disregard for acoustics.
This test may lack a lot of relevant data, but at least the GTs are in proper context here.
lyeoh - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - linkWhaaat? Sorry I can't hear you!