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
POST A COMMENT

79 Comments

View All Comments

  • Slyne - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link

    Dustin,

    I can't be bothered to chek all the fans but, at least in the case of the Scyte Slipstream and Nexus RealSilent, those are case fans, not CPU fans. It's pointless to include them in this test.

    And I second others in stating that if you're interested in sufficently powerful yet almost silent CPU fans, you may want to check the Gentle Typhoon and Noiseblocker.
    Reply
  • khanov - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    I can't be bothered to chek all the fans but, at least in the case of the Scyte Slipstream and Nexus RealSilent, those are case fans, not CPU fans. It's pointless to include them in this test.

    And I second others in stating that if you're interested in sufficently powerful yet almost silent CPU fans, you may want to check the Gentle Typhoon and Noiseblocker.


    This exactly. After doing much research earlier this year I bought 2x gentle typhoon's and 2x Noiseblocker NB-Multiframe M12-P fans to add to my collection of Noctua's and other fans such as the excellent TR-TY140's.

    After testing all of them the M12-P's stayed on my overclocked i7-3820 doing push/pull on a TRUE 120 heatsink. They are the business, quiet and powerful. Gentle typhoon's ran a close 2nd and are great fans also.

    The fact that you don't include two of the best fans around for heatsink use seems odd to me. Looking forward to part 3 =)
    Reply
  • BlueReason - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link

    "Corsair's solutions"

    Really? It's a fan. Reconsider your use of the word "solution" as a replacement for everything. Sometimes it makes sense, but often it's just a silly fad word that has gotten out of control.
    Reply
  • Streetwind - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    hen you are writing a longer text, it is considered good form to occasionally replace often-repeating words with substitutions to improve the reading flow. If every sentence had the word "fan" in it, you'd eventually get dizzy. It's like starting every sentence in a story with "Then", that's just a no-go. Reply
  • Hulk - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link

    I think it would be helpful to isolate fan performance.

    When reviewing cooling fans how about connecting each fan to be tested to a variable speed controller and set the speed of the fan to a predetermined cfm so that the fans can be evaluated on a level playing field. This way noise can be evaluated in an even playing field.

    In the same manner speed can be increased/decreased to a predefined level and cfm and be measured.

    Because in the end what we're really trying to determine is which fan moves the most air while being the most quiet while doing it.

    Or, if you won't want to deal with cfm measurements, just load the test bed and increase/decrease the fan speed until the temperature is at a predetermined level. Then measure the noise.
    Reply
  • JonnyDough - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link

    No mention that CoolerMaster's Turbine is based on the compressor section of a turbofan jet engine? Hmm. Reply
  • nianiania - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link

    You're testing the cooling capacity of fans for a radiator, in an environment this type of solution WILL NEVER BE USED IN. Broken right from the start. If someone's investing 60-120$ in a water cooler, the chances they're building an HTPC without a graphics card in the system are slim to none.

    This should have at least a 650 or 660 in the box to get a more real-world result. It's not often you let us down Anandtech, but this one is a pretty obvious failing on your part.
    Reply
  • gcor - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link

    I would quite like to know how many amps each of the fans actually draw, as it has been my experience that the spec sheets frequently list a value that is not accurate. In future reviews/round ups, would it be possible to measure and list the actual amps drawn please? Reply
  • Samus - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Fans are entirely subjective outside of these thorough AT tests. Obviously most fans won't be reviewed here (every fan in every single one of my workstations is NOT reviewed but I am happy with all of them)

    But one thing is for certain. Using a non-PWM fan is nonsense these days. Constant RPM fans spend most of their life needlessly consuming power, producing noise, and increasing dust.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    Plenty of mobo's allow adjusting the voltage for non-PWM fans in order to adjust their speed... I think most boards only have one or two PWM headers and 2-4 voltage adjusted headers no? Not nearly as many people with fan controllers and rheobus as people with mobos equipped to do the fame thing already... It's more of a personal choice/individual setup kinda thing. Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now