BitFenix Spectre Pro Fan ReviewWaco -
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Testing the BitFenix Spectre Pro fans required pushing my hardware to heat things up! Testing involved recording temperatures for the CPU, GPU, and chipset during idle and load conditions. Load conditions were simulated by running Prime95’s small FFTs and 3Dmark Vantage for one hour. The maximum load temperatures were recorded using HW Monitor and the idle temperatures were taken after a 30 minute cool down time.
Since we're taking a look at three fans today I tested a few different configurations, all of which will be housed in the venerable HAF XM recently reviewed by OCC. The first configuration is simply adding the 140mm Spectre Pro fan to the side panel at the rearward location. The second setup involves replacing the rear fan with the Spectre Pro 120mm fan and moving the stock Cooler Master 140mm rear fan to the side panel, again at the further back location. The third test configuration involved installing the 230mm Spectre Pro fan on the front of the HAF XM and moving the stock Cooler Master fan to the top of the case (the 230mm fan is too large to install in the top position). Note that the 230mm fan does not fit perfectly into the stock 200mm fan location on the front of the case. It sits very slightly askew when screwed down into the case because the mounting holes do not line up with the holes in the case. This will not affect performance at all and is purely a cosmetic issue if you like to measure your tolerances down to the millimeter.
The last configuration, and arguably the best in terms of airflow, is with all of the Spectre Pro fans installed in the HAF XM in addition to all of the stock fans. The Spectre Pro 230mm fan is again installed at the front of the case as an intake fan. The two 200mm Cooler Master fans are installed in the top of the case as exhaust fans. The 120mm Spectre Pro fan is installed at the rear of the case as an exhaust fan. The 140mm Spectre Pro shares the side panel with the 140mm Cooler Master fan as an intake fan. This configuration provides a massive amount of airflow through the case and should be the best cooling configuration we'll see today!
- Processor: Core i7 2600K @ 4.4 GHz 100 x 44
- CPU Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE 1366
- Motherboard: GIGABYTE Z68AP-D3
- Memory: Mushkin 993997 Redline PC3-17000 9-11-10-28 16 GB
- Video Card: XFX HD 7970
- PSU: Antec TruePower New TP-750
- Hard Drive: Corsair Force GT 240 GB
- Optical Drive: N/A
- OS: Windows 7 Pro 64-Bit SP1
- Cooler Master HAF XM
- Configuration #1 (140mm fan on side panel)
- Configuration #2 (120mm fan on rear, 140mm fan moved to side panel)
- Configuration #3 (230mm fan in front, 200mm fan moved to top panel)
- Configuration #4 (all Spectre Pro fans installed)
Clearly the fourth configuration really sets a new bar for air cooling! With all of the stock fans from the HAF XM in addition to the Spectre Pro fans the amount of airflow through the case, while remaining quiet, clearly cools the interior components extremely well. The HAF XM is no slouch in the cooling department even in its stock configurations so any improvements here are notable. The first three configurations all improve on the stock cooling performance of the HAF XM but if you really want to improve your case cooling you'll want to outfit all of the available fan locations with fans. The first and second configurations were literally identical, which isn't terribly surprising given their similarity. The third lagged a bit behind the first two. The best bang-for-buck improvement is definitely with the first or second configuration, which provided a good drop in load temperatures even with only a single additional fan over the stock configuration.