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Case fan 140mm Question

lolokaa

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Hi,

I have recently been dissecting the internet for information on 140mm case fans (thermal results, noise levels (dBa/Sone/spectral density/sound profile etc.), and finally ended up with a relatively small selection of options.

The reason I post here is that I'm ultimately curious to hear from anyone who has experience or knowledge on the particular fans that I have ended up with, and if you would like to share your thoughts with me.

The fans of interest:

Phanteks PH-F140XP (600-1200RPM - 85CFM - 19dB/A) Sound test
Noiseblocker eLOOP P14-S (300-1200RPM - 84CFM - 24dB/A)
Kaze Flex 140 Square (300-1800RPM - 101CFM - 26.5dB/A)
BeQuiet! Silent Wings 3 (300-1000RPM - 59.5CFM - 15.5dB/A)

As you can see, I have not listed Noctua or Arctic, as none of their models fulfill my desired standard of overall noise profile, despite their excellent thermal performance.

I will be installing 6x140mm fans in a Fractal Design Meshify 2 case. (3x filtered front & 1x filtered bottom intake, 1x rear & 1x rear top exhaust)

I have seen several reports on the P14-S producing a displeasing noise pulling through a filter (eg. front intake), and the PH-F140XP producing displeasing noise from a horizontal installation (eg. top exhaust).
The Silent Wings 3 push the lowest amount of air by far, but they are the absolutely most desired option in terms of noise, at the cost of sacrificing thermal performance.

Any input on the topic is greatly appreciated.

Kind regards,
 
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I've owned three fans from phanteks, 140mm XP & SP and 120mm SP. All have been returned or tossed in the spare fan box for their noise. They are well built but noisy, not sure on the others but I would probably take my chances with the Be Quiet first if I had to choose among those four.


I have not listed Noctua or Arctic, as none of their models fulfill my desired standard of overall noise profile,

Is this through experience or hear say? I've had noise issues with Artic F14 but never with Noctua.
 

lolokaa

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That is interesting. Was it an issue with too high dB/A for you or uncomfortable sound texture (motor humming, air through fins etc.)?

I have been displeased with the sound texture across the entire RPM range with various models from Noctua for over 5 years of using them (harmonic resonance on RPM change (isolated), propeller texture from air through fins). However, they do move a lot of air across the entire RPM range. The models from Arctic that I have tried personally had the same kind of issues, but to a different degree. From comparing sound tests from various independent sources (and personal experience) on the particular 140mm models of interest from Arctic and Noctua over and over, I unfortunately recognize the same issues with them.

Thank you for the reply.
 
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the phanteks were making a loud motor hum even at 800rpm where my Noctua fans are dead silent
 
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i have phanteks & noctua, & iirc some scythe 140mm's. they are all pretty quiet. ive never heard of noseblocker though
 

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Based on CFM alone, I call Bs to most of those audio specs. Bequiet are the only audible numbers I would call close to reality.

Not going to say it doesn't exist, but at 80 to 100 CFM, expect to have your ears hammered with noise! There could be a more tolerable option, but I sit confused. You mentioned other fans do not fit your noise profile.... Are you looking for the loudest PC, because most of the fans you picked will give you that.
 

lolokaa

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Realistically none of these fans will run at maximum RPM in this application, so we are looking at noise-thermalized/aerodynamic normalization. For example, the Kaze running at maximum 1800RPM would be horrendous -- but at lower RPM it outperforms the other options by a tiny bit and thus at a reasonable noise level.

Thank you for your input.
 
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i have phanteks & noctua, & iirc some scythe 140mm's. they are all pretty quiet. ive never heard of noseblocker though

I've had decent luck with some noctua and cooler master fans in the past. I tried 4 different scythe fans and they all died on me within a year, so I don't bother with them anymore. I loved the amount of air they could move, but just crapping out on me after 8-12 months put them on my "do not by from" list.
 
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I have 2x SW3 140s for intake in my Meshify C and 2x SW3 120s (one rear, one top) for exhaust. If noise is what you're worried about, these are great fans. I'm not home at the moment and can't check BIOS for my exact fan curve percentages, but hopping into TeamViewer and then hwinfo64 shows at idle I'm running the 140s at around 530-540 RPM. The 120s in the rear are in the 750-760 RPM range. I would consider both to be inaudible. I haven't ever used Noctuas so I don't have a frame of reference for comparison unfortunately. What else would you like to know?
 
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Everyone has had some problem or another with one brand of an or another, such a small percentage of people will bash one brand for 1 bad fan.

I use a mix of Phanteks SP/XP fans, 9 in all. Havent had any issues with them in 5+ years running mostly 24/7, I've had an SSD die first ( posted a pic somewhere of its numbers...).
 

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Realistically none of these fans will run at maximum RPM in this application, so we are looking at noise-thermalized/aerodynamic normalization. For example, the Kaze running at maximum 1800RPM would be horrendous -- but at lower RPM it outperforms the other options by a tiny bit and thus at a reasonable noise level.

Thank you for your input.

Cool, we are on the same page :D

I would now say that you are really dealing with specifics at this point as far as complaints. IE, you almost need the same chassis and filtration to consider the complaint valid. Distance from the dust filter to the fan makes a vast difference in the noise you will hear.

You can also go the other way about it. Pick the ones that are mathematically best from someplace with a return / exchange option. If the fans picked by your brain and your gut go belly up, exchange them for the next set you have your eyes on.

Also keep in mind, you will also find small variances in PWM control, or what the HUBs carry through. With all of the time you say you have invested, I say trust your gut and hope for the best.
 
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Also keep in mind, you will also find small variances in PWM control, or what the HUBs carry through. With all of the time you say you have invested, I say trust your gut and hope for the best.
I have the hub that came with the Phanteks case from what I seen it only uses 1 PWM cable to the motherboard header and the hub controls the rest.
 

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I have the hub that came with the Phanteks case from what I seen it only uses 1 PWM cable to the motherboard header and the hub controls the rest.

Sorry, I meant that the motherboard makers do not use the same exact code to control PWM, and it is possible that HUBs do not all output the exact same voltages. That was the point I was trying to make. OP could listen to all of the finite complaints here and there, but there are variables that could easily make it a non-issue in his specific situation. ;)
 

lolokaa

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I have 2x SW3 140s for intake in my Meshify C and 2x SW3 120s (one rear, one top) for exhaust. If noise is what you're worried about, these are great fans. I'm not home at the moment and can't check BIOS for my exact fan curve percentages, but hopping into TeamViewer and then hwinfo64 shows at idle I'm running the 140s at around 530-540 RPM. The 120s in the rear are in the 750-760 RPM range. I would consider both to be inaudible. I haven't ever used Noctuas so I don't have a frame of reference for comparison unfortunately. What else would you like to know?

Have you compared your thermals with other fans by any chance? Do you have experience with other fans that would compare in noise levels?
 
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Have you compared your thermals with other fans by any chance? Do you have experience with other fans that would compare in noise levels?
Nope, unfortunately not, sorry. Was thinking about getting some Noctuas eventually to compare but not really a priority when I've had such a good experience with the Silent Wings
 
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I think all of your choices are great, you’re just going to have to dial in a profile that works for your ears and your setup. You might add Thermalright to that list, too. I haven’t tried their 140(ish)s, but had great luck with their 120s and have only heard good things about their larger counterparts.

IME all fans I’ve used lack a similar noise profile across their RPM range (hope that made sense). My NF-F12s only sound good at 800 and 1200 rpm (motor wise, too much turbulence at 1200), I don’t like the NF-P14 above 900rpm, my SW2’s were poor in the midrange, a resistor might affect the motor so that the same fan sounds different at the same RPM at 7v, so on and so forth. All of the nitpicking becomes moot at some point — I’ve tinkered with fan speeds to find sweet spots for hours only to never run them past 900rpm. I’d just go with your gut feeling or, as mentioned, buy them all from someone with a good return policy.

It’s too bad that all of the more thorough fan reviewers aren’t around anymore/are too busy. I miss SPCR, ehume, and @VSG’s fan and cooler reviews :( If anyone knows of anyone doing good work on this end (besides GN), ideally with an anechoic chamber, I’m all ears harr harr
 

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I agree with everything you say. At some point I decided I was going for TY-147A/B considering those are incredibly quiet with great performance, but alas, they are not available anywhere (as far as I can tell).

After all, it seems the most reasonable to get a hold of the options and test them for my particular application, and decide from there.

I greatly appreciate everyone sharing their thoughts - it has helped clarifying some things, and I think feedback from personal experience is very valuable on the matter.

All the fans (incl. the high-speed SW3) are ordered -- now to the most exciting part! If there is interest, I will gladly report back with my end result.

Thank you everyone.

Oh, please keep sharing your experiences (for new readers), the more the better.
 
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Sorry, I meant that the motherboard makers do not use the same exact code to control PWM, and it is possible that HUBs do not all output the exact same voltages. That was the point I was trying to make. OP could listen to all of the finite complaints here and there, but there are variables that could easily make it a non-issue in his specific situation. ;)
in the past, motherboard makers didnt use true PWM on anything other header than CPU headers (IIRC), other fan headers were in a sense dumbed down, so it was like a simulated or fake PWM control processed by another circuit not part the CPU/ CPU_OPT header. The hub I have I plugged into the CPU_OPT header to control all the fans at the same time, which include the AIO (pump on CPU header) radiator fans, it works great this way. The hub itself works better on fan speeds being mildly in range of each other, it reads the rpm on one fan ( port #1 ) to determine speed for all fans. So any fan connected after that will still have the same (lets say voltage here) applied regardless of RPM range, identical fans mean closer to identical speeds, so that would make the fan speed range the main factor, i.e. 8.1254342547 (π anyone?) volts on one fan could mean it spins at 1000rpm, while on another could be 800rpm, if you see what I mean here.

I used to use Speedfan to control my curve but it doesnt play well with win10 anymore.
 

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Here is a brief update for those interested:

I tested Kaze Flex Square 140, Noiseblocker eLOOP B14-PS and BeQuiet Silent Wings 3 140 PWM (both versions) myself, in push and pull configurations with and without filter.
Kaze Flex produce uncomfortable noise even in open air at all RPM, so needless to say it fails to deliver comfortable noise levels against a filter.
B14-PS make a horrible propeller noise (airport mode!!) in a PULL configuration, but they move an impressive amount of air. This issue is reproducable every time, and does not happen in PUSH configuration. It is, however, dead silent in PUSH and open air, making this the most impressive airflow-to-dB/A fan. Sadly the design flaw with PULL is unacceptable in terms of silence. So neither of those fans lived up to the standard/expectation. Edit: VIDEO OF THE PULL ISSUE (not mine, but 100% representative of the issue)
Silent Wings 3 140 (and high-speed) however, is a silent killer; while the high-speed version makes bad noise across the RPM range, the standard SW3 is 100% silent -- unfortunately not moving as much air as I would like (VERY noticable difference compared to B14-PS for example), but I would argue it performs sufficiently enough, especially if they run at 1000RPM (still COMPLETELY silent/inaudible).

I am blown away by the amount of air the B14-PS moves, but unfortunately their issue with pull configuration removes them entirely as an option.
I am also immensely impressed by the Silent Wings 3 -- they scream quality and while not moving the most amount of air, they are without a doubt the most silent PC fans I have ever come across (they are literally inaudible with ears to the fan)!

The Phanteks F140-XP is yet to arrive - it is indeed an anticipated contestant so it remains to see if it performs on par with the B14-PS, but without the PULL issue.

Hope this clears some things up for anyone considering these fans.

Kind regards,
 
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Check out the Silverstone FHP141 V2. It's a two speed 140 mm fan. I have several of them in use. Dual ball bearings and excellent quality. Fairly quiet at low speed, loud at full speed but also moves 171 cfm of air.
 
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Silent Wings 3 140 (and high-speed) however, is a silent killer; while the high-speed version makes bad noise across the RPM range, the standard SW3 is 100% silent -- unfortunately not moving as much air as I would like (VERY noticable difference compared to B14-PS for example), but I would argue it performs sufficiently enough, especially if they run at 1000RPM (still COMPLETELY silent/inaudible).
That's the same conclusion I've come to. Sure, they might not move as much air as a Noctua (I assume, again, haven't tested anything), but at least you don't have to pay extra for black, and they're silent as hell! Will have to double check if I have the high-speed models or not. I vaguely recall one pair of the SW3s I bought having that badge on the box but I can't remember if it was the 140s or the 120s. Or I could just be misremembering. Will take a peek when I get home from work today
 
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You could have saved yourself a ton of typing by actually trying the Arctic units. The cost used to be academic and their features excellent (like daisy chain). They also sell a slew of different 140MM fans. The best push/pull radiator fan I ever used was this.


PH-F140HP_BK2​


I have used everything from Cooler Master, Thermaltake, Corsair, Noctua, Scythe and others.

The fastest fan(s) I ever had was a Scythe Kamikaze it had a crazy 3000 RPM.

The best fans period (in my opinion) are the Noctua brown that come with their 140MM coolers.

The best value (in my opinion) is Arctic and as I said they have several different models.

I cannot speak on Be Quiet as I have never used them. The Noctua Redux are all right but loud at high speed. The best thing about 140MM fans though is you don't need to have them ever run past 50% with the amount of air they move to get nice temps. Even those off brand units on Amazon will perform quietly at the right speeds. Cases don't have them anymore but a side fan above the GPU is a great place for a 140MM.
 

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@kapone32

I received the Phanteks F140XP today and will be testing them as well together with the Arctic P14 and Noctua NF-A14 for a full conclusion. Thank you for the heads up.
 
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