First 140 mm Fan Roundup: Noctua, Phanteks, Xigmatek

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Xigmatek XAF-F1453

Xigmatek is an enthusiast brand that makes an effort to make their products look snazzy. We have a small sampling of their vast array of fans that sport multiple designs, shapes, and colors. The XAF-F1453 has four white LEDs in its corners shining toward the translucent orange fan blades which help scatter the light. White LEDs also available in black and blue models, while non-LED variants can be found in white and black.


Both the XLF and XAF series ship in plastic clam shell containers, though thankfully they are easy to unpack and reseal.

The XAF-F1453 is easily the oddest fan in our roundup. Its blades are narrow and shaped in a wave pattern as if it had sat in the sun too long and partially melted. The fan has 120 mm mounting holes but a set of adapters are included to give it 140 mm fittings.

For some reason, the mounting holes on opposite sides are not aligned so if you turn the fan around you have to rotate it slightly for proper alignment.

The fan has a noticeably thin frame and indeed it is the lightest fan in our roundup, weighing only 120 grams, similar to a typical 120 mm model. Ideally we want to see as wide an angle as possible created between the struts and the trailing edges of the blades but instead we have the exact opposite with the struts and fins lining up almost perfectly.

Specifications:
Manufacturer Xigmatek Power Rating 3.6 W
Model Number XAF-F1453 Airflow Rating 90.3 CFM
Bearing Type Copper Brush Axis Speed Rating 1,200 RPM
Frame Size 140 x 140 x 25 mm
(120 mm holes, 140 mm adapters)
Noise Rating < 18 dBA
Hub Size 40 mm Header Type 4-pin PWM with molex adapter
Blade Diameter 131 mm Fan Mounts Screws
Cable Length 30 cm Weight 120 g
Starting Voltage 4.0 ~ 4.5 V Number of Samples 1
Corner Type Open Retail Availability Yes
Accessories: 10 cm molex adapter, 140 mm mounting adapters, screws.


This is the screen capture of Fan Xpert 2's auto-analysis of the Xigmatek XAF-F1453.


Acoustic analysis of the Xigmatek XAF-F1453.

SPCR Test Results: Xigmatek XAF-F1453
Fan Speed (RPM)
1200
1100
900
700
550
SPL (dBA@1m)
28
24~25
19
16~17
12
Thermal Rise (°C)
18
18
20
22
26
Airflow in/out (FPM)
530/770
490/730
-
-
240/370

The XAF-F1453 had some interesting acoustic properties. Above 1,000 RPM it was mostly buzzy but we could also detect an intermittent increase in turbulence every couple of seconds as if the fan was pulsing — given its odd blade structure there was bound to be some weirdness. At 900 RPM this unusual effect ceased and the buzzing turned to a dull drone which was partially hiding a tone at ~530 Hz. At 700 RPM and below, this tone was more noticeable and the fan also developed a slight clicking.

The XAF-F1453 sample was an only child so we can't say with certainty whether other individuals of the same model/line have similar issues.

Its cooling efficiency was nothing to write home about, not particularly good or bad compared to most of the 120 and 140 mm models we've run through our testbed.



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