|SilverStone SST-AP181 Air Penetrator Fan|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cooling|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Monday, 09 August 2010|
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Closer Look: SilverStone SST-AP181 Fan
The SilverStone SST-AP181 fan is delivered in a rather plain brown box. The fan's features are enumerated on the front.
A 180mm fan is much larger than the 120mm fans normally used in computer cases. The fan on the left in this photo is the Yate Loon D12SH-12 fan, a popular choice among enthusiasts given its rated 88CFM airflow and $6.99 price; it's dwarfed by the SilverStone SST-AP181 fan on the right. Size aside, both fans have 7 blades of similar design. One interesting thing about the AP181 is its integrated fan grille.
Each AP181 has a standard 3-pin power lead and a separate "low/high" speed switch. The switch is designed for the SilverStone Raven and Fortress FT02 cases, which have specific mounting areas for it; if you don't have one of these cases, you'll need to come up with some place to put the switch (you could, of course, simply leave it inside the case as well). At low speed, the fan runs at 700RPM; at high speed, it runs at 1200RPM.
Standard computer case fan sizes are 80mm, 92mm, 120mm, and 140mm; a few cases will accept larger 200 and 220mm fans, but the smaller sizes dominate. In general, larger fans more more air with less noise than smaller fans; but the wider blade area means the airflow is spread over a larger area. As far as I know, SilverStone is the only vendor that (a) makes 180mm case fans and (b) has cases designed to accept this unusual size. Unless you own a SilverStone Raven RV01/RV02, or Fortress FT02 case, or are building your own highly customized computer case, you're probably not in the market for one of these fans.