There are countless 120 fan grill designs on the market, but the most coon were tested to see which work best. From the type that come along with the fan and chassis to those that can be added aftermarket there's certainly no denying that some work better than others.
In a recent test, six various patterns for grill were used, as well as some metal grills that are usually included with the fan. They all had various patterns:
· Concentric circles
· Angled slats
· Loose swirl
The metal fan guards were:
· Stamped circle
A 120 fan of just one particular brand was used for all the grill tests. It was important to do this so that the fan could act as the constant in the experiment, otherwise the results could vary greatly and there would be no true reading of the quietest and allowed for the most airflow. After all, airflow is what it's all about so that electronics can be easily cooled.
Noise Values on Each Speed
It was found that the extra noise from grills on low-speed was more noticeable on the intake side. What is called a dBa meter was set up at a 90-degree angle and facing away from the fan. It was also set a couple inches away. This set up mimics the setup used by manufacturers. It's interesting to note how close these test results are to those provided by the manufacturer of the fans and 120 grill types.
Having no fan grill at all provided the quietest results, which makes sense. That was followed by wire, mesh, swirl, and loose swirl. The stamped circles grill is where noise started to become relevant. The honeycomb gave off a high-pitched noise, while it was very loud with the angled slats. Turbine was the loudest of all the types presented.
On high-speed, results of noise with the 120 grills from quietest to loudest were:
1. No grill
5. Loose swirl
6. Stamped circle
8. Angled slat
9. Concentric circle
Measure of Airflow
When it came to airflow measurement the grills were tested at both low and high speeds, as well as with the grill on the exhaust side and intake side. There were obviously some variants between the exhaust and intake. This gives the smart buyer a clear picture of which work better than the others, and in turn guides them on which to buy.
Wire is considered the best design for 120 grill across the board with this study and via manufacturer recommendations. So anyone who is on the market for a fan grill should certainly consider this type over the rest. All in all, having a grill as opposed to none is a smart move to keep contaminants from entering and damaging the fan itself over time. Anyone who wants great results from their fan and fan guard should take this information into consideration.