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Written by David Ramsey   
Sunday, 08 August 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
SilverStone SST-AP181 Air Penetrator Fan
Closer Look: SilverStone SST-AP181 Fan
Air Penetrator Detailed Features
Air Penetrator Fan Installation
Fan Testing and Results
Who needs a CPU fan?
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Who needs a CPU fan?

Given the impressive results of the AP181 fans with the Cooler Master V6GT CPU cooler, it occurred to me that it might be interesting to focus on using these fans to make a system quieter rather than just cooler. After all, an Intel Core i7 980X processor is plenty fast even at its stock speeds. So I reset the processor's clock and voltage to their stock levels, and replaced the Cooler Master V6GT CPU cooler with a Prolimatech Super Mega cooler:

silverstone_sst_ft02s_w_super_mega2.jpg

While the Prolimatech Super Mega came in a degree or two behind the Megahalems cooler in our recent tests, it's still one of the very best air coolers you can buy...which is why I decided to try it with no fans at all. By making sure that no cables lie on top of the case fans, I can ensure that the Super Mega gets a nice shot of air.

silverstone_sst_ft02s_w_super_mega1.jpg

And here are the results:

silverstone_sst-ap181_fan_super_mega.png

You could never pull this off in most computer cases. Remember, while I'm still running the same Everest stress tests I ran in the previous section, the processor's now clocked at its stock speed and voltage. With the stock FT02 fans on low, the processor temperatures are higher than I'd like, but things change dramatically once you turn the stock fans to high or use the Air Penetrator fans. Running a system like this with no CPU cooler becomes entirely possible, even easy; and in the "FT02 fans high" or "AP181 fans low" scenarios, the system at idle is almost silent, with only the faintest whooshing noise being audible. And since there's no CPU fan, stressing the processor results in no increase in noise at all (stressing the GTX480s, of course, is an entirely different proposition!)



 

Comments 

 
# Quiet FT02Peter Hopewell 2010-08-10 12:24
I'm interested in running a quiet FT02 system and wondering if these fans offer any advantages. I want to run the 980X at stock with a Magahalem and quiet PWM fan and use a passive 5750 (e.g. Powercolor Go Green). Could these fans be run at lower RPM via a fan controller? Any thoughts on how stable a system at lower RPM might be?
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# RE: SilverStone SST-AP181 Air Penetrator FanDavid Ramsey 2010-08-16 17:03
That's a good question, Peter. The fans are virtually silent at "low" RPM, so I don't see any real advantage to running them any more slowly (I wasn't clear in the article when I said that they were noisier than the stock fans, which I only noticed at the "high" speed setting).

You might be able to run the fans with a separate fan controller, leaving the attached switches set to "high", but not knowing how the attached switches are wired up, it's just a guess.

Since you'll be running the system at its stock clocks, why bother with a fan on the Megahalems at all? As my tests showed, a Megahalems will keep a 980X nice and cool with no attached fan, just using the airflow from the AP181s.
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# FT02 with Super Mega side panel closure?Harry 2010-09-11 16:15
Hi,

I would like to know when you install the Prolimtech SM Cooler in FT02 your review, could the FT02 case side panel be closed? Isn't the spec for this cooler very tall and could touch the side panel case?

#benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=553&Itemid=62&limit=1&limitstart=

I am thinking of getting similar sized cooler for my RV02 like CM Hyper 212+ GP which is cheaper.

Your assistance is very much appreciated.

Thank you.

Cheers,

Harry
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# RE: SilverStone SST-AP181 Air Penetrator FanDavid Ramsey 2010-09-11 17:13
Yes, the side panel fits on with no clearance problems. There's maybe 1/2" of clearance between the top of the Super Mega cooler and the side panel window.
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# RE: SilverStone SST-AP181 Air Penetrator FanJiri 2010-11-25 03:10
Hi,

thank you for the review. I was wondering, is it possible to thest the Thermalright HR-02 in the passive setup with the FT-02 case (AP-181 fan)?

That would be lovely :)

Take care
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# RE: RE: SilverStone SST-AP181 Air Penetrator FanDavid Ramsey 2010-11-25 07:50
Sadly, I don't have a Thermoright HR-02 available, but I imagine it would work fine passively as long as you weren't over clocking too much.
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# RE: SilverStone SST-AP181 Air Penetrator FanMike Cannon 2011-05-19 18:32
David, I have a Thermaltake 360 rad with standard fans.
They were noisy so I put a drop of sowing machine oil in the bearings.
I was going to ditch them for new fans and was considering the air penetrator. It is expensive in Aussie. Would this type of fan be a good radiator fan?
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# RE: RE: SilverStone SST-AP181 Air Penetrator FanDavid Ramsey 2011-05-19 18:41
Mike, I don't know. Normally for a radiator fan you want a high static pressure to move air through the fins. You can see the official static pressure rating in the chart on the first page of this review, but I don't know how that compares to the fans you're using now.
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# RE: RE: RE: SilverStone SST-AP181 Air Penetrator FanMike Cannon 2011-05-22 22:49
The fans on the rad are Thermaltake. TT-1225. A1225L 12S. I don't know what these model numbers mean. You might have a better idea. In the meantime I might try a search. Regards and thanks.
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# RE: SilverStone SST-AP181 Air Penetrator FanAthlonite 2011-11-22 08:56
just a note if you buy FM181 fans to replace the fans in an RV02 or FT02 they don't come with the inbuilt speed controller they only run at 700rpm 100cfm
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# RE: RE: SilverStone SST-AP181 Air Penetrator FanDavid Ramsey 2011-11-22 21:04
That's why you'd want to buy the AP181 fans, like the ones in this review, since they _do_ come with the speed control switches...
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# RE: RE: RE: SilverStone SST-AP181 Air Penetrator FanAthlonite 2011-11-23 06:50
Ufortunatley for me SilverStone hadn't yet started making the AP181 so I had to buy 3 FM181LED fans instead and assumed because it was stated that they ran 700~1000rpm they included the speed controller well was I ever wrong (grrrr)
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