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Subjective Review of Scythe Fan Lineup

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Here I'll be reviewing the main products in Scythe's current fan lineup. Hopefully this review will make choosing a fan a lot easier. I'm sure there's plenty of people out there who, even after reading all the reviews, still wonder which fan will give them the best performance-noise ratio. Bear with me, as this is my first review on OCN.

I decided to make this a subjective review due to three reasons.

1. I have no tools to make this technical
2. There are plenty of technical reviews over at spcr and xtremesystems
3. I find many people are looking for subjective and unbiased reviews

I chose Scythe b/c I find their rated specs very close to what they claim. I also find they're a good benchmark in which to measure from. They have a wide product line which cater to the needs of both performance and silence.

I'll be covering the following fans:
1. S-Flex
2. Slipstream
3. Ultra Kaze
(I know I'm missing a few, but I figure these are the most popular ones)

1. S-Flex

I've tested the E (1200rpm) and F (1600rpm) models. The E is definitely more suited to the low-noise user as it is a little weak on airflow. It's also almost silent, especially if undervolted. The F model is what I think most should go for since it offers more flexibility. Can be undervolted and sounds the same as the lower model, yet at full speed provides some pretty decent airflow. One thing I noticed about these fans is although they use patented S-FDB technology, which they claim makes them silent, they exhibit quite a bit of motor noise at high RPM. It's a low hum rather than a high pitch. Of course, everyone also raves about these fans being long-life, but I really can't imagine using a fan for that long.

Bottom Line: Good "general" purpose fans. They don't do anything specific excellent, but overall they do everything very well. Good CFM, static pressure, low-noise, good for heatsink or as case fans

2. Slipstream

I'm convinced that they have close to their rated airflow, but only when there's very little obstructions. They have little static pressure by design. When mounted on my TRUE, they really struggled to push air through the fins. Mounted as an exhaust fan with a wire grill, they pushed a ton of air out the back. They are also very quiet fans and undervolt very nicely. Those looking for silence, go for the M model. They are near silent even at full RPM (1200rpm). Those looking for more performance, go for the H model or higher. A little loud at 1600rpm, but they undervolt nicely. Anything around 1300-1400rpm is still noticeable, but very decent. Note, unlike the S-Flex, these fans make a more high-pitch noise.

Bottom Line: Excellent case fans. Push a ton of air with no obstructions. Near silent at low RPM (1200rpm). Loud at high RPM (1600+). Push more air and are quieter than S-Flex at equal RPM. Decent heatsink fans, but only the high RPM models. Low static pressure.

3. Ultra Kaze

Designed for heatsinks. Wouldn't recommend them as case fans unless noise isn't an issue. I have one mounted on my TRUE and it's cooling quite well at 1250rpm. Great static pressure and excellent airflow. I'd recommend the 2000rpm model over 1000rpm and 3000rpm. 1000rpm doesn't push enough air, though quiet. The 3000rpm model is extremely loud and cannot be made silent even when undervolted. I had two of them and both exhibited a constant "ticking noise" when undervolted. The 2000rpm model did not. A member of OCN suggests that it could be because the 3000rpm model is 0.60A as opposed to 0.25A.

Bottom Line: Excellent heatsink fan. Strong static pressure and and huge airflow. Quiet at 1250rpm or lower. At 1250rpm still pushes a lot of air. Noisy at 1300rpm+ (motor noise kicks in here for some reason). Loud at 1600rpm+ and 2000-3000rpm sounds like a small vacuum. Very noticeable motor noise as RPM increases.

So there we have it. Hopefully this will help some users in making their decisions. Remember this is only for the Scythe fans. I'm sure others will recommend many different brands that may perform just as good if not better than the ones I reviewed here.
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post #2 of 24
I might have to give the lower-RPM Slipstream fans a try, but I have to say after my experiences with the 1900RPM version they leave me very unimpressed. The fan was noisy all the way down to around 1000RPM, it barely moved more air than the 1600RPM S-Flex, and the pitch of the fan was very aggravating.

A good review though, I rather liked it.
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post #3 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunburn39 View Post
Here I'll be reviewing the main products in Scythe's current fan lineup. Hopefully this review will make choosing a fan a lot easier. I'm sure there's plenty of people out there who, even after reading all the reviews, still wonder which fan will give them the best performance-noise ratio. Bear with me, as this is my first review on OCN.

I decided to make this a subjective review due to three reasons.

1. I have no tools to make this technical
2. There are plenty of technical reviews over at spcr and xtremesystems
3. I find many people are looking for subjective and unbiased reviews

I chose Scythe b/c I find their rated specs very close to what they claim. I also find they're a good benchmark in which to measure from. They have a wide product line which cater to the needs of both performance and silence.

I'll be covering the following fans:
1. S-Flex
2. Slipstream
3. Ultra Kaze
(I know I'm missing a few, but I figure these are the most popular ones)

1. S-Flex

I've tested the E (1200rpm) and F (1600rpm) models. The E is definitely more suited to the low-noise user as it is a little weak on airflow. It's also almost silent, especially if undervolted. The F model is what I think most should go for since it offers more flexibility. Can be undervolted and sounds the same as the lower model, yet at full speed provides some pretty decent airflow. One thing I noticed about these fans is although they use patented S-FDB technology, which they claim makes them silent, they exhibit quite a bit of motor noise at high RPM. It's a low hum rather than a high pitch. Of course, everyone also raves about these fans being long-life, but I really can't imagine using a fan for that long.

Bottom Line: Good "general" purpose fans. They don't do anything specific excellent, but overall they do everything very well. Good CFM, static pressure, low-noise, good for heatsink or as case fans

2. Slipstream

I'm convinced that they have close to their rated airflow, but only when there's very little obstructions. They have little static pressure by design. When mounted on my TRUE, they really struggled to push air through the fins. Mounted as an exhaust fan with a wire grill, they pushed a ton of air out the back. They are also very quiet fans and undervolt very nicely. Those looking for silence, go for the M model. They are near silent even at full RPM (1200rpm). Those looking for more performance, go for the H model or higher. A little loud at 1600rpm, but they undervolt nicely. Anything around 1300-1400rpm is still noticeable, but very decent. Note, unlike the S-Flex, these fans make a more high-pitch noise.

Bottom Line: Excellent case fans. Push a ton of air with no obstructions. Near silent at low RPM (1200rpm). Loud at high RPM (1600+). Push more air and are quieter than S-Flex at equal RPM. Decent heatsink fans, but only the high RPM models. Low static pressure.

3. Ultra Kaze

Designed for heatsinks. Wouldn't recommend them as case fans unless noise isn't an issue. I have one mounted on my TRUE and it's cooling quite well at 1250rpm. Great static pressure and excellent airflow. I'd recommend the 2000rpm model over 1000rpm and 3000rpm. 1000rpm doesn't push enough air, though quiet. The 3000rpm model is extremely loud and cannot be made silent even when undervolted. I had two of them and both exhibited a constant "ticking noise" when undervolted. The 2000rpm model did not. A member of OCN suggests that it could be because the 3000rpm model is 0.60A as opposed to 0.25A.

Bottom Line: Excellent heatsink fan. Strong static pressure and and huge airflow. Quiet at 1250rpm or lower. At 1250rpm still pushes a lot of air. Noisy at 1300rpm+ (motor noise kicks in here for some reason). Loud at 1600rpm+ and 2000-3000rpm sounds like a small vacuum. Very noticeable motor noise as RPM increases.

So there we have it. Hopefully this will help some users in making their decisions. Remember this is only for the Scythe fans. I'm sure others will recommend many different brands that may perform just as good if not better than the ones I reviewed here.
Thanks for this review sunburn39! I like to see OCN members put these thoughts out. Your results are very much so in line with the tests I did about a month back, see here....I tested those fans and some more:

http://www.overclock.net/air-cooling...-best-cpu.html

I agree with you 100% on the Slipstreams and S-Flexes as I had the same results/feelings on them when I tested, but I slightly disagree with you on the Ultra Kazes. I agree that the UK 2000 is the best balanced one of the three, but you should be able to run the 2000 & 3000 upto about 1600 rpm before the noise get's bothersome...but it may all be due to your case/case build material.

Also on the UK 3000, I was able to undervolt mine fine and did not get any clicking noise or run it at full throttle without too much droning or whinning (I hate whiny fans). I'm wondering if the clicking/motor noise you encountered was due to a slightly bunk fan or maybe the type of fan contoller you used.

I'm curious if anyone else has encountered clicking when undervolting a UK 3000...anyone?

Anyways, good read sunburn39....+rep fo sho (for sure!)

Edited by Qbert - 6/29/08 at 10:21am
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post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayvinAzn View Post
I might have to give the lower-RPM Slipstream fans a try, but I have to say after my experiences with the 1900RPM version they leave me very unimpressed. The fan was noisy all the way down to around 1000RPM, it barely moved more air than the 1600RPM S-Flex, and the pitch of the fan was very aggravating.

A good review though, I rather liked it.
Since I have a fan controller, I use to think that I should just buy the most powerful fan in the series due to the fact that I could undervolt it. What I found, with Scythe anyway, sometimes the higher models exhibit more motor noise regardless of the rpm.

The 1200rpm pushes slightly less air than the S-Flex F, but much quieter. The 1600rpm Slipstream definitely push a lot more air than the S-flex. A little loud on full, but as mentioned, at around 1400rpm sound very nice. The pitch of the S-Flex is more bearable. I did notice the Slipstreams vibrate a little more than S-Flex. This could be the reason for your increased noise.
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post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Qbert View Post
Thanks for this review sunburn39! I like to see OCN members put these thoughts out. Your results are very much so in line with the tests I did about a month back, see here....I tested those fans and some more:

http://www.overclock.net/air-cooling...-best-cpu.html

I agree with you 100% on the Slipstreams and S-Flexes as I had the same results/feelings on them when I tested, but I slightly disagree with you on the Ultra Kazes. I agree that the UK 2000 is the best balanced one of the three, but you should be able to run the 2000 & 3000 upto about 1600 rpm before the noise get's bothersome...but it may all be due to your case/case build material.

Also on the UK 3000, I was able to undervolt mine fine and did not get any clicking noise or run it at full throttle without too much droning or whinning (I hate whiny fans). I'm wondering if the clicking/motor noise you encountered was due to a slightly bunk fan or maybe the type of fan contoller you used.

I'm curious if anyone else has encountered clicking when undervolting a UK 3000...anyone?

Anyways, good read sunburn39....+rep fo sho (for sure!)
doh! wish I caught that thread, my bad...

with the UK 2000, over 1300rpm wasn't overly bothersome, but I like to have a fairly quiet computer while doing regular tasks. I agree with you, if you have no choice, up to around 1600rpm is still bearable. The motor noise kicked in immediately at 1300 rpm for me. It a very low pitch droning. I ran the fans in open air and inside the case.

As for the UK 3000. I originally thought I had a defective fan. That's why I replaced it. But both fans exhibited this "ticking". I tried switching from the fan controller and used the motherboard to control the speed, but same result. You can even hear it at full rpm, but it's not as noticeable since the fan screams at 3000rpm
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post #6 of 24
Simple, good, and effective review
I'm going to improve my air cooling setup on my Apollo (yeah, i know the airflow on this case sucks XD) Im thinking on a Kaze 2k on TRUE and in the front of the case in 3 bays of 5'25, a s-flex 1600rpm on the bottom and on the side panel, and a kaze 1k for the accelero s1. what do you think?
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post #7 of 24
i have a few sflex "f" in my case and it was the grills that made more noise than the fan, once i cut away the grills the noise almost totally went.
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post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.FraG View Post
Simple, good, and effective review
I'm going to improve my air cooling setup on my Apollo (yeah, i know the airflow on this case sucks XD) Im thinking on a Kaze 2k on TRUE and in the front of the case in 3 bays of 5'25, a s-flex 1600rpm on the bottom and on the side panel, and a kaze 1k for the accelero s1. what do you think?
I'd opt for Panaflo over the Ultra Kaze, based on MTBF alone. The Ultra Kaze fans are alarmingly short-lived. They're about on par performance-wise though.
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post #9 of 24
Thanks for the answers, for me would be hard to find the Panaflo in my country, i will search more
Marsey99: Can u upload a photo? It will be great
For an s1 fan 1k rpm will be enough?
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post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.FraG View Post
Simple, good, and effective review
I'm going to improve my air cooling setup on my Apollo (yeah, i know the airflow on this case sucks XD) Im thinking on a Kaze 2k on TRUE and in the front of the case in 3 bays of 5'25, a s-flex 1600rpm on the bottom and on the side panel, and a kaze 1k for the accelero s1. what do you think?
Looks like good setup...both noise and performance wise. I might opt for maybe an S-Flex on the S1 as well though. It's a lot slimmer. It might get a little cumbersome to place a 38mm thick fan on the S1.
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