Page 3 - Performance Tests
To test the performance of the NZXT Aer F series, the APH Networks proprietary testing method invented right here at APH Networks was used. While it is not necessarily the most objective of tests (No kidding haha), 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 floor 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. Finally, the fan needs to be tested in all of its RPM ranges. In this review, only the photos of the highest RPMs were shown, since they represent the best performance regarding the airflow and air pressure of all fans.
Starting with the NZXT Aer F120 fan, the smaller brother of the two fans proved to be a decent fan. As you can see in both photos, the fan was able to keep the tissue paper floating near the beginning of the sheet. There was a bit of movement near the front area, with one side being picked up more than the other. At the end however, the tissue paper dropped off a bit more than I would have liked, which is strange for a fan targeted at airflow. Usually with enough air pushed through the fan, the tissue paper will stay flying high, even near the ends of the tissue paper. The Aer F120's hanging sheet also wavered quite a bit more at the end than I have seen from previous fans, which could be chalked up to the constraints of the tissue paper rather than the quality of the output air. As for the NZXT Aer F140 fan, we saw similar characteristics as the smaller fan, which is not too surprising. Considering it is engineered and designed in the same way, I would only expect to see somewhat similar results, if not better. As such, you can see the napkin easily stayed upright at the front, but dropped off a bit near the back. I did notice the similar fluttering characteristics with one side being raised compared to the other, but again I would look at the limitations of the tissue paper.
Perceived sound is another important factor when testing these fans. There is a limitation to this however, 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 NZXT Aer F120 at maximum speeds, I would rate it at 4.5/10. The low noise adapter reduced the perceived noise to a 1.5/10. It is more likely to see a middle of the road speed from day to day, resulting in a quieter output. As for the Aer F140, at maximum speed the fans were slightly louder at 5.0/10. This makes sense, considering these are larger blades running at the same speed as the smaller fan. With the low noise adapter attached, the perceived noise was around 2.0/10. These fans were both pretty quiet in regular operation, though I would have liked to see a bit less noise emitted overall.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look - Hardware
3. Performance Tests