Articles: Cooling

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Comparative Results Charts

Here we are going to offer you some diagrams with results for all tested fans. This way you will be able to compare their airflow, noise and combination of these two parameters, as well as power consumption and price. Besides the Noctua NF-P12 fan that we have already added to the charts, we would also like to include the results for the following solutions tested before: three Scythe Ultra Kaze models, two top Scythe Slip Stream 120 models, and Scythe Slip Stream 120 PWM taken off Scythe Mugen 2 CPU cooler. Here are their individual results:

The first summary diagram shows the results of the airflow and noise level tests at their maximum rotation speed. The results are sorted in order of airflow reduction:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

We have also built the same diagram with results arranged in a different way – according to the fans noise levels from low to high (click here to view this diagram). The indisputable leader in airflow is Scythe Ultra Kaze 3000 working at 2760 RPM. It is the only fan in our today’s test session, which airflow readings are higher than the level of generated noise (56 dBA). Far behind it we can see high-speed Thermalright solutions, Scythe Slip Stream 120, Nanoxia, Nexus, etc. Then we see the airflow levels gradually decrease and that is why the noise readings come in very handy, because the smaller is the difference between airflow and acoustics of each specific fan, the more efficient it actually is. For example, the following fans offer very good combination of these parameters: Scythe Ultra Kaze 2000, Thermalright TR-FDB-1300, Scythe Gentle Typhoon, Scythe S-FLEX, all Noiseblocker fans and Nexus Basic.

But all these results were obtained at maximum fan rotation speed and consequently at the maximum noise level for each fan. And what if we had all fans working with the same acoustics? What airflow will they be able to produce in this case? To accomplish this goal we took a subjectively comfortable noise level of 33 dBA and made each fan work at this particular noise level using anemometer readings and rotation speed controller. The diagram below shows our results:


Note: SilverStone Suscool 121, Noiseblocker NB-Multiframe MF-12-S1, Scythe Gentle Typhoon B2AP-12 and B1AP-11, Noctua NF-S12B ULN and Scythe Kaze Maru 12L worked at their maximum rotation speed and still generated less than 33 dBA of noise. For exact noise readings, please see the corresponding charts.

Very interesting, don’t you think so? The five leaders are exactly the solutions that proved to be the quietest so far, which is quite logical. They are Noiseblocker, Scythe Gentle Typhoon and S-FLEX, Thermalright TR-FDB. Nexus Basic is a little behind them, and then comes a tight pack of fans starting with Enermax Magma and ending with Nanoxia FX12-1250. The last ones on this diagram are rumbling, rustling, or not blowing fans, including the 140 mm models.

Some of you may find a power consumption chart useful. The fans here are sorted according to their power consumption needs from low to high:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

In conclusion to this part of our review we would like to offer you a diagram with recommended retail prices (rounded to $1):

But that’s not all yet. The next part of our article will discuss a small experiment on select 120 mm fan models that you might find interesting.

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