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 Post subject: Calling All Good Fans!
PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2004 1:02 pm 
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LIST UPDATED JULY 20. May not be complete. Please don't send any more fans right now. Trying to find time to fully develop testing / recording rig for first test run. Target is before Sept.

------------------------

As a result of some heavy nudging by Ralf Hutter, I've finally begun the process to do a proper update to the Recommended Fans page, which was always just a stopgap measure and now sadly out of date.

Here are my goals for this project:

1) select likely candiate fans, 60, 80, 82 and 120mm size.
2) listen to them all at 5~12V under controlled conditions, analyze & describe the sound.
3) get multiple samples of the best, and listen to each model for variance.
4) measure airflow for these best fans at various standard voltages
5) measure dBA SPL noise at standard 1m distance at various CFM levels; if it is too quiet to be measured at that distance, try 1/2m.
6) record the sound of the best fans at standard CFMs (maybe 2) and set distance & reference recording level & post high fidelity WAV or MP3 files of same so you can listen and compare for yourself. This is part of a long, costly, on-going project I now finally have the tools to implement. More details will be revealed in future.

As you can guess, this project will never be finished, as the # of fans out there seems infinite. So the first Recom. Fans page update in 6-8 weeks may not have all the fans listed below, but they will be added on a periodic basis after batch testing. There's only so much fan testing I can do continuously.

I seek your help: Can you contribute one or more samples of fans you think are worthy of being Recommended by SPCR?

Anyone who submits a sample will automatically get Friend of SPCR status. ;) (Just make sure you indicate your forum name.) If you already have that, we'll consider whether the contribution justifies a bump to the next level of membership...

I will add a list of the fans I have already to this post later. (I have to make that list. :roll: ) In the meanwhile, go ahead and make your recommendations & sample offerings. If you like, I can ship the fans back to you, but you have to make it easy by enclosing self addressed labels -- with the fans to be returned listed in the same place. They'll go back by the cheapest way.

Send them (marked as GIFT if from outside Canada) to:

Mike Chin
361-6417 Fraser St
Vancouver, BC V5W 4B5
Canada
-------------------

Fans already on hand or promised. If qty not indicated, then I have at least 2.

Acoustifans - Entire range 80, 92, 120mm
Enermax 120 UC12FAB-B - just 1
JMC "Panther" low noise fans in 60, 80 & 92mm sizes
Mechatronics A8025S12D 80mm
Nexus 80mm
NMB B19 (80mm)
NBM B10 (80mm)
Noiseblocker -- entire range, 80~120mm sizes.
Panaflo 60L
Panaflo 80L
Panaflo 80L PBL ("Augmented")
Panaflo 80M
Panaflo 80H-24V
Panaflo 92L
Panaflo FBK12G12LH "industrial"
Papst 4412 FGL - just 1
Papst 8412NGL
PC Power & Cooling Silencer 80
PC Power & Cooling Silencer 92
Sanyo Denki Petit Ace 25 (80mm) - only 1
Sanyo Denki Petit Ace 20 (60mm) - only 1
Sunon Maglev 80 - only 1
SilenX 80 - only 1
Verax 80mm -- several, probably same model
Yate Loon 120mm

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Last edited by MikeC on Tue Jul 20, 2004 7:24 am, edited 8 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2004 1:16 pm 
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Are you going to limit yourself to 5V, or are you going to search for lowest startable voltage and try to measure the noice at that speed? The reason I ask is of course the Evercool that I have found to be good below 5V (at least the three of them I have tried).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2004 1:58 pm 
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Under 5V...

It really depends. This project is going to take a LOT of time & effort, so I prefer to establish well-defined test points and stick to them. If there are exceptional exceptions, well, then I'd have to comment on them, wouldn't I?

There's also the issue of how easy/difficult it is to do certain things. Like in the Evercool for example, maybe it starts consistently at 4V and is very quiet. But 4V is difficult to reach with most fan controllers, so right away, the usability drops like a stone. Maybe at 4V it is = to another fan at 5V, in which case I would say the 5V fan is a better choice.

For those who can deal with fine technical details issues like an odd fan voltage is no big deal, but it's also true that these people will find out by trying thing for themselves anyway, and usually add to the collective knowledge here.

I will not try to make an encyclopedic list of fans and everything you can do with each fan, but to establish a list of useful fans at useful voltages for silencing & cooling.

I have come to the conclusion, for example, that Panaflo 80Ls at 5V is really useful only with very cool system. In a real case and modern (60W+) CPUs, it's just too tough for ANY heatsink to perform well with just 5V on an 80L. 6-7V is not much different noise wise, but generally a lot cooler.

Getting into lots of detail not only takes too much time, sometimes it gets problematic because the products change in subtle and not so subtle ways all the time. People end up expecting that the product they buy is exactly like the one we reviewed -- which just can't be 90% of the time, due to production variance alone. Fans easily vary 10% in every parameter, IMO.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2004 10:34 pm 
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This sound like a very good project and it will provide lots of valuable information to all of us. Great plans MikeC!

Quote:
6) record the sound of the best fans at 7V and 12V


Could you include recorded sound at 5V as well?
Many of SPCR users run fans at 5V, so a noise recording at 5V is very usefull.

For fans that might be manufactured in different counties (like Papst and Panaflo) please specify where the fan was made since this seem to be highly relevant information.

For the best fans I would like you to run them both with voltage regulation and with PWM. Today it becomes more common to control fans with PWM from motherboard using software and many external controllers use PWM as well. It is known that some fans gets lots of growling noise when used with PWM, so this would be very usefull information.

To limit the number of fans I would suggest that for most brands just pick one type of fan for each size. The exception beeing the very best brands where up to 3 fans types for each size could be good.
This will at least limit the number of fans somewhat.

It is important to have the common (and rather bad) fans included in the test so we can compare them.
The list of suggested fans are not complete, but a good starting point.
I include both typical common (and rather bad) fans (where I live) and good fans in this wish-list:


Adda 60mm 16dBA
Delta 60mm 46.5dBA
Panaflo 60mm L1A
Papst 60mm 16dBA 612F/2L
Papst 60mm 19dBA 612N/2GML
Power cooler 70mm 39dBA (fits in 60mm fan mounting, so it should be included as 60mm fan).


Adda 80mm 14dBA
Arctic Cooling Pro TC 80mm
Antec 80mm (preferably something shipped with chassi)
Delta 80mm
Enermax 80mm (manually adjustable)
Everflow 80mm 15dBA
Panaflo 80mm L1A 21dBA
Panaflo 80mm 12V M1A
Panaflo 80mm 24V M1A
Papst 8412NGL 80mm 12dBA
Papst 80mm 19dBA
Titan Aluminium 80mm
Zalman 80mm 34dBA


Adda 92mm 15dBA
Antec 92mm (preferably something shipped with chassi)
Everflow 92mm 15dBA
Enermax 92mm (manually adjustable)
Delta 92mm
Panaflo 92mm L1BX 27dBA
Papst 92mm 23dBA
Titan Aluminum 92mm
Zalman ZM-F2 92mm

Adda 120mm 16dBA
Antec 120mm (preferably something shipped with chassi)
Delta 120mm
Enermax 120mm (manually adjustable)
Everflow 120mm 18dBA
Papst 120mm 4412F/2GL 26dBA
Ystech 120mm 45dBA
Panaflo 120mm L1A

I allready got 36 fans on the list, and I expect this list to grow to over 50 fans very quickly. This test will be a lot of work.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2004 10:46 pm 
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Please include the AcoustiFans on your list, although I'm pretty confident you were going to do them almost for certain anyway. Let me know if you can't get your hands on an AF80CT or an AF92CT; I've a spare of each here that I'm willing to send in; let me know if you really need them and we'll arrange something. In case you don't need them when you're done reviewing/comparing with them, I can try to make a payment so you can ship them back to me as well.

Now that I know you'll be doing a truly comprehensive comparison & review of fans, sending you my AF80CT and/or my AF92CT would prove superior and also cheaper for me than to go out of my way and buy a bunch of other 80mm fans and doing my ear-test-only comparison. I never even planned to spend money on comparing 92mm fans, either, so that's another plus.

I wish I had a spare AF120CT laying around, but I'm using both mine, so no dice. You're on your own getting one of those; I sure hope you can get one, though.

-Ed

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2004 11:01 pm 
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Going on silverargs excellent suggestions,
how about :

80 and 92 mm 12v and 7v and PWM (to test growl esp for cpu fans)
120mm at 7v and 5v (what 120mm fan is quiet at 12v?)

- pwm tests need to be subjective and can be quick.
- could ignore 60mm since very few run them

This would be really great to see but it does seem a little time consuming. If you pick your test conditions judiciously you could add any new fans to the list without too much effort and keep it valuable and up to date.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2004 11:38 pm 
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Hey guys, let me reiterate:
Quote:
I will not try to make an encyclopedic list of fans and everything you can do with each fan, but to establish a list of useful fans at useful voltages for silencing & cooling.

The 6 tasks I identified probably represent a few days work for each fan. Multiply by number of fans -- you're looking many weeks of work here even for a modest number of fans. I will not willingly add more complexity to the project, I've already done these tasks before, and it is painstaking work. So while I will consider some suggestions, I will not commit to anything more at this point.

5V - Here's are some technical issues about recording or measuring fans at 5V: The noise floor and dynamic range.

The quietest fans at 5V are likely to be as low as 10-12dBA/1m, maybe less. There is simply no way to capture this sound or to measure it except maybe by putting the mic closer. A lot closer. That immediately means it can't be compared directly against the other fans, which I hope to measure at 1m or at least 1/2 meter, no less. On top of that, unless the ambient noise is significantly lower than what's being measured or recorded, it will not be apparent. I have never seen lower than 13-14 dBA in my test lab, in my home or anywhere else except the anechoic chamber. (There is no way I can simply hang out at the anechoic chamber the way I would have to in order to get this testing done. It is far too busy a place.)

Also, even if I get the mic in close enough or get enough gain in the preamp to record the quietest fan above the noise floor of the room & recording system, there will be the question whether the loudest fan (say a 120mm) at 12V might overload the mic/recording system -- if I try to keep the recording level constant, which is one of my goals. I don't know yet, but I suspect this could easily happen.

So routine 5V testing is out.

This does not mean I will not comment on fans at 5V or less, just that I will not try to collect this data on a routine basis.

Now if a fan works well at 5V and can be measured / recorded, sure.

PWM -- Again, this would basically double the testing work & I just don't think it is significant enough an issue to bother. PWM implementation seems to differ, and some PWM controllers seem to do ok with some fans while others don't do ok with the same fans. And vice versa. So the testing methodology here becomes ridicuously complex if you try to be fair to both the controllers and the fans. No, I am not touching this right now.

Another thing is that I am not interested in testing fans that will not be recommended. Maybe one or two common ones just for reference sake, but that just is not useful enough. Things like Vantec fans which most of us will use in a pinch if necessary, yeah sure, but not 46 dBA Deltas. What's the point? You can see from the spec alone that it would be useless to any silent PC builder.

The point is to make a short list of the quiet & useful fans & weed out any that clearly don't make the mark (and perhaops demonstrate why with a couple of examples) but to focus on the best. My assumptions are simple: Most fans I've heard are not quiet at 12V, and most fans do not ramp down graciously as you drop voltage. So in other words, most fans are bad, and we could spend till doomsday testing & measuring them. So let's not.

So recommendations for testing should include only fans that you KNOW or strongly suspect are pretty good.

And I'd like to reiterate one more time: Fans tend to vary a lot in quality, and a little difference to one in one cercimstance can be big to another in another circumstance when it comes to noise. So this recommended list will be very cautious.

For example, I've said before that the Panaflo 80L is my reference because it semed consistent and ramped down in speed really nicely. That was on the basis of several dozen samples. Maybe even a hundred. Well in the past 6 months, I've come across 3 more batches which were not nearly as consistent as those first; I've found some that were downright terrible. In most of these batches, there were enogh good ones that my basic opin of the Panaflo has not changed, but I am certainly much quicker to point out potential inconsistencies.

enuf... :roll:

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Last edited by MikeC on Wed Mar 03, 2004 11:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2004 11:47 pm 
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Do you plan to include AcoustiFans?

And if you do, how do you plan to deal with their temperature-variable speed?

Again, I'm ready to send in my AF80CT and AF92CT if you need them.

-Ed

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2004 11:56 pm 
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Edward Ng wrote:
Do you plan to include AcoustiFans?

And if you do, how do you plan to deal with their temperature-variable speed?

Again, I'm ready to send in my AF80CT and AF92CT if you need them.

-Ed

Don't know yet. I'll see if Acousti Product will send me some samples, save you the $.

BTW, here's another wayt for people could help: Ask fan makers & sellers to submit samples -- point them to this link, ask them to email me if necessary. It would save time & money for all.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 4:57 am 
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For people sending in Panaflos, would you prefer that they include tails or will you be using your own tails?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 8:09 am 
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Ralf Hutter wrote:
For people sending in Panaflos, would you prefer that they include tails or will you be using your own tails?

Some kind of tail is preferable to none or bare wire -- please. Will reduce the amount of fiddling. Thanks for the reminder, RH!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 11:08 am 
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I emailed arctic cooling. Lets hope they send you samples of their PRO TC series fans.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 11:23 am 
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Okay, I've sent correspondance to AcoustiProducts via their web site contact form. If it's a no-go or they don't reply some time soon, I'll try QuietPC instead. If that's still no good, let's hope you can get them somehow; if not, I guess I'm visiting The UPS Store.

-Ed

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 12:09 pm 
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Edward Ng wrote:
Okay, I've sent correspondance to AcoustiProducts via their web site contact form.

Seeing how we've actually run 2 very thorough -- and positive -- reviews of their products, I think they'd be quite cooperative. ;)

NOTE --- I've listed the probably suitable fans I have on hand at the bottom of the original post. (This is a fraction of the total number & range I have, it's sick how much room is taken up by these things!) The ones I have only one of, obviously it would good to get more. And there's probably more hiding in the storage bins downstairs; I'll have to dig a little.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 12:13 pm 
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The Nexus 120mm should be out within a week or so if not available yet. I don't know if anyone is going to send you a brand new Nexus 120mm fan, but I sure hope you get a hold of one somehow for the test.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 12:18 pm 
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LOL MikeC SSSmod Tails!

But yeah, I mentioned, "our community's," positive and favorable reviews of their AcoustiPack in the past in my correspondance, just to remidn them. :wink:

-Ed

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 12:24 pm 
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Quote:
Mike Chin Super Silent Special Mod Panaflo Tails
:?: :?:
What's this? uh.... the only one I can think of is no contacts in the connector so the fan can't get any juice. :lol:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 8:23 pm 
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Please don't forget cool fans like this one, or like this one.


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 Post subject: Re: Calling All Good Fans!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 10:29 pm 
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MikeC wrote:
As a result of some heavy nudging by Ralf Hutter, I've finally begun the process to do a proper update to the Recommended Fans page


Who is this suspicious Ralf Hutter character of which you speak?

I mean, you have to be careful of whose advice you take these days Mike...

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 10:36 pm 
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Oh, before I forget--many people on here seem to think Panaflos made in China are not as good as the ones made in Japan. I think it might be helpful to compare samples from each place and find out for sure.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 11:26 pm 
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I thought it might be an idea to include some of the SilenX fans from the silenx.com site. I wasn't around when the whole "SilenX thing" that I have read about in the threads happened, so I am not really too sure how receptive the older members of the forums are to this idea. I have tried reading through some of the background posts on the whole issue and have a general idea of what happened but I wasn't around back then so I don't feel I am in any position to make a judgement call on this. I initially stumbled on the whole thing after reading some favorable reviews about the fans from some other sites and trying a search in the forums here. The fans look promising but I didn't really want to give them a go without them surviving the rigours of examination here. In any event, I hope that this doesn't bring up any negative issues that have since been left behind. It is not my intention to restart any kind of debate or discussion on something that is perhaps best left in the past. Whatever the case, I am looking very forward to seeing the results from this little experiment.

P.S. Hey Mike...I know there is a considerable amount on your plate right now but I thought throwing in a sub-section on fan controllers might be an idea. I don't think you guys are busy enough. :D


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 2:22 am 
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Everyone has other items they look for in a fan other then the goals listed. eg, I also care about the bearing type, does it have rpm monitoring, etc. I know we can put links for detailed specs on each fan but I think we might as well have them in some kind of table in that page. I maintain my own spreadsheet with all core details based on manufacturer specs.

Maybe have someone maintain this list (which would only contain entries for fans on that page) for use/inclusion by this new recommended page? I would even be willing to volunteer.


As for fans to submit, if desired:

1. panaflo 120mm FBA12G12M1A - yes its louder even at 7v since its not the L1A, but for those who are anal like me and WANT rpm monitoring, you arent going to find BX versions of L1A's without using a device like the one from fancontrol's.

2. PAPST 4412F/2GL (119mm) with RPM monitoring, as a 2nd to the current 4412F in the list to increasae the sampling. I 5v or 7v these alll the time.

3. (may already be duped) Antec 120mm .6a from a P160 chasis. Dunno if its the same thing in all the other antec cases. New, never used.

4. PAPST 8412N/2GML (80mm) this is the 2050rpm version with rpm monitoring. I 5v or 7v these alll the time.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 10:57 am 
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patord --

Hve you read/seen this? Choosing Fans for Quiet, High Airflow: A Scientific Approach

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 11:10 am 
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MikeC wrote:


lol. I saw that page months ago. Thats what I get for posting so late at night. Sorry about that.

The problem was that the table listing only gives cfm/dba and bare essentials. You need to go to the individual manufacturer pages and *hunt* for the bearing types and if rpm monitoring versions exist, etc whereas if that table had columns towards the end of the rows for such additional info it would make someone as anal as me much happier. Unless I missed something again.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 12:33 pm 
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patord wrote:
MikeC wrote:


lol. I saw that page months ago. Thats what I get for posting so late at night. Sorry about that.

The problem was that the table listing only gives cfm/dba and bare essentials. You need to go to the individual manufacturer pages and *hunt* for the bearing types and if rpm monitoring versions exist, etc whereas if that table had columns towards the end of the rows for such additional info it would make someone as anal as me much happier. Unless I missed something again.

Tell you what -- why don't you download the xl file & add the data you want and send it to me when you're done & we'll make that our base fan database.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 12:45 pm 
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Great idea! but could we send money ear-marked for fans instead? I think some fan reviews would make a great addition to SPCR but some people may not send their best fans making the review somewhat skewed - though I suppose companies would tend to send a better than average product* and some people will balance the slant by sending their best fans...

*making most reviews skewed

EDIT: corrected spelling of "scew" and reworded


Last edited by Trip on Sun Mar 07, 2004 7:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 1:48 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2004 8:24 pm
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Maybe could SPCR setup a PayPal Donations fund that we could donate to? This would be a MUCH easier, more secure, and cheaper solution than snail mail for people like me. Pretty please?!? :lol:


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 2:24 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2003 10:45 pm
Posts: 587
Location: North Billerica, MA, USA
What would the turnaround time be on loaner fans? (approx) Would thos folks wanting their fans returned need to include a payment for return freight? Is their any interest in potentially higher volume/pressure fans than the usual SPCR norm? (some of us would like to be able to use them in order to get good high stress cooling, or if dealing with pulling through rads, etc. ) What would the optimal shipping method be for thos of us not in Canada? (USPS, UPS, Fedex, etc?)
Gooserider

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Building Dual Athlon MP system, Tyan mobo, U160 drives, Server Cube case, Linux ONLY, lots of other goodies. Will water cool, attempting to make as silent as possible.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 2:33 pm 
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SPCR Reviewer

Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2003 9:53 pm
Posts: 2696
Location: Scarsdale, NY
Hey, zuperdee; we already do.

It's right here.

-Ed

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Contributing Writer, SPCR
NgTechnik

Want something reviewed? Help us get samples!
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