Arctic Cooling ARCTIC F12 Pro TC
The second fan from Arctic Cooling - ARCTIC F12 Pro TC - comes in the same white cardboard box with different informational content.
The accessories are the same as those of the ARCTIC F12 PWM model but the fan itself is quite different:
This is actually the only frameless model among the products included into this review. Such fans are rare in CPU coolers and almost never used to cool system cases. The 7-blade 112mm impeller is somewhat thicker than those of ordinary 120mm fans and hangs on four spokes connected with each other with two rings which perform a protective function. The spokes are attached to the base via four vibration-absorbing silicone pins.
There are holes in the frame opposite these pins, so you can use standard self-tipping screws to fasten the fan in your system case, but only in one position. The fan weighs 140 grams.
The ARCTIC F12 Pro TC features wide and aggressively curved blades.
If this fan had a frame, it would have a very high static pressure, I guess. Arctic Cooling doesn’t specify this parameter, though. The impeller can be taken off for cleaning and lubricating the fan when necessary.
Below the impeller you can see an electromotor and a fluid-dynamic bearing.
As opposed to the ARCTIC F12 PWM, the ARTIC F12 Pro TC has the largest rotor among the tested products. It is 49 millimeters in diameter and has a paper sticker:
The electric parameters of this model are exactly the same as those of the above-discussed ARCTIC F12 PWM, but its real power consumption proved to be somewhat lower at 2.5 watts. Its start-up voltage is 4.9 volts, which is a little higher compared to the ARCTIC F12 PWM. The speed range is different, too. The rotation speed of the ARCTIC F12 Pro TC is controlled via a thermal sensor installed on a separate 400mm cable. The fan itself is powered via an ordinary 3-pin connector.
The sleeved power cable is 400mm long, too. The product specs say that the speed range of the ARCTIC F12 Pro TC is 400 to 1300 RPM but a picture at the official Arctic Cooling website shows a wider range, suggesting that the maximum speed of the fan can reach 2000 RPM if there is a temperature of 38°C on the thermal sensor.
However, this model would not speed up above 1480 RPM during my tests even when I deliberately warmed its thermal sensor up to 55-60°C, not to mention the declared 38°C. Interestingly, the ARCTIC F12 Pro TC is specified to produce an air flow of 33 CFM at the max speed of 1300 RPM, which is far lower than the 57CFM air flow of the ARCTIC F12 PWM which is a mere 50 RPM faster. The ARCTIC F12 Pro TC is specified to have a noise level of 0.4 sones.
Let’s check out the test results for this model.
So, the ARCTIC F12 Pro TC performs even worse than its cousin ARCTIC F12 PWM, which might have been expected since frame-less fans are generally inferior to their frame counterparts in air flow and static pressure. It is the rather high noise level of the ARCTIC fans that I am surprised about because Arctic Cooling products are usually quiet. The ARCTIC F12 Pro TC is an exception as it produces a distinct and rather irritating sound with its electromotor. So, the only thing left for me to add is that the recommended price of this fan is $9.90.