Unboxing and Review of SilverStone AP124-ARGB Fan

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SilverStone AP124-ARGB Fan

SilverStone has added new addressable RGB lighting into their famous Air Penetrator series cooling fans. They are available in both 120 mm (AP124-ARGB) and 140 mm (AP142-ARGB).



Specifications

 AP124-ARGB
Dimension (mm)120x120x25
Weight (g)204
BearingDouble Ball Bearing
Fan Speed (RPM)500 - 1800
Airflow (CFM)25.5
Static Pressure (mmH2O)2.13
Fan Connector4-pin PWM
LED Connector3-Pin 5V
MTBF (Hours)70,000

The SilverStone AP124-ARGB is advertised to generate airflow of about 25.5 CFM and static pressure of 2.13 mmH2O. It can spin from 500 RPM to 1800 RPM. The fan’s double ball bearing is expected to last about 70,000 hours (MTBF).

Unboxing

SilverStone AP124-ARGB Fan

The front of the packaging has a photo of the AP124-ARGB fan, the model name and the SilverStone logo. You get a specification list, and a few key features described in various languages at the back.

SilverStone AP124-ARGB Fan

Apart from the four standard fan screws, there are a set of anti-vibration mounts and an extension cable.

SilverStone AP124-ARGB Fan

SilverStone AP124-ARGB Fan

The AP124-ARGB is a standard 120 mm fan, which has a thickness of 25 mm. The main fan frame is made from black glossy plastic, while the top has a white translucent shell that houses all the 24 RGB LEDs. The seven fan blades have very little gaps between each other, and are clear to allow lighting to shine through. The back of the fan has a unique grill design for all Air Penetrator series fans, which focuses the airflow to form a air channel and increase cooling performance.

SilverStone AP124-ARGB Fan

Each corner of the fan has a tiny anti-vibration rubber pad to prevent rattling noises between the frame and the case.

SilverStone AP124-ARGB Fan

The usual fan power and speed are provided and controlled via the 4-pin PWM connector. The addressable RGB lighting requires the other 3-pin 5V RGB LED connector. Please be reminded that the fan does not support the 4-pin 12V RGB header.

The AP124-ARGB supports most motherboard manufacturers’ software, such as ASUS Aura Sync, MSI Mystic Light Sync and GIGABYTE RGB Fusion. The lighting effects/modes will vary, depends on the software.

The RGB lighting is pretty vivid and bright, while the clear fan blades and the integrated fan grill create a unique lighting pattern.



Review

Testing Methodology

To determine the performance of the fan, we will measure both the airflow and CPU temperatures when using in heatsink, as well as its sound levels.

An anemometer is used to record the fan’s airflow in various RPM ranges, including 25%, 50%, 75% and 100%. The results are measured in CFM (cubic feet per minute). The distance between the anemometer and the fan is kept at around 5 cm.

A decibel/sound level meter is also used to measure the fan’s operating noise at 1000 RPM, 50% and 100% fan speeds. Results are shown as dbA. Distance between the decibel meter and the fan is maintained at around 10 cm. Ambient sound level is at around 40 dbA.

The fan is then installed on the air cooler. The CPU, FPU and system cache are stressed using AIDA64. Ambient temperature is around 25°C. The temperature of the CPU package is recorded at full load when the fan is running at full speed.

Performance

SilverStone AP124-ARGB Fan

The SilverStone AP124-ARGB did decently in producing airflow, closer to the Noctua NF-F12 PWM. Both fans maxed out at 55.12 CFM, when running at full speed. It trailed behind a few fans in medium RPM range at around 28.76 CFM to 43.14 CFM. The AP124-ARGB could spin at 25% speed, but the anemometer was not able to pick up any reading.

Specialized in channeling air with the reputable Air Penetrator design, the AP124-ARGB is intended to be an intake case fan. It performed reasonably in cooling the heatsink as a non-static pressure optimized fan. The CPU load temperature difference was identical to the Noctua NF-S12A PWM at 46.8°C, which is 2.9°C hotter than the default NF-F12 PWM.

The AP124-ARGB sat in the middle of the chart in terms of noise created, which reached 58 dbA in full fan speed (~1800 RPM). It dropped to 43.6 dbA by lowering the around 50% speed, similar to the NF-F12 PWM. Normalizing to about 1000 RPM, the noise increased slightly to 45.2 dbA.

Conclusion

Unboxing Treatment Recommendation

The SilverStone AP124-ARGB fan had acceptable cooling performance. It was not the leader among all our benchmarks. The distinctive Air Penetrator design is meant to concentrate the air into a narrower channel, instead of pushing an incredible amount of air. It is more suitable to be a case intake fan. Overall, it did on par with the Noctua NF-S12A PWM in both airflow and heatsink tests, but it ran slightly faster at 1800 RPM. The addressable RGB lighting looks cool with rich colors.

The AP124-ARGB is priced at $32.99 USD (MSRP) with a 1-year warranty, which I think is a bit too expensive. It would be more reasonable to set the price around $25 USD as a solidly-built, RGB-enabled fan. The fan should be rather durable with a rated MTBF of 70,000 hours. Despite the steep price tag, the AP124-ARGB would still worth your consideration, if you enjoy the appearance, visual and can live with the adequate enough cooling performance.

You can purchase the fans from your local/online resellers or the links below from Amazon.

Links to purchase in Hong Kong


Thanks SilverStone for providing us the AP124-ARGB fan for review. (Review Sample)

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