GELID Solutions Silent 12 PWM Case Fan

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Introduction

Following on from the WING 12 UV Blue case fan that we reviewed earlier in the week, we have another of GELID’s products. This time it comes from the silent range as opposed to the gaming selection. Consequently, there should be a lot more emphasis on the noise issues with the Silent 12 PWN aiming to achieve the high accolade of ‘completely silent’. With this in mind, will performance fall away? Read on to find out more.

Company Information – GELID Solutions

GELID Solutions Ltd. is a Hong Kong based company with Swiss Management and founded in 2008 by Gebhard SCHERRER and VC TRAN. Both have worked in the PC Cooling industry for a number of years and successfully built up an IT company with their expertise. GELID designs and manufactures thermal solutions, CPU coolers, fans, and other computer hardware for both gamers and silent enthusiasts. We provide computer hardware distributors, retailers and system integrators with innovative, virtually silent, high- performance and top quality thermal solutions.

Features

  • Pulse Width Modulation (PWM)
  • Silent Operation w/ Rubber Fan Mounts
  • Optimized Fan Blades
  • High Airflow & High Static Pressure
  • Long Lifetime (50’000 h MTTF at 40°C)
  • 5 Years Warranty

Specification

  • Air Flow (CFM):58
  • Bearing: Hydro Dynamic
  • Bearing Cable Length (mm):500
  • Connector: 4 Pin Molex
  • Current (A):0.18
  • Dimension (mm):120 x 120 x 25
  • Fan Speed (RPM):750 – 1500
  • Noise Level (dBA):12 – 25.5
  • Safety Approvals: CE, RoHS Compliant
  • Static Pressure (mmAq):1.6
  • Voltage (V):12
  • Warranty (years):5
  • Weight (g):120

Contents & Packaging

The Silent 12 PWM has rather modest packaging. Unlike most of GELID’s packaging there are no flamboyant colours; instead it’s very toned down – perhaps to reflect this range (silent). The colour scheme comprises of mainly whites and greys with a few black streaks. There is a triangular cut out showing part of the fan and PWM sticker distinguishes this model from other types, like TC.

GELID Solutions Silent 12 PWN Case Fan

The reverse of the box displays three features with a brief explanation along with the full list of specifications for all of the Silent 12 range.

GELID Solutions Silent 12 PWN Case Fan

The sides simply have more features with small images that relate to the specific feature.

GELID Solutions Silent 12 PWN Case Fan

In terms of accessories, there are relatively few:

  • 4 silicon fan mounts
  • GELID sticker

GELID Solutions Silent 12 PWN Case Fan

The Product – GELID Silent 12 PWM Fan

Looking at the front of the fan itself, it is once again evident at how toned down the product is. But then, this fan is not about style and gadgets, its focused on provided silent performance. There is a simple black frame and the impeller is completely white with a total of seven blades.

The back is basically the same except the back of the bearing can be seen covered in a GELID sticker.

GELID Solutions Silent 12 PWN Case FanGELID Solutions Silent 12 PWN Case Fan

In the corners there are four holes that allow the fan to be installed either by using the silicon fan mounts or by screws.

GELID Solutions Silent 12 PWN Case Fan

I must say that despite the apparent lack of colour, the fan does look quite effective – perhaps adhering to the phrase ‘less is more’? The combination of white and black is tried and tested and works well. The sticker bang in the centre of the impeller displays both the company and the products name whilst also displaying the only colour other than black and white.

GELID Solutions Silent 12 PWN Case Fan

The Silent 12 PWM obviously uses a 4-pin PWN connector. The advantages of PWM over the standard 3-pin connector are that they automatically choose an appropriate speed so as to apply the appropriate amount of cooling depending on the CPU and System temperatures. This is done through the motherboard’s BIOS using an intelligent IC built into the fan’s PCB.

Another great benefit of this is that PWM does not produce any heat either.

However, the main gain is the fact that the fan can spin at much lower speeds, when the temperatures are low, as the fan is not needed as much. Thus, less noise produced.

GELID Solutions Silent 12 PWN Case Fan

Note also that GELID are the only company on the market to date that have a non-linear PWM heat curve. Effectively, this means that the speed is more realistic dependent on the temperature. Therefore, at lower temperatures, the fan will spin slower than a fan using the linear PWM curve and so produce less noise. However, once the temperature gets higher, the fan will begin to spin much faster, quicker than the linear curve. Overall, this just makes the fan run more appropriately to the conditions – a good thing indeed.

Testing

Installation

Test Setup:

Processor Intel C2D E5550 Dual Core 2.33GHz
Motherboard Gigabyte S-Series GA-73PVM-S2H
Graphics Card XFX 8600GT
Memory Corsair XMS2 PC6400 (2x 1GB)
Hard Drive Hitachi HDT7250 (250GB)
OS Windows XP Pro 32bit

Installation is so straightforward a complete computer novice could handle it. Simply push in the silicon fan mounts making sure the longer end goes through the fan hole.

GELID Solutions Silent 12 PWN Case Fan

GELID Solutions Silent 12 PWN Case Fan

GELID Solutions Silent 12 PWN Case Fan

Then, just push the other end through the hole in the case – in this instance I am using the NOX Coolbay HX enclosure – and the fan is nice and secure as well as not transferring any vibrations to the chassis due to the mounts.

Finally, connect up the 3-pin cable to the motherboard.

GELID Solutions Silent 12 PWN Case FanGELID Solutions Silent 12 PWN Case Fan

GELID Solutions Silent 12 PWN Case Fan

Methodology

In order to put the Silent 12 PWM to the test, I chose to see how it would compare to the very impressive fans that were pre-installed in the NOX case and GELID’s WING 12 UV case fan.

The NOX Coolbay HX has four pre-installed fans: two 200mms, one top-mounted and one on the side panel, and two 120mms at the front and back. However, I disconnected all of these apart from the rear 120mm fan and tested this by averaging five values taken at 10 second intervals for both the system and CPU temperatures. I then replaced the pre-installed NOX fan with the GELID Silent 12 PWM case fan and tested it in the same way.

In order to collect the data I used Speedfan which uses the computer’s own diode and took values for both load and idle states. For idle, I simply left the computer for about half an hour without running any processes and then took the readings. However, for load I loaded two processes of CPU Burn-In to load the CPU to 100% again leaving it for 30 minutes before taking the readings.

In terms of noise, Verdis Reviews is not at the stage where it can afford expensive equipment, like any sort of noise measuring equipment, and so this aspect will be left to the trusty human ear.

Ambient temperature was 19 degrees, all fans were set to high and the CPU Cooler used was the Intel Stock (copper base version).

Results

Cooling GELID Solutions Silent 12 PWN Case Fan GELID Solutions Silent 12 PWN Case Fan

As you can see from the two graphs above, in performance terms, the temperatures are slightly below the stock NOX fans. However, when compared to the GELID WING 12 UV Case fan, the results are not as good but then this is to be expected as the PWM only spins as fast as it needs to not to optimize performance.

Not bad results though considering this fan is focused mainly on noise.

NoiseThis is the aspect in which the Silent 12 PWM should do well and it does, it excels. To the human ear, it is almost impossible to hear any noise at all – a real triumph for the manufacturers and anyone wanting silent case fans, I would recommend these.

CostThis product will only set you back about £5 which for a fan that offers silent cooling on this level is very good indeed.

Conclusion

So there you have it, another great product from GELID. In terms of noise, it’s one of the best fans I’ve ever reviewed and it will really appeal to enthusiasts trying to achieve silent cooling.

Moreover, the cost is very low for a product of this quality and so won’t set you back much.

The only downside is the performance, still good I might add, but not as good as the GELID fans from the gamer range or other high performance fans. But then performance and silence are two very difficult things to achieve in one product and so in my opinion this is a very good attempt from new company GELID.

I would certainly recommend this product if you are looking for silent case fans as these really are dead quiet.

Pros

  • Almost silent
  • Good price point
  • Tool less installation

Cons

  • Not great performance
  • Not much style

90%

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