Chieftec’s range mainly consists of cases and power supplies, but you can also find some interesting things among the accessories it offers. In particular, my attention was drawn to case fans, or to be more precise, the Chieftec Tornado set, made in the spirit of modern RGB fashion trends. What’s in it? Nothing special, but this is one of the most affordable branded kits that you can find on sale with us. Therefore, I wanted to get to know him better, and at the same time tell our readers about it.
|Model||Chieftec CF-3012-RGB (TORNADO)|
|Fan size||3x 120x120x25 mm|
|Rotational speed||1200 rpm|
|Air flow, m3/h||90|
|Noise level, dB (A)||16|
|Connection connector||6 pin|
|Starting voltage, V||5|
|Operating voltage, V||7 – 12|
|Current strength, A||0,65|
|Backlight||ARGB (16 diodes, 16.8M colors)|
|Number of light effects||20 dynamic and 9 static|
|Compatible with RGB lighting systems||ASUS Aura, MSI Mystic Light, ASROCK Polychrome, GIGABYTE RGB Fusion|
|Other||Controller for six fans and two LED strips included, radio remote control for lighting and fan speed|
|Recommended cost, $||35|
Packing and scope of delivery
The set comes in a neat little red and black box. Three fans are depicted on the front side, on the back you can read about their technical characteristics.
In addition to three propellers, the kit includes instructions for use, a fan controller, a radio remote control, a cable for connecting to the motherboard, a SATA power cable for the controller, and 12 black mounting screws.
Appearance and technical features
The fan has a quite standard impeller with seven white glossy blades. They have a slightly curved profile designed for a balanced ratio of static pressure and air flow. Of the aerodynamic optimizations, only two rounded grooves near the cutting edge can be noted, which probably make the air flow a little less turbulent and noisy. The maximum fan speed is 1200 rpm with a noise level of 44 dB(A) that we measured, which is subjectively felt as «rather quiet» and «barely audible» from the closed case. Using the included controller, the speed can be reduced to 900 rpm and 40 dB (A) (this noise level is definitely not audible from the PC case), or even to 700 rpm and 37 dB (A), that is, almost silently .
There is no exact information about the type of bearing used here. Probably, some variation of the improved sliding sleeve is installed here. In any case, parasitic overtones in the new instance of the device are minimized and a slight rustling can be heard only if you bring your ear close to the engine. The weight of one propeller is 130 grams.
The massive frame is equipped on both sides with rubber pads at the corners to dampen vibrations. A translucent ring is built around the impeller in the frame, inside of which there is a hidden LED backlight strip.
The power cord has a non-standard six-pin connector. Two of them are responsible for the operation of the fan, the remaining four are for address lighting. Without additional adapters, this cannot be connected to any motherboard. The cable length is 560 mm.
And to connect such fans, the kit provides its own controller. It is a plastic box measuring 89x60x15 mm and weighing 49 grams. On the top panel, over the Chieftec inscription, there are three buttons: Color Mode, Slow and Fast. With a short press on Color Mode, you can select one of 20 lighting effects in turn. Holding this button for more than three seconds turns off or turns on the backlight completely. The Slow key reduces the fan speed by one step (there are three speed levels available: minimum, medium and maximum). If you hold the button for more than three seconds, the backlight control mode is switched between this controller and the motherboard. The Fast key increases the fan speed by one step. By holding it for more than three seconds, you can select a color in the current backlight mode. All color and speed settings are stored in the controller’s memory and reproduced when the power is reapplied to it.
On the left side there is a Power port (four pins) where the SATA power cable is connected, the SW PANEL port (also four pins) in which you can turn on the control buttons from a suitable case panel and the KEY port. It includes a cable from the body reset key. When pressed, it duplicates the function of selecting a lighting effect with the Color Mode button. On the bottom, there are four ports with six pins each for connecting fans.
On the right short side there is a four-pin MB IN port, where the backlight control cable from the motherboard is connected. On the top side there are two more ports for fans and two connectors for LED strips with a three-pin + 5VDG connection.
On the back of the controller, there are four mounting screws and three powerful magnets that fix it quite tightly on any metal surface of the case. Really very convenient, no need for any double sided tape, screws or Velcro.
This is what the controller power cable looks like. It is positive that the SATA connector is used here instead of the outdated Molex. The wire length is 310 mm.
And this is an addressable backlight synchronization cable with two three-pin + 5VDG male and female connectors. There is even an insulating cap for one connector. The cable allows you to connect and control the lighting of a set of fans from the motherboard, while one more additional device can be attached to the connector. The length of the main wire is 600 mm, and the additional wire is 100 mm.
The most convenient option for controlling the backlight and fan speed is a complete radio remote control. It is equipped with membrane buttons, the purpose of which can be easily understood intuitively by the inscriptions and pictograms on them. If more fine-tuning of colors is required, control can be transferred to the motherboard software (if it supports such a function), but propeller speed adjustment is not possible in this case.
This is how the available functions of the remote control look like according to the instructions:
Remote control dimensions are 86x40x7 mm, weight 16 grams. Powered by one CR2025 battery. Range up to 30 meters in line of sight. The resource of all buttons is declared at around 100 thousand clicks.
For backlighting, the fan uses 16 addressable RGB LEDs placed around the perimeter of the frame. In practice, this means that each of them can be controlled individually. The backlight as a whole does not look perfect, but it is quite good and is even capable of demonstrating a true-to-life white color. I don’t think that anyone will be interested in multi-colored carousels, but the ability to set any static glow color is good.
In general, the set of Chieftec Tornado CF-3012-RGB fans turned out to be quite a nice and inexpensive option for decorating and lighting a computer case. In terms of functionality, it is doing well — three propellers are usually enough to ventilate any standard system when installed correctly. The fans themselves are surprisingly quiet and have a well-chosen speed range. In terms of power, there are no complaints about them either. A performance of 90 m3 / h is quite a decent figure on average for 120 mm models. The backlight controller also pleased. Magnetic mount and SATA power connector are quite a lot these days. If necessary, three more fans and two LED strips can be added to it. The radio remote control in this set is the icing on the cake. By and large, it is unlikely that someone will seriously play with switching colors for more than an hour and eventually set up the parameters that are needed and forget about them. But the ability to quickly switch is always nice. No significant flaws were found in this kit. The only concern may be a non-standard fan connector. However, at least at the moment, there are Chieftec fans on the market with such a connector and they can be purchased if necessary.