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 Post subject: The First SPCR Fan Round-Up
PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 10:21 pm 
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The First SPCR Fan Round-Up


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 2:47 am 
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Nicre review :) But a comparisonal graph would probably be useful, to get a overview of the differences at a glance.

I can't say I was to suprised by the fact that the diffrence between the measured noise is very small. But it was good the have it confiremd by another source.

AtW


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 3:47 am 
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Cool review! Thanks a lot.

Does anybody know which of the (good) fans are available with a 4 pin connector that can be used to better monitor and control the fan speed?

Bye egghat


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 4:30 am 
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:D :D :D :D

What else to say - great job and very valuable. Keep up the superior effort.

:D :D :D :D


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 5:43 am 
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Greetings,

I'm pretty sure that the Enermax thermally controlled fan is very similar to the SilenX model in this test. they are both made by Globe, and the frame and the blades look identical! The bearings may be different, but the Enermax is a lot less money, and is a smooth sounding fan.

I thought that I remembered seeing a post saying that the Scythe fan was available at CompUSA under their own name as the "Whisper Fan"? I looked at my local store, and I did not find it... :roll:

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 6:36 am 
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Great work. :D

Have to use the earphone (in-ear type) to hear the very very slight different of Nexus and Scythe as my ambient noise is too loud. :lol:

This series of articles should be stickied in Fans & Control Forum as well.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 8:05 am 
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You could have tested with recent Papst fans, available at Overclockers UK:
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/Papst_Fans.html


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 8:45 am 
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Very good shootout and the ‘Anatomy of..’. Thanks! Surprisingly even performance. Disappointed there were no discoveries to knock the Nexus off it’s perch. No doubt with time you’ll throw more fans into the mix, notably Sharkoon SilentEagle, NoiseBlocker BlackSilent and AF Dustproofs. As per SPCR’s brief on getting products reviewed, I emailed NoiseBlocker last week, and he’s going to email Mike C.

Re. SilenX, due to the Hypro bearing you link it to ADDA, yet you state the manufacturer as Globe?

Re. Nexus. You say they have closed corner flanges? My examples don’t.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 8:47 am 
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Tzupy wrote:
You could have tested with recent Papst fans, available at Overclockers UK:
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/Papst_Fans.html

What arrives from OcUK isn’t necessarily always what you order :roll:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 8:58 am 
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NeilBlanchard wrote:
I thought that I remembered seeing a post saying that the Scythe fan was available at CompUSA under their own name as the "Whisper Fan"? I looked at my local store, and I did not find it...

The 120mm "Whisperfan" sold by CompUSA were Yate Loon medium speed sleeve bearing versions. At least both mine are identical in construction details to the Nexus 120mm, and decently quiet at 5-7V. I don't see that model on their website now, so no longer available?

They still show the 90mm version, but it is "Sold Out." That one looks like a rebadged Dynatron fan, which I believe is also the source of Nexus 90mm fans. I used one of those on a Zalman 7000, and another is also quiet at 5V cooling my hot voltage regulator bits. (120mm de-badged Whisperfan with cut out corners on the HDD cage, 90mm Whisperfan visible on edge between PSU and optical drive.)

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Sonata w/ Mk II front panel, fans: Nexus exh @8-12V & YL in @5V, Seasonic S12-430, passive 9600 Pro w/ modified VM-101, LG CD/DVD burner
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 9:07 am 
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Sooty wrote:
Very good shootout and the ‘Anatomy of..’. Thanks! Surprisingly even performance. Disappointed there were no discoveries to knock the Nexus off it’s perch. No doubt with time you’ll throw more fans into the mix, notably Sharkoon SilentEagle, NoiseBlocker BlackSilent and AF Dustproofs. As per SPCR’s brief on getting products reviewed, I emailed NoiseBlocker last week, and he’s going to email Mike C.

Re. SilenX, due to the Hypro bearing you link it to ADDA, yet you state the manufacturer as Globe?

Re. Nexus. You say they have closed corner flanges? My examples don’t.

Actually, the Scythe fan is a better choice, imo -- it has a better bearing.

We do have many more rounds coming up. even without a single additional sample arriving in the lab (hah!), we have enough for probably another 8~10 similar roundups. But I believe the fan sample inflow is only going to accelerate again as brand managers become aware of what we're doing. ;)

Silenx -- the Hypro bearing reference seems to have been incorrect; adda reference removed.

Nexus -- that info has been corrected -- we actually have both closed and open flange versions.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 9:22 am 
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I'm very surprised by the noises of the papst fan. I don't own a 80mm papst fan, but I own several 120mm ones from papst. The 120mm that I own don't make any clicking nor other wierd noises at 5V, 12V or at any other value in that range.
I'm looking forward to reading the review for 120mm fans to confirm if this is an exception for 80mm papsts. Or maybe it is a faulty sample?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 9:30 am 
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MikeC wrote:
Sooty wrote:
Very good shootout and the ‘Anatomy of..’. Thanks! Surprisingly even performance. Disappointed there were no discoveries to knock the Nexus off it’s perch. No doubt with time you’ll throw more fans into the mix, notably Sharkoon SilentEagle, NoiseBlocker BlackSilent and AF Dustproofs. As per SPCR’s brief on getting products reviewed, I emailed NoiseBlocker last week, and he’s going to email Mike C.

Re. SilenX, due to the Hypro bearing you link it to ADDA, yet you state the manufacturer as Globe?

Re. Nexus. You say they have closed corner flanges? My examples don’t.

Actually, the Scythe fan is a better choice, imo -- it has a better bearing.

We do have many more rounds coming up. even without a single additional sample arriving in the lab (hah!), we have enough for probably another 8~10 similar roundups. But I believe the fan sample inflow is only going to accelerate again as brand managers become aware of what we're doing. ;)

Silenx -- the Hypro bearing reference seems to have been incorrect; adda reference removed.

Nexus -- that info has been corrected -- we actually have both closed and open flange versions.


Thanks Mike.

Is the Scythe free of vibration?

Did you hear back from NoiseBlocker?

What shootout is next, 92 or 120?


Last edited by Sooty on Mon Nov 13, 2006 10:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 9:41 am 
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By what method did you measure CFM?

I second ATW's request for a plot, or perhaps a .xls file from which I can plot flow vs. noise. Alternately, maybe a table with entries for each fan @10CFM.

Sincerely,
Brian


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 9:51 am 
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Brian wrote:
By what method did you measure CFM?
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article687-page3.html


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 9:52 am 
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Excellent review!

- About that Scythe fan: You're saying Japan only, is that where you got it?

- The article says that the Arctic Cooling Arctic Fan 3 is 25 mm high, but it's 45 mm according to AC.


Last edited by Mats on Mon Nov 13, 2006 10:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 10:06 am 
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Just one more data point, I paid a bunch of money for an expensive 80mm Pabst fan a while ago and it is very clicky as well. Huge waste of $20. I now know that you don't need to spend that much to find a quiet fan :oops:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 11:06 am 
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i'm using the arctic fan 3 fans in my silentium t2 case at 2.5 and 3.0 volts for psu and case respectively at t-ambient 17c.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 11:12 am 
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very good and "scientific" review, as usual ...

But, I'd like to see (hear?) :
- EBM Papst
- YS-tech
- Coolermaster
- Noctua
- Coolink
- Scyhte new Minebea

I perfectly agree, but I know you don't need it ..:wink: , the Nexus vibrates alot, but it's not easy to find an alternative.

Little spoiler on the 120 models, ALL Scythe clicks, the SFF21D 800rpm, the SFF21E 1.200rpm, and even the old model DFS122512LU, so the 80mm doesn't click ?

Nik


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 11:26 am 
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Quote:
Ambient noise at the time of testing was 18 dBA@1m.


Sorry to be a pedant Mike, but how can you be 1m from ambient? :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 11:57 am 
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Thanks for all the nit-picking guys. I'm amazed at all the little details that seem to have been missed.

I'm a little overwhelmed by all of the suggestions and comments... There are so many, I'll probably miss one or two, but I'll try and address as many as possible.

To everyone who recommended a fan that they want examined: We'll do our best, but don't forget about that illustration on the first page. We have a *lot* of fans to look at, so it might be a while.

Those who asked about Noctua, Coolink, and Noiseblocker fans, I believe that we have samples of all of these in the wings... but see the comment in the paragraph above.

An update on the Hypro bearings in the SilenX fan. This information comes directly from SilenX' web site, so I'm hesitant to contradict them outright. I'm 99% certain that the fan is made by Globe, as the logo on the back and the general design is too similar to other Globe fans we have lying around to leave much margin for error. I've added a speculative sentence that sums up my uncertainty.

To all of you who were hoping for a graph, it was originally in the plans, and we may still implement one for future reviews. However, for this first review, it was left out because it's too difficult to produce a graph that is readable. A test graph that we made was really only usable for sorting out rough differences — fine details like noise character get left out because our measurement resolution is too coarse. Given the difficulty of getting accurate measurements, I can't see this changing, even with better instrumentation. The fact is that there's a certain range of variation in both noise and airflow during measurement, so precise measurements are simply not possible.

A graph of the best fans at 10 CFM would be a joke. IIRC, something like 9 of the fans would be clustered at <18 dBA@1m, which doesn't make for a usable graph. And, because the Scythe was measured at a higher ambient noise level, the fan that sounded second best would end up looking very bad. All in all, I felt that leaving the graph out would end up being more useful, since the true distinctions are in the subjective results, not the measurements.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 12:16 pm 
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charger2000 wrote:
...on the 120 models, ALL Scythe clicks, the SFF21D 800rpm, the SFF21E 1.200rpm, and even the old model DFS122512LU...Nik

Somebody else is using PWM to control his fan speed! :lol:
Hey! Get an analog controller! :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 3:24 pm 
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Devonavar wrote:
An update on the Hypro bearings in the SilenX fan. This information comes directly from SilenX' web site, so I'm hesitant to contradict them outright. I'm 99% certain that the fan is made by Globe, as the logo on the back and the general design is too similar to other Globe fans we have lying around to leave much margin for error. I've added a speculative sentence that sums up my uncertainty.

They’ve probably swapped suppliers then. So busy are they sticking bling labels to ‘their’ new fans, they’ve forgotten to update their website.


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 Post subject: Papst fans now on sale
PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 3:58 pm 
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endpcnoise.com has now put a bunch of their Papst fans on sale right after this review, which questioned Papst's reputation. Coincidence?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 4:19 pm 
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Great article. You guys are head and shoulders above the rest of the reviewing community. Every detail is well thought out. However, in the interest of perfection, I have a few comments...

Devonavar wrote:
A graph of the best fans at 10 CFM would be a joke. IIRC, something like 9 of the fans would be clustered at <18 dBA@1m, which doesn't make for a usable graph. And, because the Scythe was measured at a higher ambient noise level, the fan that sounded second best would end up looking very bad. All in all, I felt that leaving the graph out would end up being more useful, since the true distinctions are in the subjective results, not the measurements.


It seems like all the fans are nearly inaudible at 10CFM and cannot be measured against the backgroud. This does not provide the reference to the reader that it was supposed to in the methodology article.

Quote:
The constant airflow test is important: It gives a common point of comparison for every fan tested, making it easy to rank the fans based on their airflow to noise ratio. Whichever fan is quietest in the constant airflow test will be crowned the quietest fan overall. The extremely low level of airflow that was chosen for this test reflects our bias: Most fans will be very quiet at this level while still providing enough airflow to cool a moderately powerful system. Some fans, the best fans, are completely inaudible from one meter at this level. Others never quite disappear entirely but are still tolerable, while the worst fans exhibit a clearly audible noise signature.


Without any measureable differences at 10CFM, this test seems less than useful to compare noise unless the fans in this roundup are uniquely quiet compared to most fans you review. The subjective reviews point out the differences in noise quality, but perhaps a higher CFM like 15 would better identify the differences in noise vs airflow.

Also, I really don't care about a review of a product that I cannot buy. While a good review may prompt the sale of these fans, I think it might be better to stick to fans that are available on the retail market, or at least focus on these fans more than the rest. This might be more relavent to the readers. If everyone like to buy their fans at endpcnoise, newegg, or whatever, lets get some reviews of the fans they sell.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 5:23 pm 
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autoboy,

The 10cfm test is not useful if you look only at SPL readings, but there are definite, audible differences between them, which can be heard in the recordings.

Quiet, as you know, is much more than low SPL.

All the measurements at 5, 7, 9 & 12V are enough for anyone to assemble a set of noise / airflow curves. Which, as Devon suggested are much less useful than the recordings and our subjective descriptions if acoustics are your primary concern.

It should be no surprise that the fans judged to be quietest at higher CFM also were quietest at low CFM.

A major reason that 10cfm was picked as a reference is that it is at this point that the best fans become effectively inaudible. I speak also for Devon when I say that w/the Nexus at say 9V, I can hear it and I am not so happy with it, while at 7V/10cfm it is perfectly acceptable.

If others are similarly inaudible at 10cfm, then they are very good fans. But of the group, only Nexus, AC, Mechatronics, Scythe and Panaflo sample were judged to be acceptable at 10cfm -- the rest were not acceptable at this or any cfm.

It is the qualitative portion of the review that lets you know this information, not the measured SPL.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 8:55 pm 
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Splendid work guys! You are my heroes :D I'm hoping that you won't mind if I post a plot of a region of the SPCR data. Note: I did not plot any points in which the SPL was listed as "<18".

In this plot, the Panflo FBA08A12L looks like the winner. The Panflo FBA08A12M and SilentX also look good. The steep slope of the Artic Cooling fan suggests that its design isn't good for high CFMs, despite the frameless design.

Jason
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 11:10 pm 
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Felger Carbon wrote:
charger2000 wrote:
...on the 120 models, ALL Scythe clicks, the SFF21D 800rpm, the SFF21E 1.200rpm, and even the old model DFS122512LU...Nik

Somebody else is using PWM to control his fan speed! :lol:
Hey! Get an analog controller! :wink:

the fans was directly connected to the MB fan controller of an Intel DG965WH :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 12:21 am 
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charger2000 wrote:
Felger Carbon wrote:
charger2000 wrote:
...on the 120 models, ALL Scythe clicks, the SFF21D 800rpm, the SFF21E 1.200rpm, and even the old model DFS122512LU...Nik

Somebody else is using PWM to control his fan speed! :lol:
Hey! Get an analog controller! :wink:

the fans was directly connected to the MB fan controller of an Intel DG965WH :wink:

AFAIK all mobo fan headers use PWM when controlled with SpeedFan for instance.


Last edited by Mats on Tue Nov 14, 2006 1:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 1:19 am 
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Mats wrote:
charger2000 wrote:
Felger Carbon wrote:
charger2000 wrote:
...on the 120 models, ALL Scythe clicks, the SFF21D 800rpm, the SFF21E 1.200rpm, and even the old model DFS122512LU...Nik

Somebody else is using PWM to control his fan speed! :lol:
Hey! Get an analog controller! :wink:

the fans was directly connected to the MB fan controller of an Intel DG965WH :wink:

AFAIK all mobo fan headers use PWM, and so did yours unless you used 12 V only.
OK, good to know :)


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