With the Apex Stealth Metal Fan and the Alphacool Apex Stealth Metal Power Fan, Alphacool is likely to succeed in jolting its competitors out of their dreamy slumber and shock them gracefully. The usual “Another winglet that no one needs” approach doesn’t cut it anymore. The story of full-frame fans has been told for months, even years, and any possible improvements are either only found on marketing slides or require such immense effort that it’s no longer festive (and affordable). Sure, with ARGB, magnets, daisy-chaining, and optical gimmicks, you can offer quite a few unique solutions, but it doesn’t make them quieter or more performant. So, what now?
Important Preliminary Note and Update from 13th Decemeber 2023
Pending a thorough investigation into the circumstances and possible causes of deviations in various tests, I have temporarily suspended the two awards and will later decide based on new measurements whether and how the conclusion might change (or not). I will then make a fair decision based on the facts as to whether the following article may need to be revised. One fan, after testing over 50, obviously deviated from the standardized and tested measurement conditions, so that particular circumstances may have resulted in a significantly different measurement result in this specific case, which is reproducible in any case. However, all previously tested fans have shown no deviations beyond the normal extent in plausibility tests, which does not make investigating the causes any easier. For this, I ask for understanding and time for the necessary diligence, but I believe that clarification is imperative in this case. Thank you.
Furthermore, I would like to present the chamber as a diagram, preemptively addressing a future article. It’s particularly important to note the “pre-chamber” with its axial airflow, which significantly affects the consistency of the measurement results and is a standard practice in any professional measuring setup. Fan manufacturers, such as those using automated measurement and the Long Win system, have also extended modifications here, because without a pre-chamber, inaccuracies can reach up to 25% (though not necessarily in every case). For instance, removing the flow straightener (5) from our Apex Stealth model results in a 25% drop in airflow. Without axial airflow, it decreases even further, ending up somewhere around 120 to 130 m³/h. The follow is a swirl-induced outflow:
It’s also quite noticeable how the airflow is focused on the anemometer, a feature we haven’t seen in any other fan. This will need to be tested to determine its practical effects and how to optimally utilize and circumvent this “ring focus” in measurements. I’m considering a flow straightener with slats, but we’ll need to calculate and test that first. However, all of this will be part of a separate article, based on the results of which I will plan further actions and a statement.
I also request that Pascal be left out of the unpleasant social media actions and that people refrain from sending personal, below-the-belt emails and threats. While I can handle it to some extent, it has completely knocked him out of commission yesterday and today. This is not only legally relevant, but it also deliberately hampers our ability to conduct quick and unemotional root cause analysis. I could have written more today if he had been able to work. However, I won’t burn anyone out and can only appeal to common sense to please stop such nonsense in the future.
Original Article from October 9, 2023
I’m grateful to have been part of this project for almost a year and that we were able to gain insights during prototype measurements and provide feedback. I know the amount of work involved because the Apex Stealth is not a simple OEM/ODM product. It was developed in genuine cooperation with one of the largest OEMs in terms of drive and impeller. It’s not just another tooling of the usual products but something truly unique. The advantage for Alphacool lies in its own manufacturing, which they have established in Asia, allowing them to actively influence development, implementation, and quality control.
Even though third parties like Power Logic have contributed to aerodynamic questions and also supply the fan module with a 6-pole motor, the entire development and production process is controlled from Germany. The efforts to bring a truly mature and innovative product to the market in their own production line, of course, cost a lot of money and unfortunately also time (which often goes hand in hand), so this fan has only just been completed.
Today, I’m allowed to introduce one of the final PVT samples in the review, as mass production is just starting. I will go into more detail about this in the text, but the values shown here and today for the Alphacool Apex Stealth Metal Power Fan are already final and may only slightly improve in mass production, but not get worse. We even had to upgrade our equipment for the fan tests because these fans start so quietly that everything almost gets lost in the background noise of the usual measuring technology. I just wanted to mention that briefly, and I will clarify it in the course of the review.
But let’s get back to the fans. Initially, the fans will be available as 120 mm fans in the colors chrome, gold, white, and matte black, but due to the special coatings of the metallic frame, many other colors are also planned and feasible (I will go into this later). The fans will also be available as a normal and power version, with the difference being the increased maximum speeds from 2000 rpm to 3000 rpm. The rest is the same.
I’ll skip the whole marketing part today and instead show on the next two pages with my own analyses and comments on aerodynamics and the material and manufacturing process why Alphacool has succeeded in breaking the cycle and bringing a truly new fan to the market. You can tell and especially PowerPoint a lot, but you also have to prove and explain it. And that’s exactly what we’re doing today with our own material, which I hope won’t be copied by third parties and used without a source. I deliberately refrained from visible watermarks, but there are other methods.
Important Preliminary Note
I’ll state right at the beginning that this is not paid advertising today, as we are neither financially involved in this project nor dependent on it in any way. Yes, certain things, including ROHS checks, feedback, and measurements of performance as part of the usual development work, were settled by invoice, but there is no business relationship that depends on the product’s sales and turnover or caters to the manufacturer’s marketing. I place great value on this, as the lab here is open to anyone who sees their own need.
Nevertheless, I will also include the data sheets on this page so that you know what it’s about. The rest will follow on the next pages:Apex-Stealth-Metal-Fan_Info_PDF_EN