NZXT FZ-140 and FZ-120 Case Fans - Testing

Article Index
NZXT FZ-140 and FZ-120 Case Fans
Specifications
Testing
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

 

NZXT FZ-140 and FZ-120 Case Fan Testing:

As far as testing goes for these fans, we basically just plugged them in and saw what they could do.

In the next set of pictures you'll see the FZ-120 (White LED) and our FZ-140 (Green LED) fans in action. I was going to include some pictures of the Non-LED fans in the dark, but let's just say you couldn't see much.... (sorry, bad joke).

 

whiteled.jpg
green.jpg

In the next section we'll put these fans up against some other case fans that we've tested.

 

Test Setup:

For comparison purposes we've put the NZXT FZ-140 and FZ-120 fans up against some others from Noctua and Thermaltake as well as a generic 120mm case fan that we pulled out of an cheap case.

140compare.jpg

 

  NZXT FZ-140 Fan NZXT FZ-120 Fan Noctua NF-F12 PWM Noctua NF-S12B FLX Noctua NF-P12 Thermaltake ISGC Fan 12
Speed 1000 RPM 1200 RPM 300-1500 RPM (PWM Control) 600, 900, 1200 RPM 900, 1100, 1300 RPM 800-1300 RPM (Manual Adjust)
Blade Design 13 Blade Fan 13 Blade Fan 7 Blade Heptaperf Design 7 Blade w/ BBT 9 Blade Design w/ VCN 9 Blade
Input Power 1.8 Watt (Non-LED) 2.5 (LED) 1.7 Watts (Non-LED) 2.52 (LED) 0.6 Watts 1.2 Watts 1.08 Watts 1.2 Watts
Acoustical Noise 24.5 dB(A) 26.8 dB(A) 18.6-22.4 dB(A) 10.6-18.1 dB(A) 12.6-19.8 dB(A) 16 dB(A)
MSRP (At time of publishing) $14.99 (Non-LED) $16.99 (LED) $12.99 (Non-LED) $14.99 (LED) $19.99 USD $19.99 USD $19.99 USD $19.99 USD

 

The biggest thing that sets NZXT apart from the competition is that their fans are significantly cheaper than the others. The FZ-120 Non-LED version runs seven dollars cheaper than any other of the fans (which adds up when you are buying 3 or 4 fans at once).

Now there was one statistic that really got me thinking, and that would be input power. According to the numbers on the boxes of these fans, most similar to each other, but I started to wonder just how accurate these numbers were.

To test thing myselfI hooked up all of the fans to a Kill-A-Watt power meter to see just how much power they were actually drawing at full speed. The results were surprising.

 

  NZXT FZ-140 Fan NZXT FZ-120 Fan Noctua NF-F12 PWM Noctua NF-S12B FLX Noctua NF-P12 Thermaltake ISGC Fan 12 Generic 120mm Fan
Actual Wattage 6 Watts (Non-LED) 8 Watts (LED) 6 Watts (Non-LED) 7 Watts (LED) 1 Watts 2 Watts 2 Watts 2 Watts 8 Watts

 

Now to be fair, all of the fans were higher in "Acutal Wattage" testing than advertised, however, the NZXT fans were all at least 3 times higher than advertised on the back of the packaging. Both of the LED versions added an extra watt or two to the readings, but in the end both the 120mm and 140mm NZXT fans were pretty close to the generic 120mm fans power usage.

Now just to do the math, let's say we put 3 fans in our case (which would be a pretty typical fan setup). If I were to calculate the power usage based on my last months power bill which cost me $0.08 per kWh, using 3 NZXT FZ-120 LED fans would cost me approximately $14.68 CDN to run these fans 24 hours a day for a year. In comparison to run 3 Noctua NF-S12B FLX fans (or any other 2 Watt fans) would cost me approximately $4.19 per year.

I've done up an additional chart to show how much it would cost to power each of these fans 24 hours a day for 1 year (with a power cost of $0.08 kWh - your power costs may be higher or lower) (you can calcuate your own power usage here).

 

  NZXT FZ-140 Fan NZXT FZ-120 Fan Noctua NF-F12 PWM Noctua NF-S12B FLX Noctua NF-P12 Thermaltake ISGC Fan 12 Generic 120mm Fan
Approximate cost to power fan 24 hours a day for 1 year ($0.08 kWh) $4.19 (Non-LED) $5.59 (LED) $4.19 (Non-LED) $4.89 (LED) $0.70 $1.40 $1.40 $1.40 $5.59

 

How slow does it have to be in order to be virtually silent?:

Biggest question we get about fans would be, is it silent? Chances are good that all of these fans would be pretty much undetectable in most peoples systems even when running at full speed (due to other components producing more noise).

For our testing we have hooked each one of these fans up in a quiet room to see just how slow they would have to spin before we couldn't hear them anymore. While this isn't the most scientific method of testing, it does give us a pretty good idea of how quiet each of these fans are.

During testing we hooked each fan up an adjustable fan controller and manually tested their speeds with a digital tachometer while standing approximately 2 feet away from the fan. Here are our results:

 

  NZXT FZ-140 Fan NZXT FZ-120 Fan Noctua NF-F12 PWM Noctua NF-S12B FLX Noctua NF-P12 Thermaltake ISGC Fan 12
Speed at which fan became virtually silent (in a quiet room) - Higher is Better  950 RPM
 1000 RPM
1050 RPM 900 RPM 950 RPM 900 RPM

 

If you have an overall very quiet PC and would like to make the NZXT FZ-140 and FZ-120 completely unnoticeable you will want to hook them up to a fan controller so that you can slow them down a little bit.

Some of the other fans we've tested feature manual fan dials or PWM control (ability to automatically spin up or down based on temperatures), but the FZ-140 and FZ-120 fans have neither and will require some type of fan controller if you don't want them to spin at full speed all the time.