< BackOct 30, 2022
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Silent Wings 4 PWM 120mm Review

Introduction

Spinning at 1600RPM, the Silent Wings 4 120mm PWM promises to be the ideal case fan. With multiple mounting mechanics and near-unhearable noise omission, it seems to be the perfect candidate to pump air into your case! Let's find out if it can keep up with other fans or if the High-Speed version is the better deal

 

 

Positive

  • Excellent Noise-to-Performance
  • Multiple Installation Methods

Neutral

  • All-Black/Matt-Black Design

Negative

  • The PWM header is "okay" but be quiet's could have used the same as on the Pro-line
  • 0 Performance overhead

 

 

What's in the box?

bq-sw-4-120-pwm-box

 

be quiet!'s newest iteration of their Silent Wings series comes in an almost identical package as the previous versions. Some imagery and specs with a grey stripe to make sure that you know you went for the high-end line.

 

bq-sw-4-120-pwm-unboxed

 

Inside the box, the Fan is wrapped in its own smaller carton box with an additional accessories box above it. 

The accessories box contains an additional pair of mounting corners and the installation hardware in form of push-pins and fan screws, more bout that in the installation section

 

Down below we added a summary of the Silent Wing 4 PWM's specs:

Name be quiet! Silent Wings PWM 120mm
Size 120x120x25mm
Speed <=1600RPM
Airflow 48.7CFM
Static Pressure 1.79mm/H2O
Noise <18.9dBa
Connection PWM
Bearing Fluid Dynamic Bearing
RGB Of course not

Installation

bq-sw-4-120-pwm-install

 

Installing a Silent Wings fan was always a matter of choice. 

Out-of-the-box, the new Silent Wings 4 comes with the push-pin corners pre-installed. This installation mechanic is ideal to be used in a case fan scenario as the rubber on them can act as an additional damper to remove even more vibrations. In order to install the fan using this method, we simply need to position it behind or in front of the case's fan bracket and push the pins found in the accessories box through each corner of the fan. That's it...

 

bq-sw-4-120-pwm-install

 

The alternative method would be the fan-screw method. Self-explanatory as this is, we first need to replace the existing mounting edges.

 

bq-sw-4-120-pwm-install2

 

For this, simply grab each corner and push in the piece of out sticking plastic which unlocks the lock mechanism. From there, simply pull and they are off.

 

bq-sw-4-120-pwm-install4

 

After positioning the corners on each of the edges of the fan, just push them in and proceed by installing it using the fan screws.

Appearance

bq-sw-4-120-pwm-design1

 

Surely the biggest change between the newest and the iteration before that is the fan's overall design. With a new all-black finish with a matt-black central piece, the fan is basically all black and easily integrable into basically any build.

 

bq-sw-4-120-pwm-design2

 

Although we are huge fans of these changes, the design will always be up to the end customer. The Wing design, however, is not. For the first time in a decade, be quiet! ditched their old 7- thick and slightly bent wing design that be quiet! is known for. Now, we are greeted with 9 heavily bent wings, which is more of a static pressure optimized approach. In contrast to the previous version, this new approach makes the fan better perform in use cases that require slightly more static pressure such as filters or strong bends and thin air inlets.

 

bq-sw-4-120-pwm-design4

 

A quickly unnoticed change is that the fan is now actually round. The previous Silent Wings 3 line had an inlet and outlet in octagonal form. The new Silent Wings 4 on the other hand, is round. This change can be both negative and positive depending on how you want to look at it. The octagonal form might have helped to distribute the air more throughout the case as it might act as a funnel.

 

bq-sw-4-120-pwm-design5

 

The new round shape will channel the air slightly making it directable to a specific location. A change like this might be impossible to measure, but as a front case fan in combination with an Air cooler, the round shape might be better as the air is pushed directly into the cooler fan instead of spread across the case. For exhaust, on the other hand, the octagonal design might be better as the "reverse" funnel will suck in the air through a bigger surface compared to a round design.

Benchmark

bq-sw-4-120-pwm-benchmark1

 

We tested the new be quiet! Silent Wings 4 PWM in 120mm using our usual benchmark test. While letting the fan spin at 100% of its max speed, they managed to keep the CPU at 58°C. This positions it right in the middle of other (only) case fans and 16°C behind the high-speed counterpart.

 

bq-sw-4-120-pwm-benchmark2

 

On the noise-to-performance side, we were able to observe the same "excellent" ratio that other SW4's had. However, as the fan's maximum RPM is limited to 1600RPM, this tail of excellent performance quickly ends as there is no performance overhead.

Conclusion

bq-sw-4-120-pwm-design9

 

Compared to every other SW4-Series fan we reviewed before, this conclusion will not end as positive. Sure, we love the new lineup. The quality, noise-to-performance ratio, and design are amazing. However, the 1600RPM quick PWM version has literally 0 overhead. As a raw-case fan, there is also nothing wrong with that, the fan would perform excellently as a case fan. But the High-Speed version would perform 1-1 exactly the same. And the only, and extremely important difference, the High-Speed version would come with an extreme amount of performance overhead. Even as a Case fan, having that amount of performance overhead is nothing bad. 

 

bq-sw-4-120-pwm-design11

 

What clarifies our opinion maybe a bit more is the fact that both the High-Speed and regular PWM versions have the exact same MSRP price. Therefore, we cannot understand why anybody would go for a slow-spinning high-efficiency fan if for exactly the same price, they could get a high-efficiency fan with a ton of overhead and a properly set PWM curve.

 

bq-sw-4-120-pwm-design13

 

For this reason, we highly advise you to choose the High-Speed version over the PWM version.

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