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PWM Radiator Fan Choice


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So looking at fans out there these days and not entirely sure best to get. I have a few options in mind, but these are my priorities:

 

  1. Silence. I typically run my fans around 1000RPM (maybe more, depends on the fan) for noise reasons. If all else is similar, the quieter fan will win for me. To be clear my number one reason for watercooling is for silent computing.
  2. Radiator performance - Obviously closely behind #1, performance matters. As best as possible I like to get the best of both worlds of performance and silence.
  3. Aesthetic - Not high on the priority list, but not willing to use ugly brown Noctuas either.
  4. Cost/Value - Fans are expensive, but you can use them for a long, long time, so this is not high up on my priority list.

 

With that in mind, I have the following options I've found online but need to narrow down what will work best.

 

  • BeQuiet Silent Wing 3 - From what I can tell in preliminary research, might be best for my silence need, but not entirely sure on performance?
  • Arctic P12 - Obvious choice from a cost/value perspective that seems to have good performance, but I've read a lot of people don't like the sound signature, so that is a concern for me since I am very sensitive to it.
  • Lian Li Unifan SL120 - To be clear, I don't want RGB and would not use it, but I do like the idea of being able to daisy chain 3 fans together without cable clutter. Not sure it's worth the cost though, and haven't seen any good performance comparisons for these fans.
  • Noctua NF-P12 Redux - Don't really know anything about these, just noticed they weren't brown.

 

What else should I be looking at?

Edited by Sir Beregond
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2 hours ago, Sir Beregond said:

So looking at fans out there these days and not entirely sure best to get. I have a few options in mind, but these are my priorities:

 

  1. Silence. I typically run my fans around 1000RPM (maybe more, depends on the fan) for noise reasons. If all else is similar, the quieter fan will win for me. To be clear my number one reason for watercooling is for silent computing.
  2. Radiator performance - Obviously closely behind #1, performance matters. As best as possible I like to get the best of both worlds of performance and silence.
  3. Aesthetic - Not high on the priority list, but not willing to use ugly brown Noctuas either.
  4. Cost/Value - Fans are expensive, but you can use them for a long, long time, so this is not high up on my priority list.

 

With that in mind, I have the following options I've found online but need to narrow down what will work best.

 

  • BeQuiet Silent Wing 3 - From what I can tell in preliminary research, might be best for my silence need, but not entirely sure on performance?
  • Arctic P12 - Obvious choice from a cost/value perspective that seems to have good performance, but I've read a lot of people don't like the sound signature, so that is a concern for me since I am very sensitive to it.
  • Lian Li Unifan SL120 - To be clear, I don't want RGB and would not use it, but I do like the idea of being able to daisy chain 3 fans together without cable clutter. Not sure it's worth the cost though, and haven't seen any good performance comparisons for these fans.
  • Noctua NF-P12 Redux - Don't really know anything about these, just noticed they weren't brown.

 

What else should I be looking at?

Seems about right, I would go with the P12's or the SW3's. I own about 24 SW3's and love them. 

Edited by Avacado
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2 hours ago, Sir Beregond said:

So looking at fans out there these days and not entirely sure best to get. I have a few options in mind, but these are my priorities:

 

  1. Silence. I typically run my fans around 1000RPM (maybe more, depends on the fan) for noise reasons. If all else is similar, the quieter fan will win for me. To be clear my number one reason for watercooling is for silent computing.
  2. Radiator performance - Obviously closely behind #1, performance matters. As best as possible I like to get the best of both worlds of performance and silence.
  3. Aesthetic - Not high on the priority list, but not willing to use ugly brown Noctuas either.
  4. Cost/Value - Fans are expensive, but you can use them for a long, long time, so this is not high up on my priority list.

 

With that in mind, I have the following options I've found online but need to narrow down what will work best.

 

  • BeQuiet Silent Wing 3 - From what I can tell in preliminary research, might be best for my silence need, but not entirely sure on performance?
  • Arctic P12 - Obvious choice from a cost/value perspective that seems to have good performance, but I've read a lot of people don't like the sound signature, so that is a concern for me since I am very sensitive to it.
  • Lian Li Unifan SL120 - To be clear, I don't want RGB and would not use it, but I do like the idea of being able to daisy chain 3 fans together without cable clutter. Not sure it's worth the cost though, and haven't seen any good performance comparisons for these fans.
  • Noctua NF-P12 Redux - Don't really know anything about these, just noticed they weren't brown.

 

What else should I be looking at?

 

...'Some say' that I've gone Arctic P12-pwm-mad (spoiler), but I tried a few out on some HEDT systems and they work fantastically well - so I bought some more 😜 . Couple of quick points: I use them in push/pull on thick, high-fpi-count rads, which are also rubber-mounted (as are the fans) AND there's electrical tape covering the gap between the fan bodies and the rad bodies (that does make a small difference on both sound and temps).

 

...the Arctic P12s are among the best-performing fans I've used re. both temps and sound (or lack thereof). I am going to change over other systems that currently have GentleTyphoon / 3k rpm and Sunon / 5k rpm fans..AND Corsair ML120s which get annoyingly loud at high rpm, louder than the GentleTyphoons for example. On my current build that has the Arctic P12 pwm, all I hear the distant whoosh of the actual air rushing through the rads..exception being some accompanying Arctic P8 (rev2) which are 3K rpm fans - but for that, again very quiet compared to other 3k rpm fans 

 

...the Noctua NF-P12 Redux you mentioned are a great choice as well, but pri$ey. If you have the space, getting Arctic P12 pwm pst for push/pull would be a great option as that also increases your options re. rpm ranges.

 

..the only real disadvantage of the Arctic P12 pwm pst is that their pwm cables are a bit too short, though the value-pack versions - unlike the single purchase ones - include both a male and female connectors 

 

Spoiler

plp2.thumb.jpg.2798b956406b005f1f1d330a67bdec4e.jpg

 

Edited by J7SC_Orion
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3 hours ago, Avacado said:

Seems about right, I would go with the P12's or the SW3's. I own about 24 SW3's and love them. 

 

Thank you, sounds like a solid endorsement!

 

3 hours ago, J7SC_Orion said:

 

...'Some say' that I've gone Arctic P12-pwm-mad (spoiler), but I tried a few out on some HEDT systems and they work fantastically well - so I bought some more 😜 . Couple of quick points: I use them in push/pull on thick, high-fpi-count rads, which are also rubber-mounted (as are the fans) AND there's electrical tape covering the gap between the fan bodies and the rad bodies (that does make a small difference on both sound and temps).

 

...the Arctic P12s are among the best-performing fans I've used re. both temps and sound (or lack thereof). I am going to change over other systems that currently have GentleTyphoon / 3k rpm and Sunon / 5k rpm fans..AND Corsair ML120s which get annoyingly loud at high rpm, louder than the GentleTyphoons for example. On my current build that has the Arctic P12 pwm, all I hear the distant whoosh of the actual air rushing through the rads..exception being some accompanying Arctic P8 (rev2) which are 3K rpm fans - but for that, again very quiet compared to other 3k rpm fans 

 

...the Noctua NF-P12 Redux you mentioned are a great choice as well, but pri$ey. If you have the space, getting Arctic P12 pwm pst for push/pull would be a great option as that also increases your options re. rpm ranges.

 

..the only real disadvantage of the Arctic P12 pwm pst is that their pwm cables are a bit too short, though the value-pack versions - unlike the single purchase ones - include both a male and female connectors 

 

  Reveal hidden contents

plp2.thumb.jpg.2798b956406b005f1f1d330a67bdec4e.jpg

 

 

I am not planning on push/pull, it'll be strictly push or pull (haven't quite figured out optimal fan intake/exhaust plan for an O11-D yet. 

 

So, sounds like you rally like the P12's 🤪. Maybe I missed it, do you also run the P12's at 3k RPM?

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8 minutes ago, Sir Beregond said:

 

Thank you, sounds like a solid endorsement!

 

 

I am not planning on push/pull, it'll be strictly push or pull (haven't quite figured out optimal fan intake/exhaust plan for an O11-D yet. 

 

So, sounds like you rally like the P12's 🤪. Maybe I missed it, do you also run the P12's at 3k RPM

 

The P12 (120mm) pwm max around 1,800 - 1900 RPM, the smaller P8 /rev2 (80mm) can hit 3,000 rpm.

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37 minutes ago, J7SC_Orion said:

 

The P12 (120mm) pwm max around 1,800 - 1900 RPM, the smaller P8 /rev2 (80mm) can hit 3,000 rpm.

 

Gotcha. Ok then. I am thinking these or the Silent Wing 3's are on the short list.

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34 minutes ago, Sir Beregond said:

 

Gotcha. Ok then. I am thinking these or the Silent Wing 3's are on the short list.

 

Good choices (as would be the Noctua Redux). BTW, what colour option is your Lian Li O11 Dynamic ?

 

Also, just don't develop a case of fanritis... 

...this is just a fraction, pulled out of workstation and servers...black and white pic to hide the dirt in the top pic...those were lined up for cleaning after several years of faithful workstation service. The pile on the right in the top pic are 9x GentleTyphoon 3k rpm, center stag is made up of the Sunon 120mm 5k rpm server fans; some Noctuas below those and InWins to the left. Bottom one has a few BeQuiet Silent Wing 2s, a 140mm Corsair and a couple of 200mm Corsairs...only ever lost one main-stream 120m or bigger fan, and that was a  120mm Noctua NF12- a screwdriver rolled off the top of an open server frame and hit a blade of the spinning Noctua which came flying off...my mistake 😬

  

fanstackU.thumb.jpg.4a5f674d0958e1ae0f4e34752504062f.jpg

 

 

Edited by J7SC_Orion
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On 4/11/2021 at 9:39 PM, J7SC_Orion said:

 

Good choices (as would be the Noctua Redux). BTW, what colour option is your Lian Li O11 Dynamic ?

 

Also, just don't develop a case of fanritis... 

...this is just a fraction, pulled out of workstation and servers...black and white pic to hide the dirt in the top pic...those were lined up for cleaning after several years of faithful workstation service. The pile on the right in the top pic are 9x GentleTyphoon 3k rpm, center stag is made up of the Sunon 120mm 5k rpm server fans; some Noctuas below those and InWins to the left. Bottom one has a few BeQuiet Silent Wing 2s, a 140mm Corsair and a couple of 200mm Corsairs...only ever lost one main-stream 120m or bigger fan, and that was a  120mm Noctua NF12- a screwdriver rolled off the top of an open server frame and hit a blade of the spinning Noctua which came flying off...my mistake 😬

  

fanstackU.thumb.jpg.4a5f674d0958e1ae0f4e34752504062f.jpg

 

 

How did you like the In Wins? I still have the set of 3 Aurora fans with the controller rgb strips and fans I won.Might replace the 3 case fans that came with the low end case with them.(I'd actually FORGOT about them until after I'd ordered a Noctua to supplement the case fans) If anyone else is interested,these are the specs for the AURORA fans in the screen shot.

Edit: have the 3 fan kit with the controller now installed. Software from In Win kinda sucks on Windows 10.About the only thing I was able to do was change brightness of leds on fan/speed of leds and turn lights on or off. NO functional fan control(other than turbo mode) even though it's in the limited software. Thinking of trying the board to control the setup even though at time of release it wasn't 1 of the supported brand/models.This 1 has the same header as the gigabyte msi boards for the onboard rgb control. Current speed 3 input averaging 730 RPM's while browsing online,Noctua exhaust running 1070's rpm.including a shot of the "software".

 

Screenshot_397.jpg

Screenshot_398.jpg

Edited by schuck6566
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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, J7SC_Orion said:

 

Good choices (as would be the Noctua Redux). BTW, what colour option is your Lian Li O11 Dynamic ?

 

It's black. Going for a black/white/gold theme if I can swing it. Fans I am mainly thinking black will be fine.

 

EDIT: Also, I have a box of old fans somewhere, including like 20 GT AP-15's. While those fans are mostly great, I am wondering if I can get quieter these days. They are also pretty old at this point, so unsure if I want to allocate them to a new build as opposed to some project stuff in the future.

Edited by Sir Beregond
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2 hours ago, schuck6566 said:

How did you like the In Wins? I still have the set of 3 Aurora fans with the controller rgb strips and fans I won.Might replace the 3 case fans that came with the low end case with them.(I'd actually FORGOT about them until after I'd ordered a Noctua to supplement the case fans) If anyone else is interested,these are the specs for the AURORA fans in the screen shot.

Screenshot_397.jpg

 

 The InWins I have are about 8 or so years old and have semi-transparent wings & body, along with 4 blue LEDs. They are totally quiet and good performers, ie. as rad fans. They are however only 'Molex'.

 

22 minutes ago, Sir Beregond said:

 

It's black. Going for a black/white/gold theme if I can swing it. Fans I am mainly thinking black will be fine.

 

EDIT: Also, I have a box of old fans somewhere, including like 20 GT AP-15's. While those fans are mostly great, I am wondering if I can get quieter these days. They are also pretty old at this point, so unsure if I want to allocate them to a new build as opposed to some project stuff in the future.

 

Strong cooing performance without the noise is important to me as well these days - which is why I like the Arctic P12s...great performers w/o the noise.

 

 

 

Edited by J7SC_Orion
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, J7SC_Orion said:

 

 The InWins I have are about 8 or so years old and have semi-transparent wings & body, along with 4 blue LEDs. They are totally quiet and good performers, ie. as rad fans. They are however only 'Molex'.

 

 

Strong cooing performance without the noise is important to me as well these days - which is why I like the Arctic P12s...great performers w/o the noise.

 

 

 

 

Yeah so I think I am down to the P12 or SW3. I might just grab one of each and test them out. I'll need 9 altogether.

Edited by Sir Beregond
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1 hour ago, Sir Beregond said:

 

Yeah so I think I am down to the P12 or SW3. I might just grab one of each and test them out. I'll need 9 altogether.

 

I like'em both, though P12s win on price:performance. @iamjanco seems to like SWs 🙂

  

iaj_dual_dualD5.thumb.jpg.ea3ca33f470149d081d72f6f263c7f14.jpg

 

 

 

 

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