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4 fans evaluated - 120mm (the sequel)

Posted: Sat Apr 03, 2004 10:15 pm
by dasman
Taking a queue from D.Bailey's threadand having just put together my new BQE, I too went through the fan eval and thought I'd post my fan lineup (without Douglas' nice tables -- I'm not that smart :cry:):

Papst 4412F/2GL (after reading Douglas' glowing recommendation)
Acoustifan 120C-fixed speed version (after reading Edward Ng's prose)
Nexus 120mm (not sure why I tried this after my poor experience w/ their 80mm fans)
Stock BQE Antec fan (note: not the same fan as the Sonata)

First, some specs:
Papst 1600rpm 55.3cfm 26dba (assembly Hungary)
Acousti 2000rpm 66.7cfm 34dba
Nexus 1000rpm 36.9cfm 22.8dba
Antec 1200rpm 38.9cfm 24.9dba (Note: Sonata is a 2000rpm 791.cfm 29.8 dba fan)

All were hooked up to a fanmate and tested at 11v, 9v, 7v & 5v. The fans both sat on foam and I held them in my hand -- looking both straight at them and with ear pointed at them -- from about 6". Since these fans are all over the map WRT 12v RPM's and CFM's, I think it makes sense to group them by RPM and, presumably, cfm (is cfm linear to rpm?)

1800+ rpm:
Acoustifan @ 11v, 1825rpm (~61cfm) -- lots of wind with low/mid frequency "twirl" (to borrow one of Douglas's terms :wink:) Too loud for me.

1500 rpm:
1. Papst @ 11v, 1490rpm (~52cfm) -- wind with slight tick. fan wobbles when on foam, likely out of balance. When mounted in case on fanmates, tick is inaudible.
2. Acoustifan @ 9v, 1550rpm (~52cfm) -- wind and more twirl -- kind of annoying.

1200 rpm:
1. Papst @ 9v, 1205rpm (~42cfm) -- ticking a little louder, wind diminished -- still wobbles.
2. Antec @ 11v, 1120rpm (~36cfm) -- rpm is calc'd based on voltage since there is no tach. quiet, low frequency twirl, slight ticking, very rapid -- had to be closer than 6" to hear. Should have taken it off the fanmate and run it as 12v :(
3. Acoustifan @ 7v, 1250rpm (~42cfm) -- twirling sound -- this fan is disappointing.

900 rpm:
1. Nexus @ 11v, 890rpm (~33cfm) -- if I put my ear less than 1" away, very, very slight ticking sound. Essentially, this is silent (at least, to me :wink: )
2. Antec @ 9v, 900rpm (~29cfm) -- ever so slight tick, very quiet
3. Papst @ 7v, 940rpm (~33cfm) -- soft, low frequency tick is getting louder as the voltage goes down. Still wobbles
4. Acoustifan @ 5v, 980rpm (~33cfm) -- soft twirl -- it's finally starting to get quiet -- about the same noise level as the Papst @ 9v. Did I mention this fan really disappointed me?

1. Nexus @ 9v, 730rpm (~27cfm) -- dead silent
1a. Antec @ 7v, 700rpm (~23cfm) -- dead silent, but moves less air
3. Papst @ 5v, 690rpm (~24cfm) -- very slow, low tick

All in all, I found the Nexus to be the quietest fan, albiet at very low flow. The Antec comes in a close second :shock: :shock: with the Papst at #3 (but I think I have a bad one :cry:). I'm guessing that if it was balanced then it would be as mechanically quiet as the Nexus.

The Acoustifan? What can I say -- I was extremely disappointed in this one -- it cost the most and performed the least. While it pushes the most air, it was the twirling sound and not the wind that brought it down. This was only one sample, YMMV.

What's in my box? The Papst (at least for the summer). I'm going to try and send the Acoustifan back and get another Papst, just to see how bad the first one is. The Nexus and Antec just don't push enough air for the summer months, maybe I'll swap one of them in this fall.

I was really, really impressed with the Nexus (especially after my experience with the 80mm versions -- 2 out of 4 were horrible, the other 2 weren't that bad). Mechanically, it was the quietest by far.


EDIT missing word & extra word
EDIT Added Sonata fan info

EDIT Just to update -- I finally got around to swapping the original 4412 for a new one -- no clicking or mechanical noise at all. It's easily the equal of the Nexus from a mechanical standpoint.

The only noise is airflow at the higher voltages.

Posted: Sun Apr 04, 2004 7:04 am
by edcrane
I like how you organized your review. It makes a lot of sense to group by RPM rather than just voltage. But is there any chance of getting an mp3 of what "twirling" sounds like? I'm having a hard time imagining it.

Posted: Sun Apr 04, 2004 9:48 am
by dasman
edcrane wrote:I like how you organized your review. It makes a lot of sense to group by RPM rather than just voltage. But is there any chance of getting an mp3 of what "twirling" sounds like? I'm having a hard time imagining it.
Unfortunately, I don't have anything to record with. However, I'd be willing to sell you the Acoustifan -- that way you could hear it for yourself :lol:


Is it a "beat" frequency?

Posted: Sun Apr 04, 2004 6:23 pm
by NeilBlanchard
edcrane wrote: But is there any chance of getting an mp3 of what "twirling" sounds like? I'm having a hard time imagining it.
I'm wondering if this isn't a "beat" frequency effect? This happens when two (or more) sounds are *slightly* different frequncies, and essentially the difference results is a variation in the intensity. BTW the beat frequency can be from nearly 0Hz to a maximum of 7Hz, if I am not mistaken -- any faster than that and it becomes a "chord".

Posted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 4:24 pm
by snutten
No doubt your Papst is damaged. I have three 4412 and none of them wobble. It should be running very smooth.

Posted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 6:16 pm
by Dalbert
snutten wrote:No doubt your Papst is damaged. I have three 4412 and none of them wobble. It should be running very smooth.
Good to know, but do you hear ticking?

Posted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 7:32 pm
by Jim Byram
I'm running the Pabst 4412F/2GL at 869-874 rpm as my rear case fan and hear no ticking. Both this and the Pabst 3412N/2GL running at 5v as the front case fan are very quiet. Super fans.

Posted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 9:01 pm
by Lord09
Just curious, but how did you measure the voltages?

Posted: Sun Apr 18, 2004 6:02 am
by Leto
I "unfortunatly" have to second dasman's review of the Acoustifan 120mm.

It became the noisiest part in my computer when I put it in as a case fan in a Sonata, more noisy than the Z7000Cu and Nexus 3500 PSU.

Mainly due to the "Twirling" sound. Which I would describe as a mix between Clicking and Normal Consistent Wind Whooshing. Quite annoying and very noticable.

Posted: Mon Apr 19, 2004 2:58 am
by snutten
I have an Innovatek Fan-O-Matic automatic fan controller and normally run my 4412's at 4V, about 400 rpm. All my 80 mm fans, Papst or Panaflo, emit some clicking noises at low voltage but none of the 4412 does.

Posted: Mon Apr 19, 2004 4:47 am
by davidstone28
snutten wrote: .....and normally run my 4412's at 4V, about 400 rpm.
Crikey! :shock: Does that make any difference to any temperatures anywhere in your case?

Posted: Mon Apr 19, 2004 5:04 am
by Tigr
Dalbert wrote:
snutten wrote:No doubt your Papst is damaged. I have three 4412 and none of them wobble. It should be running very smooth.
Good to know, but do you hear ticking?
I had 4 Papst 4412 and 3 of them emit this very quiet ticking noise. The one that doesn't is the oldest of them all, actually. Papst may have changed something in the design of the fan in the past year or two. The sound is nowhere near prominent, I have to go really next to the fan with my ear to hear the sound, but it is there.

Regarding the wobbling, you may want to try to straighten your fan's frame. I had some experience with the 4412 when it may easily be twisted during transport or installation to the extent where the blades started to hit the frame. The frame is, apparently, very delicate and can be twisted easily. Try pulling on the sides of the fan outwards in both directions, it may help.

Posted: Tue May 04, 2004 9:23 am
by dasman
Just to update -- I finally got around to swapping the original 4412 for a new one -- no clicking or mechanical noise at all. It's easily the equal of the Nexus from a mechanical standpoint.

The only noise is airflow at the higher voltages.


Posted: Wed May 05, 2004 1:39 pm
by Maurizio XP
where is your papst made?

Germany or Hungheria?

Posted: Wed May 05, 2004 1:59 pm
by dasman
Both are Hungary.


Posted: Wed May 05, 2004 2:09 pm
by Maurizio XP
thx, also mine it's.

And what about the noiseblocker Sx1?

Posted: Wed May 05, 2004 9:52 pm
by mynameisyoung
Dasman, great job on the test.

I was wondering where you ordered your Papsts from

Also... the specs on the Papst seem to have it pushing 55 cfm at 26dba, do you believe this to be true?

I was concidering it for a mod on my Fortron Aurora 400 watt, but the specs seem to be a bit unrealistic so I was going to use an Evercool Medium Speed fan instead.

Posted: Thu May 06, 2004 6:33 am
by dasman
mynameisyoung wrote:I was wondering where you ordered your Papsts from
Silicon Acoustics -- and I always use the link on SPCR's home page to get there and order so that SPCR gets whatever ad $$'s they're supposed to...
mynameisyoung wrote:Also... the specs on the Papst seem to have it pushing 55 cfm at 26dba, do you believe this to be true?
Well, I have no way of measuring the dba and you'd have to do the measurement using the exact same method as the manf. to get close to the same number. I think the comments that both D_Bailey and I have should give a good idea as to how the various fans perform (admittedly, on a very small sample so YMMV).

As for the cfm, again, no way to measure but it didn't push as much as the acousti but pushed more than the Nexus and Antec -- otherwise, I couldn't tell you. I assume that the manf. specs on cfm would be pretty accurate since I don't know that testing methodology would come into play that much (I assume they all test in free air).


Posted: Fri May 07, 2004 2:32 pm
by jafb2000
This isn't cheap, but you forgot one fan:
o 120x25mm
o NMB 4110KL-04W-B10

Ticking in the tier-1 fans:
1) Foremost design criteria is life over extended temperatures
o Temperature:
---- cheapy fans die at high or low temps
---- PSUs run hot, usually dual-ball-bearing specified
---- traffic control circuits run cold, same again
---- comes down to oil re quality & viscosity range
o Life:
---- Papst will do 80-120,000hrs at 25oC
---- NMB will do similarly 100-140,000hrs at 25oC
---- Panaflo field data shows 114,000hrs at 70oC & 0 failures in 20M
---- all have ppm failure of below 50, and they scrap like kids over it

2) Material selection is thus based around rugged longevity
---- main (radial) fan bearings can have their own noise
-------- Papst > NMB > Panaflo - altho the latter two swap re some sizes
---- supplementary (axial) fan bearings also have some noise
-------- Papst & Panaflo use a thrust bearing
-------- NMB don't usually by the way their bearings are made

NMB use a pre-loaded, opposed fitted, ultra-precise ball-bearing.
o Ball-bearing fans have an inner & outer bearing
o NMB pre-load their ball-bearings in opposition
---- so reducing axial thrust noises
---- and extreme precision gives low radial noise too
o Papst bearings vary, the 80mm aren't the best
---- but the 50mm (Hungary) & some 120mm (Hungary) are very good

You may well want to repeat your test with a 4312L (120x32mm).
o 4312L is of the 4312MV series (variofan) which is 21dB(A) at 25oC
o 4312 lineage is the one that sets the life record for Papst also

The Panaflo thrust bearing is totally separate from the fan bearing,
shares nothing re lubricant - it just sits co-axial on the same shaft.
o The Hydrowave bearing is a large heavy ultra-precise sealed capsule
---- the top of the 3 fluid bearings (the simpler pivot is below)
---- cam rotates in a housing, with incredibly tiny grooves on the wall
---- it's playing with boundary layers & fluid dynamics re effect
---- the grooves & cam together never touch, but act to create pressure
---- thus it wears the least, and is the most rugged bearing
o Outside of the capsule casing is a hardened steel thrust shim
o Beyond that thrust shim is a brass/bronze thrust bearing/bushing

If you slap a Panaflo you'll hear a very distinct metallic clack.
If you push the intake side of a Panaflo in & release you get the clack.
o As you push the rotor in, the pre-loading thrust spring resists you
o Pushing the rotor in increases the thrust gap re capsule/shim/thrust-bearing
o Release the capsule/shim/thrust-bearing collide (capsule is heavy steel)

The shim isn't round, it's specially shaped, and has a hole in it which is
also not round but also specially shaped. The shim is free floating and can
spin occasionally, continually or as it feels like it. Thus you can get a
swish sound if you hold a Panaflo against your ear (literally) and disconnect
the power, it's hard to pick up but you can just about hear it. It can also
be a factor in ticking, or as a very external sounding metallic scraping.

I've wondered if the future is its replacement and another set of grooves
with a different cam shape (on ends) creating higher thrust resistance there.
However, I think the rugged requirements are as much re static (off) levels,
since the fan is heavily specified in arduous industrial not just medical.

Panaflo & NMB merged on Apr04 - about time.
The Joint Development Programme was good, but you still have two S.G.& A
structures in the two companies to support - like a gas & electric utility.
Merging the company rids the new organisation of that baggage, and brings
the capacity of NMB to bear on Panaflo - capacity restricted despite the
new plant in China & those in Japan (eg, Osaka). The unofficial name of
the new company is M3, but I guess that could change - immaterial really.

So there is a lot of change underway.

There will be some new fans - FBZ 60mm, perhaps more sizes.
However, there will never be a 120x25mm Hydrowave:
o The aspect ratio of the required size is not possible
o You can't do a co-axial shorter bearing either - idea didn't fly :-)

Some benefits have already been noticed, the blade profile has changed a
little, the tolerances of rotor-to-hub co-axial location is tighter etc.
The cables are also moving to NMBs high temperature very tough material.

Well worth testing the NMB 120mm:
o Probably the most balanced of the fans
o Ball bearings which are a world apart from most others you've had
---- eg, NMB keyboards even used still command nearly 3 figures

The real future is the junking of the dB(A) standard, it's crap
o Fan testing is mainly rpm, current draw and such like
---- rest is engineered in re process & input quality
o So variation from say NMB & Panaflo is very slight
---- even for Papst, despite the broadband noise etc, is very slight
o Basically it is not a factor in longevity
---- running fans on/off at 7-sec gap in a 92oC overtemp HALT confirms
---- actual field data from the makers & acceptance testing is better tho

However, dB(A), Bels, Sones etc really don't work well for quiet fans.
They don't capture the narrowband/broadband difference or motor-ics,
or the human perception nuances & qualitative preferences. Doing a
sound sample, then fast fourier transform (FFT) & such can show the
differences eg, Papst above NMB above Panaflo (altho the latter swap).
However, a better standard is required - as well as a testing standard.

The standards are lagging the market need right now, not just in fans
but broadly from the testing of thermal materials to CFD/FEA data on
components, packaging, and so on.

So might be worth adding the NMB 120x25mm B10 noise spec to your tests.
Note, you will not get tacho on that NMB model - and it can be hard to
track down, since some country distributors list it as non-production,
and some other country distributors list it as a production model.

Papst are improving things - an E spec which has 85oC max temp limit,
up from 70oC which is quite a good jump (altho more for industrial use).
New blade research published, which may result in a new variation of
the Panaflo FBL to make it a bit more attractive - the data is good,
but as to whether it is better than an FBA is enclosure specific.

Waiting on the FBZ 60mm anyway.

Unfortunately the NMB is around £22 ex vat in the UK from the main
distributor (RS Components, but as the merger into
M3 continues that means better availability = competition = prices :-)

NMB are also very good at creating very big thin fans - eg, 174x25mm.
Not difficult to create an OEM line of very low rpm, low noise versions as
they use the same size bearing as the 120mm. Conversely the Panaflo
120mm hydrowave bearing is the size & weight of a small SUV.

Posted: Fri May 07, 2004 2:41 pm
by jafb2000
> Also... the specs on the Papst seem to have it pushing
> 55 cfm at 26dba, do you believe this to be true?

Papst do test correctly - but remember the noise is more broadband
as the rpm of a 120mm fan rises and particularly in an enclosure since
you are moving from the free-air part of the P-Q curve into the area
which has various degrees of stall. The aim is to be in the 80% area.

This can have some anomolies - eg, the 412 40x20mm is 18dB(A),
but in reality it is closer to a 25dB(A) fan due to broadband noise.

Papst also have a little bit more vibration (they come from an industrial
background and are hugely expensive for integrators, so must pay for
it in some respect to get economic buyer approval) so can benefit from
the little squishy mounts or grommets you can buy.

If you want a quieter 120mm, the NMB B10 would come in better - the
blade design is a little better, and the bearing noise will be narrowband.

However, price or availability may present a barrier to that choice.

Posted: Sat May 08, 2004 5:17 am
by Ralf Hutter
jafb2000 wrote:If you want a quieter 120mm, the NMB B10 would come in better - the
blade design is a little better, and the bearing noise will be narrowband.

However, price or availability may present a barrier to that choice.
Got any to sell? I'd buy a couple. :)

Posted: Sat May 08, 2004 5:38 am
by jafb2000
I'm working on it, will take time.
New Panaflo fans in stock, the later models as the merger runs in
and a few minor changes begin to pan out into fresh distributor stock.

Basically it will be when Panaflo distributors also get NMB.

Of course, they will be called M3 then as fan maker, but the two
ranges will be completely parallel - there's no deletion as they
tackle two very different markets. Indeed there will be a growth
in the Panaflo offering, which will be nice - many sizes are OEM.

Check round the main distributors & component suppliers.
In the UK it is and USA probably
but you may have difficulty getting the B10 model over B20 as yet.

Any questions, as always, just ask :-)

Posted: Sat May 08, 2004 6:02 am
by dukla2000
jafb2000 - please keep the words of wisdom coming. Sure makes my brain hurt to concentrate but definately worth it to try learn a little of the inside track. (I still fear you have forgotten more on this subject than I have ever learned, but I try!)
jafb2000 wrote:Papst also have a little bit more vibration (they come from an industrial background and are hugely expensive for integrators, so must pay for it in some respect to get economic buyer approval) so can benefit from the little squishy mounts or grommets you can buy.
Dang - another thread here asked exactly that question and I advised the other way! My logic was we were talking undervolted 4412FGL so the vibrations are low anyway. But also Papst have those little individual balances: I was hoping these would be turning an average balnced fan into something superior. Seems you are saying they turn a badly balanced fan into something average?
jafb2000 wrote:If you want a quieter 120mm, the NMB B10 would come in better - the blade design is a little better, and the bearing noise will be narrowband.
I got an NMB 4710NL-04W-B10-P00 and am not that impressed - I prefer my 4412FGL. OK sample size 1 of each carries the usual "possibly meaningless result" health warning.

Ralf - I'll happily ship you my 4710NL in exchange for something similar from your shelf coming this way - PM if interested. (Mine was new from RS components, only couple 1000 hours on clock. I believe in 'nearly perfect' condition.)

Posted: Sat May 08, 2004 7:43 am
by jafb2000
> Dang - another thread here asked exactly that question and I advised
> the other way! My logic was we were talking undervolted 4412FGL so
> the vibrations are low anyway. But also Papst have those little
> individual balances: I was hoping these would be turning an average
> balnced fan into something superior. Seems you are saying they turn a
> badly balanced fan into something average?

Actually we are both right & both wrong.
o It is perhaps better to receive the fan - then make the decision
o Papst vibration is variable - the fans are a "broadband variability"
---- so some may benefit, or not benefit much at all

Again Papst lagged refining their tier-1 industrial fans for the consumer
application - and criteria of silence with its own special requirements.

o Industrial focus is extreme life, temp, ruggedness & reliability
---- indeed industrial now largely matches & replaces military spec
---- Siemens HiTop, DIN-Rail & other SMPS achieve 500,000-1,000,000hr MTBF
---- Fans can achieve MTBF over 100,000hrs in field data at high temps
o Consumer focus adds in /qualitative/ acoustic aspects & consistency
---- Papst quality in reliability performance is absolute
-------- but acoustically the consistency is "broadband"
---- NMB have the tightest consistency, very "narrowband"
-------- whilst the ball-bearings are very good
-------- the motor-ic isn't as good as the soft-switching Panaflo L1A
---- Panaflo & NMB consistency swaps around
-------- new process Panaflo L1A were "wow", 92L1BX boringly consistent
-------- however L1A are more consumer, 92L1BX server/industrial
-------- same reason why the 120mm size is 38mm-only re industrial-only

I guess that's one benefit NMB want from the merger, take the components
from the Panaflo and achieve 200M/yr economy of scale re pricing & usage.
Panaflo want the capacity, since demand is outstripping supply (hence you
have not been able to get certain models for some time & load lead times).

Some inconsistency you can't design out:
o Panaflo main fan bearing are very rugged, more rugged than ball-bearing
o However, the thrust bearing position can be affected by shock
---- precise position is important re clearance over hall-effect sensors
---- post office can sometimes whack the rotor in so hard the rotor jams
------- or sounds like a jack hammer, had a 92L1BX suffer that recently

So a 60G Hydrowave v 40G Ball-Bearing doesn't ensure consistency :-)

Tier-1 are definately refocusing around consumer market needs (mid-summer
process completion by Panaflo on L1A) in addition to industrial mkt needs.

o The gulf between consumer & industrial is getting very large indeed
---- obsolescence is as much thro quality & engineering
---- printers to PSUs are not in LJ2 or Siemens HiTop 500k-1000k MTBF
o The gulf between industrial & military grade is almost gone now
---- military increasingly use CommericalOffTheShelf industrial parts now
---- differences can come down to broader envelope factors re enclosure

Sorry, re NMB 120x25mm fan I mean 4710 - not 4110.

The key difference between narrowband & broadband is this:
o Put 4-8 Panaflo L1A together and you still have narrowband
---- acoustically consistent = low quiescient hum of soft airflow noise
---- what need 2" silent room listening to hear a difference needs 1"
o Pretty much the same with NMB
---- altho you may hear motor noise
---- you will hear more harmonics if the fans are B40 & or above re rpm
---- Panaflo bearing is smooth to H, a little better than NMB
o Put 4-8 Papst together and you have very clear broadband
---- acoustically inconsistent = broadband of various noises
---- not particularly bad, but noticeable

o 32-64 L1A together still sound narrow-band re noise consistency
---- total dB(A) prediction does not match measured or usability reports
o 32-64 Papst together sound very broad-band re noise inconsistency
---- usability testing finds people are drawn to inconsistencies
---- typically harmonics, various levels of ticking & beat frequencies

That said, don't run two Panaflo inline re older (bad) redundancy designs,
they are a tunnel vortex blade design and the boundary layer separation off
the foil will make a ghastly howling noise far louder than other fan designs.
It can also cause a "pumping" axial thrust of modulating beat frequency.

The Panasonic motor is derived from that of a broadcast video recorder:
o Bearing is huge - which costs you blade area re hub area (vis., 60/120mm)
---- classic example was the 40mm with just 4mm total active blade length :-)
---- hence their silly price, albeit true vibration free near silent design
o Motor is thus big - 4-pole large design, very large magnets (120mm weight)

EBM-Papst as they are now rebranded are pushing into higher size fans, with
the range running well into & past 350mm, 450mm & so on. More motors too,
and that will be a key focus of the M3 motor/fan company (Panaflo/NMB).

Some new fans:
o FBZ in 60mm - most sophisticated CFD optimised fan ever (Alliance Series)
---- FBA-L 60mm = 24.0dB(A), 14.1cfm
---- FBZ-S 60mm = 19.0dB(A), 13.5cfm - much quieter & similar airflow
---- FBZ-L 60mm = 22.5dB(A), 15.9cfm - quieter & more airflow
o Perhaps "S" models of other fans
---- yes, there is an S-spec below L-spec (quite a bit below)
---- the P-Q curve is superb - tighter stall area than any other fan make
o Panaflo go to 180mm - 70mm, 103mm
---- lots of unusual sizes & benefits too
o Hydrodynamic Bearing fans
---- beyond anything out there, but may be quite a bit more expensive
---- OR may be similar in price due to the merger (one benefit of it)

Hydrowave already has an improved multiple cam design.
o Ball-bearing fan will rise 6-10dB(A) over 30,000-40,000hrs
---- standard sleeve bearing (not Sintec) will rise 15dB(A) or more
o Hydrowave Panaflo rises 0dB(A) over 30,000-40,000hrs
---- that's the key benefit over other bearing technologies
o Hydrodynamic Bearing
---- may push this even further, but half way to nano-tech machining

FBX Step control may get into other fans as a simple option code:
o You provide a simple control input (5V)
o Fan responds by running at 50, 75 or 100% fan speeds
---- without the lag of thermistor controlled fans
---- without the incompatible PWM solution acoustic effects / lottery

Hence I've tried to stall getting 60mm as long as I can, the FBZ is a
world away from present technologies re bearing, motor, blade, housing.

Existing fan data specs are also likely to be revised, as the ISO9002
plants are producing very different (better) specs on all the TQM papers.

So a lot of aggressive changes going on. A lot more motors too.

Very interesting test of quiet 120mm fans -- in German!

Posted: Tue May 11, 2004 10:10 am
by NeilBlanchard

Well, I was Googling for Yate Loon, and I came up with this page: ... k-big.html

They test Papst, Y.S. Tech, Yate Loon, adjustable Enermax (at max and min speeds), NoiseBlocker, and a Titan unit that looks like the aluminum framed Evercool.

Can anybody get this page to be translated into Englishish?

The fans in order of air flow (lowest to highest):

Y.S. Tech
Enermax (at low speed)
NoiseBlocker Pro Blacksilence
Yate Loon
NoiseBlocker Blue
Enermax (at full speed)

The fans in order of noise levels (quietest to loudest):

Y.S. Tech
Enermax (at low speed)
NoiseBlocker Pro Blacksilence
Noiseblocker Blue
Yate Loon
Enermax (at full speed)

Notice that they are almost in the same order... :roll:

Posted: Tue May 11, 2004 11:57 am
by Strand
Is there anyone how has any experience of SilenX 120mm 14 dBA?

(Moved quiery to new thread!)

Posted: Tue May 11, 2004 12:52 pm
by Sooty
Hi Neil

English translation (..doesn’t translate entire page for some reason)

They appear to have tested the fans as CPU coolers, which isn’t perhaps their intended use. I doubt their findings translate precisley to fan case use.

Looking at the noise chart, I can't work out the significance of the two dB readings, and stating the difference between the two.

You can calculate overall cooling vs noise from their stats, by giving each fan a percentage score based on it's performance against the best performing fan. The NB SX2 comes out on top...

110.15 - NB SX2
110.85 - Enermax UC12 (1300)

113.45 - NB SX2 Pro
113.7 - Papst 4412
113.8 - YS Tech

119.9 - Yate Loon

121.05 - Titan
121.5 - Enermax UC12 (2300)

Thanks anyway

Posted: Tue May 11, 2004 5:22 pm
by NeilBlanchard

The Google translator doesn't do *any* of the page...thanks anyway!

Aaah, the AltaVista Babel Fish did it!
Think big - 120 mm fan Special

The advantage of 120 mm exhausts is obvious. By their larger wing geometry they promote more air than smaller models at same number of revolutions clearly. For particularly noise emission-conscious users it is naturally decisive that they offer a substantially more pleasant operating noise during same mechanical handling capacity. For each application they are however also not suitable. For the cooling of conventional radiator boxes for example a relatively point-exact air flow is needed. In this case the employment of a 80 mm of exhaust presents itself as substantially more efficient. Where 120 mm of exhausts can out-play their advantages completely, the ranges are housing ventilation and radiator cooling. Also to the cooling of power packs and as convection support of wide passive radiator boxes they are recommended. Excursion-give for the respective operating noise of the exhausts are the strength of the drive, the position of the wings and their geometry, as well as the kind the wave storage. For Ultra Low Noise advocate is naturally important that the exhaust with a particularly low number of revolutions can be operated and no disturbing background noises produced. My colleagues of placed a particularly interesting and comprehensive report recently on the legs. Altogether equivalent 57 Multimediafiles of different exhausts - among other things also nine 120 mm of exhaust - can be heard sample and compared with one another. In our Special it concerns however primarily around that instrumentation as well as subjectively determined operating noise and in particular the cooling performance of the respective models. As small Schmankerl the advantages of the exhaust uncoupling are to be pointed out for the first time instrumentation.

Comparison candidate:
Together with the Shopbetreiber Modding organization was selected a quite multicolored pallet by exhausts. One probably at the most frequent recommended 120 mm the exhaust is a Pope 4412 F/2GL. It must maintain ground in the comparison test among other things against two interesting models from the house Blacknoise. Likewise is used with the Y.S. Tech Green label of one of the at present quietest 120 mm of exhausts. Further models from the house Enermax and titanium, as well as from our forum admitted Yate Loon, round the pallet downward off. All indicated values were determined and to originate not from the specifications of the manufacturers. The quotations refer to the Shopbetreiber Modding Discount conditions 21.12.03. By any series dispersions the values and subjective impressions can deviate of it.

Pope 4412 F/2GL - the place deer offers the best processing and the smallest vibrations. Completely of background noises it is however not free in the lower speed range. During lowest starting tension of 3.36 V minimum rattling is heard. The 1,600 U/min has fast exhausts a relatively sumptuous Motorkorpus of 47.0 mm. Its blades are angephast and favourably rounded off. The 175 gram ceramic(s) sliding bearing for a particularly calm run has heavy bolide Sintec. The number of revolutions can be picked out by means of Tachosignalkabel. The purchase price is relatively highly however justified with EUR 16,99.

Noiseblocker SX2 pro Blacksilence - with its 1,550 U/min stands the 160 gram heavy exhausts in direct competition to the Pope 4412 F/2GL and can be compared from the operating noise also with it. It is relatively well finished and in the enterprise almost free by background noises. However it offers the strongest vibrations of all participants and should therefore be decoupled. The starting tension is with 4.64 V and the Motorkorpus measures a diameter of 44.0 mm. The number of revolutions can be picked out by means of Tachosignalkabel. With a purchase price of EUR 17,99 it is the most expensive exhaust of the entire test field.

Noiseblocker SX2 Blue Rev. 2 - The optically most responding exhaust of the test field. Well processes and with 40.0 mm of smallest Motorkorpus. Besides it brings the lowest weight with 105 gram into the scale pan. The starting tension of the exhaust doubly running in ball bearings is with 3.88 V. Unfortunately its operating noise is accompanied by easy vibrations and background noises in form of quiet rattles. By decoupling, one can work however to a large extent against. With a number of revolutions of 1.850 U/min it ranks among the somewhat higher performance models. The purchase price of EUR 13.99 appears appropriate.

Y.S. Tech FD1212251B-2F - With a number of revolutions of 1.100 U/min it is the quietest exhaust in the test field. At the same time the 160 gram heavy exhausts with 47.5 mm have the largest Motorkorpus. Its approach tension amounts to 4.62 V. The Tachosignal can be selected only by the few Main boards. The processing is altogether regarded by good quality. In the enterprise work ELT also as Green label well-known silent exhausts almost vibration-free, but not completely without background noises. Particularly at reduced number of revolutions it offers a quiet Klackern. With a purchase price of EUR 13,99 it is one of the most favorable exhausts of the test field.

Yate Loon D12BM-12 - which Yate Loon model of which predominantly in Fortron SOURCE power packs use finds, becomes in our forum already for a long time as if secrettap acted. Particularly the low approach tension of 2.66 V make interesting this exhaust for silent Freaks. Besides he works almost vibration-free and hardly offers background noises. The Motorkorpus 130 gram light exhaust is only 40.0 mm small. The processing satisfying and a Tachosignalkabel does not however only give it. Its number of revolutions is with roughly 2,350 U/min. At present only with as MR fan 12/2350 for EUR 11,90 available.

Titanium TFD-12025M12C - With a combat weight of 325 gram it is the heaviest exhaust in the test field. It is well finished and work ELT by its aluminum framework almost vibration-free. The starting tension is with 4.42 V. With 2.350 U/min its operating noise is clearly more highly than with comparable models. The Motorkorpus is relatively small with 42.0 mm. The number of revolutions can be picked out by means of Tachosignalkabel. The exhaust is suitable rather for Casemodder as for silent Freaks. At according to reduced number of revolutions, he proceeds even to some extent quietly. With a purchase price of EUR 11,99 it is besides quite favorably.

Enermax UC12-FAB - Well finished exhaust from the house Enermax. By means of existing potentiometer can be adjusted the number of revolutions from 1.300 to 2,300 U/min steplessly. Without the pre-mounted grille and in the number of revolutions reduced, he has even things to the silent exhaust. Hardly vibrations and only slight background noises ascertainable. The fan doubly running in ball bearings brings 160 gram on the balance and has a Tachosignalkabel. The Motorkorpus measures 45.0 mm and the lowest approach tension lies with 4.72 V relatively highly. With a purchase price of EUR 16.30 the Enermax counterpart is besides relatively inexpensive.

In order to reduce the number of revolutions of an exhaust, its operating voltage must be lowered. A fixed value is reached for example by connecting diodes, a not regulated Widerstandens or by the direct pick-up by the 4-poligen power pack plug. The stepless adjustment of the number of revolutions is obtained with adjustable resistances in the form of mechanical or electronically supported preset potentiometers. Appropriate exhaust price increases promise the highest comfort. In addition, this represents the most expensive possibility at the same time. Most frequently therefore different adaptor cables are used. But here one must differentiate clearly. Because not everywhere where drauf stands, comes for 7 V also 7 V raus. The most violent deviations to the indicated value are to be noticed with cheap adaptor cables with soldered resistance. With such an adaptor cable a tension is spent not rarely of 10 instead of 7 V. Without reservation recommendable and inexpensive are however adaptor cables, which measure their tension directly from the 4-poligen power pack plug. Hereby the exhaust with genuine 5 becomes and/or. 7 V fed. Unfortunately one must do with these cables partially without the Tachosignal. Appropriate models are offered among other things by Sharkoon and Zalman and are available at Modding organization for narrow money.

Contrary to autorims, the impellers are heaved by exhausts only by the few manufacturers. From the imbalance unpleasant vibrations in the enterprise, which are transferred to the underground fastened on it, result. Ressonanzgeraeu resulted from it is usually felt disturbing clearly, as the actual operating noise of the exhaust. Centrically glued on manufacturer labels do not strengthen this effect unfortunately additionally. An effective uncoupling of the underground is therefore obligation and effectuation particularly with not approximately running exhausts true miracles. Meanwhile for nearly all erdenklichen areas of application are offered corresponding shock-mounts. The so-called Gummislicks, own itself not only outstanding for decoupling the housing exhaust, but also for immobilizing the CPU exhaust. Who wants to use a 120 mm of exhausts for example for cooling a Zalman of fan radiator, can this by means of two angles and appropriate oscillation elements effectively of the housing decouple. In addition, applies within the range for offered shock-mounts: It is not all gold which shines. Thus only unsatisfactory results can be obtained e.g. with the silicone documents offered in different sizes. With something know-how the ambitionierte DO-IT-YOURSELF amateur handicraftsman can cause good results even with budgetary appropriations.

Cooling performance:
In order to determine the cooling performance and/or the air volume of the different exhausts, these are used against our recommendations as processor exhausts. Due to the very different numbers of revolutions - 1,100 to 2,350 U/min - all measurements were accomplished in 12 V enterprise. Who obtains the lowest temperatures in interaction with Thermalrights SP-97, the nose in this category has in front. Our candidates do not let themselves be installed however due to their enormous size directly onto the radiator box. That is also well like that, because by their large Motorkorpus from 40,0 to 47.5 mm, the Hotspot can be cooled not directly. Because relevant fan adapters likewise obtain no satisfying results, originally becomes for 80 and 92 mm conceived fan Bracket from the house Zalman uses. With the indicated temperature levels it concerns actual processor core temperatures. These lie usually up to 25% more highly than with Main boards, which pick the processor temperature out over a temperature sensor in the base. Thus the critical range begins with this system only with over 85°C and expresses themselves by instabilities.

Because all exhausts offer an almost identical layout, the number of revolutions can be considered already nearly as indication to the respective cooling performance. The exception places the Noiseblocker SX2 Blue Rev. 2. It cools in relation to the number of revolutions noticeably better than the competition. Otherwise the cooling performance of the individual exhausts without large deviations of their number of revolutions behaved accordingly.
Core temperature XP2200+

Room temperature

CCU temp load


Titanium TFD-12025M12C

20,5 °C

62,0 °C

41,5 °C

Enermax UC12-FAB

2300 U/min:
21,0 °C

2300 U/min:
64,0 °C

2300 U/min:
43,0 °C

NB SX2 Blue Rev. 2

20,0 °C

64,0 °C

44,0 °C

Yate Loon D12BM-12

20,5 °C

66,5 °C

46,0 °C

Pope 4412 F/2GL

20,0 °C

69,5 °C

49,5 °C

NB SX2 pro Blacksilence

19,5 °C

69,5 °C

50,0 °C

Enermax UC12-FAB

1300 U/min:
20,5 °C

1300 U/min:
71,0 °C

1300 U/min:
50,5 °C

Y.S. Tech FD1212251B-2F

21,0 °C

73,5 °C

52,5 °C

Noise measuring:
The measurement of the A-weighted sound pressure level is predominantly used for noise measuring. By noises according to DIN 1320 appropriate sound events in the frequency range of human hearing from approximately 16 cycles per second to 16 kHz are not understood. They are purely physically detectable after: Sound pressure, frequency, duration and frequency. From this fact in practice two valuation criteria developed, which consider frequency and time-dependent function of the hearing: Periodical evaluation and time-dependent evaluation. For the periodical evaluation evaluation curves are fixed. The most commonly used for noise measurement, which is realized also in the Engelke Sweeper, is the A-weighting.

The noise level is judged by practice-oriented yardsticks. Thus the volume of the entire system - with closed housing and job-conformal distance - is evaluated. In addition special Ultra silents a test computer is used on basis of the Chieftec CS-601 Towers, whose is other acoustic sources only a Ultra silent power pack and decoupled silent a hard disk, which do not affect the sound happening of the radiator. The distances kept during noise measuring can be inferred from the measuring instrument standing down.

As special Schmankerl the operating noises of the respective exhausts were determined directly several times - enkoppelt and not decoupled - instrumentation. Thus all doubts about the effectiveness of the exhaust uncoupling from the way are to be finally vacated. Besides the difference uncovers indulgenceless, which exhaust in the enterprise produces the most vibrations and thus overlaying Ressonanzgeraeu.

Measured volume


Exhaust does not decouple


Y.S. Tech FD1212251B-2F

25,5 railway (A)

26,9 railway (A)

1,4 railway (A)

Enermax UC12-FAB

1300 U/min:
25,7 railway (A)

1300 U/min:
26,1 railway (A)

1300 U/min:
0,4 railway (A)

NB SX2 pro Blacksilence

26,6 railway (A)

28,5 railway (A)

1,9 railway (A)

Pope 4412 F/2GL

27,8 railway (A)

28,2 railway (A)

0,4 railway (A)

NB SX2 Blue Rev. 2

28,6 railway (A)

30,6 railway (A)

2,0 railway (A)

Yate Loon D12BM-12

33,2 railway (A)

33,6 railway (A)

0,4 railway (A)

Enermax UC12-FAB

2300 U/min:
35,8 railway (A)

2300 U/min:
36,4 railway (A)

2300 U/min:
0,6 railway (A)

Titanium TFD-12025M12C

36,7 railway (A)

36,9 railway (A)

0,2 railway (A)

Test computer:

* Main board: Epox 8K3A+ (passive)
* Processor: AMD Athlon XP 2200+ Thoroughbred A (67,9 Watts)
* Processor radiator: Thermalright SP-97 (Triple Heatpipe)
* Contact means: Cooler master Premium Compound (by Shin Etsu)
* Memory: 256 MT Corsair XMS-3000 CL2
* Diagram map: Radeon 9000 pro 128MB (passive, Zalman ZM80A-HP)
* Non removable disk: Samsung SV0802N (ichbinleise® box HDD 10)
* Housing: Chieftec CS-601 (steel sheet, closed)
* Power pack: A Conto NoiseMagic Enermax 1500 (Ultra silent)
* Housing ventilation: none
* Data medium connection: Rounded Silver Cable
* Operating system: Microsoft Windows 98 SE (without ACPI)
* Software: Motherboard monitor, prime 95
* Room temperature: 19,5 - 21.0 °C

Thermalright SP-97 with Zalman fan Bracket

That from this comparison test no clear winner will come out, I already assumed after the first test runs. Because everyone of the tested exhausts offers a completely individual characteristic. The best total package ties however Pope with that 4412 F/2GL. Here unterm line tunes simply everything. Outstanding quality of workmanship, vibration-free run and a pleasant operating noise. Apart from the minimum background noises at lower numbers of revolutions - almost perfect. The Noiseblocker SX2 pro Blacksilence positively surprised. Thus it is inferior to the Pope in Punkto cooling performance in nothing and is decoupled even clearly quieter. Even at lowest numbers of revolutions the Blacknoise counterpart does not offer audible background noises. If the exhaust is bolted however directly, it produces disturbing Ressonanzgeraeu. The Noiseblocker SX2 Blue Rev. 2 is not only the optically most responding exhaust of the test field, but offers besides the best relation from cooling performance to operating noise. Unfortunately it is not free in the enterprise from background noises and vibrations. If it is however decoupled, it almost makes music on Pope level. Without the factory-installed installed exhaust lattice, arises with the Enermax UC12-FAB more joy than expected. At lowest number of revolutions work ELT it super+quietly and cools in relation to it even quite properly. Besides vibrations and background noises are almost strange to it. As only exhausts in the test field it has even an integrated trim potentiometer - recommendable! The Y.S. Tech Green label offered causes the quietest operating noise by its low number of revolutions with 12 V. However accompanying background noises cloud the otherwise pleasant operating noise. At same number of revolutions the competition makes music partly clearly more pleasantly. Who can do without a Tachosignal and at the only satisfying processing of the Yate Loon D12BM-12 does not disturb themselves, receives the exhaust with the lowest approach tension. Besides work ELT it extremely vibration-poor and freely of background noises. The titanium TFD-12025M12C is bad no way, but surely in the range Modding better waived. By its enormous weight and his loud operating noise its employment in silent systems makes little sense.

Thank saying:
Special thanks for the supply of the Testsamples apply for the managing director of Modding Discout - Mr. Philip Conradi.

Left to the topic:
Modding organization [ selling ]

Like I said: Englishish. I like the low vibration and very low starting voltageage on the Yate Loon and the Enermax... :wink: