DeepCool FC120 Review
The DeepCool FC120 white 3-in-1 fans offer a balance between performance and look for the white-themed build. With their square frame and easy cable management, they are almost perfect cooling solution in some style.
Design - 9/10
Quality - 9/10
Features - 9/10
Performance - 9/10
Value - 8.5/10
- The square design which is elegant
- Minimal Cable Management for daisy-chaining
- Beautiful A-RGB Lighting
- No dependency on hub/controller
- Adequate thermal performance
- A bit noisy
- The cable length on two fans could have been shortened for clean cabling
DeepCool has recently launched their new flagship cooler AK620 which comes with 2x square frame fans. The square frame fans are not on the rising trend in the tech industry as more and more brands are releasing similar offers.
DeepCool has launched the FC120 and FK120 series of fans. These are essentially the square frame design available in white and black colors and A-RGB and non-RGB versions.
We are looking at FC120 A-RGB White edition fans which are available in a single fan pack and 3 fans pack. These fans are best aimed for PC Case ventilation though we will also be testing them on the AIO. These fans have a beautiful and rugged white color frame with translucent blades.
The A-RGB LEDs are in the center only as the frame does not house any LED. The new version may come with a ring in the frame, but this is my guess only.
Speaking of numbers, these fans could do up to 1800 RPM with 61.91CFM using 1.82mmAq pressure. One unique design element is how these fans daisy chain using a single cable per fan. More on this will be covered in the Closer Look section.
Packaging and Unboxing
The fans are shipped inside the cardboard box. The specifications are printed over the back of the packing box, whereas the front side features a picture of these fans illuminated in a rainbow mode.
Opening the box will show another white color box placed on the top, which has the accessories. Removing this accessory box will show the 3x fans.
There is a user guide provided.
There are 3 packs of the self-tapping screws, which are in black.
DeepCool has provided 2x cables in each pack. The right cable, as shown in the above picture, is the extender of the proprietary 5-pin connector cable. DeepCool is using a 5-pin proprietary connector on the fans and fans’ cables.
There is another cable that has:
- PWM connector
- 3-pin 5V standard A-RGB male and female connectors
- SATA Connector to power the fans and the A-RGB LEDs
- Proprietary socket to connect the daisy chain fans with this main cable
The above diagram illustrates how to connect these fans with the motherboard. Since there is no dedicated controller provided with these fans, the fans must be connected to the motherboard’s 4-pin fan PWM header and a 3-pin 5V standard A-RGB header.
Let’s take a look at the design of the FC120 fans.
The DeepCool FC120 White A-RGB has 9 translucent blades. These fans are built with high-quality polybutylene terephthalate (PBT).
According to DeepCool this would increase durability and wear resistance. Also, the fan blades maintain high tensile strength and stiffness to minimize unwanted vibrations.
The center has a large diameter which is due to the housed A-RGB LEDs inside the center. The inner side of the frame is circular and DeepCool has mentioned that the narrow frame bezel provides an increased area for the fan blades and delivers higher efficiency.
The narrow bezel is in the mid-section of the frame on all four sides. Each mounting corner is also in a square design with cut-to-size anti-vibration pads (in white color) on the top.
There is a dotted pattern arrow indicating the direction of airflow through the fan.
There is a dotted pattern arrow indicating the direction in which the blades would spin.
There is a 4-arms assembly on the rear. One arm has a widened body with a latch to hold the cables coming out of the center.
There is a DepeCool branded sticker in the center which has a power rating of the fan. The fans are made in China. Also, take note of the slope downward design on the sides of the frame.
The above picture shows the part of the fan where the actual magic to avoid cable clutter happens. There is a proprietary 5-pin header on the side frame of the fan. A 5-pin connector cable is also coming out from the side of this header.
The fans can be daisy-chained by connecting one fan’s cable to this header and a final leftover cable can be connected to the bundled cable(s) as per requirement. This would fit perfectly well in DeepCool’s ecosystem.
The one good design element is that DeepCool is not bounding the user with any special hub for these proprietary connectors which we have in the other brands’ designs. “The DeepCool FC120 performance RGB PWM fan simplifies cable management with a novel daisy-chainable cable that carries both RGB and power functions that interconnects fans and reduces cable clutter.
The fan interconnect system removes the need for a hub and makes it easy to synchronize control of PWM and RGB for up to 4 fans.” DeepCool is right about it in their statement.
The above picture shows the 6-pin proprietary connector.
Let’s take a look at the specifications of the fans:
|Speed||500 ~ 1800 RPM ±10%|
|Air Flow||61.91 CFM|
|Air Pressure||1.83 mmAq|
|Noise Level||≤28 dB(A)|
|Fan Rated Voltage||12 VDC|
|Fan Rated Current||0.13A|
|Fan Power Consumption||1.56W|
|LED Connector||3-pin (+5V-D-G)|
|LED Rated Voltage||5VDC|
|LED Power Consumption||1.05W|
The above pictures show the interconnected fans.
The A-RGB lighting is compatible with:
- ASUS AURA SYNC
- RGB FUSION 2.0
- MSI MYSTIC LIGHT SYNC
- ASROCK POLYCHROME SYNC
We have tested the fans on the GIGABYTE Z690 AERO G using the RGB Fusion app and found the LEDs working fluently. Here are a few pictures:
Following test benches have been used: –
- GIGABYTE Z690 AERO-G
- Intel i7 12700k
- DeepCool Castle 360EX A-RGB White cooler
- Sabrent Rocket 2x16GB DDR5 @ 4800MHz
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 FE
- Sabrent Rocket Q 500GB NVMe SSD
- be quiet! Straight Power 11 1000W Platinum PSU
- Thermaltake Core P6 TG Snow Edition in an open-frame layout
Here is the settings table for testing:
|Thermal Paste||Noctua NT-H1|
|Test Run Time||30 minutes|
|Idling Time||15 minutes|
|Fan Speed||100% PWM Duty Cycle|
|Pump Speed||Connected to the AIO Pump header to run at 100% speed|
Not every run of the stress test may yield the same result. This could well be due to many factors like mounting pressure, thermal paste application and varying ambient temperature. Not to mention the silicon differences even among the same category of chips. Hence, it is pertinent to mention the testing methodology along with the specifics.
We have tested the DeepCool FC120 White A-RGB fans on the DeepCool Castle 360EX A-RGB white cooler. This cooler comes with CF120 fans which are our reference fans for the comparison.
|CF120 White||FC120 White|
|Rated Speed||500 ~ 1800 RPM ±10%||500 ~ 1800 RPM ±10%|
|Airflow||69.34 CFM||61.91 CFM|
|Static Pressure||2.42 mmAq||1.82 mmAq|
|Noise||≤30 dBA||≤28 dBA|
Let’s take a look at the results.
Overall, we have roughly 1°C or so difference between both types of fans suggesting that the FC120 can also be employed on the coolers.
Here is a table showing the RPM range and corresponding airflow measurements of the FC120 White. The manometer was placed closer to the fans.
|PWM (%age)||Speed (RPM)||Airflow (CFM)|
The fans at full speed are audible and setting up a custom fan curve or Auto PWM is in order.
The FC120 and FK120 are the new fans from the DeepCool available in black and white colors as well as A-RGB and non-RGB variants. The FC120 is available in a single fan pack as well as 3 fans pack. The model we have tested is FC120 White A-RGB 3 fans’ pack. The dimension of these fans is 120x120x25mm. The fans have a square frame which adds more to the overall look and layout of the fans and the coolers on which these fans are employed.
These fans are using Hydro bearings. Each fan has 9 translucent blades which are made of high-quality polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) material for increased durability and wear resistance. The 6x A-RGB LEDs are housed inside the central hub hence it has a larger diameter. The frame of the fans is in white color. DeepCool has mentioned that the narrow frame bezel provides an increased area for the fan blades and delivers higher efficiency.
The salient feature is how these fans interconnect. Each fan has a 5-pin proprietary header as well as a single cable with a 5-pin proprietary connector. The fans are daisy-chained using these headers and the left-over single cable is then connected to the bundled cables. One cable in the accessory box is simply an extender whereas the other cable has a PWM connector, 5V standard A-RGB male/female connectors, and a SATA connector.
The fans are drawing power directly from the PSU for their motor and the LEDs. The daisy-chained fans are connected to this cable which is then connected to the motherboard and PSU.
There is no controller and hub provided with these fans which is a wise move as relying on the hub with proprietary connectors is risky. Should the hub fail, the fans would stop working. The fans have a built-in process for default lighting as well.
The DeepCool FC120 White fans are using Hydro bearings. The airflow rating is 61.91 CFM and the air pressure rating is 1.83 mmAq. Their sound rating is ≤28 dBA. These fans are compatible with:
- ASUS AURA SYNC
- RGB FUSION 2.0
- MSI MYSTIC LIGHT SYNC
- ASROCK POLYCHROME SYNC
The DeepCool FC120 A-RGB White fans have an MSRP of $52.99. However, listed pricing on NewEgg and Amazon differs. We have tested these fans on a GIGABYTE Z690 AERO G motherboard and Intel i7 12700k CPU by using DeepCool Castle 360EX A-RGB White cooler.
The lighting of these fans is brilliant and they were responding to the changes in the RGB Fusion app flawlessly. Their thermal performance is adequate as well.
Thanks to DeepCool for the provision of FC120 3-in-1 White fans for the testing.
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