GELID Solutions Low Speed Optimized Silent Fans Review

kendellrt RHKCommander959 - 2009-03-28 22:52:21 in Cooling
Category: Cooling
Reviewed by: kendellrt   RHKCommander959   
Reviewed on: July 7, 2009
Price: $14.99-$18.99

Introduction:

When building or upgrading a computer system, users should look to fans that fit their needs. Some people want silent fans whereas others want powerful or long lasting fans. Certain fans do have a mix of these features, usually endurance paired with power or silence. Other variables like operational voltage and size come into play as well as the looks of the fan to some people. The size and number of fan blades will have an affect on each quality, as does the shape of the fan blade. Bearing type is a great contributor to life span and noise, with sleeve bearing being the worst typically and should only be mounted vertically. The fans produced and reviewed today by Gelid are designed around Nanoflux and Hydro Dynamic bearings and come with five year warranties. The fans being reviewed are the Gelid Wing 12, Silent 12 PWM, and the Silent 8 TC.

 

Closer Look:

Recently after having reviewed the Gelid Silent Spirit heat sink, I received another product from Gelid - three of their silent performance fans. The best of the three is the Wing 12, which produces more pressure and airflow than any of the Silent 12 series fans while at similar noise to the Silent 12 PWM. The box is black with green accents, similar to the fan and grommets shown through the windows. The fan also comes with a controller. Gelid advertises the fan as "Low Speed Optimized Silent Fan with Nanoflux Bearing," which means that the fan is geared toward the silence crowd, the Nanoflux bearing is a magnetic bearing style so lifespan will be far better than sleeve bearing fans. Rotating the box to the back shows the features of the fan in good detail. The main features are listed under specifications: 64.3 CFM, 25 dBA, 1.92 mmAq, 120x120x25 mm, 12V 0.22A, 100,000 MTTF, and the 5-year warranty. The fan is UV reactive and can be easily cleaned by removing the fan impeller with a simple tug thanks to the magnetic Nanoflux bearing, the fan is waterproof and dust proof. Good grammar and spelling across the board and plenty of information.

 

 

 

 

 

The sides use images to express some of the features of the fan, including the special fan blades, low starting voltage of 5V, fan speed controller, long life span, five year warranty, water/dust proof, and silent operation.

 

 

The Silent 12 fans come in a box smaller than the Wing 12, with the similar lace pattern to the Silent Spirit. Depending on which fan out of the Silent 12 series it is there will be a sticker that is placed denoting the model it is. These are also labeled as low speed optimized silent fans and are less performing than them. Rotating to the back shows the statistics of each type of fan in the Silent 12 series, with a sticker next to the fan that is inside. These fans only use the Hydro Dynamic bearings, which are an improved version of the sleeve bearing. The thermal control TC and pulse width modulation PWM fans have identical specifications whereas PWM is controlled by the motherboard and TC by a thermal probe that varies resistance based on heat.

 

 

Like the Wing 12, the Silent 12 box has icons showing some of the key features of the fan. Silent operation, high airflow, optimized fan blade, long life span, and five year warranty.

 

 

The Silent 8 packaging is a mirror image of the Silent 12, but smaller. The back shows statistics for the three different types of Silent 8 fans, this one uses a thermal diode to modulate fan speed, which should be attached to a heat sink for good results. The fan operates at up to 21.5 dBA. Everything but the back matches the Silent 12.

 

 

Let's get these guys unboxed and see how good they look.

Closer Look:

The molding holds the items well, with an included fan controller and rubber fan mounts that absorb vibration and help keep things silent. The fan glows very well with added light and would look great in the right case. The clamshell packaging is thin but holds it well together, fitting in four rubber mounts, fan speed controller, fan controller wires, and the fan itself. It all stayed in just fine and slid out of the box easily. The Nanoflux bearings combined with the fan speed controller and rubber mounts add up together for the ultimate silent system. The fan is rated to start at 5V and may go even lower, has a 100,000 MTTF, and is dust and water proof so it should operate quietly and last for a very long time. The 64.3 CFM rating would make this a good fan for home theater PC or other quiet computing systems.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The front of the fan is clean and the wings add a little something to the looks of the impeller. The housing is solid and pairs well with the impeller. The back of the fan has a sticker for the company website and some settings. To remove the fan, users are guided to push the impeller from the backside - it just pushes right out. The fans are made in China.

 

 

The Silent 12 PWM is comparable to the Wing 12 in impeller size, which has an eggshell texture to it. The specifications are a little less than the Wing 12 with higher dBA and lower CFM/pressure. The four-pin PWM plug can be installed into either three or four pin fan connections, and is geared toward CPU cooling usage. Both sides have stickers for Gelid, with the rear having specifications and web address.

 

 

The Silent 8 TC looks just like the Silent 12 but, of course, smaller. The Silent 8 TC has two cables, one is for the fan header and the other is for the thermal diode that controls how fast the fan should run. Also crammed into the box is a case sticker and four rubber fan mounts. The impeller and back both have stickers with the back having the basic specifications.

 

 

The thermal control diode is very small and sleeved to match the fan header cable. This little guy should be taped to a heat sink or propped into heat sink fins to register heat well, otherwise it will be running at low RPMs. The included rubber fan mounts help absorb fan vibration and isolate noise.

 

 

With the fans unboxed, let's take a look at their specifications real quick before testing them out!

Specifications:

Air Flow (CFM):
64.3
Bearing:
Nanoflux Bearing (NFB)
Cable Length (mm):
500
Connector:
3 Pin Molex
Current (A):
0.22
Dimensions (mm):
120 x 120 x 25
Fan Speed (RPM):
1500
Noise Level (dBA):
12-25
Safety Approvals:
UL, CUL, CE, RoHS Compliant
Static Pressure (mmAq):
1.925
Voltage (V):
12
Warranty (years):
5
Weight (g):
119

 

Features:

 

All information courtesy of Gelid @http://www.gelidsolutions.com/products/index.php?lid=1&cid=2&id=21&tab=2

Testing:

The fans are tested against other fans of varying quality, airflow, noise, and power draw. One of the most powerful fans is the Delta TFB1212GHE with its 220CFM+ airflow - this fan will be used as the best case scenario for cooling capability. To test the fans, the Evercool Transformer 4 is used due to its ability to mount 120mm fans. The smaller Silent 8 TC is tested in an equally small heat sink - the ZEROTherm Core 92 that was designed for 92mm fans rather than 80mm, but still works just fine. The ambient temperature is approximately 74F-23C and the CPU is clocked in at 3.33GHz with 1.26V to see how well the fans handle the heat. Prime95 and Real Temp 3.00 are used to get load results, the average of the temperatures is reported in the corresponding charts. All testing is performed in a case for real-world results.

Testing System:

 

Comparison Heat Sinks/Fans:

 

 

Gelid Wing 12 and Gelid Silent 12 PWM

 

 

Gelid Silent 8

 

 

Not surprisingly, the stock Evercool fan did the worst reaching nearly 75C at load, while the Delta reached 59.7C, a 15C difference. The Wing 12 did very well here, passing the Antec Tricool 120, while the Silent 12 PWM and Tricool 120 score very similarly. The Silent 8 TC performed comparably to the others, but lost to the Tricool 80 by a couple of degrees.

Conclusion

Both the Wing 12 and Silent 12 PWM performed very well, each operated very quietly and put up comparable numbers - the Wing 12 was a real winner performing second best to the Delta very quietly. The Silent 12 PWM performed very close to the Antec Tricool but quieter. The durability and performance combined with dust proof and water proof qualities of the Wing 12 are also great features to see come together in a fan that also looks good.

The Silent 8 TC performed well enough although the diode can be somewhat less inconvenient and would work better with double-sided tape. This fan does not seem to be fit for general use although it would work likely work well in certain special applications and when paired up well with smaller heat sinks.

The Wing series seems like a true winner, and the Silent series did pretty good too, both operate very quietly and the five-year warranty is an added bonus that makes Gelid fans a good choice.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: