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Zalman ZM-F3 LED

The next fan we are going to talk about is a product from a well-known Korean manufacturer – Zalman. In fact, Zalman ZM-F3 LED is an improved modification of a well-known ZM-F3 fan, but it certainly makes this affordable and widely spread solution even more exciting.

The package is a cardboard base with attached transparent plastic casing shaped as the fan itself:

The brief fan specifications are listed on the reverse side of the package. There is also a helpful scheme describing fan installation using silicon spindles shipped together with the adapter featuring a built-in resistor:

By the way, these spindles are much more convenient to use than those of Noctua fans, because they are longer and it is much easier to pull them through the retention holes of the fan.

The fans are almost weightless - only 71g - and are made of transparent plastic. There are seven blades in the fan construction:


There are four LEDs (red, green or blue) built into the fan stands. The blades are shaped quite ordinarily:

The nominal fan rotation speed is 1800 (±180) RPM. It creates 73.17CFM airflow and 2.17mmH2O static pressure generating about 32dBA of noise. However if you use the bundled adapter with a built-in resistor, you can drop the fan rotation speed to 1100 (±110) RPM respectively reducing the airflow to 40.65CFM, static pressure to 0.67mmH2O and noise to 20dBA.

The rotor is 42mm in diameter and is covered with a sticker. However, we couldn’t figure out the name of the actual fan manufacturer, although we know for sure that Zalman doesn’t produce these fans but orders them from a third party:

The MTBF of the sleeve bearings used in these fans is not disclosed. However, we have no reason to suspect that it will be dramatically different from the 30,000 hours MTBF of a “standard” cooler bush.

There are four LEDs, glowing brighter than those of the Cooler Master solution we have discussed earlier today. They make the fans look really attractive:

The cable is 400mm long plus you can count on additional 80mm provided by the adapter.  The new fan is priced at $15, which is a pretty average price-point among our today’s testing participants.

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