Fan Blowoff: YS Tech vs Papst vs Delta

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UPDATE: Folks are asking for Papst fan sources; I do not know of anyone selling these except distributors. You can find them listed in the Papst website. The Papst documents the 612 NGHH 33 cfm fan noise at 43dBA compared to 46.5 for the Delta (although the numbers look close, the Delta is noticeably louder).

SUMMARY: In a fine example of diminishing returns, the 38 cfm Delta delivers lots of air and noise but very little in increased heatsink performance.

3 Fans

I’ve been asked by more than a few readers to take a look at the Delta 38 cfm 60mm fan, particularly as it relates to increased heatsink performance, so I bought one to test out. I threw in a picture of the three fans I tested, although a 60 mm fan is a 60mm fan. The specs:

  • YS Tech @ 26 cfm
  • Papst @ 33 cfm
  • Delta @ 38 cfm

If you remember your economics, the law of diminishing returns basically states that at some point a lot of additional effort yields very little productive increase. Heatsinks perform better at higher air flow, but only up to a point; there’s only so much cooling capacity, and throwing a lot more air into it may not materially impact performance, or increase performance marginally but at a much higher price.

THE TEST

I tested each fan on an Alpha PAL6035 and the Global Win FOP32E. I mounted the heatsink on an ASUS A7V running a Duron 650 @ 900MHz, 1.82 volts. After the first fan test, I changed the fan with the heatsink still attached to the motherboard; no variability due to changed mounting. Temps were from the ASUS temp probe placed next to the CPU die. Results:

YS Tech vs Papst vs Delta Heatsink Tests

Heatsink/Fan

Idle Temp

Prime95 Temp

PAL 6035/YS Tech

41/106

44/111

PAL 6035/Papst

40/104

42/108

PAL 6035/Delta

39/102

42/108

FOP32/YS Tech

48/118

45/113

FOP32/Papst

45/113

43/109

FOP32/Delta

46/115

42/108

Duron 650 @ 900, 1.82v, ambient temp 20C/68F, Arctic Silver grease.

There is more gain going from the YS Tech to the Papst than from the Papst to the Delta. In addition, the Delta is NOISY!! And I don’t mean a little more, I mean a LOT more. Folks have written to me that they have stopped using the Delta due to its high noise.

I would also be concerned about the amount of current the Papst and Delta draw: Some motherboards are not equipped to handle much over 2-3 watts on the fan headers, and the fans draw:

  • YS Tech: 2.2 watts
  • Papst*: 3.7 watts
  • Delta: 3.8 watts

*The Papst I have uses a hard drive connector.

CONCLUSION

Is the Delta worth it? Well, noise is in the ear of the beholder, and for me it’s way too loud. Not cheap either – I paid $14 + shipping for the Delta. It’s questionable as to whether the increased performance and noise tradeoff is worth it.

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