be quiet gone silently working on a new set of fans for our gaming PCs, the Silent Wings 4 and Silent Wings Pro 4. The hope with these drives is that they will deliver more universally useful performance in all kinds of situations – whether as a front fan cabinet to suck in cold air or connected to a radiator.
Be Quiet is touting high airflow and high static pressure with both versions of the Silent Wings 4 fan. This makes a change from the previous Silent Wings 3 fan, which was more for moving air over its components than for a radiator. of CPU or GPU.
Be Quiet made some adjustments with the Silent Wing 4 to make this happen, i.e. redesigning the blades to be a little closer to the fan frame. All Silent Wings 4 models are able to close the tip gap to 1mm, down from 1.2mm for the Silent Wings 3.
The result is about 130.31 m³/h (cubic meters per hour) of the Silent Wings 4 120mm at its pleasant top speed of about 2,500 RPM. At a quieter 1,600 RPM, it pushes around 82.74 m³/h.
If you really want to boost performance and RPM, Silent Wings Pro 4 offers a 3000 RPM mode with a capacity of 142.5 m³/h.
Compare both with the Noctua NF-S12B redux-1200 PWM, our favorite pc fan (opens in new tab), at 100.6 m³/h at 1200 RPM, and you are probably looking to run the Silent Wings at a higher RPM to match that airflow rate. But with Silent Wings Pro 4 you can really crank up the RPM to something fierce if you don’t mind the noise.
Where Silent Wings 4 finds the most success is when it comes to pressure. The standard 120mm model manages 1.79mm/H₂0 at 1600 RPM, but up to 3.86mm/H₂0 at full speed. This makes it a great fit for radiators, and even there with Corsair SP120 static pressure fans at 1.45mm/H₂0 at 1,400 RPM. The Noctua NF-S12B is not the fan you want for this purpose at 1.31mm/H₂0 at 1200 RPM, instead you’d be better off with something like the NF-P12 redux.
Therein lies some of that flexibility that Be Quiet is talking about with Silent Wings 4, and if you’re the type that reuses fans for all sorts of purposes throughout your life, maybe they’re a better fit than some individually. . Though that also means they might not be as good for every task as a more bespoke designed fan would be.
Of course, there are also 140mm models of both the Silent Wings 4 models, which will provide more airflow at lower RPMs – better for the volume conscious amongst us, which I’d like to think most PC gamers are. While these 140mm fans also provide much less pressure than the 120mm designs, they are not as flexible.
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There are some cool features now included in these fans too. The Pro model especially. It comes with two interchangeable corners, one for regular cabinet mounting and one for optimal radiator performance. There’s also a switch on the back of the Pro model that lets you switch between medium, high, and ultra-high speeds.
Of course, changing the speed of a fan is a functionality that many PC gamers will be more than used to doing in a PC’s BIOS or through another application, but if you’re the sort that organizes your PC or you just don’t like it to mess with nothing, you can use this option to do this RPM control for you.
And all fans are built with PBT, the same plastic that’s best for gaming keyboard keys. Be Quiet says that in their tests these fans performed very well for very long periods, and they say that even for another four years of maximum RPM, there should be no sign of rotor creep. This is basically when the constant rotation and centrifugal forces on the blades cause them to stretch, which, you might have guessed, is not ideal.
But all in all, there’s definitely something to like here for PC gamers. Fans are an often overlooked part of any PC build, but they really make a difference to your PC gaming experience, both in terms of cooling performance and noise. It’s nice to see some stiff competition (mostly from Noctua) keeping manufacturers looking for more.
The 120mm Silent Wings 4 will be released next month and should retail for around $23/€24, while the 140mm is just $24/€25. The Pro 120mm model is priced at $31/€32, and the Pro 140mm costs $32/€33.