Introduction

It's funny, when I did the first 120mm radiator fan roundup two months ago, I wasn't expecting quite the response it got. It was an interesting exercise that seemed worth sharing with the rest of you, and as it turned out, I was mostly right. What I wasn't prepared for was the avalanche of responses from both you and from vendors about the fans that were tested, or more appropriately, the fans that weren't tested. It was obvious there needed to be another run of fans, and that's just what I've done.

Ten new contenders; some pulled from my own stock, one pulled from retail, and some graciously and generously sent by vendors. The results from these fans will be added to what will wind up being absolutely massive comparison charts. There's an entrant from Scythe, Noctua's gold standard NF-F12, the Enermax Magma, and even a couple contenders from Cooler Master and Rosewill. Is there something available that's a better choice for Corsair's H80 120mm radiator, or are the stock fans still the most well-rounded option?

A lot of testing went into this round. Results are still comparable with the older results (and they most definitely will be compared with the older results), but the batch of fans I have available now are an even more eclectic blend. I'll tell you now that there are some results that turned out pretty much as expected, but some surprises and hidden gems here too.

Before we go on it's worth getting a refresher on the previous article. While the next page has the testing methodology again in its entirety, all but the most fundamental information on the original eight fans I tested with will be omitted for the sake of brevity.

Testing Methodology
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  • Maxal - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link

    How about putting results in chart, with Temp and Noise on X/Y axis? Reply
  • arthur449 - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link

    Thanks for the Die Hard 2: Die Harder reference. It brought a smile to my face. Reply
  • toyotabedzrock - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link

    I have had horrible luck with fans. They all go bad in a year.
    Even expensive ones.
    Reply
  • Finally - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link

    Try Enermax T.B. Silence.
    Excellent price, very quiet and even IF they should fail after only 1 year, you have just "lost" 6€.

    Here a link to put my recommendation in perspective: http://kdb.orthy.de/index.php?tablename=Luefter&am...
    Reply
  • Udit - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link

    It's just a request ... please add scythe gt-1850 & glidestream 120 ... I have 4 gt-1850 on my h100 & really wanna change them Reply
  • scmikes - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link

    We all realize that it is impossible to review all rad fans. I would like to add a vote for the 109R1212H1011 120mm X 38mm from Sans Ace. They have worked great in my setups.

    Take care, and keep up the good work
    Reply
  • Runamok81 - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link

    Dustin, you'll never make everyone happy, but I'm glad Anandtech is making the effort. Props to Dustin for listening to the comment-ers and revisiting this fan round up! Bravo Reply
  • Purpose - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link

    Four years ago I bought 12 Enermax Magma UC-MA12's.

    Within a year of 24/7 use all but four were broken.

    My #1 cautionary recommendation for Magma fans is DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, try to pop the blades off for cleaning. Of the 8 broken fans, half of them broke because when attempting to remove the blades, the entire motor assembly separated from the PCB, or the PCB came up with the fan blades.

    They do provide good performance at good noise levels...

    I'm wondering why the all-star radiator fan is being omitted. It's a really huge failure to not include the Gentle Typhoon AP-15 so that we can get an apples to apples performance comparison against your data.

    You talk about finding the 'outlier' but the one fan that's actually KNOWN to be *THE* outlier isn't present in your testing...

    Especially since I switched to GT's and know from experience that the difference between them and the magma is NIGHT AND DAY. Top that off with the fact that you can get them for ~15 a pop... That's only 2 bucks more for the *BEST* performing fan out there.

    Swing and a miss.
    Reply
  • xxtypersxx - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link

    Add me to the list of users baffled by the omission of GentleTyphoon fans from the testing. This is like excluding a Jeep Wrangler from an off roader comparison. Reply
  • scook9 - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link

    When I switched to water cooling, like any other good geek, I did an obsessive amount of research and reading online to find the best solution. Time and time again, I ended up with the same recommendation - the Scythe Gentle Typhoon 1850 rpm (AP-15) model. I have about 10 of these in my house now and use them on everything (HTPC, server, desktop, laptop cooler). They are expensive fans but they will also last a LONG time while performing very well.

    You may not need to do a 3rd roundup, just a 1 page one-off for this fan to satisfy the masses :D
    Reply

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