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 Post subject: Choosing a quiet 120mm fan for hyper212+
PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 3:02 am 
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Hello forum! First post here

I'm trying to decide which 120mm radiator fan should I get. I have been reading spcr reviews and looking through the forum but I just can't decide. The more I read the more I confuse..

Firstly, I'll let you know my rig:

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 Black Edition 940 3.0 GHz
CPU Cooler: Hyper 212 Plus with stock fan
Motherboard: Asus M3A78
VGA: ATI Radeon HD 4870 1GB
HDD: WD Black 512Gb
SSD: Intel 530

My case is a Saikano H70, it's nothing near a "silent" case but it's the one I bought years ago when I built this PC. And here in Argentina there aren't many good silent cases available so I decided to just change the stock fans.

I have already bought a Noctua NF-A14 FLX to use as front intake, and a NF-S12A FLX to use as rear exhaust, but i'm waiting its shipping to arrive so I haven't tested them yet. My case has two fan regulator knobs, so I'm planning to regulate this 2 noctuas with it.
I was hesitating between the Antec True Quiet 140 and the Noctua NF-A14, but since they were almost the same price I went for noctua because of its well known durability.

By now, I've been using the stock case fans directly connected to the motherboard instead of to the knobs, because they've started to make tickling noises when i try to regulate them by voltage.


Most of the time it's running idle. I can't even watch a movie because I can't stand its loudness.
Regulating the 212+ stock fan with speedfan at 817rpm, the cpu temp is 36C idle. It's noisy but most of my case noise is drowned by both front and rear stock fans.
Which is the correct temp this CPU should have running idle?

So, now I have to pick a 120mm quiet fan for my hyper212. Here is a list of the ones I have available with their prices (already including shipping costs from USA to my country)

Scythe Slip Stream PWM SY1225SL12LM-P 1200rpm = $26
Noctua NF-F12 PWM = $30
Noctua NF-P12 PWM = $42
Phanteks 140mm PH-F140HP = $33 (It has 120mm holes but I'm not really sure if it will fit in my case)

I would like to go for the NF-P12 because of its well know acoustics but $42 is way too much..
So I think I'm between the slip stream or the NF-F12. I've read many people recommending Slip Streams, but I don't know if it's because of their very good price/performance/quiet ratio or because they are actually the best ones to go for.
Judging by spcr reviews numbers, the Slip Stream seems like the best. BUT being both almost the same price, which one should I get?

Also I've read that slip streams aren't constant, meaning I can come up with a defective sample. How true is that?
On the other hand, it is said the NF-F12 doesn't have very good acoustics.. But it's going to be running idle, maybe around 750rpm o so, I think.. judging by


TL;DR: Help me choosing a quiet fan for my CM Hyper 212.
Scythe Slip Stream PWM SY1225SL12LM-P 1200rpm for $26 vs. Noctua NF-F12 PWM for $30


Last edited by developer1 on Thu Aug 07, 2014 7:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Choosing a quiet 120mm fan for hyper212+
PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 9:15 am 
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The Asus M3A78 motherboard is from the era when BIOS based fan controls were fairly limited. So there is CPU PWM control but no facilities to change how fast the CPU fan actually runs. Typically boards like these were set to a minimum PWM duty cycle for the CPU fan of around 35%. And as this setting is unlikely to be reported to monitoring utilities it may not be easy to establish what it actually is. What is clear is that plugging the 212+ fan and running it at a default PWM duty cycle of this level would result in a fair amount of noise. The reason is that PWM fans have different profiles, and the one for the 212+ is fairly aggressive, that is it runs at fairly high speeds at relatively low duty cycle settings. The only PWM figures I have seen for this fan suggest it runs at around 700 rpm at 25% and around 1200 speed at 50% duty cycle. So 35% would be somewhere in between those two numbers, certainly 800 rpm plus I would have thought.

In terms of alternative fans the Noctua NF-F12 in PWM mode would give around 350 rpm at 25% and 750 at 50%. And the Scythe SY1225SL12LM-P would run at around 300 rpm at 25% and 650 rpm at 50%. So the Scythe should run at a slightly lower idle speed than the Noctua in your system but there might not be much in it. Either should be significantly quieter than what you have now. In terms of value the extras that you get as standard with the Noctua NF-F12, such as the PWM Y adapter, PWM extension cable and PWM low speed adapter make it a standout choice if the price difference is as low as $4. If the F12 PWM low speed adapter is used it cuts the top speed of the F12 and reduces speed at mid range points. It makes little or no difference at idle speeds. I suspect that the NF-12 plus low speed adapter would give speeds much closer to the Scythe, and just having it as an option again suggests that the F12 could be a better choice.


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 Post subject: Re: Choosing a quiet 120mm fan for hyper212+
PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 12:19 pm 
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developer1 wrote:
Which is the correct temp this CPU should have running idle?

IME with that CPU anything up to around 45°C should be fine.


developer1 wrote:
Judging by spcr reviews numbers, the Slip Stream seems like the best. BUT being both almost the same price, which one should I get?

The Noctua is a better fan, but not a better sounding one.


developer1 wrote:
Also I've read that slip streams aren't constant, meaning I can come up with a defective sample. How true is that?

That Scythe is a cheap fan, and USA support isn't the best around. On the contrary, Noctua has a very good technical support all over the world.

As said IMHO the Slipstream sounds better on average, but anyway the Noctua should be much better than the stock CM one at those speeds.

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Luca


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 Post subject: Re: Choosing a quiet 120mm fan for hyper212+
PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 3:06 pm 
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Quote:
Which is the correct temp this CPU should have running idle?


this really does not matter. the CPU can run at one degree below its throttling point for as many years as it can at 45 or 35. it can even run above the max limit, it will just be at lower speeds until the temp drops again.

its not like a car that runs better or lasts longer if its run only at a certain engine temperature ranges.

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 Post subject: Re: Choosing a quiet 120mm fan for hyper212+
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 10:20 am 
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Note - if you edit the original rather than post a reply below, your post count will never get past 2 and I'll be forever moderating and you'll be forever wondering why it takes so long for your edit to post. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Choosing a quiet 120mm fan for hyper212+
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 8:22 pm 
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CA_Steve wrote:
Note - if you edit the original rather than post a reply below, your post count will never get past 2 and I'll be forever moderating and you'll be forever wondering why it takes so long for your edit to post. :D


Good to know. I edited the original post to correct a misleading word and suddenly my thread disappeared lol. It was my intention to post a reply below but then I had no thread to do that.. But here it is again.


lodestar wrote:
The Asus M3A78 motherboard is from the era when BIOS based fan controls were fairly limited. So there is CPU PWM control but no facilities to change how fast the CPU fan actually runs. Typically boards like these were set to a minimum PWM duty cycle for the CPU fan of around 35%. And as this setting is unlikely to be reported to monitoring utilities it may not be easy to establish what it actually is. What is clear is that plugging the 212+ fan and running it at a default PWM duty cycle of this level would result in a fair amount of noise. The reason is that PWM fans have different profiles, and the one for the 212+ is fairly aggressive, that is it runs at fairly high speeds at relatively low duty cycle settings. The only PWM figures I have seen for this fan suggest it runs at around 700 rpm at 25% and around 1200 speed at 50% duty cycle. So 35% would be somewhere in between those two numbers, certainly 800 rpm plus I would have thought.

In terms of alternative fans the Noctua NF-F12 in PWM mode would give around 350 rpm at 25% and 750 at 50%. And the Scythe SY1225SL12LM-P would run at around 300 rpm at 25% and 650 rpm at 50%. So the Scythe should run at a slightly lower idle speed than the Noctua in your system but there might not be much in it. Either should be significantly quieter than what you have now. In terms of value the extras that you get as standard with the Noctua NF-F12, such as the PWM Y adapter, PWM extension cable and PWM low speed adapter make it a standout choice if the price difference is as low as $4. If the F12 PWM low speed adapter is used it cuts the top speed of the F12 and reduces speed at mid range points. It makes little or no difference at idle speeds. I suspect that the NF-12 plus low speed adapter would give speeds much closer to the Scythe, and just having it as an option again suggests that the F12 could be a better choice.


I can slow down the CPU fan up to 550-600rpm using speedfan, its around 30% of the fan max speed, so yes, you are correct. From 30% to 15% it also slows the speed but not in proportionally way.

Thank you for your help, I'm going with Noctua then. Mainly because it's going to run at slowspeeds the most of the time, and I have read many people happy with its acoustics at slow speeds, like you said. Also, the PWM Y adapter and all the extra cables are a big plus. I wasn't taking that into the equation.
Today I've received the NF-A14 FLX and its quality feels outstanding, all the cables have are perfect meshing, everything inside the box feels top quality. But, I haven't tested it yet. I'm going to change all of them at once.

quest_for_silence wrote:
IME with that CPU anything up to around 45°C should be fine.

The Noctua is a better fan, but not a better sounding one.

That Scythe is a cheap fan, and USA support isn't the best around. On the contrary, Noctua has a very good technical support all over the world.

As said IMHO the Slipstream sounds better on average, but anyway the Noctua should be much better than the stock CM one at those speeds.


After finishing writing all of this, I'm still asking myself: But.. Isn't the slipscream more quiet? That's the reason why I'm buying a new fan.. But I think it's the price difference thats gravitating me to get the NF-F12. And also, the 6 years manufacturer’s warranty someway tells it is going to last for a very long time.


I've allways thought it wasn't "good" for a CPU to run at high temperatures all the time, or that it was a pitty having it running idle with temperatures like 45° or more


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 Post subject: Re: Choosing a quiet 120mm fan for hyper212+
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 8:39 pm 
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Woops, the Noctua for $30 is out of stock. The one that is available is $35.. Shouldn't have waited this much.


Anyone also thinking the Scythe Slip stream 1200 Pwm is quieter than the NF-F12? At the same speed/temp rise


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 Post subject: Re: Choosing a quiet 120mm fan for hyper212+
PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 5:23 am 
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developer1 wrote:
Anyone also thinking the Scythe Slip stream 1200 Pwm is quieter than the NF-F12?

Perhaps I wasn't clear: at least up to 800rpm I prefer the Slipstream, sound-wise.

But the SS isn't an overall better fan than the F12: the Noctua is better built, it is likely more reiiable, it has less samples variance, it has a far stronger support all over the world.
With reference to these facts, the only advantage the SS has is that it's usually far cheaper (here in Italy it costs about the half).

So, whether the SS costs about the same, whether you have to order that fan abroad (and your support will be abroad, in case), IMHO the Noctua is a safer option, even if probably sligthly inferior sound-wise.

Have I been more clearly understandable, now?


developer1 wrote:
At the same speed/temp rise

Check some relevant SPCR reviews:

Scythe Slipstream PWM
Noctua NF-F12 PWM

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 Post subject: Re: Choosing a quiet 120mm fan for hyper212+
PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 9:02 am 
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quest_for_silence wrote:
developer1 wrote:
Anyone also thinking the Scythe Slip stream 1200 Pwm is quieter than the NF-F12?

Perhaps I wasn't clear: at least up to 800rpm I prefer the Slipstream, sound-wise.

But the SS isn't an overall better fan than the F12: the Noctua is better built, it is likely more reiiable, it has less samples variance, it has a far stronger support all over the world.
With reference to these facts, the only advantage the SS has is that it's usually far cheaper (here in Italy it costs about the half).

So, whether the SS costs about the same, whether you have to order that fan abroad (and your support will be abroad, in case), IMHO the Noctua is a safer option, even if probably sligthly inferior sound-wise.

Have I been more clearly understandable, now?


developer1 wrote:
At the same speed/temp rise

Check some relevant SPCR reviews:

Scythe Slipstream PWM
Noctua NF-F12 PWM


Yes, totally. Thank you very much. I've read those reviews, but I asked for opinion because I wasn't still sure which one to go for. I'm going to wait for the NF-F12 for $30 to be available again
Thanks to everybody. I'll post the results once I have my new fans spinning

Edit, Update:
I'm testing the NF-S12A FLX at 730rpm with the ULNA adapter, and the NF-A14 FLX at 770 rpm using both adapters in serie in order to get the lowest rpm. And I must say I'm disappointed..

I started running them at full speed, and the NF-A14 produced a high whirring and droning noise. (Which is said in the spcr review about this fan)
1020rpm with the LNA adapter: the droning noise disappeared and the whirring noise was lower, but it was still there catching my attention,
900rpm with the ULNA adapter, the whirring noise didn't wore off, it was there, but also lower than before.
Finally, connecting both adapters together the fan is running at 770~ rpm, the whirring noise seems to have disappeared, but it has something that annoyes me, I don't know what it is. But if I put my ear 10 inches away of the front of the case, I can still hear the whirring noise. Maybe that's what is irritating my ear.


On the other hand, the NF-S12A made a humming noise at 1200rpm, but it wasn't as high as the NF-A14 noise at full speed
The noise gradually lowered until 730rpm (with the the ULNA adapter) where it has totally disappeared.


Having read all those reviews about how quiet these noctuas were, all I was specting to hear at 750rpm was turbulence noise/air moving. Maybe, indeed, the NF-A14 sounds like this, or maybe I've came across with a defective sample, I don't know

I tried to explain it the best I could. I hope it's understandable


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 Post subject: Re: Choosing a quiet 120mm fan for hyper212+
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:03 pm 
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Having read this thread Noisy GlideStream -- Vibrations?, I'm considering getting a Zalman Fanmate 2 to regulate both fans, maybe I can reduce the NF-A14 noise.
But I still don't know if I have a defective sample. Is there any possible way to test this? I don't have another one to make a comparison.

Note that I've said my case had 2 fan knobs in the front, but they don't work anymore.


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 Post subject: Re: Choosing a quiet 120mm fan for hyper212+
PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:57 pm 
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developer1 wrote:
Edit, Update:
I'm testing the NF-S12A FLX at 730rpm with the ULNA adapter, and the NF-A14 FLX at 770 rpm using both adapters in serie in order to get the lowest rpm. And I must say I'm disappointed..

I'm sorry, but I don't well understand you: whether the original question was about a replacement fan for the Hyper212 heatsink, what do these two 3 pin voltage controlled fans have to do with the adviced 4 pin PWM F12 fan?

Anyway, whether your old mobo shouldn't allow a manual control of voltage controlled fans (as I think), you have to use an external fan controller to lower the overall noise to an acceptable level.
The proposed Fanmate is cheap but requires manual operation, while, if you want a more automated-style, you may look for something like the Scythe Kaze Server (or something more advanced).

In my opinion, however, the most effective alternative is to return the Noctua FLX fans, if possible, and then picking two suitable PWM fans along with a PWM splitter, so that you will drive all the case fans by the very same, SpeedFan controllable, CPU PWM header.

A third, possible option could be using something like this rheobus, but I don't know it.


developer1 wrote:
I tried to explain it the best I could. I hope it's understandable

Last but not least: if you think that any of those fans is defective, I guess you may just ask for a replacement item directly from Noctua customer support (you may also ask them for any advice, tell them why you are disappointed, as they may help you to troubleshoot your setup).

Broadly speaking, in order to determine whether they're defective, or not, I would advice to not test the fans INSIDE the case, anyway: sometimes the fan is working properly, but it just doesn't work well when coupled to the specific case fan grille (I have had somehow similar issues with some Enermax, AC and Bitfenix fans).

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 Post subject: Re: Choosing a quiet 120mm fan for hyper212+
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:18 am 
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quest_for_silence wrote:
I'm sorry, but I don't well understand you: whether the original question was about a replacement fan for the Hyper212 heatsink, what do these two 3 pin voltage controlled fans have to do with the adviced 4 pin PWM F12 fan?


I have ordered the adviced 4 pin PWM F12 fan, but I'm still waiting it to arrive (maybe next week). Also, I had bought a NF-A14 and a NF-S12A fan, and they did have already arrived so I wanted to ask for help about the "weird" sound the A14 is making.. But you are right, the original question was about a replacement for the 212 heatsink. Maybe the best to do is opening another thread about the A14 FLX fan?

quest_for_silence wrote:
Anyway, whether your old mobo shouldn't allow a manual control of voltage controlled fans (as I think), you have to use an external fan controller to lower the overall noise to an acceptable level.
The proposed Fanmate is cheap but requires manual operation, while, if you want a more automated-style, you may look for something like the Scythe Kaze Server (or something more advanced).

In my opinion, however, the most effective alternative is to return the Noctua FLX fans, if possible, and then picking two suitable PWM fans along with a PWM splitter, so that you will drive all the case fans by the very same, SpeedFan controllable, CPU PWM header.

A third, possible option could be using something like this rheobus, but I don't know it.


Right, my mobo doesn't allow manual control of voltage controlled fans. Unfortunatelly, I can't return the Noctua FLX fans because its shipping rate is too high.
I didn't know the CPU PWM header was able to supply power to run 3 fans, I'm going to take it in account for next time. My mobo has one 3-pin CHA header and another 3-pin PWR header so that's why I had decided to go for the FLX fans..
So, this is what I have now.. There isn't any auto-controllable fan panel available here, only manual-control panels and they are quiet expensive.. Since I only have to control 2 fans, isn't the Fanmate2 a good option?


quest_for_silence wrote:
Last but not least: if you think that any of those fans is defective, I guess you may just ask for a replacement item directly from Noctua customer support (you may also ask them for any advice, tell them why you are disappointed, as they may help you to troubleshoot your setup).

Broadly speaking, in order to determine whether they're defective, or not, I would advice to not test the fans INSIDE the case, anyway: sometimes the fan is working properly, but it just doesn't work well when coupled to the specific case fan grille (I have had somehow similar issues with some Enermax, AC and Bitfenix fans).


I will test it outside the case and then talk to Noctua customer support. Thanks for the advice.


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 Post subject: Re: Choosing a quiet 120mm fan for hyper212+
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 3:57 am 
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developer1 wrote:
I didn't know the CPU PWM header was able to supply power to run 3 fans, I'm going to take it in account for next time. My mobo has one 3-pin CHA header and another 3-pin PWR header so that's why I had decided to go for the FLX fans..

The PWR usually is 12V only (not controllable, usually it's just for sensing the PSU fan speed for those units which have an outcoming header, like some Enermax), but the CHA header might be software controllable, so check it: if it were so, you need an Y-splitter to connect two fan to that CHA header.
If you don't want to run two fans on the same header, you may daisy-chain three LNA/ULNA adapters and connect them to the PWR header, and then to the most annoying between your 3-pin fans.


developer1 wrote:
Since I only have to control 2 fans, isn't the Fanmate2 a good option?

Well, it works, it's just uncomfortable: you have to route it outside the case, and then fix it somewhere, where you can reach it to manually adjust the fan speed according to your needs.

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 Post subject: Re: Choosing a quiet 120mm fan for hyper212+
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:41 am 
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Noctua supply a molex adapter with the NF-A14 FLX and NF-S12A 3 pin fans so they can be connected direct to the PSU. So there's no advantage in plugging them into a motherboard header just to get a 12V supply. The advantage of the Fanmate 2 is that it gives a continuous 5 to 11V range so it is somewhat more flexible than resistor cables. It has a 3 pin fan connection for power so it could be used with the Noctua molex adapter.


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