Sharkoon is a German brand for gaming products. In addition to cases, power supplies, coolers, RGB components and peripherals, the range also includes fans. This is also the case for the quite inexpensive Sharkoon SilentStorm, which is tested here. In this test, we combine the Sharkoon SilentStorm 120 RGB fans and the BW120.
Sharkoon SilentStorm BW120
|Size||120 x 120 x 25 mm|
|Speed||450 – 1400 RPM|
|Connectors||4-pin PWM (male + female)|
|Max. Airflow||89.06 m³/h|
|Max. Air pressure||1.31 mm H₂O|
|Price||€ 10.87 *|
Sharkoon SilentStorm 120 RGB
|Size||120 x 120 x 25 mm|
|Speed||400 – 1400 RPM|
|RGB port||Standard ARGB (50 cm long cable)|
|Max. Airflow||93.6 m³/h|
|Max. Air pressure||1.91 mm H₂O|
|Price||€ 10.99 *|
Packaging and scope of delivery
- Simple packaging in glossy black
- In addition to the fans, case fan screws and replacement lugs can be found in the package
Simple, glossy packaging hosts the Sharkoon SilentStorm fans. In it, besides the fans, you will find the obligatory fan screws and a box with… Corners. Yes, you can change the corners of the Sharkoon SilentStorm fans! More about that later.
Design and finish
- Case feels like cheap plastic
- Ordinarily bright RGB lighting
- Thin cables are easy to run
The build quality of the Sharkoon SilentStorm fans looks very unobtrusive, but at the fairly low price range I wouldn’t have expected premium quality either. Overall, however, they have some interesting features. For example, the corners are rubberized for vibration reduction, which is not found on similarly priced models like the Arctic F12, Arctic P12 or be quiet! Pure Wings.
There are also the connectors, because here, in addition to the regular connectors on the BW120, there are sockets that allow daisy chaining. So you can connect several fans at once with one fan header on the motherboard. This is a very cool feature, especially for cheaper fans, because you rarely find many fan connectors on cheaper motherboards. However, you won’t find this feature on the RGB version. Only a regular PWM connector can be found here.
The RGB connectors on the Sharkoon SilentStorm 120 RGB fans are once a regular standard ARGB connector and a VDG connector, which can hardly be found nowadays.
The shape and size of the fan blades indicate a fairly focused-pressure-optimized design that should handle resistors quite well.
The cables of the Sharkoon SilentStorm fans are quite thin and were thus easy to route in the test.
- Very tight fitting corners
- Different color combinations on the Sharkoon SilentStorm BW120 and the 120 RGB
The special feature of the Sharkoon SilentStorm fans is the change of the fan corners. And it’s not that you’d notice it right away – the corners are already very tight and neat. If there weren’t differently colored corners included, I wouldn’t have gotten the idea that they could have been changed.
The Sharkoon SilentStorm BW120 have black and white corners with them aside from the regular black ones. The RGB fans come with dark gray corners to change alongside the standard black ones. This makes the frame look completely different.
Changing them requires a certain amount of force, so I was initially afraid of breaking something, but even with multiple changes over the course of testing, there were ultimately no problems. If you take the corners of a Sharkoon SilentStorm BW120, you can also attach them to the RGB fans and vice versa. But only one color set of interchangeable corners per fan version is ever included. I have to admit that I’m surprised by the decision to include gray corners with the RGB fans. So black frames are not planned for the SilentStorm 120 RGB from the factory, although they would be easier to match with most color schemes.
- Contrary to belief by the specifications, extremely similar performance
- Unified test process allows comparison to many fans
One question that came up was how there is such a big difference in the specifications between the Sharkoon SilentStorm 120 PWM with RGB lighting and the BW120 PWM. After all, the dimensions, the shape of the fan blades and the principle speed are similar. And a spoiler in advance: the performance in the practical tests are also quite close within the measurement tolerance. Both in terms of volume and power.
Use as a case fan
- Performance comparable to much more expensive fans
- Solid performance the low price
Letting the fans spin at a consistent 1100 RPM, the Sharkoon SilenStorm 120s land pretty far down in the performance comparison. On a positive note: This does not directly have anything to do with the price. Even significantly more expensive fans, such as the NZXT F120 RGB or the Thermaltake SWAFAN EX12 RGB can be found at a similar performance level.
But well – the most interesting range is the one at a uniform volume. When all fans are regulated to the point where they reach 31 dB(A), louder fans in particular quickly lose performance. The 120 mm fans hit the middle performance range here and are now roughly in the efficiency range of the Noctua NF-F12 PWM or the Seasonic MagFlow 1225 PWM. That does look a lot better.
If you let the fans run at full speed, all models in the Sharkoon SilentStorm range are held back by the low maximum speed. On the one hand, this is good, because they don’t get too loud if you don’t know how to set fan speeds. On the other hand, the maximum performance is just rather low. However, this concept is similar with some fans, such as the Corsair SP120 Elite or the Arctic F12 PWM PST. Where the two fans perform almost identically in the first two tests, the Sharkoon SilentStorm BW120 PWM achieve a slightly higher performance in the high-speed test, as they achieve a higher speed – within manufacturing tolerances.
As a case fan, the performance is not outstanding, but due to the low price, a full complement is more achievable than with more expensive fans.
Use as a radiator fan
- Solid mid-range performance
- Acceptable volume
- Low peak power
Where the Sharkoon SilentStorm fans in the test as case fans still sat in the rather low performance range at a uniform speed, things look different on the radiator. Here they start at 1100 RPM in the solid midfield. This confirms the pressure-optimized design. They also don’t get too noticeable here in terms of volume and don’t get any louder than the be quiet! Pure Wings or Noiseblocker NB-eLoop X at speed, for example, during the test run with a 38 mm radiator on one side and a tight mesh filter on the other.
The Sharkoon SilentStorm fans remain similarly good in terms of uniformly low noise. Here they continue to sit in the good midfield, beating many big-name fans like the Noctua NF-P12 redux, the be quiet! Pure Wings 120mm and Light Wings 120mm, as well as the NZXT F120 and Corsair QL120.
At peak performance, the fairly low maximum speed of the Sharkoon fans is again evident. This doesn’t break any records, but it doesn’t make any ears fall off either.
So if you have bought an AIO and despair more about the too high volume of the fans than about the performance, you can definitely find an acceptable and cheap solution for the problem in the Sharkoon SilentStorm fans.
Use on the air cooler
- Comparable to the use on the radiator
- Solid mid-range performance
The use on the radiator has shown a trend that continues here. When the fans are set to a consistent 1100 RPM, the Sharkoon SilentStorm BW120 and 120 RGB deliver solid mid-range performance and don’t get too loud. And it becomes apparent once again how similar the two models are: The temperature result turns out identical.
If you set all fans in the test to a uniform volume, the two fans again find themselves in the range of the measurement tolerance to each other in the midfield of the test results from a total of 40 different fans. This is not a bad position considering that they are priced well below average.
The maximum performance follows the trend of the previous tests: Due to the low maximum speed, almost all other fans pass by, but also tend to get louder in the process.
Overall, the Sharkoon SilentStorm fans perform so well in this test that they are definitely an option if you want to either add RGB lighting to cheap 120mm air coolers or need to replace a broken fan. A big performance upgrade is not to be expected, but definitely a usable result.
The Sharkoon SilentStorm are not outstanding fans, but you wouldn’t expect that in this price range. Still, the ability to daisy-chain the BW120s makes them interesting, especially on a limited budget. And especially the RGB version is suitable as an entry into the world of RGB fans and can still score with the solid cooling performance at a low price. So all in all, these 120 mm fans are a good solution for PC hobbyists who have to or want to get by on a limited budget.
The change of corners is quite something, but also a sticking point. Usually, you choose a color combination and leave the fans like that. Rarely will you change the colors of the corners in the future, and then you would of course have to store them somewhere and find them again when needed. Personally, I have to admit that I would have liked the fans to be even cheaper, and I would have done without this gimmick. I would have preferred the path that other manufacturers have also taken: Offering two ready-made color variants for purchase.