Page 2 - Physical Look - Hardware
When it comes to looks and features, the AP142 and the AP124 are identical; the only difference being their size. Throughout the review, I will only have one of the fans pictured to keep it simple and be able to highlight specific hardware features of the fans. I found the design to be striking, but rather difficult to photograph. The clear blades are highly reflective, meaning I encountered plenty of glare. However, the reflectivity is useful as it ensures the fans are spreading the LED light around. Ages ago when LED fans were still in their infancy, their design would not be as effective at recreating cool LED effects. Nowadays, with a fan like the AP142 or the AP124, the design has been greatly improved. The white ring around the fan blade houses all of the addressable RGB goodness, ensuring an even lighting spread. Many other fans only have some plastic arms at the back connecting to the motor for some stability and other reasons. However, the SilverStone AP142 and AP124 have an entire grille at the back, which is part of the SilverStone Air Penetrator design. The plastic cage is black, just like the corners. The black color will blend with most systems and the white area will be illuminated with the RGB LED anyway.
Looking a little bit more at the internals, the fans feature 24 LEDs all around the white ring to ensure bright and vibrant colors. SilverStone also ensured quality bearings are implemented. Even though the fan blades are so reflective, as I have already mentioned, there is also a coating on the fan to improve the light diffusion. The Air Penetrator design ensures air is funneled straight into the PC without the air spreading out too easily. Fans that powerfully push air through is great for intakes, but even better when the fan has to push against a grille or a heatsink. SilverStone has ensured the AP142 and AP124 are made from quality components.
Many manufacturers emphasize the design of the fan blades. It is important for the blades to have specific shapes and for some airflow channels to be on the blades themselves. I cannot find anything specific about the fan blade designs, but if you look closely at the above picture, there are slight indentations on the fan blades which look like airflow channels. Otherwise, the gap between he blades and the frame is quite small, ensuring maximum airflow. The specifications for the two fans are impressive, but we will see how they perform on the next page. For the AP142 the RPM range is 500 to 1500 RPM, which means it will be quiet and slow at low speeds but has the ability to really ramp up. Airflow is measured through CFM and the AP142 is rated from 13.62 to 44.2, while the Air Penetrator design means the effective range is one meter. Static pressure is how hard the fan can push the air through and this ranges from 0.16 to 1.65 mmH2O. The measured noise level is 18.48 to 23.33 dBA and the rated lifetime for both fans is 70,000 hours. As for the AP124, its RPM range is the same, but its airflow is less because of the smaller size. It is rated at 6.37 to 25.5 CFM. Static pressure is higher actually coming in at 0.15 to 2.13 mmH2O. The 120 mm fan is better at heatsink or radiator applications than the 140 mm fan. Surprisingly, the noise level is almost identical with the noise rating for the AP124 coming in at 19.25 to 23.54 dBA. Otherwise, both fans are 25 mm in height.
In the above picture, you will be able to spot the small rubber rings around the mounting holes. These rings are to prevent vibration noise while the fan is active. Without them, the frame might vibrate due the to high speeds. This view also demonstrates the Air Penetrator design, which provides the strong push for the effective range to be one meter. One thing you cannot see in the above picture is the bearing. There are plenty of different kinds of bearings, but most fans feature a ball bearing or a sleeve bearing. Sleeve bearings are quieter, but are more prone to sudden failure in high heat environments. Ball bearings are more reliable, but might be a bit louder. Some fans feature half ball bearing and half sleeve bearing fans, but the AP142 and AP124 fans are double ball bearing fans. This means they have great quality and should last the full 70,000 hours they are rated at. These fans have great specifications, but we will have to see how they perform on the next page.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Hardware
3. Performance Tests