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.
In the area closest to the fan, the tissue paper does not show much movement and this area holds up. Both sides are raised evenly here. Further away from the fan, you can see one side of the tissue paper slants off more at the end. Based on the shape of the blades and the specifications, it is pretty good to see this fan produce this much airflow to pick up the paper. It is not the best performing fan we have seen here, but it still holds up well. As for consistency, the tissue paper held in place quite well with only a bit of extraneous movement, which speaks to a steady airflow passing out the exit side of the iCUE QL120 RGB fans.
Perceived sound is an important factor when testing these fans, as we do want to see 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, while 10 is the loudest. For the Corsair iCUE QL120 RGB fans at maximum speed, I would rate these fans at approximately 3.5/10. These fans were relatively quiet and had a pretty good balance between its air performance and noise output.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look - Hardware
3. Performance Tests