This article was originally written for The Best Case Scenario. Read it here!
Fans can be a touchy subject in the PC world. There's a billion different fans and fan designs on the market today. Some are just general, inexpensive all-purpose fans while others are designed for specific purposes. The new FZ fans we'll be looking at from NZXT today fall into the latter category. Read on for the details....
The latest line of fans from NZXT are designated "FZ." These fans are designed for maximum airflow with minimum noise and are available in 120mm and 140mm sizes and LED and non-LED versions. The 120mm FZ fans are rated for 59.1 CFM @ 1200 RPM +/- 200 and 26.8dBA while the 140mm version is rated for 83.6CFM @ 1000 RPM +/- 200 and 24.5dBA. They're also rated for 0.71mmH2O and 0.81mmH2O, respectively.
Both the 120mm and 140mm versions are 25mm thick and have a long life bearing that comes with a 40,000-hour rating and carries a 2-year warranty. Colors for the LED versions include red, green, blue, orange and white.
The fans use a unique straight-bladed design with 13 blades to maximize airflow and minimize noise. Let's take a closer look.
The fans come packaged in a nice full-color display box. The fans are easily seen through a clear window in the front of the box. The non-LED fans on the left are only available with black cages and white blades while the LED versions on the right come with black cages and clear blades. The packaging for the LED versions also clearly identifies the color of the enclosed fan.
The backside of the packages shows detailed specs for the fans in four different languages. Everything here is clear, well laid out and easy to understand.
Each fan comes fully sleeved in a nice, thick sleeving and includes a 4-pin Molex to 3-pin adapter and necessary mounting screws. One thing that's becoming more common on fans these days that's absent here is the presence of a set of rubber mounting plugs. If they're going for maximum quietness a set of those would make sense.
Here you get a nice look at each fan. The cages are a unique design as well, looking like something out of a jet engine or something of the sort.
A closer look at the fan housing shows the notches that are molded into the perimeter of the housing. I haven't seen anything about a design reason for them to be there so all I can extract is that they're for aesthetics.
A look at the side profile of the fan housing shows a different style of housing shape, again I'd assume for aesthetics.
You can see here the LED's in the fans are bright enough to be seen in the daylight. They cast a neat flower-shaped patters on the blades due to their shape.
The LED's are also brilliantly bright at night but not so bright that they're overpowering.
The fans themselves at their rated 12V are relatively quiet compared to others I tested next to them. In my quiet basement from 3 feet away I couldn't even hear them running. I had other 120mm and 140mm fans in the same RPM range running with these ranging from a cheap Radio Shack 120mm non-LED fan to a Cooler Master Sickleflow and the NZXT easily beat everything except the Sickleflow in terms of noise and airflow.
The only thing I see with these fans is that they'll suffer slightly if used with a radiator with dense fin spacing due to their air pressure ratings. They'll be perfectly suited for radiators with wide fine spacing, intake/exhaust fans as well as for use with air coolers, as seen with NZXT's Havik 120 CPU cooler.
The NZXT FZ series of fans offers a unique style and awesome performance for a great price. The 120mm non-LED is $12.99, and the 120mm LED is $14.99. A 140mm non-LED will run you $14.99 while the 140mm LED version will run you $16.99 from NZXT themselves at the time of this writing. They're certainly not the cheapest fans available, but the performance for the asking price is well within reason, and they're worth a look for your next build.
This product was provided free of charge by the manufacturer for the purpose of review.