Many of us think very little of the fans in our cases despite the important job they perform. Heat is the enemy of high-performance computing, and moving air continues to be the easiest and most cost-effective way to dissipate heat from our systems. The box sitting under my desk at the moment contains six individual fans, but I only put any thought into the two on my heatsink; the others came with the case, and I was just happy to have them but never give them much consideration. It really makes very little sense to have only the heatsink benefit from quality fans, though—after all, if they just recirculate warm air because the case fans can’t exhaust it fast enough, what good is that?
GELID was kind enough to send us samples of their Silent 12 TC and Wing 12 fans, which I compared to several classes of stock and enthusiast fans. What they sent us really surprised me—and in a very good way. Fans, as a rule, aren’t terribly interesting; but one model GELID sent actually made me geek out a little bit. That said… let’s get to them!
The GELID Silent 12 TC
The TC in the name stands for “Temperature Control.” The fan includes a temperature sensor that’s about a foot long. You can position it in a temperature area of interest that will allow the fan to respond with higher RPMs (revolutions per minute) as the temperature increases. It’s marketed as a low-speed optimized silent fan, so I wanted to put it in two distinct situations: a high-heat situation where it was the primary exhaust fan, and a lower-heat situation with a high-airflow case and other ventilation sources. In the first, we can test its capability to move air and how loud it gets when it really has to churn, and in the second, we can test how quiet it can be and how well it regulates its speeds based on case temps.