Subjective comparison of some 120mm fans

Here are some subjective comparisons between three 120 mm fans I happened to have on hand at the start of 2007. Two Deltas came with a Swiftech H20-220 Apex "Ultra Plus" Liquid Cooling Kit (regular (not GT) Apogee CPU cooler version). The Arctics were replacements for them in a custom heat exchanger enclosure. The Vantec Stealth was used with a Thermalright XP-120 CPU cooler.

Model Size 5V flow 5V sound 12V flow 12V sound
Delta WFB1212M 120 x 25 mm More than Arctic Faint "ticking" More than Arctic Louder than Arctic
Arctic 12 120 x 38 mm Medium flow Quietest Medium flow Quietest
Vantec Stealth SF12025L 120 x 25 mm Less than Arctic (least flow of all 3) Noisier than Arctic Less than Arctic Noisier than Arctic


  1. All fans started and ran at 5 Volts.
  2. All are designed to be relatively quiet, moderate flow fans.
  3. They are not high flow fans.
  4. The Arctic 12 does not have a"box" frame like the others. It has a "one face" frame that can only be mounted as a pusher to one surface for example as a case exhaust fan, using tapping screws. Artic makes other models that are box fans. Their box fans are typically not as quiet as their open frame fans.
  5. These are subjective impressions. A measured test may have different results, but the subjective impressions seem to agree with other measurements and impressions seen elsewhere.

Subjective conclusions

In all cases the Arctic was quiest. It also has more flow than the Vantec. The Delta has more flow than the Arctic, but it's also noisier. If the Arctic provides enough flow for the application, it will be the quietest, with the most flow per noise. Or, said another way, in terms of noise per flow, the Arctic is the best performer. Similarly, the Vantec had the least performance in terms of noise per flow, being noisier than the Arctic, but flowing less.