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120mm Fan Roundup: Scythe, 1stPlayer, Reeven, Phanteks

120mm Fan Roundup: Scythe, 1stPlayer, Reeven, Phanteks

October 24, 2015 by Lawrence Lee

Product
Phanteks PH-F120MP
Reeven Euros
Scythe Slip Stream 120 DB 1stPlayer SteamPunk Pro
Manufacturer
Phanteks Scythe 1stPlayer
Street Price
US$24
€17.50 (MSRP)
US$12 US$33

This is a roundup of five 120 mm fans from both well respected and lesser known
manufacturers. From fairly well known brand Phanteks comes the PH-F120MP,
described as a radiator fan, with a high static pressure design differing greatly
from the fans Phanteks ships with their heatsinks. The Scythe Slip Stream
(aka Kaze-Jyuni) is one of our favorite fan lines of all time and the 120 dB
is a follow-up using the exact same design but with ball instead sleeve bearings.
Reeven's Euros is as low key as it's manufacturer, with little detail
aside from the use of fluid bearings by Sony. China-based 1stPlayer has
the most interesting fan we've seen in a while in the SteamPunk Pro as it has
a modular design and an odd frame.



The fans.

The following is a summary of our current fan testing methodology; for more
information as to our reasoning behind all this, it's described in great detail
in this
fan roundup
.

THE TEST HARDWARE



Our test setup.
  • i7-1366 CPU die simulator with embedded T-type Thermocouple wire
    --
    A generous contribution from Thermalright. It can handle up to 150W,
    but its heat distribution is somewhat more even than a typical CPU. The
    main thing is that it gets hot enough, with extreme consistency, and there
    are no worries about a CPU or motherboard breaking down.
  • Thermalright Archon heatsink -- It's a good performer like most Thermalright
    CPU heatsinks, and it can fit very large fans. It is also quite responsive
    to the size of fan used due to its big mating surface area for the fan. Given
    the same RPM, for example, a 140mm fan always results in lower temperature
    than a 120mm fan. For a fan test platform, this is as it should be.
  • Mastech
    6030D
    DC Regulated Power supply, 0-64V/3A -- It heats up the
    CPU die simulator with power up to 137W.
  • For fan speed control, Fan Xpert 2 utility in Asus P8Z77-V Pro motherboard -- A great board to work with to test fans. You'll appreciate the detailed data summary it generates. It also incorporates a voltage regulation circuit for its non-CPU 4-pin headers, which allows 3-pin non-PWM fans to be analyzed using its auto-tune function, and to run the entire test on the fan when appropriate. It has too conservative a definition of "safe starting speed", which prevents many 3-pin fans from running at very low (but still safe) speeds.
  • Kanomax 6803 Vane Anemometer
    -- ±1% accuracy rating, which is believable. This is by far the most
    accurate of the handful that we've acquired over the years. Ironically, it
    is used not as a primary tool, however, but a secondary one as we're not concerned
    about airflow per se, but its thermal effects in a cooling system.
  • Mannix DT8852 Dual Input Thermometer (K, J or T Thermocouple input) --
    Supposedly 0.1% accurate. This is to monitor the temperature of the CPU
    die and the ambient air ~6" in front of the fan intake
  • Guangzhou Landtek Instruments Scroboscope DT2350P (primary tachometer) -- This is supposed to be accurate to 0.1%.
  • Laser digital tachometer by Neiko Tools USA (alternate tachometer) -- This is supposed to have 0.05% accuracy, but I don't trust it as much as the strobe, it requires a reflective tape to be stuck on a blade, often gives false readings (like 9687 RPM when measuring a fan spinning at ~700 RPM)) and doesn't work well with light colored fins.
  • SPCR hemi-anechoic chamber
    and audio analysis system.

THE TEST PROCEDURE

Our die simulator is heated up to maximum capacity with the Archon heatsink
in place; the heatsink hasn't been removed since we started using this test
setup. Fans are strapped on the heatsink and run at a variety of predetermined
speeds. We record airflow, noise, and temperature rise (the difference between
ambient temperature and the temperature of the object under thermal load). Better
cooling results in lower temperature rise; worse cooling results in higher temperature
rise. In this case, the ambient is the temperature of the air six inches in
front of the fan, and the thermal load temperature is that of the CPU die simulator.

The fans are tested at top speed and 1500, 1100, 900, 700, and 550 RPM if possible
(most fans can hit at least three or four of these speeds, giving us a nice
cross-section for comparison). Long experience has shown that neither noise
nor cooling is affected by changes in fan speed that are lower than ~50 RPM.
We do not sweat to hit the target speeds exactly, but they are usually better
than 50 RPM within target, as measured by the stroboscope.

Using RPM as the controlled variable has an important, practical advantage:
For most computer users, RPM is the fan/cooling data that is most readily
accessible, and controllable
. Almost every fan in computerland these
days offers RPM data output, and every motherboard has the ability to monitor
it. If you set the speed of your selected fan at one of our test points, you
know exactly what noise level (within a decibel or so) will obtain. There are
many ways to adjust fan speed as most motherboards are equipped with speed controllers
for their fan headers, and monitor fan speeds for any standard 3-pin fans or
4-pin PWM fans, and the RPM can be displayed right on the desktop using any
number of fan and/or thermal utilities.

Phanteks PH-F120MP

The earlier tested 140 mm Phanteks PH-F140HP, was phenomenal. It produced excellent
temperatures at low measured noise levels, and the subjective acoustic quality
was superb. Currently, Phanteks has three 120 mm models, two of which use a
similar design. The third, the PH-F120MP, is described as a radiator fan and
utilizes fewer blades with bigger surface areas to increase static pressure.
Such a formula is supposed to be better suited for pushing air through material
with greater impedance such as a typical radiator or a heatsink with densely-packed
fins. However, fans designed in this fashion also tend to be louder which may
mitigate any performance advantage.



The PH-F120MP ships with just a set of standard black fan screws. Considering the lack of accessories, the box and plastic tray used to house the fan are much larger than necessary.


Intake side.


Exhaust side.
Specifications: Phanteks PH-F120MP
Manufacturer Phanteks Power Rating 2.4 W
Model Number PH-F120MP Airflow Rating 53.3 CFM
Bearing Type Updraft Floating Balance Speed Rating 500 ~ 1800 RPM
Frame Size 120 x 120 x 25 mm Noise Rating 25 dBA
Hub Size 42 mm Header Type 4-pin
Blade Diameter 112 mm Fan Mounts Screws
Cable Length 50 cm Weight 160 g
Starting Voltage 4.0~4.5 V Number of Samples 6
Corner Type Closed Retail Availability Yes

Additional accessories: none.

The Phanteks PH-F120MP is a 1800 RPM PWM model that can be described as dense. It's a hefty 160 grams and is equipped with a fairly big motor, broad blades with small gaps in-between them, and a solid-looking frame with closed corners and damping material around the mounting holes. The blades are lightly curved and have pronounced ridges along the outer edges pointing outward on the intake side of the fan. Phanteks claims that the large hub reduces the effects of resonance and improves rotational stability while the blades produce a "downdraft vortex" that channels greater amounts of air and reduces turbulence across the blade surface.

We sampled three of the six fans provided by Phanteks and found there was little
variance in their acoustics. They sounded very similar at 900 RPM and above,
though at lower speeds, one fan had noticeably hum. One of the other two samples
was utilized for testing.



Fan Xpert 2's fan speed analysis of the Phanteks PH-F120MP.
SPCR Test Results: Phanteks PH-F120MP
Fan Speed (RPM)
550
700
900
1100
1500
1670
13
16
15~16
20
24
27
Thermal Rise (°C)
35
31
26
23
21
20
Airflow in/out (FPM)
140/190
-
-
280/380
-
400/560

According to Fan Xpert 2, the speed bottoms out at around 500 RPM on PWM control
which is right in line with Phanteks' specifications. Its speed range allows
for noise levels ranging from an almost inaudible 13 [email protected] to a plainly audible
27 [email protected] Interestingly, the fan measures quieter at 900 RPM than at 700 RPM
due to a shift in frequency balance. At low speeds, performance is dismal, but
improves at 900 RPM and above. The airflow numbers are below average for a 120
mm model.



Acoustic analysis of the Phanteks PH-F120MP.

The noise emitted by the PH-F120MP is tonal at all speeds. At 550 RPM, it produces
a low, dry-sounding hum which continues throughout most of its range. Generally,
the pitch of this ~380 Hz tone increases with speed except around 900 RPM where
it regresses, unexpectedly creating a less annoying output. At about 1000 RPM,
the previous acoustics come back in full force and multiple strong tones appear
together. At 1100 RPM, the fan starts to buzz and become turbulent as well,
adding more complexity to the sound. In short, the acoustics are an absolute
mess and a complete reverse of the PH-F140HP.

Reeven Euros

Our first Reeven to be tested on this fan test system is the Euros, available
in several models, with speeds between 800 and 2000 RPM and in both 3-pin and
PWM varieties. The product
page
on Reeven's website is bereft of the usual marketing mumbo jumbo regarding
how it's superior to all other products. The only notable information offered
is that the Euros features fluid dynamic bearings made by Sony. We received
only one sample each of the 1200 RPM "12C" and the 2000 RPM "20C"
and tested the lower speed model as it is of greater interest to us. For what
it's worth, the 2000 RPM model sounds similar when run at the same speeds so
it does offer extra flexibility for the more noise tolerant.



The compactly packed Euros ships with screws and isolators hidden in a fold at the top of the box.


Intake side.


Exhaust side.
Specifications: Reeven Euros "12C"
Manufacturer Reeven Power Rating 1.44 W
Model Number RA1225F12C Airflow Rating 46.4 CFM
Bearing Type Fluid Dynamic Speed Rating 1200 RPM
Frame Size 120 x 120 x 25 mm Noise Rating 22.3 dBA
Hub Size 48 mm Header Type 3-pin
Blade Diameter 113 mm Fan Mounts Screws, isolators
Cable Length 50 cm Weight 160 g
Starting Voltage 4.0 ~ 4.5 V Number of Samples 1
Corner Type Open Retail Availability Yes

Additional accessories: none.

This 160 gram fan is another heavyweight, undoubtedly due to its large motor. The hub measures 48 mm across, the largest we've encountered on any 120 mm model. Its 11 blades are short and like the PH-F120MP, gently curved. Each blade has three shallow ridges on the outer half of the back side.



Fan Xpert 2's fan speed analysis of the Reeven Euros "12C".
SPCR Test Results: Reeven Euros "12C"
Fan Speed (RPM)
550
700
900
1100
1200
11~12
12~13
16
21~22
24
Thermal Rise (°C)
33
29
25
22
21
Airflow in/out (FPM)
210/320
-
-
390/640
440/680

Despite being regular 3-pin fan, the Euros is capable of staying powered at very low speeds in the 200 RPM range, not that there's any need. It's practically silent at 550 RPM and stays relatively quiet until it approaches its top speed. Its cooling proficiency is somewhat subpar but it generates a sizable level of airflow in free air, suggesting it's better suited as a case fan.



Acoustic analysis of the Reeven Euros "12C".

At 700 RPM and below, the Euros has a smooth, broadband profile. At 900 RPM
it starts to buzz a bit and up close, some faint bearing chatter is audible.
At 1100 RPM and above, the sound is dominated by buzzing, suppressing its its
other acoustic characteristics; the result is not altogether unpleasant.

Scythe Slip Stream 120 dB

A couple of years ago Scythe launched the GlideStream series, which didn't
quite live up to the performance and acoustic quality of its Slip Stream predecessors.
The 120 dB is a throwback, going back to the old Slip Stream design but utilizing
dual ball bearings instead of sleeve. It's a strange move as over the years,
many major manufacturers have dropped ball bearings in favor of sleeve, fluid,
or magnetic bearings. Scythe provided us with three of each of 120 DB's six
models, ranging from 500 to 1900 RPM, which sound mostly the same at equivalent
noise levels. The the 1300 RPM PWM and 1600 RPM "H" models were chosen
for testing.



Unboxed. The packaging is similar to the Euros but along with the screws an isolators, Scythe includes a molex adapter.


Intake side.


Exhaust side.
Specifications: Scythe Slip Stream 120 dB
Manufacturer Scythe Power Rating PWM: 2.04 W

"H": 3.72 W
Model Number PWM: SY1225DB12M-P

"H": SY1225DB12H
Airflow Rating PWM: 9.80 ~ 74.25 CFM

"H": 88.11 CFM
Bearing Type Ball Speed Rating PWM: 300 ~ 1300 RPM

"H": 1600 RPM
Frame Size 120 x 120 x 25 mm Noise Rating PWM: 3.0 ~ 26.5 dBA

"H": 33.0 dBA
Hub Size 36 mm Header Type PWM: 4-pin w/ molex adapter

"H": 3-pin w/ molex adapter
Blade Diameter 113 mm Fan Mounts Screws, isolators
Cable Length 50 cm Weight 110 g
Starting Voltage PWM: 6.0 ~ 6.5 V

"H": 3.5 ~ 4.0 V
Number of Samples 3
Corner Type Open Retail Availability Yes

Additional accessories: none.

The 120 dB looks identical to the original Slip Stream with a design characterized by a small hub, nine thin but long blades with ample separation between each fin, and struts curved in the opposite direction. It would seem that the only difference is the type of bearings used. The sample pictured above is the pink PWM model. Different colored stickers are used to identify the various 120 dB models.

The three PWM samples have a similar sound except for one fan that emitted
a faint whistling at 900 RPM. Our "H" samples have less variance with
all three sounding subjectively identical.



Fan Xpert 2's fan speed analysis of the 120 dB PWM.


Fan Xpert 2's fan speed analysis of the 120 dB"H" model.
SPCR Test Results: Scythe Slip Stream 120 dB PWM
Fan Speed (RPM)
550
700
900
1100
1300
12
12~13
15~16
21
25~26
Thermal Rise (°C)
31
27
24
22
20
Airflow in/out (FPM)
230/330
-
-
460/700
530/810
SPCR Test Results: Scythe Slip Stream 120 dB"H"
Fan Speed (RPM)
550
700
900
1100
1500
-
-
17
21~22
30
Thermal Rise (°C)
-
-
23
21
19
Airflow in/out (FPM)
-
-
 
460/680
600/900

The PWM model goes down to about 380 RPM while the 3-pin "H" sample
bottoms out between around 750 RPM, not quite low enough to get data for the
700 RPM level. Both fans are quiet until approaching the 1100 RPM mark and as
one would expect, the measured noise levels are similar with a difference of
about 1 dB when operating at equivalent speeds. Performance-wise, the two are
average overall, though the PWM model suffers less of a decline at 550/700 RPM
than most 120 mm fans. Both intake and exhaust airflow figures are quite high
for both.



Acoustic analysis of the 120 dB PWM.


Acoustic analysis of the 120 dB"H" model.

At 550 to 900 RPM, the PWM model sounds mostly smooth but up close, there is some audible bearing chatter. There is also a faint flutter at close proximity that persists throughout its range. At 1100 RPM and above, it's smooth but buzzy. Starting at about 1000 RPM, a ~220 Hz tonal peak appears and grows in magnitude as the speed increases but isn't audible to the naked ear over the rest of the noise. The "H" variant produces similar acoustics.

1stPlayer SteamPunk Pro

The most intriguing fan here is from a company no one's heard of. Mostly unknown
Chinese manufacturer 1stPlayer's website
and products have a stylish, distinctly modern look, though their catalogue
consists only of a handful of power supplies and gaming accessories and a single
fan. Despite their relatively obscurity, 1stPlayer felt their unique design
was worth selling directly to the American market through Newegg,
where it can be purchased for an extravagant US$33 for the 1600 RPM model
and a bit less exhorbitant US$24 for a 2000 RPM variant.



Unboxed.


Accessories.


Fan impeller and frame.

The SteamPunk Pro ships in a large black and white box with plastic inserts
inside separating the goods. The fan is disassembled by default, the impeller
separated from the fan frame. It is meant to operate in either configuration,
with the frame when the airflow needs to be directed in what 1stPlayer deems
"target cooling" and without for "environment cooling."
The latter setup seems completely ineffective in any situation with the air
spilling out in every direction with little pressure. Included in the package
are two low noise adapters, a Y-cable, isolators, and two different sets of
mounting screws.



Assembled, powered fan on the right.


Exhaust side.
Specifications: 1stPlayer SteamPunk Pro
Manufacturer 1stPlayer Power Rating 2.4 W
Model Number DF121225SE Airflow Rating 60 CFM
Bearing Type Nano Ceramic Speed Rating 1600 RPM
Frame Size 120 x 120 x 25 mm Noise Rating 25 dBA
Hub Size 41 mm Header Type 4-pin
Blade Diameter 110 mm Fan Mounts Screws, isolators
Cable Length 30 cm Weight 120 g
Starting Voltage 4.5 ~ 5.0 V Number of Samples 4
Corner Type N/A Retail Availability Yes

Additional accessories: two low noise adapters, Y-cable.

The fan frame is secured through four pairs of pegs that attach to the fan's struts, which unusually, are on the exhaust side of the fan with mounting holes drilled into the tips. The structure is so bulky that the white portion containing the fan blades is just 14 mm thick compared to 19 mm for a typical case fan. This effectively means the SteamPunk Pro is a 20 mm fan in a 25 mm thick body, putting it at a major disadvantage. As the fan can only sit flat on the exhaust side, it's fine for a CPU or exhaust fan. As an intake fan, it will only mount properly in a tower case if it allows placement outside the chassis underneath the front panel. The fan's 11 blades are short and stubby due to its big hub which contains the LED(s) for illuminating the 1stPlayer logo in a pleasant white color. The almost parallel angle formed between the leading edges and struts typically produces added tonality but this effect may be lessened or nonexistent as the struts are on the opposite side compared to a traditional case fan.

1sPlayer provided four samples of the 1600 RPM model and there was minor variance between them. One fan exhibited faint bearing chatter at 900 RPM that wasn't produced by the other three, while two of the samples sounded slightly smoother than the others at 700 RPM.



Fan Xpert 2's fan speed analysis of the SteamPunk Pro.
SPCR Test Results: 1stPlayer SteamPunk Pro
Fan Speed (RPM)
550
700
900
1100
1420
12~13
16
21~22
29
36~37
Thermal Rise (°C)
44
36
31
27
24
Airflow in/out (FPM)
110/110
-
-
220/230
320/250

According to Fan Xpert 2, our test sample has an unusually high minimum speed of about ~820 RPM which limits its minimum noise output on PWM control. The provided low noise adapters allow the fan to run slower but also reduces its maximum speed with the "Q-mode" and "S-mode" adapters changing its range to 500~850 RPM and 650~1000 RPM respectively. Alternatively, it can hit under 550 RPM without issue if you use old fashioned DC voltage control.

The SteamPunk Pro starts off very quiet at 550 RPM like most fans but as the
speed increases, the noise level shoots up more than usual. Despite not being
the highest speed fan in this roundup, it manages to be the loudest by a sizable
margin (the next closest fan emits 6~7 dB less). It's just plain noisy, recording
higher SPLs than its competitors at every tested speed. It's also an abysmal
performer across the board. It has the unfortunate distinction of being the
first fan we've tested to produce a 40°C or greater temperature rise, which
it accomplishes at 550 RPM. The airflow is also the lowest we've measured. In
free-air, at 1100 RPM, it pushes about as much air as a typical case fan operating
at half the speed.



Acoustic analysis of the SteamPunk Pro.

To make matters worse, the fan doesn't sound good, with a buzzy quality that
is evident at all but the lowest speeds and has pervasive low pitched hum at
900 RPM and above. The pitch increases with speed, becoming more bothersome
the faster it runs.

COMPARISONS

The following table has been assembled indicating the temperature rise each fan produced at noise levels of 22 [email protected] and below. The fans have been arranged loosely from best to worst from top to bottom.

120 mm Fan Comparison: Thermal Rise (°C)
SPL (dBA @1m)
22
21
20
19
18
17
16
15
14
13
12
11
Noiseblocker B12-2
             
20
   
23
28
Scythe Gentle Typhoon AP12
                   
24
27
Scythe Slip Stream 120-M
     
21
     
23
     
26
Noiseblocker M12-S1
                   
25
29
Corsair AF120 Quiet
         
20
 
23
26
30
Scythe GlideStream 120-LM
         
21
   
23
 
26
Corsair AF120 Performance
       
20
   
23
 
26
 
Scythe Gentle Typhoon AP14
   
19
     
22
   
24
27
 
Scythe GlideStream 120-MP
         
21
     
23
28
Nexus Real Silent
       
22
     
24
 
26
33
Noiseblocker B12-PS
19
   
21
     
24
 
28
30
Corsair SP120 Quiet
   
21
       
22
 
29
Be Quiet! Silent Wings 2 120
       
22
   
25
27
SilverStone FQ121
             
23
 
28
 
31
Noiseblocker M12-S2
         
23
     
25
29
33
Scythe Slip Stream 120DB PWM
 
22
       
24
 
27
 
Scythe Grand Flex-SH-P
       
21
     
25
 
31
 
Scythe Slip Stream 120DB-H
21
     
23
           
Scythe Grand Flex-M
   
23
     
26
   
30
 
Noiseblocker M12-P
         
22
   
25
 
31
 
Gelid Wing 12
         
22
   
26
     
Reeven Euros 12C
22
       
25
   
29
 
Antec TrueQuiet 120
     
24
     
26
   
29
34
Antec TrueQuiet 120 Pro
     
24
       
27
 
29
35
Antec TwoCool 120
         
22
 
26
 
31
34
SilverStone AP123
   
24
       
27
   
31
 
Sharkoon Shark Blades
           
26
 
28
 
32
39
Phanteks PH-F120MP
   
23
       
26
 
35
   
1stPlayer SteamPunk Pro
31
       
36
   
44
 
SPL (dBA @1m)
22
21
20
19
18
17
16
15
14
13
12
11

Of the fans tested today, the two better sounding models come out on top, though
I wouldn't exactly call them winners. The Slip Stream 120 dB and Reeven Euros
produce below median results, landing in the bottom half of our performance:noise
chart.

The PH-F120MP is only saved from the indignity of last place by the absolutely abysmal SteamPunk Pro. 1stPlayer's design team has given us the worst performing fan we've tested by an inconceivable margin. At best, it lags behind the Phanteks fan by 9°C. At the 12~13 dBA level, it suffers a ridiculous 20°C deficit compared to the best fans on the chart, something I previously believed was impossible.

120 mm Fan Comparison: Open Airflow at 1100 RPM
Fan Model
Airflow (in/out,

feet per min)
Scythe Slip Stream 120DB PWM
460/700
21
Scythe Slip Stream 120DB-H
460/680
21~22
Scythe GlideStream 120-MP
480/650
17
Corsair AF120 Performance
420/660
18
Corsair AF120 Quiet
410/630
16~17
Reeven Euros 12C
390/640
21~22
Gelid Wing 12
370/590
17
Antec TwoCool 120
380/550
17
Noiseblocker M12-S2
340/500
17
Noiseblocker M12-P
340/500
17
Antec TrueQuiet 120
330/500
19
Antec TrueQuiet 120 Pro
330/500
19
Noiseblocker B12-2
390/430
15
Noiseblocker B12-PS
350/450
18
Nexus Real Silent
300/490
18
SilverStone FQ121
270/480
15
Scythe Gentle Typhoon AP14
300/450
16
Be Quiet! Silent Wings 2 120
310/420
13~14
Corsair SP120 Quiet
310/420
14
Phanteks PH-F120MP
280/380
20
Scythe Grand Flex-M
350/290
19~20
SilverStone AP123
280/360
20
Scythe Grand Flex-SH-P
340/290
18
1stPlayer SteamPunk Pro
220/230
27
Fan Model
Airflow (in/out,

feet per min)

At 1100 RPM, the new Slip Stream and Reeven Euros manage to generate more airflow than most fans, but they do so with substantially higher noise levels. The PH-F120MP doesn't fare well in this metric and again, the SteamPunk Pro takes up the rear; it's the loudest fan and it pushes the least amount of air.

MP3 SOUND RECORDINGS

These recordings were made with a high
resolution, lab quality, digital recording system
inside SPCR's
own 11 dBA ambient anechoic chamber
, then converted to LAME 128kbps
encoded MP3s. We've listened long and hard to ensure there is no audible degradation
from the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent a quick snapshot of
what we heard during the review.

These recordings are intended to give you an idea of how the product sounds
in actual use — one meter is a reasonable typical distance between a computer
or computer component and your ear. The recording contains stretches of ambient
noise that you can use to judge the relative loudness of the subject. Be aware
that very quiet subjects may not be audible — if we couldn't hear it from
one meter, chances are we couldn't record it either!

The recording starts with 5~10 second segments of room ambiance, then the fan
at various levels. For the most realistic results, set the volume so that
the starting ambient level is just barely audible, then don't change the volume
setting again.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Phanteks PH-F120MP - US$24

Given our great experience with previous Phanteks fans, the PH-F120MP is an utter disappointment. It performed poorly on both our cooling and airflow tests and it has an absolutely atrocious sound. As it's marketed as a radiator fan, it may perform better on a watercooling setup but I remain skeptical considering our previous tests with AIO coolers. Our reference fans, which have traditional designs usually perform similarly to the stock fans provided despite lacking the high static pressure widely believed to be optimal for pushing air through tightly packed spaces. Even if it was a good choice for such a function, it would be an expensive uni-tasker lacking flexibility.

Reeven Euros - €17.50

Subjectively speaking, the Euros is actually the best sounding fan of this roundup but its acoustics are not superior enough to overlook its lackluster performance and relatively high price. There are plenty of fans on the market that sound as good or better but also produce stronger thermal results.

Scythe Slip Stream 120 dB - US$12

The original Slip Streams still have no true successor. Like the GlideStream,
the Slip Stream 120 dB line is a step behind acoustically, and this newer model
lags behind further when it comes to cooling proficiency. Switching from sleeve
to ball bearings seems to have been a move in the wrong direction. At least
it's affordable, something you can't say about other fans in this roundup, though
I would rather buy a GlideStream any day of the week.

1stPlayer SteamPunk Pro - US$33

The SteamPunk Pro's test results speak for themselves. It's loud and delivers the worst performance you can possibly imagine. 1stPlayer's offering is an an expensive novelty that looks good and sucks at everything else.

Our thanks to Phanteks , Reeven, Scythe, and 1stPlayer for supplying the fans tested in this review.

* * *

SPCR Articles of Related Interest:

Sharkoon SHARK Blades & SilverStone FQ121 120mm Fans

Scythe GlideStream, Slip Stream XT, and Grand Flex Fans

Second 140 mm Fan Roundup: Antec, bequiet!, Corsair, Scythe

First 140 mm Fan Roundup: Noctua, Phanteks, Xigmatek

Fan Roundup #7: Antec, bequiet!, Corsair, GELID, Noiseblocker, SilverStone

Fan Roundup #6: Scythe, Noiseblocker, Antec, Nexus, Thermalright

SPCR's Recommended Fans


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