Following our recent tests of 135 and 150mm fans, we want to present to you fifteen 120mm fans from nine brands. The fans differ in specs, design as well as pricing. Except for the models from GlacialTech, GlacialStars and Enermax, we've got at least two samples of each product. The noise level was measured for each sample of the pair and the air flow, for only one of them. We used the same testing methodology as described in our previous roundup of 120 mm fans. The only difference was that this time we let the fan's bearing warm up and stabilize for 5-7 minutes rather than just 2 minutes.
First, let's take a look at each fan, following the alphabetical order.
We’ll emphasize the key features of the fans in their descriptions later on in this article, but for their full specs you can refer to the following table:
We would like to add that the impeller of each fan rotates counterclockwise.
Antec TrueQuiet Pro 120
The alphabetically first product of this review is also its most original. Moreover, it is probably the most original of all fans we've tested so far (and this number amounts to a hundred products already). Called Antec TrueQuiet Pro 120, it comes in simple plastic packaging with a paper insert:
You can see the whole fan through it. Its key features are listed in six languages on the back of the packaging. Its specs can be found on one of the sides.
The fan is shipped with five long and soft silicone pins and an adapter cable for a PATA power connector.
The TrueQuiet Pro 120 is manufactured in China and costs about $15. It comes with a 2-year warranty.
Although standard in its form-factor, the fan has a unique impeller and frame.
The frame and the impeller are a single whole in this model and rotate together. The seven blades are neatly soldered to the frame which is 117 mm in diameter (the largest in this review). Shaped in a curious way, the blades are narrow at the base and very broad near the frame. They curve out as if spreading along a surface.
All of this, including the monolithic impeller and frame, is meant to reduce the fan’s noise. The small switch on the fan cable serves the same purpose:
It can be used to reduce the speed from the default 1200 RPM to 600 RPM, lowering the air flow from 46.3 to 21.1 CFM at 18.8 to 10.8 dBA of noise. The latter specs are especially impressive, although they are not the best among the products included into this review. The specified static pressure is rather low: 0.66 mm of water at the maximum speed and 0.18 mm of water at the minimum speed.
Antec has filmed an interesting video to highlight the quality and benefits of this fan compared to other popular products. When turned off, the TrueQuiet Pro 120 keeps on rotating for 15 to 17 seconds longer than fans from other manufacturers.
The soft silicone inserts in the corners of the fan are meant to reduce noise, too.
They help prevent vibrations from reaching the computer case or cooler heatsink, bringing down the overall noise level. As we've mentioned above, the TrueQuiet Pro 120 is shipped with silicone pins that serve the same purpose.
There is no mention of the bearing's type or service life in the product specs and we do wonder what bearing such an original impeller might use. The sticker on the 33mm motor is not informative, either.
Therefore we can’t tell you anything about the electric parameters of this fan. The results of our own measurements will be published in the Tests section. We can only add that the cable of the TrueQuiet Pro 120 is 300 mm long.