SilenX iXtrema 120mm 11dBA Fan

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Title

If you’ve seen my recent articles, you know that SilenX obviously specializes in low-noise computer equipment. Today, we’ll see just how quiet can their 11dBA 120mm iXtrema fans get?

Features

Pack

The iXtrema has a very simple, non-flashy look to it. It isn’t UV reactive, it doesn’t have LEDs, and it isn’t transparent, but I don’t find colorful, transparent fans attractive anyway. This fan comes with a black sheathed cable, a 3 to 4 pin adapter, silicone vibration dampening fan mounts, and standard steel screws in the event that the silicone mounts don’t fit your case.

FanFront

Noise and Performance…

Performance

Test Bed

  • AthlonXP 2500+ with a SilenX
    SX-120C iXtrema 120mm cooler @ 5V (Stock speed,
    1.65V, Overclocked 2.3GHz, 1.8V)
  • ASUS
    A7N8X Deluxe
  • 2x512MB
    Mushkin 222 V2 200MHz (Stock speed, 2.8V, Overclocked
    210MHz, 2.8V)
  • Radeon 9800 (Stock speed, 1.6V and 412MHz; Overclocked 1.7V/342MHz)
  • Western
    Digital 1200JB 7200RPM HDD in a SmartDrive2002 enclosure
  • Chaintech AV-710
  • SilenX Luxurae 400w PSU
  • Global
    WIN YCC-61F1 Server Case
  • 2x120mm
    SilenX 11dBA case fans

The fan positions on the test case are very standard: the intake is located in the lower front of the case, and the exhaust is located at the back of the case right under the power supply.

At full speed, these fans are very quiet. The only audible noise is a “whoosh” of air, but it’s very soft and tolerable. The whoosh is not harsh at all and doesn’t have a hint of a whistle. The fans don’t vibrate at all, even when mounted with the steel screws. Nor do they generate resonance, which is impressive in a 1.2mm aluminum case.

Lowered to 7 volts, the “whoosh” vanishes and the fans are much quieter than they are at 12V. At 5V, the fans are almost silent from 3 feet away – I can barely hear them when the side of the case is closed. From 3 feet away, these fans are close to silent.

But Do They Cool?

Here are case and CPU temperatures running at 12V and 5V (blue means idle, red means at load):

Case

Case

They cool.

Conclusion…

Conclusion

SilenX has created a winner with their iXtrema 120mm 11dBA fans. They’re quiet, they move 40 CFM of air, and they undervolt very nicely to around 5 volts. At 5 volts they are almost dead silent. Compared to other low noise fans, I think SilenX’s iXtrema rules.

Thanks to..

Tom Akita

Photography by Eric Lowe

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