Reader requests are of course our command and so today we have a big comparison test with 6 popular 140mm case fans. And yes, fans are a dime a dozen, but in the end, which fan fits which system and which budget? Is a model suitable as a case fan and how does it really perform on different radiators? What about the real speed range, how high is the start-up speed and what parameters does such a fan offer over the speed range, including the usually unavoidable noise emission? Exactly for these findings we test, because you should not trust any data sheet that you do not…. well, you know already
Today we are testing a total of six popular 140mm fans, but we also know that of course you can’t cover all your needs with them. But we will continue to test piece by piece (fan by fan) and then also tackle the database as a kind of compendium – but until then there will be individual or group tests to further fill our data. How extensive the results are, you will see on the next pages and today I put in everything that Pascal measured for the 140.
How exactly this all works and runs, you can see on the next page, where we present the test system and measurements once again. And one thing is also clear here: it is not the purchase price of a measuring instrument alone that counts, but its appropriate use and correct calibration. Because you can also sink a lot of money and time for nothing. But that’s why there are consulting industry partners and the almost omniscient community and not just undifferentiated swarm knowledge.
Important preliminary remark
I don’t want to spoil anything and I don’t want to blacken any manufacturer unnecessarily, but I have to make an important preliminary remark. We had already chosen the Noctua NF-A14 FLX as a reference and will continue to use it as a reference for individual tests of 140mm fans, although the Noiseblocker NB-eLoop X PWM B14XP ARGB now performs slightly to significantly better in many test fields. However, there is a good reason why we still stick to the Noctua model, at least in this review.
In the 120mm roundup, as well as now, the first tested fan from Noiseblocker was defective, respectively acted below the specs and consequently had to be replaced. This can happen once, but not several times. This is exactly why, and until the manufacturer gets a better handle on quality control, we will continue to use Noctua’s model. We can measure whether the fan does what it says in the specs (although Noiseblocker also showed deficits here and the homepage has not been corrected to this day), the buyer unfortunately cannot.
Unfortunately, this cannot be tolerated in this amount and must be openly communicated. In the future, sample tests will have to show whether the circumstances have improved and whether all the technical specifications on the packaging and the homepage are really correct. Then this fan can also become the reference.
Maximum speeds in a quick check
We have deliberately chosen 6 fans with very different maximum speeds between 1500 and 2000 rpm and first test whether this specification is also adhered to. In this case, at least everything is already right, at least a good start.
On the next page you will 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 vise versa, of course.
All previous articles about fans on igor’sLAB