Phanteks T30-120 Fan Review - One Fan to Rule Them All? 105

Phanteks T30-120 Fan Review - One Fan to Rule Them All?

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Introduction

Phanteks Logo

What happens when you take the Sunon magnetic levitation bearing from the impressive CORSAIR ML120, liquid polymer chemistry from the excellent Noctua NF-A12x25, and a little bit of thickness from the EK-Meltemi? If you are Phanteks, then it might well result in the brand-new T30-120 fan. I first heard of this project a few years ago behind closed doors at a trade show, and then COVID hit to where I wasn't sure what the release timeline was going to be. Imagine my surprise when an email hit not two months ago informing me that the T30 project had now been completed and its release was imminent. Of course I said yes, and here we are with a launch-day review thanks to Phanteks having arranged review samples to TechPowerUp!


Phanteks has much praise for the T30-120, calling it the company's "Ultimate Fan" with the intention of it being the best fan for PC cooling. The model number is PH-F120T30, so you may see it referred to as such in some places. The T30-120 fan is also launching alongside a new Glacier 240 AIO using two of these fans with the target of delivering 360 mm AIO performance at one size less. The naming scheme also leaves room for a 140 mm version of the same in the future, which is no doubt going to be dictated by the market reception to this 120 mm version. The stock photo above tells us a few things already, including that there is daisy-chaining support for the fans. There is no RGB lighting, yet that fan hub is relatively massive, which is indicative of more going on underneath. The color scheme is also quite industrial, and did I mention that these are 30-mm-thick fans? Let's put the Phanteks T30-120 through its paces in this review that begins with a look at the specifications below.

Specifications

Phanteks T30-120 Fan
Dimensions:120 x 120 x 30 mm
Rated Speed:1200/2000/3000 (+/- 5%) RPM via three modes
Max Airflow:39.1/67.0/101 CFM (66.4/114/172 m³/h)
Noise:11.1/27.3/39.7 dBA
Static Pressure:1.27/3.30/7.11 mm H₂O
Fan Control:4-pin/PWM control
Current Draw:0.05/0.13/0.36 A peak
Warranty:Six years

Packaging and Accessories


You might be wondering what those three modes reflected in the specifications table are all about, which we will certainly cover in the review. First up is the packaging and the unboxing experience itself, and this is also how I can show you that the T30-120 will come in two SKUs—as a single or triple pack. Phanteks sent me one of each, which also makes testing multiple samples for any sample variation possible and adds statistical accuracy to our objective testing. Both sets employ a thick Styrofoam box with a cardboard cover, which has a render of the fan on at its face as a teaser, along with the company logo, product name, and the same "The Ultimate Fan" tagline we saw before. The back covers the technical specifications again and delves into more detail about the three available operating modes for the fan. A look at the side confirms the triple pack is just composed of three individual packs, with the Phanteks logo on the foam for further branding. A seal and double flap common across both SKUs keep the contents in place during transit.


I am using the single pack to demonstrate the rest of the unboxing experience. Opening the box, we see a few lines in blue for contrast with the grayscale thus far, which also matches the fans themselves in a nice touch. There are instructions on how to access the three modes, and I can now also tell you that there is an onboard switch on each fan which not only changes the maximum RPM, but also introduces an on/off mode. The associated RPM response curves are seen here, as well as a list of included accessories for further transparency. This was another layer of the same cardboard cover we saw thus far, and lifting it off finally reveals the fan inside a foam compartment with the accessories to the side in a second, smaller compartment. A cutout connects the two to allow the fan wire to go through, and the accessories otherwise come packaged separately as seen above.


There is the expected set of four self-tapping screws for use as a case fan, but we then see some long screws too, which is strange until you remember that the Phanteks T30 is a 30-mm thick fan. As such, the standard screws supplied with radiators may not be long enough. Alphacool is among the few to include 35-mm-long M3 screws with its radiators, which is a good thing too since these are 36-mm long UNC 6-32 screws that work well with most CLCs but won't be compatible with many DIY cooling radiators available today. So you will have to buy longer M3 or M4 screws depending on your radiator of choice should you wish to go with Phanteks T30 fans. There is a slightly longer version of the same screws, and this 39 mm long set is for the optional Phanteks Halos RGB fan frame since these are otherwise sparse on RGB lighting. A 50 cm long extension cable with thin, cheap-ish feeling sleeving and standard male-to-female 4-pin PWM connectors on both ends is also included with each fan.


For those wondering, the triple pack opens up to reveal three individual packs stacked one above the other. There is no bundled controller or any other extra accessory. The reason to go with the triple pack of the Phanteks T30 is a small cost saving over three individual packs, as well as a more compact box heading your way should you need three (or more) of these fans.
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