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200mm fans--many kinds available, not enough reviews.

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I have been looking for a 200mm fan recently and found a dearth of comparative reviews on the latest selection. There are the good old 200mm Cooler Master Megaflow LED fans and Antec Big Boy, but then there are also some more mysterious choices by Xigmatek, Apevia, NZXT, Aerocool, Bitfenix, and more.

Personally, I am looking for a good case airflow fan, which generally means good airflow at low noise level, probably with some downvolting required.

Here is my personal experience, and I would encourage others to add. I would love to see some professional comparative reviews as well. So far, my opinions are subjective and have not been tested with a noise / flow meter. As a note, people who say that their fans are quiet because other components overwhelm their noise are not helping, because for all we know, their systems might contain a reference GPU with loud fans, an old noisy PSU, a couple of mechanical hard drives, and a number of cheap case fans at full blast.

  • CoolerMaster Megaflow 200mm:
    Decent airflow when downvolted, but the fan is definitely not quiet unless downvolted. I haven't owned it for quite a while, so details are now fuzzy. Some motor ticking noise in my fan.

  • Bitfenix Spectre 200mm:
    Very quiet, but not silent. Some electrical buzz at higher RPM / motor noise with a tiny bit of tonality. Would not be noticeable in a system with noisy components, but can be clearly heard in one of my cases until I turn down the RPM to 60-70% of maximum. Airflow is... very bad. A lot of it is going toward the edges of the fan in a radial direction. I can feel almost no air moving across my hand, holding it ~25cm away from the fan at max RPM. It also seems to push some air backwards. I don't recommend these fans.

    Poor design in that these fans are intended for mounting as exhaust, in that they only have mounting hole "ears" on one side of the frame. Using long threaded bolts should allow to use these as intake as well.

  • Antec Big Boy 200mm fan (came with my old Antec 902 case):
    Decent airflow. Strong rush of air sound at high RPM. My unit had no noticeable motor noise.

  • Bitfenix Spectre Pro 230mm:
    This is a LOUD fan at anything above 500RPM. I had to run mine at 400RPM to be unnoticeable. At max RPM it was a hummy rumbly noise machine. I cannot attest how good airflow at high RPM was as I could never tolerate running it that fast. At 400RPM airflow was really measly. Hopefully the 200mm version is better. At least these fans have a very beautiful striking design going for them and multiple color / LED options.

Basically I'm not seeing any stars in the current 200mm lineup, unless anyone would like to correct me. I'm probably going to try out Phobia's new 180mm 32-mm thick G-Silent fans (red LEDs) soon for quiet case airflow. I wish they had a 200mm version of those.
Edited by ElevenEleven - 3/1/13 at 1:37pm
   
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post #2 of 9
In terms of options, they are pretty limited for 200 mm. I'd go as far as to say, they're even limited for the 140mm. TY-141 (and the derivatives) and that's about it. It seems only 120mm really has a lot of good options.
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post #3 of 9
I have 3 Coolermaster Megaflows and they are pretty noisy ... I'm not bothered by the amount of sound it makes but most people would be I'm sure, My GPU still makes more noise than the fans though if that means anything. I also have a 230mm Megaflow as well and its probably the most quiet of all IMO but it's probably cause its 3x200mm vs 1x230mm ... I still prefer 120 and 140mm fans If you can get those instead I would ...
   
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post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElevenEleven View Post

Basically I'm not seeing any stars in the current 200mm lineup, unless anyone would like to correct me. I'm probably going to try out Phobia's new 180mm 32-mm thick G-Silent fans (red LEDs) soon for quiet case airflow. I wish they had a 200mm version of those.

G-Silent 32mm fan is fairly quiet.

he talks about them alittle about 16:10 into the vid
post #5 of 9
If I were looking for a large fan, I would personally go for the new Silverstone AP183, which is one of the most impressive >140mm fans I'veseen, period. In ffact, I am very much considering adding a Phobya G-Changer 1080 60mm-thick radiator with 8 of them in push-pull (utilizing shrouds on both sides).

If you have room for the fan, I would not hesitate to get it!
   
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post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by psyclum View Post

G-Silent 32mm fan is fairly quiet.

he talks about them alittle about 16:10 into the vid

Thanks for the video link! There's another video I've seen of those fans but it was difficult to make a comparison from it. I'll definitely get one of these when I can find it for a decent price. I've imagined them as being excellent for Silverstone cases (owned an FT02-W for a while, and the stock updated Air Penetrator fans weren't exactly silent).
Quote:
Originally Posted by nleksan View Post

If I were looking for a large fan, I would personally go for the new Silverstone AP183, which is one of the most impressive >140mm fans I'veseen, period. In ffact, I am very much considering adding a Phobya G-Changer 1080 60mm-thick radiator with 8 of them in push-pull (utilizing shrouds on both sides).

If you have room for the fan, I would not hesitate to get it!

AP183? Is that the correct designation? Can't find them on Silverstone's own website (AP182 is the highest number listed).
Edited by ElevenEleven - 3/5/13 at 12:40pm
   
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post #7 of 9
Wouldn't it be useful to have an "official" thread for 200mm fans? I think a unified place for info about them would be great. It's still hard to find consistent data about them, if at all. And also a place to share any news about newcomers to the 200mm scene.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
I agree, and I wish I had better fan testing tools to provide my own input (perhaps someday I'll invest into some dBa and air pressure meters). I've made this thread hoping to invoke some public interest into working toward such a comparative thread. I also want to see manufacturers spending more R&D time/money into developing better large-sized fans, as so many new cases can accommodate them.
   
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post #9 of 9
Yeah, definitely. I think a lot of people would be interested. As you said, more and more cases can hold them and they're a really attractive option. Plus, personally I'm excited for someone to make a high CFM option like that NZXT one but in proper size. I'm sure some of the radiator folks out there would also want some high pressure ones? It's an interesting landscape.

Edit: Oh yeah, I have a Bitfenix Pro 200mm. Unfortunately, all I can compare it to is the stock fans from my 600T. It's obviously a lot better. It pushes a good amount more air, its build quality is miles ahead, and for me it's pretty quiet. Definitely quieter than the stocks. Of course, quietness overall can be really subjective. It also comes with a lot of useful accessories, like long screws to set them up as exhausts, a LED switch cable (which you can also simply unplug if you want the LED off), and those nice rubber pull-through mounts. Also a downvolter that takes it to 7v.
Edited by Gyrael - 3/8/13 at 1:40pm
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