Prolima Tech Vortex Fan Review Round Up Page: 1

 Prolima Tech Vortex fans

 

Introduction  

It's no coincidence that ProlimaTech, well known for their range of performance CPU and VGA cooling solutions, should also produce a range of fans.  Here we take a look at the entire Vortex range,  including the rather sexy looking Aluminium bladed 140mm model.   With the exception of the Aluminium model which comes fitted with red LEDs as standard, ProlimaTech offer 2 sizes and 3  finishes to the range, with both the 120mm and 140mm fans available in plain red, plain blue, LED red and LED blue.  On paper the fans offer high CFMs with varying dB-A ratings.  Lets look at the full tech spec for a better idea of what we have on offer to us.

 

Specifications 

120 Vortex 

Dimension

(L)120mm X (W)120mmX (H)25mm

Bearing Type

Sleeve bearing  

Rated Voltage

12 VDC / 9 VDC

Operating Voltage Range

6~13.8 VDC   

Rated Current

0.18 Max.Amp  

Rated Power

2.16 Max.Watt   

Rated Speed

1600 RPM / 1200 RPM   

Airflow

72.67 Max.CFM   

Noise Level

29.1 dBA  

Net Weight

138.2 Gram  

Connector

Terminal Connector(3-pin plus 4-pin molex) 

 

120 Vortex LED 

Dimension

(L)120mm X (W)120mmX (H)25mm  

Bearing Type

Sleeve bearing 

Rated Voltage

12 VDC / 9 VDC

Operating Voltage Range

6~13.8 VDC  

Rated Current

0.3 Max.Amp  

Rated Power

3.6 Max.Watt  

Rated Speed

1600 RPM / 1200 RPM  

Airflow

72.67 Max.CFM  

Noise Level

29.1 dBA 

Net Weight

107.2 Gram  

Connector

Terminal Connector(3-pin plus 4-pin molex)

LED

Blue/red

 

140 Vortex 

Dimension

(L)140mm X (W)140mmX (H)25mm 

Bearing Type

Sleeve bearing 

Rated Voltage

12 VDC 

Operating Voltage Range

7~13.8 VDC 

Rated Current

0.2 Max.Amp 

Rated Power

2.4 Max.Watt 

Rated Speed

1000±100RPM 

Airflow

87 Max.CFM 

Noise Level

18.1 dBA 

Net Weight

162 Gram 

Connector

Terminal Connector(3-pin plus 4-pin molex) 

 

140 Vortex LED

Dimension

(L)140mm X (W)140mmX (H)25mm 

Bearing Type

Sleeve bearing 

Rated Voltage

12 VDC 

Operating Voltage Range

7~13.8 VDC 

Rated Current

0.2 Max.Amp 

Rated Power

2.4 Max.Watt 

Rated Speed

1000±100RPM 

Airflow

87 Max.CFM 

Noise Level

18.1 dBA 

Net Weight

162 Gram 

Connector

Terminal Connector(3-pin plus 4-pin molex) 

LED

Red/Blue

 

140 Aluminium 

Dimension

(L)140mm X (W)140mmX (H)25mm  

Bearing Type

Two Ball bearing

Rated Voltage

12 VDC 

Operating Voltage Range

7~13.8 VDC  

Rated Current

0.45A  

Rated Input Power

5.4W

Rated Speed

1600RPM/1200RPM/900RPM

Airflow

127CFM/100CFM/65CFM

Noise Level

28dBA/20dBA/15dBA

Net Weight

152g

LED

Red

Accessories

Fan Screw*4 3;4-Pin Adapter*1,
Low Rotation Adapter*2



Prolima Tech Vortex Fan Review Round Up Page: 2

Prolima Tech Vortex fans

 

Up Close 120mm

The Vortex fans come packaged in nice simple part windowed boxes, showing the nature of theblades of the fan inside. The reverse of the box details product characteristics and a gives a brief technical specification.  Although fairly generic looking there is a general feel of quality to the vortex series.  I particularlyy like the Matt opaque finish to the blades of the non LED versions 

Prolima Tech Vortex fans      Prolima Tech Vortex fans   

 

The fan blades of the LED version on the 120mm Vortex are slightly opaque, again with a semi Matt finish to them.  Unlike the non LED version which has a solid black outer cowling, the LED version has a gloss smoked black outer cowling, presumably to better aid the dispersion of the light from the LEDs

Prolima Tech Vortex fans      Prolima Tech Vortex fans   

 

The fans come to life when installed and working inside a case, with the 4 corner mounted LEDs giving a good spread of colour across the blades. 

Prolima Tech Vortex fans      Prolima Tech Vortex fans   

Prolima Tech Vortex fans

 



Prolima Tech Vortex Fan Review Round Up Page: 3

 Prolima Tech Vortex fans

 

Up Close  140mm

Although the Matt effect of the non LED version remains, when we look at the blades of the LED version we see that for the 140mm model ProlimaTechhave chosen to go for a high gloss semi transparent blade design.  As in all other respects the fans are visually exactly the same as the 120mm models I thought some comparison pictures would help give an overview of the range

  

Prolima Tech Vortex fans      Prolima Tech Vortex fans   

Prolima Tech Vortex fans      Prolima Tech Vortex fans   

Prolima Tech Vortex fans      Prolima Tech Vortex fans   

Prolima Tech Vortex fans      Prolima Tech Vortex fans   

Prolima Tech Vortex fans      Prolima Tech Vortex fans   

 

 



Prolima Tech Vortex Fan Review Round Up Page: 4

Prolima Tech Vortex fans

 

Up Close  140m Aluminium

And lastly we come to the quite frankly gorgeous 140mm Aluminium Vortex fan.  I'm quite an avid modderand for quite some time have been attracted to trying to achieve a metallic chrome finish to fans by repainting them.  This i would add has been acheived with varying degrees of success, or more usually lack thereoff. 

When I opened the box of ProlimaTech fans and saw the Aluminium unit my heart skipped a beat.  The 140 Aluminium might be the last one to be reviewed, but it was the first to come out of the box and be pawed over by my lascivious hands.  This my friends is the look I've been trying in vain to achieve.  And how have ProlimaTech achieved what I couldn't? (apart from them being an international company and me being a numpty with a dremmel and a few cans of Halfords spray-paints), well they haven't tried to simply colour thin plastic blades with Aluminium paint, they've actually used Aluminium blades! Nice shiny shiny Aluminium.  My god do these look good.

Prolima Tech Vortex fans      Prolima Tech Vortex fans   

 

With the 13 aluminium fan blades spinning at 1600RPM ProlimaTech have been thoughtful enough to factory fit the fan with a guard.  I half expected the box to come with a health and safety warning along the lines of "ProlimaTech not accepting any responsibility for loss of fingers in the use of this fan".  Any attempt to assess how fast these fans are going by feeling the touch of the blades against your fingers would invariably result in a stinging sensation followed by the soft  wet "plop" of your finger tip landing on the floor at your feet.

Prolima Tech Vortex fans      Prolima Tech Vortex fans   

 

To round things off, a picture of the 140mm Aluminium in use and a few Group shots of the whole Vortex Family. 

"That's it Baby, show me some more of your blades...Mmmmm"

Prolima Tech Vortex fans      Prolima Tech Vortex fans   

Prolima Tech Vortex fans      Prolima Tech Vortex fans   

 



Prolima Tech Vortex Fan Review Round Up Page: 5

 Prolima Tech Vortex fans

 

Performance and Conclusion

Remembering that in assessing fans we must of course obey the Holy Trinity, namely Shift air, look good, be quiet.  Lets first have a look a the 120mm Vortex fan.  Shifting air 72.67 CFM is quite a lot of air to shift, even for a 1600rpm fan.  You can actually feel the amount of air moving of the back of the vortex when compared to other fans in the same group previously tested.  With this in mind I was expecting great results on the old heat sink test (torture test as per our Heat-sink reviews).  However the 120mm only managed to keep the i7 950 at 4.0GHz down to a max temp of 74.25, which with a room temp of 19.5 yielded a DeltaT of 54.75, exactly the same as the BitFenix Spectre Pro which is only a 1200RPM unit as opposed to the 1600RPM of the Vortex.  I can only assume that the Vortex has a much lower static pressure than most of the fans on the table below, however as yet I've not been able to track any figures down to evidence this.  This 120mm and the 140mm version are described by ProlimaTech as being specifically designed to work with the Armageddon CPU cooler, so one can only assume there's a balance being struck in there somewhere as the Armageddon is undeniably a good cooler. 

Noise wise the 120mm does let itself down a bit, with a manufacturers rating of 29.1 dB-A it's well above all in the table above with the exception of the ear splitting 5400 GT.  With the dB-A being a logarithmic scale a 10dB increase equates to a doubling of perceived noise.  Meaning that in simple terms the Vortex is nearly twice as loud as most of the fans in the table above.  When I review fans below mid 20s dB-A it's usually fair to say they can be slightly audible but generally almost imperceptible, not so the Vortex I'm afraid, it can be heard quite clearly over the general noise of the case and room.  this fan being a 1600rpm model though it is perhaps a little unfair to compare it to the above fans which are for the greater part low rpm models.  To place the vortex in a better perspective let me compare it to a personal favourite which is the GT 1850.  The 1850 also generates 28dB-A of noise but only produces 58.3 cfm.  Not bad by comparison really.

Moving to the 140mm we see a drop in RPM to 1000 and a commensurate drop in dB-A to 18.1 (although the companies own website doesn't appear to be able to agree on whether it's 18.1 or 17dB-A).  Either way to me they sounded a bit louder than the 18 dB-A quoted, not much though, and still certainly quiet.  With the slower fan speed does come a lower CFM, down to 87.  It should be mentioned that both the 120 and the 140 models come with voltage regulators which slow the fans down, and do noticeably reduce the noise still further.  However, there's no such thing as a free lunch so do expect a drop in performance also.

And so to looks.  Like most people I do like shiny things but strangely here I prefer the matt simplicity of the Non LED version of these Vortex fans.  That's not to say the LED version isn't nice, it is, I just in a world of LED fans the simplicity of this non LED is quite refreshing.

Ahh, the 140mm Aluminium.  I'm in love.  It's stunning, it really is, the photos just don't do it justice.  dB-A wise it's rated the same as the 120s at 28dB-A yet for some reason it sounds louder than them, perhaps it's the way the 13 Aluminium blades cut the air.   I love this fan I really do but it's a bit like a having a stunningly attractive yet gobby girlfriend.  She has jaw dropping looks, you know your friends think she's hot.  When men see her they stop and stare.  You're the envy of anything with dangly bits between his legs.....that is until she opens her mouth, because when she speaks...loud and gobby....the illusion is shattered.  This fan is loud, but don't get me wrong, it isn't in the same league as the jet engine GT5400, but it is louder than you'd expect something so stunning and delicately beautiful to be.  You love her to bits, you really do, but god if only she could be quieter!!!  But would you dump her because of that????  Heck no, not when she looks this good.

So how to summarise.  Well it's not really that fair to make direct comparisons between these fans and those on the chart as they are predominantly low RPM models.  The Vortex series and in particular the non LED versions have a feeling of good solid reliability.  We know they perform well with some heat-sinks, but not so well with others, and we know although louder than the fans above they're no louder than the well respected GT 1850.

Would I buy them?  yes I would, especially when you bring price into the equation.  with the 120s coming in under a tenner, and the 140's not much more they certainly represent good performance at a great price, and price is something we're all having to think more about these days.  Now if I could only find a way of gagging the Aluminium Vortex I wouldn't be afraid to take her out in public.

For the good performance and even better value standard Vortex fans I award the following

 

        

Pricing is a little sketchy on the Aluminium Vortex, with estimates putting it in the £20 region.  Frankly I don't care I want her and I want her bad.  She not might be as quiet as I'd like, but my god is she gorgeous and for that reason I have to award a Gold.

    

Thanks to Prolima Tech for the fans on test today, you can discuss your thoughts in the OC3D Community forums.