Fractal Design Venturi Series Review. Today we examine the 12cm and 14cm version of the Venturi fans, from Fractal Design. The very name implies good things, and these fans are premium products.
I’d expect so, based on our past experience with Fractal products, more so after researching them. That said I’m not a fan of guessing, and neither are you right? (see what I did there?) So let’s find out
[Features and Specification]
The Venturi High Flow Series fans, HF-12 and HF-14, are optimized for low-restriction airflow environments, making them an excellent choice for computer case fans, or other low-restriction usage scenarios.
Designed with a variety of performance-increasing and noise-reducing features, these fans can move an amazing amount of air compared to other fans at the same, minimal noise level.
The HF-14 comes with two sets of solid vibration-dampening rubber corners: one for standard 140mm fan hole spacing (125mm) and one compatible with the standard 120mm hole spacing (105mm). The Venturi High Flow Series fans are ideal for those looking for a perfect balance between high performance and low noise built from sturdy, high quality materials.
- Featuring true FDB-bearings, providing silent operation coupled with a long lifespan
- Equipped with a counter-balanced magnet that reduces the axial tension on the bearing
- Features integrated vibration-dampening corners, made from solid high-quality synthetic rubber
- Dense, sturdy construction, made from high-grade glass fiber reinforced thermoplasticpolymer
- Fan geometry is optimized for a ground-breaking airflow, perfect for low-restriction usage scenarios such as computer case ventilation and low-density heatsinks or radiators.
- Aerodynamically shaped thin stator struts reduce noise and unwanted turbulence
- Strategically placed notches on the blades further reduce and diffuse any humming noise produced when the blades pass the stator struts
- The trip wire technology introduces a micro-turbulent layer that combats elements that negatively affect performance, resulting in quieter operation
- Featuring a powerful motor to maintain a reliable speed and a low-speed adapter for reducing the speed without the use of a fan controller
- 140mm fans come with an additional set of vibration-dampening corners are included that lends compatibility with 120mm fan mounts (105mm screw spacing). This enables the use of 140mm fans on many CPU coolers.
- Available in 120mm and 140mm fan sizes
We have the standard HF12 and the PWM version of the HP-14
In short the HF-12 has a max rpm of 1400, the HP-14 less at 1500. Both operate with a 3 pin connection, with the HF-12 pushing 83.4CFM and the HP-14 able of 78CFM
The HP-14P has lower stats in terms of how much air moves, but has higher static pressure due to the blade design
Being a premium product, even the box matters. Fractal have worked their Swedish magic here. Producing sleek boxes for either model. Utilizing a fold out box, similar to those we saw from Noctua. Model name and brief specifications are found.
Inside of the flip open door (which sticks down with velcro) details what’s going on under the hood of these fans. I’ve included the tour of which below (courtesy of Fractal Design)
The backside details the main, more detailed specs and demos the key difference between the HF-12/14. The HP-14 has additional rubber pads, which are rounded to increase compatibility. We’ll explore these soon.
- Venturi Series fan
- Screw pack with 4 metal screws
- [HF models] Low speed adapter
- [HP models] 1->2 PWM signal splitter cable
- [140 mm models] 4 additional rubber corners, with 105mm hole pattern
We will examine the HF-12 first.
The first thing you’re likely to notice is the color scheme, all the fractal product’s I worked with in the past have been black or white. This series is finished in gunmetal for the frame, and black on the blades.
With this version, Fractal bundle four screws and a low noise adaptor. If used the noise emission are dropped from 25, down to 18 (DB) and airflow from 83CFM to 65CFM. The corners on the fan are oversized rubber pads. As the screws go direct into rubber, they ought to help eliminate any vibrations.
Side by side both models, apart from size are identical. Lastly, the sleeved cable is 50cm in length
The bundle here is slightly different, note in the image above I’ve already swapped out the default corners, to demo the alternative ones that Fractal include. You’ll also find a Y splitter cable in this version too.
Why do Fractal included rounded extra corner pads then? The idea here is to increase compatibility, as the extra corners, use the same hole spacing as 120mm fans. The HP-14 is more flexible, as you can install it onto, say a 120mm AIO or tower cooler, that has a 120mm fan limit.
A very welcome move, from Fractal Design.
[Test Setup and Method]
Proudly Powered by our Dimastech Mini V1.0 Test Bench
Intel® i5 4670K
|Memory:||Kingston HyperX Beast 2400Mhz 8GB|
|Motherboard:||MSI Z97 GAMING 7|
|Video Card:||MSI Radeon 270X Gaming|
|Hard Drives:|| |
SSD – Kingston HyperX 3k 240GB
M.2 -Kingston M.2
|OS:||Windows 8.1 64-Bit|
We’ve not tested an individual fan for some time, and our test method and equipment has changed. Therefore we will start fresh today, these fans being the only fans in the database (more coming soon)
We spent a great deal of time devising a logical, and clear set of tests. The decision was made to test every fan in both and air cooling and water cooling scenarios. Sure some fans are optimised for one and not the other, however some fans are middle ground and for comparison sake, this made the most sense going forward.
Heatsink Performance (Air Cooler)
Not only was the overall load CPU temperature lower, but the noise emissions were also much better. For reference sake I’ve also included a generic no name 14cm fan, just to demonstrate the significant differences between stock and aftermarket products!
As expect the HF12, is actually the better performer, because of the blade design and other factors. We know the HP-14 is actually more suited for radiators (AIO/Watercooling)
We then proceeded to overclock our system and see how the products did…
As above the Venturi fans both deliver great results, the 12 is the one to go for here, it’s cooler and quieter than the PWN HP-14. (in this test)
AIO Performance (watercooler)
The only single 120mm Rad AIO cooler we have in our database is the SilverStone Tundra. Which we reviewed here. The HP-14 is able to deliver more static pressure, making it more suitable for radiators. It will surely perform better this time.
It does indeed, knocking 2c off the Venturi 12..but it is a touch louder too. Next we’ll overclock the CPU and see how the two handle the extra heat!
Same again 2c better but louder…If you’re unsure what model to go for. I’d still lean towards the HP-14. its only a touch louder and more versatile.
As weird as it sounds, I would never expect Fractal Design to sell cheap fans…just to clarify I don’t think anything Fractal Design currently offer, is overpriced, or even expensive. What I mean, is that they sell exceptional products, at fair prices. They don’t have budget products, the Venturi series are on the upper side of their current lineup (fans).
Fans are not the most interesting product to read about, let alone write about. Here’s the thing, you’re likely reading this review because you want a good performance fan, but you want it to be quiet, right? That’s what almost everyone wants, with the exception of enthusiasts seeking maximum performance, for say overclocking. The rest of us want an able fan, with minimal or in an ideal world, Zero noise. That’s not going to happen, but the transition from fans a few years back to now has been exceptional. The amount of research that’s going into these fans in clear, because the performance is exceptional and of more importance they are both almost silent.
I won’t digress but these types of product, falls into a grey area. The problem is that noise is perceived differently by each consumer, and so many variables will affect the noise output. From case setup, location, and the actual user. We’ve devised a test that is repeatable and accurate, but it’s key that you understand, we test on an open test bench. So the actual noise emission for 99% of you will be much lower than for us.
The Venturi is another fine and deserving addition to the ever-growing Fractal Range, yes they are on the expensive side. Based on everything we’ve seen today though, they are worth every penny. Performance both thermally and acoustics are fantastic.
The Venturi series fans are awarded both our “Design” and “Performance” Awards”