Cooler Master MasterFan SF120M Review

👤by Matthew Hodgson Comments 📅24-10-19
Test Setup & Methodology
Due to popular demand, we have retired the long-standing cooling rig that we once used and replaced it with a shiny new system with an Intel Core i7 9700K at its heart. This should benefit you, the reader, in a couple of ways. The first being it can provide you with results on a CPU that is currently available to buy and secondly, the mounting instructions on our installation page will be far more relevant than the outgoing LGA 2066 was, with its pre-installed backplate.

We perform two individual testing routines with each CPU cooler that we receive - temperatures and acoustics. The system used is as follows and all tests are performed at stock frequencies.




We test our fans at both 1000 RPM and maximum RPM, or if the fan only has one setting, it’s only included in the maximum RPM graphs.

Firstly, we’ll test acoustics, both as a case fan, mounted on the rear of our Corsair Graphite 760T chassis, and as a radiator fan on the Corsair H100i Pro RGB. (with the pump turned down to 1,100 RPM and all other case fans disabled). We measure the average dB(A) noise levels over 60 seconds in a quiet room with an ambient noise level of around 24dB(A). Acoustics are measured from the same point within the case (20cm from the fan), with every effort taken to ensure test parameters are as close as possible during every test.

We then test the fan’s performance both at 1000 RPM and maximum RPM by running an AIDA64 20-minute stress test while running only a single 120mm fan on the 240mm radiator of the Corsair H100i Pro RGB. This allows us to test single fans as well as multi packs by only relying on a single 120mm fan. We mount the fan under the radiator, inside the case, blowing through the radiator. We measure the average core temperature over a 60-second period and minus the ambient room temperature from this. That leaves us with a Delta °C measurement which is applied to the graphs. Our average room temperature is kept as close to 21°C as possible, roughly the room temperature of most homes and offices. Obviously, if you live in a warmer climate with warmer room temperatures, you can expect higher temperatures.

To ensure the fans RPM are measured consistently, we use the Noctua NA-FC1 fan control unit, allowing the speed of our fans to be infinitely adjusted and monitored via a nearby header on the motherboard.

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