< BackSep 02, 2021
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Arctic F12 Review

Introduction

Arctic is very well known for its excellent line of case fans. In the past, we have already had a look at their P12 & P14 high- static-pressure case fans. Now we will have a look at their F12 Case fan. A 120mm fan, specifically build for pure airflow!

 

 

Positive

  • Very Affordable
  • PST Daysi-chain PWM function

Neutral

  • Okay Performance
  • No Anti-Vibration Rubber pieces (see why below)
  • No RGB (Neutral as these are not aimed at the RGB Market)

Negative

  • Complicated Lineup

 

 

Arctic F12 / P12 Lineup

arctic-f12-lineup

 

At a first glance, the Arctic F12 Lineup may be overwhelming, but we will try to make it as clear as possible. Arctic's Lineup of 120mm Case Fans is grouped into 2 big Product Lines, the F12 Series & the P12 Series.

Both of these Fan-Lines have their individual benefits.

 

While the F12 Series is Airflow optimized, it spins way slower (1350 RPM) and produces way less air pressure, but can push a lot of air for such a slow-spinning fan.

The P12 Series is pressure optimized, meaning that the Air that the P12 Fan is pushing has a higher pressure, resulting in a better passthrough if the direction it blows is restricted, like by a Radiator or Filter.

 

With that being said, both the F12 and P12 Series have a couple of Sub-Versions of their fans.

 

  • P12 / F12 => Standard Fan, 3-Pin Connection, No extras.
  • P12 / F12 Silent => Spins slower resulting in lower Noise
  • P12 / F12 TC => Has a Temperature Control Probe attached that locks the Fan at 350RPM until the probe reaches more than 38°C
  • P12 / F12 PWM => Has a 4-Pin PWM Controllable Connection
  • P12 / F12 PWM PST => Has a PWN Connection + a Daisy Chain Connection to hook multiple Fans to one Fan Header
  • P12 / F12 PWM PST CO => Has a PWM Connection + Daisy Chain Connection + Build for Constant Operation

Overall, that's a pretty big Lineup for a Single Series, but we hope that everything is clear now.

The Rest of this review focuses only on the F12 PWM PST fan, but you can expect the exact same results from the F12 PWM (as the only difference is the Daisy Chain).

 

Name Arctic F12 PWM PST
Size 120mm
Speed 1350 rpm
Airflow 53 CFM
Noise .3 Sone (should be < 23db)
Connection 4-Pin PWM
Bearing Fluid Dynamic Bearing

What's in the Box?

arctic-f12-box

 

The unboxing experience of one of Arctic's F12 PWM PST fans is indistinguishable from any other Arctic F- or P- Series Fan.

Inside the (extremely) compact packaging we'll find the Arctic F12 PWM PST Fan accompanied by a set of fan screws and their iconic iPhone Shaped smartphone manual QR code.

 

The front of the packaging is composed of a representational image of the fan while the backside features a short introduction into its features and specs. Just like before, Arctic Packaging does not feel cheap in any way and can be summed up with "efficient".

Installation

arctic-f12-pwm

 

Installing the F12 PWM PST fan is a straightforward process. Because of the lack of any RGB functionality, there only two things to do is to position the fans where it is supposed to be while screwing it down, and connecting the PWM connector to one of the Motherboards Fan headers.

 

arctic-f12-chained

 

When deciding on the PWM PST model of Arctic F12 Lineup, you will be greeted with an additional PWM extension port a couple of cms next to the Fans PWM header. Once the Fan is connected, you are able to connect another one of Arctic's, or any other brand's, Fan to that out-sticking connector. This method of Daysi-chaining allows you to connect multiple, if not all of your Case fans to a single Fan header, giving you the possibility to control all of your fans at once.

Please note that the beforementioned PST Daysi-chain port is only available with the F12 PWM PST variant of the fan.

 

The lack of Anti-Vibration-Rubber-Pads

arctic-f12-vibration-ads

 

After Unboxing the Fans, we immediately noticed that there were no "Anti-Vibration" Pads to be found.

At first, we assumed that this was one of the reasons why these Fans could be so cheap, but upon investigation, it turned out to be a feature.

According to the Arctic's Website, they claim that their newly developed "Arctic Motor" only transmits 5% of the vibration into its surrounding, making the usage of Anti-Vibration-Pads obsolete. (50% Transmission for Pads, 100% for no-name fans)

 

While benchmarking the Fans, we also tried to test if their claims were true. For this, we simply cut the Anti-Vibration Pads of other fans into an acceptable shape and added them to our Benchmark schedule.

 

And in fact, our dB-meter and the Audio Recording of our Benchmarking both confirmed that there is absolutely no difference between having Anti-Vibration-Pads and not. (Or we unable to, no matter how loud we played the audio recordings)

So their claims seem to be true, and it is unnecessary to add any additional Sound Blocking while using the F12-Series.

Appearance

arctic-f12-design

 

When it comes to the design, Arctic's F12 lineup seems to be as simple as it gets. No RGB, no out sticking prices, or any other extra accents which may draw your attention. Just a simple Black fan with Black wings (or the Grey-white combo if you chose a different color).

In a time of ever-glowing RGB unicorn power no matter where you look, this design choice may seem "old", yet this is a completely subjective opinion. If RGB is what you are looking for, you may want to have a look at Arctic P12 ARGB 0db fans. For the people looking for a simpler and cleaner approach, this is a very good way to go.

Benchmarking

In order to Benchmark the F12 Series, we repeated our Standard Test and compared them to each of our other Fans.

The Benchmark consists of an Azza Hive Case, an AMD 3600x locked at 3.26 GHz (1.1vcore), and a Palit RTX 2060s paired with a Be Quiet! Pure Rock slim without any fans in order to amplify the results.

 

While hitting the CPU with 100% load, the F12s managed to keep the CPU at 66°C, 4°C more than Arctic P12 allrounder-Fans.

 

Arctic-F12-PWM-PST-Benchmark1

 

Letting the Fans spin at only 50% of their rated PWM mixed up the results quite a bit.

 

Arctic-F12-PWM-PST-Benchmark2

 

While scoring 80°C, the F12 managed to out beat the P12s by 3°C, a change we did not expect.

As it turns out, the F12's efficient, Air-flow focused design kicked in at a later point, moving the P12 a couple of spots upwards, even though it is spinning at only 675 RPM while the P12 are spinning at 900RPM.

 

While benchmarking the F12s, we also did some Noise-Benchmarks which you can watch in our video linked at the top of this page.

Conclusion

arctic-f12-design2

 

Arctic's F and P lineup of fans are similar in many ways. They are both available in the same subversions, and all of them feature the same minimalist and clean design approach.

That being said, the F-Series Fans with their 9x shorter and lesser bend wings compared to the P12, are entirely focused on raw airflow, whereas the P12 can deliver really good airflow while maintaining a high level of static pressure.

This benefit in static pressure will be crucial if you are planning to use a Fan on a Radiator, Heatsink, or in a case with really thick dust filters.

 

arctic-f12-design3

 

Comparing both fans overall, there is only one scenario in which the F12 can dominate over the P12, and that is in a restriction-free environment, while only spinning at 50% PWM. But while dominating in that area, it is also a tiny bit louder than its static-pressure-focused counterpart.

To summarize all of our findings, the F12 is an excellent case fan, but it is generally not able to out-perform the P12 in most categories, meaning that we would recommend opting for the P12 instead of the F12.

 

That being said, if you are still considering going for an F12, you are doing you're PC no hard as it is still a very worthy competitor looking at all of our past-reviewed fans.

The F12Lineup is available for around 8.99€-11.99€ or 7.99$-12.99$ depending on the Model that you want.

With a price that low and Performance that good, it not only outperforms many of the High-End Case Fans but also outprices some for almost half the price. (Affiliate Links are below)

 

strumace
Introduction
Arctic F12 / P12 Lineup
What's in the Box?
Installation
Appearance
Benchmarking
Conclusion
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