- Created on 14 January 2009
The majority of case fans on the market rely upon either manual control of fan speed via a variable resistor, management via the motherboard power management when connected to a spare fan header or independantly thermally controlled fans. GELID, the new kid on the block, has released a new temperature controlled fan range as part of its Silent range.
The GELID Silent TC range includes 80mm, 92mm and 120mm fan size, each of which incorporates a simple tempreature sensor which mediates fan speed. The Silent 80mm TC that we reviewed starts the fan at temperatures exceeding 22C (900RPM) and ramps the speed up to improve cooling up to 42C (Max speed is 2000rpm). At maximum speed the little 80mm fan is capable of an airflow of 27 CFM (creating an impressive static pressure of 1.65mmAq) while only creating a moise level of 21.5dBA: less than is generally audible in household environment and certainly an office. The Silent TC range also incorporate GELID's "Hydro Dynamic Bearing".
We decided to test the fan in our external hard drive enclosure, the Tsunami e-DATA 3500 NAS BT, where the OEM fan is constantly running. This also meant that we could better assess the fan independantly of a PC lowering the ambient noise levels in our test room. When installing, we found that the thermal sensor had a long wire allowing for the ability to positioning of the sensor directly next to the hard drive. In the past we have found that some thermally controlled fans come with short wire connections making it difficult to position the sensor away from the fan itself therefore lessening the effecitveness of the fans.
Unsurprisingly, the GELID Silent 8 TC was far superior to the OEM fan in both noise levels and cooling capabilities. We tested the temperature probe by heating up the temperature probe to achieve minimum and maximum fan speeds. Neither the minimum or the maximum fan speeds gave rise to noise levels greater than that caused by the hard drive itself. The fan compares very favourable to other thermally controlled fans we have used in the past, in both cooling capabilities and noise levels, and with the GELID 5 year guarantee you really can't go wrong.