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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The Well Dressed Megahalems - What To Wear To The Four Gigahertz Ball

Contents:

Post 1: Summary Recommendations
Post 2: Results
Post 3: Methods
Post 4: Conclusions
Posts 5 to 35: Details on the fans and their noise

What fans do you use with a Megahalems?

Well, with an i7 860 overclocked to 4GHz, you either use a single San Ace 9G1212H101/9G1212H1011, or you use a pair of Yate Loon D12SH-12's.

For details on how 65 fans fared in 112 setups, see below.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·

The fans and their performance, arranged alphabetically

Fan List

This list has the fans in alphabetical order. The underlined bits link to the posts with the fan details.

Akasa Apache
Antec TriCool H
Antec TriCool L
Antec TriCool M
Arctic Cooling 12L
Bulk generic
Centaur x 2 @5v (Japan Servo)
CM BladeMaster (Cooler Master)
CM BladeMaster x 2 (Cooler Master)
CM R4 (Cooler Master)
Coolink SWiF2
Delta WFB1212H
Delta WFB1212H x 2
EBM 38mm (Papst)
Enermax Cluster
Enermax Magma
Evercool RSF-14
FDB-12-1300 (Sony/Thermalright)
FN-121 (Silverstone)
Gelid S12 (Gelid Solutions)
GT-1150 (Scythe/Nidec-Servo)
GT-1450 (Scythe/Nidec-Servo)
GT-1450 x 2 (Scythe/Nidec-Servo)
GT-1850 (Scythe/Nidec-Servo)
GT-1850 x 2 (Scythe/Nidec-Servo)
Kaze Maru 1200 (Scythe 140x25mm fans)
Kaze Maru 1900 (Scythe 140x25mm fans)
Kaze Maru 1900 x 2 (Scythe 140x25mm fans)
Kaze Maru 2 1700 (Scythe 140x25mm fans)
Magma+Cluster (Enermax)
MassCool FD12025
MassCool FD14025
MechaT 38mm @5v (MechaTronics)
MechaTronics 38mm
MechaTronics 120mm
Nexus Real Silent
NMB Panaflo Med
NMB [email protected]
Noctua NF-P12
Noctua NF-P12 x 2
Noctua NF-P14
Noctua NF-P14 x 2
Noctua NF-S12B
Noctua P12+S12B
NZXT
OKGear 2wire
OKGear 3wire
Papst 25mm
Papst 32mm
RFA-120BL (Rosewill)
RFX-120BL (Rosewill)
SA-9G1212E1011 (Sanyo Denki)
SA-9G1212G101 (Sanyo Denki)
SA-9G1212H101 (Sanyo Denki)
SA-9G1212H101 x 2 (Sanyo Denki)
[email protected] (Sanyo Denki)
SA-9G1212M101 (Sanyo Denki)
[email protected] (Sanyo Denki)
SA-9G1212P4G03 (Sanyo Denki)
SA-9G-E1011 @5v (Sanyo Denki)
SA-9G-G101 @5v (Sanyo Denki)
SA-9G-H101 [email protected] (Sanyo Denki)
SA-9G-P4G03 @5v (Sanyo Denki)
SA-9G-P4G03 x 2 (Sanyo Denki)
SA-9G-P4G03 [email protected] (Sanyo Denki)
SA-9S1212F401 (Sanyo Denki)
SA-9S1212H401 (Sanyo Denki)
SA-9S1212H401 x 2 (Sanyo Denki)
SA-9S1212L401 (Sanyo Denki)
SA-9S-H401 @5v (Sanyo Denki)
SA-9S-H401 x 2 @5v (Sanyo Denki)
Scythe generic
Servo Centaur (Japan Servo)
Servo Centaur @5v (Japan Servo)
Servo round (Japan Servo)
Servo round @5v (Japan Servo)
Servo round x2 (Japan Servo)
ServoCentaur x 2 (Japan Servo)
S-FLEX 1200 (Sony/Scythe)
S-FLEX 1600 (Sony/Scythe)
S-FLEX 1900 (Sony/Scythe)
SlipStream1200 (Scythe)
SlipStream1200 x 2 (Scythe)
SlipStream1600 (Scythe)
SlipStream1600x2 (Scythe)
SlipStream1900 #1 (Scythe)
SlipStream1900 #2 (Scythe)
SlipStream1900 x 2 (Scythe)
[email protected] (Scythe)
TT-A2018 (Thermaltake)
TT-A2018 @5v (Thermaltake)
TT-A2018 x 2 (Thermaltake)
TT-A2018 x 2 @5v (Thermaltake)
Ultra Kaze 1000 (Scythe Ultra Kaze)
Ultra Kaze 2000 (Scythe Ultra Kaze)
Ultra Kaze 2000 @5v (Scythe Ultra Kaze)
Ultra Kaze 3000 (Scythe Ultra Kaze)
Ultra Kaze 3000 @5v (Scythe Ultra Kaze)
Ultra Kaze 3000 x 2 (Scythe Ultra Kaze)
UltraK-3000 x 2 @5v (Scythe Ultra Kaze)
X-Silent 140 (Thermalright)
YL D12SH @5v (Yate Loon)
YL D12SH x 2 @5v (Yate Loon)
YL D12SH-12 (Yate Loon)
YL D12SH-12 x 2 (Yate Loon)
YL D12SL-12 (Yate Loon)
YL D12SL-12 LED (Yate Loon)
YL D12SL-12 x 2 (Yate Loon)
YL D14SH-12 (Yate Loon)
YL D14SM-12 (Yate Loon)
ZM-F3 (Zalman)
ZM-F3 x 2 (Zalman)


Fan performance, arranged by temperatures over ambient


Fan performance, arranged by Sound Pressure Level (SPL)


Single and Double fan setups, all at 12v, by temp over ambient.


Single and double fan setups, 12v, arranged by SPL


Single 120mm fan setups, by temp over ambient


Double 120mm fan setups, by temp over ambient


Temps over ambient vs RPM's.

Spreadsheet with data:
https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?...reFNjSXc&hl=en
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The Well Dressed Megahalems - What To Wear To The Four Gigahertz Ball

What do you do when you want to run your Intel i7 860 at 4GHz with air cooling? My approach was to get a Prolimatech Megahalems. I bought some Noctua low noise fans. I'm set, right? I can run my computer in my non-airconditioned computer room and use it all summer, right?

Wrong. It turns out that I had bitten off a bit of a challenge. I was going to need some stronger fans. But to choose fans I couldn't just rely on fan specs. Many companies selling items to consumers present specifications that are not always accurate (I'm being charitable here). I couldn't just read reviews, since they were either oriented to radiators (the Megahalems is not a radiator) or to case fan use, or used methodology that was not helpful to me. Besides, how do airflow (in CFM) or static pressure relate to the cooling power of a Megahalems? I could just buy a real brute of a fan, but the computer must sit on my desk not far from my ears. I wanted a balance between performance and noise.

I decided to test a lot of fans to see what they could do to cool my system down. Since the Megahalems is designed not to put up much resistance to airflow, I decided that I would also use it as a proxy for testing the airflow of various fans so I could determine which fans I would prefer as case fans. So I tested a number of fans that ranged in CFM. In the end, I tested 65 fans in 112 configurations. I tested them in forty-minute runs, sometimes more than once.

Limits

I don't want to cook my chip. Yes, I know they can handle lots of heat, but I decided I would stay within official parameters. That meant, for example, that I don't want to let the temp at the center of the heatspreader - Intel's official measuring point - exceed the "thermal design power" of the chip, which is 72.7c. Now, I do get a reading from my motherboard that seems to be the heatspreader temp (HST). The motherboard software calls it the "system temperature." But I am not absolutely sure that the system temperature is the HST. In any case, my hottest cpu core temp consistently runs 9c over the system temp. Also, because the cpu temps are higher they are more accurate because the chip reports not the actual temperature but the distance in centigrade from the maximum allowed junction temperature - the chip will throttle itself above its Tjmax of 99-100c - and the smaller the distance from the reported temp to Tjmax, the more accurate it is. Finally, when people report temps they report cpu core temps. So I will report cpu temps, and the max cpu temp I will allow is 80c. I could push that to 81.7c but I don't trust the accuracy of the sensors. I am also concerned about heat transfer.

Working backwards, then, the max allowable difference in temperature over ambient will be 50c. This gives me a rough measure that I can transfer from my basement workshop where the ambient is 16-19c to our computer room where the ambient can reach 30c. I call it a rough measure because the higher the ambient, the less the capacity of a heat source to transfer heat to a heatsink. Because I do not know what the magnitude of this difference is, I am keeping a max heat difference of 50c and not 51.7c.

The Setting and the Setup

My Basement workshop is cool and quiet, with ambient temps ranging from 16c to 19c, and ambient noise less than 10 dBA when there is no activity upstairs.

The chip and motherboard are set in an NZXT Beta Evo that has had its top and back grills removed, and set on its side. The Megahlems was oriented front to back (or right to left, if you will). The exhaust from the heatsink blew right out the back where the rear grill used to be. The case was not moved for the duration of the testing, and the side panel was left off. No case fans operated during the testing.

TIM was Gelid Solutions GC Extreme (GC-3) applied as a double grain of rice in the center of the heatsink. The video card is a low performance ( = cheap) fanless card.

The fans were connected to the motherboard CPU fan header using a fan Y-type cable splitter. The yellow RPM reporter wire on the exhaust fan was split off from the Y-cable and connected to another fan header on the motherboard so that RPM's from each fan could be monitored. However, with 5-volt testing I rigged a pair of Molex adapters to provide 5v power to the fans while allowing RPM monitoring.

The reason for connecting the fans to the motherboard cpu fan header is that during normal use each heatsink fan (HSF) will be on Auto - controlled by the motherboard to respond to cpu temps. During idle there is no need for a fan to be going flat out.

Speaking of not going flat out, you may well ask why I tested fans at 5 volts. I was trying to get some idea of how loud these fans would be, and how well they would perform undervolted. Why not use a fan controller? Some fan controllers make fans sound bad when they are undervolted. So I simply used the 5v line from Molex to test fans at the lower voltage. This way we get an honest result, untainted by a less than stellar controller.

The Overclock

The i7 860 I am using has reached a BCLK of 230MHz on 1.396v. This was with the motherboard on Auto. The max for the chip is 1.4v. The motherboard has been reliable: it has never let the voltage go over 1.396v on Auto. This chip has also gone to 4.5GHz at BCLK 207MHz. But I did not and do not have cooling systems to allow me to stress test my system at those speeds and voltages.

For a 4GHz overclock, the user of an i7 860 has a few choices: a 200MHz BCLK with a 20x multiplier (= 4000MHz), 191 x 21 = 4011MHz, and 182 x 22 = 4004MHz. Higher BCLK's require higher voltages, so the 182MHz BCLK was the obvious choice. Unfortunately, the chip won't allow higher multipliers so a lower BCLK cannot be used.

The motherboard sets voltages in increments. The lowest setting that would allow a twelve hour run of LinPack was 1.31250v. With Load Line Calibration enabled, the cores get up to 1.328v under max load. Vtt is 1.19v (absolute max allowed is 1.21v). Vdimm is set to 1.620v and runs at 1.616v. Oh, yes: hyperthreading is enabled.

As for stability: on top of the twelve hour OC stability runs, the rig has done at least 150 forty-minute fan test runs of OCCT/LinPack with exactly zero errors.

The Instruments

For ambient temps I have a digital thermometer. It measures in Fahrenheit, so I convert to centigrade and round to the nearest 0.5c. The basement is not only cool, but the ambient temp changes slowly. For cpu temps I use Real Temp to record max temps, and OCCT to graph the cpu temps. Both rely on what the motherboard (a Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD3P) reports from the cpu sensors.

For RPM's I use EasyTune6, the app Gigabyte bundles with its motherboards. The RPM jumps around. Even on Speedfan that RPM number jumps around on all of these fans. So I try to assess the average speed during peak load. The RPM readings are the least accurate aspect of these tests.

Fan sound level was measured with the Tenma 72-942 sound pressure level (SPL) meter, which purports to be accurate to 0.5 dB at 30 dB and above. It will measure quieter sounds but does not promise such accuracy. So, for example, I was able to determine that my basement has an SPL of less than 10 dBA when all is quiet upstairs, but not a definite number. For the fan SPL I measured dBA at 10cm, then converted the reading to the equivalent of 1m by subtracting 20 dB. The check on this is that certain industrial fans like San Aces give accurate specifications. The SPL meter readings were either at or close to industrial specs in free air.

I expected that the fans would all be louder on the heatsink. Fans get louder when their output is obstructed and the air pressure rises. But with the Megahalems the fans frequently were not as loud as their specs. Sometimes this was due to lower RPM's than spec, but other times - who knows?

Fan noise is not the same as SPL, though. The Magma and the Slip Stream, for example, put out a lot more sound pressure level than noise. The SPL meter clearly picks up all of the white noise that we simply do not perceive. Comments here are important.

The Load

After comparing LinX, Prime95 and OCCT, I found I was running my hottest temps on OCCT's Linpack module. If I were testing for stability of overclock I'd run both Prime95 and OCCT. But I'm looking for heat stress here. I tested runs of up to two hours, but I discovered I got no more information than I had at 40 minutes.

Limitations of the Testing

The CPU reports temps in 1c increments. While the System Temp reading tended to stay stable at one reading or another, the cpu temps tended to jiggle up and down. When this happened a lot, it was fairly clear that the real temp was somewhere between the upper and the lower temp, so I recorded it as x.5c. The ambient I recorded to the nearest 0.5c. I recorded the difference between the hottest cpu temp and the ambient temp as 'temp over ambient.'

Most fans had a single run. With the more important fans I did more than one run. Where I have more than one of a fan I will try to run each copy of the fan. The results are averaged, but generally temp over ambient ranged about 1c or less between runs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
When I started this investigation I had some notion that there would be a large spread in cooling prowess between fans. I thought that most of my fan testing would be at 3.6GHz, and that only the best fans would cool my system at 4GHz. So much for expectations.

Conclusions:

1. Once you get to 1000 RPM or so, there is only about a 12c difference in cooling performance between the various fans.

2. As a practical matter, fans seem to max out between 2000 and 2500 RPM. After that you need huge increases in CFM to get another degree of cooling.

3. Although putting on a second fan helps, the amount it helps depends on the power of the first fan: the more powerful the fan, the less benefit you get from a second fan.

4. TANSTAAFL: By and large, if you want more air through your cooler, you will have to pay for it with more noise.

5. The blade count doesn’t seem to make much difference in cooling, but the depth of the fan does.

Do these conclusions sound obvious? Well, isn’t it nice when hard data supports conventional wisdom? The reality check goes both ways.

A few comments on specific fans:

The San Ace 9G1212H101(1) remains the Prince of Fans, at least on the Megahalems. One of these gives the best balance between sound pressure level and cooling performance.

And the Princesses of Fans: A pair of Yate Loon D12SH-12’s gives nearly the same cooling power with slightly less noise; but at the low voltages seen at idle, they will be quieter. Also, at US$7.40 for a pair, they are far cheaper than the $18.40 a US vendor wants for a single San Ace with bare wires.

Other worthy fans: CM Blade Master, Scythe Slipstream 1600’s, and the Japan Servo “square round†fan.

Some of the fans seem to have a higher SPL than perceived noise. Slip Streams do that, for example. So do Magmas. I would be very interested in seeing what a pair of Magmas can do.

So, what’s next? Do I test these fans at 3.6GHz on the same rig? Or do I mount a Noctua NH-D14 and see what 140mm fans can do in a cooler designed for them?

In the meantime, below are a number of posts arranged by brand that have more details on the fans, their specs and their performance, along with pics.

P.S. --

Here is what the TIM spread looked like. It was Gelid Solutions GC3 Extreme:


GC3 on the heatspreader. Fan direction was right to left (east > west).


Close up of GC3 on heatspreader. And no, I have no explanation for the dark lines in the middle. When the heatspreader is cleaned with Arcticlean 1 & 2, it doesn't show up.


GC3 on the heatsink. Sorry about the lack of focus.

You experts can tell me whether I had a good mount for an unlapped set of heatspreader and heatsink.

Bonus

How to mount fan clips on a Megahalems

Start with a Megahalems:



Now, snag the lower screw hole with one end of the clip. Then draw the clip back until the shaft of the clip catches behind the corner of the fan clip groove:



A closeup of the catch:



Now pull the shaft up until it sits in the fan clip groove, then bring the end over to click into the top screw hole:



Done:

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Akasa

Akasa Apache


Image: Akasa Apache, exhaust view


Image: Akasa Apache, intake view

I got an Akasa Apache because I like to read about airplanes and Akasa's pictures of this fan - taken from the side - made the blades look like the blades of a large jet engine compressor. Neat! I thought.

Link: http://www.akasa.com.tw/update.php?t...model=AK-FN057

Akasa Apache Specs:

Size: 120x25mm, 9 blades
Bearing: HDB (Hydro Dynamic Bearing)
Speed: 600 - 1300 RPM, PWM control
Airflow: up to 57.53 CFM
SPL: 6.9 -16.05 dB(A)
Features: IP-54 military standard moisture and dust protection. PWM control

Results on the Megahalems:

Speed: 1415 rpm
CPU temp over ambient: 58.5c
SPL: 26 dBA

In my opinion this fan would do better as a case fan than a HSF. More recently Akasa has released a PWM fan with an RPM spread better suited to overclocking. The Viper fan ranges from 600 to 1900 RPM. If you're thinking of getting an Apache for a HSF, I'd recommend a Viper instead.

Link: http://www.akasa.com.tw/update.php?t...model=AK-FN059
 

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Antec

Antec Tri-Cool

This fan came with my case. It comes with a Molex connector for power and has a three-way switch for speed control. It does not have an RPM reporting lead, so speeds must be estimated. I synchronized another fan with it, then read the RPM of that fan.


Image: Antec Tri-Cool exhaust view


Image: Antec Tri-Cool intake view

Link: http://www.antec.com/pdf/manuals/NSK..._EN_Manual.pdf (a PDF; see page 7 for fan specs)

Antec Tri-Cool Specs:

Size: 120x25mm, 7 blades
Bearing: not specified
Feature: 3-way speed switch

Antec Tri-Cool High setting:

Specs:

Speed: 2000 RPM
Airflow: 79 CFM
SPL: 30 dBA

Results on the Megahalems:

Speed: 1930 RPM (estimated by synchronizing with another fan)
CPU temp over ambient: 54.5c
SPL: 32 dBA

Antec Tri-Cool Medium setting:

Specs:

Speed: 1600 RPM
Airflow: 56 CFM
SPL: 28 dBA

Results on the Megahalems:

Speed: 1560 RPM (estimated by synchronizing with another fan)
CPU temp over ambient: 56c
SPL: 27 dBA

Antec Tri-Cool Low setting:

Specs:

Speed: 1200 RPM
Airflow: 39 CFM
SPL: 25 dB(A)

Results on the Megahalems:

Speed: 1050 RPM (estimated by synchronizing with another fan)
CPU temp over ambient: fail
SPL: 17.5 dBA
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Arctic Cooling

Arctic Fan 12 L (discontinued)

I got this fan as part of a deeply discounted random collection of fans. From looking at it you'd think it is only a case fan. Yet a 92mm version of this fan is the air mover for the AC Freezer Pro 7, an excellent little CPU cooler. One unusual aspect of this fan: when you look at it from the intake side the blades rotate clockwise. Also, the exhaust is the open side of this fan.


Image: Arctic Cooling 12L, exhaust view


Image: Arctic Cooling 12L, intake view

Link: http://www.arctic-cooling.com/catalo...=146&page=spec

Arctic Cooling 12L Specs:

Size: 120x38mm, 7 blades. Essentially an open 120x25mm fan in a cage.
Bearing: fluid dynamic bearing
Speed: 1000 RPM
Airflow: 37 CFM
SPL: 20.0 dB(A)

Results on the Megahalems:

Speed: 1030 RPM
CPU temp over ambient: fail
SPL: 21 dBA
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Bulk

"Two Dollar Fan"

I wanted a shroud. That meant tearing the guts out of a fan. I found a fan discounted to $2US (normally $2.79). But it was too nice a fan to kill, so I kept it. When I got my grab bag (a deeply discounted random collection of fans) it contained some useless fans which are now shrouds, thus preserving this "bulk" fan.

Link: http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=12025-BULK


Image: Bulk Two Dollar Fan, exhaust view


Image: Bulk Two Dollar Fan, intake view

Look at the blade shape. It looks just like a Scythe S-Flex, or a more recent Yate-Loon. Will this fan perform well?

Specs:

Sleeve bearing
You were expecting specs?

Two Dollar Fan Results on the Megahalems:

Speed: 1500 RPM
CPU temp over ambient: 55.5c
SPL: 27.5 dBA

It did better than the Akasa Apache. It essentially matched the Enermax Magma, with less noise. YMMV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Cooler Master

R4-L2R-20AC-GP, with blue LED's


Image: Cooler Master R4-2R 20AC-GP, exhaust view


Image: Cooler Master R4-2R 20AC-GP, intake view

Link: http://www.coolermaster-usa.com/prod...roduct_id=2915

Cooler Master R4-2R 20AC-GP Specs:

Size: 120x25mm, 9 blades
Bearing: Long Life Sleeve
Speed: 2000 RPM
Airflow: 69 CFM
SPL: 19 dB(A)
Static Pressure: 3.04 mm H2O
Features: Blue LED's

Results on the Megahalems:

Speed: 1750 RPM
CPU temp over ambient: 54c
SPL: 27.5dBA

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

CM Blade Master

I bought two. CM was offering them refurbished for $7.99 each plus shipping. Who could pass that up?

Links: http://cmstore.coolermaster-usa.com/...roducts_id=420
http://cmstore.coolermaster-usa.com/...roducts_id=380


Image: Cooler Master Blade Master 120mm fans, intake & exhaust

Image: Megahalems, Blademasters and shrouds - closeup

I like these fans. Very pleasant. Shrouds do not help them, at least on the Megahalems.

CM Blade Master Specs:

Size: 120x25mm, 7 blades
Bearing: Long Life Sleeve
Speed: 600 - 2000 R.P.M., PWM control
Airflow: 21.2 - 76.8 CFM
SPL: 13 - 32 dBA
Static Pressure: 0.40 - 3.90 mmH2O
Features: PWM control. Comes with corner pads.

Results on the Megahalems:

Average of two fans individually:

Speed: 1950 RPM
CPU temp over ambient: 52.5c
SPL: 33 dBA

Two fans in tandem:

Speed: 1995 RPM (average)
CPU temp over ambient: 51.5c
SPL: 36.5 dBA
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Coolink

SWiF2-1201

Who could pass up an eleven-bladed fan? Just to see what it can do.


Image: Coolink SWiF2-1201 exhaust view


Image: Coolink SWiF2-1201 intake view

Link: http://www.coolink-europe.com/en/categories/23_29.html

Coolink SWiF2-1201 Specs:

Size: 120x25mm, 11 blades
Bearing: hydro-dynamic bearing
Speed: 1200 RPM
Airflow: 55.44 CFM
SPL: 18.2 dBA
Static Pressure: na
Features: Anti-Vibration Bolts & Screws

Results on the Megahalems:

Speed: 1275 RPM
CPU temp over ambient: 60c
SPL: 24.5 dBA

The 1201 would be fine as a case fan. There is a PWM version that has a speed range of 800 - 1700 RPM. This would be more suitable as a HSF.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Delta

Five-Dollar Delta - WFB1212H

For $4.95US, I got two - just in case they were really good fans.


Image: Delta WFB1212H, in and out

Links: http://www.mpja.com/prodinfo.asp?number=17345+FN
http://1stpccorp.com/fan_delta_120mm.htm
http://www.jameco.com/Jameco/Product...DS/1537133.pdf

Five-Dollar Delta Specs

Size: 120x25mm, 7 blades
Bearing: ball
Speed: 2470 RPM
Air Flow: 86.50 CFM
SPL: 37.6 dBA
Static Pressure: 4.80 mm H2O
Features: two wires - no RPM-reporting lead

Results on the Megahalems, individually (average):

Speed: 2335 RPM (estimated rpm by synchronizing another fan with them)
CPU temp over ambient: 54c
SPL: 35.5 dBA

Two fans in tandem:

Speed: 2330 RPM (avg)
CPU temp over ambient: 51c
SPL: 41 dBA

A pair of these is comparable to a single San Ace. -H101 or -H1011. Only two wires, but no problem with voltage control. The MB didn't seem to care. On auto, they range up and down just fine. You can get a pair of highspeed Yate Loons even cheaper, and those make less noise. But this is probably the lowest price for high performance ball bearing fans.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Enermax

Cluster


Image: Enermax Cluster with Everest blade - exhaust view


Image: Enermax Cluster with Everest blade - intake view

I got a trashed Cluster and a functional Everest in the grab bag - 36 fans for $30. It occurred to me that the fan blades - removable - might be interchangeable. They are indeed. And it turns out that the Cluster's blade hub had been crushed. So I put the Everest blade on the Cluster body, and Presto! - instant PWM fan. Since I didn't need a thermal fan and I wanted a straight-sided shroud, the Everest was gutted. It's a cool shroud. The Cluster blade, BTW, is white.

Link: http://www.enermaxusa.com/catalog/pr...roducts_id=141

Enermax Cluster Specs:

Size: 120x25mm, 9 blades
Bearing: Twister bearing
Speed: 500 to 1200 RPM
Airflow: 23.86 to 53.02 CFM
SPL: 8 - 14 dBA
Static Pressure: 0.483 to 1.073 mm H2O
Features: PWM control, LED on/off switch

Results on the Megahalems:

Speed: 1320 RPM
CPU temp over ambient: fail
SPL: 25.5 dBA

It was soft, with just a little fan noise. But it was pretty weak for a 1320 RPM fan. With an ambient temp of 18c, the CPU cracked 80c at 5.2 minutes. It is quieter when used as a case fan. They need to make a "Cluster Flux" which goes up to 2100 RPM.

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

Magma


Image: Enermax Magma, exhaust view


Image: Enermax Magma, intake view

Link: http://www.enermaxusa.com/catalog/pr...roducts_id=140

Enermax Magma Specs:

Size: 120x26.5mm, 9 blades
Bearing: Twister bearing
Speed: 1500 RPM
Airflow: 69.15 CFM
SPL: 18 dBA
Static Pressure: 1.400 mm H2O
Features:

Results on the Megahalems (average):

Speed: 1700 RPM
CPU temp over ambient: 56c
SPL: 31.5 dBA

Such a soft sound. Could listen forever. The SPL meter picked up the white noise, but it didn't come through as sound to my merely human ear. A lovely fan.

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

Magma > Cluster

I don't have a second Magma to try a tandem mount, but I do have my hybrid Cluster. What can they do together?

Results on the Megahalems:

CPU temp over ambient: 54c
SPL: 29 dBA, taken from the side (standard SPL reading not done)

This suggests that tandem Magmas might have gotten down to 53c over ambient. That would be very nice for fans so easy to listen to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Evercool

140mm Red Scorpion fan. RSF-14


Image: Evercool 140mm Red Scorpion fan, exhaust view


Image: Evercool 140mm Red Scorpion fan, intake view

Link: http://www.evercool.com/

Evercool 140mm Red Scorpion Specs:

Size: 140x40mm, 11 blades. Without adapter, 140x25mm
Bearing: Ever Lubricate bearing
Speed: 1200 RPM
Airflow: na
SPL: < 22 dBA
Static Pressure: na
Features: comes with a 12 cm to 14 cm fan adapter

Results on the Megahalems (average):

Speed: 1200 RPM
CPU temp over ambient: 55.5c
SPL: 28 dBA

Hardly hear it in operation. Of course it doesn't really fit - the heatsink tensioning screw keeps the fan frame too far away from the MB - but it does give you the sense that these 140mm fans can really move air, and reasonably quietly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Gelid Solutions

Silent 12

I read many glowing reviews about this fan, so I got one.


Image: Gelid Silent 12 exhaust view


Image: Gelid Silent 12 intake view

Link: http://www.gelidsolutions.com/produc...=2&cid=5&id=23

Gelid Solutions Silent 12 Specs:

Size: 120x25mm, 7 blades
Bearing: hydro dynamic
Speed: 1000 RPM
Airflow: 37 CFM
SPL: 20.2 dBA
Static Pressure: 1.07 mm H2O
Features: comes with four soft fan mounts

Results on the Megahalems:

Speed: 940 RPM
CPU temp over ambient: fail
SPL: 17.5 dBA
"Oh, so soft."

A lovely case fan. In fact, Gelid Solutions calls it their "Silent Series 120mm Case Fan." That's about right. Further, I believe their CFM spec. It seems right. Certainly their SPL and RPM specs are right. They make a PWM fan that ranges from 500 to 1500 RPM, with SPL of 12 to 25.5 dBA. That would be a fine non-OC HSF.

One more note: given the shape of the blades and the fact that it has a hydro dynamic bearing, is this essentially a Thermalright TR-FDB/Scythe S-Flex fan that operates down at 1000 RPM?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Japan Servo

Japan Servo, Servo, and Nidec Servo are brand names associated with the Nidec Corporation, or Nihon Densan Kabushikigaisha.

Nidec SCNDM12B4

I found this fan at a sort of surplus outfit.

Link: http://www.mpja.com/prodinfo.asp?number=18015+FN

They call it a "Square/Round fan," and I suppose it is: the exhaust side is a standard 120mm frame, while the intake side is a five-inch ring.


Image: Nidec SCNDM12B4, exhaust view


Image: Nidec SCNDM12B4, ring view

For six bucks, it was an easy fan to order. When I got my first copy, I loved it. I had to get another.


Image: Japan Servo SCNDM12B4, intake & exhaust views


Image: Japan Servo SCNDM12B4, facing up and down


Image: Japan Servo SCNDM12B4 on Megahalems - ready


Image: Japan Servo SCNDM12B4 on Megahalems - running


Image: Nidec SCNDM12B4 mounted on Megahalems

Note that Megahalems 38mm clips mount this just fine, because the clips grab onto the outside of the fan, not the inside. OTOH, mounting a second fan on the exhaust side is a bit of a stretch because the ring is too big to fit into recesses designed to accept 120mm frames; so it is held to the outside of the fin stack. But the clips just do get into their indentations and hold the exhaust fan on the cooler.

Nidec SCNDM12B4 Specs (a.k.a. - Six Dollar Servos)
(also, see pdf here: http://www.japanservo.co.jp/digital/.../pdf/SCNDM.pdf)

Size: 120x38mm, 7 blades
Bearing: ball
Speed: 2650 RPM
Airflow: 106 CFM
SPL: 40 dBA
Static Pressure: 6.6 mm H2O
Features: Intake side has 5-inch ring; two wires, so no RPM reporter lead.

Results on the Megahalems (average):

Speed: 2470 RPM (estimated rpm by synchronizing another fan with it)
CPU temp over ambient: 51.5c
SPL: 39.5 dBA

In other words, it is a dead match for the San Ace -H101

Results on the Megahalems (#2 fan) at 5v:

Speed: 1095 RPM (estimated rpm by synchronizing another fan with it)
CPU temp over ambient: 58.5c
SPL: 19.5 dBA

This lets you know what the fan is like when it is not working hard. Unfortunately, it clicks. It clicks softly, so you might not hear it. After all it is under 20 dBA and it is inside the case.

Results on the Megahalems 12v, tandem mount (2 fans):

Speed: 2410 RPM (average) (estimated rpm by synchronizing another fan with each fan)
CPU temp over ambient: 49c
SPL: 41.5 dBA
"Smooth for the work."

Really excellent results.

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

Japan Servo Centaur - CNDC12Z7RP

Another "surplus" fan, this time only five bucks (link: http://www.mpja.com/prodinfo.asp?number=18222+FN)


Image: Japan Servo CNDC12Z7RP, intake & exhaust views

Link: http://www.japanservo.co.jp/digital/...l/pdf/CNDC.pdf

Japan Servo CNDC12Z7RP Specs:

Size: 120x38mm, 7 blades
Bearing: ball
Speed: 3200 RPM
Airflow: 124 CFM
SPL: 49 dBA
Static Pressure: 10.7 mm H2O
Features: Vendor copy says 3d wire is stall sensor. Wrong: 3d wire is RPM reporter.

Results on the Megahalems:

Speed: 3050 RPM
CPU temp over ambient: 50c
SPL: 46 dBA

No advantage over the San Ace -H101, and a lot more noise. Yet a good cheap fan for radiators.

Results on the Megahalems at 5v:

Speed: 1590 RPM
CPU temp over ambient: 52.5c
SPL: 29.5 dBA

At 5 volts, this is a pretty decent fan for $4.95US. It's nearly as good as a number of expensive fans, better than most and is pretty quiet. But you must keep it on a leash.

Tandem fans - Results on the Megahalems at 12v:

Speed: 3110 RPM (average)
CPU temp over ambient: 48.5c
SPL: 50 dBA
"They sing!"

Tandem fans - Results on the Megahalems at 5v:

Speed: 1590 RPM
CPU temp over ambient: 52c
SPL: 33 dBA

Essentially the same temps as a solo fan at 5v, but more noise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Masscool

FD14025

A 140mm fan that came with a slot controller that works pretty well.


Image: Masscool FD014025, exhaust view


Image: Masscool FD014025, intake view

Link: http://www.masscool.com/product_deta...pid=161&id=140

Masscool FD014025 Specs

Size: 140x25mm, 7 blades
Bearing: ball
Speed: 800 to 1300 RPM
Airflow: 27.2 to 47.8 CFM
SPL: 18 to 22 dBA
Static Pressure: na
Features: speed control bracket, with fan guard (wire grill), nice tight sleeving

Results on the Megahalems:

Speed: 1350 RPM
CPU temp over ambient: 56c
SPL: 30 dBA
"From a meter away, a mild whine you don't hear close up."

Comparing frames and blades, the Masscool FD14025 looks like a Yate Loon D14BM-12.


Image: Masscool FD014025 vs Yate Loon D14SM-12 exhaust views


Image: Masscool FD014025 vs Yate Loon D14SM-12 intake views

Link: http://www.yateloon.com/style/conten...=8511&id=38839

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

Masscool FD12025B1L3/4

Another cheap ($4.95) ball-bearing fan.


Image: Masscool FD12025 fan, exhaust view


Image: Masscool FD12025 fan, intake view

Link: http://www.masscool.com/product_deta...?pid=127&id=61

Masscool FD12025B1L3/4 Specs

Size: 120x25mm, 7 blades
Bearing: ball
Speed: 1500 RPM
Airflow: 52.05 CFM (ah, such precision . . .)
SPL: 25 dBA
Static Pressure: na
Features: nice tight sleeving and black plug

Results on the Megahalems:

Speed: 1600 RPM
CPU temp over ambient: 55.5c
SPL: 27 dBA

Not bad for five bucks. Wonder what two would have done?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Mechatronics

More treasure from the grab bag: Mechatronics MXA1225L12D FSR


Image: Mechatronics MXA1225L12D, exhaust view


Image: Mechatronics MXA1225L12D, intake view

Mechatronics MXA1225L12D Specs:

Sleeve bearing.
2 wires - no RPM reporter lead
If you find any other specs, please let me know.

Results on the Megahalems:

Speed: 1375 RPM (estimated rpm by synchronizing another fan with it)
CPU temp over ambient: 56c
SPL: 24.5 dBA

Just fine for less than a dollar. OK, so I had to put my own plug on it. Well, I know how to do that now.

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

Mechatronics MD1238H12B

Yet another gem from the grab bag.

What a beast! A 25mm 9-bladed fan pushing through 13 wind-straightening vanes. It came with a little Dell-type plug. Replaced it with Molex. You'll see why.


Image: Mechatronics MD1238H12B, exhaust view


Image: Mechatronics MD1238H12B, intake view

Link: http://www.mechatronics.com/Individu...238_7.6.05.pdf

Mechatronics MD1238H12B Specs

Size: 120x38mm, 9 blades, 13 vanes
Bearing: ball
Speed: 3800 RPM
Airflow: 174 CFM
SPL: 57.8 dBA
Static Pressure: 16.7 mm H2O
Current: 1.60 Amps. Too much current for a motherboard header; they max out at 1 Amp.
Features: 2 wires, so no RPM reporter lead

Results on the Megahalems, 12v (average):

Speed: 3800 RPM? I have no 9-bladed fan that goes fast enough to synchronize with it.
CPU temp over ambient: 47c
SPL: 58.5 dBA

Results on the Megahalems, 5v:

Speed: 1880 RPM (estimated RPM by synchronizing another fan with it)
CPU temp over ambient: 51c
SPL: 39 dBA

It's a brute. Fun to play with, but not something I'd put next to my ear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Nexus

Real Silent, Basic Series, D12SL-12


Image: Nexus D12SL-12, exhaust view


Image: Nexus D12SL-12, intake view

With its fan number, this fan seems to some to be a re-badged Yate Loon fan. And if you look at the frame of the Yate Loon, it does look like the same fan. Those dimples that flank the screw holes seem characteristic of YL's, for example:


Image: Yate Loon D12SL-12 fan, intake view

But the Yate Loon low speed fans I have - even from Petra's Tech Shop - all click when undervolted. The Nexus does not.

In any case, this is the fan favored by Silent PC Review. They really, really like this fan.

Link: http://www.nexustechnologyusa.com/c/...box_of_20.html

Specs:

Size: 120x25mm, 7 blades
Bearing: na
Speed: 1000 RPM
Airflow: 36.87 CFM
SPL: 22.8 dBA
Static Pressure: na
Feature: a set of the excellent Nexus silicone fan mounts/vibration isolators - in purple. I love them.

BTW - The Nexus silicon fan mounts are what I use for all of my fans. IMO, the best.

Results on the Megahalems (average):

Speed: 1095 RPM
CPU temp over ambient: 59c
SPL: 20 dBA
"Very hard to hear; even close up it is soft, pleasant."
I can see why the people at SPCR love this fan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
NMB-MAT

NMB-MAT, seems to be a merger of the Minebea Company (NMB) and Matsu****a - or at least the fan operations of these companies. They seem to have taken over the fan business of Panasonic - Panaflo - as well.

Panaflo FBA12G12M-1BX

Many people swear by these fans, so I got one.


Image: Panaflo FBA12G12M-1BX exhaust view


Image: Panaflo FBA12G12M-1BX intake view

Panaflo fans are not reachable through the NMB-MAT website, but you can buy them.

Panaflo FBA12G12M-1BX Specs:

Size: 120x38mm, 7 blades
Bearing: Hydro Wave Bearing
Speed: 2100 RPM
Airflow: 86.5 CFM
SPL: 35.5 dBA
Static Pressure: 4.6 mm H2O

Results on the Megahalems, 12v:

Speed: 2080 RPM
CPU temp over ambient: 51.5c
SPL: 37 dBA

Results on the Megahalems, 5v:

Speed: 820 RPM
CPU temp over ambient: fail
SPL: 17 dBA

Despite the very low noise, a fast clicking was present at 5 volts.

NMB-MAT fans

Now we come to non-Panaflo Minebea-Matsu****a fans. You can find these on the NMB-MAT website. I was able to do supplemental testing of these fans in one evening because my San Ace 9G1212H101 standard test fan gave me exactly 50c over ambient. The following fans were all tested right after that.


NMB-MAT 4710KL-O4W-B40, exhaust view


NMB-MAT 4710KL-04W-B40, intake view

NMB-MAT 4710KL-04W-B40 specs:

Size: 119x25mm, 9 blades
Bearing: ball
Speed: 2500 RPM
Airflow: 100.6 CFM
SPL: 38.5 dBA
Static Pressure: 4mm H2O
Features: two bare wires. Had to put on the plugs and sleeve them myself.

Results on the Megahalems, 12v, single fan:

Speed: 2419 RPM (estimated rpm by synchronizing another fan with it)
CPU temp over ambient: 51.5c
SPL: 40.5 dBA
Comment: Compared to the San Ace 9G1212H101, "More wind, less whine." They do click when undervolted.

Results on the Megahalems 12v, tandem mount (2 fans):

Speed: not estimated
CPU temp over ambient: 50c
SPL: 44 dBA
They sounded noisy.


NMB-MAT 4710KL-04W-B56, exhaust view


NMB-MAT 4710KL-04W-B56, intake view

These are PWM fans. I have two, but they behave very differently.

NMB-MAT 4710KL-04W-B50 specs (we assume the B56 specs are the same):

Size: 119x25mm, 9 blades
Bearing: ball
Speed: 2800 RPM
Airflow: 114.7 CFM
SPL: 41.5 dBA
Static Pressure: 5mm H2O
Features: twisted wires, PWM plug

Results on the Megahalems, 12v, #1 fan:

Speed: 1985 RPM
CPU temp over ambient: 54c
SPL: 34 dBA
Comment: "Does not start without assistance," when getting anything less than 10 volts. They do click when undervolted, even on PWM!

Results on the Megahalems, 12v, #2 fan:

Speed: 2678 RPM
CPU temp over ambient: 52.5c
SPL: 43.5 dBA
Comment: They do click when undervolted, even on PWM!

I have other fans better than these, but all four 4710KL's would do OK as fixed rpm fans.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Noctua

NF-S12B FLX

This fan is intended as a case fan.


Image: Noctua NF-S12B FLX, exhaust view


Image: Noctua NF-S12B FLX, intake view

There are still some NF-S12's for sale around the web. Apparently the S12B is a significant improvement over the older fan.

Link: http://www.noctua.at/main.php?show=p...s_id=25&lng=en

Specs:

Size: 120x25mm, 7 blades
Bearing: self-stabilizing oil-pressure bearing (SSO bearing)
Speed: 1200 RPM
Airflow: 59.2 CFM
SPL: 18.1 dBA
Static Pressure: 1.31 mm H2O
Features: comes with resistor wires - LNA (low noise adapter) and ULNA (ultra low noise adapter); excellent tight sleeving

Results on the Megahalems (average):

Speed: 1275 RPM
CPU temp over ambient: 58.5c
SPL: 24 dBA
"Quiet hum and wind rushing; very pleasant"

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

NF-P12

This fan is intended as a HSF.


Image: Noctua NF-P12, intake & exhaust views

Link: http://www.noctua.at/main.php?show=p...s_id=12&lng=en

Specs:

Size: 120x25mm, 9 blades
Bearing: self-stabilizing oil-pressure bearing (SSO bearing)
Speed: 1300 RPM
Airflow: 54.3 CFM
SPL: 19.8 dBA
Static Pressure: 1.68 mm H2O
Features: comes with resistor wires - LNA (low noise adapter) and ULNA (ultra low noise adapter); excellent tight sleeving

Results on the Megahalems (average):

Speed: 1350 RPM
CPU temp over ambient: 57.5c
SPL: 25.5 dBA
"Quiet rushing sound; almost no hum; pleasant"

Results on the Megahalems (twin P12's tandem):

Speed: 1340 RPM (average)
CPU temp over ambient: 57.5c
SPL: 27 dBA

"Quiet rushing sound; almost no hum; pleasant." But no gain in temps for a slight increase in noise.

Results on the Megahalems with P12 intake, S12B exhaust:

Speed: 1280 RPM (average)
CPU temp over ambient: 59c
SPL: 28.5 dBA
"Quiet rushing sound; quiet song."

But even higher temps with even more noise, even if it is pleasant noise.

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

NF-P14

Was this fan designed for the cooler? Or the cooler for the fan? The P14 is intended to be at the center of Noctua's monumental heatsink, the NH-D14. The fan has screw holes placed in the standard positions for 120mm fans.


Image: Noctua NF-P14, intake & exhaust views

Link: http://www.noctua.at/main.php?show=p...s_id=33&lng=en

In order to test this fan I mounted it on the Megahalems. The heatsink's tensioning screws keep a 140mm fan pushed up away from the MB, so the side panel will not fit. Yet testing 140mm fans on the Megahalems is a way to compare its effects to that of other fans. So, I test.


Image: Megahalems with 2 Noctua NF-P14 140mm fans


Megahalems with 2 Noctua NF-P14 140mm fans: what will fit in a case?

Noctua NF-P14 Specs:

Size: 140x25mm, 9 blades
Bearing: self-stabilizing oil-pressure bearing (SSO bearing)
Speed: 1200 RPM
Airflow: 64.9 CFM
SPL: 19.6 dBA
Static Pressure: 1.29 mm H2O
Features: comes with resistor wires - LNA (low noise adapter) and ULNA (ultra low noise adapter), four extensions to allow the fan to be mounted to 140mm screw holes; excellent tight sleeving

Results on the Megahalems (average):

Speed: 1240 RPM
CPU temp over ambient: 57c
SPL: 29 dBA
"Quiet rushing sound; almost no hum; pleasant."

Results on the Megahalems (two P14's in tandem):

Speed: 1220 RPM
CPU temp over ambient: 54.5c
SPL: 30.5 dBA
"Quiet rushing sound; almost no hum; pleasant." But "One of the fans is making the Megahalems shake." Maybe it was the two of them interacting.
 
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