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Old July 10, 2010, 09:22 AM
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Default Fans for thermochill pa 120.3

I don't know what fans are good for optimal/noise performance... I've been looking around for ages, however I don't quite understand CFM, RPM and how they are related to cooling. Obviously higher RPM means greater cooling, but does that mean if you increase the RPM you have to increase the CFM? Like I've heard that depending on which radiator you have (denser or what not) different fans with different CFMs affect performance greatly...

So could someone clear that up for me? because it's either i'm super misinformed or i'm just super confused LOL

thanks
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Old July 10, 2010, 09:49 AM
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As far as fans are concerned, what you have is a given fan that spins at a given speed (rpm). The combination of the fan design/size, spinning at the given speed, moves a given amount of air (cfm). Additionally, this will also make a certain amount of noise. An ideal fan is one that manages to move lots of air while making very little noise, and fan design largely centers around trying to approach that "ideal fan".

Choosing the best fan is actually extremely difficult, for a variety of reasons. First is that, since it's extremely impractical for the average user to actually verify the claims, fan marketers often feel free to offer complete and unmitigated bullshit regarding their fans' abilities. Second is that noise levels are not all equal, and a quiet ticking noise can be far more annoying than a louder, smoother sound. Third is that fan behave differently, depending on what you're asking of them - their open-air behaviour (i.e. as a case fan) will be different than restricted behaviour (i.e. heatsink or radiator).

If you don't have the experience of trying out a couple dozen different brands, your best bet is to search reputable forums and look for recurring patterns from other people in your situation. See what fans people are happy with, see what fans aren't particularly well-received. Comparisons and reviews will obviously be helpful too. These days, favourites for radiator use include Scythe's S-Flex and Gentle-Typhoon series, Yate Loon fans, but there are certainly other good choices as well.

When it comes to radiators, most are optimized around a certain range of fan speeds. A radiator that does especially well at low fan speed usually sacrifices performance at higher fan speeds, and vice versa. Good engineering and quality can minimize the tradeoff, but basic physics dictates that it's always going to be there to some degree.
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Old July 10, 2010, 03:47 PM
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Firstly, are you looking for a really quiet setup, or an extreme cooling setup?

MpG is correct. The CFM(cubic feet per minute) is the volume of air that the fan pushes. The CFM is affected by the: Fan size, RPM, and blade design. The amount of noise generated is affected by everything.

To make things even more complicated, the pitch or frequency of the noise will affect how loud it seems. So, even if you have 2 fans with equivalent db, one may "sound" louder than the other. Also, there is something called "static pressure" which, in simpler terms, is how well a fan will flow when obstructed by an obstacle such as a radiator.

Here is Skinee Labs rad comparison. Skinnee Labs | Triple Radiator Comparison V2

You can see that the TC 120.3 is on par with all of the other rads, and in his test with the yate loon D12SL12 it is pretty happy with 1000-1400 RPM. Notice that the difference from 600 - 1400 is 9.38* while the difference from 1400 - 2800 is only 4.06*. So unless you are looking for an extreme 24/7 OC, not much point going past 1400RPM.

To get an idea of how loud some different fans are, check out these 2 articles.
Be Cool: Ultimate 120/140 mm Fans Roundup (page 28) - X-bit labs
Recommended Fans | silentpcreview.com

Personally, I HATE loud computers. I've tried tons of different fans and my favourite fans for low noise are:
NEXUS D12SL12, which is a 1000RPM, low noise version of the Yate Loon D12SL12. I am using these for my current water cooled project.
Noctua NF-P12-1300, which is an 1100-1300RPM fan specifically designed to be used on heatsinks and radiators.
Noctua NF-S12B, which is 600-1200RPM fan specifically designed for use as a case fan.

The Noctuas are high quality come with nicely sleeved cables, rubber isolators and some little leads with built in resistors to choose your RPM which is a very nice touch. BUT, expensive, and the colour... Nocuta chose some UGGLY colours. yeah, uggly with 2 Gs!!!!
The Nexus fans come only with isolators, but the cables are not sleeved. The cables also have molex connectors along with the 3 pin. The nexus come in black/white or orange.
I have also heard good things about the Scythe S-flex, though I have not had a chance to personally try them yet.

I recommend staying away from acrylic fans, as they always seem louder than their plastic counterparts. I think this is more due to the pitch than the actual spl.

If you are handy with a spray can and a bit of masking tape don't let color scare you away from a fan that you like.
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Old July 10, 2010, 11:55 PM
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Wow, you guys were awesome, and i'm just awe struck (hahaha... i wonder if anybody got the reference to that line...)

So far, I've figured that 1400 RPMs is good enough for me, and i'm looking to build a fairly quiet but performance driven rig... if that makes sense...

I've decided to get these:

Yate Loon D12SL-12-RED


However, like dustin1706 said, I will have paint them black or blue... I don't want to mod it, but for the price of these fan and for the specifications, i just can't resist but to buy it.... =( lol... (i'm giong for a blue colour theme, overplayed but meh.)

btw you guys are f***ing awesome. thanks a whole lot. I hope this goes on google indexed in google searches or something... LOL some noob like me might find it useful.
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Old July 11, 2010, 02:48 AM
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One more thing to consider if you are looking for max cooling with minimal noise is push/pull configurations and fan shrouds.

Check this article also.

Radiator Fan Orientation and TFC Shroud Testing & Review
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Old July 11, 2010, 09:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dustin1706 View Post
One more thing to consider if you are looking for max cooling with minimal noise is push/pull configurations and fan shrouds.

Check this article also.

Radiator Fan Orientation and TFC Shroud Testing & Review
I don't think my stacker will have the room to have shrouds =( even after modding it

And can't you just get some broken 120 mm fans and just take out the middle and have a shroud right there? I mean there is a little gap, but i wonder if that will affect performance... hmm..
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Old July 11, 2010, 09:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feerof View Post
I don't think my stacker will have the room to have shrouds =( even after modding it

And can't you just get some broken 120 mm fans and just take out the middle and have a shroud right there? I mean there is a little gap, but i wonder if that will affect performance... hmm..
Yeah, that works too, just us a bit of silicone or some 3m double sided "foamy" tape to seal them together.
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Old July 13, 2010, 12:37 AM
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had to clean the rad.. =( there was UV dye in there
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Old July 13, 2010, 06:45 AM
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Lets remember one very important equation when it comes to using a Fan on a Radiator or Heatsink.
RPM's and CFM's are all fine and dandy however, the most important statistic is Static Pressure. That is the 'force' the fan has to push air through a restricted scenerio.

That being said Coolermaster R4 fans have very good static pressure numbers, followed by some of the Gelid Lineup (Noteably the Wing 12PL series).

If I had to put a Fan on a Rad, I'd opt for one or the other.

But if you want extreme performance on a Rad, a San Ace or Delta is the place to be.

ST
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Old July 13, 2010, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soultribunal View Post
Lets remember one very important equation when it comes to using a Fan on a Radiator or Heatsink.
RPM's and CFM's are all fine and dandy however, the most important statistic is Static Pressure. That is the 'force' the fan has to push air through a restricted scenerio.
But in lieu of wildly varying accuracy of the specs we're given, combined with the fact that static pressure increases roughly exponentially with fan speed, rpm isn't a bad reference point to start off at.

In some tests that I recall, even with a radiator restricting a fan, the airflow only dropped by 20-30%, which might suggest that the fan is still operating in the part of its curve more defined by cfm, as opposed to pressure. Wish there was more testing out there on this stuff.
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