I've finally fanswapped me proud beauty and now she runs even quieter. Not that I was unhappy with the Adda. I assure you - nothing like that at all. It's just that you need to tweak sth. from time to time, just to stay in shape and to satiate the need for unreasonably quiet components.
Here's the main points of the story:
(manufacturer's data) - Fander FX120-W, 7 blades, operating voltage +5V - +13.8V, current 0.18A (0.21A max), power 2.16W, 700 - 1,400 RPM, 31 - 67 CFM, 14.9 - 23.7 dB(A), life 80,000 h. Comes with a built-in potentiometer. Yup, it's the SPCR's favorite 92mm fan big brother. Well, AFAIK you'll see it in the next roundup of 120mm so we'll all know then how it fares against the seasoned veterans. To me it seems audibly quieter that the stock Adda from S12 430 and pretty much on par with S-Flex 1200. I initially wanted to use S-Flex 1600 but they were not readily available.
- as with other fans in my setup, I decided to hook the PSU fan to my trusty Akasa manual controller. Why not the excellent S12 controller or at least the mobo? I just like to have the fans under total control. And the silver knobs on my Akasa are sooo sexy
Now, you'll notice I'll be able to use 2 potentiometers in this setup, which means my Fanders can go down real low. By turning the fan potentiometer down and turning the controller potentiometer down as well, I can stop the fan altogether if I so chose. Of course, in this setting it's max RPM will be limited, but for most situations it's a perfect solution. I can't say exactly when the fan wakes up, but I'd say it's app. 4V. Anyway, as the fan is v v v quiet at its own min RPM, I decided to let it run like that (ca 700 RPM) and only use the Akasa controller to speed it up, not to slow it down any further. I mean - no reason to have the PSU passive as it's virtually inaudible from 30 cm - lying on the table, jumpstarted. I could distinguish the original fan in the PSU at its min RPM from app. 1 m (PSU on the table, jumpstarted). So far (after the fanswap), I never had to run it faster than at minimal voltage. I'm constantly monitoring the temperature of air escaping the PSU so I'll know if/when the PSU gets mauled and I'll save it. Even when I leave the RPM down when playing a game or doing a stress test, the PSU stays v cool.
â€“ when both fans are run alone, w/o other sources of noise, Fander is audibly quieter at minimal RPM (700 RPM) and also stays quieter throughout all the range. I guess the minimal RPM of Adda is sth. like 800, so pretty much the same level. I used my Akasa controller to, duh, control Adda and to compare it to Fander. The jumpstarted PSU with Fander inside (placed on the desk) also behaves quieter â€“ it's practically impossible to hear from 30-40 cm. When in the case, it disappears completely, even at a very short distance. My Barracuda from hell ( in Scythe QD, mind you) blankets all other noise. Before, some of the noise from the PSU was distinguishable from app. 30 cm (with the HDD running). The PSU is now as quiet as a passively cooled PSU. I even discovered that the circuitry inside the PSU makes some v slight buzzing noise that disappears at >10 cm.
- everything went smoothly, I didn't get zapped, the fan fits perfectly, responds to the controller like it should be and generally works great.
- before the fanswap, I measured the temperature of the air leaving the PSU in idle and under load. I also checked the temps after I installed the new fan.
Original S12 (fan RPM ??? - those of you who can monitor the RPM know)
Idle â€“ 7 Celsius degrees above ambient
Load â€“ 14 degrees
Fanswapped S12 (fan RPM <700)
Idle â€“ 5 Celsius degrees above ambient
Load â€“ 10 degrees
Idle means... idle. Load means gaming seriously for at least an hour. Strange, huh? I'd say the original fan was running a wee faster. Also, I remember how warm the air felt before and how much airflow there was. Now, I get even better temps with apparently less airflow. The case around the PSU feels cool â€“ it doesn't get warmer than before. Man, this is strange... I mean â€“ I'm very happy with these results, but it's just a little odd.
Temps for the rest of my system in this setup (both 120mm fans in the rear at lowest RPM, front 92mm fan at its lowest too, VGA cooler at 25% app. 600 RPM, ambient is 21 degrees):
CPU â€“ 31
NB â€“ 33
VGA â€“ 51
HDD â€“ 34
CPU â€“ 52 (gaming), 55 (Orthos)
NB â€“ 34
VGA â€“ 62
HDD â€“ 34
For gaming I like to crank all Fanders just a wee higher, I'd say up to 7-8V, and the VGA fan to 40%. I can't tell the RPM of either of them but they sure stay v quiet, and given that you don't need complete silence for entertainment purposes, I could just as well speed them up and still feel v comfortable. Come to think of that â€“ I guess I'll have to add a single wire to the fan 3-pin connector and lead it to a header on the mobo to see at what speed the fan is running.
Some data on power consumption (watts measured with a Voltcraft watt-o-meter at the socket):
Idle â€“ 100W
Gaming â€“ 220W
Max load â€“ 250W
Multiply it by 0.8 (or 0.75) and ye shall get thy real wattage and see how much (or rather how little) heat needs to be dissipated by the PSU's beefy radiators and the anemic fan. No wonder the PSU stays cool and I don't have to up the fan.
Awww, I know you've seen it all, but hey, a few pics never hurt:
Don't you want one of those beauties?
Your ordinary, stock fave - love'em beefy radiators.
Fander in place, controller & power cable pulled outside, grill removed, silicon spacers used, the usual.
PSU where it belongs. Cable will be routed to Akasa controller.
Even at lowest RPM the 2 Fanders have no problem cooling the passive Ninja under serious & prolonged load.
See how close they are? Looks aesthetic & clean too.
Final shot. Pretty strong, super quiet & dress to kill.
So, was it all worth it? Yeah, sure, it always is. However, as I said â€“ there is audible improvement only when the computer is on the desk with its side panels off. When under the desk and working in normal conditions, there is just v tiny practical improvement â€“ and only if you know what to listen for. I believe I'll appreciate the improvement after I replace my thundering Barracuda with a Spinpoint or a Momentus.