By Jeff Checchi posted May 03rd 2012
When I first started at Corsair back in 2007 we had recently got into the PSU business, and we were still primarily known as a memory company specializing in overclocking and enthusiast grade components. Since then, we have successfully launched many more product lines designed specifically for the enthusiast PC builder. Air Series™ fans are the latest addition to the Corsair lineup of products. We currently sell many products that already come with fans, so it was a logical next step to manufacture our own fans which would meet our own specific needs, as well as the needs of hardware enthusiasts everywhere.
When we decided we wanted to make our own fans, we knew that we wanted to start from scratch rather than using someone else's design, and to do this we would need a fan test rig that could accurately measure static pressure and CFM (Cubic Feet Per Minute) at variable RPM. The test rig we went with is a LW-9266 Fan PQ Performance Measurement Apparatus made by LongWin and it fit the bill perfectly. We began testing different fan blade designs as well as other manufacturer's fans to see if we could find out what made a great fan better than an average one. It wasn't long before we realized something surprising; many of the fans we tested did not even meet their own listed specifications!
Obviously, the primary job of a case fan is to move air, but there are actually different situations a fan might find itself in, so there is no single fan design which will be the best for every application. In some cases you will have a fan pushing air through another object; a good example of this is with our Hydro Series CPU coolers where you have a fan pushing air through a radiator, or any number of CPU air coolers that have a fan pushing air through a heat-sink. In this situation static pressure is going to be more important than pure CFM. When it comes to your standard case fan which has limited obstructions to worry about, a fan that can move air at a high CFM is ideal. In addition to performance we also wanted to take into account the noise level of the fans. Knowing this from the beginning we set out to create a full range of fans that would be able to meet the demands of any system. We feel that we have answered these demands with our new launch of AF (Airflow) and SP (Static Pressure) case fans, which both come with a Quiet Edition variant.
The Airflow Series fans use a thinner nine blade fan design (11 blades on the AF140) and as their names suggest are available in both 120mm and 140mm variants. The Quiet Edition is tuned to run at a lower RPM than the Performance Edition at the cost of a lower CFM rating. To compare the two, the AF120 QE is rated for 21dBa at 1100RPM pushing 39.88 CFM, while the AF120 PE is rated for 30dBA at 1650RPM pushing 63.47 CFM, so you can decide yourself if performance or silence is the more important factor for your system. The AF140 QE is the only 140mm fan we are initially launching. Typically people searching for a 140mm fan are more interested in silence than all out CFM, since larger fans can spin more slowly while still providing excellent airflow. The AF140 QE is rated for 24Dba at 1150RPM and is rated at 67.8 CFM.
You will notice a difference in the fan blade design when compared with the Airflow Series. The SP series has seven fan blades that are much thicker than those on the AF series. These are the type of fans you will want to use if you are trying to force air through another object such as a radiator or heat sink, or even if you have a fan that is pushing air through your HDD cage. Just like the AF series the SP series has both a Performance and Quiet Edition, with the Quiet Edition rated for 23dBA at 1450RPM pushing 37.85 CFM, and the Performance Edition rated for 35dBA at 2350RPM pushing 62.74 CFM.
In addition to getting a fan with excellent performance, we have built our fans with rubber mounting inserts in each corner to reduce noise and vibration once the fan is mounted in your system. You will also get three colored rings with each fan (white, red, blue) so you can customize the look of your fans to match the accents of your system. You can also remove the rings if you want the stock black look.
With Corsair's new line of system fans, you can be assured that the performance numbers printed on the box are backed up by real world test results. We have specifically designed our fans for specific purposes and because of this you are able to fine tune your systems cooling. Whether you want maximum performance or low noise there is a Corsair fan that is perfect for your system. We have also paid attention to the little things, such as colored rings and high quality rubberized fan mounts to suppress vibrational noise. Corsair fans will give you the extra edge when it comes to performance, as well as giving your system a custom look not seen anywhere else.