Corsair AF and SP Series Fan ReviewWaco - July 12, 2012
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The AF series fans impressed all around. They delivered low temperatures, quiet (near silent) operation, and were a breeze to install. I honestly can't find a fault in them other than the slightly elevated price compared to barebones case fans. On the other hand, these fans do offer a nice upgrade from your generic case fans by decreasing noise, increasing cooling, and looking damn nice at the same time.
The SP series fans may not be something you'd buy to replace fans on your current heat sink or radiator, but if you were buying parts without included fans they're a great choice! The quiet version of the SP120 doesn't move a ton of air to cool highly overclocked CPUs on air cooling but it was essentially silent during the test runs. The faster of the two SP120 fans cooled incredibly well at the penalty of increased noise. Keep in mind though that the SP120 High Performance Edition still isn't a loud fan. They don't hold a candle to the Vantec Tornado screamers of yesteryear and if you aren't picky about noise they'd suit you just fine even at full speed. The quieter SP120 Quiet Edition is what I'd recommend to anyone who needs an absolutely silent computer… for anyone else the SP120 High Performance Edition (maybe using the low-voltage adapter) would be the way to go.
Overall both the Corsair AF-series and the Corsair SP-series fans were impressive. Both lineups include editions oriented towards quiet cooling and performance cooling. Even the performance-oriented versions of the fans were very quiet with the exception of the SP120 High Performance Edition, which, while performing highly, did not do so in silence at 12 volts. The included low-voltage adapter quieted the beast right down though! The interchangeable color rings are a nice touch and the frames and rubber noise isolating inserts are built extremely well and will offer years of service. Corsair has served up winners here!
- Superior airflow at any given noise level
- Interchangeable rings add a nice touch to any theme
- Extremely quiet (with the exception of the SP120 High Performance Edition)
- Included low-voltage adapter for even more quiet operation
- Slightly higher cost than other fans