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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 600-1300 RPM +/- 10%. In practice, these fans hit an average of 1271 RPM at 100% PWM duty cycle and went down to 559 RPM at 37% 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 comes off as two separate linear responses as opposed to a single one. Fans rated at 1300 RPM would generally be run at full speed or near about, and we do have a continuous response here as opposed to the HD140 RGB fans we saw before. There is minimal variation between the two fans tested as well, which is nice.

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 which will happen sooner than later. As it is, the Corsair LL140 RGB fans are, well, pretty bad radiator fans when it comes to actual performance. The short blades are the main culprit here, and they simply can’t push as much air as most other fans when up against a radiator of average airflow restriction. The fluid dynamic bearing coupled with the lower airflow does mean the fan is also low on noise, so overall this ends up hiding the performance deficit as it comes up in the middle of the packed bunch from an airflow to noise basis. If there was any fan that could have merited a higher max RPM, this is it.


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