(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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  • soloburrito - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link

    So yeah, there are a lot of fans you guys will obviously miss out on, but if given the opportunity, I wouldn't mind burning $10 or $15 to send a fan for you all to test straight from a distributor.

    That's the easy part. Whether you have enough time to put dozens more fans through their proper paces is another issue entirely.

    Just a thought.
  • Adamantine - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link

    I would like to point out that you at least have an understanding of what specs are important for fan performance and that you spent quite a bit of time doing the review. The fans in the test, don't really have a problem with the results, although the review is not perfect. Hopefully, you're going with more of a database approach and just haven't gotten to the most highly regarded fans for radiators. Also, you should consider going with the higher speed fans since higher speed fans have more versatility when combined with fan controller. There are a couple models out there that make weird or annoying noises when combined with a fan controller, although sometimes the same model at a lower speed doesn't have the noise.

    Some of the highly regarded fans (most are based on Sony's fluid bearing):

    Gentle Typhoon 1850
    Scythe S-Flex
    Gelid NFB
    Cougar PWM 1500
    Cougar 1200
  • DanNeely - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link

    I'd also like to see at least one Yate-Loon fan. They're a popular budget model and seeing how they stack up with higher end fans would be beneficial.
  • Juddog - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link

    Co-signed for Yate-Loon; all the fans in my quiet case are yate-loons and I love them, especially when tweaked with a fan-bay adapter.

    One other thing to note for future fan reviews is that some fans seem to perform ok with fan bay adapters whereas others have issues.
  • Ananke - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link

    I have Yate-Loon. Bought on clearance from Microcenter three years ago for $2 each. That thing is amazing. Absolutely inaudible and OK airflow. In comparison to the 120 mm Yate-Loon, the Antec fans in this review at lowest speed are noisy. All the Cooler Masters I owned sound like jet - absolutely intolerable and tossed immediately.

    I agree, for low noise, people should just buy the SONY fluid bearings based solutions.
  • sicofante - Sunday, October 28, 2012 - link

    Radiator fans don't need to just move air, they need a high air pressure. The Yate-Loons are great case fans, but not that great radiator fans. (Including them would prove that, but the point of a review like this is comparing radiator-friendly fans. Not discard those which aren't.)
  • Streetwind - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link

    Poor Dustin, prodding the bees' nest again :D I think you can produce another 20 roundups like this and still not leave everyone happy. I'm saying this because I know a German reviewer who's so far looked at 130 different fans, only 120mm models, and he still doesn't have nearly all often-requested models either!

    Just shows what a big deal noise and thermals are to enthusiasts, who sadly often forget that the specific ranking among fans is influenced more than anything else by the specific testing method, and that different fans are designed for different jobs (for example, your beQuiet rep was right - the Silentwings series was never really meant to sit on a radiator).

    That said, I still thank you for the review and hope you'll do a few more despite the crazy comments they tend to induce. Like, have you seen Noiseblocker's new bionic loop fan? That might be worth testing just for the sheer "what the heck is this even" factor :D

    As an aside, some of the European brand fans seem to cost more than two times as much in the US, even after adjusting for currency conversion, if they can be found at all. I can only assume it's the same the other way around (for example, we don't get Rosewill fans at all over here). It's really a bit of a shame.
  • DanNeely - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link

    Got a link to his reviews?
  • Finally - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link

    THIS is the German site you mentioned:

    I personally prefer Enermax T.B. Silence.
    It's extraordinarily quiet and I can plaster my whole PC with 3 of them for just 18€.
  • DanNeely - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link

    Thanks. Am I overlooking it, or this reviewer only looking at noise levels and not cooling performance?

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