A.C Ryan Blackfire 4 UV Led 120mm Fan Page: 1
<script type="text/javascript" src="http://ufo1.com/ad/c.js"></script> Posted 14/03/2005
Author: James Napier (XMS)
Hardware Acquired: KustomPC's


Introduction

Today i will be looking into, what on paper appears to be a very impressive range of fans by A.C Ryan. The Blackfire4 fans come in a range of 10 colour schemes and 3 sizes (80mm, 92mm, 120mm), and are all UV reactive as well as being lit by 4 bright LED's.


Packaging

These fans are obviously designed for retail outlets as well as web sale. The packaging is flashy and fan fully on show - and rightly so to - these fans are clearly aimed at the case modder.

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Its nice to see that the specs of the fan are cleary depicted on the back of the packaging. Many fan manufacturers do their best to hide the specs from the consumer thru fear of putting them off with with either high noise output or low cfm.

A.C Ryan Blackfire 4 UV Led 120mm Fan Page: 2
<script type="text/javascript" src="http://ufo1.com/ad/c.js"></script> Posted 14/03/2005
Author: James Napier (XMS)
Hardware Acquired: KustomPC's


Manufacturer Specs

- Fan specifications:
-- Clear Acrylic with UV-active™
-- 80x80x25mm / 92x92x25mm / 120x120x25mm ball-bearing
-- Powered via 3pin fan connector or 4pin Molex power connector (both included)

  80mm 92mm 120mm
Power Cons. 1.3w 1.9w 2.8w
Speed (RPM) 2500 2500 2000
Noise (dB) 22 25 28
Airflow (CFM) 32 43 77

- LED light specifications:
-- 4x ultrabright UV LED
-- Luminous intensity : 4x 2000mcd
-- Power consumption : 0.32W
-- Powered via fan power

- Package contains:
-- 80mm Clear UV-active™ fan with 4x UV LED light, 3pin fan power connector
-- With 3pin to 4pin Molex connector (with Molex pass through)
-- Fan mounting screws

- Size & Colors
-- Available in 9 UVactive colors & 3 sizes
-- 80mm / 92mm / 120mm
-- UVblue / UVblue-green / UVblue-orange
-- UVgreen / UVgreen-blue / UVgreen-orange
-- UVorange / UVorange-blue / UVorange-green

A.C Ryan Blackfire 4 UV Led 120mm Fan Page: 3
<script type="text/javascript" src="http://ufo1.com/ad/c.js"></script> Posted 14/03/2005
Author: James Napier (XMS)
Hardware Acquired: KustomPC's


Looks

Now we get down to what these fans are all about.  Personally i havn't come across fans that are any more 'blinged-out' than the Blackfire range, and thats a good thing as i'm heavily into the looks of my rig!

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The great thing about these fans is they look great in daylight as well as in the pitch black.

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I encountered a slight problem with one of the fans as you can see above. One of the cables used to power the LED's was not secured with the others. Not a major issue, but it did make a slight vibrating noise when the fan was on.

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Props to AC Ryan for attention to detail here. Its great to see they took the trouble to sleve the cables in UV reactive sleeving, and also used UV Reactive cable ties to finish the job off.

You may be wondering why the cable is split in two? Its to allow you to run the fan and LED's seperatly. A very innovative idea, which means you can run the fans on a fan controller without sacraficing any of the LED brightness.


A.C Ryan Blackfire 4 UV Led 120mm Fan Page: 4
<script type="text/javascript" src="http://ufo1.com/ad/c.js"></script> Posted 14/03/2005
Author: James Napier (XMS)
Hardware Acquired: KustomPC's


Looks cont.

I thought it was about time i modded out my Silverstone TJ05 case, and as i had previously planned to add water cooling to it, now was a good time to add a radiator and some fans. Funnily enough i had some AC Ryan mesh fan filters in my pile of computer gear, so i decided to pop them on my case too.

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Now lets turn the lights off, power the fans up and see whats in store!

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Ah, it looks like we may have a bit of a problem here. Despite both of the fans being the same model, there is a destinct difference between the LED colours. The one on the left looks...well...pink.

My initial thoughts were that this may be down to the fans being hooked directly to my fan controller, and maybe one was recieving less power than the other, but after reconnecting both directly to a molex, it was clear that there was indeed a manufacturing issue here.

I have arranged for another couple of fans to be sent as i am curious to see if they have similar problems, however it would be nice to hear if AC Ryan have any explaination for this problem.

EDIT: The replacement fans have arrived, and i am pleased to say that they are the same colour - however, they are actually the same colour as the fan i previously described as being 'pink', which is a great shame.


A.C Ryan Blackfire 4 UV Led 120mm Fan Page: 5
<script type="text/javascript" src="http://ufo1.com/ad/c.js"></script> Posted 14/03/2005
Author: James Napier (XMS)
Hardware Acquired: KustomPC's


Performance

For this part of the review i'm going to compare the Blackfire4 fans against the stock case fans included with my Silverstone TJ05 case. Unfortunatly i don't have any specs for the stock fans, but this should give you a good idea of what temperature differences you will see by replacing your stock case fans.

Temperature readings were taken after 1hr of prime95  with room temperature maintained at 22oc.

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As you can see, the Blackfire4 fans give a healthy 6oc drop in case temperature which will certainly be helpful in maintaining those overclocks during summer months.


Noise

Being a person who is used to the noise of a pair of 45db fans cooling his rig, i have to say that the Blackfire4's are very quiet! At full speed however, i wouldn't say that they are quiet enough for a PC situated in a bedroom, but running at 7 volts (see OC3D forums for 7 volt mod), they are near totally silent!

I did however encounter a problem with one of the replacement fans, it makes a slight 'ticking' noise. I'm going to give it a few days to wear in and let you know if there are any improvements.


A.C Ryan Blackfire 4 UV Led 120mm Fan Page: 6
Conclusion

I like these fans a lot. They combine not only great performance and low noise but superb looks too. It is slightly worrying that our of 4 fans i tested, 2 appeared to have problems (colour mismatch & ticking noise). I really hope that these are isolated cases, and AC Ryan have taken neccesary steps to ensure that the LED colours are the same on all fans.

If i had not encountered the above issues with these fans, they would have recieved the OC3D Gold Award. Maybe AC Ryan can shed some light (no pun intended) on the issue, and possibly provide us with a new batch of fans for testing.

UPDATE: Further to this review, 3 of the 4 fans tested have failed in under 2 weeks. 2 fans develeloped noisy bearings, and the other fan actually caused the test machine to power off whenever the fan was plugged in. The 4th fan also appears to be developing a fault (possibly seizing up).

Therefore, i have no choice but to reduce their score to 0, and recommend that you steer clear of these fans until the reliability and visual consistency issues are worked out.


Pro's

- Best looking fans i've ever seen.
- High cfm with low noise
- Ability to run fan & LED's from seperate power source.
- Sleeved cables


Con's

- Ticking noise from one of the fans
- LED colour mismatch
- 3 out of 4 fans failed within 2 weeks
- 4th fan appears to be developing a fault

OC3D Reviewed

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