Fractal Design Prisma AL-12 w/ Adjust R1 Review (Page 3 of 4)

Page 3 - Performance Tests

To test the performance of the Fractal Design Prisma AL-12 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.

At the front portion of the tissue paper, there is not much movement and this area holds up. Both sides are raised evenly near the front, but you can see one side slant off slightly more at the end. The drop off of the tissue paper was pretty quick. Considering the shape of the blades and the lower airflow rating compared to some fans like the NZXT Aer F120, this was not too surprising. I would have liked to see a bit more air output from these fans, as the result here is a bit underwhelming. As for consistency, the tissue paper actually did not waver about much, which speaks to a steady flow of air passing out the Prisma AL-12.

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. I know everyone here at APH Networks really strives for as little noise as possible, and quite a few of us are picky. The noise levels of this fan was 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 Fractal Design Prisma AL-12 fans at maximum speed, I would rate these fans at approximately 3.0/10. These fans were very quiet, which struck a balance between its air performance and noise output.

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