Sharkoon SHARK Blades & SilverStone FQ121 120mm Fans

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Sharkoon SHARK Blades

Imbuing something so bland as a 120 mm case fan with animal-like properties doesn't sound like an easy challenge but Sharkoon managed to do it with aplomb. The fan's frame is molded with fin-like corners and each blade looks like a bite has been taken out of it on each side. Notched designs are nothing new but Sharkoon has taken it to the extreme. The fan is available with four different stripe colors, green, red, blue, and yellow, adding pizzazz without resorting to gaudy LEDs.


Our three SHARK Blades samples.

A closer look.

The construction of the fan is also interesting as the colored areas are thinner than the surrounding area, forming what Sharkoon describes as "air guides" that direct airflow through the blades which supposedly reduces turbulence, while the "teeth" decreases drag and prevents dust buildup. Additionally, a smooth, hard coating, almost like nail polish, has also been applied to the stripes.


Unboxed.

Accessories.

Packed in a formfitting thin plastic container, the SHARK Blades' accessories include a short molex pass-through adapter if you prefer to power the fan directly with your system's power supply, traditional steel screws, and a set of rubber bolts. Sharkoon cites this vibration-reducing soft mounting option and the fan's fluid bearings to help back up a claim of "ultra-smooth operation."


A head-on shot.

The considerable size of the notches and the thicker than usual frame translates into lower blade surface area. The blades are much shorter than usual, measuring only 106 mm from tip to tip, a good 5~6 mm less than most 120 mm fan models.

Specifications: Sharkoon SHARK Blades
Manufacturer Sharkoon Power Rating 1.2 W
Model Number N/A Airflow Rating 33 CFM
Bearing Type Fluid Dynamic Sleeve Speed Rating 1000 RPM
Frame Size 120 x 120 x 25 mm Noise Rating 19 dBA
Hub Size 40 mm Header Type 3-pin / 4-pin with molex adapter
Blade Diameter 106 mm Fan Mounts Screws, rubber bolts
Cable Length 50 cm Weight 120 g
Starting Voltage 4.5 ~ 5.0 V Number of Samples 3
Corner Type Open Retail Availability Yes
Extras: 5 cm molex adapter, rubber bolts and washers.

While the fan has an aggressive look, its rated for just 1000 RPM, putting it in the quiet category (sharks are stealth predators after all). Sharkoon pegs the noise level at just 19 dBA and airflow at a modest 33 CFM.


A screen capture of Fan Xpert 2's auto-analysis of the Sharkoon SHARK Blades.

Being a 3-pin fan, the SHARK Blades' speed can only be adjusted using traditional DC control. As its starting voltage is relatively low (below 5V), it can reliably start at about half speed (500 RPM).

SPCR Test Results: Sharkoon SHARK Blades
Fan Speed (RPM)
550
700
900
1000
SPL (dBA@1m)
11
12
14
16
Thermal Rise (°C)
39
32
28
26
Airflow in/out (FPM)
190/290
-
-
370/550

The SHARK Blades' performance was awful at lower speeds. Prior to this round of testing, the highest thermal rise we've ever recorded was 35°C — the SHARK Blades lowered the bar by 4°C at 550 RPM. Significant improvements were observed at 700 RPM and above, but overall, the results were below average. On the bright side, the fan was very quiet, measuring just 16 dBA@1m at full speed, well below the specification.


Acoustic analysis of the Sharkoon SHARK Blades.

Acoustically, the SHARK Blades was pleasant but it suffered from a common issue with fluid bearing models. At top speed it had a smooth, breezy quality, but there was a noticeable underlying clickiness when observed at close proximity. As the fan speed was reduced, the turbulence masking this defect dissipated as well, making it more audible. It's not something you would notice inside a PC case unless you have very sensitive ears, but it's definitely there. We also observed a slight high-pitched ~2 KHz whine at 900 RPM and above, but again, under normal conditions, it should be difficult to detect.

Of the three samples provided to us, we ended up using the yellow model for our testing. The red and yellow variants sounded similar but the blue sample's clickiness had a clearly lower pitch.



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