Introduction

Blacknoise Deutschland GmbH is a specialist in the development and manufacture of axial fans and cooling technology. Their focus is on the delivery of industrial components and order-related engineering of product-related cooling systems for manufacturers from a diverse range of sectors. With their brand NOISEBLOCKER®, they are present in the market in the segment for IT fans. With their brand NOISEBLOCKER®, they have branches worldwide in over 33 countries. They develop and manage projects at company headquarters in Germany. The production takes place in their specialized partner companies in the Far East. Their quality management is well-experienced and reliable with regard to fans and cooling systems and guarantees high quality in the production of industrial components and brand products. They flexibly make the technologies that we develop available to our clients in the industry via licenses or as components in form of semi-finished parts.

The company has sent us their portfolio of highly reputable IT series fans intended for the PC enthusiasts and users. Today, I will be taking a look at their NB-Multiframe M12-P. The fans are designed in Germany. These fans belong to their Reference Class with a focus on Ultra Silent operations. The NB-Multiframe is available in multiple sizes of 80x80x25mm, and 120x120x25mm. Within each size there are more versions like in our case, the 120x120x25mm has M12-1, M12-2, M12-3, M12-P, and M12-PS versions. We are reviewing the M12-P version.

  • Item:                               Multiframe M12-P 120x120x25mm
  • Manufacturer:                   BlackNoise
  • Brand:                             NoiseBlocker
  • Price:                              € 22.99

Specifications

Size 120x120x25mm
Weight 145g
Rated Voltage 12V
Start Voltage 4.5V
Input Power 2.04W
Input Current 0.17A
Rated Speed (12V) 1000-2000 RPM
Static Pressure (12V) 2.870 mmH₂O
Air Flow 43.0 ~ 78.3 CFM / 73.0 ~ 133.0 m³/h
Sound Pressure (100CM) 12 ~ 29.3 dB/A
Loudness (100CM) 1.174 Sone (N)
MTBF (25°C/77°F) 130000 Std./hours
Operating Temperature -10°C  ~ +65°C
Frame Material PBT 30%GF
Impeller Bayer Makrolon (PC)
Connector 4-Pin PWM

 

Packaging and Unboxing

The fan comes in a cardboard box of multiple colors. The front side has a picture of the fan on the main section. NB-Multiframe is printed in the vertical layout on the right side. Salient specifications like Sound Loudness, static pressure, airflow, speed and sound level are printed on the bottom right side. The fan is designed in Germany. The dimension of the fan is printed on the far bottom right side.

The backside of the packing box has NB-Multiframe printed on the top left side. Noisblocker brand name and logo are printed on the top right side. Specifications of the fan are printed in the main section. PWM curve is printed under the specification. Manufacturer’s contact info is printed on the bottom left side.

The left side of the packing box has the Noiseblocker brand name and logo printed on the top side. This is their reference class fan. The fan has 6 years warranty which speaks for the confidence that the manufacturer has in their fans. The fan features thee multi-frame for vibration-free mounting. The fans have NANO-SLI2 Bearings and NB-EKA P2 Drive. The fans are designed in Germany and made in China. The model and dimension of the fan are printed at the bottom.

The right side of the packing box has the Noiseblocker brand name and logo printed on the top side. These are their Reference Class, High-Quality fans. The blades are Makrolon based. The fans are designed in Germany and made in China. The model and dimension of the fan are printed at the bottom.

The top side has the opening cover of the packing box. The dimension of the fan is printed in the main section. Reference Class 12V IT Fan is printed on the right side. M12-P PWM is printed on the raised part of the cover. Noiseblocker brand name and logo are printed on the right side.

Accessories

The contents are:

  • 4x M3 Screws
  • 1x Silicon Gasket
  • 1x NB Metal Badge
  • 1x Fan

Closer Look

The NB-Multiframe fans are a Reference Class, High-Quality fans from the BlackNoise. The fans are designed and patented in Germany. The main theme behind this design is to reduce or eliminate to the extent possible the body-borne sound thus helping to reduce the operating volume. The fans come in multiple sizes. Within each category, there are more versions with varying specifications. Here is the listing of their entire Multiframe series of the fans:

  • 80x80x25mm
    • M8-S1
    • M8-S2
    • M8-S3
    • M8-P
  • 120x120x25mm
    • M12-1
    • M12-2
    • M12-3
    • M12-P
    • M12-PS

These fans don’t fall under their Industrial Cooling Solutions and belong to the IT series of fans which are marketed for the PC users and the enthusiasts. We are reviewing the M12-P version of the multiframe in 120mm category. The M12-P fans are rated at 12V DC with an input power of 2.04W using the 0.17Amperes. The starting voltage for these fans is 4.5V. The fans are rated at 1000 to 2000 RPM at 12V. The static pressure is rated at 2.870 mmH₂O at 12V. The air flow is rated at 43.0 to 78.3CFM equivalent to 73.0 ~ 133.0 m³/h. The sound pressure is rated at 12 to 29.3 dB(A) at 100CM. The loudness level is 1.174 Sone (N) at 100CM. The MTBF is 130,000 Std./hours. Operating temperature for the fans is between -10°C and +65°C.

 

Let’s take a look at the fan itself. We have a black color frame of the fan. The frame is made of the weighted reinforced fiberglass PBT material and build quality is top notch. What makes the design radically shifted from the standard fan is the fully integrated body-noise, silicone attenuators. Before discussing the fan’s design, let’s take a quick look at what the multiframe chassis is and what it aims at. The fan is the main source or cause of the acoustic noises in the cooling system. Standard fans pass on their vibrations to the mounting body like a PC Chassis, for example. This adds more to the acoustic noise and causes resonance effect in which the total acoustic noise exceeds the actual noise from the fan. To address this phenomenon, the Blacknoise designed the multiframe technology. The main theme is to have the multiple parts each coordinating with others to eliminate the cause of the vibrations and absorbing the vibration in the multi pieces chassis.

This is rather easier said than done. The technical solution is far more complex than it seems. For this complexity understanding, we need to take into consideration the design of the technology and then the material to complement the design’s goals. The design is solely focused on determining how well the natural oscillation of the supporting element can be transmitted to the vibration absorbers to dissolve the effect. The actual material of the absorber needs to be matched to the weight and the frequency of the supporting element. There are certain features of this technology to achieve the desired goals. These are: –

  • High-Quality Bearing and mounting
  • Engines with higher smooth operations
  • Weighted support construction
  • Contact-free construction
  • Use of vibration reducing materials
  • Vibration absorbers coordinating with the entire system.

Let’s see how the Blacknoise has designed to achieve the goals behind the Multi pieces chassis technology. The four corners of the fans are not actually the part of the fan’s frame. They are in fact the vibration absorbers. The main source of the vibration will come from the points of contact between the fan and the target body like PC Chassis, radiator etc. Blacknoise has designed special silicon inserts or mounts for each corner. The first concept of the multi pieces chassis is to separate corners mountings. These corners can be removed from the fan’s frame. The weight of these silicon mountings is such that it can support the fan’s frame and hold the fan on to them safe and secure after mounting the fan with the target body. This is important as the mounting holes are on these silicon mountings and these are the focal contact points between the fan and the target body. This also achieves another key feature of contact-free construction and these absorb the vibrations as well. There is a gap between the fan’s frame and the corners. The second aspect fulfilling these requirements is the silicon gasket that fills in these gaps and overlaps the fan’s frame to further reduce absorb the vibration across the entire body of the fan making contact with the target body.

The fan has Makrolon 7 transparent blades in the smoke-black color. They are made of a high-quality synthetic material by Bayer with the anti-dust surface. Build quality is good and there is no flex in the blades. The diameter of the motor hub is 40mm. There is a black color sticker on top of it with the Noiseblocker brand name and logo printed on the sticker. There is 103mm spacing between the mounting holes.

 

The top side of the frame has arrow markings to indicate the airflow direction and the impeller spin direction. The left side of the fan’s frame has CE conformation embossed on it. The right side frame has Noiseblocker brand name and logo embossed on it. Designed in Germany and Patented EP 1617085 are embossed under the logo. The bottom side of the frame has a logo of the Multiframe embossed on the top. NB-Multiframe Patented Ultra Silent Technology are embossed under the logo.

The backside of the fan has a large sticker covering the motor hub. PWM is printed on the top of the sticker. The Noiseblocker brand name and logo are printed under the PWM. NB-Multiframe is printed under that. The website address is printed under the fan’s series. M12-P and DC 12V are printed at the bottom. There is a 4 arm assembly holding the motor hub and connecting it with the frame. The 4 wires are nicely routed on one of the arms which has more width with an inset for that purpose. Overall build quality is very good and rock solid. The Blacknoise are using NB-Nano SLI2 magnetic bearings. I was not able to find specific information on these bearings. They are using NB-EKA P2 motor. Each fan has nicely sleeved power cable of length 50cm.

Testing

Much thanks to the Blacknoise for sending us 3 fans in each category which has enabled us to test them on the Alphacool Eisbaer 360 which is a 360mm CLC. It is a standard on our test bench that we check the fans for the thermal performance even if they are rated for high airflow than static pressure ones. The NB-Multiframe M12-Ps have high airflow and better static pressure ratings. These were tested against the Alphacool Eiswind 12 fans and other Noiseblocker IT series fans.

The Eiswind 12 fans operate on the 12V DC. They are 4-Pin PWM fans with the rated speed of the 55-1700 RPM with ±10%. Airflow rating is 63.85 CFM with the static pressure rating of the 1.66mmH₂O. Sound rating is 29 dBA per fan.

Our testing consists of the three areas. I have checked the airflow on each of the profiles. Next, PWM range of the fan along with air flow reading against each point of the speed was checked. Next, thermal performance of the fans on 50% and 100% of their rated speeds were checked along with the acoustics. We have used Reeven Polariz fan controller for the testing.

Airflow Testing

In our first testing, we try to validate the stated/rated airflow value by the manufacturer. The rated airflow value is 78.3 CFM at full speed. In our testing the airflow value comes to the 77.2 CFM The tested value is closer to the rated value though could not meet or exceed it. This is due to the fact that the fans did a maximum of 1950 RPM, not the 2000 RPM.

PWM Range

Next up, is the PWM range of the fan and the corresponding airflow values.

480 is the lowest RPM achieved on this fan which is below the rated minimum RPM of 1000. The maximum speed of the fan comes to 1950 RPM. Rated maximum speed is 2000 RPM. The fan stops spinning below 4.5V and starts spinning at 4.5V validating the rated starting voltage.

Thermal Testing

Thermal performance of the fan was tested on this test bench:

  • Intel i7 6850k
  • Asus Rampage V Edition 10
  • Ballistix Elite 4x4GB @ 3000MHz
  • Alphacool Eisbaer 360
  • Samsung 840 EVO 250GB
  • Corsair AX 1200i

Testing was performed on the Microsoft Windows 10 x64 Professional edition build version 1709. Noctua NT-H1 thermal paste was used. The fans were put on 50% and 100% of their speed. The pump of the CLC was put on 100% of the speed. Asus RealBench v1.44 was used to stress test the CPU. RealTemp was used to monitor the temperatures.

First, the stress test was run on the stock clocks of 3.6GHz with a turbo boost of 38GHz and Turbo Boost II of 4.0GHz at 1.16V VCore. XMP was loaded all the times. Reported temps are delta ones which are calculated by subtracting the average of each core’s maximum temps from the ambient temp. The benefit of using delta temps is that it covers the variation in the temperatures under uncontrolled environment.

Next, the Chip is overclocked to 4.3GHz at 1.350V VCore. XMP is loaded as well. The stress test is run again using the same methodology as described above and delta temps are noted.

Here are the results.

At 50% of the speed, all the fans were in same performance delta. At 100% of the speed, the NB-Multiframe M12-P was leading against the Eiswind 12 with the margin of 1.6°C. It was approximately in same performance delta against other Niseblcoker fans.

Next, we overclocked the i7 6850k to the 4.3GHz. On 50% and 100% of the speed, the NB-Multiframe M12-P have performed better.

Acoustics

32 dBA was the reading on our Fonseo Digital Sound Meter.

Conclusion

The NB-Multiframe M12-P is a Reference Class, High Quality, an Ultra-Silent fan from the BlackNoise. The fan comes in multiple sizes. Within each category, there are more versions with varying specifications. These fans don’t fall under their Industrial Cooling Solutions and belong to the IT series of fans which are marketed for the PC users and the enthusiasts. We are reviewing the M12-P version of the Multiframe in 120mm category. The M12-P fans are rated at 12V DC with an input power of 2.04W using the 0.17Amperes. The starting voltage for these fans is 4.5V. The fans are rated at 1000 to 2000 RPM at 12V. The static pressure is rated at 2.870 mmH₂O at 12V. The air flow is rated at 43.0 to 78.3CFM equivalent to 73.0 ~ 133.0 m³/h. The sound pressure is rated at 12 to 29.3 dB(A) at 100CM. The loudness level is 1.174 Sone (N) at 100CM. The MTBF is 130,000 Std./hours. Operating temperature for the fans is between -10°C and +65°C.The frame is made of the reinforced fiberglass PBT material and build quality is top notch. There are no anti-vibration pads on the corners of the frame. It has a standard 120mm mounting clearance. The fan has Makrolon 7 transparent blades in the blue color. They are made of a high-quality synthetic material by Bayer with an anti-dust surface. Build quality is good and there is no flex in the blades.

The frame is made of the weighted reinforced fiberglass PBT material and build quality is top notch. What makes the design radically shifted from the standard fan is the fully integrated body-noise, silicone attenuators. Standard fans pass on their vibrations to the mounting body like a PC Chassis, for example. This adds more to the acoustic noise and causes resonance effect in which the total acoustic noise exceeds the actual noise from the fan. To address this phenomenon, the Blacknoise designed the multiframe technology. The main theme is to have the multiple parts each coordinating with others to eliminate the cause of the vibrations and absorbing the vibration in the multi pieces chassis. The main source of the vibration will come from the points of contact between the fan and the target body like PC Chassis, radiator etc. Blacknoise has designed special silicon inserts or mounts for each corner. The first concept of the multi pieces chassis is to separate corners mountings. These corners can be removed from the fan’s frame. The weight of these silicon mountings is such that it can support the fan’s frame and hold the fan on to them safe and secure after mounting the fan with the target body. This is important as the mounting holes are on these silicon mountings and these are the focal contact points between the fan and the target body. This also achieves another key feature of contact-free construction and these absorb the vibrations as well. There is a gap between the fan’s frame and the corners. The second aspect fulfilling these requirements is the silicon gasket that fills in these gaps and overlaps the fan’s frame to further reduce absorb the vibration across the entire body of the fan making contact with the target body.

The Blacknoise are using NB-Nano SLI bearings. I was not able to find specific information on these bearings. They are using NB-EKA P2 motor. Each fan has nicely sleeved power cable of length 50cm. The fan has Makrolon 7 transparent blades in the smoke-black color. They are made of a high-quality synthetic material by Bayer with an anti-dust surface. Build quality is good and there is no flex in the blades. The Blacknoise is providing 6 years of warranty on these fans which shows the manufacturer’s confidence in their fans.

The fans are listed at €22.99 at the time of the review. This is a premium price. These fans have performed well from the thermal point of view against the likes of the Alphacool Eiswind 12 fans, even taking the lead by 1.1°C under stress test with a full load on the overclocked i7 6850k at 4.3GHz. However, the acoustic performance was almost same as that of the Eiswind 12 fans. We could not check the fans inside the chassis to further investigate the acoustic performance as we don’t have regular chassis builds with us because we are using open-air test bench systems. We have marked these fans to be tested inside the chassis as soon as our CoffeeLake based build is ready and will update this content with the sound testing inside the chassis soon.

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