The iPPC 3000 RPM fans, from a premium brand, has been in the market for years and admittedly, has the greater performance. The build, the output, the longevity have been excellent. However, high speed industrial case fans are not just one makers specific. A popular brand, Enermax, has recently introduced a super high RPM cooling/case fan for extreme overclocking Rigs and servers. The Enermax has been very fame for offering feature-rich product to the consumers and with D.F. Strom, Enermax has achieved another yet new level of specification. In addition, the new release is also market’s top consumer grade case fan.
Today, I am taking at look at the D.F. Storm case fan featuring super high 3500 Revolution per minute, a 12CM, and an adjustable PWM at different speed levels. A black, 120mm fan assist CPU Cooler in dissipating hot air through fins much faster with its high volume of focused air. Having 3500 RPM, the fan takes 1.10 Amperage, while consumes a hefty 13.2W. Additionally, it offers an airflow control at a static pressure of 11.31mm-H20 ensuring better and stronger results. However, this is all theoretical talking; the testing result will exhibit the real scenario.
The super 3500 offers extremely high speed measured in Revolution per Minute. The last time I seen the higher RPM is, from Noctua in iPPC series fans, which maxed out at 3000 RPM. But D.F Storm offers considerably high.
The fan offers 3 different LED status interpreting the level of RPM currently running. By default, it runs at 2800 RPM (Green LED), it can be changeable to 2800 RPM (Blue LED) and the 3400+ RPM (RED LED). These are performance, overclocking and Turbo mode allows user to change the airflow rate by using APS Switch button.
With LED indicator and the APS switch, users can easily identify the current RPM setting
APS PWM Control
*Performance: 1500~2200 RPM (Blue indicator)
*Overclocking: 1500~2800 RPM (Green indicator)
*Turbo: 1500~3500 RPM (Red indicator)
Smooth and persistently reliable operation thanks to the patented Twister Bearing technology. Along with more industrial grade components (double-layer PCB, larger magnet, etc.) to ensure 160,000 hours MTBF even at high operating temperatures.
The Package and The Content
I reviewed Enermax VEGAS fan, and this (D.F. Storm) packaging is no different from its predecessor. A card board box with white and red base color scheme. The front is being advertised with company logo, product model, fan picture and fan RPM.
The backside has the most written content in the form of Key Features listings, product brief in multilingual and the lower part has the specifications. In addition, the safety certification also imaged at bottom right.
The side has an Enermax logo on a red base color.
The flip cover open up the outer cover of box glimpse you the fan looks.The inside of flip over exhibit fan airflow and some additional features.
Finally, after opening the box, I found the fan itself, long screws for Radiator, Anti-vibration rubber pads, a manual.
Looking close at the fan, A nine blade, black fan with a nice glossy paint on it. The motor has an Enermax logo sticker in the middle.
The Side frame is being black and much different in terms of design unlike the normal 120mm fans.
Looking at the back, the motor has the sticker on it says, it is an adjustable speed fan from 1500 to 2200/2800/3500, powered on a DC 12V, taking 1.10A and consumes 13.2W, a different power specs for a single fan.
The fan got 4P PWM connector wire attached to it, and of course, an APS switch button which has been Enermax’s patented feature in case fans. It offers an adjustable fan speed for 3 PWM ranges without being software detected.
The stand out feature of D.F. Storm is that it allows you to have an easy cleaning system on blades. You know what; you do not need to put so much effort on removing the dust from blades. The detachable blades feature offers an easy cleaning system without putting so much effort and time.
During a closer observation, I found that the frame was magnetically stacked on the motor. A 4-Pole motor is used, PCB on the back in green and firmly engaged with each other. The side fences on the motor have the megnets which holds the blade structure. In addition, Twister Bearing technology being used to make sure a reliable and longer operation performed; the MTBF is equal to or greater than 160,000 Hrs.
The test setup for fan testing is simple:
- ASRock Z170 Fatal1ty Professional
- Intel core i5 6600K @3.5GHz (OC 4.5GHz)
- Noctua NH-U14S CPU Cooler
- Enermax Revolution X’T II 650W GOLD PSU (Sponsored by Enermax)
I used AIDA64 FPU stress test to populate the load on cores to its maximum level. The test run for 15 minutes long and the temperature readings were monitored under 100% fan speed. For sound, 10%, 30%, 60% and 100% level has been applied, and noise measured in dBA by using a Sound Decibel digital meter. I have focused on RPM to temp control performance to determine the extensive performance with high-speed industrial fan.
Software being used:
- AIDA64 – FPU
Comparison cooling fans:
- Noctua NF-F12 iPPC at 3000 RPM
- SilverStone APA1225M12 at 2500 RPM
For stressing the cpu, AIDA FPU has been used, and Enermax with highest RPM, able to beat Noctua easily by 3C margin. Not to mention 4C better than SilverStone fan. The better static pressure and more RPM definitely have impact on the results.
In the noise department, Enermax D.F. Storm resulted to be worse and fall back to even Noctua NF F12, which is also understandable as the RPM and other specs are also quite high. Conversely, SilverStone’s has the lowest dBA at 49 which only maxed out at 2500 RPM.
Additionally, I tried to measured the noise level at different RPMs. I started off by doing at lowest (10%) and then gradually increasing to 30%, 60 % and finally, at 100%. While the noise was unacceptable at 3500 RPM, it allowed me to lowered down the PWM range at 10%, which also replicated a good 2177 RPM for cooling and 51 dBA noise. I think even with 10%, the fan is still be good to perform the assigned task. Though it’s not always convenient or relaxing to run the case/radiator fan at above 2000 RPM.
A disappointing thing is that the Enermax has advertised this fan to be able to go down at 1500 RPM, which I unable to achieved at whatever way I do. I am not sure why is that so. Maybe Enermax needs to address this issue as some other people has brought this lacking via feedback in user’s reviews.
Finally, I tried the APS switch function, too. It basically offered me operating 3 different levels in Green(2800), Blue(2200) and Red(3500) indicators. This feature is built-in and can only be applied by triggering the switch called APS. Therefore, I didn’t use any software and change the airflow rate by only switching the button, level by level. At minimum of 2200 RPM it replicated a lowest 52 dBA noise (indicated in Blue LED, while a 3500 RPM at 62 dBA was almost same as manual custom operation. Again, no 1500 RPM achievable, even with APS Switch.
Price: $29 Amazon.com
- High Airflow rate
- High Static Pressure
- APS Button for quick airflow change
- LED indicators
- Reasonable price (considered the number of features)
- High Noise,
- APS button wire is too short.
- 1500 RPM is not achievable.
Enermax D.F. Storm is an absolute great looking black fan and not to mention the stand out features. The major one is the APS allows adjusting the fan speed, especially when you are on an open bench test setup. The detachable fan blades for easy cleaning is another noteworthy feature being offered by Enermax. Adding to that, the Glowing LED for RPM identification is brilliant. The performance, on the other hand, is satisfactory. It able to restrict the temperatures and ranked better than Noctua IPPC by 3C being able to restrict the temps at max 49c CPU.
With higher airflow, the noise (measured in dBA) also increased; 3500 RPM replicated 62.2 dBA, not surprising though as the specs are higher, too. on the other side, the 1500 RPM hasn’t been seen observed in any of the above tests. which means the PWM range is very not wider. It could be sample issue or there is no way these fans could go down at 1500 RPM. Enermax needs to address this issue.
One confusing feature of this fan is, the APS Switch Button being wired right closed to the fan which would only be useful if someone has PC in an open bench table and placed very close to him, very unlikely for general users. But I had to go real close to the fan to use it. Therefore, the usefulness is a bit question here, and it would have been much better if Enermax had made it a bit longer. Alternatively, you can always use a software to change the operations.
It is priced at $29 on Amazon and widely available on other web stores, too. The price is a bit higher from Noctua NF-F12 iPPC, which is also understandable as D.F. Storm is offering some extra features, which at the end of the day, comes to notice and increases the final value as well. I think D.F. Storm 3500 RPM case fan is extremely useful for servers and extremely high overclocking Gaming Rigs.