GELID Solutions Silent 12PWM Case Fan Review


PC cooling has been making progress more and more these days. While companies like Delta are focusing on high flow and major RPM’s others are focusing on quiet fans with high-end cooling capability. If you have ever had a Delta fan you know how loud they can get, you sometimes sacrifice peace and quiet for stability. The people at GELID have another option: the GELID Solutions Silent 12PWM Case Fan, which says it can offer great airflow with low noise. Let’s move on and have a look for ourselves:

Provided By: GELID Solutions

Closer Look:

The packaging is well designed as is most GELID products. Along with the quality design, you get a window into what you are getting. The specs and information on the Hydro-Dynamic Bearings, as well as the rpm’s and airflow, can be found on the back of the package. Let’s hope the quote on the back stating: “GELID Silent case fans provide high airflow without increasing noise levels.” is reliable.

Let’s have a look at what’s inside the box.

Closer Look:

Like the GELID WING 12, the Silent PWM comes with rubber mounts and a GELID case badge. The fan controller that the WING 12 has is not included with the Silent series of fans. An important point to take notice of is that the rubber mounts play a major part in the overall sound reduction in your PC. These are very easily installed, and worth putting in if silence is what you are truly looking for.

The fan itself is a great design; the 7 blades on the fan give a very decent airflow. As with the GELID WING 12, these fans have the braided shielding on the cable which is important for those of us that constantly forget to move the cables out of the way of other case fans. The nice thing about this fan is its ability to idle down and up with the CPU temps (PWM: Pulse Width Modulation). The idling down is key for a very quiet PC this would be important for an HTPC (home theater PC) because there is nothing worse than hearing your case fans over your movies.

 
 
Let’s check out some specs and features on this fan.
Specifications:
 
*INCLUDED: 4 Rubber Fan Mounts
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

 

Features:
 

Silent 12 PWM
120mm Case Fan with Intelligent PWM control

Designed for advanced users GELID Silent PWM fans provide additional airflow by using Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) to automatically adjust fan speed according to the CPU load. The fan can be idled down and thus be much quieter.  An intelligent IC had been integrated into the fan’s PCB to exploit your mainboard’s BIOS software. This technology is more efficient and convenient than using an external fan controller to adjust the voltage.

Each fan impeller has been individually balanced using the latest technology to guarantee steady, unwavering operation. To add to the silence fan mounts replace traditional screws and are made of high quality, temperature resistant, extra long-lasting rubber and stop vibrations from the fan motor from traveling into your PC case.

How does PWM work?

Pulse-width modulation (PWM) delivers a digital signal. The advantages of using a digital PWM signal compared to an analog controller are:

– PWM control calculates the appropriate cooling performance according to CPU and System temperature     – PWM control of your mainboard will always adjust to the correct cooling
– PWM control operates without generating any heat

MSRP: USD 12.00 / Euro 7.00

It is now time to see how well this fan handles itself:

Testing Setup:

  • Processors: Intel Core2 Quad Q9450
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X48-DQ6
  • Memory: OCZ 2 x 2GB
  • Video Card: Nvidea 260GTX
  • Power Supply: Mushkin 800w Modular Power Supply
  • Hard Drive: Seagate 750GB SATA
  • Optical Drive: LG DVD
  • OS: Windows Vista Ultimate
  • Thermaltake armor

 Testing:

For testing, I will be running the 3 products as exhaust fans for testing temperatures. The competitors will be a Thermaltake 120mm, GELID Silent 12PWM, and the WING 12 UV Case Fan’s. The testing will consist of idle and load temperature tests. All of the testings will be done in a 29 Degrees C regulated room for consistency in temperatures. The temperatures measured will be CPU and ambient case temps. All of the benchmarks will be done as close to the same environments as possible.

 

Idle Temps Test:

GELID WING 12 UV:

Idle CPU: 44C

GELID Silent 12PWM

Idle CPU: 44C

Thermaltake:

Idle CPU: 42C

We see a slight lead from the Thermaltake fan over the other 2 fans but the CPU test is not the most reliable test of an exhaust fan.

 Load Temps Test:

GELID WING 12 UV:

Load CPU: 46C

GELID Silent 12PWM

Load CPU: 46C

Thermaltake:

Load CPU: 45C

The Thermaltake gained the lead again in these tests, lets see how well the fans stack up in overall case temps.

Idle Case Temps Test:

GELID WING 12 UV:

Idle Case: 29C

GELID Silent 12PWM

Idle Case: 30C

Thermaltake:

Idle Case: 32C

These temps are the ones that directly have to do with the exhaust fan and we see the lead that the two GELID fans have over the Thermaltake.

Load Case Temps Test:

GELID WING 12 UV:

Load Case: 31C

GELID Silent 12PWM

Load Case: 31C

Thermaltake:

Load Case: 33C

 

 

While the Silent didn’t do as good as the GELID WING 12, it did do a great job nonetheless. I never expected the Silent to do better than the WING 12 because the WING 12 is meant for gaming and high airflow, it has 9 blades as opposed to the Silent’s 7. All in all the Silent performed very well and it was quiet. Let’s see the final thoughts.

 

Conclusion:
 
The Silent lived up to its name and its abilities I was going to run the test with all the fans at 100% but I wanted to see how well the Silent’s PWM stood up. It did very well I know if you ran this fan at 100% it would be a formidable opponent for the WING 12, but that is not what it is made for. I was very surprised to see Thermaltake lose in the ambient case temps because Thermaltake isn’t a new kid on the block by any means they have years of experience in cooling.

So would I go but one of these, or tell you to? Yes, especially is you are looking for quality cooling for your HTPC. Something I would change is again the lack of a Molex converter if you do want to use a separate aftermarket fan regulator. Other than that there is nothing notable to dislike about this fan.

 

Pros:

  • Low Price
  • Fantastic Temperature regulation
  • Quiet
  • Braided cabling

Cons:

  • Didn’t perform quite as well as its gaming counterpart
  • No molex adapter
  • No LEDs(for some this is a con)
 

 

 

 

 

 

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