Introduction

ENERMAX Technology Corporation is a world-renowned PC Power Supply Unit manufacturer incorporated in 1990. They are known for their quality products ranging from the power supply, coolers, chassis, fans, and keyboard and have won recognition of consumers around the world. ENERMAX products are recommended by worldwide reviewers, and certain were granted by iF, Red Dot, Good Design, and Taiwan Excellence Awards. They are committed to providing highly competitive products with customer satisfaction using their R & D spirits of “Technology Innovation” and “Quality First”.

Recently, Enermax has launched their new RGB fans named T.B RGB where T.B stands for Twister Bearings. These bearings are Enermax own design and they are confident of its utmost performance with ≥160,000 hrs MTBF. These fans have gained more attention in quick time thanks to their multiple ring style lighting effect which does look dope in person. Not these fans bring true RGB illumination in a sublime manner with an impression of halo arc-shaped frame but they are on a quiet side of acoustic performance as well. These fans are compatible with the majority of the onboard lighting headers of the motherboards like AURA Sync from Asus, RGB Fusion from Gigabyte to name a few. These fans come in a packing of 3 fans with a controller and 6 fans with controller packs. Their pricing is another factor contributing towards their success as a 3 fans pack is costing $57.75 which is definitely less price for a complete RGB lighting enabled 3 fans with controller solution.

  • Item:                   T.B RGB
  • Manufacturer:     Enermax
  • Price:                  $57.75 for above versions at the time of the review for the 3 fans pack

Specifications

Packaging and Contents

The packing box is made of a cardboard box and it comes in a colorful design. The front side of the box has T.B RGB printed on the top right side with Enermax RGB on the top left side. There is a picture of a fan on the main section. 12CM RGB Fan is printed next to that picture. Fans are compatible with the Asus Aura Sync, ASRock RGB LED, Gigabyte RGB Fusion, and MSI Mystic Lighting solutions implemented on their motherboards. This is a 3 fans pack. The right side of the box has the specifications of the fans printed in the tabular format. T.B RGB is printed on the top right side. This box has 3 RGB fans, single 3-1 controller, and single control box. It is a 3 fans pack. The left side of the box has T.B RGB printed on the top right side. The product’s brief is printed in 12 different languages. Model no of the fans is printed under the product’s brief section. Serial no sticker is pasted right above the bottom section. The bottom has EAN and UPC info labels (Bar Codes) printed on it. The backside of the box has Enermax printed on the top left side and T.B RGB on the right side. Key features of the fans are printed on the main section in the bullet format. Features are highlighted pictorially as well. One good feature on these fans is that blades are detachable which makes cleaning part easier on these fans. The fans are made in China. The top side of the box has red color background and flap over part. Enermax is printed on both sides in the center. The bottom of the box has contact info of the manufacturer printed on it.

There are 4 white color boxes inside the main packing box. 3 white boxes have 3 fans in them. The accessories and installation manual is inside the fourth white color box. Accessories box is placed on top of the fans’ boxes.

 

Contents

These include:

  • 3x T.B RGB Fans
  • 1x Control Box
  • 1x Infrared Sensor
  • 1x Molex Power Cable
  • 1x Motherboard Sync Cable
  • 12x screws
  • 2x Magnetic Adhesive Strips
  • 1x Velcro Strip
  • 1x Remote Controller

Closer Look

Let’s start with what Enermax has to say about these fans. “T.B.RGB applies exclusive ENERMAX LED LIGHTING Technology to deliver incredibly bright and even RGB lighting. With the patented Twister Bearing technology, the T.B. RGB fan can not only provide beautiful lighting effects but also offer superior silent performance. The series comes with ENERMAX RGB control box that can support up to 8 x RGB fans and 2 x RGB LED devices. Furthermore, users can use the included 3-in-1 remote control to easily select preferred RGB lighting effects, colors and fan speed; no software or APP is required. T.B.RGB is the excellent RGB fan to light up your systems.”

The Enermax T.B RGB fans is a complete RGB lighting illumination solution which is available in 3 fans pack and 6 fans pack. So far, we have yet to see 1 fan pack or 2 fans pack both without controller and control box, which in my opinion, Enermax should release for the convenience of the users would need like 4 fans or 7 fans depending upon the situation requires. This is even more compelling as the fan control box has 8 ports for RGB fans which are giving us some hint of 1 fan pack or 2 fans pack in coming times from Enermax. Let’s take a look at the design of the fan and their specifications. The fans come in dark black and grayish colors tone. The design is different from traditional fans with a square frame. We have a circular rounded frame with mounting arms on four corners. We have 7 blades per fan. The blade design gives the impression that these fans are static pressure optimized though their maximum rated static pressure value is 1.66 mmH₂O only. There is a sticker on the motor hub with Enermax brand name and logo printed on it. Each mounting corner is in almost U shape and we can see anti-vibration pads on each corner mount. On the top side of the frame, we can see 4 frosted grayish tones LED rings. The thickness of the frame is higher than the traditional axial fans which is understandable as the frame is encapsulating the LED Rings inside. The total thickness of the side of the frame is approximately 7 to 8mm. From the top side, it appears that there is a break between the run of the LED Ring hence we have total 4 portions of the same ring here. Looking at the side of the frame, we can see that each side of the frame has 3 cutouts within the frame body creating illumination of 3 rings or multiple rings. Please, note that this portion has a single ring inside. The multiple rings effect is coming via cutouts in the frame body. This is what Enermax has referred to as unique halo arc-shaped frame for gorgeous and vivid visual effects. And believe me; they have delivered on this design aspect. The lighting illumination on these fans is out of this world and unparalleled. The bottom portion of the side frames is fully covered which is a design requirement to add rigidity and strength to the frame. The frame has no flex to it and is quite solid. There is one more peculiar design aspect that Enermax has given attention to in detail. Enermax LED lighting technology provides consistent and uniform luminance which is incredibly bright and even lighting with no visible spots. We have consistent and even lighting across the length of the rings without any spots. There are airflow and impeller rotation directional arrows on the inner side of the corners.

Let’s take a look at the backside of the fan. You can gauge the thickness of the fan’s frame from this side better. We have a 4-arm assembly holding and securing the impeller to the fan’s frame. There is a sticker on the motor hub. T.G RGB is printed on the top side. UCTBRGB 12 is the model no of the fan printed under the name. 500-1500 RPM, DC 12V, and 0.45A are printed under the model no. The fan is made in China. One of the arms is widened and carries the wires from the motor hub to the connector side. It has a latch in the middle to hold the passing wires from falling. There is a downward slope across the frame’s topside. There is a black color covering material on the inner side of the frame which is covering almost all of the inner area exposing only a certain portion of the ring hence creating illumination from within the frame as well. These fans are using Twister Bearings which are patented bearing from Enermax. These bearings help ensure the long lifespan of the fan with ≥160,000 Hrs MTBF. They also help in reducing the sound level of the fan. These fans have 6-pin connector. Enermax has saved cables clutter here by providing a single property connector that is connected to the control box directly. Majority of the RGB LED Fans in the market have usually two connectors per fan. One is to control the speed of the fan (3-pin/4-pin) and the second is for the RGB LED lighting. One constant issue with such solution has to deal with too many cables at a time which gives more challenge to the builder when it comes to the cable management. One obvious benefit with this design approach is the full speed regulation at user disposal which unfortunately is not the case with the Enermax T.B RGB fans as we have only two-speed buttons on the controller to control the speed without any RPM output but we get to deal with fewer cables. The length of the fan cable is 581mm approximately.

The dimension of the fan is 12x120x25mm. Their rated speed is 500~1500 RPM (±10%) using the remote control. It seems like fans will run at full speed when control is switched to the motherboard. Maximum rated airflow is 47.53 CFM. Maximum static pressure rating is 1.66 mmH₂O. Maximum sound level rating is 22 dB(A). Rated current for the fan is 0.15A and rated current for LED is 0.30A. That is why we saw 0.45A mentioned on the backside of the frame. Rated voltage is 12VDC. MTBF is ≥160000 hours at 25°C. 6 fans pack has same specifications. The only difference is that it has 3 more fans with 12 more screws. The impellers of the fan can be taken off to ease the cleaning and oiling job. Take the fan in your hand such that the backside is facing you. Hold the fan’s frame and using both thumbs push the impellers with a bit of the force. The impeller will detach and come out. To put it back, simply place it over the frame by aligning the tip with the hole in the center of the motor hub and push it inside. It will tuck in and give you a bit a pop sound indicating that it has attached properly.

Now that we have taken a look at the fans themselves, it is time to check the accessories particularly the control box and the controller. The dimension of the control box is 100x52x16mm. There is Enermax brand name and logo embossed on the top side in the center. The top side of the control box has one LED port on the left side followed by 4 fan ports/headers. The same pattern is observed on the bottom row. Up to two LED enabled devices or strips can be connected to this box and up to eight RGB fans can be connected to this box. The idea here is simple. Enermax is providing a common platform to sync and color coordinate all of their RGB LED enabled devices like NEOChanger pump/reservoir combo unit, RGB strips, and RGB fans to a same control box and control the lighting solution on all the devices from a single controller be it a supplied remote controller or the motherboard lighting solution. The left side of the control box has Power and Reset ports. To power on the unit, a power cable measuring a length of 400mm approximately (Molex) is provided. This is to be connected to the Molex connector from the PSU. The Reset port is to be used if the user would want to connect the Reset cable of the PC Chassis to the control box and use the Reset switch of the Chassis to control the lighting effect. Please, note that if you use the Reset port following lighting effects in that order will be available:

  • Red All only
  • Red Sparkle
  • Green All only
  • Green Sparkle
  • Blue All only
  • Blue Sparkle
  • White All only
  • White Sparkle
  • RGB Colors Cycle
  • Fix RGB Color
  • Fix RGB Color with Sparkle

Going this route will disable the restart function of the PC. The left side of the control box has two ports. One is labeled as MB and the other is labeled as IR. MB stands for the Motherboard. If you want to control the lighting aspect of the connected devices from the motherboard and to color coordinate with the motherboard’s lighting as well then use the supplied Motherboard Sync Cable measuring 598mm approximately. Connect one end to the MB port on the control box and the other end with 4 pins bulkhead type to the motherboard’s lighting solution. The pin format is +12V GRB. Make sure to use the appropriate and compatible header. These are 12V RGB LEDs and are not addressable RGB LEDs. If you want to use supplied remote controller then connect the supplied IR cable measuring length of 473mm approximately. Connect the IR cable to the IR port of the control box. The IR end has a magnet on the IR end under the heat shrink. This will help the user to secure the cable at an appropriate place. The backside of the control box has two grooves on it. The user can use the supplied two magnetic adhesive strips on these grooves to mount the control box in the desired location inside the chassis.

Let’s take a look at the remote controller provided with the pack. The buttons are combined into three groups. The top group has LED Lighting On/Off buttons on the right side. There are two buttons on the left side for brightness and lightning speed control. There are two buttons in the second row on the left side to control the speed of the fan. Right next to it is Motherboard Sync switch. Press it if you want to control the lighting using the motherboard’s lighting header. The Auto button will load the preset 10 colors with flash effect. Next group is the colors group. We have 10 buttons each for a different color. Pressing a button will load the corresponding color for all the connected devices. The RGB button will automatically rotate the colors on the LEDs. Store button will let you fix your preferred color in RGB mode. The bottom group has lighting effect buttons. Pressing each button will load the respective lighting effect. Vegas button will load the 3 modes of repeated action. The battery is installed in the bottom of the controller. Make sure to pull out the protective cover from the bottom as it is sitting between the battery and terminal.

RGB Lighting Effect

The frame of these fans mimics the halo arc design with multiple ring illumination. This creates a stunning look on them in person which speaks for itself. The overall lighting effect is vivid, and even. There are multiple effects on these fans using the remote controller. Some of them are:

  • Flash
  • Beats
  • Sparkle
  • Vegas
  • Static
  • RGB

I have prepared a demo video showcasing the lighting effects. Thought it does not do the justice to the awesome lighting effects on these fans but would still give some idea. Some pictures are also posted below for your eye pleasure.

Here are the pictures:

 

Testing and Methodology

It is standard on my test bench that I test the given fan for thermal performance on the Alphacool Eisbaer 360mm CLC regardless if the fan is optimized for the static pressure or for the airflow. Since it is a peak of the summer season here with ambient reaching 45°C, I will not be testing the acoustical performance of these fans as some sound sources are simply beyond control. Sound rating will be subjective based on my experience with testing various fans and coolers thus far. Let’s start with the airflow testing.

Airflow

Airflow rating for the Eneramx T.B RGB fans is 47.53 CFM. This is obviously low rating suggesting that these fans are better used for the Chassis than on the radiator/heatsink but I will come to that in thermal performance testing section later. In our unrestricted testing, the Enermax T.B RGB fan reaches 46.59 CFM. This is the difference of mere 1.97% which is well within the margin of error. I have used PerfectPrime WD9819 Anemometer.

Speed Range

Since we can’t measure the RPM of the fan, we have no value to report here except that these fans are rated from 500~1500 RPM.

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 tested at a maximum 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 1.14V 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.

The Eiswind 12 fans operate on the 12V DC. They are 4-Pin PWM fans with the rated speed of the 550-1700 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 I am giving the brief rundown of the Eiswind 12 fan is that these are the stock fans of the Alphacool Eisbaer 360 and hold a reference point for the comparison.

Let’s take a look at the thermal performance of the Enermax T.B RGB fans.

On stock clocks of 3.6GHz, the Enermax T.B RGB fans were doing 21.67°C. The Eiswinds 12 were doing 22.9°C. The difference comes to 1.23°C giving the Enermax T.B RGB fans upper hand on the stock clocks.

With overclocked chip at 4.3GHz, the Enermax T.B RGB fans were doing 45.59°C. The Eiswind 12 were doing 43.63°C at 100% of their speed. The difference comes to 1.96°C with Eiswind 12 fans having the upper hand which is understandable as they have higher airflow rating on them.

The Enermax T.B RGB fans were quieter during the operation and taking the overall picture of their thermal performance with respect to the noise, they are definitely more than adequate to handle the task.

Conclusion

The Enermax T.B RGB 12CM fans are designed to deliver incredibly bright and even RGB lighting on them. These fans have 120x120x25mm size. Unlike the standard square frame design, these have circular rounded shape frame which mimics the halo arc effect on it which is obviously has everything to do with the overall lighting effect and Enermax has successfully delivered on this design. These fans are available in 3 fans pack and 6 fans pack at the moment. We have yet to see 1 fan pack and 2 fans pack to be released which in my opinion, they should cater to the particular needs of the user subject to the situation. Their control box has provision for up to 8 fans so this gives us some hint that 1-2 fans packs are possible in coming time. Their rated speed is 500~1500 RPM (±10%) using the remote control. It seems like fans will run at full speed when control is switched to the motherboard. Maximum rated airflow is 47.53 CFM. Maximum static pressure rating is 1.66 mmH₂O. Maximum sound level rating is 22 dB(A). Rated current for the fan is 0.15A and rated current for LED is 0.30A. That is why we saw 0.45A mentioned on the backside of the frame. Rated voltage is 12VDC. MTBF is ≥160000 hours at 25°C. 6 fans pack has same specifications. The only difference is that it has 3 more fans with 12 more screws.

These fans have 6-pin connector unlike the majority of the RGB LED fans available in the market with dedicated cable for the speed regulation and dedicated cable for the RGB LEDs. One constant issue with such solution is having to deal with too many cables at a time which gives more challenge to the builder when it comes to the cable management. One obvious benefit with this design approach is the full speed regulation at user disposal which unfortunately is not the case with the Enermax T.B RGB fans as we have only two-speed buttons on the controller to control the speed without any RPM output but we get to deal with fewer cables. Each fan has 7 impellers whose design gives the impression that these fans are static pressure optimized. The frame has all the magic inside it with LED rings. The sides of the frame have cutouts creating an impression of the multiple rings inside the frame of illumination whereas the ring inside the frame is single except on the top where we can see the gaps between the rings, across the length giving the impression that the top ring is different. It could also be that same ring is design in such a manner to give this impression. There is a black color covering material on the inner side of the frame which is covering almost all of the inner area exposing only a certain portion of the ring hence creating illumination from within the frame as well. There are U type mounting points on the four sides of the frame each with anti-vibration paddings on both sides.

Enermax has provided a control box with the fans. It has a provision for up to 8 RGB fans and two RGB LED devices. It is powered by a Molex connector. The user can connect it to the Reset switch/button of the Chassis in which case you will lose the reset functionality of the PC. Going that route, following lighting effects will be available. Red All only – Red Sparkle – Green All only – Green Sparkle – Blue All only – Blue Sparkle – White All only – White Sparkle – RGB Colors Cycle – Fix RGB Color – Fix RGB Color with Sparkle. The user has to connect an Infrared cable to the control box in the dedicated IR port and use the supplied remote controller to control the speed of the fans and lighting effects. The remote controller allows the user to increase/decrease the speed of the fan, control the brightness of the fans, control the speed of the lighting effects, turning lights on and off, changing the lighting effect and mode and Switching to the Motherboard for lighting control. There is a Motherboard Sync Cable provided with the unit that will allow the user to connect the control box to the lighting header of the motherboard. This solution is compatible with the Asus’s AURA Sync, ASRock’s RGB LED, Gigabyte’s RGB Fusion and MSI’s Mystic Lighting. The user can also connect RGB LED strip and/or RGB enabled devices from Enermax like NEOChanger. All the cables provided in a box are flat ones.  Personally, prefer flat cables for the fans. These fans feature the Enermax patented Twister Bearings making the MTBF of the fans be ≥160,000 hrs. The impellers of the fans can be taken off that would make the cleaning task easier. There should be a button on the controller box to switch between the motherboard based controller and remote controller as we are fully dependent on the remote controller for this functionality.

The lighting effect on these fans is unparalleled. We have halo arc effect and there is even lighting on the complete LED ring to produce some of the vivids and brighter color effects which looks that damn good in person. They have definitely up the game of RGB lighting in the fans by creating a multiple rings effect on these fans. Their design team was right up to the task. Check a video demo linked above to take a look at how these fans look under certain lighting effects and modes.

The pack of 3 fans with control box and controller is listed at $57.75 at the time of the review. These fans are definitely giving better value to the user as we have a complete solution at our hands. We have connectivity to the motherboard, connectivity to other Enermax RGB enabled devices to color coordinate them, a dedicated remote controller with Infrared cable, possibility to connect the reset cable of the PC Chassis to the control box and switching the lighting effects using the Reset switch on the Chassis though that would eliminate the Restart functionality of the PC. Not only that but these fans have performed admirably on our test bench in our thermal performance testing. They are also on the quieter side of the noise. This is like one complete package that a user could have wished for giving better mix and balance of performance and aesthetics.

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