Page 3 - Performance Tests
To test the performance of the fans, the APH Networks proprietary testing method invented right here at APH Networks was used. While it is by no means the most objective of tests, this allows you to test your fans at a minimum cost using a piece of tissue paper and tape. As shown by the above photos, a piece of tissue paper was attached on top of a fan. The tissue paper should be able to naturally fall and cover the air outlet side -- the side where the motor rack is located -- of the fan. We have placed the tested fans near the edge of the desk to prevent air from the bottom surface from bouncing back, thereby masking the actual performance characteristics of it. Once the fans were powered on, the airflow, airflow consistency, and the amount of static pressure can be evaluated by observing the behavior of the tissue paper.
From the photos above, we can see both fans are able to lift the tissue paper when in operation. The tissue paper lifts quite high on the Cooler Master MasterFan MF120 Prismatic. The tissue paper sags a bit on the right side when viewed from the front, but still retains most of the height. When it comes to consistency, the tissue paper stayed in place decently well with only a little bit of movement, which speaks to the steady airflow that passes through the fan. The tissue paper flies with characteristics consistent with the specifications and shape of the blades, which is to say we have a good amount of airflow and static air pressure generated by the Cooler Master MasterFan MF120 Prismatic.
The Cooler Master MasterFan SF120M ARGB delivers decent performance in these tests. The MasterFan SF120M ARGB was able to lift the tissue paper to a respectable height while raising both sides evenly, although the back end of the tissue paper does not fly up as high. The consistency was very good with the tissue paper staying in place quite well and only barely moving when in operation. The tissue paper flies with characteristics somewhat consistent with the specifications and shape of the blades, since the airflow and static air pressure were ultimately able to lift the tissue paper. However, I did expect the tissue paper to rise higher based on the rated CFM and static air pressure.
Perceived sound is an important factor when testing these fans, as we do want a good balance between airflow and noise. However, there is a limitation to this, as it can be quite subjective to both the listener and the environment of the fans. The noise levels of this fan were tested independently in a quiet room with all other noises from our system isolated to ensure that we are testing the fan alone. We rate the perceived noise on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is complete silence and 10 is a jet engine. I would rate the Cooler Master MasterFan MF120 Prismatic at about 3.5/10. At full speed, the fan was a little louder than other fans, which is somewhat understandable given the maximum rotational speed and airflow output. Although the sound emitted by the MasterFan MF120 Prismatic is not loud by any means, it is certainly audible. On the other hand, I would rate the Cooler Master MasterFan SF120M ARGB at about 2.0/10. Even at full speed, there was hardly any noise from the MasterFan SF120M ARGB, which is very impressive. I also tested the noise level on the two other control speeds, with the medium setting being about 1.5/10 and the low setting being about 1.0/10. With all the performance factors covered, we can see that the Cooler Master MasterFan MF120 Prismatic offers stronger airflow, although at a cost of increased noise. Meanwhile, the Cooler Master MasterFan SF120M ARGB offers quieter operation with a more moderate airflow.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look - Hardware
3. Performance Tests