When you think of 180mm fans, you inevitably think of Silverstone. For what seems like forever now, they have incorporated support for 180mm size fans and radiators into several of their cases and have backed up this support with 6 different 180mm fans that are currently available. While some are designed for airflow as case fans, at least 3 have radiators (or any static pressure demanding situation) in mind and we begin by taking a look at the slim FW181. Thanks to Tony for providing the samples for testing.

Let’s take a look at the specs courtesy the product page:

That’s slim all right! The FW181 comes in at 180 x 180 x 18mm as opposed to 25mm. Normally I would have called 25mm a standard thickness but most of the 180mm fans I have here are not 25mm thick so go figure. The biggest challenge from this is finding the right screws for radiator support, or at least something to make up that 7mm that radiator makers don’t account for (did someone say shroud?). The FW181 has a long life sleeve bearing with a rated MTBF of 40, 000 hours as opposed to the standard 25-30,000 with regular sleeve bearings. This is a PWM fan, and so one should really not bother changing voltage from 12 V. What is interesting, however, is that rated current draw. At max speed, the fan is rated at 0.54 A (9.18 W on the 12 V rail) which is a lot! We see also that the rated RPM range is 500-1200 taking this past the EK 180mm fan we saw earlier. No mention of warranty here but their standard warranty policy page indicates a 1 year warranty for North America, 2 years in Europe and 3 years in Australia/Singapore/Thailand. As if 1 year was not short enough, knowing that some regions gets 3 years as dictated by the local policy makes it worse. I would definitely like to see at least 2 years on fans, if not more.

Let’s now take a look at the fan on the next page.

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