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  #1  
Old 01-11-2017, 01:08 PM
MagnusOpium MagnusOpium is offline
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Default ML120 Case Fan Very Noisy

Hey folks, finally got around to ordering a ML120 fan that I've been intending to try for a long time with a view to potentially upgrading all my case fans to it. First impressions I have to say it sure as hell makes the air move, but my god is it ever loud!?!

So, is it supposed to be so loud? I was expecting it to be virtually silent based on several reviews and youtube vids I've seen, in all of which it's come out very well in the noise stakes. In every video I've seen the ML120 has been noticably quieter than the AF120 and SP120, however upon installing and booting up, I'm finding that MY ML120 is louder on the lowest setting than any of my other fans are on the highest. I have 3xAF140s, an Antec TruQuiet, something called "Dead Silence" that I can't remember the model of and two of whatever comes with the H80iGT. All of these put together aren't making the noise the ML120 is.

Anyone else have experience with th ML120 and able to advise?
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  #2  
Old 01-11-2017, 03:10 PM
c-attack c-attack is offline
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You probably need to describe what the ML120 is connected to and the speed it is running. It is a PWM fan and the controller will need to support this.
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  #3  
Old 01-11-2017, 03:31 PM
MagnusOpium MagnusOpium is offline
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Well I've tried connecting it both to a 4-pim header on the mobo and to the fan controller that comes built-in with the 780T case. It seems to run either way, the difference being that with it attached to the fan controller I can actually turn the speed down on it, but as I said before, even on the low speed setting it's still noisier than any of my other fans are when they're on high.

I have no idea what speed it's running when connected to the mobo (presumably there's a way to check that?), but it seems pretty fast.





Incidentally, and on a slightly different note, as I plan to run 6 or 7 fans (ML if I can solve this noise problem, something else otherwise) and want to be able to actually control the speed they run at, is there a suitable 3rd-party fan controller people would recommend? (Most of the ones I've seen only support 4 or 5 fans and/or take up both 5.25" bays)
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Old 01-11-2017, 03:39 PM
c-attack c-attack is offline
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I suspect speed is the problem, rather than a defective fan. The ML120 has a 2400 rpm max. This is a ton and almost no one needs that kind of speed. Every fan will be horribly loud up there. If you don't have a way to control it, you don't want this.

The controller on the front of the 780T is a DC voltage type. You are cutting the voltage to fan to reduce it's speed. Some PWM fans can work in DC voltage, but ultimately is may be harmful to the fan. Your motherboard headers for that mobo should all be be PWM/DC compatible, although sometimes board makers are sneaky. You may need to go into the BIOS, set that header to PWM control, and then set up some kind of fan curve for it. If this is a case fan (not radiator), you likely do not need more than 1500 rpm. Past that, everything gets loud pretty fast.
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  #5  
Old 01-11-2017, 03:54 PM
MagnusOpium MagnusOpium is offline
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Well I've had a poke around in SpeedFan and it looks like the fan in question is running at around 1670 RPM when attached to the mobo. But I'd take that with a pinch of salt tbh as SpeedFan and my mobo don't seem to like each other very much.

At any rate, when I had it connected to the case's fan controller I was certainly able to get it going slower than it is now, but it was still very loud. I have it up top as a horizontal exhaust and the noise sounds like it's mostly the air whooshing through, but I also tried it vertically and the whooshing was a bit less, but there was then a more pronounced mechanical whine (I rather thought the point of maglev was to eradicate that, but then again I know about as much as Jon Snow where magnets are concerned).

To clarify: yes I am using it as a case fan. I have considered replacing the fans of the H80iGT many times since getting it, but don't know if the ones that come with it are specifically designed for it or not, so am concerned that replacing those fans may reduce performance. That's a problem for another day anyway. The noise of the H80's fans has been a slight annoyance since I built this rig a year ago, but now I can't hear them over the jet engine that is the ML120!



I have an app on my phone that claims to measure noise levels. I have no idea how accurate it is, and given that it's freeware from the play store I probably wouldn't rely on it too much, but for what it's worth that app tells me the ML120 is putting out around 77-80 dB
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  #6  
Old 01-11-2017, 06:16 PM
c-attack c-attack is offline
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The minimum speed on a ML120 should be around 500 RPM. An ML120 is a pretty heavy duty fan for top exhaust, where you generally do not need much fan speed for a non-restricted space. A pair of ML120's would make for replacements for the SP120L grey fans on the H80i. Any 4 pin PWM fan can be used on the H80i, although it is preferable to use something with a medium thick, somewhat flat blade like the SP120 or ML120. However, at the moment it certainly is fan control that is at issue. I am trying to picture the exact layout of fans in your case, but the AF120's would be the ones to use up top and the more focused flow fans on the front. However, I suspect it is the 3xAF120s on the front rail.
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  #7  
Old 01-12-2017, 11:27 AM
MagnusOpium MagnusOpium is offline
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I currently have the 2 LED AF140s that came with the case at the front, the non-LED AF140 that also came with the case and the ML120 up top as exhausts. I have the DeadSilence thing (120mm) on the bottom as an intake and H80iGT exhausting through the rear.







The plan was to switch all that out for 3xML120 up top + 3xML120 in the front and possibly one more at the boottom. Yes it'd be expensive, yes it'd probably be overkill, but with the size of the case, I can't feel any air actually moving where the components are, so wanted something a bit more powerful (not to mention more uniform). If the ML120s are all going to be this noisy, though, I might have to change the plan and save myself a lot of money.


It might be worth me trying out the ML120 on the H80i before I send it back for a refund or replacement. The H80i's Corsair Link software does a much better job at managing the speed of those fans than SpeedFan (which just doesn't seem to want to work with my mobo). But then I suppose that both the fans on the radiator should be the same, shouldn't they?

Last edited by MagnusOpium; 01-12-2017 at 11:41 AM.
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  #8  
Old 01-12-2017, 06:25 PM
c-attack c-attack is offline
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There is nothing wrong with the ML120/140 as a fan, but if you don't need the extreme speeds, it may not be a great match. It is one of the few LED PWM fans suitable for radiator duty, so there is some application for that if you want LED. For the bottom intake and top exhaust fans, you normally would prefer a thin, steeply raked blade (like an AF120/140). These types of designs draw air from a wider area and disperse it in a wide pattern, usually resulting in a more diffuse noise. But those three places are not where you would typically need strong fan speeds. The AF140's are certainly fine for intake and that would be my choice for top exhaust in both places.

You can use two different fans on either side of the H80i, although it can be difficult to match their speeds. In this case, it should be easy as both the ML120 and SP120L have similar RPM ranges. You can put in on the visible side of the radiator and see if you like it better there. That should not require and special tuning or adjustment within Link.
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  #9  
Old 01-14-2017, 06:58 PM
MagnusOpium MagnusOpium is offline
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I have moved the ML120 onto the H80i rad as previosuly suggested and I'm happy to say that it's now effectively silent, at least in quiet mode (and my H80i hasn't had to kick up out of quiet mode in many months since I took the top dust filter off), and the LED up there looks very slick, too.

Now if I could tell what RPM it is spinning at, It might give me hope for using a few ML120's in a proper PWM setup as my case fans after all, but unfortunately I appear to have no way of telling what the RPM is as Corsair Link tells me the speed of the H80i's pump but always claims the fans to be moving at 0 (and always has). I'm not sure why this is, whether Corsair are aware of it (presumably they must be), or whether there's a fix/workaround for it.

I would still very much like to use ML120's as my case fans, at least as front intakes, if I can resolve these issues as, not only is the LED lighting of the ML series much more impressive than either the AF or SP, but a bit of testing also showed a clear increase in air movement when using ML120 as front intake compared to any of my other LED fans (AF140, Aerocool Dead Silence, Cooler Master Jetflo). I suspect this is due to the dust filter in the front mesh, which severely restricts airflow. With the front panel off, AF fans move a hell of a lot more air than with it on (as does the JetFlo), but with the ML the dropoff isn't so noticeable.

Of course, If I am going to set up the ML120 (or indeed the Jetflo) as case fans, I'm going to have to look into just HOW to properly use PWM fans, as I've never really done so before. Are there fan controllers that work properly with them? Even if I wanted to ugly up my rig with a load of additional wires at the mobo, mine doesn't have enough chassis fan headers for what I want to do anyway.

If I can't resolve any of these issues I shall just have to settle for using AFs and/or SPs after all. The LEDs are not very impressive but at least I know from experience that they run pretty quietly, not to mention that they are half the price of the ML120!

Last edited by MagnusOpium; 01-14-2017 at 07:02 PM.
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  #10  
Old 01-15-2017, 09:44 AM
c-attack c-attack is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MagnusOpium View Post
I would still very much like to use ML120's as my case fans, at least as front intakes, if I can resolve these issues as, not only is the LED lighting of the ML series much more impressive than either the AF or SP, but a bit of testing also showed a clear increase in air movement when using ML120 as front intake compared to any of my other LED fans (AF140, Aerocool Dead Silence, Cooler Master Jetflo). I suspect this is due to the dust filter in the front mesh, which severely restricts airflow. With the front panel off, AF fans move a hell of a lot more air than with it on (as does the JetFlo), but with the ML the dropoff isn't so noticeable.
OK, now there is a good reason to use a more pressure orientated fan on the front panel. The presence of a dust filter will impact thin blade fans (like AF's) as low speeds. At higher speeds it is less of an issue. Also, since the ML LED is PWM, the brightness is constant compared to a DC fan where it dims as the voltage is reduced.

Your motherboard should be perfectly capable of controlling PWM fans. However, every now and then the board makers get sneaky and put false 4 pin headers on the board that are really DC only or something similar. You need to look in your motherboard manual and see what information is out there. You might also be able to find some commentary in a professional review of your board. Just remember, even when under control, the ML is going to do a full power test on start-up. That is three fans at 2400. This only lasts a few seconds, but this really bothers some people. ALL boards do this to make sure they can start even the greediest fans with 10v+ starting requirements. So, the only way around it is to use a lower max speed fan.

It doesn't sound like you need 3x2000 rpm at the front rail. You might consider some other choices. The HD120 RGB series would have a lower speed and the increased color range. However, it does require a controller and some extra wiring, so bear that in mind. If for some reason PWM control is not an option, the SP120 RGB (DC 3 pin) can do the same thing. None of these choices are inexpensive. There are competing PWM/LED products as well and most will have sub 2000 rpm speeds and the hybrid blade design you are looking for.


I am not sure what to make of the zero fan speed. Obviously, they are turning. You way wish to send a ticket to Corsair technical support. There are also several people on the forum who are much better at the software side of this than me. Perhaps one of them has some ideas.
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  #11  
Old 01-15-2017, 12:56 PM
MagnusOpium MagnusOpium is offline
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Thanks for the advice. I probably will contact tech support about the Corsair Link issue as I probably need to contact them anyway about the pump of the H80i which has started making an nnoying humming sound over the last couple of days.

As to the fans, I have looked at the HD120 RGB and SP120 RGB (a bit confusing when there is already an SP line) and was put off by the massively inflated price, especially given the advertised tech specs are not particularly impressive. Fortunately I have a black and red theme (simply because is the easiest to fin components in) so I have no need of the RGB functionality at all, red fans are everywhere.

The PWM issue as far as my mobo goes is simply that, as I said before, there aren't enough headers on it. If the possibility exists, as you have pointed out, that some of them may not be genuine, then that would only make the problem worse. It looks like PWM, in my case at least, will have to be done with a 3rd-party controller or not at all. I'll start looking into such controllers today, and hopefully find a solution soon...
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  #12  
Old 01-17-2017, 08:58 AM
snapper69 snapper69 is offline
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I have a Commander Mini (not currently installed) which allows you to run 6 fans, although I can't remember how much control Link has over them.
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  #13  
Old 05-12-2018, 08:40 AM
mattrowen mattrowen is offline
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With my personal experience, the any ML series fan is pretty much quieter than AF120/140 fans when run at similar speeds. It is because ML series fans use Magnetic Levitation technology which is aimed to reduce the noise that bearing based fans produce. you can understand better in the diagram.



The thing here in question is the configuration.. I have read on lot forums that using specific combination of fans can produce extreme air interference and result in producing more sound than usual..

I would suggest you try adjusting the speeds of both ML120 and AF140 fans to come to a combination of speeds with minimum sound signature.
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  #14  
Old 12-05-2018, 11:10 AM
elric75 elric75 is offline
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Hi, I have some ML120Pro which came with the h150i AIO but i find them noisy, i have an annoying sound at low RPM

(not mine but found this video where this guy has quite the same issue)

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