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be quiet! Silent Wings 4, review: modular and customizable fans

Another novelty is that the frame and the anchor shape; they have done this with interchangeable corners to be able to adapt the fan to where we are going to install it, with a specific anchor if we are going to use it with a screw, with an anti-vibration rubber anchor or in a heatsink / radiator.

In addition to this, the maximum operating speed of all models has been raised, but specifically the PRO model has a great novelty that is a physical switch that will allow us to select the maximum operating speed (they will continue to work by PWM), So we no longer have to worry about choosing the speed of the fans in the store, the Silent Wings PRO 4 has it all!

You can see another very interesting improvement in the image that we have placed above these lines, and that is that be quiet! has renewed the 4-pin PWM connector. Normally, this consists of a simple rectangular connector with the cable attached to it, a type of connector that is often uncomfortable to connect and disconnect and we end up pulling the cable directly. Now, the connector is much more compact and will allow us to connect and disconnect very comfortably.

For the rest, in the table that we have put above we have the technical specifications of the three models that be quiet! has sent us to carry out this analysis, and as you can see it is the normal 120 mm PWM model, the same but High-Speed ​​that raises its maximum operating speed from 1600 RPM to 2500 RPM, and a 120 PWM PRO model that is capable of spinning up to 3000 RPM maximum speed. Of these same fans, the manufacturer also has its 140mm variants available.

Logically, and continuing with its technical characteristics, a higher rotation speed generates a greater air flow and a higher static pressure, but more noise is also generated. According to be quiet!, at normal operating speed (1600 RPM), all of these fans are completely inaudible.

These are the new be quiet! Silent Wings 4

As we said before, for this analysis the manufacturer has sent us the three different 120mm models that the new Silent Wings 4 range has. Each fan is packed in a full color rigid cardboard box, on the front of which we can see a image of the fan itself and its exact name.

be quiet Silent Wings 4

On the back of the packaging we find its specifications table, as well as a description of the product in several languages ​​and a QR code that will take us to the product page.

be quiet Silent Wings 4

These boxes open in the shape of a chest, and inside we find two flimsy cardboard boxes, one with the fan inside and the other with the accessories. Also, on the inside of the cover we can see its main benefits summarized.

be quiet Silent Wings 4

We are going to start with the PRO model, which is the one that has the most things for us to show you. These are its accessories, which consist of the usual instruction manuals and information pamphlet, four conventional black screws, four rubber anchors with washers and the two sets of corners (which, with the one the fan comes with, make the three different types ).

be quiet Silent Wings 4

Here are the corners out of their packaging.

Accessories

And here is a Silent Wings PRO 4, which comes with the usual corners already installed (these corners come rubberized and are meant to use the conventional screws on them).

The anchoring of each of the corners is done by means of two tabs, one on each side, and although it seems that the fact of having moving parts will cause vibrations and noise, they really remain solidly fixed and do not move an iota.

be quiet Silent Wings 4

At the rear we have the 6-pole rotor in the center, of considerable dimensions. Also here we can see the speed selector.

In the PRO model, the cable is meshed with a truly Premium category nylon thread, and ends in the oversized connector that we told you about before.

Removing the corners of the fans is a simple process, but for which you will need both hands (one to hold the fan and one to press on both tabs simultaneously).

be quiet Silent Wings 4

With the corners removed, here you can see the tabs that act as anchors.

Below you can see how the fan looks with the radiator/sink corners installed.

And here with the corners designed to use the rubber anchors.

Aesthetically, the other two non-PRO fans are exactly the same, with the clear exception of the switch that allows you to select the maximum speed, which is exclusive to the PRO range. In fact, there are some extra differences of the PRO model with respect to the other two, and that is that, for example, the other models do not have one of the corners.

The PWM connector is also different, and it is that in the fans that are not the PRO we find the conventional one.

PWM connector

In the same way, the cable cover is also different, and although we also have a mesh with braided nylon thread that gives it great resistance, it is seen that it is more generic and not of such high quality as in the PRO model.

Cable

Having seen the fans, we are going to proceed to put them to the test to see how they work.

Test of performance

In the same way as we have done when we have analyzed fans previously, we proceed to test its operation “in the air” to measure its efficiency without the restrictions that we would have installing it in a box or on a heatsink / radiator. In addition, in this way, we will be able to compare its performance with that of other fans from other manufacturers in a reliable way.

Let’s start by measuring the loudness, and for this we have used a Protmex PPM-SM001 sound level meter at a distance of exactly 50 centimeters from the fan, so that the decibels of noise that we measure are precisely dBA. We have made two measurements, one of them with the speed set to automatic (PWM) and the other with the fans running at maximum speed. This has been the result:

Noise

As I said be quiet! In the specifications of these fans, the noise emitted is quite low, and especially when they work in PWM mode, since they are practically inaudible, and even sticking your ear to the fan itself, you can only hear, slightly, the air being pushed by the blades of the fans. fans.

To give you an idea of ​​what these values ​​mean, we leave you a table where you can find examples of what the noise level means.

sound source dB Effect
Airplane taking off at 25 meters 150 eardrums rupture
take-off runway of an airport 140 Pain threshold
Takeoff of a military fighter at 20 meters 130 Pain. It is 32 times more intensity than 70 dBA.
Horn of a truck at 1 meter. Live concert. 110 Average of human pain. 16 times more intensity than 70 dBA.
Electric lawn mower. Helicopter at 30 meters. 100 Eight times more intensity than 70 dBA. Maintaining this level for 8 hours causes damage to the eardrums.
Motorcycle at 10 meters 90 4 times more intensity than 70 dBA. It can damage the eardrums if it is exposed for more than 8 hours.
Dishwasher. Factory (average). 80 Twice the intensity of 70 dBA. Threshold of what is usually annoying.
TV Audio 70 From this intensity, it is already annoying for many people.
Conversation in a restaurant 60 Half the intensity of 70 dBA.
Normal conversation in a house. fifty Four times less intense than 70 dBA.
Library 40 One eighth of the intensity of 70 dBA.
Rural zone 30 Sixteen times less intense than 70 dBA.
Whisper twenty Barely audible if you’re not too close.
Breathing 10 Inaudible to most. The human being normally does not usually listen to his own breathing.
absolute silence 0 It is literally impossible for a human being to “hear” absolute silence, but this is the threshold of hearing.

Let us now see how they behave in terms of air flow, that is, their performance when it comes to cooling. To carry out the measurement we have used a Holdpeak HP-866A anemometer, and again we have measured the flow both in PWM mode and at maximum performance.

CFM chart

The result is as expected, and be quiet! is quite precise in terms of the technical specifications of these fans. This, in the end, means that with the entire Silent Wings 4 range we are going to be able to have exactly the performance and the flow/noise ratio that we want, since the manufacturer offers us different models with different speeds, with the addition of the version PRO which is literally a 3 in 1. Essentially, they are the same fan but with different speeds, and with different accessories and possibilities, as we have already seen.

Conclusion and verdict

With the release of this new Silent Wings 4 family, be quiet! has hit the table in terms of quality and versatility that a fan can provide the user. And it is that they have not only managed to create a series of fans of the highest quality and with extraordinary performance (both in terms of pure performance and noise), but they have also demonstrated a versatility that many manufacturers should learn from.

And it is that now with a single fan, you will have it ready for radiator / heatsink, for screw or rubber anchors, or for case with total ease, maintaining its performance and silence at all times. In addition, with the same fan, in the case of the PRO version you can also select what balance of performance / noise you want to have at all times, thus avoiding having to buy specific fixed-speed fans that, perhaps, you are not interested in. at a certain moment that they have their maximum performance in exchange for being quieter.

silent wings 4 fan

It is true, and it is the only drawback that we put on it, that all this innovation and these improvements have a price, a price that can be expensive for many people, and that is that Silent Wings PRO 4, for example, has a price of more than 30 Euros per unit, so not everyone will be willing to spend that much money, no matter how much it is really worth it. Now, if you think that you are actually buying a fan that is a 3 in 1, things may change a bit.

In any case, we believe that this new Silent Wings 4 family is one of the best on the market at the moment, and therefore we cannot fail to give it our Platinum award, as well as recommending it both for its performance and its design.

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