be quiet! 140mm Silent & Pure Wings 2 Reviewmrwooshoo - June 5, 2014
Price: Silent ~$30, Pure~$16.50
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be quiet! 140mm Silent & Pure Wings 2 Case Fans: Introduction
be quiet! is a German company that specializes in cooling solutions and power supplies. The company is very well known in Europe and has started to amass a following in the United States due to the impressive performance of their products. The companies reputation is not all talk either; be quiet! has won "manufacturer of the year" in the German magazine "PC Games Hardware" eight consecutive years in a row in the power supplies category. Additionally, be quiet! has been quite at home within the top three spots in the power supply, CPU cooler, and fans categories for three or more years. be quiet! knows how to build high quality products and it has more than proven it across multiple categories. Finally, another part of the companies focus is quiet (it's in the name whoa?!). be quiet! has literally always been focusing on keeping your system powered and cooled with noise in mind. Whether it is its popular Dark Rock and Shadow Rock CPU coolers or its case cooling solutions, noise is always kept to a minimum. Which brings us to its newest revision of the be quiet! case cooling solutions. The Wings 2. I will be showing you two of three different flavors of the Wings 2; the Silent Wings 2 and the Pure Wings 2.
The Pure and Silent fans are on opposite sides of the be quiet! case fan spectrum. The Pure fans are the most basic of the Wings 2 series, while the Silent are the most complex. The Pure has no accessories and only runs at one speed. While the Silent is optimized to run as quietly as possible while retaining optimal air flow and has different accessories to assist in this. The Silent even has a bearing that is rated to last nearly four times as long as the Pure. So how will these two be quiet! fans compare to each other as well as alternative high-end fans? Let's see if be quiet! is still worthy of its lofty reputation.
be quiet! 140mm Silent & Pure Wings 2 Case Fans: Closer Look
The first thing to notice is that the boxes for the Silent and the Pure are quite similar. They share the same black base color, white text, and orange logo. Both list the fan size below the model and underneath that are the features listed in English and German. Even the rear of the boxes are nearly identical. However, the differences are present, just not immediately easy to see. The front of the Silent box has a logo listing the 1000 RPM that the fan puts out, which is kinda silly considering the Pure has the same RPM. The stripe on the left side of the box is a bit darker on the Silent and points out that the Silent is "high-end" while the Pure is "essential". Finally, the last exterior difference is that the French translation of the features is listed on the side of the Silent and in its place is a little brag about the fact that the Silent Wings are "virtually inaudible cooling for your system".
From the outside, it seems as if the Silent box is simply bigger. However, this is not the case. The very well hidden flap on the Silent box is hiding additional features that are specific to the Silent Wings 2 as well as a clear window that allows you to see the fan and some of its accessories before opening the box. On the flap itself, in five different languages, is the list of design features that were implemented to help to keep the fan as quiet as possible. These features are a 300,000 hr fluid dynamic bearing, an electronic noise reducing motor controller chip, air flow optimized fan blades, rubberized frame and mounts, and a screw-less (and with screw) mounting options(which are visible through the window).
Removing both fans from their respective boxes makes it clear, accessories are the main reason for the size differences. Although, in my opinion, the box for the Silent is still a bit too large (there is a non zero amount of wasted space beside the fan). Out of the box the Pure is, again, very clearly the base line model; including only mounting screws and a small warranty information document. The cable is unwrapped and the frame is slightly above average in looks and feels sturdy like most tops brand case fans. The Silent has tons of accessories. It comes with the warranty document, mounting screws, mounting push pins, full rubber anti-vibration mounts, hard solid mounts, and a three-four pin adapter. However, upon closer inspection, the three-four pin adapter doubles and triples as a low(er) noise adapter by adding on 5v and 7v settings to the 12v that was already present. At this point I feel obligated to mention that there is no extension cable for either fan. The Silent fan feels solid as a rock. The Pure may seem to be pretty sturdy, but the Silent clearly overshadows it at nearly twice the weight(Pure=0.16kg, Silent=0.30kg)
When we look at the Pure and the Silent up close, both have a very centered cylindrical design. Most fans have a mild slope from the frame to the fan; both the Wings simply shifted the edges of the frame in a few millimeters and dive straight through to the other side, no sloping involved. For the Silent, the differences don't stop there. Firstly, the cable is wrapped giving it a very sturdy feel and secondly the screw holes are broken (not literally). They are open on one side for the placement of the alternative mounting options. The sets of four rubber mounts and plastic mounts are slide in. The rubber ones utilize the mounting push pins and the hard plastic ones use the screws.
The mounting holes on the Pure are relatively normal with one convenient exception; the screw holes are not fully wrapped. There are other fans that have this little design aspect, but I have more often seen ones that have solid screw mounts. This can be a problem when using certain CPU mounting clamps and, though rarely, case mounts. Due to the Silent's special mounting methods this could potentially be a problem (in my case it is a problem anyway due to the Noctua CPU cooler I am using). The last few photos are of how the rubber mounts and the plastic mounts look while attached.