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Cooler Master LED Fan

Welcome yet again to the Monster-Hardware secret labs down in Silicon Holler! Today we’re gonna take a look at a case fan – the Cooler Master Neon LED fan, the model number is TLF-R82. The Lord and Master of Monster-Hardware (Editors note; The joke being I am the master of my domain) sent me two of these fans to review. Actually, I am going to take a look at one and keep the other for a fan mod I’ll be working on soon (more on that project later).

The TLF-R82 case fan is attractively packaged in a clear plastic box with a black cardboard backer. Coupled with the clear fan, this packaging looks very slick. Additionally, the center hub of the case fan is fairly clear while the blades of the fan are frosted. The clear center hub allows you to see the four copper coils and magnets that power the fan, while the frosting catches and diffuses the light generated by the LED’s. In addition to the fan itself, you will get four mounting screws (to be screwed into the plastic corner holes on the fan) and a pass-through MOLEX-to-three-pin adapter. The adapter is a nice touch if your motherboard has no more available fan pinouts available, or even if you are simply using this case fan in a computer with an older motherboard. The power supplied to the fan is via a three wire connection, so this case fan is capable of speed sensing.

Cooler Master Fan Bundle

Fan Specs:

-Size: 80 x 80 x 25 mm
-12VDC at .15A – drawing appx 1.8 watts
-Speed: 2500 rpm
-Airflow: 32 CFM
-Noise: rated at 25 dbA

I found one point about this fan to be interesting – both on the package and on the Cooler Master’s website mention the use of a patented “rifle” bearing. Unfortunately, they do NOT go into a great deal of explanation about this technology. A web search did not prove to be very helpful either. I suspect that this is actually a sleeve bearing with “rifled” grooves cut into the bearing surface so that lubrication is evenly distributed. Regardless, Cooler Master contends that the life expectancy should be approximately 50,000 hours of operation. I’m not sure, but I think I might have a new computer case at some point before this time is up!

The evaluation sample I will be covering has green LED’s; however, there are six different fan versions available. The colors are blue, green, red, orange, purple, and white. If you look VERY closely behind the clear fan, there’s an oval of color that shows the corresponding color of the LED’s in the fan. But it’s rather difficult to make out, note that in one of my pics, the green LED fan is out of the package and the white LED fan is next to it still boxed up. The best way to be sure of your color is to use the code on the back of the box. The format is TLF-R82-Ex, where the “x” is G for green, B for blue, W for white, and so forth. This is the only location you will find the color codes on the packaging.

Cooler Master Package Rear

Which is, of course, the whole point of this particular case fan – the LED’s. The fan housing has four LED’s, on each each corner, housed in the rim of the fan very close to the spinning fan blades. The LED’s are inserted into holes drilled into the plastic housing, and the LED leads are stretched around the fan and tucked away neatly into a groove. The leads are not very noticeable and will be indistinguishable when the LED’s are lit.

Cooler Master LED

Now, let’s take a look at the fan in operation. I took two pictures, one of the fan laid flat and another installed in a computer. You can really see the swirl pattern displayed by the LED’s. This is a really attractive fan.

Fan Lit 1     Fan Lit 2

OK, I’m a little skeptical about the noise level. 25 dbA is VERY quiet, and I’m not sure that this fan makes it that low. I will say, however, that this is one of the quietest fans I have ever worked with. I’m sure that the majority of this is due to the relatively low rpm, and may be contributed in part by the new rifle bearing.

Conclusion:

This is a really nice fan! If I have a gripe, it is this: I had to install it in a secondary computer. I have decided to go with a UV scheme in my main computer, and the fan is so bright that the UV coatings I am using are simply overpowered. I think that Cooler Master should consider making a UV version of this fan using UV LED’s in addition to the main six colors. That’s the fan mod I have planned – I will attempt to replace the existing set of LED’s in one fan with a set of UV LED’s. Hopefully, it will turn out well.

Added: May 3rd 2003
Reviewer: Insulglass
Score: 9  
Related Link: Cooler Master
Hits: 11415
Language: english

  

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