I recently started looking at getting an additional case fan for my Antec P182 (for full system specs see my sig) as summer is upon us in the UK and for once it's actually pretty warm (hey 24C is like desert heat to us here ).
My primary concern was that the fan must be as quiet as possible as my current 3 120mm antec fans (which came with the case) are all set to low and as such are almost inaudibile at 1 meter. I read over may forums and SPCR and it looked like I was going to have to shell out £13 ($25) for either the Scythe or noctua fans to get something decent.
I then spotted the Xilence red wing 120mm fan which was only £4.99 on aria.co.uk which sported some impressive stats: 1400rpm @ 21.2 dB with 68 CFM. These stats seemed dubious to me as i'm sure they do to you but at £5 I was prepared to give it a go.
While on aria I also spotted something unusual, namely the Zaward 140mm fan. The size seemed a bit weird so I checked it out and it also looked to be pretty decent for only £11.69 is it has mounting holes for a 120mm fan position (given enough extra space) but more importantly came with a mounting bracking for the pci slots so it could be mounted over the pci-e\pci slots blowing air down onto my passively cooled graphics card & mobo (the heat of the Asus P5N-E has always concerned me).
This seemed like the perfect solution as the Zaward 140mm fan could produce 103.5 CFM@ just over 2000rpm at max but more importantly it came with a pci slot mounted potentiometer which meant it could be dialed down to 800rpm where it still kicks out a decent amount of air at very low db's.
Anyway that's enough with my ramblings, long story short I ordered them both and here's what i got:
I installed the Xilence Red Wing as an intake fan in the top HD bay to draw cool air into the PC and the Zaward 140mm on it's PCI bracket blowing air down onto the graphics card & mobo.
Installing both the fans took about 30mins as it was a tad fiddly putting the pci bracket together and screwing it in the right position so it didn't interfere with my Big Typhoon or graphics card but it was all sorted relatively quickly with no real hassles.
Before installing the fans I popped out 1 of my antec tricools to compare the amount of air it was pushing compared to the red wing and on medium speed the antec pushed about the same air (rough guess made by be "scientifically" running my hand over each 1) but the red wing was considerably more quiet.
According to SPCR the antec fan produces 53 CFM at the medium speed setting with 1430rpm@27 dBA@1m (see here: http://www.silentpcreview.com/article695-page3.html#tri... ). Remember the Red Wing advertises 68 CFM but i'd say it's more in line with around 50-55CFM and my version spins at 1290rpm @max speed, 110rpm below the advertised 1400rpm.
Compared to the stats for the scythe and noctua fans i'd say it stacks up pretty well against the competition and at less than half the price
Being quiet doesn't mean anything if they don't actually lower the temps so I set the Zaward to 1000rpm and left the Xilence at full speed (1290rpm) and began monitoring the temps.
I took some screen shots of before and after temps and here they are:
Before installing new fans: CPU: 36C, MB: 43C
After: CPU: 32C, MB:39C, All 6 HD temps down as well (woo)
After installing the fans I went on the net and downloaded Joost as a friend e-mailed be an invite. I played around with their IPTV service for about 2 hours watching a few vids (mostly fifth gear and gong lol) then I left it to idle for around 20mins and took another screenshoot of the speedfan temps (see above) and I was astonished that my 200gb Western Dig HD was now at 11C!!! I was at idle and not in use but still thats a pretty decent temp drop which I witnessed across all my HD's and more importantly the MB temps were considerably lower (enlarge the above pics to see temps of my cpu, mb & 6 HD's & remember to leave your mouse still over the pic for 2 secs so the picture enlarge button appears in the bottom right of the pic so the text on SpeedFan becomes readable & you can see ALL of the temps).
I think the main benefit I got was that the temps under load came back down MUCH quicker than before I installed the 2 new fans as there was air being either pushed or pulled throught the case with no dead zone's of stagnant air left to heat up (especially around the passive graphics card and North Bridge).
Well that's about it, all in all it worked out very well and i'd have to recomend the xilence red wing 120mm fan to anyone looking for a decent cheap 120mm fan. At it's default speed of 1290rpm it's very quiet (although audibile) but when dialed down to 1100rpm it becomes silent with only a small increase in temps.
Also for anybody with a big enough case whose worried about MB temps I'd strongly recommend the Zaward 140mm fan, just make sure your graphics card isn't too tall or it could obstruct the mounting of the fan (remember it screws onto the PCI back plate mounts above the PCI\PCI-E slots and blows down onto th graphics card, any PCI devices & the mobo depending on far down you mount it).
Man that was WAY too long!
Congrats to anyone who manged to get through the whole thing & read this :wink: