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Old 01-27-2017, 10:28 AM
tjc2005 tjc2005 is offline
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Default ML120's vs HD120's...

I bought 3 Corsair ML120's (Arrive tomorrow,), are these better to go for or are the HD120's better? I couldn't make up my mind. Both cost the same here in the UK.

I can't find anyone comparing the two, any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 01-27-2017, 10:50 AM
c-attack c-attack is offline
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The physical appearance is fairly obvious, with the HD120 series being RGB lighting and ML Pro series available as single color LED or in standard black.

From a performance standpoint, the ML series has a much higher RPM range (up to 2400) compared to lower spinning HD (~1700). At like RPMs, you should experience similar airflow. Whether you need speeds in excess of 2000 rpm is another matter.

The HD and SP RGB series each require a lighting controller to use that function. This is an additional installation step and you must supply power to controller and connect a line from each fan back to it. This could be tricky in small cases. The ML series works like any other fan and connects directly to your board or fan controller. Both HD and ML series fans are 4 pin PWM.
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Old 01-27-2017, 10:57 AM
tjc2005 tjc2005 is offline
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Thanks, so from a performance perspective, ML120 is better and should provide a better lifespan? (I would prefer a better lifespan ofc), I won't be running these at high RPM, I have an NZXT Grid+ V2 that will be controlling the fans via CAM Software and I keep them at a low RPM when i'm not gaming.

Obviously the asthetics of the two are different. But just wondering which you think the better buy of the two would be. Or is it mainly similar? I just can't make up my mind.

Edit: Also how do the bearings of the two fans compare?

Last edited by tjc2005; 01-27-2017 at 11:06 AM.
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Old 01-27-2017, 11:17 AM
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No way to measure the lifespan variability and both products are too new to have a meaningful history. The warranty period is substantially different for the two products (ML 5 years, HD 2 years). Read what you will into that, however I suspect the lighting aspect is the primary reason and not bearing or material composition. Nevertheless, that may mean something for you and the ML is certain easier to install with fewer potential problems. I am a collector and stockpile these things. I almost never get a chance to run one to it's end.

I have several ML's, but do not have any HD's to make a sound comparison. It is likely someone else has already put this out there, but be careful of the homemade You Tube tests. Too many variables. Both fans should be quiet at low levels.

As for the bearings, I am not sure we have any engineering specifications and there is a certain amount of marketing charm to the terminology. I think as case fans, either will do and you don't want high speeds for that function. The ML fans have a theoretical advantage for radiator duty, both with available higher speeds and they definitely work in the inverted potion that give so many other fan types problems.
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Old 01-27-2017, 11:33 AM
tjc2005 tjc2005 is offline
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Yeah I guess so, they're new so not much out there to go on. I do like the HD120's but not having software control seems a bummer.

The warranty is a good point, 5 year vs 2 year is quite a difference. I guess all I can do is try them out tomorrow, if I don't like them, send them back and try the HD120s.

I take it non of your ML's have failed?

And as they will be used as case fans then yeah you're right about the speeds, maybe I could pick up a couple of ML's for my h80i in the future though.

Thanks again.
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Old 01-27-2017, 01:03 PM
c-attack c-attack is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjc2005 View Post
I take it non of your ML's have failed?

And as they will be used as case fans then yeah you're right about the speeds, maybe I could pick up a couple of ML's for my h80i in the future though.
No, none of them have failed and it would be shocking if one did with only three months of actual usage since this past Summer. There have been no failure complaints I can remember, just the usual one or two about them being loud at 2400 rpm.

The HD120's have a somewhat unusual control scheme. It is different than the other RGB models out there, like the Riing series that I do have. Rather than channel the fans' power through the control box, the HD120 has lighting control only from that device. Each fan has one line to the MB and speed can be adjusted via normal means, BIOS, software, etc. Then there is a separate line back to the controller for lighting function only. The control box can handle six HD fans, but needs a power lead for it's function. While a bit messy with extra lines, this does allow you to control the fans in most any way you like, unlike the silly high/low speed gate on my Riing controllers. I do not have the HD series, so if anyone else has something to add or correct, please do.

If you don't like them as case fans, I would certainly consider using them on the H80i. The grey SP120L are not my favorites by a long shot. That would be a like for like replacement and win in both sound quality and aesthetics. You can also use the HD120 series on the H80i. While they don't have the top end of the ML or stock SP fans, it should still be enough for anyone not running extreme settings or with very difficult case conditions.
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Old 01-27-2017, 01:54 PM
tjc2005 tjc2005 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c-attack View Post
No, none of them have failed and it would be shocking if one did with only three months of actual usage since this past Summer. There have been no failure complaints I can remember, just the usual one or two about them being loud at 2400 rpm.

The HD120's have a somewhat unusual control scheme. It is different than the other RGB models out there, like the Riing series that I do have. Rather than channel the fans' power through the control box, the HD120 has lighting control only from that device. Each fan has one line to the MB and speed can be adjusted via normal means, BIOS, software, etc. Then there is a separate line back to the controller for lighting function only. The control box can handle six HD fans, but needs a power lead for it's function. While a bit messy with extra lines, this does allow you to control the fans in most any way you like, unlike the silly high/low speed gate on my Riing controllers. I do not have the HD series, so if anyone else has something to add or correct, please do.

If you don't like them as case fans, I would certainly consider using them on the H80i. The grey SP120L are not my favorites by a long shot. That would be a like for like replacement and win in both sound quality and aesthetics. You can also use the HD120 series on the H80i. While they don't have the top end of the ML or stock SP fans, it should still be enough for anyone not running extreme settings or with very difficult case conditions.
Right, yeah I have enough cables in my case that are crammed in the back almost pushing the panel off, (too lazy to cable manage properly) and my case is quite small (Inwin 303). I could manage the HD120's though, just it's that extra bit of annoyance having to mess about with the cables again I guess.

Well like I said, I'll give it a go tomorrow, if I don't like them, then I'll send them back and get the H120's. I guess it's mainly asthetics then really. The positive thing about the H120's is that hopefully I won't have to change the fans down the line (unless they break), just to match a new colour scheme.

I have ordered the white ML120's but, they don't look the brightest from what I can see in videos etc (I do like the look of the rubber corners though). So it may just come down to that. But because I'm spending £60 on three fans, I just want to get it right. Like you said though, about the h80i the grey SP120s aren't my favourite either, which I am still using, so maybe I'll just keep two of the ML120's and stick them on that.

I do hope both ML and HD will work ok with software control via my NZXT Grid+ V2 though, as that takes only 3pin fans (has space for 4pin I think, but obviously only 3pins connected) but the grid is powered by 12v, so I think it should?

Thanks for all your knowledge it's been helpful.
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Old 01-27-2017, 02:53 PM
c-attack c-attack is offline
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I don't know enough about the NZXT to say what will or won't work. However, the HD and ML are both PWM and will need 12v and a pwm control signal.
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Old 01-27-2017, 03:05 PM
tjc2005 tjc2005 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c-attack View Post
I don't know enough about the NZXT to say what will or won't work. However, the HD and ML are both PWM and will need 12v and a pwm control signal.
That's fine, I shall update tomorrow to say if it's working with the NZXT software.
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Old 01-27-2017, 03:31 PM
red-ray red-ray is offline
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Question Should ML120 + HD120 be voltage controlled?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tjc2005 View Post
NZXT Grid+ V2 though, as that takes only 3pin fans (has space for 4pin I think, but obviously only 3pins connected) but the grid is powered by 12v, so I think it should?
The NZXT Grid+ V2 is a 3-pin voltage controller and both the ML120 + HD120 are 4-pin PWM fans so I guess you should really use a 4-pin PWM controller.

I would like to know what others think about voltage controlling these fans.

When I connected 3 x HD120 to my GRID+ V2 it controlled them, but not as well as my CL Minis control them.

Quote:
Attached Images
File Type: png [Link Fans] GRID+ V2 + 3 x HD120.png (105.2 KB, 6504 views)

Last edited by red-ray; 01-27-2017 at 04:06 PM.
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Old 01-27-2017, 04:22 PM
tjc2005 tjc2005 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by red-ray View Post
The NZXT Grid+ V2 is a 3-pin voltage controller and both the ML120 + HD120 are 4-pin PWM fans so I guess you should really use a 4-pin PWM controller.

I would like to know what others think about voltage controlling these fans.

When I connected 3 x HD120 to my GRID+ V2 it controlled them, but not as well as my CL Minis control them.
Cool but they should still work well, hopefully?... Do the lights dim using it 3 pin?

And is the Corsair link commander mini much better? I can't seem to find it for sale on Amazon unfortunately.

The NZXT+ Grid V2 was about £30 and I can't find an alternative that takes 4pin fans. Because I can still return my NZXT so if you know of anything better around that price then that would be cool. Plus it needs to be an internal kit like that. As I don't have bays in my case for external fan controllers.
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Old 01-27-2017, 04:45 PM
red-ray red-ray is offline
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The HD120 LEDs won't DIMM as they are powered by +5 volts from a SATA power connector.

The CL Mini is 4-pin PWM.

What country are you in? Ideally add it to your profile.
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Old 01-27-2017, 04:48 PM
tjc2005 tjc2005 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by red-ray View Post
The HD120 LEDs won't DIMM as they are powered by +5 volts from a SATA power connector.

The CL Mini is 4-pin PWM.

What country are you in? Ideally add it to your profile.
Oh yeah I forgot it's powered by that.

And I'm from the United Kingdom.
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Old 01-27-2017, 04:52 PM
red-ray red-ray is offline
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How about https://www.alternate.co.uk/Corsair/...roduct/1163867?
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  #15  
Old 01-27-2017, 05:13 PM
tjc2005 tjc2005 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by red-ray View Post
I'll have a think about it. I'll try these tomorrow, and if it doesn't work out great with the NZXT I'll give that a go. More than I wanted to spend but I don't seem to be left with much choice.

I'm more concerned with Amazon closing my account if I return too many items.

Thanks for finding that for me.
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