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ML120 pro RGB motor noise


gijs007
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I've bought a Corsair 570X case and wasn't satisfied with the noise the stock (SP120) fans made.

 

I read reviews which state the Corsair ML120 pro RGB fabs are dead silent at low RPM, according to the reviews the only sound they make is the wind noise, and that only happens at higher RPM's..

 

As I was looking for a solution to make my system completely silent, while retaining the RGB front fan looks, I decided to "upgrade" to these new Corsair fans.

 

Unfortunately I find that even at low RPM these fans still make noise, it's not actually the wind blowing. It's the electric motor which makes a low frequency buzz noise.

I'm certain it's the motor, as when I power off the fans I immediately stop hearing the noise. While the ML120 blades still rotate and move air for a few seconds, in complete silence.

 

For comparison: The other parts of my PC are still powered, and don't make any noise:

I can't hear the two fans that came with the NZXT Kraken X62. I also can't hear my exhaust fan: a Noctua NF-A12x25 PWM.

 

I tried using PWM to throttle the ML120 fans to 20%, but I can still hear the motor. Even when the fans rotate at less than 500RPM..:mad:

 

I'm quite disappointed by these fans so far and I'm considering sending the entire kit back to the store. As the original SP120 case fans made about the same amount of noise when throttled and didn't cost me nearly a 100 euro..

 

Can someone tell me if this motor noise is fixable or if it's normal?

 

According to most reviews the ML120 fans shouldn't make noise at all, but I did read some posts on Reddit from a couple of users complains about the motor making sound.

According to others people these users must have received a faulty fan or used DC mode to control the fan.

I've tried the three ML120 fans from the kit individually, and they all make the same noise. So I doubt it's fixable, unless I got a bad batch.

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Yup. The ML fans are a scam. They all make an annoying motor noise.

You can see other posts about people trying to deny it (like my thread here: http://forum.corsair.com/forums/showthread.php?t=179002), and in their defense they probably do not have very silent systems and/or don't hear very well.

Or there are claims it must be in PWM mode or whatever... doesn't matter and doesn't make any difference. They have a very distinct motor noise as long as they are running over 250RPM.

If you can't live with it, send them back. Imho they are way too expensive to not be at least as silent as other fans.

What is the "magnetic levitation" good for if it is not quieter? I've never had a fan die on me so fan longevity is not really relevant. It's just a gimmick. Such a shame.

Edited by cars10
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Yup. The ML fans are a scam. They all make an annoying motor noise.

 

That's taking it bit far and I'll try not to be offended with the "don't hear very well" reference. The world is full of sound and there is no getting rid of it. If for whatever reason the ML series strike you the wrong way, you should send them back and try something else.

 

I am not really sure where this idea of "a motor that makes no noise" originates. All fan motors make noise. If there was one that didn't, you couldn't afford it and it wouldn't be wasted on $30 fan. The real value of the ML series is they make less noise while moving the same amount of air at middle and higher speeds (this is what a magnetic levitation bearing is good for). It is a performance fan, not a silent fan for passive set-ups. All manufacturers use the words the word "quiet" and other superlatives in their marketing. That doesn't mean it is the ideal choice for a 0 rpm passive system. My best guess is you guys hear the pulsing from the magnetic levitation bearing. I can hear it too, but only if I deliberately try and not when it is in the case. You need a niche product and there aren't very many that fit your criteria.

 

As casually referenced above, make sure you are using the fans with a PWM controller. Cutting the voltage to fan will exacerbate the issue. I am a little surprised you like the Kraken fans in comparison. I threw one across the room once. That doesn't happen very often.

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Yup. The ML fans are a scam. They all make an annoying motor noise.

You can see other posts about people trying to deny it (like my thread here: http://forum.corsair.com/forums/showthread.php?t=179002), and in their defense they probably do not have very silent systems and/or don't hear very well.

Or there are claims it must be in PWM mode or whatever... doesn't matter and doesn't make any difference. They have a very distinct motor noise as long as they are running over 250RPM.

If you can't live with it, send them back. Imho they are way too expensive to not be at least as silent as other fans.

 

Really? You actually admitted to configuring them incorrectly and very possibly (if not likely) damaging the motor. Of course, that can't be YOUR fault, now can it? No, absolutely not.

 

At any given time, I have at least 2 systems running in my home office. Both are quite quiet. I may be old but my hearing is just fine, thank you very much. One has a mix of LL and HD fans that I keep at relatively low RPMs (except under load). The other is all ML fans (both RGB and "classic") that I switched to because it was too noisy for my taste. It's much quieter now. They aren't silent but no fan is. The simple movement of air creates noise. Air turbulence over hard drives stacked in a RAID cage causes noise. But the ML fans make the least motor noise of any fan that I've used that moves the same amount of air, especially when installed horizontally pushing air "up".

 

 

What is the "magnetic levitation" good for if it is not quieter? I've never had a fan die on me so fan longevity is not really relevant. It's just a gimmick. Such a shame.

 

You've never had a fan die on you? Really? So that means one of a couple of things are true:

1) You've not been building systems for any amount of time.

2) You've not built very many systems, regardless of time.

3) You've got incredible luck. Go play the lottery.

 

Personally, I've been building PCs for over 25 years. As mentioned, I have at least 2 systems running in my home office and frequently more. I have a total of 12 (maybe more, I think it's 12 now ... I lose track sometimes) PCs at home right now ... and that doesn't include tablets, phones and IoT devices. I've had fans fail. Several, in fact. Usually, I've been aware of the signs and replaced them before they fail completely. Once I missed the signs and had some drives overheat, almost losing all of the digital pics of the kids (other stuff too but none of that mattered ... the pictures were the important things). I actually have an entire BOX of fans now to be used in just such a circumstance (as well as cloud backup, mirrored drives and local backup) because that's not something that I want to try to explain to the wife. But if you wanna run on the assumption that fans never fail ... well ... best of luck to ya, kid. (That said ... now that I think of it, I've not yet had a Corsair fan fail though I did have a cooler fail ... which they replaced under warranty pretty quickly.)

 

In other news ... I did get a chuckle picturing c-attack throw fans across the room. I also imagined him cursing in a British accent, which was also quite amusing. Thanks for that!

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