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Pros: Seasonic OEM, constructed with all high-quality Japanese caps, tests show tight voltage regulation and extremely low ripple, FDB fan, gold efficiency rating, fully modular, switchable partial fanless (hybrid) mode, XFX's reputation for customer service, all cables included are blacked out, supports 2-way SLI/CF with cards having two 6/8 pin PCIE power connectors each (four total PCIE power connectors), multiple lengths of modular power cables included, good looks with neutral colors that should not conflict with any color scheme, 5 year warranty, lower price than its semi-modular Seasonic "twin."
The fan on this unit has a maximum RPM of 2300 or so, and some of the reviews said the unit could become noisy at higher loads as a result. I was concerned about that, but at the maximum load (460w AC power, as measured by my UPS) I could muster from my single GTX760 system (i5-2500k OC to 4.7ghz), with Furmark and P95 going at the same time, the PSU fan was inaudible over the subtle noise of the rest of the fans in the system. The GPU, in particular, is nearly silent with the Arctic Twin Turbo II cooler; with Furmark going, the GPU would otherwise be by far the loudest noise in the system.
I did not hear any coil whine at all.
I've only had the PSU a short time, so I can't remark on its reliability, but I have confidence in Seasonic as an OEM.
Cons: I can't really think of any. Some people may prefer the sleeved cable look instead of the flat black unsleeved cables (other than the 20/24-pin motherboard cable) of this PSU, but that is a matter of preference. The X-series Seasonic GPUs have a 7 year warranty, which would be nice to have, but they cost about twice as much as this unit too.
Other Thoughts: There is a lot of focus on high-wattage units these days, but not everyone has a system that needs 1000 watts of power. 550w is great for most single-GPU systems like mine (or dual-GPU systems with low to midrange GPUs). PSUs are most efficient at around 50% of total capacity, so using a PSU with capacity far beyond what you will need only puts the typical load in a less-efficient part of the power curve. 550w puts the typical gaming load of a system like mine close to the efficiency sweet spot, while still having more than enough capacity for the maximum power my system can pull for years to come.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: Antec FORMULA 7 Nano Diamond Thermal Compound
Pros: Works very well, easy to use. I've only had it on for a couple of days, but I can see that the temps (CPU and GPU) are as good or better than they were with my old favorite TIM, Gelid Extreme.
I haven't seen how many applications I can get out of a tube, but it should be good for many installations. You don't need to use a lot of it.
Cons: Cost. It is pretty costly as TIMs go, so if you plan on removing and reinstalling your CPU/GPU cooler/water block a lot, you may wish to use something cheaper until you get your final setup "dialed in."
Other Thoughts: I definitely did not find this product to be overly thick or hard to spread, as so many people here have mentioned. I would call it a medium-bodied TIM, not clay-like at all. It spread very easily using the included spatula, with the grease at room temperature. The dot-in-center method works just fine with this grease too.
After seeing all the reviews about how thick this stuff is, I expected it to be much harder to work with than it is. I wonder if Antec changed the formula somewhere along the way. I wish manufacturers would not change products and not change the name-- when they do, there is no way to know if the product you bought is still the same one reviewed.
CPU is an I5-2500k OC to 4.7ghz with the Deep Cool Gamer Storm cooler with my Corsair SP120 PE fan (a combo which manages to consistently outperform my TR True Spirit 140 Power) at 1.35v. GPU is a GTX 760 at 125% TDP and Arctic Accelero Twin Turbo II cooler.
Pros: Quiet, decent air flow, high static pressure, cable is long and sleeved, comes with rubber fan mounts and other accessories, silicone rubber isolators at the corners, good looks
These fans should work well in most any case ventilation application. Where it really shines, IMO, is as an intake fan, especially when it will have to pull through a stamped grille and/or push through semi-restrictive obstacles to airflow such as the side-saddle hard drive cages seen on so many cases now. It is a great choice for a positive pressure setup. (See "Other thoughts" for more).
Cons: It is pretty expensive for a fan, but it is not out of the range of other premium fans.
Other Thoughts: I bought one of these some time ago to evaluate. At the time, I was running a negative pressure setup, intending to use the Aerocool as a rear exhaust fan. The rear fan was the prime mover in my setup... it was the one that I gave the most attention.
While it performed well, it didn't impress me that much in that position. The Arctic F12 had about the same airflow (through the stamped grille on the case) and very similar noise level, but at half the cost, and the Corsair SP120 HP had much more airflow, although also at a significantly higher noise level. When slowed to ~70% speed, the Corsair matched the flow of the Aerocool through the rear grille, and was similar in noise level too... only the Corsair had that extra headroom to really punch up the speed if that was ever desired.
It is interesting that the Corsair, rated at 63 CFM, actually moves about a third more air than the Aerocool, rated at 82 CFM. This is why you can't use manufacturer specs as to noise level, flow, etc., to compare fans from different manufacturers. They are just not consistent.
For flow measuring,I use a trash bag apparatus and a stopwatch to measure airflow (time to fill the bag, with smaller numbers being better, of course). I repeat the measurements several times and keep testing until I get the same results.
It was not until I decided to give some thought to the intake fans that I saw how good these fans were. I noticed that a lot of quiet fans did not stay that way when they had to pull through a grille on a case. I have a sound level meter, and I tested several fans mounted in the front of a case. The Aerocool was the easy winner, coming in a few dB(A) lower than the next best (I don't remember which one came in second).
When there was an obstruction behind the fan, which in my case was my 3.5 inch hard drive, the other fans tended to get noisier or more tonal, but not the Aerocool. Its flow remained good, and the sound level stayed low and subjectively less tonal. It did have some tonality from the front grille, but not as much as the others. (Others were Corsair AF120 HP, SP120 HP, Arctic F12).
Now I have three of the DS 120s as intake fans... two up front, and one in the side panel (behind a 140mm magnetic Silverstone filter, rotated 45 degrees to fit between the fan mount holes, to keep some of the dust out). All are mounted with the rubber mounts (which each DS fan happily comes with). This is in an Antec 300 case.
With a Corsair AF120 HP in the back and a AF140 quiet on the top, it is now a positive pressure setup, which is better for keeping dust out of the case (and especially out of the optical drive and card reader I have). The Antec 300 has a built in filter over the front intake, and I mentioned the one I added to the side.
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