Let’s start with the more common products. According to our tests, the least remarkable results belong to LEPA VORTEX (LPVX14P), Phanteks PH-F140TS and two NZXT FZ-140 fans (with and without highlighting). Unfortunately, these fans aren’t that quiet and do not produce strong air flow or offer a well-balanced combination of the two. Moreover, these four fans are also quite expensive. Someone may like the focused air flow of the LEPA VORTEX, others will be pleased at the elegant highlighting of the NZXT FZ-140 LED or the “shark fins” of the blades and the record-breaking service life of the bearing in the Phanteks PH-F140TS, but we have to recommend checking out other models if low noise and strong air flow are of higher priority for you.
The middle group looks much better. It includes mainstream products like the NZXT FX 140LB, SilverStone AP141, Zalman ZM-F4 and GlacialStars IceWind 14025. The first of them should be given credit for delivering the highest air flow and, possibly, the highest static pressure among all the fans in this roundup. The SilverStone AP141, which has the original focused air-flow design that the LEPA VORTEX later followed, is superior to the LEPA fan in every aspect, but it is also the most expensive of all the fans. The Zalman ZM-F4 and GlacialStars IceWind 14025, on the contrary, kill the competition with their low price, suggesting that a good fan doesn’t have to cost a lot.
The leading group consists of the two Nanoxia FX EVO 140 IFC fans, the big Thermalright TY-150 and the NZXT FN 140RB. Each of them is quiet and delivers a stronger air flow than the previous models. Moreover, the Nanoxia fans, priced at an average level, offer a 10-year warranty, a speed controller, and a detachable water-resistant impeller made of makrolon. The big Thermalright TY-150 can hardly be used as a system fan, but will perfectly match large heatsinks of CPU coolers. And the NZXT FN 140RB is simply a high-quality and relatively affordable fan.
The only product that stands out in our today’s test session is the Corsair AF140 Quiet Edition. This is the absolute best fan of all tested today! At only 98 grams, the elegant fan from Corsair has the best noise/air flow ratio, which is the most important parameter in our opinion. Moreover, this model starts up at 5.5 volts and consumes less than 1 watt at the maximum speed. It is equipped with vibration-absorbing mounts and has interchangeable colored rings to ideally match the interior of your computer case. Unfortunately, the MTBF of its fluid dynamic bearing is not disclosed while the cable is not very long (295 mm). PWM-based speed regulation could also be welcome. Anyway, these minor things definitely cannot affect our decision to award Corsair AF140 Quiet Edition with our Editor’s Choice title:
This is only the first roundup that opens a series of article on cooling fan. We’re already cooking another roundup of new 120mm fans. Stay tuned!