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Good 140mm fans?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I moved my build over to a Fractal Design Arc Midi recently and I'm completely unimpressed with the fans. It came with a broken fan controller, but once I got the fans working, one of them arced and something plastic in it was obviously burned. I disconnected it and got the others going and, while quiet, they just felt pathetically weak. I'm trying to find some quiet fans with good airflow to replace them that don't cost too much.

Right now I'm looking at the 140mm Enermax T.B. Silence, Noiseblocker BlackSilent, and Cougar Vortex CF-V14H, but I'm not sure if the last will fit in the weird front panel clips and the Noiseblockers seem a bit pricey. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 10
I've been trying a number of fans in my Arc Midi to get a good balance between airflow and noise. I didn't think much of the Fractal fan controller and use an NZXT Sentry Mix on the front panel instead, since I generally run my fans at 5v for silence, and only increase them for heavy gaming or hot weather.

First, I immediately replaced the two front fans with Fractal Silent Series fans. These are quiet, especially when undervolted, but have abysmal airflow. They also make a whining noise at full speed, and have a high starting voltage - ie if you are using a fan controller you will need to turn it on full to start these fans.

I have just replaced these (last night, in fact) with Noise Blocker PK-2s. These are much better. They fit perfectly in the front panel, have a low starting voltage and are fairly quiet, especially when undervolted. They also produce much better airflow than the Fractal Silent Series fans, and I prefer the black colour of the fans.

Elsewhere in the case I have been using Noctua 140mm fans everywhere, and have also just tried the Phobya 700 rpm 180mm fan in the side panel. The Noctuas are excellent (although they won't fit in the front panel) and have great airflow as well as silence at low rpm. Even at full, they produce a more pleasant tone than the other fans - it is lower and more diffuse, even if (I believe) it measures a little louder.

I am going to replace the two top fans with Noise Blockers tonight, mostly for cosmetic reasons, since I have removed the filters and would prefer to see black fans, even if there is slightly less airflow.

In the side panel position, the Noctua produced the best results, although I have replaced this with another Noise Blocker, again for cosmetic reasons. The 180mm Phobya fan seemed to produce less airflow than the 140mm Noctua, and was at least as noisy.

I have just ordered some Scythe Slipstreams to see how these compare as well.

The short answer to your question is that Noise Blocker PK-2s (or PK-3s depending on your airflow requirements and tolerance for noise) will fit in the front panel, and everywhere else, and produce good airflow with low noise. If you don't mind the colour (particularly if you are using the filter on the top panel), the Noctuas are great fans everywhere except the front panel. I do recommend using a good fan controller and having more fans running at low speed for silence.
post #3 of 10
I highly recommend you get a fan controller and get either 1 of the 3:

140mm Cougar Vortex HDB (1200rpm) - $16.99 (1.38 mmH2O)

NoiseBlocker PK-3 (1700rpm) - $24.99 (1.781 mm-H2O )

GELID Wing14 UV Blue (1200rpm) - $19.99 (1.45 mmAq)
 
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post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kikkO View Post

I highly recommend you get a fan controller and get either 1 of the 3:
140mm Cougar Vortex HDB (1200rpm) - $16.99 (1.38 mmH2O)
NoiseBlocker PK-3 (1700rpm) - $24.99 (1.781 mm-H2O )
GELID Wing14 UV Blue (1200rpm) - $19.99 (1.45 mmAq)

Alright, it looks like I'm not considering those Enermax fans anymore. I noticed the BitFenix Spectre Pros also seem to be a pretty good option. Any input on those? Is there any reason I should pick the Noiseblockers or Gelids over the Cougars or BitFenix fans? And is there a reason to grab the 1200RPM fans over the PWM fans? I have both in 120mm and haven't noticed a difference in sound.

The Noiseblockers do look awesome, I'm just having a hard time with the cost. The Gelid Wings seem to have a pretty awesome sound profile, they're just a bit ugly to me.
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post #5 of 10
If everyone cared about how a fan looks Noctua would be out of business.

BitFenix Pro offers the same static pressure as the Cougars and they're also 2.6dB(A) noisier than the Cougars at the same speed. The Cougars offer a focused flow vs the Spectre Pros. I haven't seen a smoke test done on the Spectre Pros so I can't say for sure what their airflow looks like.

PWM or no PWM it doesn't matter if you're using a fan controller. You just need to focus on the specs and your needs.

The PK-3 have the highest static pressure out of the 3 and probably the nosiest @ 1700rpm, but 140mm fans tend to make less noise than 120mm fans at the same rpm. The 1700rpm on the PK-3 wouldn't even matter if you're using a fan controller.

Many have reported that the Cougars make weird noises when mounted horizontally and Cougar is looking into that issue.

The Gelid is kinda of a in between, the Cougars and the NB PK-3. The Gelid while being a 1200rpm fan has higher static pressure than the Cougar but the drawback is that it's 0.35A fan meaning it will draw 4.2W of power. Depending how many fans you plan on chaining to a single channel you may want to go with the NB PK-3 since they only draw 2.4W @ 1700rpm many fan controllers only offer 12W/1A max per channel and the Gelid would go over that limit unless you get a stronger controller.

Here's a airflow video on the 120mm Spectre Pro LED @ 2:45, the airflow seems pretty focused but not as focus as the Silverstone AP121, but the AP121 doesn't push much air at all due to the grill and produces more noise as well.

If the airflow focus on the 120mm is any indication of performance on the 140mm version it should be a good contender vs the Cougar.



Edited by kikkO - 5/8/12 at 5:08pm
 
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post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Awesome. Thanks for the great help there, +Repped. I'm only planning on getting 3 fans, maybe 4 tops, so I don't think the power draw will really be an issue. You cemented the decision to go with the Cougars. I already have some of their 120mm fans and they've been awesome both vertically and horizontally. The Noiseblockers look great, I just can't justify $90 for three fans, especially when I could grab 6 of the Cougars for the same price.
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post #7 of 10
Since you brought up BitFenix I found their Spectre Pro to be rather interesting, at least on paper. They offer higher CFM than the Cougars at the same rpm and airflow is as focused, if not more, as the Cougars.

Fast forward to 5:15 on the 2nd video to see the focus angle on the BitFenix fan.


 
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post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
You're not exactly making my choice easier, haha. This review doesn't really help either. I think I'll just go with whichever of the two I can find the cheapest. The Spectre Pros and Vortexes both seem pretty good overall.

Edit: And it looks like they're within $6 if I get 3 and $4.50 if I get 4.
Edited by nubbinator - 5/8/12 at 5:36pm
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post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by kikkO View Post

If everyone cared about how a fan looks Noctua would be out of business.
BitFenix Pro offers the same static pressure as the Cougars and they're also 2.6dB(A) noisier than the Cougars at the same speed. The Cougars offer a focused flow vs the Spectre Pros. I haven't seen a smoke test done on the Spectre Pros so I can't say for sure what their airflow looks like.
PWM or no PWM it doesn't matter if you're using a fan controller. You just need to focus on the specs and your needs.
The PK-3 have the highest static pressure out of the 3 and probably the nosiest @ 1700rpm, but 140mm fans tend to make less noise than 120mm fans at the same rpm. The 1700rpm on the PK-3 wouldn't even matter if you're using a fan controller.
Many have reported that the Cougars make weird noises when mounted horizontally and Cougar is looking into that issue.
The Gelid is kinda of a in between, the Cougars and the NB PK-3. The Gelid while being a 1200rpm fan has higher static pressure than the Cougar but the drawback is that it's 0.35A fan meaning it will draw 4.2W of power. Depending how many fans you plan on chaining to a single channel you may want to go with the NB PK-3 since they only draw 2.4W @ 1700rpm many fan controllers only offer 12W/1A max per channel and the Gelid would go over that limit unless you get a stronger controller.
Here's a airflow video on the 120mm Spectre Pro LED @ 2:45, the airflow seems pretty focused but not as focus as the Silverstone AP121, but the AP121 doesn't push much air at all due to the grill and produces more noise as well.
If the airflow focus on the 120mm is any indication of performance on the 140mm version it should be a good contender vs the Cougar.

I am planning to use 140m fan .it's hard to get 140mm PWM, LED fan in my home town..only 140 mm led fan..So using fan controller can i change the speed of the fan that is not PWM ?? Any suggestion is welcome...thanks in advance:)
post #10 of 10
I am using Aerocool shark 140mm's , not the highest CFM, but they are quite silent@ full speed so I like them, 10 months of usage so far.
    
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