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Performance Testing

Testing methodology

Testing was done with the fans mounted one at a time on a single Swiftech MCR140QP radiator, with the fans controlled using a dedicated fan controller (Aquacomputer Aquaero 6 XT) in PWM mode. The controller also enabled RPM readout. Linear airflow was measured using an Extech 45158 Thermo-Anemometer 6″ away from the fan such that it measured the airflow in feet per minute through the radiator. Fan noise was measured in an anechoic chamber of size 5′ x 8′ with ambient noise level ~19 dBA and a sound probe held 6″ away to measure the sound volume in dBA accordingly. The fans were individually tested and the results below are averaged with a standard deviation calculated.

Results

Let’s remind ourselves that the fans are rated for 600-1350 RPM +/- 10%. In practice, these fans hit an average of 1322 RPM at 100% PWM duty cycle and went down to 561 RPM at 34% PWM duty cycle, and remained there till 1%. This is an average of 2 fans, so while it is better than a single sample it remains a small sample set nonetheless. It is therefore not conclusive whether all fans will exhibit the same RPM response curve either where, despite the fans meeting the rated RPM range very well, the actual response is not very linear aside from the short ~40-80% PWM duty cycle. I know many users will end up using these at full speed anyway but I would have been happier had that RPM response curve been better!

As far as noise and airflow goes, let’s compare it with other 140 mm fans rated in the 1201-1800 RPM range:

Now you can see why I am not doing as many fan reviews as before. I do have a solution for the busy graphs here though, and that involves a new test system entirely with a new data set starting from scratch. There is no other way to handle so many data points that I can think of. As it is, the Corsair HD140 RGB fans are similar in context to the 120 mm version in that they are fairly quiet at the expense of raw performance as a radiator fan up against a radiator of medium airflow restriction (relative to other radiators), and would likely fare relatively better if used as just a case fan. Overall, there is really nothing special about these from a performance to noise basis if you were just looking for radiator fans, and it is very clearly the bling that is the USP here.


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