be quiet! Silent Wings 4/Silent Wings Pro 4 120mm Review




/ 3 weeks ago

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Exterior Packaging – Front

The packaging for all three models is, in terms of presentation, pretty much identical. The colouring carries all of the hallmarks of a be quiet! product with a key focus on black with silver highlights. Albeit, once again I find myself questioning the logic of having a predominantly black product on a predominantly black background. No matter how much I mention this though, be quiet! doesn’t seem to notice.

In terms of the rear though, we do find that the space is poorly utilised with be quiet! seemingly wanting us to scan a QR code than actually providing us with some further fancy details. That black void in the bottom left is particularly aggravating given how small the other text and specifications charts are.

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On the plus side though, the internal packaging is excellent and more than makes up for the lack of presentation on the outside. The inside sleeve lists a number of key features of the fan including a number of diagrams.

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Finally, we see the accessories and fans separated into two different boxes. Overall, despite some issues in terms of a near-total lack of razzle-dazzle on the exterior packaging, the Silent Wings 4/Pro look excellent and is certainly indicative of a premium-level cooling solution.

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The Fans

The Silent Wing 4 and Silent Wing Pro 4 share many common features between the two designs. Key among them include a new fan blade design which looks to further optimise and improve airflow while the main fan clearance (to the outer circle) has also been made slightly tighter when compared to the last-gen Silent Wings 3.

We also see the very interesting addition of actually physical removable and interchangeable mounting points. This can help ensure that you get the absolute best fixing point for however you choose to utilise the fans be it as a generic case airflow or as an upgrade to an existing component. While the non-pro design gives you two options, the ‘Pro’ variant also comes with a third corner connection that has been specifically designed for high-pressure airflow requirements such as, for example, on liquid cooler radiators.

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This is the point in the review though where we probably are best off looking at the specific product specifications as, despite coming from the same family, there are some key official performance differences between the Silent Wings 4 and Silent Wings Pro 4.

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Silent Wings 4 PWM

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Silent Wings 4 PWM High Speed

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Silent Wings Pro 4

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The Silent Wings Pro 4 also has one final interesting feature up its sleeve. Well, more accurately, on its back. The rear of the fan has a slider switch to the centre. This allows the user to manually set the fan speed. This will allow the user to automatically override any predetermined configuration within the BIOS and comes with three settings; the first is the standard BIOS-directed operation, the second sets it to a high-speed modem, and a third goes for an all-guns blazing ultra-high speed which, for this particular model, is a surprisingly fast 3000RPM!

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Some Compromises in Design

Speaking with be quiet! they have informed us that when compared to their prior Silent Wings 3 models, the Silent Wing 4 (and Pro) fans have been designed with significantly faster speeds in mind (which is entirely true!). This has, of course, resulted in slightly higher levels of acoustic output, but this is, of course, pretty much entirely relevant to the actual operating speed of the fan.

Just to put this into context, I believe the top speed of Silent Wings 3 high-speed fans was 1,600RPM. So 3,000RPM is clearly quite a notably more potent increase with these new Silent Wings 4/Pro designs. – In noise terms though, this does see an acoustic increase from circa 30dB on the original to 36.9dB on the new design. Given that the latter can run nearly twice as fast, however, be quiet! is still very much living up to their name here because that is clearly quite a small level of acoustic increase for such a colossally huge boost in performance and airflow!

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