GAMDIAS AEOLUS M3-1204R Review (Page 2 of 4)

Page 2 - Physical Look - Hardware

In terms of the overall design principle, the GAMDIAS AEOLUS M3-1204R is a good example of being sleek and stealthy. It is designed to not show off the fan itself, but to emphasize the RGB lighting effects of the fan. Therefore, you can see the whole fan is made out of black plastic. Around the impellers, there is a ring that houses twelve ARGB LEDs underneath for lighting. The product’s name, GAMDIAS AEOLUS M3, is printed on the motor housing back cover. To reduce vibration and noise, the fan frame has rubber pads around all eight screw holes. Those rubbers pads are pretty important in terms of dampening the noise level, which I will talk about this later.

According to GAMDIAS' product description, a premium hydraulic bearing is used for the AEOLUS M3-1204R to achieve a long lifetime and silent operation. Hydraulic bearing allows the load to be supported by a thin layer of rapidly moving pressurized liquid or gas between the bearing surfaces. Because there is no physical contact between the moving parts, the sliding friction is minimized, and consequently the wear and vibration are also both reduced. In this case, the AEOLUS M3-1204R does not have life expectancy provided by GAMDIAS. According to some online resources, the life expectancy of a hydraulic bearing is 40,000 to 50,000 hours. From my experience, I have not run a fan until it broke unless I intentionally tried to break it.

Flipping over the fans, you can get a closer look at the impeller design. According to GAMDIAS' official website, the design of its impeller and frame can produce high airflow. Specifically, the website indicates the "fan frame features a chamfered design for a more robust air intake, while the altered fan blade design allows maximum airflow performance, better acoustics, and a minimalist style". There are eleven blades in total on the impeller, and the angle of blades with respect to the center is about 45 degrees. There is no overlapping area between each of the blades. The blades also have average curvature. It is worth noting the exhaust side of the impeller has grooves on each blade, which can reduce air resistance for better airflow performance. Like most cooling fan products on the market, there is no protection on the air intake side of this product, so be very careful of your fingers if you want to do any modifications to your computer while it is on.

From the specifications, we can see the maximum CFM, or cubic feet per minute, of the AEOLUS M3-1204R is rated at 69.01 CFM. It has pretty good airflow performance for a 120 mm fan, therefore it can be used on the front or top panel of the computer case to allow more air to get into the computer case. Air pressure is another important metric to evaluate the performance of a fan. On a typical computer case, there could be a fan mesh that causes some obstruction to airflow, which requires the fan to have the strength to pump the air through. A way to measure this strength is the mmH2O. The AEOLUS M3-1204R features 2.37 mmH2O maximum. In my opinion, this product strikes a good balance between the airflow and air pressure. Note the maximum airflow and air pressure is measured at the highest RPM. In other words, it requires the fan to work at 2000 RPM to achieve these values. Noise is another factor that people may be concerned about when choosing computer case fans. One way to theoretically evaluate the noise level is by using dB, decibels. dB is a logarithmic unit to measure how loud the sound is. For the GAMDIAS AEOLUS M3-1204R, the noise level is not provided in the specifications. We will later perform some tests to evaluate the noise level.

As an RGB LED fan, the GAMDIAS AEOLUS M3-1204R has twelve ARGB LEDs in a low-profile design. The diffuser is located on the fan frame inner housing, and it sits flush against the rest of the frame. The whole fan features a closed design, meaning all the cables for LEDs are well hidden. Personally, I like this kind of design a lot. This way, there is no chance of accidentally breaking the LEDs or the wires. In fact, if you go to the review of the BitFenix Spectre Pro LED we reviewed many years ago, you can see that on top of the Spectre Pro LED Blue, the connection for one of the LED wires was loose and had to be resoldered. In this case, the GAMDIAS AEOLUS M3-1204R features a much better design in terms of protecting the LEDs and the wiring.

The fan cable is flat, and it has an 8-pin connector to connect to the AEOLUS Box. The fan cable measures 55 cm in length, which I think is long enough to be used in any mainstream computer case currently on the market. Having one connector for both PWM and ARGB is a good idea since it will be easier for cable management. The downside is the connector is proprietary to handle both PWM and ARGB signals. For the GAMDIAS AEOLUS M3-1204R, the included four fans can be connected to the PWM AEOLUS control box. Note the AEOLUS box can support up to eight GAMDIAS fans in total, and there are two more ports -- one for input and one for output -- for ARGB LED control with your motherboard. There is a SATA cable provided to power the control box. To receive the PWM signal, a cable with a PWM header is included to connect the control box to the motherboard. For the lighting, users can either use the included ARGB cable with the standard 3-pin connector, or just connect the control box directly to the reset button on the case with an included cable. The AEOLUS control box can be attached to the computer case with the included magnetic pad.

The RGB lighting modes and colors of AEOLUS M3-1204R can be easily changed by the included remote control. Using those physical buttons, the user can switch through all 55 built-in lighting modes. It is a very straightforward design, as no software is needed to control the RGB LEDs. You also do not need to spend extra money on upgrading your motherboard if it does not come with ARGB headers. The controller can also modify the fan speed, which allows the user to balance the cooling performance and noise level when needed.

The above photo demonstrates the ARGB LED lighting performance of the GAMDIAS AEOLUS M3-1204R. As you can see from the photo, the concentric lighting was pretty nice and even throughout the diffuser ring, thanks to the twelve LEDs behind the frame housing. I also noticed the colors were vibrant and they were true to the specifications.

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