SilverStone Shark Force 120 and 160 Series Review (Page 2 of 4)

Page 2 - Physical Look - Hardware

Taking a look at SilverStone's Shark Force collection, there are many similarities across the board. As so, I will be commenting on them all very generally, while pinpointing the specific differences found between them. Looking at the non-RGB models, the SF120B and SF160B have full black exteriors. The RGB variants utilize a translucent blade, simulating the design of many other RGB fans. This is the only visible difference. As usual, SilverStone placed their logo on the center of the impeller. The mounting holes for all fans are padded in the shape of a circle around the hole on both sides. These will dampen sufficiently, but a larger pad would have been a bonus. Both 120mm fans have the regular thickness of 25mm, while the larger 160mm fans has a thickness of 27mm. 140mm variants are also available at press time.

Internally, the SilverStone Shark Force series all use fluid dynamic bearings. These bearings are advanced fluid bearings that have a longer lifespan. To be more specific, these are hydraulic bearings that uses a thin layer of rapidly moving pressurized liquid between bearing surfaces. This reduces friction and removes contact between moving parts, leading to lower wear and vibration. While I cannot confirm the rated lifespan, other fans with utilizing the fluid dynamic bearings like the Air Slimmer 120 ARGB are rated for 70,000 hours, which is just under 8 years when operating 24/7.

Taking a closer look at the blades, we see a consistent design across all of the SilverStone Shark Force series. The blades of the fans are connected to the impeller. There is a gap in between each of the fins with no overlapping blades. The angle each blade sits in comparison to the rotating middle is about 30 degrees. the curvature of the blades is about average. There is a total nine blades on the 120mm variants and twelve on the larger 160mm versions. The blades are slightly textured with SilverStone's "Shark Force" design. According to SilverStone, this texture mimics the skin of a shark to improve airflow and reduce noise. We will see if that is the case in our performance tests later.

On the output side for all fans, four arms are attached to the frame with a single arm seen in the image above. These arms will obstruct minimal amounts of air passing through. The non-RGB models have a place to plug in a cord for power, while the RGB variants have an additional LED cable to be plugged in. When looking at both fans, it is clear both models of fans share the same frame, as the LED plug area still exists, but is simply covered up. The power cable utilizes a 4-pin header for PWM control, and the LED cable has a standard 3-pin for ARGB control. The power cable has a length of 500mm and extends with two ends 40mm and 100mm. The LED cable extends a daisy chain port 100mm off of the start of the cable. This cable has a length of 400mm and extends an additional 40mm and 100mm on the end. This should be long enough to maneuver around most cases. The cables are quite flexible, but they are not braided. A braided cable would be appreciated as it enhances durability.

Looking at the specifications of the SilverStone Shark Force series, we notice that the 120mm models share the same performance specifications as each other. The same is true for the larger 160mm fans. Starting with the SF120B and SF120B-ARGB, we have a maximum CFM or cubic feet per minute rating of 100 CFM. This value is incredibly high for a 120mm fan. For the SF160B and SF160B-ARGB we have a CFM of 160, which is also very high. In terms of static pressure for the SF120B and SF120B-ARGB, these fans are specified at about 4.66mmH2O maximum while the larger variants are placed at 2.21mmH2O. Note that these values are achieved by the fan spinning at their maximum speed, which is 2500 RPM for the SF120B and SF120B-ARGB and 1600 RPM for the SF160B and SF160B-ARGB.

In regard to noise, all of the fans are fan-stop compatible, thus they are all able to function at 0dBa. The SF120B and SF120B-ARGB have a maximum sound level of 41.2 dBA, while the SF160B and SF160B-ARGB have a maximum sound level of 38.1 dBA. These are both fairly loud fans, but given the performance, this makes sense.

Only the SilverStone SF120B-ARGB and SF160B-ARGB feature addressable RGB LED lighting, as you may assume from the name. The setup process is quite straightforward. Simply plug in the 3-pin ARGB headers into the correct spots on the motherboard. After this, you may adjust your lighting through your motherboard's lighting software. When turned on, the fan looks quite nice, although typical. There is not much more you can do to elevate the design of a fan, haha.

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