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Alphacool Core 120 3000RPM Review

Introduction

While Alphacools Core 120mm 2500RPM had a slight performance overhead compared to other fans in the same price segment, its noise-to-performance was not its strongest point. But now it's time for the 3000RPM version!

 

Positive

  • Incredibly affordable
  • Very good Max Performance

Neutral

  •  

Negative

  • Horrible Noise-to-Performance ratio
  • Very Loud
  • No Screws included

 

What's in the Box?

Unlike most Fans we had a look at before, Alphacool's Core 120 series comes in the most OEM packaging possible.

Hidden inside a simple white box we will find the Fan and nothing but the Fan.

 

 

Therefore, BEWARE, there are not even screws included with this fan. For people building PCs on a regular basis, this may not be a huge issue as it's quite normal to accumulate a small mountain of regular fan screws over time. For first-time builders or people who only build PCs every few years, you might need to keep this in mind and get them beforehand. 

 

 

Other than the white color, the box is kept simple to a degree at which the sticker on the lower left corner is the only thing enabling your to keep the boxes apart.

Name Alphacool Core 120mm 3000RPM
Size 120x120x25mm
Speed up to 3000RPM
Airflow up to 93.6CFM
Static Pressure up to 7.83mm/H2O
Noise < 45dbA
Connection 4-Pin PWM
Cable Length 400mm
Bearing Dual Ball Bearing
Motor - unknown -
RGB - none -

Installation

 

Installing an Alphacool Core 120mm fan without any preparation might become quite an obstacle without any included screws.

However, once you got some, may it be because you have a dedicated bag full of them, or purchased them, installing the fan is as easy as it is for any other fan out there.

Position the fan, screw in the 4 screws, done.

 

 

To make the fan spin we just need to connect the 40cm long PWM cable to one of the available case fan headers on the motherboard and we are good to go. 

Appearance

 

Except for their speed, every part of an Alphacool Core fan tries to stay true to its name: Core.

There are no optical features, no rubberized corners, and nothing that could even remotely resemble a "feature-rich" fan. Truly a "Core" fan.

 

 

However, the frame needed some reinforcements due to the fans' incredibly fast 3000RPM speed.

Benchmark

We tested Alphacool's new Core series 120mm fan spinning at max 3000RPM in our usual hybrid Case-almost-Heatsink benchmark machine.

 

 

In contrast to the 2500RPM quick version, the 3000RPM gained some substantial headroom. Allowing the CPU co cool down to 42.2°C above ambient showed what 500RPM difference can truly do.

Whereas the slower version placed the Core series around the center of our complete list, the 3000RPM is now present in the upper third.

 

 

Lowering the speed by 10% decrements, however, did not create a Noise-to-Performance ratio much better than the slower version had before.

Due to the now downgraded Dual-Ball Bearing, the fan is now slightly louder from about 70% to 25% of its whole speed range.

The only place at which this is not the case is when both fans are pushed to their respective max. From there down to 90%, the quicker version had the upper hand.

 

However, looking at the whole picture, the 3000RPM version still does not come close to the Noise-to-Performance ratio of other more balanced fans.

Conclusion

 

Similarly to the 2500RPM version, we believe the 3000RPM Alphacool Core 120 is a very interesting fan. 

It might have one of the worst noise-to-performance ratios, however, it comes at such an affordable price, that Server and Out-of-the-Room PC builders might be interested in it.

 

 

In contrast to the slower version, however, the 3000RPM version comes with a much, much larger max performance overhead. Now where it's outperforming about 70% of our total Fan benchmark list, paired with its now 6.99€ price tag, it is making the Core lineup truly interesting.

 

 

However, we are still maintaining our previously set opinion. A Core Series fan is either for people who want true Performance at the lowest possible budget, even if it comes at the cost of noise, or the PC/Server is just not present in the room. Otherwise, you might not have the best experience.

 

 

 

strumace
Introduction
What's in the Box?
Installation
Appearance
Benchmark
Conclusion
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