Review Index:

Fan Adapters - Hype or Cooling Tool?

Author: Bob Dyl
Manufacturer: General

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The HighseedPC Fan Adapter (or Expander, as they call it) pictured on the right, I believe, is imported from Europe. It is injection molded plastic and is very light weight, but ridged enough to do it’s job. It can be purchased in two flavors, black (as pictured) or clear. The retail price of this unit is $ 13.95us. At the present time only the 80 mm adapter is available.

This unit stands roughly 1.125 inches tall and when coupled with an 80 mm fan and stands 2.125 inches above the height of your heatsink. This is where the low profile of our heatsinks comes into play. While we are only talking in fractions of an inch the disruption in air flow changes dramatically. In the case of this Adapter the amount of disruption is reduced compared to our first adapter, where this unit can be used effectively in a mid-tower case with an exhaust fan mounted on the back in proximity to the heatsink.

In testing, with our Sanyo Denki 80 mm fan (36.5 cfm’s) we were able to maintain the same temperature achieved with the 60 mm Delta screamer at a much reduced level of noise (29 dBA’s as compared to the Delta’s 39.5 dBA’s). With the Panaflo 80mm fan (47 cfm’s) we actually saw a decrease in temperature of between 2 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit which converted to Celsius would be 1.1 to 2.3 degrees difference a somewhat insignificant change for the increase in the amount of noise (38.2 dBA’s). While louder than the Sanyo Denki the Panaflo’s sounds more like a deep hum as compared to the high-pitched whine of the Delta.

To our surprise, the temperatures achieved with the Taisol CGK7600092 and the OCZ Gladiator showed the same end results as each other when compared to their individual use with the 60 mm Delta screamer.

Again, the heatsink clip is very important due to the levering type action caused by the addition of weight at a distance (determined by the height of your heatsink) from the base of the heatsink. Weak heatsink clips can spell real trouble!!

The CPUfx FAN Adapter pictured on the right is manufactured right here in the US and looks like it is milled from a single block of a nylon or plastic material and is the heaviest of our trio. It is the only one presently available in three sizes; 80, mm 92 mm and 120 mm. The retail prices are $ 18.99us, $ 15.99us and $ 14.99us respectively.

This unit stands 1 inch in height and is by far the most stable of the three units when installed (as far as being able to move the heatsink).Use with a low profile heatsinks like our test models show it to be the least disruptive of the three when it comes to air flow.

Again, as was the case with our second adapter, we were able to maintain the same average temperature with the Sanyo Denki 80 mm fan as we had attained with the 60 mm screaming Delta. This was true using either the Taisol or the Gladiator heatsink. With the Panaflo 80 mm fan we saw the largest decrease in temperature a whole 6 degrees Fahrenheit or 3.3 degrees Celsius. The results were basically the same for either heatsink.

Due to the block like design the lever action seen with the other two adapters (that are tapered) was not as noticeable, but I wouldn’t use a heatsink with a poor clip on it either, it’s just not as critical. Of the three Fan Adapters tested I find this one to be most effective in a mid-tower case.