Earlier this year I tested 17 different 120mm fans (linkie
), different fan bearings, blade design, price and accessories weeded out the excellent deals from the pack. One of those, the GlobalWin NCB, offered an excellent performance/noise ratio and this at an attractive price.
Today I compare 4 newcomers from 2 different companies to see how they stack up to the rest. Noctua sends their NF-12 series which has a very thin blade design and uses oil-pressure based bearings to deliver long life at low noise. Sharkoon expands their Silent Eagle line-up with two 120mm products, both using metal sleeve bearing and a golf-ball like pattern on the fan blades.
As usual I’ll keep things comprehensive and to the points, below you can find the official specifications and details on how the fans were tested. On the next page there is detailed info on the each of the fans; on the 3rd page are the performance results and overall conclusion. But first things first: Specifications
These are the official specifications of the different fans, clicking on the fan name will take you to the product’s webpage.
No ball bearing fans used in any of the samples tested today, the metal sleeve bearing of Sharkoon comes closest, the GlobalWin uses a Nanometer Ceramic bearing which should last longer than normal metal bearings; Noctua is using a self-stabilizing oil-pressure bearing which promises low noise levels and long life.
The difference between Flange Type and Rib Type can be seen here:
Image from eminebeaTest Setups and Methodology
JMke's Test Setup
|CPU ||A64 3200+ @ 2200Mhz 1.5v|
|Cooling ||Scythe Infinity|
|Mainboard ||DFI NF3 Lanparty|
|Memory ||1 * 256Mb PC3700 OCZ|
|Other ||Antec Sonata II (rear fan unplugged)|
ATI R9000 Passive Cooling
Silverstone EFN-300 300W Passive Cooled PSU
Maxtor 120GB IDE HDD
The dBA meter was placed very close to the Infinity heatsink in order to pick up the fan noise when they were running under-volted.in-take temperature was measured at 20°C for all tests, but temp fluctuations, and user error can account up to 1-3°C of inaccuracy in the obtained results. Please keep this in mind when looking at the results. Each fan was tested repeatedly; if I got questionable results the test was restarted.
Noise level of each HSF combo was recorded with SmartSensor SL4001A, the sensor was placed ~5cm away from the fan. The lowest dBA reading in the test room was 37.8dBA without fan running in the system.
System was stressed by running K7 CPU Burn for 30min ; this application pushes the temperature higher then any other application or game we’ve yet encountered. Speedfan was used to log maximum obtained temperatures.
Each fan was tested at 12v, 7v and 5v