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A New Way of Testing Fan Airflow

In spite of our best efforts, some SPCR readers found fault with a few of the airflow measurements in our recent fan roundups. We revisited the airflow metrology. After much experimentation and some test methods that were rejected, we settled on a new way of assessing fan airflow under some load (impedance) that seems more consistent and reliable.

SPCR's Fan Round-Up #3: 92mm Fans

Our latest fan round-up covers seven 92mm models. Familiar names include Nexus, AcoustiFan, Coolink, and Noiseblocker, but there's some unfamiliar ones too: Pure Silence and Fander both submitted samples. It's noise quality that matters the most. Can any of the contenders knock the Nexus 92 out of the top spot?


SPCR's Fan Round-Up #2: 120mm Fans

Our second fan round-up is here. This time, we look at 120mm fans from Nexus, Noctua, Scythe, EBM/Papst, Antec and ARX. Competition was tough, and it wasn't easy to decide which fans we liked most. In the end, it was almost a 3-way tie.


80x25mm Fan Round-Up #1

Here it is at last! You've read about it for years, we've tantalized you with a methodology article without publishing results, but we've finally come through: It's the first episode of SPCR's Calling All Good Fans series of fan round-ups, with detailed noise information about twelve different fans. This round-up has a little bit of everything. The obvious ones: Nexus and Panaflo models that regulars have known and loved for years. Some less known but occasionally recommended fans from Papst and Mechatronics. We've even tossed in a Delta screamer so everyone knows what to avoid. And, last but not least, a surprise gives the Nexus a run for its money...


SPCR's Fan Testing Methodology [2006]

This article describes the goals, techniques, and procedures we've established to test and rate fans for acoustics. No other fan testing methodology covers noise as extensively or as realistically. SPCR's fan roundups are coming, finally!

Front Panel Knicknacks by Coolermaster & Matrix Orbital

The computer accessories market is awash with tools and gadgets. Marketeers clearly understand the financial value of the geek's perpetual urge to fiddle. Many of these combogadgets seem utterly trivial, but few are useful even to silencers. We examine two of the more useful devices among the countless examples: The Cooler Master Cooldrive 6 and the Matrox Orbital MX411.


Review: Generic 3-ch Fan Controller

Every once in a while, you come across a gadget that serves a useful function, is not unattractive, and is priced low enough that you feel it justifies perfectly all the excesses of modern mass consumer society. Well, perhaps that's going a bit too far: This is a simple functional 3-channel fan controller with two USB 2.0 ports at a very nice price.


Zalman ZM-MFC1 Multi Fan Controller

Our second multiple fan controller review is on the Zalman ZM-MFC1, a fairly sophisticated, capable device. How does it compare to the buget-priced Sunbeam Rheobus?


Review: Simple Fan Controllers by Zalman

Simple fan speed controllers are basic building blocks for PC silencers. Zalman has been the greatest innovator in this unglamorous product category. An examination of three simple, inexpensive and very useful fan controllers from Zalman.


Review: Sunbeam Rheobus Fan Controller

Part one of a roundup of multiple fan controllers is on the Sunbeam Rheobus, a very inexpensive yet capable device. Look for part 2 on the Zalman multi-fan controller in the next few days.


Simple PSU Fan Swap Technique

A common mod done by many SPCR readers is to swap out noisy fans in power supplies with quieter ones. There is always a risk of PSU overheating and resulting in early failure, but as questions about this procedure come up constantly, here is a simple pictorial of the most common scenario.

Review: SilentTEK - AOpen's mobo-embedded fan controller

A review to slip in under the wire in 2002. This is quite the quiet feature, everyone: a dual-fan controller with more features than even YOU've dreamed about. It makes quiet fan control a cinch even for neophytes. For now AOpen may be THE mobo for silent PCers! Check out the AOpen SilentBios/Tek - AX4GE Max motherboard review.


University of BC Fan Noise & Airflow Research Project

Hard drive noise is well documented by manufacturers, but fan noise is not. As fans are the only serious noise sources in a PC other than HDDs, this research will help all who want the real facts about fans. An anechoic chamber, serious sound analysis tools, final-year mech engineering undergrads, acoustics professionals and corporate sponsors from the PC industry are involved in this exciting collaborative project.


Choosing Fans for Quiet, High Airflow: A Scientific Approach

Contributor TheBigFan used fan laws and sound equations to calculate the theoretical airflow and noise levels of 111 selected DC fans at reduced speeds, multiples and different configurations. This fascinating article sums up the thorough research and thoughtful analysis of a self-professed noise fanatic to identify the quietest fans that cool well. The data is downloadable as xls, pdf or zipped xls files. A very worthy addition to SPCR's growing knowledge base!


Get 12V, 7V or 5V for your Fans

This simple project describes how to rig up a switch that will let you feed 5 VDC to your fan(s) for low noise operation, and 12 VDC when more cooling is needed for hot weather or for a bout of serious overclocking ;). It requires only 2 parts: a switch and a male IDE power connector. A soldering iron is recommended but not necessary if you use a switch with screw terminals. It took me less than 15 minutes to build & cost about $2.



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