Now, you may ask yourself, if it is only 1C or so difference at most, why should I care? First, slam your head on the desk a few times to hopefully shake some things up, and get ready to pay attention. I will break this down as simply as I can:
What do all these numbers I have been throwing at you mean? If you are a die-hard, squeeze-the-last-degree-Celsius-out-of-your-system type of person, you may look to the better performing fans like Excalibur, Pure Silence ISGC, or the NF-F12, price be damned. Other than that, any average user out there will do just fine with the Yate Loon Fans on their system.
Biggest Temperature Winner: Noctua NF-F12 PWM
The Noctua does prove that it can beat out one of the most used fans for system building, the Yate Loon. In all actuality the Noctua destroys the Yate Loon in all three categories, not even making it a real competition. It felt like the Varsity playing the JV squad in practice to make themselves feel better … It was that bad. Coolermaster may have something with the Excalibur fan technology and hopefully can refine it and help lower the price somewhat on it. The Thermaltake Pure Silence ISGC Fan 12 and the Noctua NF-F12 are pretty much neck and neck with the Excalibur swapping the top three spots in our temperature testing. The biggest surprise was the decibel testing where the NF-F12 and Pure Silence left the Excalibur in the dust beating it by 13dB and 10.9 dB, respectively. This helped send the Noctua to the top with the Pure Silence nipping at its heals, while the Excalibur comes limping in behind them in 3rd overall.
Biggest Winner Overall: Yate Loon D12DM-12
Obviously, Yate loon would be the biggest winner here. Although not the best performing fan in the test, it more than makes up for it with its extremely low pricing. Being able to keep up with the higher priced fans on the market, is a huge win for Yate Loon and every consumer in the market. Yate Loon still shows its true colors, and the reason why everyone recommends them as the cheap alternative to the Gentle Typhoons.
Biggest Loser: Noiseblocker BlackSilentFan XL2
I won’t say it is a huge loser, but the BlackSilentFan was the only one left for this category. The BlackSilentFans were very quiet, so we will give Noiseblocker credit for that! From our decibel testing, they were quieter than the other sets of fans. The AC F12 would be 2nd and Gelid Wing 12 comes in 3rd on the list. I was just really shocked that the BlackSilentFan was noticeably beaten in the temperature testing with the asking price of $15.95. I was thinking the BlackSilentFan would have at least kept up with the Yate Loon, but it was about 1C hotter than Yate Loon and 2C hotter than the Gelid fans. Maybe their BlackSilentFan XL2 fan is not cut out for work on a radiator, and would be better used completing a silent PC build. Which is one of their companies main goals, “a noiseless fan” as they put it on their website. If I was going to build a silent PC, I would definitely be looking at Noiseblocker fans first!
Ranking of fans I would choose for my system (continually updated):
My goal is to hopefully keep updating this article with new fans to help you guys out there better understand what is good, bad, or the same when it comes to fans and water cooling. Please keep checking back in periodically and I should have more updates for you when I can. I will also keep tabs of my updates below so you will know if I have added anything or not since the last time you were here. I will be adding an Excel chart too with the numbers to help keep track of everything in one spot.
Added inlet/outlet and decibel charts on page 4 (8/19/11)
Added Blade Master, Excalibur, Turbine Master, AC F12 fans to the testing (9/14/11)
Added Thermaltake, Noctua, Enermax fans to the testing (12/28/11)