In the first part of our 120mm fan roundup we discussed 18 models with a rotation speed up to 1350 RPM. We found out which of them were the best and the worst and which, just average. Today, I’ve got an even more difficult task to cope with because I’ve got as many as 32 models of fans with a rotation speed of over 1350 RPM. Of course, users preferring silent computers won’t be interested in this review as much as in the first part because such high-speed fans are generally not very quiet. Instead, such products are meant to provide the highest cooling performance possible, the level of noise being of secondary importance. Still, I will try to sort out this heap of variegated products to find those that offer the best combination of air flow, acoustic comfort, price and other characteristics.
We are going to mention certain technical specs of the reviewed fans as we go along with our review. The table below, however, lists their complete specifications for your reference:
Here I would like to add that all fans, except one fan from Arctic Cooling, rotate counterclockwise. The testing methodology is exactly the same as in Part 1 of our roundup. The only new thing is measuring the fans weight using an electronic scale. All fans are listed in alphabetical order in our article.
Akasa Viper (AK-FN059)
First goes the Viper fan from Akasa. It is shipped in a large colorful box with a cutout in the front panel which provides a view of most of the fan.
The text on the back panel tells us about the unique shape of the impeller blades that are supposed to generate a 30% stronger air flow compared to conventionally shaped impellers. A durable and quiet fluid dynamic bearing is also mentioned there along with the rest of the fan’s specifications. Included with this product are four long silicone pins.
The Viper (AK-FN059) is manufactured in China and has a recommended price of $14. It comes with a 1-year warranty. By the way, it is this fan that works in the Akasa Venom (AK-CCX-4002HPV2) which is quite a good cooler.
The Viper has a black frame and a bright-yellow impeller. The impeller blades are indeed shaped in a highly original way.
Narrow at the base, the blades not only get wider towards the ends but also bend a little as if trying to lie down with their back edge. As a result, the blades almost touch the fastening spokes with their bottom edges.
This shape of the impeller blades is referred to by Akasa as S-Flow. The manufacturer claims it to ensure a 30% stronger air flow which is also more focused than with fans that have the ordinary shape of the impeller blades. The impeller is 111 millimeters in diameter. Three of the fan spokes are 5 millimeters wide; the cable spoke is 8 millimeters. The electromotor is 41 millimeters in diameter.
The speed of this fan is PWM-controlled within a range of 600 to 1900 RPM. The noise level varies from 6.9 to 28.9 dBA at that. The maximum air flow is as strong as 83.63 CFM. The specified static pressure is quite high at 2.98 millimeters of water, which is important for cooling very densely finned heatsinks. The weight of this fan is not specified, but my digital scales reported 161 grams for it.
The sticker on the fan says it is the DFS122512M model, which is strange because Young Lin doesn’t have a fan similar to the Akasa Viper in its product range. The bearing type, voltage and current are also indicated on the sticker:
The service life of the fluid dynamic bearing is 50,000 hours. The voltage is standard at 12 volts but the start-up voltage is not specified. It proved to be very low according to my measurements, amounting to 3.5 volts only. Working at its maximum speed, the fan needed no more than 2 watts of power, which is a very good result compared to the other tested products. The fan’s 4-wire sleeved cable is 300 millimeters long.
Before I discuss the first diagram with test results, I want to clarify something. As opposed to the diagrams from the first part of this bipartite test session, each diagram now shows the ratio of noise and air flow, which seems to be more relevant for end-users, rather than those two parameters separately. Besides, each diagram now additionally contains the test results of one of the leaders of today's test session, the Scythe Kama Flow 2, which will serve as a kind of a common reference point for the rest of the fans. To put it simply, the closer the graph of a particular fan to the graph of the Scythe Kama Flow 2, the better that fan is. Except for one case specified below, every diagram is built to the same scale.
Now let’s take a look at the performance of the first product in this review:
Producing a uniform and quite agreeable noise, the Akasa Viper cannot give you a strong air flow despite the claims of a 30% advantage of the originally shaped impeller over classic ones. This fan can only compete with the Scythe Kama Flow 2 at very low speeds, but that’s not an achievement considering that we are dealing with high-speed fans today. All in all, the Akasa Viper is just an average-quality product.
Alpenföhn Föhn 120 Wing Boost
The Föhn 120 Wing Boost is packed into a large box with a cutout in the face side. You can see some of the frame and impeller through that cutout.
The product specs and a brief list of the key features can be found on the back of the box. Included with this fan are various power adapters and four silicone pins.
The Föhn 120 Wing Boost is manufactured in China and costs $15. Its warranty period is 3 years. This fan is employed in the Alpenföhn Matterhorn and Deep Cool Gamer Storm coolers.
The fan has a black frame and a blue 9-blade impeller fastened on four spokes:
The impeller and electromotor are 111 and 39 millimeters in diameter, respectively. Three of the fan spokes are 5 millimeters wide; the cable spoke is 8 millimeters wide. The weight of the fan is 165 grams.
The blades have a large angle of attack and a sharp front edge. The interior of the frame is smooth:
The key feature of the Föhn 120 Wing Boost is that its frame is not all plastic but has a robust anti-vibration coating. Thanks to that coating, the fan is expected to produce less noise than ordinary 120mm fans with plastic frames.
The rotation speed of the fan is PWM-controlled within a range of 500 to 1500 RPM. The max air flow is specified to be 63.6 CFM. The noise level varies from 8 to 24.8 dBA. The manufacturer doesn’t specify the static pressure for the Föhn 120 Wing Boost.
The sticker on the electromotor contains information about the actual maker of the fan. It is the German firm EKLAG (the DF1202512CL-007 model).
A start-up voltage of 5 volts is specified in the product specs and my measurements agree with that, yielding 5.1 volts. The peak power consumption of the fan, missing in the specs, proved to be 2 watts. The service life of the fluid dynamic bearing is not mentioned in the specs, either. The fan’s 4-wire sleeved cable is 420 millimeters long.
The test results for this fan can be found in the subsection about its clone Deepcool UF120 (see below).