Fans are often regarded as quite minor parts which make up your computer. However, they are actually very important in keeping your PC both cool and quiet – so quality fans should always be top of ones list when building a computer. Today we’ll be reviewing the Coolink SWiF–1201; advertised as a silent, high performing fan, lets see how this baby performs…
Coolink is a brand of the Kolink International Corporation and stands for an effective conjunction of no-frills performance, excellent quality and attractive pricing. Coolink – the direct link to affordable high-end cooling!
- Excellent airflow performance at minimal noise levels
- High precision double ball bearing
- Manual fan speed control
- PCI mounting bracket for adjustable fan speed knob
- Includes 3-pin to Molex adapter and fan screws
- 36 months warranty
|Rotation Speed (RPM +/-10%)||700-1200|
|Acoustical Noise (dB/A)||9-17|
The specifications for this fan look very good. 9dBA is incredibly quiet, perhaps silent, so let’s see if this is really true.
The Coolink SWiF-1201 comes packaged in a nicely styled box featuring a water-coloured artist’s impression of the fan. The colouring is a mixture of blues, whites and black. This classy packaging will make the cooler stand out from the crowd.
Allowing you to get a glimpse of the fan, there is a window on the front. Around the transparency, short features are listed about the fan. This is good as it means you can get an idea on what you’re about to buy.
At the back of the box, it’s fairly simplistic with a bold black background and white text. Bullet pointed is all the features Coolink boast the SWiF-1201 to have. Beneath the features, are the specifications of the 1201 and its big brother, the 1202, these are listed in a table for easy comparison.
Opening the box reveals all the accessories comfortably sitting on the top of the fan. After removing the contents, included is:
- 3 Pin to Molex Adapter
- 4 Fan Screws
- PCI Fan Speed Controller with 3-Pin Extension Lead
Just like the Coolink SWiF-921, no sound dampening pegs are included. This is unfortunate as they help in reducing noise – which this fan is all about. However, there is a fan controller included; this is an unusual addition to the fan because you normally have to buy these as an extra.
Aesthetics wise, the 1201 features a clear translucent frame and an indigo fan. This stands out quite dramatically and gives the illusion the fan is floating with no frame. The plastic feels very strong; the blades should therefore cut the airwaves very easily without much wobble.
Moving to the rear, it’s very similar. At the centre of the SWiF is a sticker (stuck to the frame), on this the DC voltage, power and current of the fan are listed – as well as the model number (SWiF-1201).
Like most spinners, there is a 3-Pin connector attached to the fan – enabling your motherboard to monitor the speed. Luckily for some, if you don’t have an available 3-pin header on your main board, you can use the included 3-Pin to Molex connector to power the fan – although you’ll lose the ability to monitor fan speeds.
The included fan controller features an aluminium knob and a rheostat for changing voltages. The rheostat changes can change the speed of the Coolink from 700RPM to 1200RPM.
Installing the fan was very simple. As our Test Rig doesn’t have a case, we just needed to plug it all in. However, most users will have a computer in a case – believe it or not – so all that also needs to be done – apart from plugging up cables – is screwing the fan in place. As the fan uses standard fan screws and not ant-vibration pegs, it’s pretty much a case of screwing in four screws.
The first test was to find out how much the fan speed controller reduced the voltage by. To do this, we hooked the fan up to our Cooler Master PSU and attached the fan to the PSU using the 3-pin to Molex adapter. We tested the voltages from the fan controller at three points on the rheostat: highest speed, lowest speed and the middle speed.
Unfortunately as I don’t have expensive equipment which measures the noise levels at this low dBA, it’ll have to be the trusty human ear test.
At the highest speed setting, the fan was quite loud, although I must admit, there seemed to be plenty of airflow being pushed by the fan. Putting the Coolink down to its medium speed setting, it was still slightly audible, but much quieter than my 8600GT graphics card (which has a Zalman cooler fitted running at low speeds). One last try at getting it silent, I wacked it all the way down to Low speed. At this speed, it was ‘slightly’ audible, but definitely not silent. However it pushed a fair bit of air.
Compared to the Noctua NF-P12, this fan looks much better and the included fan controller is a bonus, however it’s certainly not as quiet as the Noctua and doesn’t push anywhere near as much airflow.
So there we have it, the Coolink SWiF-1201. Altogether this is a very good looking fan, which performs reasonably well. It’s not silent, although it is definitely very quiet and would make an ideal replacement to the generic fans which come with most cases.
With this in mind, let’s see how its performance weighs up with the price. At £10 it’s quite expensive, only £5 less than the Noctua NF-P12. However, if you’re on a budget, and can’t make room for an extra fiver in your budget, then the Coolink is a good buy.