nleksan is right in that they are pricier (if you buy the single fan) but in dual pack for $13 they aren't that bad
@600FPM air flow levels
The two GT fans continue to have legs to get to this point and at their trademark low noise levels although not what I would call great noise quality. There is a rather dominating bearing noise without much air noise to mask it. Regardless, it is hard to argue with the low 46dBA noise level at these speeds.
The Corsair SP120 would take second lowest noise level at this point with about 54dBA. It is considerably higher than the GTs, but still seems to be in it’s game without any unusual noise quality issues, fairly smooth for the speed.
The B12-4 higher speed Noiseblocker E-loop also makes it this far, but noise quality dramatically reduces with a higher whine developing. Noise level is a similar 54dBA, but it sounds louder than that by ear.
The Piranha also has legs to get here, but it’s the loudest of the bunch at 58dBA and also has some noise quality issues with an undulating low frequency and some motor tick.
The Noctua and Cougar fans are not capable of this much air flow.
King of “BEST NOISE LEVEL/AIR FLOW THROUGH A RADIATOR”
The Gentle Typhoons retain their crown on this criteria and really shine at very high speeds, but that differentiation does drop off as speed decrease. The Noiseblockers e-loops also have an interesting noise quality and perform really well at speeds below about 1500RPM. At the 400FPM and 500FPM performance levels by ear I have a hard time telling the difference between the GTs and the Noiseblocker B12-3. The smoother noise quality of the Noiseblocker almost seems to make up the difference in noise level. The Corsair SP120 also does fairly well on noise level and consistently so throughout it’s speed range, it’s just not as smooth in noise quality as the NBs are at slower speeds, but it does hold it’s up at higher speeds. None are even close to the GTs at really high speeds though where the GTs have upwards of a 10dbA noise level advantage.
The Corsair AF120 impressed us with its cooling capabilities, the Quiet Edition more so, as it also has the best acoustics of all the Corsair fans we sampled. That's not really saying much though as the entire AF120 and SP120 series have a rougher, more tonal character than many of the competing models. The SP120 Quiet Edition is a middle-of-the-road performer though we weren't expecting much from it, seeing as it's a specialized product designed for cooling radiators.
& Tater Tot has recommended them beforeEdited by AlphaC - 5/29/13 at 5:57pm