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Fractal Design's New Fans Promise Silence On A Budget

In the world of case and system fans, it can be very difficult to stand out, so when a manufacturer has the guts to try to compete with existing players, we're often already (a little) impressed, regardless of whether the product is any good or not. Fractal Design is no stranger to making fans, but it has now introduced its Silent Series R3 fans and the Dynamic Series fans.

The Silent Series R3 fans will come in various sizes ranging from 40 mm through 140 mm and are built to offer silent, quality performance on a budget. They feature rifle bearings, low fan speeds (and therefore low noise), Fractal's signature black and white color scheme, and a sleek black ribbon cable. All of the fans have a 3-pin fan header (so no PWM support) and have an MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure) of 40,000 hours.

Max RPMMax NoiseMax AirflowPrice
40 mm4000 RPM20.0 dBA3.6 CFM$5.99
50 mm3500 RPM19.0 dBA6.8 CFM$5.99
60 mm2500 RPM20.6 dBA13.3 CFM$6.99
80 mm1600 RPM18.1 dBA20.2 CFM$6.99
92 mm1500 RPM18.3 dBA24.4 CFM$6.99
120 mm1200 RPM20.5 dBA46.5 CFM$7.99
140 mm1000 RPM21.6 dBA56.1 CFM$9.99

The Dynamic Series fans will only come in two sizes at launch, but they will also come in two different color patterns. The first is the standard black and white design, and the other is an all-black design. They target a slightly more silence-oriented audience. They spin at the same speed as their respective 120 mm and 140 mm Silent Series R3 fans, but they push a little more air at a lower noise level. Specifically, the 120 mm version will push up to 52.3 CFM while making up to 19.4 dBA of noise, while the 140 mm variant will push a respectable 68.4 CFM at a noise level of 18.9 dBA.

This better noise vs airflow ratio is accomplished by using a fluid hydraulic bearing with a counter-balancing magnet, a trip wire at the end of the blades, strator struts, and more. Despite all this, however, the fans don't have PWM support.

Pricing for the 120 mm Dynamic Series fan sits at $10.99, and the 140 mm version will go for $12.99. All of the new fans should be available in April.

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Niels Broekhuijsen

Niels Broekhuijsen is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He reviews cases, water cooling and pc builds.