Swiftech Polaris 120 CPU Heatsink

Cooling
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Stock Fan Measurements

Specifications: Swiftech Polaris 120 Stock Fan
Manufacturer
?
Power Rating
3.84W
Model Number
?
Airflow Rating
84 CFM
Bearing Type
"Hydraumatic"
Speed Rating
2500 ±250 RPM
Corners
Open
Noise Rating
41.5 dBA
Frame Size
120 x 120 x 25 mm
Header Type
4-pin PWM
Fan Blade Diameter
112 mm
Starting Voltage
3.7 V
Hub Size
40 mm
Weight
120 g
Data in green cells provided by the manufacturer or observed; data in the blue cells were measured.

Though Swiftech provides detailed specifications, the fan lacks any identifying markers. It has the appearance of a typical 120 mm axial DC fan with seven white blades and a black housing. The trailing edges are nearly parallel with the struts, increasing the likelihood of tonal elements in its acoustic profile.

Stock Fan Measurements
Voltage
Avg. Speed
SPL@1m
12V
2400 RPM
42~43 dBA
9V
1890 RPM
36~37 dBA
7V
1540 RPM
30 dBA
5V
1090 RPM
20~21 dBA
4V
800 RPM
15 dBA
3.7V*
690 RPM
12~13 dBA
* Starting voltage.
Measuring mic positioned 1m at diagonal angle from the center of the heatsink.
Ambient noise level: 10~11 dBA.

With a high maximum speed, the stock fan is very loud, turbulent and whiny from 12V all the way down to 7V. It sounds fairly smooth at about 5V, and the fan speed is equivalent to that of many low speed fans at full tilt. At 4V and below, it develops a noticeable hum. At no point does the fan become inaudible, as even at its starting voltage of 3.7V, it measures 12~13 dBA@1m.


The Polaris 120 stock fan becomes quiet at about 4V.

Cooling Results

Swiftech Polaris 120
Fan Voltage
SPL@1m
Temp
°C Rise
Stock 120mm Fan
12V
42~43 dBA
60°C
39
9V
36~37 dBA
62°C
41
7V
30 dBA
63°C
42
5V
20~21 dBA
68°C
47
4V
15 dBA
75°C
54
3.7V
12~13 dBA
80°C
59
Reference 120mm Fan
12V
16 dBA
67°C
46
9V
13 dBA
70°C
49
7V
12 dBA
75°C
54
2 x Reference 120mm Fan
12V
19 dBA
64°C
43
9V
14 dBA
67°C
46
7V
12 dBA
70°C
49
°C Rise: Temperature rise above ambient (21°C) at load.

The Polaris 120 performed pretty well, but only at higher speeds with the stock fan producing 30 dBA@1m or higher. At 5V, cooling performance was fairly poor. Further drops in speed resulted in significant cooling degradation. With its stock fan, the Polaris makes a terrible quiet cooler.

The Polaris fared much better with our reference Nexus fan, producing a 5~10°C improvement at the 12~13 dBA@1m levels. As the Polaris 120 is rather thick, we tried a second fan in push-pull configuration for improved air pressure. This only improved cooling by 3°C at 12V and 9V. A 5°C difference was recorded 7V.



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