Corsair@Computex 2016: fans that levitate, fans that illuminate

Computex 2016 – Corsair showed off big plans for fans this year at Computex. The company's new ML Pro series of fans use a unique, Corsair-exclusive "magnetic levitation" bearing technology that minimizes friction during operation. Corsair says this tech lets it deliver a fan that can produce both high static pressure and low noise. It's hard to evaluate the characteristics of a fan in a noisy show environment, but the ML fans did sound pretty darn good to my ear.

The ML Pro fans also boast an exceptionally wide 2000-RPM PWM range across about 400 RPM to 2400 RPM. Corsair will offer these fans in 120-mm and 140-mm sizes, each of which can be had in plain black or blue, red, or white LED-illuminated versions. It seems likely we'll begin seeing these fans in a variety of Corsair products when they become available later this year.

If a single-color LED fan is too boring to bear, Corsair also has a pair of RGB LED-illuminated fans for builders to play with. The SP120 RGB and the HD120 RGB fans both feature RGB LEDs in two distinct arrangements.

The SP120's LEDs illuminate the fan's hub for a radial-gradient-like appearance, while the HD120's LEDs are situated in the fan frame for a more even look.

Both fans will come with a discrete controller that can adjust color, animation types, and animation speeds. Corsair suggests these RGB LED spinners will eventually be able to integrate with its Corsair Link system, too.

If the SP120 and HD120 don't offer enough LEDs for your taste, Corsair offered us a look at its Vengeance LED RAM kits, too. This RAM lights up in a gently pulsing white or red pattern, and it honestly looks pretty cool. Corsair says it includes a microcontroller in each DIMM that should eventually offer builders software control over those lighting effects.

Corsair also previewed the next version of its Hydro GFX graphics card. This liquid-cooled GTX 1080 will be produced in collaboration with MSI, and it'll become available in Q3 of this year. We didn't get a lot of details on this card, but we've had good experiences with Hydro GFX versions of the GeForce GTX 980 Ti in the past, so we'd expect this iteration of the formula to continue its winning ways.

White and light-colored components seem to be all the rage these days, and Corsair is catering to builders who want to scratch that itch with a white version of its 400C ATX chassis. That case looks pretty sharp, and it's available now.

Comments closed
    • drfish
    • 3 years ago

    Those fans remind me of [url=<]rock-salt lamps[/url<] in more ways than one.

    • the
    • 3 years ago

    So this is what all the BZZZZZZZZT is about.

    • Chrispy_
    • 3 years ago

    There’s nothing wrong with these new maglev bearings as long as they’re reliable, but bearing noise hasn’t been a problem for PC fans for a very very long time.

    All the audible noise from a current PC fan is the noise of air turbulence caused by the movement of air. The way to cut down that noise is baffles, clever blade designs and (perhaps even more importantly than the fan itself) minimal grilles and venting to disrupt smooth airflow and allow even slower rotational speeds.

      • synthtel2
      • 3 years ago

      My experiences with Corsair fans are that their current bearings are pretty bad, though I agree their aerodynamics are still a bigger deal. Hopefully they do this new tech well.

        • DPete27
        • 3 years ago

        Yeah, Cooler Master can’t seem to squelch bearing noise either.

      • ikjadoon
      • 3 years ago

      Bearing noise becomes an issue with lower fan speeds even on “higher-end” fans, from 200RPM to 700RPM. Since they’ve rated these to 400RPM, I think this is a good sign that even low-RPM bearing noise is gone.

    • Krogoth
    • 3 years ago

    I never understood the appeal of LEDs on chassis fans.

      • Redocbew
      • 3 years ago

      Definitely not impressed.

      • Chrispy_
      • 3 years ago

      My current case has four items in it with stupid cosmetic LED lights, but it has no windows and you can’t see any light through grilles because they’re all hidden behind baffles, filters and a door.

      Honestly, I wish vendors would stop putting LEDs on things. If people WANT lights, they will pick their own goddamn light colour and not have to worry about picking matching components.

      Instead, were I to have a window in my case, I’d be subjected to a tastelessly cheesy mix of green, red and blue disco lights turning my underdesk area into a sparkleclown kid’s disco light show.

    • DrCR
    • 3 years ago

    Re that last photo, I’m still amazed at the thought of putting a PSU at the bottom of the case for a WCing setup. And those 90 degree bends, yeah, those too.

      • Takeshi7
      • 3 years ago

      I agree with you on the bottom mounted PSU, but those 90 degree bends aren’t bad. At least they’re gradual bends. It’s the sharp bends that cause resistance.

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