The German PC component company Arctic has long been a very popular recommendation in the budget range with its P12 fans. But evolution does not stand still and not everyone is looking for simple, black fans. Accordingly, the development into the RGB range is only logical. However, a closer look quickly reveals that there is more to the Arctic P12 PWM PST A-RGB than just the lighting. So in this review, we’ll take a look at differences, performance, and build quality.
|Size||120 x 120 x 25 mm|
|Speed||200 – 2000 RPM|
|Static pressure||1.85 mm H₂O|
|Bearing||Fluid Dynamic Bearing|
|Fan connector||4-pin PWM male + female|
|Cable length||45 cm|
|RGB connector||Standard ARGB male + female|
|Price||€ 38.68 * (set of 3)
€ 13.90 * (single)
Packaging and scope of delivery
- Simple packaging without padding
- Apart from the fan, only fan screws are included
Given the price, it’s not surprising that the packaging of the Arctic P12 PWM PST A-RGB is kept quite compact. And apart from the obligatory fan screws, does not contain any accessories.
The box is otherwise black with colorful and blue accents. The front features a picture of the fan and the back lists the specifications.
Design and workmanship
- Ring around the fan blades
- Black frame with illuminated fan blades
- Cables are routed out of the frame from different sides
- Standard ARGB and PWM connectors as both male and female, therefore daisy-chain capable
The Arctic P12 PWM PST A-RGB are comparatively cheap and there you do not expect the highest build quality. However, in return, these fans look quite good. The frame is somewhat unspectacular, but the fan blades rotate very pleasantly. The illumination is limited to the five fan blades, which are connected with a ring at the ends. The milky design keeps the lighting quite even. The LEDs are also well housed and do not shine past next to the fan blades.
One decision I can’t understand, that is the cable routing. The cables for the RGB control and the fan connectors come out on two sides. This makes it harder to do a clean cable management. What makes cable management easier, on the other hand, is described by the PST in the item name. This is more or less an integrated splitter, with which you can connect several fans in series. This means you don’t need as many fan connectors on the motherboard, which increases compatibility with inexpensive motherboards. By the way, the same is true for the RGB connectors.
- Design more similar to the P12 Max than the original P12
- Rubberized bearing surfaces
Taking a look at the Arctic P12 lineup, you can quickly see that the Arctic P12 PWM PST A-RGB are closer in design to the newer Arctic P12 Max than the original Arctic P12.
The original Arctic P12s do not have rubberized corners and the fan blades also end up open. On the other hand, the Arctic P12 PWM PST A-RGB and the Arctic P12 Max have gray rubber surfaces for vibration reduction and the tips of the fan blades are connected by a ring. The logo in the center also differs significantly. On the original models, the logo looks plastic and shiny metallic. On the other two versions, it’s a flat sticker, with the RGB fan also letting the lighting through.
What has remained similar, on the other hand, is the shape of the fan blades. The Arctic P12 Max feel more massive in terms of the motor and fan blades. And that seems to be relevant by the following point in certain areas:
Loudness and Performance
- Very quiet
- Very strong on the radiator
- Good other performance
The low noise area has always been the hobbyhorse of Arctic P12 fans. It seems almost magical how low the volume is in the respective speed ranges. And tending to put the icing on the cake, the Arctic P12 PWM PST A-RGB are even a touch quieter.
As far as performance is concerned, contrary to expectations at the very low price, the fans almost always end up in the good midfield and do well in almost every application area, although they usually have to admit defeat to the competition from other brands at uniform speeds. Due to the low noise, however, you can run them much more briskly, which compensates for the performance disadvantage.
In comparison, the original Arctic P12 and the new black P12 Max tend to perform better. The original fans perform very well especially as case fans, probably because more air can be entrained due to the “open” fan blades. On the radiator, however, the P12 Max and the Arctic P12 PWM PST A-RGB beat each other to the front – probably because less pressure can escape due to the ring around the fan blades.
The P in the name will stand for “Pressure,” which is static pressure. Accordingly, the Arctic P12s do extremely well on radiators in any version – especially when you factor in the low noise. As a case fan and on the air cooler, the Arctic P12 PWM PST A-RGB land in the midfield in terms of performance. In these two areas, the Arctic P12 Max, which seems almost identical in terms of design, pull away noticeably.
The Arctic P12 PWM PST A-RGB take the positive aspects of the original fans and combine them with RGB lighting. Thus, the fans are quite decent in virtually every application, especially as case fans. In addition, there are various other small features, such as the PST daisy-chain option or the rubberized support surfaces. And all of this comes at a fairly low price and with a six-year warranty. In summary, these fans are definitely highly recommended and show no real weaknesses.