Pros: easy clean, silent, braided cable, cheap,
Cons: no direction arrows
Phobya has recently brought out a new group of fans in it's 14 or 140mm range. These have been slightly re-designed at both the hardware and package level. Although the new packaging isn't very far removed looks wise from the previous ones, I think it is more classy and is an improvement. It is very similar but instead of all dark blue or blue and red the colours are now a classy light grey at the top with the original "monster" appearing on the right hand side as it did before.
The fan itself has also been re-designed in as much as it has seven curved blades running from a central hub that is now convex across the front instead of flat. The whole unit is finished in a shiny piano black which adds a certain quality feel to it. The housing maintains the original square shape and hasn't had the corners removed as a lot of other makes have tried recently. I was glad to see that Phobya still retained the removable hub/fan blades from the housing to make cleaning easier. The hub literally pops off the bearing with just light finger pressue which saves having to completely dismantle the fan from the case to allow removal of the dust build up that is practically impossible to stop. The blades can then be washed and dried before refitting. They also use the "HydroDynamic" bearings across the entire "G-Silent" range now which makes them quieter and more efficient. Another feature of this bearing is it's longevity.
Although there is the mountings built into the case for them there are no LEDs attached. I suppose it would be easy enough to retro fit them if required. The power is supplied via a three pin motherboard type header plug at the end of a 50cm black braided cable. I like to see this already done as it saves another job that can be both time consuming and fiddly for some. This connector could of course be taken to a fan controller if one is fitted rather than the motherboard. One downside I have noticed with all Phobya fans is the failure to mark the direction of spin and airflow on the surrounds. Whilst this isn't a major problem it does just make it easier especially for the newer builder to determine which way around to mount the fans. It usually takes the form of a pair of arrows.
Next a few figures for those of you who are interested. The housing is 140 x 140 x 25mm which is fairly standard and it weighs in at 140g.The fans are expected to last roughly 50,000 hours so a good working lifetime is projected. There are three fans in the range covering the speeds of 700, 1200 and 1400 RPM. They seem to be efficient enough at those speeds and can move 34cfm at a mere 14dB/A for the slowest one and 58cfm at under 30dB/A for the other two. They are all quiet really and the minimum is practically silent. Although all the fans have a nominal voltage of 12v they will all start at 7v. This of course allows a range of speeds to be used.
The prices are all very reasonable and the same for the all three speeds at a very competitive £6.98 and are available from C and C Central. Considering these factors these fans deserve the awarded 10/10. http://www.candccentral.co.uk/Phoyba-PC-Case-Cooling-Fans/
Other colours also available in the G-Silent range