Arctic F14 PWM PST review – 140 mm fan with price-performance crown?
Arctic has long been known for products with a very decent price-performance ratio. Be it the popular MX4 thermal paste, be it processor coolers up to the massive 420 mm AIO or simply fans: Arctic is gladly recommended. And so I take a look at a somewhat updated version of the popular 140mm Arctic F14 fan. Here in the PWM PST version, that is, with a 4-pin PWM connection cable and an integrated splitter for simplified wiring.
|Size||140 x 140 x 25 mm|
|Speed||200 – 1350 RPM|
|Static pressure||1.6 mm H₂O|
|Connectors||4-pin PWM and 4-pin PWM socket|
|Cable length||40 cm|
|Fan bearing||Fluid Dynamic Bearing|
|Price||€ 10.99 * (single)
€ 38.99 * (set of 5)
Packaging and scope of delivery
- Simple packaging
- Minimalistic scope of delivery
The packaging is kept as simple as can be: The Arctic F14 PWM PST are in a simple cardboard box. This is not further protected. Thus, the packing size is not significantly larger than a 140 mm fan. Besides the fan, the scope of delivery only includes a small package with four fan screws. In short: The scope of delivery is reduced to the bare essentials. However, this is no surprise at this price.
Workmanship and design
- Unobtrusive design
- Simple frame without rubber coating
- Solid fan bearing
The design seems heartily unspectacular. The Arctic F14 PWM PST offer no real special features and look like you would expect cheap fans to look. That is, they are kept quite simple in black, have a regular fan frame and a glued Arctic logo.
The frame does not have any rubberized contact surfaces. The cable is also kept very simple. A thin, inconspicuous, black cable doesn’t necessarily look upscale, but it can at least be laid inconspicuously. Furthermore, the PST version tested here has an integrated splitter. This means that you can connect the cable of another fan to the end of the first fan. So you can chain a full pack of Arctic F14 PWM PSTs together with only one header for case fans.
Where it doesn’t sound spectacular so far, it should at least be said that the spinning of the fan blades themselves feels pretty solid, and thus better than what you’re used to with many inexpensive fans. Also, the long manufacturer’s warranty shows that Arctic has a decent self-confidence when it comes to quality.
Performance as a case fan
- Very good performance
- Low noise
- Comparison against similarly priced models
For the case fan test, I’m throwing a load of fans in a comparable price range into the room. In addition to the Arctic F14 PWM PST, we also find, for example, the Arctic P14 PWM (€ 8.69 * ) and the be quiet! Pure Wings 2 140mm PWM (€ 9.99 *). Priced slightly below that, you’ll find the Xilence XPF140.R.PWM (€ 8.81 *) and priced slightly above that, the Noctua NF-P14s redux-1500 PWM (€ 17.90 *). All of these fans have in common that they do not have rubberized corners or other support surfaces.
The temperature measurements are given as a delta in Kelvin. This means that the difference to the room temperature was measured here. So, with a delta of 35 K and a room temperature of 22°C, you have to add them up and you end up with a temperature of 57°C of the measured part. The best and worst results (and those in the tolerance range) are marked in color.
For the test procedure, a 3DMark Night Raid load test was performed with the fans of the CPU (AMD Ryzen 5 3600X, cooled with a DeepCool AK400) and a GeForce GTX 960 fixed at a constant speed to prevent them from being influenced by automatics. The system sits in a DeepCool CH510 Mesh Digital. The volume measurement describes the overall system in the room.
Test at 800 RPM
For the first test, the fans were set as close as possible to a speed of 800 RPM and then volume and power were measured.
In this test, purely in terms of performance, the Arctic F14 and the Noctua NF-P14s redux-1500 are the winners. Here, however, the Arctic fans are much quieter. The other three fans in the test are somewhat weaker in terms of performance, but they perform quite similarly. The Arctic P14s still work a bit quieter.
Test at 31 dB(A)
For the second test, we did not take the speed as a basis, but a low volume at the audibility threshold.
The Xilence fan was kicked out of this test because it couldn’t achieve such a low noise level due to a minimum speed requirement. The Arctic P14 PWM make up for the Arctic F14 PWM PST’s performance advantage from the previous test by being able to spin faster until they reach the measured volume. The Arctic F14 PWM PST lose minimal performance. The previous co-performance winners Noctua NF-P14s redux-1500 PWM have to spin so slowly to reach the low volume that they fall behind the other fans. The be quiet! Pure Wings 2 140mm PWM perform solidly, but hang behind the performance of the Arctic fans.
Tested at full power
Sometimes the volume is less relevant and it’s all about the maximum achievable performance. That’s what this test is.
In this test, the two Arctic fans land at comparable performance and volume. The Noctua NF-P14s redux-1500 PWM are also good performance-wise, while being far louder than the Arctic fans. The Xilence fans are also both louder and weaker. The be quiet! Pure Wings 2 140mm PWM do lose the race for performance, but that’s due to the low maximum speed. In return, the fans are far quieter at top speed than all the others. So, if you don’t have a working fan controller and the fans are therefore always running at full power, the Pure Wings are the only realistic option in the test for quiet continuous operation. In this test, the Arctic P14 PWM wins minimally over the F14 PWM PST. However, the practical difference is negligible with these two.
Performance as a radiator fan
- Good performance
- Comparable result to the Noctua NF-P14s redux-1500
These tests use the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X, which is cooled by an Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280 mm. The whole thing sits in the front of a Fractal Design Pop XL Air.
For this, the AIO water cooling is heated up for 10 minutes by the continuous loop of a high load in Cinebench R23, then the processor’s temperature is measured for one minute and, as in the case fan tests, adjusted for room temperature. Otherwise, the tests follow the same concept.
Test at 800 RPM
|Image||Fan name||Temperature delta||Volume|
|Arctic F14 PWM PST||39.6 K||35.1 dB(A)|
|Arctic P14 PWM||41||31.2 dB(A)|
|be quiet! Pure Wings 2 140mm PWM||40.9||35.5 dB(A)|
|Xilence XPF140.R.PWM||41.4||35.5 dB(A)|
|Noctua NF-P14s redux-1500 PWM||39.7||35.5 dB(A)|
As in the case fan test, the Arctic F14 PWM PST and the Noctua NF-P14s redux-1500 PWM are within tolerance of each other in terms of performance here, and this time they are also closer in terms of volume, with the Noctua fans still coming out minimally louder. The Arctic P14 PWM are far quieter, but also lose out on performance. The overall losers of the test are the Xilence fans.
Test at 31 dB(A)
Once again, the Xilence XPF140.R.PWM failed the test because its minimum speed resulted in too much noise. It should also be noted in this test that the pump is added as another noise source, which means that the fans generally have to spin slower to achieve the same volume from the case fan test.
|Image||Fan name||Temperature delta||Speed|
|Arctic F14 PWM PST||44 K||630 RPM|
|Arctic P14 PWM||42.6 K||720 RPM|
|be quiet! Pure Wings 2 140mm PWM||47.5 K||570 RPM|
|Noctua NF-P14s redux-1500 PWM||44.1 K||600 RPM|
This test turns out to be quite clear: The best very quiet fans are the Arctic P14 PWM. Once again, the Arctic F14 PWM PST are virtually on par with the Noctua NF-P14s redux-1500 PWM here.
Testing at full power
Performance-wise, the Noctua NF-P14s redux-1500 PWM are the strongest models in the test, but also by far the loudest. They are closely followed performance-wise by the Arctic P14 PWMs, which are significantly quieter. However, the Arctic F14 PWM PSTs also perform very solidly and despite the much lower speed, the overall performance is only slightly weaker than the P14s. Once again, the quietest and weakest fans in the test due to their low speed are the be quiet! Pure Power 2 140mm PWM.
The Arctic F14 PWM PST are impressive fans for their price, especially when used as case fans. And not just for the price – the performance is also very high in general, so many much more expensive fans can’t keep up. The main competitor comes from our own company with the Arctic P14, which is still just ahead when used on a radiator. Still, a very respectable result for the Arctic F14 PWM PST! And the good price-performance ratio only gets better in a set of 5.
Arctic F14 PWM PST
Value for money
The Arctic F14 PWM PST are simple, quite quiet 140mm fans with a high performance - and at a very good price.
Arctic F14 PWM PST price comparison
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