Scythe Gentle Typhoon High RPM series Review
Before we go any further, and just in case you've skipped to the conclusion without reading the rest of the review (Yes you!), it's important to stress that these are not everyday case fans. These fans are designed to be used in servers and in other industrial IT applications. They are loud, very loud. To put the dBA ratings into context let me tell you that while I was testing with the 5400rpm model, my good lady decided it was the perfect time to insist I hoover out what I call my office and what my wife calls my play room. Now having been playing with these fans all day I know they're loud, what I wasn't expecting was for the 5400rpm model to be louder than a hoover in the same room. Seriously if you want to know how loud these are, sit next to a domestic hoover and you'll get a pretty good idea. Please don't think i'm exaggerating here, i'm not.
With that out of the way we can move on to make sense of some of the numbers. In the two heat sink tests run we see pretty much the same pattern of results The 3000rpm model makes little difference from the stock configuration, then there's a bit of a jump in cooling performance with the 4250rpm model, with the 5400rpm model failing to make much more of an impact. To me this suggests that the as we increase in fan speed, beyond a certain point although the fans are disipating the heat from the cooler, the cooler itself is failing to get the heat away from the contact plate and up into the fin stack. In simple terms the fans will make a great cooler better still, but invariably won't make and average cooler great.
When we look at the GPU test results we see a more linear set of results to begin with, but again the invariable drop off as the amount of air pushed into the GPU intake fails to garner any more reductions in temperature. Again we can surmise that the heat sink in the GPU has simply reached the limit with regards to it's capabilities.
So if we're not going to use them as everyday fans, and we're not in need of some fans for a rack mount server what are we going to use them for? Well the reduction in temperatures we achieved should have you all thinking about overclocking possibilities. Not everyday Overclocking, oh no, we're talking Death or Glory suicide runs where every little degree of cooling helps. Or perhaps your part of the dedicated folding community and are lucky enough to be able to have a rig set up in an area where noise pollution isn't going to be an issue. If that's the case then having the peace of mind that your hardware has max airflow passing over it will be worth the £20 per fan that the Gentle typhoons will set you back.
Finally I'd like to thank Tom for the best bit of advice i've had in quite a while, which was to fit fan guards to these fans before turning them on. I have a rule of thumb when i'm modding in that any modding sessions that ends with me having the same number of fingers as I did when it started is automatically classed as a success. I never thought i'd have to apply that rule to reviewing. This is reviewing for Gads sake, it shouldn't come with a health warning! (But I'm glad it did).
So are they any good? Should you buy them? Well it all depends on what you're looking for. If you're looking for rack mount server fan then yes. If you're looking for an everyday case fan then no, definitely not. And if we were appraising them on that set of criteria they would bomb. If however you're looking for something a bit nuts to help you with those extra few degrees then yes they're good, and yes you should buy them. Imagine a test bench with these strapped to the CPU cooler, whether it be air or water, additional fans pointed at the GPU, and even more aimed at the chipset. What tantalising bench scores await. I think every hard core system builder and overclocker should have a selection of these in their cupboard "just in case". You might never need them, but they're there if you do.