When you can't stop fiddling! (actually just fan tests here)

Push it to the max but make sure that you keep it cool!
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When you can't stop fiddling! (actually just fan tests here)

Post by zimmer-frame »

Every time I come home from the pc store I fear my wife is going to divorce me, or worse. To avert any such danger, I took her and the kid for all you can eat sushi on Monday night. One night set aside for talking about this and that, looking deep in to her eyes, and whispering about the early days of dating (actually more like shouting at the child not to spill her cooldrink etc).

While this is going on, in the back of my mind I'm sitting thinking...How can I cool my cpu even better, without having to spend over R2k on a XSPC Rasa kit, or worse, do a complete custom water loop. The internet is a bad place for getting ideas, and the idea of shrouds came to mind. Last night, I was allowed a lot of pc time, having done the sushi thing on Monday night...aah the joys of bribery and corruption in ZA today :lol:

Now, as per my sig, I run a i7-950 on a H70 water cooler. The stock Corsair fans are loud, noisy and not my cup of tea. For this test, I will use two sets of different fans that I have come to enjoy using over the last few years of playing "break the pc". Currently I was using a set of Cooler Master SickleFlow fans in my HAF922.

1.Cooler Master Sickleflow. It's a 120mm 2000rpm fan, running at 19dba, pushing 70CFM at some 2.9 fancy term for air pressure.. http://www.coolermaster.com/product.php?product_id=4410

2. Cooler Master Excalibur. Also a 120mm 2000rpm fan, with PWM running at max 30dba, pushing 85CFM, at some 3.5ish fancy air pressure term.. http://www.coolermaster.com/product.php?product_id=6634

Now, you would ask, with the spec's almost the same, why bother. Well, the Excaliburs PWM function adds a bit of a price to it. The Sickleflow fans were around R52 each, while the Excaliburs were R149 each! :shock: Is the little performance (and noise) worth the extra R200? Let's find out!

First, we needed to build a shroud. For the benefits of a shroud, just use Google, but essentially it removes the dead spot where the fan motor sits, allowing for more airflow over the radiator and improved cooling. Easy to make one as well! Take one of the stock Corsair turbines, gut the insides, and I have a shroud. Next, find long enough screws to bolt the fan and the shroud to the radiator. This proved to be a problem. The salesman at Mica looked for nearly 20 mins, and no bolts would work.


Plan B! Take some thin sealing sponge, glue on to shroud, then attach the actual fan. This allows you to use the original screws in the shroud, and attaches and seals the fan to the shroud. (note* I only used a shroud in the push fan. The "pull" fan also bolts my radiator to the case, and the solution would not support the weight)


There you have it. Once the test is done, just peel off the sponge, apply new one to the shroud, and attach the next fan for the test.

The test was just running Prime95 for maximum heat, for 15 mins and looking at the temperatures.

23 x 175, HT on, running the Sicklefans.


Strange, note the temperature discrepancies in the different applications. I just went with the highest temperature for safety sake. One core maxed out at 75'c.. The fans themselves were nice and quiet, which definitely counts in their favour.

23 x 175, HT on, running the Excaliburs.


First thing, I could definitely hear the difference between the fans. When the PWM function spins the Excalbur up, you hear it! Seems it did keep it 1'c colder than the Sicklefans. Not exactly what I hoped for after spending R300 on two fans.. :(

So, lets see what the new fans do when you really put them under strain. 21 x 200 would not even start Prime95 without a blue screen, so I went with 24 x 175, HT and crossed fingers. Seems this is where the extra $ started paying off.


Stable, humming along, and well within the safe zone. During actual work the machine won't come close to approaching that sort of temperatures, so I am quite happy.


Are the Excaliburs worth it? If I were to build a Rasa kit with a 360mm radiator, I probably won't use them. The performance to value that the SickleFlow provides vs the Excalibur just makes it a better buy for quiet systems that needs good airflow. If you want to try for absolutely the very best performance, at a price, the Excalibur in this test is the better fan. I just wish we could get a better variety of fans in SA, like the gentle typhoons etc. :cry:

*side note* I'll run the test again in December when it's bleeding hot in SA, and report back. :mrgreen:
Intel i-7 950 (4Ghz with HT on) / 3 X 2Gb Kingston Hyper-X (1600MHz) / MSI X58A-GD / 2 x EVGA Nvidia 1Gb 460GTX SuperClocked External Exhaust / 320gb Seagate Momentus XT Hybrid HDD + 2 x Seagate 1TB SATA 6Gb/s/ Corsair H70 Hydro Water Cooling / Corsair TX 850W PSU / CoolerMaster HAF-922 / 2 x 22" Fujitsu LCD Wide
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Re: When you can't stop fiddling! (actually just fan tests h

Post by Slimshaedy »

Thanks for the read:) I enjoyed it. Very interesting results:)
[i7 2600K @ 4.6 ghz 1.35V] [Asus P8P67 Deluxe] [G-Skill RipjawsX 2x2GB DDR3 1600 CL6 (6-8-6-24) 1.5V]
[Sapphire Radeon 6870 @ 975/1200 1.2V] [Coolermaster V6 GT] [WD Caviar Black 640GB SATA3 6Gbps]
[Samsung SA350 23" LED] [NZXT Phantom White] [Corsair TX750W V2] [Zalman RS6F-USB 5.1 Surround Sound Headphones] My rig and benchmarks
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Re: When you can't stop fiddling! (actually just fan tests h

Post by THE_STIG »

I thought it was only me who sat around thinking of how to make ones fans work better :lol: . Turns out I am not alone then :) . Very interesting just what some small and simple mods can do.
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