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Good LEDs (with on/off toggle)
Cons: Flexible plastic ring, in place aluminum.
Other Thoughts: I bought this for my other rig which has a Biostar A85W motherboard. There are three fan headers: one 4-pin CPU fan header, and two 3-pin system fan headers. The 3-pin fan headers on the motherboard do not allow for voltage control, so I purchased one of these to give a shot.
Overall, I am pleased. At full tilt, it is not completely inaudible, but you mostly just hear a slight whoosh of air. No annoying motor or bearing sounds. (I had to use a hot glass of water to heat the thermal probe up to make it run at full tilt.) It usually operates between 700-1300 RPM, depending on if my system is at idle or load. Anything below 1200 RPM you have to really strain to hear. Just having one of these fans decreases the internal case temperature by roughly 10C.
The thermal probe has a decently long wire that should be sufficient for most builds. I could see some people who have full ATX cases having an issue, but then it would be just too cumbersome for the rest. On that note, I think the temperature threshold for maximum speed is around 38C. Holding the sensor between my fingers was almost enough for it to reach maximum speed.
My only gripe is that they replaced the usual aluminum ring of the fan with a flexible plastic material. There is nothing actually wrong with it, it just strikes me as a cheaper money-saving effort, since these fans don't have the biggest market... and their market is more towards budget-orientated builds.
That said, these fans do fill a certain niche. They'd be great for those who want more case fans, and since they don't have the extra fan headers to support them have to hook them up directly to the PSU. (Why spend 25-40$ on a hardware fan controller, when for just over $25 you can have two of these?) If you also have a motherboard that lacks PWM and voltage control for fans, these are for you as well.
This review is from: ENERMAX T.B. Silence UCTB12P 120mm PWM Function Case Fan
Pros: Very Affordable
Cons: Kind of an energy hog. (Almost five watts.)
Other Thoughts: This is a well-rounded fan that can be used either as your standard intake/exhaust, or on a heatsink/radiator and will give good performance in either case.
On a heatsink, the fan may fall short of premium performance, but to surpass it you will be easily spending $5-10 for marginal gains; a couple degrees at most. That is only discussing absolute thermal performance, and not taking into account how loud the fans might be. On a heatsink, the fan does a good job of remaining unobtrusive, making mostly a type of "whoosh" of the sound of moving air. That sounds kind of silly, but it's better than a high-pitched whine or insistent clicking/ticking that some other fan motors make when at full tilt.
As a case fan, you'll seriously be hard-pressed to find appreciably better, both in acoustics and performance. Off of a radiator, the acoustics are pretty top-notch; only above 1200 RPM is the fan really noticeable. If you want, though, you can dial the fan all the way down to 500 RPM, however.
The fan bearing allows you to mount the fan horizontally, unlike a sleeve bearing, which are still around for some odd reason.
These are the first types of fans I recommend to anyone who I come across looking for replacements, or new fans to try. They are really hard to beat for their price point, and, unless you're an enthusiast needing to eke everything out of your rig, the extra money you'll spend on another product won't be worth it.
Pros: Robustly built
Interchangeable color ring to better match a scheme
Perfect for any heatsink or radiator
Cons: Deceptively loud and noise inefficient
Somewhat short cable
Other Thoughts: I bought a case from Corsair, and it had a $20 mail-in rebate. I was so happy with it, that I decided to use it to buy one of these fans. (I love tinkering.)
If you look into reviews, you will read and hear about how loud these fans are, even though they perform great. Their acoustics are actually not that bad at all. The noise they make is fairly pleasant and noninvasive, even though it is definitely there. It is a mixture of the motor, which sounds smooth, no clicking or harsh whir, and the slight woosh it makes from the movement of air. It is an easy sound to ignore. Other fans can have motors that produce an annoying whine at full tilt, or have an enormous woosh from the air turbulence, both which are maddeningly annoying.
On the downside, it still is loud. Even at 1800 RPM, I can managed to discern this fan from the five others in my case that I can have running at full tilt. (Yes, they may be quiet fans, but there are five of them, all running at full speed.) At this the same 1800 RPM, the fan does operate quite as well as some other fan brands that have a max operating speed of 1500 RPM. So even to get a par performance that fan will be operating more towards the louder end of the spectrum.
Long story short, if being quiet is your concern, you still better look elsewhere. I just wanted to say that it is not the jet-engine that everyone seems to make it out to be. However, for performance, it is in a price-point that is hard to ignore, and at has been shown to give top-tier performance.