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Thread: Fan Mini-Review: Fan Roundup 3 Begins

  1. #1
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    Fan Mini-Review: Fan Roundup 3 Begins

    Fan Roundup Part 3 has begun

    Preface
    Doing things a little differently for my third fan mega-round-up. Will be doing mini installments of some 'key' matchups as I build up all the data to the full-size review. The full review will be more than just an amalgamation of results--it will have its own new results of fans I've left out in the process (because they didn't quite fit into any of the mini round ups).

    I haven't done this previously for a variety of reasons:
    1) I really didn't know what the 'key' matchups were until AFTER the tests were completed.
    1a) The key matchups for this review were pretty clear. Today you will see the first one.

    2) With my old test setups, I was wary that I'd get done with some data, publish it, and then find a flaw in it via later testing. By withholding the data until it was all screened as a whole and randomly double checked (well, I checked the San Ace H1011 data at least 5 times), I felt more confident in the consistency and validity.
    2a) With my new test setup and the experience of testing over 90 fans prior to this round up, I feel I can screen, double check, and publish as I go.

    3) It's a lot of work to do this. By releasing the data all at the end, I can take breaks as I please. Real life can get in the way without any sort of concern over a deadline, and I can prepare certain people of certain results (for instance...I contacted Petra suggesting he order more Yate Loons before I published my review showing his were different and superior to the rest).
    3a) I plan to do all the above still. Sorry, but if I need a break from testing, I'm taking it. Each fan takes about two hours to get basic data from, plus I also warm the fans up and also do an extended burn-in to achieve data that's representative of long-term use, rather than out-of-the-box use (I mean, really...who cares how a fan performs for the first 5 minutes you have it?...the other 525,595 minutes in a year are more important).


    Testing has changed....again
    Okay, yeah...each full-size round up has its own testing procedure and testbed. I make improvements each time for a variety of reasons:
    1) attempt to speed up the procedure for my sanity.
    2) attempt to improve repeatability of...everything.
    3) attempt to have more significant data each successive test.
    4) I actually don't want results from one test compared to another.

    What does that mean?

    Well, from going from Roundup 1 to Roundup 2, I ditched the CPU temp tests. They were a massive PITA. And they didn't *say* much, IMO. I also tried to get more prevalent fans for Roundup 2, as I felt the fans in Roundup 1 were almost a hodge-podge collection that were not terribly representative of what overclockers will be using in their daily systems (or what was available for sale).

    For Roundup 3, I have the biggest change yet (IMO). I've done separate testing for Open Air Noise and Radiator Noise. No longer am I correlating Radiator Airflow with Open Air Noise. It wasn't totally useless as it was--the airflow numbers were always pertinent, and to be frank, the Open Air Noise numbers aren't typically that different from Radiator Noise numbers. But thanks to one particular fan in Roundup 3, my hand was pushed and I HAD to do the testing. More on this later.

    As for point #4, that may seem weird to dataologists (yes, I made that up, but you probably know what it means--there are many of you here at XS). But simply...the test environments were very different and frankly, the fans themselves weren't even the same. I just didn't want people thinking that one result from one test could be just dropped into the result bank of another test...so I went out of my way to make the data incongruous. The easiest way? Change the way I used to convert my recorded noise measurements to published noise data. The data didn't actually change, just the number associated with it--and I'd do it differently each time. Roundup 3 is no exception. Don't try to compare data from this roundup to previous roundups, please.


    Okay, enough bloviating
    Let's talk about fans.

    In this roundup I've tested between 4 and 6 fans, depending on how you count

    Fan 1) Scythe S-Flex E (1200RPM)
    Fan 2) Scythe Slip Stream M (1200RPM)
    Fan 3) Yate Loon D12SL-12 (1350RPM)
    Fan 4) Noctua P12 (retail sample, 1300RPM)
    Fan 5) Noctua P12 (review sample, 1300RPM)
    Fan 6) San Ace 109R1212H1011 @ 5V (yes, only 5V results in this test--no clue what RPM it's at )

    Why these fans?
    All are either tested, rated, or presumed to move approximately 50CFM. They're also the most prevalent everywhere you go on the internet.

    Two are solid performers from Roundup 2: the Yate Loon D12SL-12 (well, I actually didn't test the SL, but the SM is extremely similar as I found out in my own testing later) and the S-Flex E.

    There's the king of Roundup 2: the San Ace 109R1212H1011...but only at 5V, since that's really all that's pertinent.

    There's two new gunners: the Slip Stream M may be rated for 68.54CFM, but it's a 1200RPM fan and if I've learned anything, it's two things (); 1) manufacturer ratings can be fully ignored for both CFM and dBA and 2) RPM rating tells you a lot about what a fan can or can't do. As it turns out, the fan doesn't move 68+CFM, go figure.

    The other newcomer is the Noctua P12--and in addition to having my usual retail sample (I buy ALL of my fans...more on this later), I also have a review sample from Noctua (I don't know if they know I have it though?--it wasn't sent directly to me [or with the intent of ending up in my hands] is the short version). The review sample was made in late October of `07 and the retail sample was made in mid April of `08. Both are otherwise "new" though...they were NIB when they reached my hands. This fan promises to be a significant improvement over the previous S12 via significantly revamped design to rectify radiator performance (the S12 was a very good fan that was basically incompatible with radiators and fan filters due to its fan blade design).

    Anyway, the reason I don't test review samples is simple (especially if you've taken an Intro to Philosophy course)....while I can trust some companies to send me run-of-the-mill fans that I'd expect to perform identically to a retail sample (Panaflo, Sanyo Denki, NMB-MAT, Delta, etc.), other companies I absolutely cannot trust (SilenX, Silverstone, etc.)...and then there are the companies in the middle (Zalman, Noctua, Scythe) that I'm (rightfully) unsure of. The philosophical problem is: where do I draw a line? Any line is arbitrary so therefore I can't draw any line. This means either ALL review samples, which is already proven as a bad option....or ALL retail samples, which I do. Besides, a retail sample is very likely to be more universally indicative of retail performance.

    So why am I testing a review sample of the Noctua P12? Curiosity mostly. I have it, so I figure I might as well compare it to the one I've purchased.


    Anybody want results? Did anybody actual read all of that? God I hope so...little irks me more than having someone ask a question that's answered in the first post. It may be a lot of words, but it's important, pertinent, and it'll be the last time I say most of it as further Mini-Reviews will be mostly data/interpretation-only.


    Open Air Performance



    All fans are good here, really....there's no winners or losers. There are some important things to note, however.

    1) the review sample generally outperforms the retail sample except at 8V and 9V where the review sample acoustically goes flat. It doesn't change at all--the pitch, the loudness, nothing. I had to double check the multimeter. That said, when put on the airflow testbed, the same noise characteristics were noted, but the airflow scaling was as-expected. Hence the 'dip'

    2) the S-Flex E is the best sounding of the group. No doubt about it. YL D12SL-12 is a close 2nd. The S-Flex E also gets quiet in a hurry...at 7V it's making about the same amount of noise as the other fans do at 5V.

    3) the Slip Stream struts its stuff. Disappointingly, it never gets silent, even at 5V, but it performs well in open air and has a decent noise profile.

    4) the Noctuas sound pretty good. They're not as good as the S12s I tested, subjectively, but they're good. I'd put them in my case

    5) San Ace H1011 isn't going to be dethroned easily. Oddly, it was also the 'chattiest.' Nothing you'd notice in a case, but sitting out in an open room and compared to some great fans, you notice the slightest different and it was making a bit extra noise than I would have expected...still a wonderful showing though.


    Radiator Performance
    Things get interesting



    1) Okay, who didn't see the Slip Steam's demise coming? I know I've been harping on it for the longest time...but even this surprised me.

    1a) When first testing this fan for the Fan Filter Comparison I did, I noticed it was actually performing okay on the radiator. Airflow numbers weren't horrendous like I anticipated. The 1900RPM "SH" actually had similar airflow loss to the 1900RPM S-Flex G. I was kinda flabbergasted. Then I turned off the music, turned off the A/C, turned off the TV, turned off the loud-as-sin Xbox 360, turned off the dogs and turned off the gf and I noticed something--the Slip Streams were getting significantly louder on a radiator. Well beyond the point of turbulence noise...it was like the fan was increasing its RPM...significantly. Now I haven't tested THAT (RPM sensors I've learned to not trust, thanks ASUS, Intel, Abit, and DFI), but I figured I might as well test the noise it makes on a radiator...then I realized if I was going to be testing the noise it made on a radiator, I'd have to test all fans on a radiator for noise. No longer could I assume the difference would be negligible....thanks Scythe.

    1b) So I began testing noise on a radiator set up and....wow...my ears were right, the thing makes a ton of new and extra noise on a radiator. Whereas the Yate Loon and S-Flex basically were unchanged on the radiator, the Slip Stream acted like a completely different fan--a fan out of the 1200RPM class.

    2) In other news, the San Ace H1011 actually got quieter on a radiator It also has fairly high CFM loss all things considered...but that's nothing new, it did in Roundup 2 as well. I have a feeling its RPM is decreasing. Still at the top of the heap though

    3) Yate Loon D12SL-12 and S-Flex E are solid performers--still.

    4) The Noctua P12 didn't quite live up to the hype. It's a pretty good performer, no doubt (its superiors are outstanding fans frankly), but it's not a killer like it looks and is hyped. It may be an overaggressive blade structure causing turbulence noise that brings it down. I'll have to examine more.

    5) The review sample still has the dip, but the added noise of being on the radiator (and the increase in airflow) shallows the dip slightly.


    The end
    That's basically all I have for now. Not sure what fans will come next or when to expect the results, but I have oodles of free time this week (I think), so who knows what will actually happen.

  2. #2
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    (yes, this is a copy of what's in the Liquid Cooling section....but I've learned my lesson by only posting in one section)

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    let the madness begin!

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    Thanks for the reviews. Interesting about the Noctua P12.
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  5. #5
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    I cannot see the San Ace H1011 results on the graph?? the rest show up but that one does not, any one else have this problem?

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    Quote Originally Posted by philbrown23 View Post
    I cannot see the San Ace H1011 results on the graph?? the rest show up but that one does not, any one else have this problem?
    Neither can I
    Unless we are both color-blind

    Regardless, excellent review Vapor
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  7. #7
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    It's one very tiny "x" on each graph

    Trying to deemphasize it (but still have it included, because...well....people will ask how they compare), might be doing too well

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    Just a question, why isn't this sticked?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blazing fire View Post
    Just a question, why isn't this sticked?
    because it is a mini review and he will be coming out with a better one eventually.
    Doing things a little differently for my third fan mega-round-up. Will be doing mini installments of some 'key' matchups as I build up all the data to the full-size review. The full review will be more than just an amalgamation of results--it will have its own new results of fans I've left out in the process (because they didn't quite fit into any of the mini round ups).

  10. #10
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    So the P12 gets lauder on a rad?

  11. #11
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    Aways enjoy your reviews, they're very informative and helpful.Keep that

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    Quote Originally Posted by roofsniper View Post
    because it is a mini review and he will be coming out with a better one eventually.
    It is comprehensive nonetheless though limited in variety. Any votes for a temporary sticky?

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    Pretty sure I have final say in that

    Thanks though.

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    Wow! I was just about to click checkout and order something from SVC. Talk about perfect timing! Kudos.

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    You're welcome. Of course you have a say in that but, what's the reason not to get this sticked? It compares the top rated fans and will clear any doubts on which fans to get. Thus, it would save unnecessary threads being started on this topic.

    If I remember correctly, I sent you a PM 3 weeks ago, requesting you do a test on P-12 vs S-flex "F". If I knew about this thread, then I need not ask you that question. Hope you get what I'm saying.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vapor View Post
    Pretty sure I have final say in that

    Thanks though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blazing fire View Post
    You're welcome. Of course you have a say in that but, what's the reason not to get this sticked? It compares the top rated fans and will clear any doubts on which fans to get. Thus, it would save unnecessary threads being started on this topic.

    If I remember correctly, I sent you a PM 3 weeks ago, requesting you do a test on P-12 vs S-flex "F". If I knew about this thread, then I need not ask you that question. Hope you get what I'm saying.
    fan roundup #2 at the top maybe?? some of the same fans in that one

  17. #17
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    And I think there's a link to here in that thread too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vapor View Post
    And I think there's a link to here in that thread too.
    Not that I can see. The only link I can find in round 2 is this: http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/...d.php?t=137832

  19. #19
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    if you want to find his reviews, why dont you use the search feature....

    "fan roundup" almost EVERYTHING is there.

    thank you for playing

  20. #20
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    Post #256 has had a link to an identical thread in the Liquid Cooling section since the day I posted it.

    And as ex2cib mentioned....the search function works quite well

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    Yes. Only if I know there is such a thread .

    Btw, I found it complied in a thread. http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/...d.php?t=202394 Thanks Ashraf!

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    Any possibility of testing out the Scythe Gentle Typhoon?

    It looks like a serious contender against the top 3 fans.

  23. #23
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    dunno if its been tested but couldnt find it in the other threads. the antec tri cool and the scythe ultra kaze at 3000 rpm. the screamer :P

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    Gentle Typhoon must be by far the gayest name for a fan.
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  25. #25
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    @Vapor: what spec of the fan should tell us it's a good one? the RPM or the CFM?

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