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Secrets of the D14 - Chapter 7: PWM fans

 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-16-2012, 07:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Related:

Chapter 1: Solo 140mm Fans in the Center Position

Chapter 2: Fan Position

Chapter 3: In and Out Games

Chapter 4: Ultra-Quiet and Very Quiet Operation

 

Chapter 5: Quiet Operation

 

Chapter 6: High Performance Fans

 

Adapting fans for the D14

 

How to mount three fans on a D14

 

 

 

7.0 Introduction

 

All right, time to wind this up. I saved the PWM fans for last because I was waiting for Noctua to release PWM fans. And now they have. In fact, they sent me three.

 

What you will see is a collection of 120x25mm PWM fans placed in the push position with a new Noctua NF-P14 PWM in the center between the fin stacks. Then you will see the same push fans put through their paces with a Thermalright TY-140 in the center. Test setup has been covered before.

 

Contents:

 

7.1: Fans

7.2: Cooling Results with NF-P14 PWM in Center

7.3: Cooling Results with TY-140 in Center

7.4: Conclusions

 

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-16-2012, 07:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Fans

 

The fans are set out in the table below. By using a strategically placed ground wire and a PWM Mate I was able to approximate five PWM duty states: 0, 25%, 50%, 75% and 100%. This is what I did in the Noctua PWM fan review. But Noctua specifically made its fans so they would not click. Other PWM fans do make clicking sounds to one degree or another. I noted the type of sound I heard by listening closely to the fans while they ran in open air, then noted them in the table. A key to the notes is below the table.

 

These fan results were obtained with the fans running in open air. Because of limitations in the environment I was unable to measure sounds less than 32 dBA. So the equivalent sound pressure level (SPL) at 1 meter could not be measured under 32 dBA. Sometimes manufacturers and brand sellers specify the minimum and maximum speeds their fans are supposed to reach at 0 and 100% duty, with purported sound pressure levels. Note that the fans here are not sold by their manufacturers except the Gentle Typhoon AP-30 and the San Ace. For the latter two I was able to get specifications from the manufacturer’s website. The AP-30 is subject to a modification (“mod”) that transformed it from a Voltage-controlled fan to a PWM fan. It was fun to do.

 

Here’s the data:

 

PWM Fans

Approximate PWM Duty

Mfr

Spec

---------------------------------------------------

≈0

≈25%

≈50%

≈75%

≈100%

Min

Max

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Akasa Apache - RPM

519

755

1053

1256

1333

600

1300

                                           SPL (dBA)

13.5

14.5

20

23

25

6.9

16.1

                                    sound quality

QC

QC

QC

fC

NoC

na

na

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arctic Cooling F12 PWM - RPM

1350

1011

1211

1290

1350

400

1350

                                           SPL (dBA)

23.5

20

22.5

23.5

24

na

22.5

                                    sound quality

NoC

QC

QC

QC

NoC

na

na

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cooler Master Blade Master - RPM

791

840

1293

1804

2083

600

2000

                                           SPL (dBA)

16

16.5

24

30.5

35

13

32

                                    sound quality

NoC

VQC

FQC

QC

tone

na

na

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coolink SwiF2 120P - RPM

762

770

1169

1584

1662

800

1700

                                           SPL (dBA)

15

15

23.5

31

31.5

8.5

27.1

                                    sound quality

QC

VQC

FQC

NoC

NoC

na

na

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enermax Cluster - RPM

488

500

735

1083

1220

500

1200

                                           SPL (dBA)

14

14

15

19.5

22.5

8

14

                                    sound quality

fC

fC

NoC

NoC

NoC

na

na

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nidec AP-30, PWM mod  - RPM

1180

1433

2463

3515

4354

na

4250

(D1225C12B9AP-30) - SPL (dBA)

19

21.5

32.5

41.5

46

na

47.5

(sold by Scythe) - sound quality

QC

FC

VFC

NoC

NoC

na

na

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Noctua NF-F12 PWM - RPM

0

363

757

1123

1470

300

1500

                                           SPL (dBA)

0

<12

15

22

28.5

na

22.5

                                    sound quality

0

NoC

NoC

NoC

NoC

NoC

NoC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Noctua NF-P12 PWM - RPM

0

330

686

992

1271

300

1300

                                           SPL (dBA)

0

<12

13

19

25

na

19.8

                                    sound quality

0

NoC

NoC

NoC

NoC

NoC

NoC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Noctua NF-P14 PWM - RPM

0

381

721

991

1225

na

1200

(140mm) - SPL (dBA)

0

<12

17

24

29.5

na

19.6

                                    sound quality

0

NoC

NoC

NoC

NoC

NoC

NoC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

San Ace“Silent” medium - RPM

827

1099

1383

1626

1864

na

1850

9S1212P4M011 - SPL (dBA)

13.5

18

21.5

24

27

na

24

                                    sound quality

QC

QC

NoC

NoC

NoC

na

na

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scythe SlipStream LM-P - RPM

0

192

713

1085

1331

0

1300

(SY1225SL12LM-P) - SPL (dBA)

0

<11.5

13.5

21

26.5

0

26.5

                                    sound quality

0

NoC

QC

NoC

NoC

na

na

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thermalright TY-140 - RPM

664

654

962

1214

1308

900

1300

(140mm) - SPL (dBA)

12.5

12.5

17.5

22.5

24.5

17

21

                                    sound quality

fFC

fFC

FQC

FQC

NoC

na

na

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Titan Kukri - RPM

873

867

869

1483

2242

800

2200

                                           SPL (dBA)

16

16

16

26

37

15

35

                                    sound quality

FC

FC

FC

FC

NoC

na

na

 

fC

 faint Clicking

FC

 Fast Clicking

fFC

 faint Fast Clicking

FQC

 Fast Quiet Clicking

na

 not available or not applicable

NoC

 No Clicking

QC

 Quiet Clicking

tone

 fans makes a tone, which would drown out any quiet to moderate clicking

VFC

 Very Fast Clicking

VQC

 Very Quiet Clicking

 

I suppose that my biggest surprise came with the Kukri: its min/max specs were right on. The next surprise came with the Slip Stream: the brand seller’s specs were just what I measured. The AP-30 result was no surprise; I expect accuracy from a company that actually makes fans. The TY-140 was able to go more slowly than advertised, but at the rpm’s noted at its stated minimum fan speed, the SPL was right on spec. The Arctic Cooling fan had some trick that caused it to go full speed when the PWM duty was zero. I wish I had the capability to test a 10% duty to see what it would do. Finally, note that the only fans to produce no clicking at any speed were the three Noctua fans. Clearly, they accomplished what they set out to do.

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Cooling Results with NF-P14 PWM in Center

 

The cpu is an i7 860 running at 4GHz and stressed with OCCT 3.1 running Linpack, as noted here. The chart below sets out the fans, their speeds, the SPL measured 10 cm from the center fan, and the TOA of each fan combination. Note that TOA stands for temperature over ambient. I subtract the mean ambient from the mean temperature of the hottest core to get the TOA.

 

Results:

 

D14 with NF-P14 and PWM fans.png

 

 

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-16-2012, 07:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Cooling Results with TY-140 in Center

 

The cpu is an i7 860 running at 4GHz and stressed with OCCT 3.1 running Linpack, as noted here. The chart below sets out the fans, their speeds, the SPL measured 10 cm from the center fan, and the TOA of each fan combination. Note that TOA stands for temperature over ambient. I subtract the mean ambient from the mean temperature of the hottest core to get the TOA.

 

Results:

 

D14 with TY-140 and PWM fans.png

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Conclusions

 

I think the results speak for themselves. As usual, the San Ace fans at relatively low rpm’s cool well with little noise. They function better on a heatsink than they seem in free air. But relatively few people have the money or the skills needed to buy and adapt a San Ace for computer use.

 

Also as usual, the Slip Stream functions very well on this kind of heatsink. Unfortunately, they don’t sell this fan with fluid dynamic bearings. Before you use one of these, be sure to lubricate it, and periodically re-lubricate it.

 

So, it turns out that if you want FDB or ball bearings, the FDB Arctic Cooling F12 PWM is the best all-around performer. Its cable incorporates a “PWM Sharing Technology” that allows you to daisy chain PWM fans and know the rpm of each. Its pretty clever, actually.

 

And of course, the star of this whole endeavor is the NH-P14, which makes any fan a winner. As usual, you can use the stock fans and get great cooling, quietly.

 

(Thanks to Noctua for providing the three PWM fans.)

 

 

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-17-2012, 05:04 AM
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For the lazy (like me) who have just bought 3 Akasa black Apache PWM fans (like me). How did/will it fare?

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-19-2012, 04:29 PM
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Though it may seem like a backhanded compliment to Noctua, it's a testament to the NH-D14's efficiency that it gets the kind of results in spite of using the NF-P14. Noctua crafts heatsinks with a level of refinement I haven't seen equalled. The same can be said for some of their fans, but in my humble opinion the P14 is not one of them. In fact I'd guess that most of the 120mm fans tested would have outperformed it in the center slot.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-19-2012, 05:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otterclock View Post

Though it may seem like a backhanded compliment to Noctua, it's a testament to the NH-D14's efficiency that it gets the kind of results in spite of using the NF-P14. Noctua crafts heatsinks with a level of refinement I haven't seen equalled. The same can be said for some of their fans, but in my humble opinion the P14 is not one of them. In fact I'd guess that most of the 120mm fans tested would have outperformed it in the center slot.


I don't think so. For that you'd need a 140mm fan. Really, you do. I haven't posted all the runs I've done with 120mm fans in the middle, but the same thing holds as for case fans: the larger diameter blade sweep means you can run at fewer rpm's and get the same airflow. In the case of the D14, the fin stacks are wide enough and tall enough that the diameter of the fan matters.

 

As further backing to my own experiences we have the upcoming new version of the Silver Arrow. It will keep its front 140mm push fan, but it will have a 150mm center fan -- at fewer rpm's, I think about 1000 rpm.

 

I have demonstrated to my own satisfaction that the TY-140 and the various Kaze Maru 2 fans can produce the same cooling as the P14 more quietly, or more cooling not very much more loudly. I would like to try some of the new 135mm fans, since they have 120mm screw holes.

 

I am told that the reason the NF-P14 PWM does not come in a retail package is that it will be superseded. I am waiting to see what Noctua produces.

 

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