FAN COMPARISON I:
I recently puchased a Tek-Chain TC-12CAS-BL fan that has just become available in Europe and in the US. As the photo shows it is an LED fan with clear blades and a dark translucent blue frame with the model no. PS122512M on the hub. It is supplied with a variable speed control knob that attaches to the frame reminiscent of Enermax models. It has a top speed of appox. 1600 rpm that I measured with my Thermaltake fan controller. I measured the top speeds for all the fans below using my controller and the numbers seem to coincide with published values so I am reasonalbly sure they are accurate. Noise levels as you know are far more difficult to measure so I will give my quick impressions. My technique was to hold the fans at 12" and again at 6" from my ear to listen for overall noise as well as specific qualities. I made notes for each fan at 650 rpm, 1000 rpm, and top speed where appropriate.
NOTE: I am limited to only one sample and in some cases, different samples of the same model can vary greatly.
Top speed: 1595 - 1630 rpm
I felt a very slight vibration at 650 rpm that disappeared at 1000 rpm. (The only fan that was noticeably better was the Tekgems Yate Loon D12SL-12. It seemed perfectly balanced.) At 12" away I could hear only air flow. At 6" and low speed I could hear a slight motor noise that went away completely at 1000 rpm. At this speed I could hear only air and overall delivery was very smooth with no bearing noise. It had the greatest rpm range of all the fans with the exception of the Antec.
Tekgems Yate Loon D12SL-12
Top speed: 1100 rpm
As I mentioned, the Tekgems fan was perfectly balanced, but had some bearing noise at all speeds that became somewhat more pronounced as I tilted the fan. It was still very quiet.
Antec SLK3000B Tri-Cool Stock Case Fan
The Antec has a 3 position switch to control speed. Consequently, I was unable to determine speed using my controller. It was very quiet a low speed which seem to be about 800 rpm. I estimate its top speed to be approx. 2400 rpm, the fastest fan tested. At this speed it was hard to compare to the others.
Top speed: 1000 rpm
The Nexus was the quietest by a small margin with virtually no motor noise at low speed and just a small amount of vibration.
Top speed: 1000 rpm
The YS-Tech was a surprise. It is a ball bearing quiet fan with a top speed of 1000 rpm. I did seem to lack the smoothness of the Tek-Chain or Nexus, but nevertheless was extremely quiet.
Top speed: 1415 rpm
The Globe was a disappointment as I had always heard it was an excellent fan. My sample had more bearing noise than the others and was annoying at times. The Tek-Chain is a much better fan than the Globe and several computer case builders have selected it as their quiet fan upgrade.
NOTE: I plan to test another sample of the globe as my results may have been specific to one sample and the globe by all accounts is an excellent fan.
Top speed: 1200 rpm
I am always looking for a quiet and inexpensive fan readily available in the US. The Coolermaster is such a fan with a top speed of 1200 rpm and sleeve bearings. Its air delivery was smooth with no bearing noise. It comes in all sizes and UV as well as LED versions.
If I had to write another fan review I would list positive and negative attributes and subract or add points. Bearing noise is one of the worst qualities and smooth even air flow is one of the best. I think most readers would put Nexus at the top with the Tek-Chain close behind. The others were really good, but the Globe was a disappointment. Maybe I had a bad sample. - FG
FAN TEST II