(For a look at parts one and two of the fans we're testing (or actually have tested) you'll want to go back and check here.)

Enermax Magma


Airflow (in CFM) Static Pressure (in mm/H2O) RPM Rated dBA
69.15 1.4 1500 18

The Enermax Magma has pretty generous ratings, but it's also been one of the fans I've seen repeatedly pop up on forums as a solid choice for a 120mm radiator fan. Enermax's advertising materials promote the fact that it can run silently even at exceedingly high temperatures, but it'll be interesting to see if this fan is really all it's cracked up to be.

$13.99 at NewEgg

CoolerMaster Excalibur

Airflow (in CFM) Static Pressure (in mm/H2O) RPM Rated dBA
26.4-85.6 0.75-3.53 600-2000 13-30

The first of CoolerMaster's two entrants, the Excalibur is also one of the only PWM fans we have on hand for testing. Interestingly, both of CoolerMaster's fans look to have placed an emphasis on blingy design, but the Excalibur at least doesn't seem to have the same grossly exaggerated "miracle fan" ratings than the Sickle Flow from the last review had. And while the Sickle Flow was just grabbed off the shelf at a Fry's Electronics, the Excalibur and Turbine Master were both handpicked by CoolerMaster for this roundup.

$18.99 at NewEgg

CoolerMaster Turbine Master MACH 1.8

Airflow (in CFM) Static Pressure (in mm/H2O) RPM Rated dBA
80.3 1.96 1800 30.5

There are actually two models of Turbine Master; the MACH 1.8 is the faster of the two and designed for high performance rather than silence (in much the same way that Corsair has both silent and performance models of their 120mm fans). I'll say this for CoolerMaster; they can produce an interesting looking fan. The Turbine Master has more blades than any other fan in either roundup and comes with a nifty little removable dome for the fan hub.

$16.99 at NewEgg

Noctua NF-F12

Airflow (in CFM) Static Pressure (in mm/H2O) RPM Rated dBA
55 2.61 1500 22.4

I'll admit this is the fan I was most interested in checking out. The ratings listed on the packaging aren't particularly exciting, but Noctua has seen fit to equip the NF-F12 with a PWM connector as well as boxing it with a low noise adaptor. The whole package was actually pretty fancy, and while I'm not sure I'm a fan of the "chai latte" coloring I definitely got the impression that this was going to be a strong contender. Of course, for the price, it had better be.

$29.99 at NewEgg

Testing Methodology The Fans We're Testing, Part 4
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  • Iketh - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link


    still didn't include a fan with winglets and nanoflux bearings like the one above... this fan is a real gem...
  • prophet001 - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link

    "Yes, undoubtedly I have omitted someone's favorite fan."
  • Iketh - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link

    yea i guess when people say things like this that everyone should shutup and never give recommendations... brainiac

    what are you? a sheep?
  • landerf - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link

    No it's not. I was crazy about gelid fans for a brief time but I was just being an idiot. Don't let the price fool you, they under perform and make too much noise. Look at any fan roundup with them in it and you'll see how mediocre they are. Move along and your wallet will thank you.
  • Naoe Shigen - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link

    Let me start off by saying that I'm a long-time reader of Anandtech and that I absolutely love the site (even when some of Anand's articles go over my head =P). This will be my first comment ever.

    I have to say that this is a really disappointing review for at least two reasons:
    1) Why test with a Corsair H80? It's a horrid little all-in-one solution whose radiator -- regardless of the fan used -- can't even match the top-ten air coolers.
    2) How do you take the time to test a bunch of fans in order to determine which is the best for use with a radiator and *not* test at least one or two Gentle Typhoon variants? Or even some of the GELID offerings? If the article was done in a week and based upon the stock at a local Fry's or Microcenter, then fine. But when the article was written in two parts and across several months? No.

    In general I have noticed that this is where Anandtech tends to let me down with the quality of its articles. I can only assume that Anandtech lacks contributors who have a serious interest in specific enthusiast genres like water-cooling. I would love to see the level of expertise and attention to detail that I have come to take for granted with SSD/CPU/Mobo articles applied to water-cooling, overclocking, and case reviews. Especially now that things like water-cooling and overclocking are easier and more mainstream than ever. But hey, maybe I'm crazy and I'm the only one that feels this way. It wouldn't be the first time... =D
  • Naoe Shigen - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link

    To put this in perspective, this is the caliber of review I would expect from 3dgameman.com. And he's one of the least informed owners of a hardware review website that I can think of. Second only to motherboards.org, which makes me wonder why anyone would take computer component advice from someone that looks and sounds like an ex-wrestler.

    But I digress...
  • FaaR - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link

    You're missing the point of the review by complaining about the performance of the H80; it's not the performance of the cooler that is being reviewed, it's how fans used on a radiator perform that is of the matter here.

    That certain air coolers perform better than the H80 really doesn't factor into it, as these air coolers aren't radiators.

    CPU temperatures, while (maybe) higher than other cooling solutions, are merely supplied as an indicator of fan performance.

    Also, in defense of the Corsair H80, it's probably one of the more common all-in-one radiator coolers out there, so people owning one can use this review as an easy indicator of what fan will work well with it. By the way, I am not one of them. I have a Noctua aircooler in my rig.
  • Gasaraki88 - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link

    Really? You people want him to test every single fan on Newegg or something? Are you going to buy all those fans for him? If vendors don't give some to him to test or he doesn't have them on hand he's not testing them. Are you paying him to sit there for 2 months taking 100s of fans off and on the cooler just so you're happy that your brand of fan was in the article?
  • sicofante - Sunday, October 28, 2012 - link

    No, but not including the most commonly praised radiator fans (the Gently Typhoons) doesn't seem reasonable at all. Either the writer doesn't know about them (which would be bad) or the review is biased for some obscure reason (which would be worse).

    (To the one complaining about the chosen radiator: the H80 fares typically in the range of the top air coolers and it offers a much more safe mounting than those. If you ever want to ship a computer, don't even think of those top air coolers, unless you want to risk breaking your motherboard. And never forget to ship the fans separately or face finding them bouncing around your case throughout the trip... Ever wondered why factory overclocked systems use Asetek all-in-one watercoolers? Now you know.)
  • zalbar - Thursday, July 23, 2015 - link

    That's all right - I'm a little disappointed in you, too.

    1. Fans are being tested, here, not CPU coolers. In this context, the radiator of the CPU cooler is merely acting as a heat source. In order to properly test the fan, it needs to get hot, and quickly. Testing a fan with an overperforming cooler would be like testing an HSF at idle temps - you're not going to see much difference between them.

    2. "Yes, undoubtedly I have omitted someone's favorite fan."

    3. Aside from point 2, the work is very high quality, and it was free for you to read. How about a little sugar?

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