The EK Vardar X3M is still relatively new as a 120 mm case fan and has also been requested several times by the community. That’s exactly why we have this fan from EK Waterblocks from Slovenia in our test today, which is manufactured by one of the recommendable OEMs in China and whose genes can thus also be found in other good case fans. Of course, every decent supplier like EK also individualizes and optimizes its products themselves, and so it happens that very similar products with almost identical drives still perform quite differently.
Of course, this also arouses curiosity, because the almost 25 euro fan with its 27.5 mm thickness is exactly in the middle between the usual 25 mm fans and the thick ships like the Phanteks T30. The 2.5 mm increase in installation depth allows for a slightly more expansive rotor design, which brings the rotor blades to more throughput and pressure at the same speed. However, this is not completely unproblematic if you place a radiator in the top of the case and then these fans might already collide with the VRM cooler of the mainboard. Here you really have to do some math and also measure before you buy, so that you don’t run out.
But the extra 2.5 mm did anything but harm the fan, because it performs really well. That’s a little spoiler in advance, because we prefer to present recommendable products, because the added value for the reader is only given if you can really recommend a product with a clear conscience (or, conversely, have to issue a purchase warning). From this point of view, we are in the test field of usable fans, that’s already in advance. DRGB aka ARGB is of course also available and therefore it is one more Christmas tree on the market, but it has its qualities, as I will show in a moment. And don’t get confused – DRGB is normal digital 5V ARGB, they just call it something else again. For whatever reason.
One relies on a classic double ball bearing, a black, plain frame and a white, translucent rotor with 7 blades, which optically does not hide any secrets at first sight, but places all the LEDs in the hub. The PWM-controlled fan manages a speed range from 500 to 2200 rpm and does with a semi-passive mode (i.e. without fan stop). The decoupling with the comprehensively attached and also exchangeable rubber corners (different colors of the vibration dampers selectable) is well solved, because it does not twist with the tightened screw. The gap dimensions and surface finish are very good. The power consumption of under 2.2 watts at full speed is pleasingly low.
But first once again the data sheet for better comparability to the later measurement results:
|Form factor||120 mm|
|Accent color||Coloured decoupling rubbers|
|Weight in g||210|
|min. speed||500 (fan stop below 25% PWM)|
|Volume flow m3/h||114|
|Flow rate CFM||67|
|static pressure mmH2O||2.75|
|Sound pressure dBA||34,2|
|Life Time hrs||50,000|
On the next page you will first see how and what we test and why. Understanding the details is extremely important in order to be able to objectively classify the results later. The differences between many models are more in the details and THE best fan for all situations can hardly exist. There is a certain optimum in every situation and of course there are also good all-rounders. But they usually have their price. But if you plan to use 60mm radiators for example, you might save money by choosing the best model for your application, which might not perform so well as a case fan. And vice versa, of course.
EK Water Blocks EK-Vardar X3M 120ER D-RGB weiß, 500-2200rpm, 120mm (3830046996985)
|Ware lagernd - versandfertig - Lieferzeit 1-3 Werktage||23,09 €*Stand: 31.05.23 16:56|
|Auf Lager - 1-3 Werktage Lieferzeit||25,60 €*Stand: 31.05.23 15:58|