< BackOct 11, 2023
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Montech AX120 Review

Introduction

First introduced in Montechs' Sky Two case, it is time to take a closer look at their AX120 ARGB fans! With an RGB ring going around them paired with an up to 1600RPM max-speed, will they reach the top of the benchmark list?

 

Positive

  • Good Case Max-Performance
  • Solid RGB Implementation

Neutral

  • Build Quality is okay

Negative

  • Case Noise-to-performance could be better
  • Not suited for radiator usage

 

 

What's in the Box?

montech-ax120-box

 

Montechs' AX120 120mm RGB case fans come in a relatively standard single-fan packaging. Some imagery on each side paired with a short overview of its specs. Once every item has been removed, we will be left with the following items:

  • 1x Montech AX120
  • 1x Fan Screws

Down below you will find a summary of the AX120's specs.

Name Montech AX120
Size 120x120x25mm
Speed <1600RPM
Airflow <59CFM
Static Pressure <1.8mm/H2O
Noise <27dbA
Connection 4-Pin PWM
Cable Length <500mm each (with included adapter & extension)
Bearing Hydro Dynamic Bearing
Motor - Not specified - probably 4-Pole
RGB Rounded- Square around fan frame

Installation

Installing an AX120 fan is nothing out of the ordinary. For both radiator or case fan usage, the fan simply needs to be put into position and then screwed down using either the provided screws or your own radiator screws.

 

montech-ax120-install

 

To make the AX120s shine and spin, the attached 500mm long PWM and 3-Pin ARGB cable need to be connected to your motherboard's headers.

 

montech-ax120-install

 

However, at this point, we already found a strong negative aspect about these fans. Unlike most fans, neither the PWM nor the ARGB connection has a splitter attached to it. Even if PWM splitters are not common across the whole industry, seeing a single ARGB header without the option to daisy-chain has become rare in recent years.

Appearance

montech-ax120-design

 

The most noticeable aspect of most fans nowadays is their ARGB implementation. In the case of Montechs AX120 fans, they did a fine job. The slightly rounded off cube shape ARGB strip going all around the fan frame looks like a solid implementation. The LEDs are strong enough to be uncountable and shine strong, even with room light present.

 

montech-ax120-rubber

 

Other than the ARGB implementation, the fan feels "okay" as a whole. Its build quality is definitely on the budget-friendly side, but for a fan being in that category, it feels relatively sturdy for its class. 
A small but quickly overlooked difference to the AX120s usage inside the Montech Sky Two case is the rubber around the screw holes. In contrast to the Sky Two case, the individual fans do come with vibration-absorbing rubber adding to the fans value.

Benchmark

We benchmarked the Montechs AX120 on both test setups. Once focused on pure radiator performance using an 80mm thick radiator. To determine the performance of a fan, the above ambient temperature of the water exiting the radiator is measured.

The second scenario is a raw case benchmark. For this, we measure the CPU temperature of a system using a Noctua NH-P1 passive cooler. In this case, the fans are responsible for recycling the air within the case.

Case

montech-ax120-case

 

Allowing the AX120 to spin at max speed in a case fan environment allowed the CPU to stay at 45.1°C above ambient. This positions it right behind the Arctic P12, a surprisingly good position for a budget-oriented fan.

 

montech-ax120-case

 

Slowly lowering the fan speed in 10% steps showed that the max performance result was partially achieved at the cost of noise. Although the AX120 is not the worst fan we have seen so far, it is definitely behind most fans.

 

Radiator

Used on top of a radiator, the AX120 did not shine this time around. At 14°C water temperature above water, the Montech AX120 makes it to the center in between the good and the bad, but leaning towards the bad category. 

 

montech-ax120-case

 

The corresponding Noise-to-Performance ratio looks quite similar, but better than the one generated in the case scenario.  Although the AX120 is still at the lower end, it it significantly closer to the Phanteks M25 and Cooler Master Mobius 120 OC.

 

montech-ax120-rad

Conclusion

montech-ax120-design

 

As a standalone product, for a price tag of 10€ per fan, we do not believe that the fan is quite worth it.

It may not be the worst fan, that is definitely true, and it has a surprisingly good burst performance as a case fan, however, there are better alternatives out there.

The same applies to it's quality and design. Both are solid implementations for the price, but there are better alternatives.

 

montech-ax120-design

 

However, we see there to be a specific scenario in which getting an individual AX120 fan makes sense. That is, in case you already own a Montech Sky Two case. Keeping in mind that the case is already pre-filled with some AX120 fans, we believe it to make sense to fill the few missing spots with the same fans and enjoy a well-planned overall design.

 

Since the AX120 can be an acceptable case fan, given its slightly noisy performance, we believe that filling the rest of a Sky Two case with them provides you with enough AX120 fans to keep your build cool, whilst pushing the speed down far enough to make them unnoticeable.

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