120mm Silent fan comparisions: Antec, SilenX, Nexus

c1001

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I did my own very unscientific test of three 120mm fans last night:
SilenX 14db/58cfm
Nexus 22bd/36.8cfm
Antec Tri-Cool 20/25/28db & 29/39/56cfm (from Antec P1-180 SPCR)

All fans were tested at 12V. Sensitive measuring equipment consisted of a silent room, sleeping children, my ear, my hand and a strip of toilet paper.

First of all I am partial to SilenX fans as I have happily used them for a year now.

Test results (in rank order):
1) Nexus: This ugly orange fan was by far the best silent performer. I think it's performance is pretty accurate to specs. Not only was the fan running quietly while delivering good air flow, but the motor itself had a very low neutral hum which blended in with background noise.
2) SilenX: About as silent as the Nexus. Seemed to push a little bit less air. The specs have to be off. What really stood out for me was the brittle motor noise when compared to the Nexus. I can hear it from farther away than the Nexus fan noise. Granted, I only hear it when my ear is about 1-2 feet away. Good fan, but not worth the $22 price.
3) Antec: Fuggetaboutit. This one will never make it into my new P-180 build. It has a little switch with three settinga to adjust the fan speed. At the high (28db/56cfm) this fan delivers strong air (much stronger than the others) but it screams. At the medium setting it is still very loud and I'd estimate that it is comparable in pushing air as the SilenX and Nexus. At low speed it is finally comparable in silence to the Nexus and SilenX, but it barely caused the two sheets of toilet paper to move. Air volume is too low to be useful.

Anyway, Nexus is the new silent performance champ for me. Now if they would just make a clear LED version or at least a more neutral black...
 

Nismo88

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nice to hear your results on the nexus, i planning on getting some 120mm yate loons which i believe are the same as nexus and replace them with my loud 120mm deltas.
 

Skin

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SilentX has been proven to not be as quiet, or move as much air as advertised. Id definatley jump on the orange yate loons, they are as quiet as their rebadged cousin (Nexus) and are significantly cheaper. I kind of like the orangeness of their fans, but thats just me... ;)
 

_Korruption_

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In the silent computing community, Nexus is a respected brand, SilenX is not. They come up with very optimistic ratings for all their models, and they have been known to engage in some shoddy marketing tactics over at the SPCR forums.
 

SolitaryTurnip

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Hmm, I was thinking of picking up a nexus 120mm as an intake for my p180... maybe I should spring and pick up two more to replace the two tricools that it comes with. I have them on low and I've also noticed that they barely move any air. Thanks for the info :)

Also, SPCR rates the Antec at 28/47/75cfm and 20/31/39dBA. They say the Nexus is 42cfm at 23dBA at 12v. I'm not sure whose numbers are correct, but the Nexus looks like an improvement either way.
 

c1001

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1c3d0g said:
Is it possible for you to test a Panaflo? :confused:
I guess I will have to in order to pursue the holy grail of silent fans. I'll create a new post when I do.
 

WhyYouLoveMe

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Sorry for the lack of "technical" results, but I'm very happy with my CoolerMaster 120mm fan. It's in the back as the exhaust fan and it pushes out good air while being very quiet. I'm also running an AeroCool 120mm intake, AeroCool 80mmx35mm side intake, 7800gt, NB stock fan (off an EVGA mobo) and a Zalman 7700AlCu cpu cooler. I've also got the OCZ modstream 520w that has a 120mm fan on it. The loudest thing is probably the 7800gt followed by the 80mm side intake followed by the Zalman fan. I cannot even hear the 120mm CoolerMaster with everything running. I think if you've got a similar setup with similar fans, you're not going to hear it, either.
 

c1001

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N H O said:
wat about the 120mm cooler master led/uv fans? how are thosE?
I tested the 120mm silent and ultra silent versions of Coolermaster fans a few months ago, including LED ones. Their ultra silent fans are quiet, but at the cost of performance. They barely push any air at all. I would not recommend them for anything beyond a very low-powered internet browsing computer. It's too bad becuse the fan motor is whisper quiet.

The LED fan is rated for 22db at 47 cfm. It is a loud 22db and probably around 35 cfm. I would not recommend them at stock for any kind of silent performance. However, I did a 7v mod on one of those to use as an exhaust fan in an X-Qpack and I liked the results.
 

N H O

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c1001 said:
I tested the 120mm silent and ultra silent versions of Coolermaster fans a few months ago, including LED ones. Their ultra silent fans are quiet, but at the cost of performance. They barely push any air at all. I would not recommend them for anything beyond a very low-powered internet browsing computer. It's too bad becuse the fan motor is whisper quiet.

The LED fan is rated for 22db at 47 cfm. It is a loud 22db and probably around 35 cfm. I would not recommend them at stock for any kind of silent performance. However, I did a 7v mod on one of those to use as an exhaust fan in an X-Qpack and I liked the results.
so the cooler master 120mm fan is loud u say? is it louder than the rated 22dBA or are u saying that it is loud at 22dBA?
 

jaffy

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If you think a 120mm Nexus/Yate Loon is quiet, try out a 150mm EBM fan (24V@12V)! They may cost $80 each, but they are dead silent and put out a LOT of air. :)

Yate Loons are the best performance/value fans out there, grab them while you can :)
 

N H O

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and i hav some other fans to add to the list....the aerocool turbine series and the cooler master tri blade fan which both are claimed to be under 20dBA
 

Attean

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Im thinking about sticking an x2 3800 in my new computer and upping it to 2.4, think an xp120 and a yate loon could handle?
 
I

infiniti029

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dammit why do they need to make the yateloon/nexus fans friggin orange? seriously, why can't they just be black like any other one :( Granted my 3700BQE dosn't have any windows, it just bothers me to think i have these giant orange fans in my case heh.
 

Attean

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infiniti029 said:
dammit why do they need to make the yateloon/nexus fans friggin orange? seriously, why can't they just be black like any other one :( Granted my 3700BQE dosn't have any windows, it just bothers me to think i have these giant orange fans in my case heh.
My 7800 is pink... ooo la la :)
 

alphakry

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good news for Nexus/Yate Loon users...


Yate Loon has stepped up production of their hard to find fans - and will be releasing their new shipments in BLACK!! yes, you heard correct - those ugly orange champs will soon be able to be had in stock black!!

no ETA on when these will arrive at retailers, but it's in the works.
 

Nismo88

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infiniti029 said:
dammit why do they need to make the yateloon/nexus fans friggin orange? seriously, why can't they just be black like any other one :( Granted my 3700BQE dosn't have any windows, it just bothers me to think i have these giant orange fans in my case heh.

to make it more distinctive, so people can recognize it as a silent fan. :D
 

c1001

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N H O said:
so the cooler master 120mm fan is loud u say? is it louder than the rated 22dBA or are u saying that it is loud at 22dBA?
I can't measure 22db. I can only judge it by ear. Whatever real dba it generates, for me it was louder than SilenX, definitely louder than Nexus. It is much quieter than the Thermaltake 25dba fans. Those are a joke.

I've come to believe that there are two characteristics to how quiet is case fan is. The first is how much and the type of sound that the fan blades generate. The second is fan motor noise. A fan can be considered pretty silent because you can't really hear it at an appropriate distance, but if there is a background high pitched emission from the fan motor, than kills it for me. I found the Coolermaster to have a dead silent motor. The blades created more turbulence than others, consequently it seemed noisy to me. Lower the voltage and you will have a quieter fan than will still move air. However, not all fans are suitable for running at lower voltages. I had a Thermaltake A1838 with a 92mm CPU fan rated at 19db. I found it to be pretty quiet because I couldn't hear it above the noise from the NV5 fan. Once I put a Zalman on the video card I could then hear the A1838. I lowered the voltage to 7v to make it quieter and it started making an annoying high pitched electronic whine. The lower the fan speed the worse it got.
 

_Korruption_

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alphakry said:
good news for Nexus/Yate Loon users...


Yate Loon has stepped up production of their hard to find fans - and will be releasing their new shipments in BLACK!! yes, you heard correct - those ugly orange champs will soon be able to be had in stock black!!

no ETA on when these will arrive at retailers, but it's in the works.
Amazing! Do you have a link for some further reading perhaps?
 

N H O

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c1001 said:
I can't measure 22db. I can only judge it by ear. Whatever real dba it generates, for me it was louder than SilenX, definitely louder than Nexus. It is much quieter than the Thermaltake 25dba fans. Those are a joke.

I've come to believe that there are two characteristics to how quiet is case fan is. The first is how much and the type of sound that the fan blades generate. The second is fan motor noise. A fan can be considered pretty silent because you can't really hear it at an appropriate distance, but if there is a background high pitched emission from the fan motor, than kills it for me. I found the Coolermaster to have a dead silent motor. The blades created more turbulence than others, consequently it seemed noisy to me. Lower the voltage and you will have a quieter fan than will still move air. However, not all fans are suitable for running at lower voltages. I had a Thermaltake A1838 with a 92mm CPU fan rated at 19db. I found it to be pretty quiet because I couldn't hear it above the noise from the NV5 fan. Once I put a Zalman on the video card I could then hear the A1838. I lowered the voltage to 7v to make it quieter and it started making an annoying high pitched electronic whine. The lower the fan speed the worse it got.
ah i see.....so its not too loud juss the turbulence....fan motor noise really aggrivate me..and im very sensitive to fan noise (anything over 22ish dBA is too loud for me) so i guess ill be getting that fan since its quite cheap compared to the yate loons :p
 

_Korruption_

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I would say so. Maybe not exactly 22dBA, but close. Comparing it to an 80mm Panaflo Low (21dBA), the noise output is quite similar, just the pitch is a little different. Besides, you can always undervolt the fan if it still doesn't meet your standards.
 

dtess17

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Thanks i'll have to pick one up and try it out.

I'll be building a new rig soon, and one of my main goals in a very very quiet rig.

I was looking at the Nexus fans too, but i think i want something with LED's just looks cooler to me.

I'd love to find a fan with 60-80cfm with a dba of 25 or under...but i think i'm looking for a needle in a haystack.
 

alphakry

Limp Gawd
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if your not happy with your LED fans - i can now jump on the wagon and say the Nexus fans are simply amazing. significant cfm with almost total silence!
 

Skin

Limp Gawd
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You can get the slightly louder version here And then just undervolt them to whatever nexus keeps theirs at.
 

EnderW

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alphakry said:
good news for Nexus/Yate Loon users...


Yate Loon has stepped up production of their hard to find fans - and will be releasing their new shipments in BLACK!! yes, you heard correct - those ugly orange champs will soon be able to be had in stock black!!

no ETA on when these will arrive at retailers, but it's in the works.
source?
 

Skin

Limp Gawd
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I love their ratings for dB and CFM on their website. They claim to make a 64cfm fan that is only 14 db... riight.
 

dtess17

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I'll add the Silverstone 9 blade fan to the mix. I just got one for a friend built. It was very cheap and works well...pushes some good air, and is nearly silent.
 
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