When overclocking started to become popular, about the only thing that a company had to do to be successful was to put out a product that worked great. But with today's emphasis on windows and new gadgets, manufacturers are finding the need to cover the looks category as well. Come join Mike "Darthtanion" Wright as he takes a look at a pair of Antec LED Fans. This company thinks that they qualify in both of these categories so we're going to give them the chance to step up to the plate. Let's see if they succeed!
IntroductionFor those who have ever used an Antec branded case, you already know that they believe in performance, cooling and stylish looks. This company has been producing several enclosures for nearly every need over the years and they always manage to come out on top.Antec has also been making fans for quite some time as well, but they have never really gone after the enthusiast market in this endeavor; until now. Up for your viewing pleasure today is the Antec LED Fans. They currently come in two flavors, blue and tri-colored. We'll be not only checking out their new look, but also testing their cooling prowess. After all, why get a good looking fan if it doesn't cool?So without further delay, LET'S GET IT ON!
Antec LED Fans - The Fans
Though it may not look like much in the light, it comes to life in the dark. But before we get into that, we'll go ahead and take a look at the fans themselves.Both versions measure in at 80mm x 80mm x 25mm so will mount in any standard 80mm fan bracket. Since it is a standardized size, it will also easily fit into any self-made 80mm blow holes that may have been added to your case. The fan spins at a rate of 2600 RPM and has an airflow rating of 34-CFM. Add to this the fact that it only emits about 30dBA of sound output and you can see that there is some promise here.Performance wise, these fans are on par with the Sunon fans that I have been using for quite some time now for case cooling. I ran through my normal battery of tests for heatsinks to see if they could combat heat created by the hard drive, the video card and the processor. With an ambient air temperature in the room of 21C, I was only able to get the case to 28C. This is an identical result from faster Sunon fans, but with a LOT less noise!Cabling
Fortunately, Antec went with a 4-pin Molex connector for powering this fan. I have been seeing some 3-pin fans hitting the market and I just dread the power draw that these monsters are putting on a motherboard. Hook up a few of the larger 80mm fans and you could be in the market for a new mainboard.Also of note is the braided covering over the wires. Though the likelihood of dropping a wire into a bad place is slim with 80mm fans, it just makes the whole package look better. And if you just happen to also have a window in your side panel, then this will give you a much better look overall.
If you happen to be the type of person that wants to monitor everything inside the case, then you'll be happy to know that there is also a 3-pin connector to hook up to the motherboard. It's only purpose is to allow you to monitor the fan speed through the BIOS or by means of a third party monitoring utility (like SiSoft Sandra or Motherboard Monitor). This feature has become almost a standard on fast 60mm fans, but it is also a welcome addition to the larger brothers.
Antec LED Fans - Pretty Lights
The ResultsLet's be real here. Anyone who is even remotely interested in this type of fan is really only wanting to know one thing; does it look cool? The only way to know this is to see for yourself. I'll apologize up front for some of the photography. I'm not a professional, but I think that you'll be able to see the results and decide for yourself if they look good or not.Blue LED Fan
Tri-Color LED Fan
Antec LED Fans - Conclusion
ConclusionWell, after the installation was complete and I was able to see these fans in the dark, I must say that they are as cool as they sound. The blue light on the front of the case plus the tri-color coming out the side was sweet. But even better is that they don't just look cool... they ARE cool.I have been an avid user of Sunon fans for about four years now. Though I never really considered changing these loud things out, the Antec LED fans have changed my mind in this regard. I'm getting the same level of cooling performance, less noise and an awesome appearance. This makes for a hard combination to beat.There are really only two downfalls that I noticed with these fans. First was the lack of a directional arrow to indicate airflow and fan direction. Though a small thing, it needs to be noted that you'll want to make sure that your fan is pointing in the right direction. Second is price. Decent 80mm fans can be purchased for US$8-10 from many retailers. These fans go in at a rather hefty US$14.95 each. But then your normal fan doesn't have the LED either.Bottom line... Case cooling is a must with modern systems. With case mods becoming an everyday occurrence, these fans will surely please those who are looking for both effective cooling and good looks. You got a window and like to go to LAN parties? Then just go get some of these.- ProsEffective coolingQuietLEDLooks great- ConsNo directional arrowsPriceRating - 9/10
Last updated: Apr 7, 2020 at 12:25 pm CDT
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