SPCR's Fan Round-Up #3: 92mm Fans

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PURE SILENCE JF0925S1ES

Ambient noise at the time of testing was 18 dBA.

Brand Pure Silence Power Rating 0.10A / 0.96W
Manufacturer Jamicon Airflow Rating 32 CFM
Model Number JF0925S1ES RPM Rating 1,700 RPM
Retail Availability UK Noise Rating 15 dBA
Bearing Type Sleeve Header Type 3-pin & Molex adapter
Hub Size 1.29" Starting Voltage 3.1V
Frame Size 92 x 92 x 25 mm Number of Samples 2
Our thanks to Pure Silence for supplying these samples.
Voltage
Noise
RPM
CFM
Power
12V
26 dBA@1m
1770 RPM
38 CFM
0.93W
9V
21 dBA@1m
1350 RPM
28 CFM
0.73W
7V
21 dBA@1m
1040 RPM
21 CFM
0.60W
5V
20 dBA@1m
710 RPM
13 CFM
0.46W
@15 CFM (5.6V)
20 dBA@1m
810 RPM
15 CFM
0.50W
May 5, 2008
The updated airflow results here are the result of improvements in our testing procedures. They are more accurate than the original results above, but they are not directly comparable. Please compare these only with fan reviews published after May 5, 2008 — or ones that have updated results published in a box like this one.
12V
26 dBA@1m
1770 RPM
24 CFM
0.93W
9V
21 dBA@1m
1350RPM
19 CFM
0.73W
7V
21 dBA@1m
1040 RPM
14 CFM
0.60W
5V
20 dBA@1m
710 RPM
9 CFM
0.46W
@15 CFM (7.2V)
21dBA@1m
1050 RPM
15 CFM
0.61W

Pure Silence is a tiny British company that specializes in low noise computer components, modding accessories, and iPod skins. Oh, and for some reason it also sells energy efficient lightbulbs, a 15m garden hose and an inflatable pool. We don't recommend using your computer in the pool, no matter how quiet it is.

If you thought it was unlikely that a company that sells inflatable pools manufactures their own line of fans, you'd be right; the model number identifies the original manufacurer as Jamicon — makers of an excellent line of quiet 80mm fans. The thin, fragile support struts are a hallmark of Jamicon's fan design, removing any lingering doubts about where the fan's origins.

Unfortunately, Jamicon's reputation does not seem to have helped here, as the noise character was too rough and unpleasant to compete with the Nexus. The Pure Silence was always audible (never thought I'd write that sentence), no matter how much we reduced the voltage. At 9V and above, the noise was a mixed clatter of buzzing and clicking. The noise eventually dropped to a subdued rumble as the reduced speed took the sharpness and intensity off of the sound. A ringing overtone could also be heard between 7V and 10V. We would like to be able to say that the low vibration exhibited by the Pure Silence is a good sign for noise, but given how poor the rest of the noise character is, the low vibration is irrelevant.

As expected for a sleeve bearing fan, the fan speed dropped slightly when blowing downwards. Mounting the Pure Silence in this position (in a home theater case, for example) is not recommended.

Noise Recordings

ACOUSTIFAN AF92CT

Ambient noise at the time of testing was 18 dBA.

Brand AcoustiFan Power Rating 0.18A
Manufacturer Globefan Airflow Rating 41.7 CFM
Model Number AF92CT RPM Rating 2,000 RPM
Retail Availability Yes Noise Rating 25.9 dBA
Bearing Type Sleeve Header Type 3-pin
Hub Size 1.3" Starting Voltage 3.8V
Frame Size 92 x 92 x 25 mm Number of Samples 2
Our thanks to AcoustiFan for supplying these samples.
Voltage
Noise
RPM
CFM
Power
12V
30 dBA@1m
1920 RPM
47 CFM
1.97W
9V
28 dBA@1m
1590 RPM
38 CFM
1.41W
7V
21 dBA@1m
1310 RPM
31 CFM
1.08W
5V
~19 dBA@1m
960 RPM
21 CFM
0.76W
@15 CFM (4.0V)
<18 dBA@1m
760 RPM
15 CFM
0.54W
May 5, 2008
The updated airflow results here are the result of improvements in our testing procedures. They are more accurate than the original results above, but they are not directly comparable. Please compare these only with fan reviews published after May 5, 2008 — or ones that have updated results published in a box like this one.
12V
30 dBA@1m
1920 RPM
30 CFM
1.97W
9V
28 dBA@1m
1590 RPM
23 CFM
1.41W
7V
21 dBA@1m
1310 RPM
19 CFM
1.08W
5V
~19 dBA@1m
960 RPM
14 CFM
0.76W
@15 CFM (5.3V)
~19 dBA@1m
1010 RPM
15 CFM
0.79W

AcoustiFan (or AcoustiProducts) is best known for their Acoustipack sound-proofing material, which is some of the best available and comes pre-cut for several popular cases. And, if a company built on sound-proofing doesn't speak of a devotion to low noise, we don't know what does.

Our first glimpse of the AcoustiFan was promising. In addition to the fan itself, the package included a little plastic baggie with silicone grommets and a 56? inline fan resistor to cut the voltage to 7.5V (we measured 8.5V). The fan is controlled thermally by a thermistor than can be positioned wherever the user sees fit. As a result, the fan spun at ~1,250 RPM at room temperature (21°C), or 910 RPM with the inline resistor in place. This corresponds to an operating noise level of 19~20 dBA@1m, which is certainly very quiet.


Silencing accessories include silicone grommets (hard) and an inline fan resistor.

For testing purposes, the thermistor was short-circuited, disabling thermal control and effectively running the fan at full speed. We could then test the fan like we do any other, using voltage to change speed without worrying about how temperature would affect things.


A thermistor helps keep the default noise level quite low.

The noise character of the Acoustifan is smooth enough, though not quite on par with the Nexus or the Fander. At higher speeds, the noise is full of ringing and thrumming that seems to be a result of the plastic frame resonating. This quality has been noted before with other clear plastic fans. As a result, the Acoustifan is slightly louder than it could be and it never quite disappears into the background the way the Nexus and the Fander do.

Even so, the difference is not large, and many people will find that it suits their needs. The Acoustifan product page is full of testimonials from satisfied customers. Perhaps their line of black plastic dust-proof fans does not suffer from this resonance issue.

Noise Recordings

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