R7 140mm Fan Testing on a HWlabs SR1 Radiator

Posted: December 10, 2010 in Fans
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Same as my round 6 testing and methods with the exception of using a Hardware Labs 140mm SR1 radiator. Seems as though we’re getting more and more 140mm radiator options, so it would be nice to get a feel on how a fan performs on one from a noise perspective. This thread is devoted toward more real world like testing of fans physically mounted to the HWlabs SR1 radiator.

Special thanks to the many generous sponsors:

Here is the list of fans, sponsors and results currently complete. I plan to do these 140mm fans as well as a few of the top performing 120mm fans on an adapter for 120mm options.


The 120mm fans are tested on a BGears slim profile 120>140 adapter. Soo…the 120’s will be getting a small shroud benefit from being further from the radiator fins. In order to see how much if any this diffence means, I’m going to retest my top 140 fans with a shroud and include them in the below chart.
The below chart is sort of a mix, not all tested equally, so take that into account when reviewing:

140mm fans only: It’s pretty tight with most of the results within the 3dbA or lower “Barely Perceptible” limit. There are however some fairly notable sound quality issues, particularly with the 7 blade fans at higher speeds including the yates. For low speed, I would tend to favor the Thermalright X-Silent, for high speeds, the Aerocool Shark.

120mm fans on an adapter: This is a bit apples to oranges with the adapter, but it’s fairly surprising just how close 120mm fans perform to 140mm fans on a CFM per dbA ratio perspective. The 140mm fans do have some CFM per RPM advantage and seem to produce a slightly lower frequency tone, but their noise levels were pretty much the same. This makes some of the stronger performing 120mm fans a very viable option on 140mm radiators. I had really hoped the 140mm fans would be a huge benefit over 120s, but I’m just not finding that. There is a good sized advantage to the larger 140mm radiator and reduced restriction, but the gain is in the radiator frontal area, not the 140mm fan itself.

I have a few more 140’s coming but that’s what I think so far…

  1. Jonny says:

    I’ve been reading your reviews of fans etc for a while, and have been thinking about the 120vs 140mm fan debate. I was wondering could it be that the way it is measured, that the 140mm fans shift more air due to it being spread over a larger area, which would cause a airflow meter to read less?
    As someone on xtremesystems posted a review comparing 120 vs 140 radiators using the same fans on each radiator, and the 140mm fans coming on top, even though most of the time in normal tests they produce lest CFM.

    • Martinm210 says:

      It is confusion, because we typically use RPM as our unit of measure when testing radiators. I have done this in the past myself. RPM per RPM, the 140mm fans will produce more air flow, no doubt about that, and that is typically what makes them look promising in radiator reviews.

      The only way to really see a direct comparison on a radiator would be to measure air flow through the radiator rather than RPM. I’ve actually considered doing just that for a future radiator test bench revision.

      Better yet, I’d like to compare heat dissipated vs noise levels to account for multiple fans.

      The 140mm fans are not bad, there are many good ones. I just think they struggle a little at high speeds and that’s probably why you don’t see very many models above about 1500RPM or so.

      On the flip side, we have had 120mm fans for much longer and they generally have been through more iterations of design and refinement. This leaves us with some exceptionally good 120mm fans and 140mm fans just haven’t had enough time in development yet.

      I think we’ll get there, but because 120mm fans are more popular, it’s only natural that we have some really really good ones.

  2. Jonny says:

    I definatly would like to see a comparison between heat dissapation and noise level. Looking forward to it 🙂

  3. warejon9 says:

    I found an interesting fan review of the Zalman ZM F4, where they reported a noise to cfm ratio of nearly 1:2.5. (http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1573/3/)
    I noticed in particular that this fan had many fins 11 in total, so maybe its the fin count that helps to reduce noise, hence why GT’s do so well, and most 140mm fans don’t due to having fewer fins.

  4. Jack says:

    Hi, Martin I would to know how to draw the curve pressure vs air flow.
    For example i am using a motor M4Q045-DA01-01 by using a square box. I only know the maximum air flow and pressure, what method to draw the point like when 30pa the air flow m3/h is 50, 20pa the m3/h is 75.

  5. theo2021 says:

    the aerocool is much noisy! my personal favorite is the polimatech vortex 14 they are silent

  6. Rafael Vale says:


    do you think that the best silence X performance setup would be to use 120 fans (GTs) on 140 rads (SR-1 or Phobya)?


  7. PepeLapiu says:

    I’d be very curious to find out which would perform better: a 140.1 rad with adapter and 120 fan or a 120.1 rad with same fan. The 140.1 rad will have a greater surface area 26% greater than the 120.1 rad. But I think all those specs such as FPI, thickness, and surface area don’t affect rad performance all that much. By far, the most impirtant factor is rpm/air flow. And I think the 26% greater surface area of the rad will see less than a 5% increase in performance.

    What say you, Martin?

  8. itsJokko says:

    Hi, Martin. First I have to say I absolutely love your work man.

    I was just wondering if you could please recommend some 140mm fans for my SR1-560mm. It has been a while since your last 140mm roundup. Currently I have 4x AerocoolSharks and I find them to be a bit noisy at higher rpms. Do you know of any fans that might perform better?

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