Cooling Fans Practice Reviews

The marathon starts: Review with 6 case and radiator fans from be quiet! Black Noise, Corsair, Cooler Master, Noctua and Thermaltake

Fans are a dime a dozen, but which fan fits which system? 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 all these life situations the available data sheets of the suppliers (and manufacturers) are almost always not sufficient. And is it true what is often promised?

Today we test a total of six quite common fans, but we know that of course you can’t cover all wishes 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 for the time being there will be individual or group tests to further fill up our data. How extensive the results turn out, you will see on the next pages and I put in today first of all everything what Pascal measured us.

In the forum we can discuss in detail and decide what is important for the future. However, we can’t make any major changes to the actual test setup and methods, which are now final. 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. 

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. We’ll see in a moment that data sheets don’t always have to be right….

On the next page you can 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.

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About the author

Igor Wallossek

Editor-in-chief and name-giver of igor'sLAB as the content successor of Tom's Hardware Germany, whose license was returned in June 2019 in order to better meet the qualitative demands of web content and challenges of new media such as YouTube with its own channel.

Computer nerd since 1983, audio freak since 1979 and pretty much open to anything with a plug or battery for over 50 years.

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