A fan which is actually the third generation from the Air Penetrator series offering the so called Air Channeling Technology clearly made to work as a case fan able to keep all of the parts in straight line cool and quiet. Not only that but in some SilverStone cases the AP fans are actually the main cooling units for the entire system and as I already saw this possibility when I tested SilverStone Air Penetrator SST-AP121-GL and I was pretty amazed by its performance and unique features. Now I believe it is time to check how the new product performs and what it has to offer.
SilverStone AP123 arrived in a stylish black carton box with a big picture of the fan in the middle, some technical details related to the product and a small picture if its unique feature, which actually is the propeller itself. But for now let’s check the package, then I will pay some attention to the fan itself.
Of course, the full technical details and some pictures are showed with pictures and explained in several languages on the back of the carton box. And from what I saw the channeling technology is very well explained so the future customers perfectly know what they will get for their money.
For now let’s leave the box aside and check what AP123 actually is.
On the first look SilverStone AP123 looks like a very, very simple fan offering a frame, a propeller and a power cable. Nothing special for now but should I zoom the view a bit ? Yes I will do it:
And now you can see the main feature improved in this model as a part of the AP series. And this is actually the propeller. All fans we can see daily on the market offer 7, 9 or more blades with different angle made to provide high airflow or high static pressure, or low noise level, or even combined, but none of them offer a propeller with 3 different types of blades.
According to the picture above AP123 offers 3 x 3 types of blades with average aggressive angle made to provide good airflow level, average static pressure and most importantly working at low noise level. Why? Well, because clearly this is a case fan and it should be silent and at the same time be very effective and here comes the frame…
So actually SilverStone AP123 is a fan with dimensions of 120 x 120 x 25mm with a pretty non-standard painted in black square plastic frame with 120mm mounting holes with attached to it Fluid dynamic bearing.
By saying non-standard I want to show the back of the frame which of course features the additional plastic grille fins made to focus the airflow and create a small invisible tornado after the air passes through the fan. Very nice feature, which I’ve already tested and I can 100% guarantee it is working. Actually, the main idea of this frame design is to provide a focused airflow up to a distance of 1m or bigger so when the fan is mounted for example on a front case slot it can cool all of the parts back to the rear panel. Very nice!
I believe I already mentioned that AP123 is made to work as a case fan and that is proven by the powering and regulation method done by a longish sleeved in black 3-pin power cable and connector and of course the additional accessories which for this product are:
- 4 x rubber dumpers for installing the fan on a case panel and reducing the vibrations if there are any
- 4 x metal screws for installing the fan on a case panel
Now let’s do some testing:
The tests will be conducted in my standard way. I will mount the fan and test it at 5V/7V/9V/12V and my goal will be to check the performance of the fan in real conditions. The product will be tested under close-to-perfect conditions, not taking into account any external factors. The results achieved during the test can in no way be the same if the fan is mounted on a cooler or on the case fan hole of any modern computer case. I will measure the amount of air going through it for one hour and it’s speed. For this I use a fan controller, a voltage meter, an anemometer and a stand made specifically for this purpose.
And this is what the fan look like installed on my test stand:
The test results are shown in the following charts:
Propeller rpm during the tests at 5V, 7V, 9V, 12V.
The anemometer showed the following air speed:
After mounting the fan to the stand and leaving it to run for about 30 minutes at maximum speed, it was time for the tests to begin.
As with my other tests, again I started with a gradual increase of the voltage through the Lamptron FCT starting at 0V and the SilverStone AP123 made one full revolution at 3.5V and in order to conduct the first test I had to increase the voltage to 5V.
Test at 5V:
The first test conducted at 5V made the fan to rotate 750 revolutions without any noise providing airflow level of 33.12 cubic metres per hour.
Test at 7V:
At 7V test the model reached 47.01 cubic metres per hour at 1020 revolutions per minute and remained complete silent.
Test at 9V:
At 9V test the model reached maximum rotating speed of 1260 revolutions per minute and started generating a very tiny noise. The model was providing airflow level of 61.92 cubic metres per hour.
Test at 12V:
The last test was conducted at 12V and the model reached its top performance of 75.84 cubic metres per hour at 1545 revolutions per minute and the noise increased a bit. Still it was not possible to hear it from a bigger distance.
And since SilverStone AP123 is made as a case fan I decided to redo the CPU cooler test with using only AP123 to cool it from a distance. For this test I had to use my testing rig.
For this test I used my testing rig:
CPU: AMD Athlon X4 620 at standard frequency of 2612 MHz.
Motherboard: GigaByte 790X-UD3P
Video card: Sapphire 5830 Extreme 1GB DDR5 256bit
Memory: 2 x 2GB Apacer 800 MHz
Hard drive: Kingston SSD SV100S264G
Case: SilverStone Raven RV-03
Power supply: Antec HCP-750W
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO
Thermal paste: Noctua NT-H1 thermal compound
Fans: Cooler Master XtraFlo 120 EU version (600 – 1,600 RPM (PWM) ± 10%) and SilverStone Air Penetrator AP123
The tests were conducted in a closed system with all of the fans not working and ambient temperature of 22 degrees.
I will install Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO in vertical position according to the motherboard and horizontal position according to the case and do tests at default frequency 2611 mHz using Cooler Master XtraFlo 120 EU version (600 – 1,600 RPM (PWM) ± 10%) and SilverStone AP123 in two type of tests:
- Idle test using both of the fans mounted on the back top panel blowing cold air to the cooler inside the closed system and all other fans unplugged
- Stress test using both of the fans mounted on the back top panel blowing cold air to the cooler inside closed system and all other fans unplugged
So, let’s check the results:
The results from the tests with Cooler Master XtraFlo 120 EU version( 600 – 1,600 RPM (PWM) ± 10%):
The results from the tests with SilverStone AP123:
The test results have been summed up in the following charts:
And the fan speed during the tests:
Seems I am done testing and it is time to share my conclusions:
- SilverStone AP123 Performance: As we already saw as a typical member of Air Penetrator series this model also offers a bit low airflow level but still it is a typical fan which should be installed on a case panel to support the inner airflow of the case. As I said somewhere in the article the main idea of this product is to provide a focused airflow to all of the parts from front to the back of the case and keep them cool. And for this I made the second test by installing the fan at 100mm distance away from the heat sink just to prove that even with 100 revolutions lower than Cooler Master XtraFlo 120 EU, AP123 handled to keep CM Hyper 212 EVO cooler.
- SilverStone AP123 Noise level: All I can say is that I was surprised by the noise level and SilverStone AP123 is a really quiet product, which I think nobody can hear from a bigger distance.
- SilverStone AP123 Apperance: I love the black/blue colour scheme and most of all the unique shape of the propeller, which can make a lot of observers ask – what the hell? Why is this fan like this …
Before I continue with the reward I want to say same words about AP123 which I’ve said in the past for AP121:
SilverStone AP123 is a unique high-tech 120mm fan supposed to be installed on any front case fan slot to provide a column of fresh air for all of the hardware inside the case. I believe best scenario for this model is to be installed as an HDD fan that will cool the VGA too or as a main cooling unit for a machine inside HTPC cases like SST-SG05 just because the channeling technology is really working. And I can say with hand on my heart that it’s possible to feel the airflow at one meter away from the fan.
The only disadvantage of this fan is the lack of PWM regulation, but after I saw its performance I can say it’s not needed.
And a small video of how SilverStone AP123 performs in real conditions done by the manufacturer:
I think SilverStone AP123 deserves the following rewards:
SilverStone AP123 has been added to the 120mm fans catalogue.
Official price (MSRP): 12 euro
Warranty: 24 months
I thank Silverstone for the test sample.