Zalman ZM-F3-FDB & ZM-SF3 120mm Cooling Fan Review

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Unboxing the ZM-SF3

Now it’s onto the big brother of the two Zalman fans, the ZM-SF3. This fan is supposed to specialize in being quieter than its brother. Here we can actually see that Zalman sleeved the cable on this fan with a black sleeving. A nice touch, I might add.

A small note, you may notice that the two fans have a different 5v Resistor cable; I did notice this when I unboxed both fans so I shot an email to Zalman about it, at which they responded with:
We buy resistors in bulk from different sources to package with our product, but they are all tested to be within the parameters we have established for our products and have no quality differences between them.

So that is nothing for you to worry about.

Here we have more of the same again. Five rubber screws and the 5v resistor cable. Although these are not the only options that Zalman has with this particular fan to help it along, it’s goal for being silent.

And here’s the front of the ZM-SF3. Those black patches you see on the white frame are exactly what I was talking about; they are rubber pads which help the fan reduce its vibrations when pressed against a Radiator, Heatsink or case.

Here is the back of the ZM-SF3 which features those same rubber pads to help reduce vibrations. You also see the same certifications and warnings as present on the ZM-F3-FDB.  The only differences between the two fans are this fan is reported to use 0.40 Amps and is listed as using the ELQ bearing. Whereas the ZM-F3-FDB uses as Fluid Dynamic Bearing and only uses 0.20 Amps.

This is a 3D expose of the Everlasting Quiet Bearing from Zalman. The ELQ Bearing uses a nano-composite material to limit contact and friction between the
bearing and the shaft. High precision self-lubricated material
eliminates oil leakage as well.  This near frictionless environment should also help eliminate resonance from the fan, thus making it a quieter experience overall.

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