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Discussion Starter #1
So I want to get some new rad fans for my EK PE360 rad. It's currently running CM Jetflos in P/P and while the Jetflos are quite good fans they can be rather.... Loud when I turn them up. They are also the only fans in my machine that I haven't painted to match the theme of my build so I am now set on replacing them.

So with that in mind I'm shopping around for some fans. Fans are not something I keep an eye on when it comes to new releases and technological progress so I'm not very up to date on what's going in in fan world. So with that in mind what are some of the best 120mm fans around these days for rads.

I'm currently looking at purchasing some Black noise E-loops. I've always loved these fans since I first saw them and have always wanted to install them in my machine. It also helps that I can pop the impeller off the motor for easy painting to match my builds theme. But the fans are circa 2012. I know there are only so many ways one can build a fan but how do the Eloops stack up against more modern competition? And if so can I pop the blades out of said fan for painting and modding


PS. I know everyone loves the Noctua NF-A12x25 but Noctua brown and tan ain't for me.
 

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So I want to get some new rad fans for my EK PE360 rad. It's currently running CM Jetflos in P/P and while the Jetflos are quite good fans they can be rather.... Loud when I turn them up. They are also the only fans in my machine that I haven't painted to match the theme of my build so I am now set on replacing them.

So with that in mind I'm shopping around for some fans. Fans are not something I keep an eye on when it comes to new releases and technological progress so I'm not very up to date on what's going in in fan world. So with that in mind what are some of the best 120mm fans around these days for rads.

I'm currently looking at purchasing some Black noise E-loops. I've always loved these fans since I first saw them and have always wanted to install them in my machine. It also helps that I can pop the impeller off the motor for easy painting to match my builds theme. But the fans are circa 2012. I know there are only so many ways one can build a fan but how do the Eloops stack up against more modern competition? And if so can I pop the blades out of said fan for painting and modding


PS. I know everyone loves the Noctua NF-A12x25 but Noctua brown and tan ain't for me.
Noctuas and paint them gentle typhoons or corsair ml series fans.
 

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According to the spec sheets, EK Vardar EVO s are just marginally louder, with the same airflow, but with a much higher static pressure.
 

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I've read that different manufacturers test pressure differently, comparing across brands isnt really accurate but comparing one model of the same brand to a different model of the same brand would work.
 

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I've read that different manufacturers test pressure differently, comparing across brands isnt really accurate but comparing one model of the same brand to a different model of the same brand would work.
I don't see how. I do agree that each manufacturer would probably test different. What would make more sense is the same tester with each of the fans in question.

Comparing across brands is entirely plausible if tested by the same process (Tester).
 

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I have 6 of the blue phobya branded nb-eloops on an ek classic 360 rad and to be honest they're not that amazing. The silent wings 3 is another quiet fan that has pretty good air speed and pressure ratings as well as arctic P12.
 

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According to the spec sheets, EK Vardar EVO s are just marginally louder, with the same airflow, but with a much higher static pressure.
Audible perception is not only by how loud something is. Vardars have a really invasive sound signature that many people find incredibly irritating.
 

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Audible perception is not only by how loud something is. Vardars have a really invasive sound signature that many people find incredibly irritating.
to me the air noise wasn't bad but the screeching from the motors was pretty horrible but I had a setup of 1 120 and 3 140s.
 

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According to the spec sheets, EK Vardar EVO s are just marginally louder, with the same airflow, but with a much higher static pressure.
The tech specs lie. The Vadars are extremely louder and can’t compare to the Noctua’s
 

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The tech specs lie. The Vadars are extremely louder and can’t compare to the Noctua’s
And this is where individual perception and preference comes in. I have had Corsair ML's, Noctuas, and Vardar EVOs, and for me, the Vardar EVOs have been the easiest on my ears, and I run 11 120 fans.
 

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And this is where individual perception and preference comes in. I have had Corsair ML's, Noctuas, and Vardar EVOs, and for me, the Vardar EVOs have been the easiest on my ears, and I run 11 120 fans.
Yeah that is so true. They all sound different and really don’t differ that much in DB so it’s down to how you like the sound signature.
 

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Yeah that is so true. They all sound different and really don’t differ that much in DB so it’s down to how you like the sound signature.
Add to that, the higher end fans all tend to perform well enough within the margins of error for our hobby. Hell, for most of the equipment we use, it is consumer grade, so the accuracy of any measurements within 2-3c compared across any instruments are all within the margin of error.
 

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Echoing the above, noise ratings provided by the manufacturer are near useless, and can't be used at all for comparing fans between different brands.

The eLoops are fine, so long as you have them pushing air into the radiator. I can't recommend them in a pull configuration when attached to a radiator.
The Noctua A12 is pretty darn great. You definitely cannot remove the impeller to paint them, but they're very well made fans and I expect you would have no problem spray painting them intact. Noctua also uses the best PWM controller in their PWM fans by a long shot, in my opinion.
The Noctua F12 is also a great fan, and is available in an all-black industrial variant.
The Vardars are excellent fans, albeit usually a bit pricy. They have the largest of the fan hubs which could potentially interfere with their radiator cooling ability without a shroud, but the real-life application probably isn't significant enough to overcome sound signature preference. They consume quite a bit more power than other fans, which is worth considering if you're running a number of them on a single fan header. There are a great number of speed and visual variants, as well.
The Silent Wings 3 are also well made fans, but have no real advantage over any of the others mentioned here aside from vibration dampening feet being built into the fan mounts and the mounts being removable. I would usually choose something else given their high cost.
Corsair's maglev fans are also pricey. Their primary advantage is likely to be an extremely low comparative failure risk when mounted parallel to the ground, though they're new enough that I can't confirm this prediction. Use these if you're building a system that you intend to run for a long, long time in that configuration and don't want to be bothered to replace a failed fan. (Note that most PC fans - even cheap ones - do not suffer failure when mounted perpendicular to the ground for many years of operation.)
The Arctic F12 is the cheapest 120mm fan that gets a solid recommendation from me. It's available in bulk packs for cheap. Their updated PWM model has a splitter to daisychain the fans. They also have an all-black version.
The Arctic P12 mentioned above I have no personal experience with. But despite its intended function as a "pressure-oriented" fan, I would actually still go with the F12. Call it gut instinct.
The Gentle Typhoons are excellent fans, though they may be tricky to find in a packaged form. They have a devout following for a reason, and are probably the "catch-all" fan I would recommend in the 120mm category if they can be readily acquired.

I haven't used the Jetflos, so I can't personally compare them to any of the above. The only comparative review I found online suggests they are noisier than their peers relative to their performance. However, it's conceivable that those fans are fine for your purpose and you're bothered when they spin up to a whopping 2,000 rpm. You could try capping their fan speed to see if they provide adequate cooling at reduced potential and see if that eliminates your problem with them. You might also consider replacing them with fans that don't have as much headroom, as other high speed fans might bother you in a similar fashion.

I think I covered all the fans mentioned here. Let me know if I missed one.

EDIT: I mistakenly said earlier that Noctua sold the A12x25 in black industrial and chromax variants.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Noctuas and paint them gentle typhoons or corsair ml series fans.
I've heard the ML120s are rather noisy.
That being said I have ML140s in my rig. You CAN'T pop the blades off for easy painting. Same with Noctuas. So I'm going to have to skip on those.
 

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I've heard the ML120s are rather noisy.
That being said I have ML140s in my rig. You CAN'T pop the blades off for easy painting. Same with Noctuas. So I'm going to have to skip on those.
High static pressure and quiet don't go hand in hand.

Ontop of that your looking for a needle in a haystack with being able to easily pull blades to paint.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Echoing the above, noise ratings provided by the manufacturer are near useless, and can't be used at all for comparing fans between different brands.

The eLoops are fine, so long as you have them pushing air into the radiator. I can't recommend them in a pull configuration when attached to a radiator.
Noctua sells the NF-A12 in both "chromax" and "industrial" variants, which are black. You definitely cannot remove the impeller to paint them, but they're very well made fans and I expect you would have no problem spray painting them intact. Noctua also uses the best PWM controller in their PWM fans by a long shot, in my opinion.
The Vardars are also excellent fans, albeit usually a bit pricy. They have the largest of the fan hubs which could potentially interfere with their radiator cooling ability without a shroud, but the real-life application probably isn't significant enough to overcome sound signature preference. They consume quite a bit more power than other fans, which is worth considering if you're running a number of them on a single fan header. There are a great number of speed and visual variants, as well.
The Silent Wings 3 are also well made fans, but have no real advantage over any of the others mentioned here aside from vibration dampening feet being built into the fan mounts and the mounts being removable. I would usually choose something else given their high cost.
Corsair's maglev fans are also pricey. Their primary advantage is likely to be an extremely low comparative failure risk when mounted parallel to the ground, though they're new enough that I can't confirm this prediction. Use these if you're building a system that you intend to run for a long, long time in that configuration and don't want to be bothered to replace a failed fan. (Note that most PC fans - even cheap ones - do not suffer failure when mounted perpendicular to the ground for many years of operation.)
The Arctic F12 is the cheapest 120mm fan that gets a solid recommendation from me. It's available in bulk packs for cheap. Their updated PWM model has a splitter to daisychain the fans. They also have an all-black version.
The Arctic P12 mentioned above I have no personal experience with. But despite its intended function as a "pressure-oriented" fan, I would actually still go with the F12. Call it gut instinct.
The Gentle Typhoons are excellent fans, though they may be tricky to find in a packaged form. They have a devout following for a reason, and are probably the "catch-all" fan I would recommend in the 120mm category if they can be readily acquired.

I haven't used the Jetflos, so I can't personally compare them to any of the above. The only comparative review I found online suggests they are noisier than their peers relative to their performance. However, it's conceivable that those fans are fine for your purpose and you're bothered when they spin up to a whopping 2,000 rpm. You could try capping their fan speed to see if they provide adequate cooling at reduced potential and see if that eliminates your problem with them. You might also consider replacing them with fans that don't have as much headroom, as other high speed fans might bother you in a similar fashion.

I think I covered all the fans mentioned here. Let me know if I missed one.
I run my fans (all 16 of them) off a Lamptron FC5V2. So split across four channels. I've considered vardars. But as you say the large hub is a put off. It's one of the things I really like about the ELoop is its rather small hub. I've heard about the whining when used in a pull configuration. But I've heard that only occurs when mounted right up against the rad. I do intend to use 5 to 10mm shroud to overcome this obstacle.

Believe or not. The Lamptron records my Jetflos at a whopping 2400rpm at full tilt. However for every day operation I run them around 1500rpm. I still find them a bit intrusive at 1500 though. And I think they are leaving some performance on the table as a rad fan due to their round frames. Unfortunately from what I have seen I can't seem to find any Noctuas in South africa from what I can see. The one shop we had that did have went out of business (thanks for nothing covid)

I've been very impressed with my ML140s. But I suppose being almost Identical to A14s, Thermalright 140s and NZXT FX-140v2 is a help. I also run these around 1500 (but never slower due to low voltage concerns on the maglev bearing)

I'm very interested in the new Arctic fans. The P12s. I'm eyeing those as a true competitor to the Eloops that I am considering. I've heard a lot of good things.

Be Quiets I can't get here either. So yay. I would love some Silent Wings 3 though.

I'm still very partial to the Noiseblockers. I just love the way they look. Call me biased. I think between the Arctic and the Eloops what would one pick. The Arctics are certainly newer. But I can't seem to find any back to back testing on them to compare them. I had also hoped that there would be some updated reviews on the Noiseblockers since the launch of the ARGB versions. But it seems that it was a silent launch with little fanfare (pun intended) or noise. So there aren't really any reviews from any major sites. And it seems the sites I normally use for fan reviews like Cooling Technique and Xtreme Rigs aren't really doing anything anymore. 🙁 But when comparing cooling techniques numbers between the Jetflo vs Eloops the numbers are quite promising for the ELoop me thinks. 😊


Ultimately what I am saying is I was already set on the Eloops from the start of this all. But I just want to make sure that I'm not leaving a lot of performance on the table considering that it's an "older" design. I mean there are only so many ways to design a fan so are they far behind the competition if at all?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
High static pressure and quiet don't go hand in hand.

Ontop of that your looking for a needle in a haystack with being able to easily pull blades to paint.
I know. More and more fans are coming out with "advanced" bearing types and it's harder and harder to get fans that are easily detachable. I also like fans that I can disassemble because on my older fans (my JF120s and ML140s can't come apart so yeah) If they started to make a noise I would just pop it out. Put a drop of medium weight oil in it. Reassemble and forget about it for another 6months to a year.

I know I can paint the MLs. I've already done my 6 ML140s. But it was just a bit of a drag taping everything up.
 

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Another factor to consider was the Vadars had a very high start up voltage requirement so I couldn’t run more then 8 of them on a channel without tripping the voltage protection on Aquero and Quadro’s yet I can run 16 Noctua’s without issue.
 

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A whole centimeter is quite a bit of space. I'm sure that's enough to be able to use the eLoops in push and pull. They are quite capable fans, and it seems the added cost over Arctic isn't a concern for you. Sounds like you have your answer!
 
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