By: Jadon Lee
March 10, 2023
I was thinking about older handheld game consoles and it reminded me how interesting innovation really was. For many people out there, they may have thought back to the days of Game Boy, Game Boy Color, or even the Game Boy Advance. Luckily, I am not old enough to be in that generation, but for me I was thinking more about the Nintendo DS line. The popularity spanned due to the wide variety of games suitable for practically everyone. When looking at this product line, we had the original DS releasing back in 2004, DS Lite in 2006, DSi in 2008, DSi XL in 2009, and the whole 3DS line starting in 2011. The entire DS line was something I grew up with, but something I never actually watched innovate through time. As a child, all you really wanted to do was play Pokémon and a device that can do it. As one of those children, I never really realized what was changing from device to device. The DSi introduced internet connectivity, having applications be downloadable from an online shop. This was something likely inspired by Apple and the App Store. The 3DS line's expansion of creating a 3D effect for its games was something interesting and was considered a flop. The innovation of 3D gaming was something played with before, but with no success. The 3DS added all the features of the previous DSi and added a feature that nobody in particular really cared about. It is interesting to see this flop because the final iteration of the 3DS line was actually the 2DS XL, a bigger version with the 3D features disabled. It was interesting to see the successes and the failures of Nintendo and to see how they had learned and adapted. Likewise to the continuous development we saw with the DS, Thermaltake has updated their SWAFAN 12 RGB with their new SWAFAN EX12 RGB. Did Thermaltake learn from their successes and failures? Keep reading to find out!
Today’s review unit of the Thermaltake SWAFAN EX12 RGB was shipped to us here in Calgary, Alberta, Canada via FedEx Ground from Thermaltake’s office in City of Industry, California, USA. This cardboard box was handled with care, as this box came in relatively good condition with no noteworthy bumps or bruises. The box was about the same size as last time, which was fairly large. I was not too concerned about the shipping due to the practically perfect condition of the retail box.
The Thermaltake SWAFAN EX12 RGB comes in a primarily black box with some yellow accents. As this is the updated model to the SWAFAN 12 RGB, you will see many shared designs. There is a nice splash of color imitating an RGB effect. The front of the box displays Thermaltake’s logo on the top left, a singular fan, and of course, the name of product itself on the right side. Below the name, we have some more information about the swappable fans and the magnetic connection. Additionally, we have some specifications. The left side of the box talks about the specifications more in depth. The back of the box contains some features about the general design of the fans. Generally speaking, the box design is very standard and is not offensive to look at.
Before we continue, here are the specifications for the Thermaltake SWAFAN EX12 RGB, as obtained from and manufacturer’s site:
Fan Dimension: 120 x 120 x 25 mm
Interface: USB 2.0 Connectors (9 Pin)
System compatibility: Windows 10/11
Started Voltage: 9.0V
Fan Started Voltage: 12V & 5V
Fan Rated Voltage: 12V & 5V
Rated Current: 12V – 0.21A, 5v – 0.7A (only one fan)
Power Input: 12V – 2.52W, 5V – 3.5W (only one fan)
Fan Speed: 500 ~ 2000 RPM (2510-4Pin)
Max Air Pressure: 2.39 mmH2O, 2.02 mmH2O (reverse fan)
Max Air Flow: 57.11 CFM, 56.26 CFM (reverse fan)
Noise Level: 30.6 dBA, 32.5 dBA (reverse fan)
Bearing Type: Hydraulic Bearing
Life Expectation: 40,000 hours, 25°C
Our Thermaltake SWAFAN EX12 RGB package arrived in a pack of three fans with all of its included fan blades and accessories. Within the box contains a stack of all the items necessary for installation and adjusting for what kind of setup you are looking for. The fans were placed on the bottom layer alongside the additional reverse blades, with an accessories box above it. The accessories box contained the screws, controller, and different mounting supplies used for radiators and some lubricant. The lubricant is a nice-to-have when you want to swap the blades out, as you will see shortly. The installation manual and warranty information can be found tucked beside the fan blades. The organization in the packaging was very nice and clean. The organization was very beneficial in keeping the box nice and compact.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Hardware
3. Performance Tests