As the modding phenomenon has grown to be so huge over the years, the craze has been for LED fans. There are LED fans in multiple colors, ability to rotate between colors, and the simple, yet most common, single colored LED fans. In this review, we aren't checking out any LED fans, but another type of fans to appear recently in modding projects. What we have in this short write-up is the Cooler Master AAF-B12-E1. This 120mm fan (Cooler Master also makes an 80mm version), replaces the traditional plastic frame with aluminum. The new Cooler Master engineered fan is designed to handle a 100,000-hour life expectancy, fan-restart, super silent, unique blade design. One of the other factors important to modders is its distinctive appearance.
· Sturdy aluminum frame makes the fan more robust
· 100,000 hours of super, longer life expectancy is achieved with a Japan dual ball bearing
· Super silent aluminum case fan with Anti-vibration rubbers
· Fan-restart function: enables the device to continuously initiate a restart during a fan-fault condition for self-protection and extends lifetime
· Special fan blade design makes the maximum heat dissipation
· 600mm length cable for all size of chassis
|Fan Size:||120 x 120 x 38mm|
|Speed:||1200RPM +/- 20%|
|Air Flow:||56.10 CFM +/- 20%|
|Noise:||23.0 dBA +/- 20%|
Opening up the retail AAF-B12-E1 packaging, we found the 120mm fan, 3-pin to 4-pin molex adapter, and mounting accessories. These accessories include four bolts, nuts, and rubber washers, to assist in dissipating the noise produced. One item we were surprised to see not included with a Cooler Master fan was a rheostat controller to control the fan speed/noise level, but if the AAF-B12-E1 works according to plan, no controller will be necessary due to the quiet operation.
On the intake side of the fan, the seven "special" fan blade design is visible, which is supposed to maximize the heat dissipation. The taller (38 mm) and wider blades are designed to improve the airflow and increase the air pressure. These blades are black while the actual frame is silver. In the middle of the fan, atop the motor, is a Cooler Master holographic sticker. Switching to the side of the fan, the rigid aluminum construction is clearly visible. Wrapped around the frame is the incredibly long 3-pin power cable. This cable is 600mm long, which will definitely please full ATX chassis owners. On the other side of the fan are the four braces for the fan motor housing. We were surprised to see Cooler Master has used dual ball bearings with the Aluminum Fan, rather than their rifle bearing, which is only rated for 50,000 hours.
As case fans are one of the easiest items to install inside of a computer, it really isn't necessary to cover this topic, as the AAF-B12-E1 installs the same way as most other fans, as unlike the Dual Storm, it doesn't offer any unique design that would cause problems during the installation process. We had no troubles using the included bolts, washers, and nuts; rather than applying a lot of force in order to thread the screws into the plastic frame on traditional fans. To assist in keeping the noise to a minimum, we used the Scythe LCD Master to control the fan speed. After the fan was running, we found it to be fairly quiet even when running at maximum speed. While running at the lowest available speed on the LCD Master, we found it to be almost inaudible.
That about wraps it up with the Cooler Master AAF-B12-E1. The main feature of the fan is not any far-fetched concept design, but is simply using aluminum rather than plastic for the fan. With a life expectancy of 100,000 hours, this fan shows Cooler Master has put their best foot forward in this product. Offering a sleek yet elegant appearance, rather quiet fan, long cable, and impressive life span, this is an impressive fan, the Cooler Master AAF-B12-E1 Aluminum Fan would be a good acquisition for an enthusiast’s rig or even an HTPC.
· Aluminum Construction
· Good airflow/noise ratio
· Impressive Lifespan
· Long power cable
· No rheostat controller
Phoronix Product Rating: 8 / 10