Introduction

Deepcool was founded in 1996 with its headquarters in Beijing with the focus on providing best and personalized thermal solutions for the customers around the world. When it comes to the enthusiast grade PC components, Deepcool is a well-established and recognized brand which is gaining more popularity. The company is focused on providing better thermal solutions in the form of the air and liquid coolers. Their Captain Ex is a high-end AIO CPU Cooler that has form and function in a single package. The company is offering PC Chassis, Power supplies, Case Fans, Laptop Coolers, desks for PC, Lighting solution. Gamer Storm is the brand of Deepcool under which enthusiast grade PC Components are offered to the market. Tri-Stellar, Quad-Stellar, Genome/II, New Ark 90 are some of their popular and highly customizable PC Chassis in the market.

Deepcool has sent us their Turbo Series case fans for the review. We will be taking a look at TF120. These fans come in three colors which are Red, Blue, and White. We are reviewing the red edition of these fans. TF series is the high-end PC Case fans series from the Deepcool with focus on the ample airflow at a decent static pressure to deliver the today’s PC Chassis cooling needs. These fans have 26mm of height as compared to 25mm standard of 120mm fans. These fans feature LEDs placed on each of the corner mounts to provide the X shape lighting effect which gives a sublime effect once in action. The blades have 2 layered design which blends in really well with the vivid LED lighting. The blades are removable which would help in cleaning, changing the blade, and modding related activities.

  • Item:                              TF120
  • Manufacturer:                DEEPCOOL
  • Brand:                            Gamer Storm
  • Price:                             $14.99 [at the time of the review]

Specifications

Packaging and Unboxing

The fans come in a stylish transparent packing which is wrapped in a cardboard box in black color. The front side of the packing box has a GamerStorm brand name and logo printed in the silver color on the top right. There is a certain portion of the transparent container which is not covered to expose the good looks of the fans through the packing material. There are three cutouts below the exposed transparent side with layered edges further going down. This gives the bold look to the packaging and emphasizes on the dual-layered design that these fans have. TF120 is printed in the red and silver colors on the bottom. Salient features like 2-layer blade, Double mmH₂O, Minimum fan speed 500 RPM, and Case Fan 12CM are printed on the bottom right side. The backside of the box has a full black color cover with no exposure to the transparent cover. GamerStorm brand name and logo are printed on the top left side. Made by Deepcool is printed on the top right side. Salient features are highlighted in the main section. Specifications of the fans are printed on the bottom left side. Company’s contact info is printed on the bottom right side along with the conformance information to various regulations. The right side of the box has a GamerStorm brand name and logo printed on the top side. These are RED LED fans as mentioned on the bottom. These fans have FDB bearings and are PWM regulated. The left side of the box has half of the transparent container exposed to show the side of the fan. The other half is covered. There is a GamerStorm brand name and logo printed on the top of the covered portion. Serial no sticker is pasted here. The fans are made in China. The top side has fully exposed transparent container. Opening the box would show that the fans and the accessories are placed in two sectioned transparent container.

 

Accessories

Following are included in the box:

  • 4x M3 Black Screws
  • 1x 4-pin PWM Extension Cable [Approximately 415mm]
  • 1x Molex Cable for 7V operation [Approximately 383mm]
  • 1x Zip Tie

 

 

Closer Look

The TF120 is the latest in the PC Chassis fan solution from the GamerStorm. It is from their Turbo Series category of the case fans. These are the 120mm fans as the name indicates but there is one catch to it. These fans have a height of 26mm rather than standard 25mm. These fans are designed for optimal airflow inside the PC Case. Deepcool was kind enough to send us three fans as per our request as we measure the thermal performance of the fans on our test bench as well. Let’s take a closer look at the fans.

 

These fans come in three colors which are Red, Blue, and White. We are reviewing the red color fans. The overall dimension of the fan is 120x120x26mm. The weight of the fan is 204g. These fans are rated at 12VDC with operating voltage between 10.8 to 13.2VDC. Starting voltage for a fan is 7VDC. Their rated current is 0.18±10%A with the input power of 2.16W. There are two fan speed regulations on these fans. One is at 12VDC which is 500±200 ~ 1800±10% RPM; the second is at 7VDC with 1200RPM. Maximum airflow on 12VDC is 76.52CFM. It is 58.39CFM on the 7VDC. The noise level is 17.6-31.3 dB(A). The fans are using the Fluid Dynamic Bearings with MTBF of 100,000 hrs. We could not find the static pressure rating is not mentioned in the specifications, which is understandable as they are marketing these fans to be a PC Case fan. Looking at the provided graph on their website and on the packaging, it seems like these fans have somewhere near to 1.38 mmH₂O at 12VDC.

Let’s take a look at the front side of the fan. The fan has a black color frame. There are red color anti-vibration pads on each of the mounting corners around the mounting hole. These are there to help reduce the noise coming from the vibration of the source with which the fan is connected to. These pads are fixed on the frame. GamerStorm is embossed on two opposite corners of the frame. There are 9 blades of the fan. There is no sticker on the motor hub. The diameter of the hub is approximately 43mm. Each blade has a unique patented dual-layer design which adds to the overall looks when in operation and really blends in well with the cycling LED lighting to give stunning visuals. This dual layer design has enabled the Deepcool to achieve powerful air pressure. The frame on the corners has inward slope design whereas there is a straight raised edge between the corners. There is a distance of 111mm between the two mounting holes on the same side. There is an opening on the inner side of the main frame on each of the corner. This is where the LED is visible and the light beam will lighten the area in a cycling pattern. Build quality is top notch and there is no flex in the blades. The frame is sturdy as well.

Let’s take a look at the backside of the fan. There are raised tabs on each of the mounting corners. These are forming 9 channels on each corner forming an air channel design that works in tandem with the dual layer blade design. This approach helps in reducing the noise caused by airflow turbulence. Rest of the frame follows the same design as can be seen on the front side. There is a black color sticker pasted on the motor hub. It has a GamerStorm brand name and logo printed on the top. TF120 is printed in the middle followed by the 12V 2.16W 0.18A text. GamerStorm website address is printed at the bottom. The fans are made in China. There is a 4-arm assembly that is holding the fan blades and connecting it to the main frame of the fan. Taking a closer look would show that there is a single wire cover in black sheathing is placed on each of the arms and is going towards each of the corner mounts where the LEDs are located. Design wise, they have taken care of every aesthetic aspect. The fourth arm has more width to it as it is carrying the 4-pin cable to power the fan and the LED. Please, note that LEDs don’t have dedicated power source hence reducing the fan speed would dim the light on these fans. The length of the power cable is approximately 282mm including the 4-pin connector. The cable is nicely braided in black color. There are arrow marks on one of the sides of the frame. These are there to help indicate the airflow direction and the blade spin direction. The LEDs on each of the mounting corners are housed inside a red color plastic cover which has bold design and syncs perfectly well with the frame. Each side of this plastic cover has raised surface. Please, note that only that part of the plastic cover will light up that has LED to it. This actually looks much better in person. There is a small cutout on the bottom part of the frame to route the power cable to the LED and I must say their design team has done a good homework.

 

Coming to the last design aspect of this fan; which is what I would love to see on other fan offerings in the market as well, the blade assembly is removable. This design is clearly helpful in multiple ways. First, the cleaning task is much easier. Second, the user can replace the blade with other color blades (s). Third, it provides triple proofing against dust, water, and oil. Fourth, this is heavenly design for the modders as they can easily take out the blade without risking the fan’s breakage. To take out the blade, turn the fan upside down so that you can see its backside. Place your both thumbs with one on each side of the blades and gently push the blades. They will pop out of the mainframe. Take care not to let them fall. To put them back on, simply place the blades on the frame by aligning the central locking rod on the blades with the hole on the motor and push them in. You will hear a tick confirming that blades have locked on to the frame. The fans are using Semi-hermetic Fluid Dynamic Bearings that would give the MTBF of massive 100,000 hrs to these fans. It helps to eliminate the interference from electromagnetic (EM) noise as well as audible noise caused by the mechanical friction.

Testing

The Deepcool is targeting these fans as the PC Case fans. Still, we have tested the TF120 fans 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 other fans in the graph are Eiswind 12 from Alphacool, Corsair HD120, LL120 RGB Fans, Raijintek Iris 12 RGB, SilverStone fans and Noiseblocker 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. The reason we are giving the brief rundown of the Eiswind 12 fans is that these are the stock fans of the Alphacool Eisbaer 360 and holds a reference point for the comparison.

Airflow Testing

We test the airflow of the fan without any resistant to the flow i.e there is no radiator or mesh between the fan using the PerfectPrime WD9819 Anemometer. Then airflow through the radiator is checked at 50% and 100% of the rated speeds for which the anemometer is placed roughly at 50mm from the radiator. The rated airflow value is 76.52 CFM at 12VDC. In our testing, the airflow value comes to the 76.28 CFM which is within the error margin. Approximately all the fans were in same range. At 50% of the rated speed, the airflow was 13.41 CFM through the radiator. At 100% of the rated speed, the airflow was 34.25 CFM. This result is what we can expect as there is a resistance to the airflow and this is where the static pressure comes to play its role.

PWM Range

Next up, is the PWM range of the fan and the corresponding airflow values. The graphs are showing the range of the speeds on these fans and the airflow measure on each speed in that range. Maximum speed observed was 1830 RPM which is validated one. The speed at 7VDC was 1170 which is within the error margin. The minimum speed observed was 700 which is within the error margin and it was taken at 4.5VDC. Below that the fans stop spinning.

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. 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. A 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 rated speed, there was a difference of 0.83°C between the Alphacool Eiswind 12 and the GamerStorm TF120 with Eiswinds taking the lead. At 100% speed, there was a difference of 0.67°C between both fans with the GamerStorm TF120 taking the lead. Both fans were neck-to-neck in this testing.

Next, we overclocked the i7 6850k to the 4.3GHz. At 50% of the speed, the GamerStorm TF120s were trailing behind the Alphacool Eiswind 12 with the margin of 2.17°C. At 100% speed, the GamerStorm TF120s were trailing by the margin of 0.47°C. Fans on 100% speed were neck-to-neck against the Eiswind 12s but they have suffered at 50% of the speed.

Acoustics

38 dBA was the reading on our Fonseo Digital Sound Meter at full load and 100% speed.

Conclusion

The Deepcool has sent us their TF120 and MF120 fans for the review. We have started with the TF120s. The GamerStorm is the Deepcool’s gaming brand with a focus on bringing the enthusiast grade PC Components in the market. TF is the Turbo Speed series of the PC Case fans from the GamerStorm. TF series fans come in 3 colors; Red, Blue, and White. We have reviewed the Red color version.

The overall dimension of the fan is 120x120x26mm. The weight of the fan is 204g. These fans are rated at 12VDC with operating voltage between 10.8 to 13.2VDC. Starting voltage for a fan is 7VDC. Their rated current is 0.18±10%A with an input power of 2.16W. There are two fan speed regulations on these fans. One is at 12VDC which is 500±200 ~ 1800±10% RPM; the second is at 7VDC with 1200RPM. Maximum airflow on 12VDC is 76.52CFM. It is 58.39CFM on the 7VDC. The noise level is 17.6-31.3 dB(A). The fans are using the Fluid Dynamic Bearings with MTBF of 100,000 hrs. We could not find the static pressure rating is not mentioned in the specifications, which is understandable as they are marketing these fans to be a PC Case fan. Looking at the provided graph on their website and on the packaging, it seems like these fans have somewhere near to 1.38 mmH₂O at 12VDC.

The fans have red color blades (9 in total) with total 4 LEDs installed on the mounting corners of the frame with one LED per corner. Our samples have red color LEDs. Each mounting hole has an anti-vibration padding which is in red color as well. This goes really well with the overall symmetry of the design. The frame is in black color and it has a height of the 26mm which is differentiating factor as most of the other offerings have a standard 25mm height. Each blade has a patented dual-layer design which goes very well with the cycling lighting effect of the fans once in operation. This design also helps in achieving the high air pressure on these fans. The backside of the frame has air channels on each of the mounting corners which work in tandem with the dual-layered design and helps in reducing the noise from the air turbulence. The fans are using Semi-hermetic Fluid Dynamic Bearings that would give the MTBF of massive 100,000 hrs to these fans. It helps to eliminate the interference from electromagnetic (EM) noise as well as audible noise caused by the mechanical friction. Deepcool has not forgotten the modders and has implemented a DIY feature in which the blades can be removed from the frame. This design is clearly helpful in multiple ways. First, the cleaning task is much easier. Second, the user can replace the blade with other color blades (s). Third, it provides triple proofing against dust, water, and oil. Fourth, this is heavenly design for the modders as they can easily take out the blade without risking the fan’s breakage. Each LED is encapsulated in a red color plastic cover which adds more to the bold looks of the fans.

The fans are rated at $14.99 at the time of the review. In our performance testing, these fans have performed neck-to-neck against the Alphacool Eiswind 12 fans. Eiswind 12 fans are reference fans on our graphs. Please, keep in mind that Deepcool is not targeting these fans to be used on the radiators but only for the PC Case for improved airflow. The specifications of the fans have been validated in our testing. We are thankful to the Deepcool for giving us the opportunity to review their TF120red fans.

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