Introduction - NZXT's New Fans

NZXT FX Enthusiast Fan Series


For the first two products today, we have two of NZXT's newest entries to the cooling fan market; the FX Series of fans are Enthusiast grade products with Fluid Dynamic Bearings and high performance specs. With high RPM fans with huge static pressure and airflow ratings, NZXT's looking to capitalize on those who need well built, high performing fans for their multi-GPU or CPU cooling solutions. The FX Series of fans specialize in Airflow & Static Pressure allowing them to maximize the cooling potential of any radiator or heatsink. The FX Enthusiast Series fans from NZXT come with 3 speed, dip-switch controls to adjust fan speed between low (5v), medium (7v), & high (12v) settings.

We'll be looking at both the FX-120 and FX-140 models in today's review, which is very exciting for me, as it's one of the few 140mm fans to come out in recent years that actually uses a standard 140mm frame instead of a custom design. Likewise, the FX-120 from NZXT is one of the few performance 120mm fans to come out in recent years, as there has been a bit of a market shift to either cheaper construction and low speed or silent fans.

The FX Enthusiast Series of fans from NZXT comes with a 2 year warranty. The 120mm model is priced at $12.99 + Shipping. The FX-140 comes in at $14.99 + Shipping. Both of which are respectable prices considering the performance outlined by the label, and that they come with Fluid Dynamic Bearings.

NZXT FS LED Silent Fan Series


NZXT's FS Series is designed to offer the best Airflow to Noise ratio while maintaining its quiet profile. Recently, the 200mm model was updated to include 3 different models with 3 different LED colors. Red, Blue, & Green are now staples in NZXT's FS Series lineup allow you to silent performance with a bit of added flare. These specially designed fans are designed to work with all NZXT cases that support 200mm fans. Due to its custom size, compatibility with cases that are not made by NZXT is not guaranteed.

Today we'll be looking at the FS-200LB-RLED which is the red model from this series. While I didn't pick this color out, red is one of my personal favorites and I am picky about how lighting looks, so I'll be interested to see just how quiet this fan can get as well as how good its LEDs look.

The FS LED Silent Series of fans from NZXT ship with a 2 year warranty as well, and the FS-200RB-RLED comes in at $22 + $1.99 Shipping. The Blue LED model is $29.99 + Free Shipping, and the Green LED Model is $22.99 + Free Shipping. If you average the price to $25.66 shipped for one of these fans, then I'd say the value of them pre-testing is keeping me a bit in reserve. Considering their limited use with NZXT products only, and the fact that the bearing is only a Rifle Bearing, they may not be the best bang for the buck. I'll leave that up to testing to decide, though.

NZXT Fans

NZXT FS 200mm Fan Unboxing

Box Front

Popping to the front of the box you'll notice my white balance was a bit off and the red comes out pink. Other than that, you may also notice that NZXT promises 89.5CFM at 20.16dB(A) of noise. Those are some pretty specific numbers, so I'll be more than glad to test them out for them. You'll also take note that this fan is an 11 Blade Rifle Bearing fans. The number of blades is not really important, but the Rifle Bearing is sort of disappointing considering they just introduced Fluid Dynamic Bearing fans at the same time, which last longer and perform better in terms of being quiet. Still, this is a step ahead of the competition which uses Sleeve Bearings on their 200mm+ fan designs. This fan also notes on the front of the box, twice, that the LED can be turned on and off, which is nice. As well, it has a 2 Year Warranty like I mentioned previously.

Box Back

Flipping the box over, we'll see that its specifications are printed in most major languages including English, German, Spanish, & French. The one thing I do not like is NZXT did not include the temperature rating for the MTBF.

NZXT FS Silent LED FS-200RB-RLED Fan Specifications

Dimensions
 200mm x 200mm x 30mm
 Input Voltage
 12v DC
 Input Current
 0.42 Amps ±10%
 Power Draw
 5.04w
 Speed (RPM)
  700 RPM ±10%
 Airflow (CFM)
  89.5 CFM ±10%
 Static Pressure
 0.98mmH20 ±10%
 Sound Pressure
 20.16 dB(A)
 Bearing  Rifle Bearing
 Lifetime (MTBF)
 40,000 Hours @ ??°C


FS200 Front

Out of the box, we're greeted by one massive fan.

FS-200 Unboxing (Continued)

FS-200 Back

Flipping that massive fan over reveals a sticker that's been a bit beat up. No worries though, as there was no damage to the actual product. A keen eye will also spot the two cables coming off the housing of the fan. You guessed it; two wires are for the On-Off switch of the LED and the other 3 wires are for the 3 pin fan connector.

With a bit of research, I was able to find out that Dynatron was the OEM for this fan from NZXT, as well as the OEM for their other 200mm fans. Dynatron's OEM model is called the DF2003012*** which does come with a more standard housing that has 200mm spaced screw holes, unlike NZXT's custom 192mm screw hole positioning. Why NZXT chose to go custom on this factor I do not know.

Accessories

Pulling them out of the box, we have a pretty good accessory kit with 4 mounting screws, a 3pin to Molex pass through adapter, the LED On-Off switch, as well as a Y Cable for the LED On-Off switch. The Y Adapter cable is the nicest thing they could have included, as that means you can control the LEDs of two FS Series LED fans at once, without having to wire up multiple switches. I would have been happy if they included a 3 Pin Y Adapter and rubber mounting screws as well, but I can't complain with what we got, really.

LEDs on

For the money shot, here are the fan's LEDs on and in action. Like most fans, this guy uses an array of 4 LEDs as well as some semi-reflective blades to give it a fairly uniform shine. For the most part, in person it'll look about the same as my photo does.

NZXT FX120 Unboxing

Box Front

On the Front of the FX-120's box we see basically the same information as the FS-200's box. We've got a CFM rating which tells us the range it operates in (since this fan has 3 speed fan control built onto it). Likewise, we also see the Sound Pressure rating's range. The box also tells us this fan has 7 blades, 3 speed fan control, a 2 year warranty and a Liquid Bearing which is supposed to be long lasting.

Box Back

Flipping the box over, we've got all the specifications printed once again. Likewise, it's in German, English, French, & Spanish.

NZXT FX Enthusiast Series RX-120RB Case Fan Specifications



Dimensions (Size)
120mm x 120mm x 25mm


 Bearing
 Fluid Dynamic Bearing

 Lifetime (MTBF)
 35,000 Hours @ ??°C

Settings
 Low Medium
High
 Current  0.08A 0.15A
0.30A
 Input
 0.96w 1.8w
3.6w
Speed
1000RPM±10% 1800RPM±10% 2600RPM±10%
 Airflow 35.8CFM 64.5 96CFM
 Air Pressure
 0.75mmH20 2.4mmH20
4.8mmH20
Sound Pressure
22dB(A)
32.8dB(A)
36.5dB(A)


FX-120 Front

Some of you may recognize this fan, as it's the same base design used on Antec Tri-Cool models. Its OEM name is the Dynatron DF1212025_H.

FX120 Unboxing (Continued)

FX120 Back

On the opposite side of the fan, we see the same standard NZXT sticker. As I said on the previous page, this fan is OEM'd by Dynatron and goes by the OEM model name of DF1212025_H. Dynatron says these fans use Hydro Dynamic Bearings and not Fluid Dynamic bearings; the difference between the two is negligible at best since FDB is a trademarked term and HDB is not.

Accessories

Accessories-wise, we get a few more goodies this time with a Molex to 3Pin pass through adapter, 4 normal (black) M4 fan screws and 4 rubber fan screws. Personally, this type of rubber fan mount is my least favorite since it leaves bits to protrude from the back or top of your case. On the other hand, they function just about the same. We also have the Speed Selector switch present, which has the Low, Medium & High Settings.

FX120 Fan Corner

All four corners of this fan are the "open" style, which most consider the best as it means they'll mount on all heatsinks and radiators, no matter the mounting method, without an issue.

NZXT FX-140 Unboxing

Box Front

Like we saw before, we've got much of the fans specs and information on the front of the box. It is a 9 Blade, Liquid Bearing fan with 3 Speed Fan Control built on, back by a 2 Year Warranty.

Box Back

On the back of the box, we're greeted by the familiar multi-table layout with the same four languages.

NZXT FX Enthusiast Series FX-140RB Fan Specifications


Size (Dimensions)
 140mm x 140mm x 25mm
 Bearing  Fluid Dynamic Bearing (FDB)
 Lifetime (MTBF)
   35,000 Hours @ ??°C
 Settings
Low
Medium
 High
Current
0.13A
0.25A
0.55A
 Input  1.56w  3w  6.6w
 Speed (RPM)
 1000RPM±10%  1500RPM±10%  2000RPM±10%
 Airflow (CFM)
 49.1 CFM
73.8 CFM
98.3 CFM
 Air Pressure
 0.56mmH20
 1.3mmH2O  2.2mmH20
 Sound Pressure
 22.1dB(A)  30.8dB(A)  37dB(A)


FX-140 Front

For our final fan in this roundup, we have the FX-140RB. Another Dynatron built and it easily mimics the design of their standard 140mm fan design. So this is definitely an upgrade with the Fluid Dynamic Bearing plus higher RPM output.

FX-140 Unboxing (Continued)

FX-140 Back

Spinning our fan around, we use the same GoogleFu to find out that this fan is another Dynatron model. Its OEM name is the DF1214025_U, which again, means that Dynatron doesn't actually label this fan as a Fluid Dynamic Bearing. Again, not a big deal as the difference is minimal at best.

Accessories

The accessory package is the exact same as the FX-120 model; we get 4 normal screws, 4 rubber screws, the 3 speed fan control, and a Molex to 3 Pin pass-through adapter.


FX-140 Fan Corner

Unlike the FX-120, the FX-140 model has a closed corner; meaning its compatibility with some heatsinks may be limited. It also made using the included rubber fan screws damn near impossible. A bit of an annoyance, but that's it really.

NZXT Fan Testing

Testing Methodology & Results


Legit Reviews Testing Equipment

Today we'll be testing 4 Aspects of these fans:

The Testing Equipment that I will be using was purchased by me and it includes:

Airflow Graph

Starting off the bat, we see everything pretty much standard for fans of this caliber. The FS-200 had a bit of an odd curve with a dip at the 7v setting; but it's nothing to worry about.

Static Pressure Graph


For the blade types of the fans, as well as the fan sizes, static pressure is mostly as expected. The FS-200 again, is a bit odd, as its 5v mode was a bit higher than expected.

Sound Pressure Testing

Unfortunately, as you may notice on the FS-200 results; our sound meter is limited to only going as low as 10dB(A) when calibrated. Below that, the results can be off as much as 30%.
Here's a bit of an odd category: the FX-140 was louder than the FX-120, almost every time. With that said, the FX-120 & FX-140 models are definitely being run to their impeller's maximum limit. The FX-140 and FX-120 both had bearing noise present while running at full speed. There was a slight tic noise about every 2 seconds. The FX-140 & FX-120 both did not like using 5v or 7v resistors, but PWM control allowed these fans to smooth out in their noise profile by eliminating some of the intensity of the tics.

Final Thoughts & Conclusions

NZXT FX Enthusiast Fan Series

NZXT's FX-140LB:

For our largest standard size fan of this round-up, I have some mixed feelings. NZXT brought an enthusiast grade product to the market with some enthusiast grade specs. For that matter, it met those specs within 1% of the range given, even though NZXT spec's these at a variable of 10%, like most fans.

On the bright side, the FX-140LB is fast and it is powerful. It has more than enough airflow and static pressure to handle just about any cooling solution you put it on. Combine that with the fact that it has a standard 140mm housing instead of any custom work, and you have a solution that's brilliant for most users.

On the down side, these fans are noisy. The FX-140LB's are spec'd to give off 37dB(A) of noise, which is louder than most home appliances like a coffee pot or running refrigerator. Truth be told, though, these fans also produce an awful lot of bearing noise when you compare them against the FN or FS Series of fans from NZXT which actually comes as a surprise.

The FX-140LB's definitely have potential as fans, with plenty of options and almost no limitations; I wouldn't be hard pressed to recommend them. Likewise, the FX-140LB's come with a very complete accessories package & a 2 year warranty, which makes them more attractive at $16.99 + Shipping, but be warned, these are for your extreme guys as the pure noise level is high on this particular model.

NZXT FX-120LB:

Our second fan of the FX Enthusiast Series of fans is the FX-120LB, which comes in at $14.99 + Shipping with the same accessory pack and 2 Year Warranty. The 120mm fan from the FX Series does offer a blade design that's reminiscent of the Antec Tri-Cool series of fans, as well as a high end Fluid Dynamic Bearing.

When you look at the positive notes of this fan, you'll easily see that it set out to do one mission, and that's push more air then most other 25mm thick fans on the market while staying reasonably priced. Truth be told, NZXT's FX-120LB did its job with flying colors. Airflow was matching its 140mm brother, as well as its sound profile, while surpassing it in static pressure due to the small frame design.

Things are not always so great, though, like its brother the FX-140LB; this model also suffers from loud bearing noise in its sound profile, even though it's a Fluid Dynamic Bearing. This is usually the cause of the fan itself being pushed to its maximum output, and a larger impeller being needed to handle speeds so great. Considering it runs at 2600 RPM at full speed, this is a fair observation.

With all of that said, the FX-120LB does do its job well, as it's not advertised as a quiet or silent cooling fan; it's an enthusiast grade product meant to do enthusiast grade missions. At $14.99 + Shipping, I can't say that this fan is a bad value, nor would I advise against it. I would suggest NZXT goes back to Dynatron and have them do a few design tweaks to the FX Series of fans and have them fine tuned to be only the sound of airflow. 

NZXT FS LED Silent Fan Series

NZXT FS-200RB-RLED:

The NZXT FS-200RB-RLED is the Red LED version of their FS-200RB series of Silent fans. On both a value and performance standpoint, this fan is definitely odd as it's a proprietary part that only works with NZXT products. With that said, it's definitely not a bad product; in fact, I'd call it the star of today's show.

The FS-200RB-RLED is meant to be a silent fan, and even at full operation it was able to push massive amounts of air while making little to no noise at all. Combine that with its huge impeller and its solid LED lighting, you've got one nice fan on your hands. The sound profile of this fan was very smooth in regards to most 200mm fans I've had across my bench or in my hands. Very little motor noise is present and most of the time you hear nothing but the rush of air through this guy. Even then, this really is a silent fan, as that makes very little noise.

Currently, the FS-200RB-RLED comes in at $15.00 plus $2.99 shipping. The Blue LED model is $29.99 w/ free shipping and the Green LED Model is $22.99 w/ free shipping. With an average price around $23.66 Shipped; you're not looking at a cheap fan here. In fact, this is in your higher price brackets as far as fans are concerned. Though; NZXT's offering is not far off the base mark, as most 200mm+ fans come in at $18-25. I can definitely say NZXT did a good job with this design, even though I may question the need to go custom on the housing. Their fan does perform well, and it does so quietly. That combination is hard to find in many of these larger diameter fans due to poor impeller designs.


Legit Bottom Line: NZXT's new FX Enthusiast & FS Silent Fan Series definitely deliver on their promises, but still hold some minor design flaws. These are still all quality fans that are easily worth a consideration if they suit your needs.