Arctic Cooling 8L and 12L Cooling Fans
A Closer Look
Author: Matthew Fogg (PV5150)
Hardware Acquired: Arctic Cooling
A Closer Look
One thing that I've really come to expect of Arctic Cooling and their range of products, is their attention to detail and level of finish. Again, they have delivered and failed to disappoint. The 'L' series of fan is sleek, unobtrusive and totally classy. Significant changes to mainstream fan design have been implimented by the manufacturer, and it certainly shows. The first area of change being that the fans have been manufactured using plastic reinforced fibreglass, in order to eliminate humming caused by the high frequency vibrations of the fan blades. Arctic Cooling, in the included product sheet state that:
"Vibrations generated by the running fan are absorbed by a patented vibration dampener (Bi-axle rubber elements). Thanks to the unique patented fan support which omits lateral frame, turbulence inside the air intake current is reduced, leading to a lower and significantly more comfortable audible envoironment
Further, it's a nice change to see fan manufacturers covering unsightly wiring with cable sleeving and heatshrink wrap. Nice touch Arctic Cooling !
In the above left picture you can clearly see the rubber mounts that Arctic Cooling have employed to minimise fan vibration. This rubber mounting system, in the opinion of the author is a far more effective method of controlling extraneous fan vibration than using the rubber grommets included by some case manufacturers. The reason being simply because of longevity and cost effectiveness. The rubber grommets are certainly an effective way of controlling vibration, but if for whatever reason should you need to remove the fan, it's almost guaranteed that they'll break during removal.
Whilst having a bit of a prod around the 'L' series fans, I started looking to see whether there was actually any 'thermal control' facility. Apart from removing the sticker and looking for a heat sensor where the wires connect to the fan's pcb, the fan is a sealed unit. I was unable to determine whether the fans are able to be thermally controlled at this stage, we'll have to wait for the testing page to see if they can or not.
In order to help alleviate premature failure, Arctic Cooling have taken to including Fluid Dynamic Bearings (FDB) in the new Arctic Fan L series. The FDB style of bearing has a longer lifespan and provides an quieter/cooler operating environment than typical ball bearing type fans. This is why Arctic Cooling are able to provide an extremely impressive 400,000 hours Mean Time To Failure (MTTF) rate and an inclusive 6 year warranty. I have included a small picture from Arctic Cooling's website illustrating the principal behind FDB bearings. (Accessed 12th September 2006)
Another area where Arctic Cooling have further improved the silent cooling features of the 'L' series is by optimising the fan blades themselves, in order to achieve larger airflow and higher static pressure, whilst keeping the fan noise to a minimum. The slightly reduced speed of the fan as opposed to the current linep of Arctic fans also assists in significantly reducing low level noise. Now that we've had a look at the main features of the new Arctic fan 'L' series, let's see if they live up to the silent disposition for which they were designed.
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