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skyjam

Fans for watercooling

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I either use Noctua's (which are silent and still cool well even with the 7V Resistors), but I've lately been liking the Corsair AF120's with the 7V resistors. Pushes a lot more air, and is quiet (but not as silent as the Noctua's. And of course, everything looks better not in beige/red.

AF120s are probably the worst fans you could put on a radiator.  Sure, they're quiet, but they're designed for low-resistance situations (like case fan mounts) and definitely not heatsinks or rads.

 

The SP120 (either version), when throttled down, would be nearly as quiet but would actually cool well.

 

 

Lol, you're kidding, right?

 

Basic AF120 is ridiculously low static pressure. It won't perform  as well as a larger blade "torquey" fan on a high performance (high fin density) radiator. May be just fine on a thin one designed for quiter fans like the Swiftech ones, but not the thicker performance rads like Feser and Aquacomputer.

 

The SP version of the Corsair fans are a lot better for a radiator.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I either use Noctua's (which are silent and still cool well even with the 7V Resistors), but I've lately been liking the Corsair AF120's with the 7V resistors. Pushes a lot more air, and is quiet (but not as silent as the Noctua's. And of course, everything looks better not in beige/red.

AF120s are probably the worst fans you could put on a radiator. Sure, they're quiet, but they're designed for low-resistance situations (like case fan mounts) and definitely not heatsinks or rads.

 

The SP120 (either version), when throttled down, would be nearly as quiet but would actually cool well.

Lol, you're kidding, right?

No I'm really not. AF120s and AF140s have almost no static pressure.

 

 

It's not always about static pressure. Higher static pressure is good, especially if you don't care about noise, but if you lower the RPM for quieter operation, that static pressure is going to drop, and it's not going to perform like you think it would.

 

Here's a test of two configurations on a Thermaltake Extreme 2.0:

 

4 Corsair AF120 fans in push/pull with 7V resistors (ambient 74F):

79C highest CPU core 48 minutes of running Prime95 at 4.9GHz.

post-70939-0-90055900-1358111755_thumb.png

 

4 Xigmatek CLF-F1254 fans in push/pull with 9V resistors (ambient 74F):

82C highest CPU core 48 minutes of running Prime95 at 4.9GHz

post-70939-0-14741200-1358111777_thumb.png

 

The Xigmatek CLF-F1254 has a static pressure of 1.516 mm/H20 at 12V's, and the Corsair AF120 has a static pressure of 1.1 mm/H20 at 12V's. The Corsair AF120 was somewhat audible with a 9V adapters, which is why I replaced them with 7V adapters. At 9V's they would drop to 0.5mm/H20 for static pressure, so at 7V's, it would be even less. Even if the Xigmatek CLF-F1254's dropped by 60%, it would still have higher static pressure than that of the Corsair AF120's at 7V's.

 

However, the Corsair AF120's at 7V's had 3C lower load temps than the Xigmatek CLF-F1254's at 9V's, while the Xigmatek's most likely had at least ~45% higher static pressure.

 

I'd do more testing with Noctua NF-P12's, but gotta switch over to do other things atm.

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It's not always about static pressure. Higher static pressure is good, especially if you don't care about noise, but if you lower the RPM for quieter operation, that static pressure is going to drop, and it's not going to perform like you think it would.

 

Here's a test of two configurations on a Thermaltake Extreme 2.0:

 

4 Corsair AF120 fans in push/pull with 7V resistors (ambient 74F):

78C highest CPU core 48 minutes of running Prime95 at 4.9GHz.

attachicon.gifPrime95_2500k_4.9GHz_TTExtreme2.0_Corsair_AF120.png

 

4 Xigmatek CLF-F1254 fans in push/pull with 9V resistors (ambient 74F):

82C highest CPU core 48 minutes of running Prime95 at 4.9GHz

attachicon.gifPrime95_2500k_4.9GHz_TTExtreme2.0_Xigmatek_CLF-F1254.png

 

The Xigmatek CLF-F1254 has a static pressure of 1.516 mm/H20 at 12V's, and the Corsair AF120 has a static pressure of 1.1 mm/H20 at 12V's. The Corsair AF120 was somewhat audible with a 9V adapters, which is why I replaced them with 7V adapters. At 9V's they would drop to 0.5mm/H20 for static pressure. Even if the Xigmatek CLF-F1254's dropped by 60%, it would still have higher static pressure than that of the Corsair AF120's at 7V's.

 

However, the Corsair AF120's at 7V's had 3C lower load temps than the Xigmatek CLF-F1254's at 9V's.

 

I'd do more testing with Noctua NF-P12's, but gotta switch over to do other things atm.

 

Interesting test, but with such dramatically different blade types and windings we cant assume that they both scale identically - or even linearly - with voltage changes. While similar CFMs @ 12v, at 7v the Xigmatek may have a lot less CFM and SP then the AF120s, and under perform at that voltage.

 

Makes a good point though about undervolting fans - what works great in a Performance only setting @ 12v may not be the right choice for a Silent PC @ 7v :).

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Also, it depends on what you're cooling. An i5 2500K at 4.9GHz and highest load temp at 79C (or even 82C) is fine. I believe the best I've had at 4.9GHz (and using more voltages than the current i5 2500K I used in this test), with a custom watercooling solution with Noctua NF-P12's at 7V's was 70C for the highest CPU core temp.

 

My limiting factor for safety during overclocking would be voltages anyway. Say on that custom watercooling solution I could get to 5.0GHz at 1.51V's, but keep core temps at 80C max during load, I don't think it would be worth it.

 

Same thing for noise factor. Say with the best highest static pressure fans in push/pull I could get 4.9GHz on the Thermaltake Extreme 2.0 with the highest CPU core load temp being 70C (matching that of the custom watercooling solution), but the noise was annoyingly loud, I wouldn't want it unless my computer was going to be stored in the closet or something.

 

Anyways, that was my point with it not always being about static pressure, especially since the OP is looking for it to be relatively quiet.

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El what your test has shown is that maybe the Xigmatek are over rated. Try the test with the Corsair AF and SP, the reason is they are for sure using the same testing to determine that static pressure and air flow of the fans. Ensures the testing for this type is info is accurate. Also another factor in your testing could be the use of a push pull configuration. In that configuration the need for higher static pressure is reduced as the second fan helps overcome the resistance of the radiator.

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What boinker said and as Greg pointed out he ended up on the excalibur fans after lots of trial and error.

 Indeed. The Excaliburs seem to have a rather steep pressure curve to them meaning that they retain a disproportionate amount of their static pressure when you you lower the RPMs. Thats why (other than the 3.53 mm H2O rating that they have) Especially if you have only the option to either push OR pull only, the Excalibur's are tremendous. 

Not only that, but they are not noisy to begin with and have a pleasant sound in an agreeable Hz range.

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Every review of the Excalibur I saw pegged them as noisy compared to others at almost all voltage and airflow levels. I'll see if I can dig up the most comprehensive one later this week.

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Every review of the Excalibur I saw pegged them as noisy compared to others at almost all voltage and airflow levels. I'll see if I can dig up the most comprehensive one later this week.

I own 8 of them doing their job about two feet away from me. I don't really need a review (s) of them thanks  :tongue:

 

But seriously, the loudest these things get is13- 30dB (most reviews have them at only 26db) and that seems to be my experience.

But even if 30dB is the level:

 

 

TYPICAL SOUND LEVELS

Jet takeoff (200 feet) 120 dBA

Construction Site 110 dBA Intolerable

Shout (5 feet) 100 dBA

Heavy truck (50 feet) 90 dBA Very noisy

Urban street 80 dBA

Automobile interior 70 dBA Noisy

Normal conversation (3 feet) 60 dBA

Office, classroom 50 dBA Moderate

Living room 40 dBA

Bedroom at night 30 dBA Quiet

Broadcast sstudio 20 dBA

Rustling leaves 10 dBA Barely audible

 

I guess if a quiet bedroom at night rocks your eardrums...then yes , you might want a different fan.

 

There are quite a few rated @ 19-20 dB, but not nearly the static pressure of the Excalibur. I tried (among others) the Cougars rated @ 2.2 mmH2O and 19 dB, but they pulled nowhere close the amount of air through a rad. Even knocking down the RPMs on the EX to meet the dB level of other fans they still pulled more air through the radiators.

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I have push-pull 38mm thick yate loons (on GTX radiators, so the whole thing ends up about 12cm thick) and i run them all at 6 volts

 

Completely silent, water temp stays at ambient due to two 480mm rads and 16 fans

 

I think this is the best quiet solution, if you have a case big enough to hold them all 

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So I have been comparing some of the fans that everyone has been listing on this thread and I came across a noise test of the Excalibur.   I thought that when the voltages were between 6 and 8 volts the noise level was tolerable.  But since that would be cutting the max voltage in half would that also cut the CFM and pressure in half as well and thus effect my cooling?  Not only that but if I'm not going to be using these fans to there full potential would it be worth paying the hefty price?

 

 

I also found this video of the cougar vortex and once again I have the same dilemma, I enjoy the noise level under 10 v but how will that affect performance? and is it worth the price?

 

 

The SP120 High Performance were crazy loud.  The Corsair AF120's were awesomely quiet I think that they would make a good case fan just to get air flowing through my case. Then I came across the SP120 Quiet Editions http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835181025 and I liked the specs of these so I looked up a video of the noise and it seems pretty quiet here is a link what do you guys think? 

 

 

I feel like I'm being picky but in all honesty the main reason I went to water cooling was to quiet everything down while still getting exceptional performance and good overclocking fun. 

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Low speed Late Yoons are great even when running full speed and are cheap enough to run push/pull without killing your wallet too. :cheers:

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