be quiet! Silent Wings 3 Review and test the five fans

be quiet! Silent Wings 3 Review and test the five fans

This year was marked by good news for all computer enthusiasts who prefer silent fans. German company be quiet! released, the third consecutive iteration of its flagship line of propellers be quiet! Silent Wings 3. It consists of eight variants with 120 and 140 mm models, of which we got to test five pieces. This is a two 140-mm propeller at speeds of rotation of the impeller at 1000 and 1600 rpm and three 120-mm fans: two (one with PWM, one without) at a speed of 1450 rpm and one at 2200 rpm. Let’s see what has changed in these new products.

be quiet! Silent Wings 3 140mm

be quiet! Silent Wings 3 Review and test the five fans

The theater begins with a hanger, a person meet on clothes, and any market merchandise trying to lure a buyer packing. With this new Silent Wings all right. Boxes are much more attractive and easier to extract. Most likely, the company be quiet! learned from its nearest rival, the Austrian Noctua. Outwardly, everything remains the same — the product image on the front side, detailed technical specifications and descriptions of benefits on the reverse.

But the box now opens up. Back cover has some more interesting pictures and descriptions concerning the technical parameters of the fan. And inside are two individual boxes smaller. One contains the propeller and the other with a set of accessories. Somewhere at the bottom you can find a short manual on the installation and use of the goods.

The list of accessories is almost standard on all variations of fans, so we’ll mention it only once. Here is the manual, two sets (four each) replacement mounting feet adapter with SATA power to three-pin fan connectors that allow you to change the speed by applying voltage to 5, 7 or 12, five screws, five plastic retaining pins and five rubber dampers.

be quiet! Silent Wings 3 Review and test the five fans

Strictly speaking, I don’t quite understand why the fans need two types of mounting, and why it could not be universal.But be quiet! judged otherwise. Rubber ferrule is fixed by means of studs, which ensures good insulation from vibration and greatly simplifies the process of assembling the frame of the propeller or removing it for cleaning. Clip two-sided.One side is “long” (indicated by symbol L), and it moves the chopper a few millimeters from the corpus lattice. This, theoretically, should reduce wind noise, although in practice the difference is not very noticeable.The second short side (S) provides the frame fit closely. The second type of mount is a plastic clip, padded inside rubber. It is suitable for fixing with screws or wire staples that are commonly used on a variety of CPU coolers.

Put the mount on the frame corner of the fan as shown in the following picture moves from left to right and is fixed with a catch. By the way, unhook the latch then is not particularly convenient — it will need to press something thin, such as a small screwdriver.

be quiet! Silent Wings 3 Review and test the five fans

Cords on all fans have a standard length of 500 mm and enclosed in a beautiful nylon cover with heat shrink on both sides. If you compare be quiet! Silent Wings 3 previous versions of fans, the first noteworthy frame of the propeller, with the sides slightly bulging out. Probably to increase the amount of air pumped through. Frame edge is covered with a rubber cover. In addition, slightly changed the impeller.It remained a signature of the transverse strips, but the blade grew in size, changed the angle more gentle, and bought at the ends a slight curvature in the form of “scimitar”.

The motor and bearing does not undergo any particular changes. Mainly because it was good enough. Perfectly balanced and silent fluid dynamic bearing is still complemented by the wonderful engine with six induction coils that ensures the smooth running of the rotor. However, I noted some strange electronic filling in tests. Its essence is that if the starting voltage once is not enough, even if the subsequent increase in the engine does not start, emitting a high-frequency squeak.To run successfully you need to disable prop completely, and then apply power, obviously exceeding the starting.With some fan control algorithm is running can cause problems.

During testing, be quiet! Silent Wings 3 140 mm proved exactly as good as its predecessor from the second series. To start the impeller took 4 In the voltage. By the way, all the fans in this review will start from this point. Absolutely noiseless propeller remained until 900 rpm. Only at a maximum of 1000 rpm was manifested lightweight aerodynamic rustle of the impeller. The airflow was quite noticeable, though noticeable static pressure, this model clearly does not create.In the case of installation in case the speed of the fan is likely to lower not required. Although fans of silence can still take him 10 or 11 V. Using the supplied adapter in this case does not make much sense, because at 7 In any substantial difference in the noise level not to be, but the performance will drop.

Voltage, V121110987654
The rpm1000900850750700600550450350
Acoustic comfort         
Noise dB (A)393736353434343433
Consumption, m3/h77,0073,0071,0068,0065,0063,0062,0060,0058,00

be quiet! Silent Wings 3 140mm

be quiet! Silent Wings 3 Review and test the five fans

This is a higher speed version of the 140mm fan can speed up to 1600 rpm. Box and accessories are identical, therefore, to dwell on it considering we won’t.

Visual differences in the design of the fan is also not observed.

be quiet! Silent Wings 3 Review and test the five fans

All that is different is the marking sticker on the stator of the propeller.

be quiet! Silent Wings 3 Review and test the five fans

Of noise indicators in be quiet! Silent Wings 3 140 mm high-speed can be considered quiet only in the range from 600 to 900 rpm throughout rest of range up to the maximum 1600 rpm clearly hear the aerodynamic sound of the blades, although to call it annoying is impossible. Unlike its less powerful counterpart, high-speed there is more vibration in the frame. The use of a reducing adapter in this model is more than justified, because 5 and 7 are quite adequate in low speed range.

Voltage, V121110987654
The rpm160015001400130012001000900750600
Acoustic comfort         
Noise dB (A)504847444239373534
Consumption, m3/h114,00105,00102,0095,0087,0093,0080,0069,0064,00

be quiet! Silent Wings 3 120mm

be quiet! Silent Wings 3 Review and test the five fans

The style of packing 120 mm model fan actually no different from the 140 mm version. The package is similar.

Design details in General are also similar, although the shape and bending of the blades acquired here even more pronounced than 140 mm fan. The blades have become larger, flat and curved under even greater angle. Campaign, be quiet! still came to the correct conclusion that silence is good, but requires more performance, and optimized the impeller in this direction.

be quiet! Silent Wings 3 Review and test the five fans

Motors and bearings 140-mm and 120-mm models do not differ among themselves. MTBF remains at 300 thousand hours, and power consumption is extremely low.

be quiet! Silent Wings 3 Review and test the five fans

Up to 1100 rpm the propeller is completely silent. At higher speed begins to rustle up the impeller, but the sound is not annoying. When using step-down adapter for 7 In we get the speed of the impeller at 900 rpm, which is optimal from the point of view of minimizing noise. Choke revs up to 5 and 600 rpm there is no practical sense.

Voltage, V121110987654
The rpm14501300120011001000900750600450
Acoustic comfort         
Noise dB (A)444240383635343434
Consumption, m3/h72,0066,0064,0059,0055,0052,0049,0046,0044,00

be quiet! Silent Wings 3 120mm PWM

be quiet! Silent Wings 3 Review and test the five fans

This fan is similar to the previous 120-mm propeller at all, except for the presence of the PWM controller. And, in fact, this distinction is very important. The fact that in the Silent Wings 2 was also the model with the PWM, but to call them successful, it was difficult because this controller was accompanied by a crash that negate their advantages in the silence. How are things going here?

In picking a be quiet! Silent Wings 3 120 mm PWM step-down adapter is missing. Because to connect it directly to the power supply will not work. But the four – (or three-pin) connector on the motherboard please.

be quiet! Silent Wings 3 Review and test the five fans

The power cord also has a length of 500 mm, chetyrehkantnyj the connector and the braid. In the configuration of the impeller and frame, nothing new was found.

It looks like the fan on the back side.

be quiet! Silent Wings 3 Review and test the five fans

Fortunately, all my concerns about spurious overtones PWM vanished. From be quiet! finally managed to make a normal controller which when connected to the motherboard not making a crackling and whistling. However, some PWM fan control this device tend to emit a high-frequency whistling at lower speeds. But it is a question more to the fan controller, rather than to the fan. This model can start from approximately 400 rpm at PWM connection and keeps deathly silence up to 1000 rpm.At a higher speed, up to a maximum of 1450 rpm, starts to sound vane, but the noise level is not irritating. And that means this fan is suitable for use on the radiator of the CPU cooler.

Voltage, V121110987654
The rpm14501350125011501000900800650500
Acoustic comfort         
Noise dB (A)454342403736343434
Consumption, m3/h75,0068,0066,0061,0057,0053,0050,0047,0044,00

be quiet! Silent Wings 3 120mm high-speed

be quiet! Silent Wings 3 Review and test the five fans

The final model in our test is a high — speed 120mm fan, capable of delivering 2200 rpm Its packaging and contents completely similar to the previous models.

The impeller and the frame of the propeller is equipped with a full range of aerodynamic optimizations, is typical for be quiet! but it’s hard to say whether it is effective at high speeds of rotation of the impeller. Power connector three — pin contact.

be quiet! Silent Wings 3 Review and test the five fans

It looks like the back side of the fan.

This instance is able to keep the noise down only to 1000 rpm. And this despite the fact that he starts with 800 rpm. Consequently, for quiet operation it is recommended to enable the adaptor to the 5th Century up To 1700 rpm the noise is clearly discernible. And irritating buzzing starts in the range of 1900-2200 rpm Creates appreciable static pressure, but at a fairly high level of noise. Useful for blowing tight places in the case or water cooling system radiators.

be quiet! Silent Wings 3 Review and test the five fans

Voltage, V121110987654
The rpm22002000190017501600140012001000800
Acoustic comfort         
Noise dB (A)555352494644403735
Consumption, m3/h114,00105,00102,0093,0083,0074,0066,0057,0051,00

Technical characteristics of the fans

Model nameDimensions, mmSpeed low (rpm)Speed, max (rpm)Flow, m3/hStatic pressure, mm H2OThe strength of the current, AndRated voltageConsumption, WType of bearingNoise level dB (A)Time to failure in hours
be quiet! Silent Wings 3 140 mm140х140х253001000101,091,080,06120,72Fluid Dynamic Bearing (Hydrodynamic)15,5300 000
be quiet! Silent Wings 3 140 mm high-speed140х140х256001600131,792,160,14121,68Fluid Dynamic Bearing (Hydrodynamic)28,1300 000
be quiet! Silent Wings 3 120 mm120x120x25400145085,791,790,12121,44Fluid Dynamic Bearing (Hydrodynamic)16,4300 000
be quiet! Silent Wings 3 120 mm PWM120x120x25400145085,791,790,12121,44Fluid Dynamic Bearing (Hydrodynamic)16,4300 000
be quiet! Silent Wings 120 mm 3 high-speed120x120x258002200124,583,370,16121,92Fluid Dynamic Bearing (Hydrodynamic)28,6300 000

Testing methodology

The main parameter characterizing the efficiency of a fan is the ratio of noise to the generated air flow. These indicators were measured using sound level meter unit UT352 and unit UT362 anemometer. To change the speed of rotation of the impeller PWM fan speed controller Zalman PWM Mate. For all other applied adjusting voltage using control panel Scythe Kaze Master Pro KM03-BK.

The noise was measured from a distance of 10 mm from the front bearing of the fan being in a vertical position and suspended on the elimination of vibrations. The level of background noise in a quiet room without other sound sources amounted to 34 dB (A). Minimum sensitivity sound level meter — 30dB (A). Comfortable sound pressure level can be considered 40 dB (A), on how it felt from a distance of 150 mm. Subjectively noiseless is close to the threshold of 37 dB (A) at the same distance.

The air flow was determined based on the ratio of the readings of air velocity by the cross sectional area of the plane of the fan. The anemometer was prestavlenija directly to the frame of the fan, closer to the edges of the blades in search of the maximum speed of the air flow. You need to consider that different areas of the impeller, the speed is different, but due to the effect of turbulence on the output is a weighted average of the acceleration of the flow close to the nominal value.

Static pressure was measured in the absence of the necessary equipment. Pay attention of readers that the obtained data cannot be considered absolutely accurate but they are accurate relative to each other and demonstrative for comparison of fans between them.

Summary results

As always, higher performance is observed in most high-speed models of fans. In this case, the position with the same result, the volume of the air flow took the 140 mm high-speed (1600 rpm) and a 120-mm high-speed (2200 rpm). However, the latter still creates 5 dB (A) more noise. The most optimal in terms of noise and performance at maximum speed can be considered a 140-mm fan (1000 rpm). Almost inaudible, and the flow was higher than that of 120-mm models with rotation speed 1450 rpm.In this respect, continued the tradition of 140-mm Silent Wings 2 which rightly could be considered the best in its class.

Usually we compare the performance of the fan at a fixed noise level of 40 dB (A). This is the audio threshold, which is barely visible in a sealed enclosure. However, in this case we decided to lower the bar to 37 dB (A) because the fans be quiet! are still reasonably quiet. This is the level of noise that is not audible from a distance of 150 mm where to place the ear exactly opposite of the impeller-propeller.

And in this test in the first place suddenly came a 140-mm high-speed. When equal to 900 rpm it was slightly more productive than slower 140 mm equivalent. Perhaps, this was achieved at the expense of more high engine thrust at low voltage. The rest of the 120-mm models showed exactly the same result, which is not surprising since their design is identical.


To summarize the testing of the new fans be quiet! Silent Wings 3. From my point of view, the company has turned out a worthy continuation of popular series of quiet fans in which the main emphasis was placed on improving their performance. From pleasant trifles — was the revised packaging design and accessory kit. And, most importantly, the problem with spurious overtones from the PWM controller. Now a few words about each propeller individually.

be quiet! Silent Wings 3 140mm. Among the five tested novelties of this version I liked the best. As well as the analogue from the Silent Wings 2, all that is required for a normal and quiet operation is just plug and forget about its existence. Step-down adapter or adjusting the fan control of the propeller may be needed for people with extremely fine hearing.

be quiet! Silent Wings 3 140mm high-speed. No matter how quiet, was not the bearing or the fan motor, the laws of physics cannot be bypassed. At increased speed of rotation of the impeller will still be aerodynamic noise, and it will increase the growth speed. Because the 140mm version high-speed will still be audible after 900 rpm. of Course, the noise emitted by the fan can not be called irritating, but it is. Therefore, if the user needs speed fan, you can use cheaper models on the basis of slide bushings. Noise, much difference will not.

be quiet! Silent Wings 3 120mm. Not all of the case supports 140 mm fans. Because you have to find a more common 120-mm model. And the propeller is perfectly cope with the role of the case fan. At maximum speed it will be heard and quiet enough to reduce the revs to 1100 per minute.

be quiet! Silent Wings 3 PWM 120mm. The main advantage of this model — the PWM controller to control the speed of rotation of the impeller, which does not emit spurious overtones. This allows the latest fans from be quiet! tight to compete with the classic models from Noctua in the fight for a place on the radiator of the CPU cooler. Nothing, of course, will prevent these propellers and for ventilating the enclosure.

be quiet! Silent Wings 3 120mm high-speed. This instance keeps silent, only in the area of the starting speed, because the quiet — not its main advantage. Yes, he is able to develop a high speed and static pressure, but where it might be useful? Except for massive cooling systems ITS and tests computer hardware, where performance is more important than noise. And for flexible adjustment of the speed of this fan (for home use) you will need either an advanced motherboard or a fan controller.

Source: bequiet

be quiet! Silent Wings 3 Review and test the five fans was last modified: November 21st, 2016 by Tomas Shellby