Phanteks PH-F140 (XP, SP, SP_LED) Case Fan Review

mrwooshoo - 2014-03-09 19:25:39 in Cooling
Category: Cooling
Reviewed by: mrwooshoo   
Reviewed on: March 25, 2014
Price: $17.99

Phanteks 140mm PH-F140(SP, XP, SP_LED)Case Fans: Introduction

Recently there has been a large rise in quieter air solutions. Priority one for most companies has been to make the quietest solution possible while still keeping components under their thermal limits. Phanteks is one such company. They are a fairly new company that was established in 2007 and has since been dedicated to turning out high performance cooling solutions. Despite being relatively new and small, Phanteks has made some phenomenal progress with the few products they have put out, specifically their CPU coolers. They have proven time and again that their air cooling solutions are top of the line and, as more of Phantek's products get released, it is clear that they fully intend to stay there. They recently added three 140mm fans to their arsenal.

These fans are the Phanteks PH-F140XP, SP, and SP_LED. The SP version is the most basic, it runs at only one speed and the only accessory is the extension cable. The SP_LED version is nearly identical to the SP. The only difference being the fact that it lights up with blue LEDs. The XP is the fancy fan. Though it is listed as a case fan it, like most CPU fans, runs off of a PWM signal output by your computer. This means that it will change speed depending on the situation. If the temperatures are low it runs slower, if the temperatures are high it will run faster. Additionally it has the capability to run at a slower range of speeds via the Q.S.A (Quiet Speed Adapter). Now lets take a look at them.

Phanteks 140mm PH-F140(SP, XP, SP_LED)Case Fans: Closer Look

The boxes are relatively unadorned. They have a small window on the front that shows off a couple fins of the fan. Around the window is a depictions of the whole fan and around that is a gray scale tsunami. That makes up all of the artistic flair that is present on the box leaving it kinda dull. The top left is blank on the SP and the SP_LED but has "PWM" written on the XP. The top right of all of the boxes has the Phanteks logo and the fan model. The last thing to note on the front of the boxes is the small list of specifications in the bottom left corner.

The sides of the SP models contain the specifications, features, contents, and the accessories. The sides of the XP are very simple, they have the logo and the model only. However, this is because it has a flap on the rear that has all of the specifications, features, and accessories.

On the left side of the flap on the XP is the specifications, listing the model, power consumption, noise, fan speed, as well as a few other things. The right flap goes over the features and accessories. All of the fans feature the MVB (Maelström Vortex Booster) and UFB (Updraft Floating Balance Bearing). But only the XP has the PWM Speed Control and the Polarity Auto Restart Protection. All of the fans have the five-year warranty and come with an extension cable. The XP also has a QSA (Quiet Speed Adapter), 4-3 pin adapter (for no reason I can understand because the 3-pin headers as far as I know are all compatible with 4-pin fans(Not Molex)), and Anti-Vibration Compensators.












I will not include any individual pictures of the SP model because it is identical to the XP model. Outside of the box, the fans have only a clear plastic shell on one side to protect them from the cold. The shell has a separate space for the fan, cables and, screws/vibration absorbers. Once you remove the fan from the shell, it is clear that they have the same minimalist design as the boxes. The metal logo is the only thing on the fan at all that shows any sign of life. It isn't easy to tell the fans apart but one can judge the XP model from the number of accessories that it comes with. It is the bottom left photo of the four pictures below. To the left of the fan itself, in order, is the extension cable, QSA cable, and 4-3 Pin adapter. Above it are the screws and anti-vibration mounts (which are exceedingly long for use in many different situations). The LED fan has a slightly more distinguishable facade. It is the photo on the bottom right of the four below pictures. The thin cable above the fan is the LED cable. It has a button and around a fifth of the cable it can be removed from the fan (an oddly small amount) which can be useful in some situations I'm sure.





Below is a picture of the acoustic damper. On the PH-F140's it is very large, seems to work very well, and also can't be removed (I have never run into a situation among water coolers, heat sinks, or computer cases where this was a problem for me that does not mean, however, that other people won't have issues). In the last two pictures, the extremely exciting Maelström Vortex Booster design can be seen. The extremely sharp angle of the blades, that is assisted by the triangles on the back of the blades, and focused by the small ridges on the front of the blades. These three design aspects and the UFB bearings are the bread and butter of what makes the fans perform so well. This is all in theory, however, and we have yet to see what they can actually do. So without further ado, lets find out what the Phanteks PH-F140, XP, SP, and SP_LED case fans are truly capable of.




Notes**The PH-F140's are all 140mm fans which means they wont be compatible with as many cases as the more popular 120mm size of fans. This is something that must be taken into account when picking some up. Additionally, if you are using these fans for a CPU heat sink make sure that yours is compatible with 140mm fans and that you have mounts that are the right size for the fans. I am using a Noctua NH-U14S heat sink with a Noctua NF-A15 fan which is a 140mm fan but with the mounting holes in the same location as 120mm fans. Moral of the story is if you don't want to end up using random pieces of electrical wire to make your own mount be absolutely certain that your fans fit your wire mounts and heat sink

Phanteks PH-F140(XP, SP, SP_LED) Fans Specifications: 

Case and Radiator Fan
Frame: Black; Blades: White
4 Blue LEDs
Bearing Type
UFB (Updraft Floating Balance) Bearing
Fan Dimensions
140 x 140 x 25mm
Blade Geometry
Nine Blades with MVB (Maelström Vortex Booster) Design
Speed (XP)
600-1200 ± 250 rpm
Speed (SP, SP_LED)
1200 ± 250 rpm
Max Airflow (XP)
40.9 – 85.19 CFM
Max Airflow (SP, SP_LED)
82.1 CFM
Acoustical Noise (XP)
15.22 – 19 dB (A)
Acoustical Noise (SP, SP_LED)
19 dB (A)
Static Pressure (XP)
0.39 – 1.52mm H2O
Static Pressure (SP, SP_LED)
1.33mm H2O
Speed with QSA (XP)
300 - 900 ± 250 rpm
Max Airflow with QSA (XP)
49.14 CFM
Acoustical Noise with QSA (XP)
17 dB (A)
Static Pressure with QSA (XP)
0.77mm H2O
Input Current
0.14 A
Rate Voltage
DC 12V
Input Power
1.8 W
>150,000 h
Speed Sensor (XP)
4 pins
Speed Sensor (SP, SP_LED)
3 pins
Cable Length
Scope of Delivery (XP)
1x 140mm PWM Premium Fan
1x QSA (Quiet Speed Adapter)
1x 4 to 3 pin adapter
1x 400mm Extension Cable
4x Anti-Vibration Compensators
4x Fan Screws
Scope of Delivery (SP, SP_LED)
1x 140mm Premium Fan
1x 400mm Extension Cable
1x LED switch adaptor (SP_LED only)
4x Fan Screws
5 years






Phanteks PH-F140(XP, SP, SP_LED) Fans Features:



All information courtesy of Phanteks @

Phanteks PH-F140(XP, SP, SP_LED) Fans Testing:

The Phanteks PH-F104s will be tested on a Noctua NH-U14S tower cooler. The tower cooler will be mounted according to the recommended installation method given in the included manual. To elaborate, the Noctua cooler will be mounted vertically near the back of the computer case with a fan between the back wall and the radiator. The fan being tested will be pulling air from outside of the case and pushing it through the radiator. The load tests will be run in two hour intervals with a one hour break in between each load test. Idle tests will be each run 45 minutes and have 15 minute breaks in between. All system hardware will remain the same during each of the tests and the ambient temperature will be kept as close to 17 degrees Celsius as possible for all tests to be fair. The fans will all be tested at all of their speed settings.


















Based on the specifications given by Phanteks, the fans seemed to be just as awesome as they were said to be. The idles and the loads both were very impressive across the board and all @4.4Ghz. Even with the XP using the QSA adapter the temperatures were all so far down I wouldn't even be afraid to up the voltage and the clock speed for a faster overclock. Oddly enough, the XP actually performed worse than its brethren at the 1200 rpm speeds and was still defeated ever so slightly by the Noctua at its 1500 rpm setting (which is faster and a bit louder than the Phanteks XP). I think a slightly faster PWM range would have easily matched the slightly more brutish Noctua. All of the Phanteks handled this overclock without breaking a sweat.

Phanteks PH-F140(XP, SP, SP_LED) Fans Conclusion:

I don't know what I was expecting exactly. I had never run such a large cooler in my system but I really believed that my water cooler was a little bit better. Phanteks threw that notion out the window. The fans performed way beyond what I thought possible with such a simple air cooler. Not to take anything away from the cooler itself, but the Phanteks fans did essentially outperform the stock fan in every aspect (though only if the rpm, power, and noise are brought into account). Phanteks started off with a pretty great reputation, and they seem to be very determined to keep it. They have successfully taken to redesigning their own fans and tweaking them into better performance. As I have previously stated, the products Phanteks puts out are always top of the line and at this rate they always will be.

Though the XP did not completely dethrone the faster Noctua, it was very nearly its equal and at lower settings across the board. I genuinely believe that, if the PWM was adjusted, it could match toe-to-toe with the faster fan. This is due to the performance of the SP and the SP_LED. They were undeniably the best cooling fans among there peers and competition. They were quieter and slower but still produced temperatures that were better than both of the PWM base fans. Which makes sense given that the PWM fans are basically responding to temperatures where the SP's are preemptively running at max at all times. Now with that reality brought to light, lets talk about the fact that the NF-A15's low noise running speed and sound production is the same as the Phanteks PH-F140XP's max speed and noise production. Now I am sure that this doesnt sound like a good thing but it is. Because it more accurately depicts the comparison of their designs. The fact that the tests resulted in better temperature for the Phanteks when both fans were running at the same speed shows that its Maelstrom Vortex Booster design not only sounds awesome, it is awesome.

At first glance I was skeptical about some of the quirks these fans have (like the 4-3pin converter and the mostly irremovable LED cable) but then I saw their price. $17.99 seems high, but is in fact amazingly low for the performance and size, comparing to and trumping fans that can be around 50% more expensive (I really did find a good number for $27). Given the price point for these fans they are absolutely amazing. Add in the 5-year warranty and you can't go wrong. Phanteks is going to continue to succeed if they keep their products great and their prices competitive. Air cooling is not a dead art and is still gaining ground, and if Phanteks has its way, will continue to do so for years to come.