Introduction

Fractal Design is a leading designer and manufacturer of premium PC hardware including cases, cooling, power supplies, and accessories. Fractal Design was established in 2007 and ever since they have come out being among the major manufacturers of high-end PC components. They are based in Gothenburg and with offices in the US as well as Taiwan, Fractal Design has gained a global reputation for innovative design, elegant aesthetics, and solid build quality. Fractal Design products are available in over 45 countries worldwide and are still growing. The Define R2 was the turning point for the manufacturer as that chassis gained the reputation and trust that is now a hallmark of the Fractal Design.

Fractal Design has released their new series of fans named Aspect. Aspect series fans bring a new design element and some key changes like aerodynamic stator struts, trip wire technology, and rifle bearings. These fans utilize the industry’s standard ARGB connectors which can be daisy-chained for neat and simple cable management. These fans are available in 120mm and 140mm variants which are further categorized in black and RGB fans as well as white and black colors. We will be taking a look at Aspect 12 RGB PWM and Aspect 14 RGB PWM fans in this content.

Item:                     Aspect 12 RGB PWM

Aspect 14 RGB PWM

Manufacturer:  Fractal Design

Pricing:                

Aspect 12 RGB PWM USD 14.99 GBP 12.99 SCAN UK Link
Aspect 14 RGB PWM USD 16.99 GBP 14.99 SCAN UK Link

 

 

Specifications

 

Packaging and Unboxing

A single fan is shipped inside a black and white color paperboard packing box.

This is an ARGB computer fan in 120mm size. It is 140mm for the Aspect 14 RGB PWM.

Features of the fan include:

  • Less Turbulence
  • Trip Wire Technology
  • Chaining Possibility of the cables

The specifications of the fan are printed as well.

Fractal has provided an Aspect fan and 4x self-tapping screws in each box.

Closer Look

It is time to take a look at the fans. Following are the key features of these fans:

  • Efficient rifle bearings with 90,000 hour MTTF
  • 6 individually addressable hub-mounted RGB LEDs (RGB versions)
  • Supports ASUS AURA, Gigabytes Fusion, MSI Mystic Light, and ASRock Polychrome (RGB versions)
  • Aerodynamic stator with embedded wiring reduces turbulence
  • Trip Wire technology introduces a micro-turbulent layer for enhanced blade efficiency
  • Daisy chainable power and RGB wires for easy hookup
  • PWM control with a wide speed range
  • High static pressure ideal for radiators and airflow-restrictive applications

Since both fans have the same design, we will be showing and discussing the Aspect 14 RGB PWM here. We have tested the Aspect 12 RGB white fans earlier. Click here to check them out.

The fan has a dimension of 140x140x25mm. The Aspect 12 RGB PWM has a dimension of 120x120x25mm. We have a screw hole pattern of 105x105mm. The Aspect 112/14 RGB PWM fans have a black color ring design frame. There are 7 blades. The diameter of the center is relatively larger than the standard 120/140mm fans which is obvious as it houses 6x ARGB LEDs. The blades are opaque white to transfuse some vivid RGB lighting. The center has a Fractal Design branding.

The Aspect series fans have Trip Wire Technology design. Fractal has introduced a micro-turbulent layer on the blades which enhances the efficiency of the blades.

There is a Fractal branding on the side of the frame of the fan. Looking closely, you will also spot an arrow mark inside the mounting corner showing the direction of airflow.

Each mounting corner has a cut-to-design anti-vibration pad which is in the black color.

There is a 4-arms assembly on the backside holding the fan motor and blades to the frame. One of the arms has an inset and is wider. The wires are routed through this widened inset area. Two catchers in opposite direction stop the wires from falling. There is a Fractal branded sticker in the center. The fan is designed in Sweden and made in China.

These fans are using Rifle Bearings. These are more efficient than standard sleeve bearings and have an MTTF of 90,000 hours.

The Aspect 12/14 RGB PWM has a 4-pin PWM power connector in the black color. There is also a 3-pin socket in the black color. The provision of a socket would allow the user to daisy chain the fans.

The second cable coming out of the fan is a 3-pin 5V ARGB cable with a 3-pin connector as well as a header. Again, this design would allow the user to daisy chain the fans for neat cable management. This would also remove the requirement of a dedicated RGB controller hub. The use of standard connectors would make these fans compatible with any control source using a 3-pin, 5V ARGB interface.

Here are the specifications of the fans:

Aspect 12 RGB PWM Aspect 14 RGB PWM
Dimension 120x120x25mm 140x140x25mm
Rotational Speed 500~2000 RPM 500~1700 RPM
Air Flow 13~56 CFM 20~78 CFM
Static Pressure 0.23~2.34 mmH₂O 0.3~2.05 mmH₂O
Noise Level <10~33.2 dB(A) <10~35.5 dB(A)
Bearing Rifle Rifle
MTTF 90,000 hours 90,000
Input Voltage 12V 12V
Typical Input Power 1.68W 2.16W
Max Input Current 0.37A 0.24A
Starting Voltage 7V 7V
LED Input Voltage 5V 5V
LED Input Power 1.5W 1.5W
LED Max Input Current 0.3A 0.3A

 

RGB Lighting

The RGB lighting is not overly done to my personal liking. It is subtle yet vivid and I love the bright colors giving a good AURA.

The hub has 6x ARGB LEDs to create some vivid visuals. Here are a few pictures of these fans in action:

 

Testing

The following test bench is used for checking the speed range and corresponding airflow: –

  • MSI MAG Z490 TOMAHAWK Motherboard
  • Intel i7 10700k [4.7GHz, 1.25V]
  • Fractal Design Lumen S36 RGB
  • T-Force NightHawk RGB 16GB @ 3200MHz
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 FE
  • Addlink S70 256GB NVMe SSD
  • bequiet! Straight Power 11 850W Platinum PSU
  • Open-air Test bench

 

Here is a table showing Voltage Regulated speed and corresponding airflow measurements of the Aspect 12 RGB PWM fan:

PWM Range (%) Speed (RPM) Airflow (CFM)
20 509 11
30 690 20
40 878 29
50 1111 39
60 1369 49
70 1587 58
80 1804 66
90 1935 71
100 2054 75

 

The above plotting is showing the graph of three metrics (PWM Range, Speed, and Airflow) of the values shown in the table above.

Aspect 14 RGB PWM

PWM Range (%) Speed (RPM) Airflow (CFM)
20 560 20
30 692 33
40 832 32
50 1048 42
60 1269 51
70 1458 58
80 1602 65
90 1697 67
100 1759 70

 

The above plotting is showing the graph of three metrics (PWM Range, Speed, and Airflow) of the values shown in the table above.

 

Conclusion

Aspect is a new series of fans from the Fractal Design complementing the Dynamic and Prisma series fans. These fans feature aerodynamic stator struts decreasing the air turbulence, tripwire technology to enhance the blades’ efficiency, and rifle bearings giving MTTF of 90,000 hours. These fans are available in 120mm and 140mm versions. Each size is available in PWM and non-PWM variants as well as in RGB and non-RGB variants. The white edition is only available in the non-PWM option. Hoping to see the PWM version of the white color fans as well!

We have taken a look at Aspect 12 RGB PWM and Aspect 14 RGB PWM fans. These fans have a 4-pin PWM connector to power the motor of the fan. One key design is the provision of a connector along with the socket allowing the user to daisy chain the fans easily reducing the need for a splitter cable or hub. The same goes for the ARGB cables which have a standard 3-pin connector as well header allowing the user to daisy chain these cables as well reducing the need for the dedicated RGB control box.

The Aspect 12 RGB PWM fan has a dimension of 120x120x25mm. The rotational speed is Up to 2000 RPM with up to 56 CFM being the maximum airflow at 12VDC. The noise level is rated at 33.2 dB(A) max. The static pressure rating is 2.34 mmH₂O. The Aspect 14 RGB PWM fan has a dimension of 140x140x25mm. It is rated for up to 1700 RPM speed at 12VDC while generating a maximum airflow of 78 CFM at a static pressure rating of 2.05 mmH₂O. The sound rating is 35.5 dB(A) max.

Each fan has 7 opaque white color blades for a better transfusion of the RGB lighting. The hub packs six ARGB LEDs. The trailing edges of the blades have micro-turbulence stators to reduce air turbulence and enhance efficiency.

The frame has a ring design and mounting corners have cut-to-size anti-vibration pads. The fan’s RGB lighting is compatible with ASUS AURA SYNC, GIGABYTE RGB FUSION 2.0, MSI MYSTIC LIGHT SYNC, ASRock POLYCHROME SYNC, and RAZER CHROMA RGB. The use of standard connectors makes these fans compatible with the majority of the motherboards and external controllers. We have tested the lighting on the MSI MAG Z490 TOMAHAWK motherboard using Mystic Light Sync App and the fans were working perfectly fine with the app and were responding to the change in the color and mode. I appreciate the good lighting effect on these fans.

The Fractal Design Aspect 12 RGB White fans are listed at £12.99 and Aspect 14 RGB PWM fans are listed at £14.99 on SCAN UK at the time of the review for a single fan pack. The fan packs good ratings when it comes to airflow and static pressure. They are well equipped to be used on the CPU cooler as well for the PC case ventilation. We could not test the thermal performance of these fans as we don’t have a 120mm and 280mm AIO for that matter. Hoping to have these two sizes in our inventory so that these size fans can be tested. Yes, we do have 240mm and 360mm AIOs but Fractal Design sent only one 120mm fan hence we have mentioned the 120mm AIO.

The Fractal Design Aspect 12 RGB PWM and Aspect 14 RGB PWM fans offer a nice blend of aesthetics, performance, and better acoustic in this price range making them a better candidate for your bucks, and these fans come recommended by us.

Thanks to the Fractal Design for sending the Aspect 12 RGB PWM and Aspect 14 RGB PWM fans for the testing.