Cooler Master SickleFlow 120 Series Review (Page 3 of 4)

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 down 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. Even though we received and tested four different variants of the SickleFlow 120 fans, I have only taken photos of two of them.

As you can tell from the above photos, the tissue paper flies in a very similar fashion between the all of the models. In the area closest to the fan, the tissue paper shows very little movement and this area stays up easily. Both sides are raised evenly here. Moving further away from the fan, you can see one side of the tissue paper slants off more than the other. Based on the shape of the blades and the specifications, the tissue paper flies with expected characteristics, which is to say we have a good amount of airflow and static pressure generated from these fans. As for consistency, the tissue paper stayed in place quite well with very little movement overall, which speaks to a steady airflow passing through the Cooler Master SickleFlow 120 fans.

Perceived sound is an important factor when testing these fans, as we do want a good balance between airflow and noise, as we have mentioned in the previous discussion. 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 silence and 10 is the loudest. For the Cooler Master SickleFlow 120 Series fans at maximum speed, I would rate these fans at approximately 4.0/10. These fans were a bit loud at full speed, which is somewhat understandable considering its rotational speed and airflow output.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Hardware
3. Performance Tests
4. Conclusion