Product Qualification: Antec 120/140mm TrueQuiet FansWritten on August 16, 2011 by Matt Bach
The Antec TrueQuiet series of fans are designed for quiet operation and feature a low/high switch allowing the user to choose between silent or max cooling modes. We have used the Antec Tri-Cool case fans for years and have been very happy with them, but they are not the best option for quiet operation.
Unlike the Tri-Cool fans, the TrueQuiet fans are made specifically with quiet operation in mind. They feature silicon grommet mounting, uniquely-designed fan blades to reduce turbulence and operate at a low RPM.
One thing that is worth mentioning is that at the time of this article, these fans only come with short pegs for mounting. While it may be just fine for many users, mounting with these pegs was not very solid due to how soft the silicone grommets are.
Antec has informed us that within the next few months, all shipments will be including longer silicone fan mounts which mount much more securely. They have kindly provided us with a stock of these silicone fan mounts to use until they start being included with the fans, but any consumers purchasing one of these fans as a standalone component may want to purchase silicone fan mounts separately.
Due to the low/high switch, the technical specifications all have two values. The first is the spec for the fan on low, the second is for the fan on high.
Antec's Technical Specifications:
|TrueQuiet 120mm||TrueQuiet 140mm|
|Air Flow (CFM)||21.5||35.8||20.3||32.4|
|Statis Pressure (H2O)||.267mm||.292mm||.185mm||.474mm|
|Bearing Type||Sleeve Bearing||Sleeve Bearing|
|Life Cycle||20,000 hours||20,000 hours|
As we've mentioned in a few past articles, we are currently not equipped to accurately measure noise and airflow at the extreme low airflow levels these fans operate at. We can however give a comparison of the fans to our two most common fans; the Antec Tri-Cool (used in our Tri-Cool kits) and the Scythe Slip Stream 800RPM (used in our quiet kits running at 5V).
On the low setting, we were happy to hear (or not hear to be exact) how quiet both fans are. The noise level and airflow for the 120mm version is just a hair below the Scythe Slip Stream 800RPM fans running at 5V. The 140mm version is just a tad louder than the Scythe Slip Stream fan, but also provides a bit more airflow. Once installed in a system, either fan on the low setting will be inaudiable unless you have your ear right up to it.
According to Antec's technical specifications, the 120mm version should both be quieter and move more air than the 140mm version. From our testing however, the 140mm version appears to relatively move much more air than the 120mm version.
On the high setting, both performance and noise are are nearly identical to the Antec Tri-Cool on the low setting. As expected of a larger fan, the 140mm moves a bit more air, but the noise levels for both fans are nearly identical. If you are configuring an extemely quiet system, these fans may be audible on the high setting, but they are still very quiet.
In regards to the technical specifications, we expect both versions to be basically identical in terms of noise, but the specs say that the 120mm version should have higher airflow than the 140mm version. Once again, our testing shows that the 140mm, not the 120mm has higher airflow. The difference is not nearly as large as what we saw in the low testing, but the 140mm fan definitely has higher airflow than the 120mm fan.
Before we had the new silicone fan mounts, these fans would have failed our qualification based on their mounting weakness. The included pegs may be fine for an end user, but we were not at all confident they would survive the rigors of shipping. Luckily Antec has already started working on a solution that can be immediately implemented by Puget Systems, although those purchasing one of these fans as a standalone component may want to wait a few months.
The variation between the technical specifications and our testing, while strange, is not entirely unexpected. We've found in the past that the advertised specs often differ slightly from the real-world performance. This type of variation is one of the reasons we try to always perform our own testing and not solely rely on the manufacturer's specifications.
The low/high switch on these fans which basically would allow us to switch between our quiet kits and the low end of our Tri-Cool kits is very tempting for us at Puget Systems. It would allow us to use a single fan for both kits and it means that if a system with a quiet kit is having heat issues in the field (a house with no AC during a hot summer for example), it is only a matter of flipping a few switches to turn up the fans rather than rewiring or replacing the fans.
These fans have definitely earned a consideration for our product line. Some of our quiet systems (such as Serenity SPCR Edition) have been certified through Silent PC Review, and are locked in configuration for now. For any future certifications however, we will be strongly be considering these fans as a replacement for our current quiet fan kits.