Preliminary review: Top tier fan with occasionally dubious QC

AlphaC
Posted · 425 Views · 4 Comments

Pros: Top tier performance in high restrictions , PWM control, noise dampeners on corners, sleeved cable, 5 year warranty

Cons: few accessories , ~28mm thickness may be problematic for some, made in China

(Purchased from Newegg)

Let me begin by stating if you are looking for 140mm fans with a square frame for high restriction environments you don't have many options.

Most of those options are quite pricey as well.

Review sites such as Thermalbench , Coolingtechnique, and hardware.info among others have this fan trailing some top tier fans such as the Noiseblocker eloop B14-3 , EK Vardar F2-140, and Be Quiet Silent Wings 3 140mm High speed in terms of dB/CFM. In the USA, Thermalright's TY-147 SQ is nowhere to be found.

Personally I found that the fan is quiet even up to ~ 1100RPM.

You would think that the PH-F140SP or PH-F140XP fans would be superior for low restriction but reviews I've read suggest even with the lowest restriction radiator will drop the flow on those much worse compared to the PH-F140MP.

Raves
* I own a few Noctua NF-A14 PWM (made in Taiwan) and the noise level on these is comparable if not better.
* Has rubberized corner mounting, although they cannot be removed or switched out (Noctua's design can switch the corners)
* Rubberized cable sleeving
* Aesthetically , the black on black design is timeless unlike Noctua's brown or the white on black of the eloop and TY-147 SQ. It also doesn't have a label on the front of the fan hub (unlike Thermalright or Be Quiet!)
* packed in plastic placed in a cardboard box, unlike some fans such as Fractal Design HP14 which are packed directly in a cardboard box.
* I suspect much of the fan's performance is due to the winglets that are placed on the tip of the fan blade. It is essentially a less drastic version of the Noiseblocker eloop's fan blades at the fan tip. In aerodynamics , the winglet allows for higher effective wing length (or in this case, the fan blade length) by controlling tip vortices. The fan frame is a swept, curved design.

Mediocre:
* ~550RPM min speed ,: the Thermalright TY-147 , Be Quiet Silent Wings 3, and NF-A14 PWM can spin down to 300RPM or so
---> PWM curve picks up at 50% or so
* only ~ 1400RPM max speed when behind Fractal Design Define R5's front panel filter and venting
* QC: Trailing edges on two fan blades had small nick on them on one sample despite zero damage to box (poor cosmetic QC) , plastic coloration isn't fully consistent (slight milkiness in the plastic mix). I can imagine some people getting inferior samples.
* QC: some users on Newegg/Amazon report poor QC on the other 140mm fans using supposedly the same UFB bearing type , especially when mounted horizontally.
* Some claim that the Updraft Floating Balance is nothing more than a sleeve bearing , although while I tested it horizontal blowing up (to simulate a top mounted radiator) I had no issues with the bearing making noises.
* No extra special technological developments to reduce noise: for example vortex control notches, funnel inlet, rounded leading edge, etc. The other fan that comes to mind besides the noiseblocker eloop is the Aerocool Dead silence (which is held back by QC , see Amazon reviews on that one) with golf ball styled fan blades, dampened fan frame, rubberized fan blades, etc. There's also the COUGAR CF-V14HB , with fluid dynamic bearing, diversion groove (on fan blade, similar to Noctua NF-A14) , and small vanes on the fan frame for focus flow.

RPM vs PWM
Fan 1:

Fan 1 Behind dust filter


Fan 2 (with the small nick on it):

Fan 2 behind dust filter



Valuation
This supposedly has the performance but doesn't have the build quality or accessories. Perhaps they could offer twin packs with a PWM Y-cable.

It has warranty to back it up, but the shipping kills that aspect.

It is typically seen for $15 on sale, sometimes as low as $12 or $10. This makes it an incredible value if the UFB bearing is not a sleeve bearing.

Some fans known to be rifle bearings or modified sleeve bearings (such as the Arctic F14 or Be Quiet Pure Wings 2 , which only has 1000RPM max speed) run about $10-12.

4 Comments:

I thought I understood what Doyll was explaining to me, but isn't 0% PWM supposed to be zero RPM?
On the issue with idle under 500 rpm (which really shouldn't be much of an issue given how quiet they are at 500 rpm), I did want to point something out. I have used a dozen or so of these in various builds. All of them would idle at 400 rpm or lower when controlled by DC rather than PWM. Odd, since one would expect the opposite to be true.
My guess is the reason the don't idle lower at 10% or 20% then at 30% is because the PWM circuitry has a minimum 12v power pulses per minute that is equal to what 30% PWM signal supplies .. so any PWM signal below 30% means fan still runs at same minimum 12v power pulses per minute rate. Many PWM fans have this 'feature' and will only idle down to a certain minimum speed..