For many hardcore enthusiasts, how fast their computer is, is not the only thing that is important. Aesthetics are also a very important factor in determining just how good your system is, to many people. Over the years, computers are becoming flashier and flashier while manufacturers have taken these ideas and created new lines of cases, power supplies, and fans. Today’s review items are the AC Ryan Blackfire 4 UV fans. These fans are a new revision, which now utilize new speed and light control features, compared to the original Blackfire4 model that we reviewed last year.
· Clear Acrylic fan with UV-active luminous color
· 3-pin to 4-pin adaptor
· 4 mounting screws
All of the Blackfire4 fans are made of transparent plastic with four LED’s embedded into each of the corners of the housing. The LED quality appeared too normal for what we were used to when it comes to computer case fans. The plastic, on the other hand, seemed to be a bit flimsy, but it shouldn’t be a problem during normal use. The included mounting screws are the standard tapping type that need to be screwed into the plastic frame of the fan. To meet anyone's desire, AC Ryan currently offers these Blackfire4 fans in 3 sizes and 10 independent colors. The latest revision of these fans, which we have in front of us today, are rated for 32.37CFM @ 22.18dBA (80mm) where as the previous model were rated 32.37CFM @ 27.85dBA. Unfortunately, it looks like the only airflow/noise level improvements in this latest revision came in way of the 80mm fan.
Although the appearance of the fans can be rather subjective, we felt these fans looked good. Although no quantitative measurements were carried out in this review, we felt the noise level was fairly quiet and that the airflow was also respective. However, the green 120mm fan seemed to vibrate much more than its orange counterpart, even with compensating for its additional surface area. There was nothing really special about their performance to speak of, unlike Vantec's Tornado. The lighting however was pretty nice to look at although there wasn't much improvement appearance wise over the previous model. The LEDs were well placed and illuminated the fan in sort of a “blade” pattern.
Overall these fans performed nicely and the lighting effects were definitely well done. AC Ryan has a nice variety of fans that can fit almost any color theme that you are planning. If you’re more concerned with looks, rather than extreme cooling performance, then these fans could possibly be for you. If you are looking to silence your computer, however, the AC Ryan Blackfire4 series would not be a good choice, because these fans do cause additional vibrations; thus creating extra noise.
· Attractive LED's
· Good airflow
· Easy installation
· Several improvements over previous Blackfire4 revisions
· Available in 10 colors and 3 sizes
· Considerable vibrations on the 120mm model
· Construction is not top-notch
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Phoronix Product Rating: 6 / 10