Which is the quietest 120mm PWM fan?

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SilenceOfTheFans
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Which is the quietest 120mm PWM fan?

Post by SilenceOfTheFans » Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:09 pm

have been searching and searching but cannot find a definitive answer, can anyone give any input on this? will PWM fans ever be as quiet as regular 12v DC fans?

Thanks :)

lodestar
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Post by lodestar » Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:04 am

The latest PWM fan that I have bought is the Akasa Apache 120mm which has a HDB bearing and a 600 to 1300 rpm range. I don't particularly care for the name or cosmetics but it is a very quiet fan. The Akasa product page is here http://www.akasa.com.tw/update.php?tpl= ... l=AK-FN057.

There is a review here http://tech-reviews.co.uk/reviews/akasa ... pache-fan/.

thejamppa
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Post by thejamppa » Tue Jul 21, 2009 2:13 am

Scythe PWM is good fan. I am myself waiting that Apache fan. Butt currently my Scyhte Kama PWM spins on heatsink around 410 rpm's when idle and around 900-1000 rpm's when load. Its very good fan. But I still wait eagerly my Apache fan sample ^^

frenchie
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Post by frenchie » Tue Jul 21, 2009 6:59 am

+1 for the 120mm Scythe PWM fan

SilenceOfTheFans
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Post by SilenceOfTheFans » Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:56 am

great, thanks, does anyone know of any fans quieter than the apache and scythe? (which of these is quietest, the apache?)
Thanks everyone :)

thejamppa
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Post by thejamppa » Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:41 pm

Well, Scythe at 400 rpm is inaudiable nearly 95% of the systems. Do you really want to get quieter fan than that? I mean 400 rpm's is really, really low...

SilenceOfTheFans
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Post by SilenceOfTheFans » Tue Jul 21, 2009 2:37 pm

if there is quieter available, yes ;)
why buy a good one when with the same money (or little more) i can buy the best? :) id like it to be as quiet as possible, have a slipstream in there at the moment and would like quieter, and PWM so that it can be temperature controlled (m-atx motherboard, PWM is the only way unfortunately)

Darth Santa Fe
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Post by Darth Santa Fe » Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:42 pm

You can actually use PWM control on a 3-pin fan if you get an adapter. I don't know how available they are, but Nanoxia makes a PWM controller for 3-pin fans (http://www.nanoxia-europe.com/index.php ... 15&lang=en). Put that with a Nexus, Noctua, Noiseblocker, or Scythe fan, and you should be good to go! :D

Lawrence Lee
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Post by Lawrence Lee » Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:47 pm

The Scythe model that came with the Mugen-2 was excellent. I'd rate it right up there with the Nexus.

SebRad
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Post by SebRad » Tue Jul 21, 2009 11:05 pm

I use Arctic Cooling 120mm PWM fan on my CPU, reported range 377 ~ 1400rpm. Its noise signature is pretty good as far as I can tell. It's been in my system for 12-18months so longevity seams good so far too.
Seb

Shamgar
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Post by Shamgar » Tue Jul 21, 2009 11:25 pm

Lawrence Lee wrote:The Scythe model that came with the Mugen-2 was excellent. I'd rate it right up there with the Nexus.
Scythe HS + Scythe fan + (now) incl. mounting HW = very value-added. :)
Good work Scythe. If only I could convince myself to buy some of your price-inflated products here in Oz. Not your fault; it's our vendor mono/duo/triopolies who overcharge us. :cry:

halcyon
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Post by halcyon » Wed Jul 22, 2009 2:08 am

One additional contender Noise-blocker MF12-P

http://www.caseking.de/shop/catalog/Fan ... 11333.html

Test in a recent round up:

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cooler ... up_16.html

I've ordered Akasa Apache and NB Multi-Frames myself (along with BeQuiet SilentWings USC).

Will report back, if and when I finally get them :)

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Post by SilenceOfTheFans » Wed Jul 22, 2009 5:26 am

great, would be very interesting to hear how you get on with those fans halcyon :)

thejamppa
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Post by thejamppa » Wed Jul 22, 2009 6:16 am

Now if we just could get more PWM fans to Mike, so he could make 120mm PWM / PWM fan round up. So far only Scythe Kama-PWM has been reviewed officially.


Arctic Coolings 120mm PWM's
Scythe Kama PWM 120 8already tested )
Akasa Apache PWM
NoiseBlocker NB-MultiFrame M12P PWM

I wish we could see those PWM's tested in SPCR and sorted out what is best 120mm PWM fan...

Perhaps we should mail Akasa, Noiseblocker and AC if they can mail samples for SPCR for reviewing?

SilenceOfTheFans
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Post by SilenceOfTheFans » Wed Jul 22, 2009 6:17 am

That would be amazing, i hope it can be done and soon :)

jessekopelman
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Post by jessekopelman » Wed Jul 22, 2009 11:49 am

thejamppa wrote:Now if we just could get more PWM fans to Mike, so he could make 120mm PWM / PWM fan round up. So far only Scythe Kama-PWM has been reviewed officially.


Arctic Coolings 120mm PWM's
Scythe Kama PWM 120 8already tested )
Akasa Apache PWM
NoiseBlocker NB-MultiFrame M12P PWM

I wish we could see those PWM's tested in SPCR and sorted out what is best 120mm PWM fan...

Perhaps we should mail Akasa, Noiseblocker and AC if they can mail samples for SPCR for reviewing?
Don't forget that Nexus has a PWM fan line too, now. Kind of surprising they haven't sent any to SPCR . . .

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Post by SebRad » Mon Jul 27, 2009 2:52 am

IF SPCR does test PWM fans I'd like to see them tested with PWM control rather than voltage control. I think this would be more valuable to most people as they will control their PWM fan with PWM not voltage.
I do remember Mike commenting on why a PWM fan was tested with voltage control but don't remember the answer. I wouldn't have thought big differences exist between motherboard implimentations and almost all now have PWM on at least the CPU header and Speedfan can be used to control it directly for many.
Seb

chrisah1
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Post by chrisah1 » Mon Jul 27, 2009 5:32 am

So so far as stated in the thread, on the market there seems to be:
Arctic Coolings 120mm PWM
Scythe Kama PWM 120 (tested on here)
Akasa Apache PWM FN-057
NoiseBlocker NB-MultiFrame M12P PWM

However don't forget the
Nexus 500-2000rpm jobbie which they claim has up to 76CFM at 26.6dba...
There is also the cheaper Akasa FN-053
And also the modified 1350rpm Slipstream that comes on the Mugen2 which has been reviewd.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do a proper PWM roundup :)

I haven't found a price for the nanoxia PWMX though...but you would need so many of them for a whole system.

Also, is PWM noisier or quieter than voltage control???

Also, can you control fan speed of 3pin fans from the bios/speedfan anyway? just not automatically?

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Post by jessekopelman » Mon Jul 27, 2009 12:36 pm

chrisah1 wrote: Also, is PWM noisier or quieter than voltage control???
Depends on the specific fan.
chrisah1 wrote:Also, can you control fan speed of 3pin fans from the bios/speedfan anyway? just not automatically?
Depends on the motherboard.

chrisah1
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Post by chrisah1 » Mon Jul 27, 2009 3:16 pm

yes, done some research...on the mobo front, some do some don't :(

MY 680i SLI board can control three of the three pin fan headers. either automatically or manually from bios - there is no PWM on the board.

Q-FAN on asus does the same...but funnily enough only works on the PWM, FanChan1-3, but not on FAN_PWR (on the P6T X58 deluxe 2 for instance).

As for PWM fans making more noise - yes I've heard descriptions of clicking, pulsing, buzzing....not sure which noises are from the PWM.


How reliable are nexus db and CFM ratings?
Their 2000rpm PWM fan suggests up to 76CFM@27db. No CFM for 500rpm@15.5dba though.

NEXUS REAL SILENT CASE FAN D12SL-12 review at SPCR suggests that their dba rating is reliable - as a fan rated at 22.8db was measured at 22db.
However airflow on the SPCR seems to be about 78% of advertised CFM...
so realife specs of the PWM would be 60CFM@27db??

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Post by jessekopelman » Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:08 am

chrisah1 wrote: How reliable are nexus db and CFM ratings?
Their 2000rpm PWM fan suggests up to 76CFM@27db. No CFM for 500rpm@15.5dba though.

NEXUS REAL SILENT CASE FAN D12SL-12 review at SPCR suggests that their dba rating is reliable - as a fan rated at 22.8db was measured at 22db.
However airflow on the SPCR seems to be about 78% of advertised CFM...
so realife specs of the PWM would be 60CFM@27db??
Is CFM even useful? It's not like you can take the other vendors' ratings at face value, so how do you compare? The truth is that there is not a huge amount of variation in airflow from fan to fan at the same size and RPM. It will also scale fairly predictably with fan speed. Also, if you are looking to replace a noisy fan: even if you trust the rating, how do you know you need a specific CFM? Engineered solutions will always have a margin of safety. You don't know if a given fan was speced to meet a 30% margin or a 300% margin.

Bottom line: If you care about silence, you will never be able to use high CFM fans! There is no magic fan that is quiet when producing high CFM.

chrisah1
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Post by chrisah1 » Tue Jul 28, 2009 1:37 pm

yes but I'm hoping that I can have it produce high CFM some of the time, and undervolt nicely the rest of the time. Or at least leave me with cooling headroom to respond to rises in ambient during summer months.

I don't need 100% silent all of the time. I am willing to sacrifice cooling for noise some of the time.

point is i want headroom at 12V, but silent at 5

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Post by jessekopelman » Wed Jul 29, 2009 8:54 am

chrisah1 wrote: I don't need 100% silent all of the time. I am willing to sacrifice cooling for noise some of the time.

point is i want headroom at 12V, but silent at 5
Sure. But your original question was whether you should believe a fan made a certain noise at a certain CFM. What I'm trying to point out is that noise/CFM is not really your issue. You want a fan that is quiet at idle and capable of high CFM, knowing the noise at that high CFM is irrelevant. The other thing I was trying to point out is that two fans of the same size will tend to have very similar CFM at a given RPM, so there is no need to worry about CFM -- just compare noise at equal RPM.

SilenceOfTheFans
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Post by SilenceOfTheFans » Wed Jul 29, 2009 5:46 pm

i agree, if we can find the quietest fan at 500rpm or 800rpm then we know which is quietest and will most likely be quietest in our own system when turned up to whatever the required speed :)

Shamgar
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Post by Shamgar » Thu Jul 30, 2009 5:58 am

Will PWM fans take over standard fans as the ones to get? There seems to be a lack of quality PWMs (as noted by this thread, however, there is hope underlying), a lack of people adopting them and a lack of SPCR reviews. Are you people just waiting for these lacks to become plentifuls before you jump on the bandwagon to be? If so, that is wise. But what's the hold up and the reason for the lacks?

burebista
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Post by burebista » Thu Jul 30, 2009 6:08 am

My Scythe KAMA PWM is more than quiet at 430 RPM in idle and ~510 RPM in load at 24°C room temperature. It sits comfortably on a Noctua NH-U12P.
IMO any decent* 120 mm fan under 800 RPM is quiet. At least for humans not for bats. :D

*decent = no bearing/clicking/humming/whatever motor noise.

Shamgar
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Post by Shamgar » Thu Jul 30, 2009 7:03 am

burebista, Under 800RPM is quiet but can still be annoying depending on ambient conditions and one's sensitivity to noise. I think if one needs fan cooling to achieve personally acceptable temperatures, there has to be a compromise reached somewhere between cooling power and noise generated. I want silence but I am also somewhat temperature mindful so I prefer active cooling over passive operation (for my systems).

BTW What is the CPU you are using and its idle temp? ~400-500RPM sounds pleasing (okay, another pun, put in the records) to my ear; better than the 600-800s my Slipstreams were running at. On Noctua or similar heatsink, that looks like a good setup.

burebista
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Post by burebista » Thu Jul 30, 2009 7:51 am

Shamgar wrote:burebista, Under 800RPM is quiet but can still be annoying depending on ambient conditions and one's sensitivity to noise.
Absolutely agree, that's why I said something about human ears and bat ears. :)
Shamgar wrote:BTW What is the CPU you are using and its idle temp?
P182 case, Noctua P12 @840 RPM exhaust, KAMA PWM @420 RPM CPU fan, Scythe S-Flex 800 as middle intake and Scythe Kaze Jyuni Slim @700 RPM as bottom HDD intake. GTX 260 @27% duty cycle (870 RPM). Antec Signature 650 deadly silent too.
CPU E8400, MB ASUS P5Q-E. Fans are controlled by BIOS (CPU), SpeedFan (case) and RivaTuner (GPU).
Idle temps now at 24°C room temperature (but idle temps on 45nm CPU's are useless)

Image

Load temps yesterday at same 24°C room temperature

Image

To be honest I'm very pleased by noise (or lack of) and performance.

Shamgar
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Post by Shamgar » Thu Jul 30, 2009 8:13 am

burebista, Thanks for taking the effort to post. Looks like you have everything under control. Your E8400 is much cooler running than my (ancient and current) CPU yet 10000x the performance. Feel free to feel sorry for me. :)
I notice the Noctua HS fan is serving as exhaust. How does it sound to you? SPCR's review said it sounded like a helicopter sometimes.

burebista
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Post by burebista » Thu Jul 30, 2009 8:42 am

I have two Noctua's, one from heatsink and one bought before. What can I say? That Noctua from heatsink is clearly audible at 10xx RPM so I switch it with KAMA PWM @4xx RPM.
Exhaust Noctua at 8xx RPM is perfect fine, no suspect noises beside a whoosh from airflow.
Until yesterday I've had a Gentle Typhoon @900 RPM as middle intake but I was surprised when I heard a motor noise from it so I change it with my good ol' trusty S-Flex 800.
To be honest for me it doesn't worth to buy an expensive fan (Noiseblocker Multiframe, Noctua, Papst, Enermax Cluster, etc). For my ears* all are the same below 800 RPM, all I hear is a woosh from air moved.

*ears = middle of the night, all windows closed and a graveyard silence in house.
Shamgar wrote:Feel free to feel sorry for me. :)
Why? No need to feel sorry for you. As long as your rig fulfill your needs is the perfect rig for you. ;)
In my case all I can say is that after a couple of years of trial and error and reading countless of pages on SPCR I finally reach my silence goal.
This is what I wish to you too.

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