Proper airflow is essential when building a thermally sound computer system. This includes making sure that the intake fan from the front, or bottom, can draw enough air to reach the components and that hot air has a place to exhaust out of, preferably with the help of an exhaust fan. Not all fans are made equal, however, and more often than not, fans that have a high CFM, or those that push a lot of air through, are generally louder. This can prove to be too distracting when the exhaust fan is the most audible component in your system.
Finding a perfect balance of high performance and low noise when it comes to fans is important and, unfortunately, most computer cases do not come with quiet stock fans, since they are designed with low temperatures in mind, over low noise operation. Larger fans can push much more air than smaller fans while having a lower RPM, so most cases these days come with a 120mm fan, rather than a 90mm or 80mm fan. 140mm fans are even better for the noise-performance ratio, although not many cases have mounting holes that support fans of that size. Zalman’s new ZM-F4 fan aims to solve that problem.
The Zalman ZM-F4 is not your typical 120mm cooling fan. The Zalman ZM-F4 is a 135mm multi-purpose fan that uses standard 120mm mounting holes. Using “Advanced Sleeve” bearing, the ZM-F4 fan from Zalman spins at 900 to 1300 RPM with a noise level of 18 to 26 dBA. Since the ZM-F4 uses 120mm mounting holes, it can be used in place of a 120mm fan, whether inside a chassis or as an active cooling solution for an aftermarket heatsink. For an even quieter operation, Zalman includes silicone mounting pins and an RC56 resistor with every ZM-F4 fan package.