Sounds & Final Thoughts

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Sound wave files

During testing I recorded the sound each fan produced. The microphone was placed 10 cm away from the fan. Unfortunately the microphone I had was a low-quality microphone, so the sound quality is not too good. These recorded sounds hopefully will give the readers an idea how loud each fan is. I have also included some sound files of the whole system running. Due to the quality of the microphone, one will only hear static with quiet fans such as Panaflo H1A.

Comparison Sound File

Spinning Coin

Individual Fan

Vantec Tornado
Delta FFB0812SHE
Mechatronics F8025X12B1
Sunon KD1208PTB1
Sunon KD1208PTB2
Panaflo H1A
Vantec Stealth
Panaflo L1A
Enermax Adjustable full
Enermax Adjustable ¼ from full
Enermax Adjustable low
Thermaltake Smart Fan 2 full
Thermaltake Smart Fan 2 ¼ from full
Thermaltake Smart Fan 2 low
YS-Tech Adjustable full
YS-Tech Adjustable ¼ from full
YS-Tech Adjustable low
Cyber Cooler Blue LED

System Files

Vantec Tornado + Case
Delta + Case
H1A + Case
Sunon TB1 + Case
Sunon TB2 + Case
Thermaltake Smart Fan 2 (full) + Case
Enermax Adjustable (full) + Case
YS-Tech Adjustable (full) + Case

Final Thoughts & Conclusion

Though both the Vantec Tornado and the Delta fans reviewed here by produce very high cfm rating, they are both extremely loud. These two fans should only be considered if the computer system is in a separate room, away from your general living area. Using these two fans, especially Vantec Tornado, can cause some serious ear damage. Some users, however, suggest using a fan controller with these fans that will give you a better sound comfort level.

In the performer class, all of the fans are high quality and give relatively good temperatures. Mechatronics has the highest cfm rating and is the loudest out of all 4 performer fans. If you are looking for something that has high cfm but relatively quiet, Mechatronics is your choice. The quietest fan in the performer class is H1A. Using the hydrowave bearing, H1A out performs any fans in its class in sound level (Ever wonder why I use H1A in my system?). If you can’t purchase Mechatronics or Panaflo fans in your area, Sunon fans are great as well.

As you probably noticed throughout this review, I really like the Enermax adjustable fan. At 56.8 cfm it is very quiet and can produce very nice results. If full speed is too loud for you, you can always turn down the fan speed. One thing I dislike about Enermax Adjustable is the wire for fan speed control. If Enermax could make the wire as long as the YS-Tech adjustable fan control and make the knob a little bit bigger, it would be perfect. Though Thermaltake Smart Fan 2 out performs every adjustable fans, as well as performer fans, it is just too loud. It really should be categorized as a high performer. If your system is placed around your general living area I would not recommend using Thermaltake Smart Fan 2, at least not at full speed.

Both Panaflo L1A and Vantec Stealth are very quiet. They’re not good choice for heatsink fans, but are an excellent choice for case fans. You simply can’t go wrong with either one. Using either one of them will allow you to have quiet or “silent” fans but at the same time good case air flow. LED fans are really neat if you have a case. All the LED fans I have looked up on the internet do not seem to have very good cfm to dB ratios. For enthusiasts, LED might not be a good choice for heatsink fans but are great for case fans.

Beaver’s picks:

80mm Fan Roundup - Cases and Cooling 34

  • #1 Panaflo H1A – you just can’t beat the low noise level this fan has
  • #2 Enermax Adjustable – again, super quiet, very high quality
  • #3 Mechatronics – high cfm, low noise level
  • #4 Vantec Stealth & Panaflo L1A – excellent for case fans

Finally I need to thank a few people for letting this review possible. First I need to thank the boss, Ryan, for letting me doing this review. Special thanks go to Plycon Computers for supplying the fans and Murray McCutcheon, my co-worker for the research lab at school the beaver works at, for using his digital camera. Please feel free to discuss this review in our forums.

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