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 Post subject: Seriously, are SilenX fans terrible?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 5:56 pm 
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I followed a few historical threads about SilenX products, and while it seems that some members of that company were engaged in underhanded activity, all I'm really interested in is the straight dope. These fans have preposterous rated specs -- I don't understand how they are even physically possible. But that aside, what do they really sound like?

Is the Nexus 120mm fan really that much quieter than a 120mm SilenX fan? What about their 80mm's? (I have one on order for my existing case, just to test it out).

I know they are persona non grata on this forum, but I was hoping maybe some people would pm me about them.

Do they perhaps fail very quickly? Are they unreliable? Bad quality control? Loud?


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 6:11 pm 
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No, they're not terrible, but they're not great either.

They can be fairly quiet if undervolted, but their noise character has nothing on a Nexus or similar calibre fan.

IMO, the biggest problem (aside from lying about their specs and the previous indiscretions of its employees) is that they are made of very lightweight, flimsy plastic that resonates easily. Any hint of bearing noise will be amplified by the shoddy quality of the frame.

If you don't care about noise quality and you're just looking for a fan you can undervolt a bit, it's as good as any other fan out there.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 6:17 pm 
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I see. Thanks.

On their website it says that measurements are taken in an anechoic chamber along the 3 axes and then the mean dBA SPL level is stated.

I've heard that fans radiate most noise in the straight axis, so measuring off-axis and then averaging out would explain their ridiculously low ratings.

Still, all the review sites I've seen (except this one) have ranted and raved about these fans.

I'm happy going for a Nexus if I know for sure it is the most solid, quietest fan I can get for reasonable money. I just wanted to make sure that SilenX was in fact NOT the best available (and simply not recommended for political reasons here).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 7:37 pm 
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Quote:
Still, all the review sites I've seen (except this one) have ranted and raved about these fans.


And almost all the review sites I've seen don't measure noise in a serious way (e.g measuring 1cm away from hard drive/fan/whatever).

Quote:
Seriously, are SilenX fans terrible?


Like Devon said, they're neither terrible nor fantastic, they're so-so. But when you can get a Yate Loon D12SL-12 (same model as Nexus) for $3 from jab-tech.com or even less from nexfan.com, frankly who cares what SilenX are like? If you want a seriously quiet fan with non-fabricated specs look at the Sharkoon Silent Eagle range.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 7:51 pm 
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So those Nexus fans are Yate-Loons, but marked up in price?

I thought the jab-tech site was in the UK so I'd negate any savings with the added shipping cost.

Also: what kind of fan do I have to use to improve the noise characteristics of my OCZ ModStream PSU? It uses a 120mm fan but I have no experience replacing fans inside a PSU -- i don't know what kind of connector they used or how the fan speed is controlled by the PSU circuitry.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 8:09 pm 
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Just checked those sites and the disparity between generic Yate-Loon and Nexus is shocking. 13.99 vs. 3.99, etc. Same fan? Looks to have same model number.

Gotta find a retailer in Canada for that stuff.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 8:22 pm 
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The Yate Loons spin faster than the Nexus, so they flow more air and are also more noisy.

Replacing the fan inside-- you should be able to splice the existing fan's connector to the new fan unless for some reason the included power cables are absurdly short. I would make sure your new fan starts at the lowest voltage your PSU provides to the fan.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 9:50 pm 
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Quote:
I thought the jab-tech site was in the UK so I'd negate any savings with the added shipping cost.


Jab-tech is a US retailer that ships to both UK and Canada.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 9:56 pm 
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Ok cool.

Now I know this is the wrong forum for this -- but do you guys run fanless on your CPU heatsink, or do you use low noise low rpm fans? I was going to get a Scythe Ninja Plus Rev. B at a good price but now I read about mounting horror stories and size issues in the Antec P150.

How about the Noctua NH-U12F?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 3:11 am 
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raddygast wrote:
Ok cool.

Now I know this is the wrong forum for this -- but do you guys run fanless on your CPU heatsink, or do you use low noise low rpm fans? I was going to get a Scythe Ninja Plus Rev. B at a good price but now I read about mounting horror stories and size issues in the Antec P150.

How about the Noctua NH-U12F?


I have a Ninja Rev A in a P180. Nexus fan at 7v is cooling it as I think it runs too hot without fan (or I put too much paste on the heatsink :() - cooling an X2 4200.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 4:51 pm 
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Nexus fans are supposed to be definitely quieter than the Yate Loons at the same voltage--but you get a bit more headroom with the YL and can undervolt them to be pretty darn quiet as well. And obviously the money aspect helps--can get 4 or 5 shipped for the same as 1 Nexus.

Passive running depends on a lot of factors--cpu/motherboard choice, case and case cooling, other components in case, personal noise vs temp preferences, etc.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 3:28 am 
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jaganath wrote:
Quote:
I thought the jab-tech site was in the UK so I'd negate any savings with the added shipping cost.


Jab-tech is a US retailer that ships to both UK and Canada.


Have you ever purchased anything from that store? Looks like it's the only way I'm going to be able to get my hands on some Yate Loons.

Only problem is the bank charging for currency change and shipping charges.

_________________
[size=75]Main Rig - mobo: AV8-X cpu:4600+ psu:Phantom hsf:fanless scythe ninja case:P180 gpu: 7800gs (7900 chip) (almost silent except for the HDD)
Server Rig - cpu:2000+ psu BeQuiet ATX1.3 450w hsf: AeroCool HT-101 gpu:GeForxe MX440 (now near silent). Too many hard-drives that make it loud, and an immense amount of ducting that brought temperatures down by 20 degrees.

[/size]


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 3:41 am 
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DanW wrote:
jaganath wrote:
Quote:
I thought the jab-tech site was in the UK so I'd negate any savings with the added shipping cost.


Jab-tech is a US retailer that ships to both UK and Canada.


Have you ever purchased anything from that store? Looks like it's the only way I'm going to be able to get my hands on some Yate Loons.

Only problem is the bank charging for currency change and shipping charges.


These guys have

http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/vi ... c&start=30

Why don't you pay with Paypal?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 4:56 am 
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ah star! Lets just hope I dont get carried away and ordrer over £18 worth of stuff.

I can't believe how much we get charged for delivery over here, I mean shipping from america is cheeper in some cases that getting it from Bolton!

Looks like I might order those fans after all. Suppose I could order by paypal, that'd get around that...


Cheers,
Dan

_________________
[size=75]Main Rig - mobo: AV8-X cpu:4600+ psu:Phantom hsf:fanless scythe ninja case:P180 gpu: 7800gs (7900 chip) (almost silent except for the HDD)
Server Rig - cpu:2000+ psu BeQuiet ATX1.3 450w hsf: AeroCool HT-101 gpu:GeForxe MX440 (now near silent). Too many hard-drives that make it loud, and an immense amount of ducting that brought temperatures down by 20 degrees.

[/size]


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 5:06 am 
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Quote:
I can't believe how much we get charged for delivery over here, I mean shipping from america is cheeper in some cases that getting it from Bolton!


especially with £1 = $2, i would order soon


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 6:53 am 
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raddygast: As far as mounting the Noctua nh-u12F in a Antec Solo (basically same as p150) goes; I didn't have any problems. The cooler could be mounted in both possible positions with dual fans. Neither closing the side door is any problem. I've also recieved word that the case sufficiently can fit a Scythe Infinity, and therefore also the Scythe Ninja (which is smaller).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2007 7:28 am 
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DanW wrote:
ah star! Lets just hope I dont get carried away and ordrer over £18 worth of stuff.

I can't believe how much we get charged for delivery over here, I mean shipping from america is cheeper in some cases that getting it from Bolton!

Looks like I might order those fans after all. Suppose I could order by paypal, that'd get around that...


Cheers,
Dan


Don't complain, at least you have a geographical excuse :P. here in Canada we have to be sitting right on top of the US and still pay more...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2007 8:33 am 
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Raddygast - clik my sig and see how nicely Ninja fits inside P150. No problems whatsoever. Also, note I'm running it fanless - i.e. thera are two fans in the back that help it, but the cooler itself works fine as it is.

Fanswap - you'd first have to find out the specs for your original fan. You don't have to buy one with exactly the same characteristics, but don't go too far and swap your 2200 RPM fan with, say, S-Flex 800. I suppose you will have a hi-speed version, surely + 2000 RPM. In that case changing it for a fan with max RPM of app. 1500 will be both safe and beneficial in terms of sound. I assume your rig is not a killer SLI + C2Q with 20 Raptors in RAID so you won't have to cool your PSU while it produces +300W of DC power. Fans are most usually connected to PSU controllers via a 2-pin connector. You can either buy a 3-pin > 2-pin cable or just connect the new fan using some persuasion. You can also hook your fan to the mobo and let SpeedFan take care of it, or you can use a manual controller to up and down it as you please.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 9:50 am 
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"We also ran brief test results comparing the cooling efficiency and noise of the Scythe SFLEX SFF21F 64cfm/28 dB-A fan that was used in Thermalright reviews and the SilenX fan used in several of the most recent reviews. Cooling results were similar with either fan on the Noctua heatsink, with the SilenX providing better cooling on some overclocks. Both fans were quiet and came in below the noise floor of our test system, but the SilenX was subjectively quieter than the SFLEX. "


from anandtech....

not sure i believe it yet


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 12:49 pm 
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Deusfaux wrote:
"We also ran brief test results comparing the cooling efficiency and noise of the Scythe SFLEX SFF21F 64cfm/28 dB-A fan that was used in Thermalright reviews and the SilenX fan used in several of the most recent reviews. Cooling results were similar with either fan on the Noctua heatsink, with the SilenX providing better cooling on some overclocks. Both fans were quiet and came in below the noise floor of our test system, but the SilenX was subjectively quieter than the SFLEX.


Note which of the Scythe fans they tested with: The SFF21F rated at 28 dB. Scythe also has the E and D versions of that fan which are rated at 20 and 18 dB respectively. So for the SilenX fan to be subjectively rated only slightly quieter than a fan running at 28 dB isn't saying much, at least not in SPCR terms.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 1:19 pm 
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Maelwys wrote:
Deusfaux wrote:
"We also ran brief test results comparing the cooling efficiency and noise of the Scythe SFLEX SFF21F 64cfm/28 dB-A fan that was used in Thermalright reviews and the SilenX fan used in several of the most recent reviews. Cooling results were similar with either fan on the Noctua heatsink, with the SilenX providing better cooling on some overclocks. Both fans were quiet and came in below the noise floor of our test system, but the SilenX was subjectively quieter than the SFLEX.

Note which of the Scythe fans they tested with: The SFF21F rated at 28 dB. Scythe also has the E and D versions of that fan which are rated at 20 and 18 dB respectively. So for the SilenX fan to be subjectively rated only slightly quieter than a fan running at 28 dB isn't saying much, at least not in SPCR terms.

Please note that the SilenX provided better cooling than the SFF21F on some overclocks. This proves that both fans were pushing about the same CFMs on the HS. Also, the noise level of the Scythe is specified conventionally, and the SilenX highly unconventionally - the two numbers cannot reasonably be compared at all.

I also own a SilenX 120 and a Scythe S-Flex 120, in my case the "11dBA" SilenX and the SFF21E. I think my SilenX is quieter for the same airflow, but it's not so much that the SilenX is so quiet as it is that the S-Flex is so noisy. The S-Flex fans are widely reported to be quiet fans, so my one sample must be bad. My SilenX has about the same noise level as my ~6 GW NCBs and one YL D12SL-12. It starts at a lower voltage than the other fans and the fan blades come closer to the case "duct" - two factors that make me favor the SilenX for very low RPM applications.

A fan is a fan is a fan. Putting a high, low, or indifferent noise specification on it does not change the fan in any way. The folks who criticize the SilenX fans seem to do so because they don't like somebody associated with the SilenX company, or they don't like the specification. None of this has anything to do with the fan itself.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 3:39 pm 
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Quote:
My SilenX has about the same noise level as my ~6 GW NCBs and one YL D12SL-12.


So given D12SL-12s can be had for ~$3 (sometimes less), what chance does SilenX have? :wink:

seriously, I agree that the SilenX-bashing has gotten out of hand , but conversely I've yet to see something that convinces me SPCR is missing out big time by not considering these fans or at least not actively promoting them. You're absolutely right that whatever dB number is slapped on the fan by the marketing department changes the physical properties of the fan not one iota. :) Maybe we should get rid of the marketing department and spend more on engineering? :lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 12:45 pm 
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Felger Carbon wrote:
Please note that the SilenX provided better cooling than the SFF21F on some overclocks. This proves that both fans were pushing about the same CFMs on the HS.


??????????????????


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 12:51 pm 
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Devonavar wrote:
Felger Carbon wrote:
Please note that the SilenX provided better cooling than the SFF21F on some overclocks. This proves that both fans were pushing about the same CFMs on the HS.


??????????????????


cooling is dependent on mass flow,if cooling is equivalent mass flow is also equivalent≈CFM.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 1:21 pm 
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So how then does it follow that a difference in cooling ability proves that mass flow was the same? Surely it proves the opposite?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 2:34 pm 
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I think that jaganath is refering to mass flow of fluid (air)

IIRC from the lessons taught to me by my Thermodynamics lecturer, an old scottish fella called Dan Anderson, "Cooling" is dependant on the Volume Flow rate measured in metres cubed per sec or cubic feet per minute (cfm), the ambient temp of the environment and amount of heat generated by the heat source.

if cooling is measured by temperature drop from a predetermined base and you kept all the others as constant as possible, then it would be simpler to improve the airflow path to the fans rather than getting noisy high cfm models. That is how I got my Xaser quietish (it helped to put it on a stable patch of laminate floor).

I think that the only reason SilentX got better cfm ratings was that its design produced marginally more cfm per rpm per dB than than the fan it was compared to. Its the sort of result I would expect from both Verax and YS-Tech TMD2 fans.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 3:03 pm 
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Devonavar wrote:
So how then does it follow that a difference in cooling ability proves that mass flow was the same? Surely it proves the opposite?


Here is the actual review from which that quote was taken:

http://www.anandtech.com/casecooling/sh ... i=2976&p=5

Given the comment:
Quote:
Cooling results were similar with either fan on the Noctua heatsink
it is not too much of a stretch to infer that CFM was similar (note, not identical), with the SilenX having the slight edge. Of course each heatsink has a specific impedance and the same result might not be obtained on a low-impedance HSF like the Ninja.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 3:26 pm 
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I am not so much concerned about whether SilenX fans are reaaly bad or not, they might actually be good, I would never touch a fan that expensive if I knew for a fact that the company were lying to me.

If I could pick one up for a couple of quid I would, because its a bargain (only if they are actually good), but as they are about the most expensive fans around this is a moot point.

I consider SilenX as a parasitic marketing driven company, and we should not be praising their fans in any way, any company that is as vile as SilenX doesnt deserve customers at all.

Would you buy a car that claims to do 100mpg, but actually does 50mpg, of course you wouldnt, but if that car company had paid "Anand Car Reviews" to help their parasitic marketing and you bought a Car on that basis you would be going nuts.

What fans really need is some kind of governing body that dictates how ALL fans are measured and have them measured independantly.

As no such body exists we have to rely on SPCR's measurements, and alas SPCR dont have any SilenX fans to test.


Andy

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 10:17 pm 
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andyb wrote:
I am not so much concerned about whether SilenX fans are reaaly bad or not, they might actually be good, I would never touch a fan that expensive if I knew for a fact that the company were lying to me.

Let me describe a hypothetical situation. A company measures the sound level of its fans at three distances: one meter, ten meters, and 100 meters. They then average the three readings, and report that single number as the noise level of the fan. Then they put a description of their measurement technique in every fan box with the installation instructions, print the technique on every brochure, and make the brochure available on their website. There is no question that the single number describing the fan noise will be lower than that of some other fan makers. The question is (and this is a technical question) "are you being lied to?" considering the widespread description of the measurement technique?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 2:26 am 
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some might describe that testing method as disingenuous (ie the 100 and 10m measurements are introduced purely to reduce the overall figure), considering very few people care what the fans sound like at 100 or even 10m. But then the whole dB-reporting process in the industry is completely random anyway so why not? :lol:


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