Summing up the results of our today’s test session I would like to say that by choosing the “proper” fan an overclocker can win about 6-8ºC on the maximum CPU or GPU temperature without increasing the noise level, which is pretty much the difference you get from a super-cooler vs. a good cooling system. However, to succeed in making the right choice you have to know the peculiarities of your cooler heatsink, the dependence of the efficiency on the static pressure created by the fan, the created airflow and its concentration or dissipation and a number of other important factors. The only way to find the true best fan for your needs is through practical experiments.
As for the solutions we tested today, it is not so easy to draw a definite conclusion. As you may have noticed, in quiet group Scythe Ultra Kaze fan with ~1000RPM rotation speed leads in all the tests except the very first one. However, this fan, as well as other members of this group, is not powerful enough to efficiently cool the dense heatsink of Thermalright SI-128 cooler. So, let’s look at the second group with medium level of generated noise. Here we would like to point out a few SilverStone models and Scythe Slip Stream 120mm with Noctua NF-P12. The latter was ahead of its counterpart, Noctua NF-S12, throughout the entire test session. In the high-performance group, the leadership belongs to the roaring Ultra Kaze at almost 3000RPM, which may be pronounced the best choice for extreme overclockers who don’t care about anything else but air. However, SilverStone FM122 and FM123 are also pretty close to the leader.
By the way, our personal preferences go exactly to SilverStone FM123, as to the highly efficient, convenient, and extremely flexible fan thanks to a sensitive multi-functional rotation speed controller. But these are our personal preferences. The final choice is yours anyway, and we hope that this roundup will help you make it. Finally, we didn’t touch upon the life time of the tested fans and their availability in the today’s market on purpose: it is still too early to make any final conclusions…
Well, we have quite a few super-coolers in the market already, so now we have to wait for at least one super-fan to appear. For example a 120 x 120 x 38mm fan with small 30~35mm rotor diameter like that of Scythe Slip Stream; with nine blades shaped like those of SilverStone FM123 and featuring jagged edges like those of Noctua NF-P12; with silent Noctua bearing boasting 180,000 hours MTBF like the bearing of Scythe Minebea Silent IC; with sensitive rotation speed controller like the one of SilverStone FM123 and silicon spindles like the ones bundled with Noctua or Zalman fans; with beautiful LED highlighting like that by Zalman ZM-F3 LED (which can be disabled if necessary); and of course with the price of GlacialTech fan. Yes, dreams, dreams… :)