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SilenX fans - AVOID!

Sun Jun 05, 2011 3:31 pm

As noted here: viewtopic.php?p=1076438#p1076438

I recently had one of their 92mm fans fail after just a couple of months. It was being used on the CPU cooler for a Phenom 9550. CPU temps got up to 100C before I noticed and shut the system down.

The fan bearings are seized up tight. I also started looking around online, and apparently a lot of people have had the same thing happen with these fans.

Fortunately the CPU does not appear to have suffered any damage as a result of this little thermal adventure; the system still boots and appears to run stable.

I've got another system with a SilenX fan on the CPU; I will be swapping that out ASAP!
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Re: SilenX fans - AVOID!

Sun Jun 05, 2011 3:40 pm

and to think you almost had a reason to upgrade to a bulldozer
 
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Re: SilenX fans - AVOID!

Sun Jun 05, 2011 4:34 pm

potatochobit wrote:
and to think you almost had a reason to upgrade to a bulldozer


Actually, cross your fingers that your system doesn't break until ~november if you plan to upgrade to a bulldozer based system.

Bulldozer is not scheduled to be released for another 3 to 4 months , and when AMD give a quarter date release (Q3) it usually happen at the end, not the beginning of the quarter.
Case in point LLano is a Q2 release and we are only 3 weeks away from Q2 ending.
Bulldozer is a Q3 release, so this put it at the end of september... possibly early october or november availability for etail.
 
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Re: SilenX fans - AVOID!

Sun Jun 05, 2011 4:49 pm

I'm not planning on getting Bulldozer any time soon. I already have a Phenom II system; the 9550 is a secondary system. I try not to be an early adopter -- I figure I'll let everyone else pay the early adopter premium and find the bugs in the new platform!
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Re: SilenX fans - AVOID!

Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:26 pm

I've read the same story in review after review after review of SilenX fans. The reviews are almost always the same: The fan starts out quieter than can be, and after a few months (usually ranging from 4 to 6) the thing gets louder and louder and louder until it just dies. I've read this from FrozenCPU to Newegg to PCPerspective to Amazon. I have never purchased a SilenX fan because of multiple accounts of the same problem on every site.

Instead, I went with the Scythe S-FLEX SFF21E case fan. 120mm, very quiet, moves plenty of air. $16.99. I think I'm gonna give the Enermax UC-12EB 120mm fans, though. $9.99 apiece with a magnetic bearing and blades removable for cleaning.
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Re: SilenX fans - AVOID!

Sun Jun 05, 2011 6:03 pm

I think I am just going to go back to buying Vantec Stealth fans. They're not the quietest for the amount of air they move, but they are some of the most reliable fans I've ever used.
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Re: SilenX fans - AVOID!

Sun Jun 05, 2011 6:21 pm

I've never been satisfied with the very low actual output of the Vantec Stealth fans. My Scythe fans have been doing well. If you'd like to go old-school, you can still buy Panaflo or NMB fans that were the state of the art when the Vantec Stealths first appeared.

I will suggest that you consider getting some PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) fans for your newer systems (depending on how many of them your motherboard will support).

Cooler Guys sometimes offers a better selection of fans than Newegg does.
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Re: SilenX fans - AVOID!

Sun Jun 05, 2011 7:11 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:
Cooler Guys sometimes offers a better selection of fans than Newegg does.


Believe it or not, Micro Center (at least the one near me) has a decent selection at good prices. They've come in handy the few times I've needed a replacement immediately.
 
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Re: SilenX fans - AVOID!

Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:41 pm

A vote for Scythe fans.

I just got a couple of their low-noise 500 and 800-RPM models, and these things really are quiet. I set the 800-RPM on the back, being mobo-controlled, and the 500-RPM at front/top. Much quieter than the Antec stock fans (the 500s are damn near inaudble), and they move more air.
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Re: SilenX fans - AVOID!

Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:52 pm

Anyone have any idea how durable the Scythe fans are? I admit to being biased towards ball bearing fans for reliability reasons (hence my preference for switching back to Vantec), even if they do tend to be a little louder than other low CFM fans.

The only problem I've ever had with a Vantec fan was one that developed a high-pitched electronic whine, similar to the inductor whine seen on certain motherboards/PSUs. (It continued to operate normally even after the whine started...)
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Re: SilenX fans - AVOID!

Sun Jun 05, 2011 10:29 pm

The S-Flex line are very reliable...you rarely ever see complaints of failures anywhere. They use fluid dynamic bearings not ball bearings or sleeve. Their other lines are probably average although I've been using some low speed 'slipstreams' near-24/7 for almost 3 years now.
 
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Re: SilenX fans - AVOID!

Sun Jun 05, 2011 10:31 pm

MadManOriginal wrote:
The S-Flex line are very reliable...you rarely ever see complaints of failures anywhere. They use fluid dynamic bearings not ball bearings or sleeve. Their other lines are probably average although I've been using some low speed 'slipstreams' near-24/7 for almost 3 years now.

OK, that's good to know.
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Re: SilenX fans - AVOID!

Sun Jun 05, 2011 10:32 pm

Like JAE said you can not go wrong with panaflo fans, plus they have an advantage over sleeve and ball bearing fans, they do not have a friction surface that wears out. I have had ball bearing fans get noisy after years of use, where as I have changed all my assorted fans to panaflo and all you hear is the whoosh of air or not that if you go with a lower speed one. The oldest ones I have have been running 24/7 for over 12 years now, with nary a sound or issue...you would be hard pressed to find a ball bearing or sleeve bearing fan that could make that claim.
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Re: SilenX fans - AVOID!

Sun Jun 05, 2011 10:33 pm

Another vote for the S-Flex Line, they use Sony FLuid Dynamic Bearings. I actually replaced all my Noctua NF-P12 fans with 800rpm s-flex fans and am happy (1.5 yrs) and running.
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Re: SilenX fans - AVOID!

Sun Jun 05, 2011 10:50 pm

All the S-Flex ones appear to be out of stock at Newegg... looks like their KAMA FLOW line is probably similar?
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Re: SilenX fans - AVOID!

Sun Jun 05, 2011 11:02 pm

One more vote for S-Flex. The S-Flex SFF21F (1600 RPM) I have mounted on my TRUE is still going strong after 3 years. Not completely silent but light music, games, or even just typing covers it up enough that I can't hear it anymore, excellent airflow (~65CFM). My brother has a couple SFF21Ds (or was that E?) in his box and I haven't heard him complain in the two years since he built it.

just brew it! wrote:
All the S-Flex ones appear to be out of stock at Newegg... looks like their KAMA FLOW line is probably similar?

Scythe's spec sheet shows only the S-Flex line as the ones using fluid dynamic bearings so I doubt we'd get the same reliability. I have no idea if this S-Flex is in stock in your area (IIRC, you have a Microcenter nearby) but it's the one I use.
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Re: SilenX fans - AVOID!

Sun Jun 05, 2011 11:14 pm

The KAMA FLEX line does not appear to be on that spec sheet yet. According to the Newegg listings, the KAMA FLEX fans also use FDB.

Edit: According to Scythe's web site, the KAMA FLEX line is discontinued; guess that's why it isn't on that comparison chart.

Edit 2: I seem to be mixing up the KAMA FLEX and KAMA FLOW 2 lines. I *think* KAMA FLOW 2 is new, and similar to S-FLEX.
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Re: SilenX fans - AVOID!

Mon Jun 06, 2011 12:11 am

Would it kill them to list the "common" name on the spec sheet? :? Anyway, I found a page on the KAMA FLOW 2. It seems they use EX-FDB, which isn't quite the same as the S-FLEX's particular design but still FDB nonetheless.
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Re: SilenX fans - AVOID!

Mon Jun 06, 2011 1:30 am

I'd avoid scythe slipstream fans. Everyone of them I or a friend have owned leaked oil and seized up. I don't know what they're doing wrong but they can't hold a seal.
 
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Re: SilenX fans - AVOID!

Mon Jun 06, 2011 5:18 am

just brew it! wrote:
All the S-Flex ones appear to be out of stock at Newegg... looks like their KAMA FLOW line is probably similar?

FrozenCPU.com has 'em.

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/2506/ ... =g36c15s60
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Re: SilenX fans - AVOID!

Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:49 am

I have 5 S-Flex 'E' fans in my old P180. The case itself isn't very quiet as the sound of that much airflow through all those filters and what not never can be, but the fans themselves are individually silent.
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Re: SilenX fans - AVOID!

Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:14 am

...and of course just hours after I ordered a pile of fans, my office mate got a Newegg "20% off all case fans" coupon code in his e-mail. :-?

In related news, I also picked up one of these today, to replace the SilenX heatpipe cooler on the system I plan to swap in as my primary desktop system (different system than the one which was the original subject of this thread). The fan on the SilenX cooler was working OK (so far), but I wasn't entirely happy with the way the darned HSF was mounted. It required a special mounting bracket and backing plate (and several little washers and spacers too!), which was putting enough tension on the HSF mounting holes in the motherboard to visibly warp the motherboard around the CPU socket. Ouch.

Can you say "kludge"? Sure you can! :lol:

The CoolerMaster unit does not have this issue; it uses the standard AMD HSF mounting bracket, and does not put undue stress on the motherboard. Unfortunately, installing it meant pulling the mobo out of the case since I had to take the SilenX backing plate and bracket off and put the original ones back on.

So I guess I'd say I'm rather underwhelmed by SilenX heatsinks as well, even though I haven't experienced an outright failure... just poor engineering of the mounting hardware.

At this point, SilenX is pretty much an all-around "avoid" in my book. I don't think I am going to give them a chance to swing and miss for a "strike three".

Oh, and I've also still got a few SilenX fans installed as case intake/exhaust fans in various systems. I'll resurrect this thread if/when they die... :lol:
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Re: SilenX fans - AVOID!

Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:58 am

You forgot to say which fans you ordered. :P
I am guessing S-FLEX SFF21F?
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Re: SilenX fans - AVOID!

Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:36 am

mortifiedPenguin wrote:
You forgot to say which fans you ordered. :P
I am guessing S-FLEX SFF21F?

I ordered a couple of the Scythe 92 mm KAMA FLEX PWM (I have several CPU HSFs that will take 92 mm fans), and some KAMA FLOW 80 mm and 120 mm. The FLEX ones supposedly have the coveted S-FDB bearings, and the FLOW ones have something they call EX-FDB bearings.

I may also grab some of the S-FLEX ones from the link Ned posted.
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Re: SilenX fans - AVOID!

Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:42 am

When I get home I'll see which is the exact model of the ones I bought, I still have the boxes.
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Re: SilenX fans - AVOID!

Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:36 am

This thread is in the first page of Google results if you search on the words "silenx" and "fail"... :wink:
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Re: SilenX fans - AVOID!

Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:39 am

just brew it! wrote:
This thread is in the first page of Google results if you search on the words "silenx" and "fail"... :wink:

Search for "samsung f1 smart" :)
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Re: SilenX fans - AVOID!

Fri Jun 10, 2011 1:17 pm

Ok, I have the box right in front of me.

The model name is KAZE-JYUNI (Slip Stream120), model SY1225SL12SL. This is the 500rpm variety. Non-PWM, but I don't find that horribly important, and mobo makers are still dragging their feet on that front anyway.
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Re: SilenX fans - AVOID!

Thu Jul 14, 2011 2:59 pm

I'm kinda slavishly devoted to Cooler Master R4's. They're cheap, they move a decent amount of air, and they're quiet for the 1200RPM. They're not the loudest thing in my system - the 550W Corsair PSU gets that honor, and even then it's pretty darn quiet.

edit: wow, didn't realize this thread was that old. Sorry for the sorta-necro.
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Re: SilenX fans - AVOID!

Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:14 pm

See: Poor quality SilenX fans as another example of what can happen with bad fans.
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