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| Quiet 120mm Fan Comparison (7 comments )|
by: Fedor (19) | Posted in cluster FiringSquad Editors Challenge Round 1 Prelim 2
Posted 75 months ago ( edited 75 months ago ) in category DEFAULT
Today I will tell you about a couple of 12cm fans that might make life a bit easier, for your ears at least. The fans I will be comparing are the Xilence XPF120.R and the Zalman ZM-F3. To provide a reference point, I will also include the temperatures of my current Thermaltake 12cm fan (A1928) that these fans will hopefully out-perform.
Both of these fans are targetted at the low noise market, and their looks reflect this. Both are quite plain, although the Xilence has a black and red color scheme as opposed to Zalman's plain black. Aside from looks, what comes with them? Well, the Xilence is a no-frills fan that just comes with the fan itself and 4 screws. The good news is that it has both the 3 pin fan connector and a molex connector, which means you should have no trouble finding a way to power it. The Zalman comes with considerably more extras - 4 silicon pins and a 3 pin power extension with a resistor that lowers the voltage of the fan and subsequently it's speed, airflow and noise. Considering that the Zalman cost only marginally more than the Xilence, the Zalman definitely seems to provide more bang for your buck, even though it does not have the molex power option.
Test Setup & Methodology
P4 3.4GHz "E" Prescott LGA775 with Thermalright XP-120
MSI 925XE Neo Platinum
1GB Kingston DDR2 533
Powercolor X800XT with Arctic Cooling Silencer
Western Digital WD5000KS
I ran BOINC for half an hour to achieve a stable temperature reading at full load. Since I do not have the sophisticated equipment to measure noise, I will be discussing it subjectively. Personally, although decibel measurements provide some sort of reference, I have often found that fans that are supposed to have low noise are actually not as quiet as it would seem they should be. This happens because factors like pitch are not factored in.
Wow. I certainly didn't see this coming when I first started the writing the review. The Thermaltake fan kept my load temperature at 66 to 67 degrees celcius - that's our reference point. The fan is completely inaudible at 1 metre and is rated as 21db. So how did the Xilence do?
Load temps were around 72 degrees. Ouch, 3 more and the processor starts throttling itself due to heat. Granted, the fan is really quiet, but I would not suggest using this on a high thermal profile CPU. It would however serve as a great quiet intake fan, or a CPU fan for something that is far cooler, like a Core 2 Duo (without overclocking). It is inaudible at 1 foot, so it is subjectively quieter than the Thermaltake, although it is also rated at 21db. Noise is usually more irritating to the ear when it is of a higher pitch and the Thermaltake has a slighty higher pitch, making it subjectively noisier.
And the Zalman?
Load temps were 65 degrees with the fan at full power. Using the resistor made the temps jump to 72 degrees. At full speed the Zalman is louder than all three fans compared here (you can hear it well even at 1 metre - rated at 34db), but with the resistor it's as quiet as any of them (rated at 20db, completely inaudible at 1 foot).
Ahem, it looks like the Thermaltake is here to stay. Throwing high-quality modern competition at it showed us that clearly it still is one fantastic fan. Of the two fans I had a chance to test however, the Zalman is the winner because it gives you flexibility without needing a fan controller, performs like the Xilence at low speed, and includes silicon pins which reduce vibration and therefore noise if you connect the fan to your case.
|7 User Comment(s) • 4 root comment(s)|
| Fedor (19) Mar 01, 2007 - 10:11 am|
|Heh, considering you gave me a 7 and now the second vote has pulled me down to 4, means the second vote was a 1. Someone was being very generous there :p|
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