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Coolermaster Neon LED Case Fans Review

Former staff writer    -   March 25, 2003
Category: Cooling
Price: $6 each


Introduction
With more and more people showing off the guts of their computer these days, black fans are going the way of steel beige cases. I mean, lets get real, who wants to look through a window and see a dull black case fan? LED fans have come a long way in just a short time, and some LED fans produce such a nice glow that neons/CCFLs are almost unneeded. Today, we'll take a look at two of Cooler Master's Neon LED Fans...



Specifications

  Fan Dimension 80 x 80 x 25 mm
  Rotation Speed 2500 RPM
  Air Movement 32.11 CFM
  Acoustical Noise 25 dB(A)
  Rated Voltage 12 VDC
  Input Current 0.15 A
  Input Power 1.80 W

 

A Closer Look


 

Included in the package was:

  • 1x 4 LED Neon Fan
  • 4x Mounting Screws
  • 1x 3-pin to 4-Pin Adapter

 

The fans are labeled "Neon", which could mislead some people. Typically when people think of Neon, they think of the big eye catching signs, or the Neons uses inside of a case or under a car. These Neons use a rare gas (Neon, symbol Ne) that lights up when an electric current passes through them. However, the Cooler Master Neon LED Fans refer to another definition for neon, "Extremely bright or vivid; fluorescent". And let me tell you, these fans do live up to that definition.

As you can see below, the fans are made of a transparent plastic.

 

The fans have 4 LEDs in them, the LEDs are located at each corner, and point toward the center of the fan. The combination of the 4 LEDs and transparent plastic, help give off a lot of light.

 

Here you can see the both of the LED Fans in my case. The first pic shows them with the room lights turned on, and the 2nd is with the room lights off.. As you can see, the fans don't do much with lights on, but as soon as it gets dark, they really light up.

 

Here we have the purple and red fans lit up by themselves.

 

f red or purple aren't your thing, Cooler Master has several other colors for your choosing.



What is 'Rifle Bearing'?
Well, I've looked and looked and looked, and cannot find any information on what this "Rifle Bearing" is that these fans make use of. I did find one source that suggested it was an enhanced sleeve bearing, but I don't know how accurate that is. I've sent an email off to the gang at Cooler Master, and I'll update this when/if I receive any information from them.

 

    Update - 03/24/2003
Well, I promised an update as soon as I found some more information as to what exactly the "Rifle Bearing" is, and I've got the info now. This technology is omething that you can't even find at Cooler Master's web site yet! And here is what I received in the email:






"Rifle bearing similar to sleeve bearing however it has some special mechanism that will increase Life Expectance of the fan (still slightly less than ball bearing) and it is quieter than sleeve and ball bearing.

In the pic of "rifle_inside", you can see the rifling shaft on the left, and the rifling tube with some spiral pattern on the right. Oil is flowing inside and outside the rifling tube.

Imagine when the fan is placed vertically, the fan will weigh down a little bit, so friction is created between the top of fan and the axle, thus lowering the life expectance.

In case of rifle bearing, when the fan spins, due to the special design of rifle bearing, the oil pumps from the bottom to the top along the rifling shaft, and then flows back to the bottom along the side and recycles. the exit of oil at the top creates the force to encounter the friction, so protection is non-stop and hence, longer life expectance.

Life expectance from high to low:
Ball > Rifle > Sleeve

Noise from high to low
Ball > Sleeve > Rifle

Hope these helps"

Well, there you have it. Please note, this was taken from an email between Tony and myself, and does not come from an official document, because "there isn't one."

Conclusion
A fan is no longer just a fan. Neons/CCFL take up a power connector, draw more from the power supply, and in the case of neons produce heat, whereas the LED fans keep the system cooled, while producing light, and require no more power than a normal fan. Given enough time, or maybe just enough fans, LED fans may just replace the use of Neons/CCFLs; It wouldn't surprise me one bit. At 2500 RPM, 25dB(A), and 32.11 CFM, these are good, quiet case fans, however these are not high performance.

 

Pros

  • Clear Fan
  • 4x Bright LEDs
  • Quiet
  • 3-pin to 4-oin Adapter included

Cons

  • None

 

I'll defiantly be suggesting these to people, as well as adding a few to my own case.

LEGACY - OCC Recommended



  1. Coolermaster Neon LED Case Fans Review
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