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YATE LOON D12SM-12
Ambient noise at the time of testing was 18 dBA.
||2-pin PSU + RPM Header
||120 x 120 x 25 mm
||Number of Samples
Yate Loon has long been favored among the most hardcore silencers who are willing
to go out of their way to get the best of the best. What sets it apart is not
its quality but its cost; because Yate Loon is a manufacturer, not a reseller,
can typically be found for a fraction of the price of most retail fans.
The downside is availability; such low prices are possible because Yate Loon
ships only in bulk quantities, which means a retail outlet must be prepared
to hold a large inventory in stock. Few retailers are willing or able to do
this, and consequently, Yate Loons can be tough to find.
There's more to their popularity than their cost, of course. Yate Loons owe
much of their popularity to the fact that they are essentially the same fan
as the Nexus Real Silent Case Fan 120.
Yate Loon manufactures a special bright orange model for Nexus, but the fans
are identical apart from their speed and color.
The sample that we examined was obtained from a first-revision Seasonic S-12
power supply. Consequently, it has an unusual two-pin fan header and an additional
RPM monitor cable. It also spins faster than the low speed version that is typically
favored by our users. It is designated as a medium speed fan, and it requires
undervolting to match the low noise of the low speed version. It is worth noting
that the S-12 line no longer uses Yate Loon fans; Seasonic switched suppliers
since the first S-12 revision, apparently because of quality control issues
with Yate Loon's products.
Despite it's excellent reputation and our own experience with Nexus fans, this
particular Yate Loon did not live up to our expectations. Though it wasn't bad
compared to many lesser fans, it lacked the buttery smooth sound that made the
Nexus a standard-setter. It suffered from a muffled ticking that prevented it
from ever becoming inaudible, and the simple electronics in the hub produced
a faint whistling squeal. While neither of these issues were terrible, they
were enough to make us wonder whether our sample had been damaged at some point.
Unfortunately, it was impossible to obtain another sample due to the issues
with distribution noted above.
Aside from the noise character, the Yate Loon proved unsurprisingly similar
to the Nexus. It has sleeve bearings which make it unsuitable for use in high
heat or horizontal situations, like power supplies <all eyes towards the
original revision of the S-12>. It also has a very low-torque motor; even
a modest amount of back pressure caused the rotation speed to drop by as much
as 300 RPM. We noticed this effect with several of the quietest fans we tested.
Perhaps the smoothness of the noise character that we like requires a tradeoff
in the design of the electrical motor?
GLOBAL WIN 120mm FAN
Ambient noise at the time of testing was 19 dBA.
||Nanometer Ceramic Bearing
||120 x 120 x 25 mm
||Number of Samples
The Global Win NCB fan is another favorite of the experienced crowd. Like the
Yate Loon, they can be a little hard to find, but it's popular enough that it's
been subject to several user
reviews in the SPCR forums. It's
distinguishing characteristic is it's "Nanometer Ceramic Bearing",
which appears to be a variety of sleeve bearing that uses exotic materials to
give it longer life than usual a claimed MTBF of 80,000 hours. You can
dazzle yourself with the
technical details in this white paper / catalogue if you want to know more.
However, past this point, things get a little strange. There appears to be
no record of the fan anywhere on Global
Win's web site not even a model number. A limited number of fans
are listed in the hard-to-find brochure linked to above, but none comes
close to matching the specifications of the model that we examined. And, verifying
that we had correctly identified the fan proved even more difficult, since the
fan does not appear to have a model number; none is listed on the packaging,
and, while a few web sites listed some variant of "1202512L", which
is almost certainly wrong as the number belongs to the model numbering scheme
from the similarly named Globe
Fan, not Global Win.
The lack of official, reliable information about this fan proved a problem
when trying to ascertain the fan's specifications. None were listed on the package,
so we resorted to what secondhand information we could find on the internet.
The information listed above comes from SVC,
a major reseller whose information could be corroborated with other resellers
on the web. However, as noted above, the model number is almost certainly incorrect,
which casts the rest of the information in a similarly suspicious light.
Acoustically, the Global Win left nothing to complain about. At its best, the
noise character was as smooth and quiet as the best, and the fan became inaudible
below 6V. However, our sample had an intermittent rattle that seemed to get
worse when the fan was tilted slightly down, and the smooth motor hum seemed
to throb a bit occasionally. Once again, we suspected a damaged sample, and
were frustrated by the fact that we had only a single sample for comparison's
The Global Win bore other similarities to the Yate Loon as well. It too lost
a lot of speed when the back pressure increased. The lineage of the Nanometer
Ceramic Bearing was also evident on occasion; like most other sleeve bearings,
the speed dropped slightly when blowing down.
Overall, the Global Win seemed very similar to the Nexus, with a similar noise
character, similar airflow, and similar questions about sample variance and
bearing damage. While the Nanometer Ceramic Bearings sound as though they should
give the Global Win an edge, it is a proprietary technology, so the claim of
longevity is at the mercy of Global Win's corporate honesty. Given the severe
lack of official information about this fan, it's difficult to give it our full
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