037_lanoc_watermarkIt's rare nowadays to see a company make a case fan attractive without the use of lighting of some sort. That doesn't mean it can't be done. Cooler Master's new 120mm case fan the Excalibur, is proof of that. The simple and sleek design just doesn't get justice behind bezels. Careful not to judge books by their covers today I sit down with the Excalibur to see how it performs.


Product Name:Excalibur

Review Sample Provided by:Cooler Master

Review & Pictures by:Adam

Packaging
The main packaging for the Excalibur consists largely of a transparent plastic box, allowing the consumer to see exactly what it is they are is buying. After opening, the cardboard placeholder will unfold revealing a small bay where the cables are hidden, as well as a small bag of accessories. Inside, you'll find four mounting screws, four rubber screws, four rubber paddings, and a 4-to-3 pin adapter.

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Installation

You have a few options when in comes to installing this fan. You may use the metal mounting screws provided or you may opt for the rubber screws, as I did in my case. I was installing the Excalibur into a windowed panel made of plastic and was hesitant about tightening metal screws on said plastic. Plus, with an all black fan the metallic color would stand out, so the rubber screws were perfect. The screws are long enough to be pulled through the front of the surface into the fan mounts and the all the way to the back. Some excess will be left over, but even in a windowed case its hard to notice, so if you are installing on a solid surface it's no worry at all.

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The connector cord is also braided black, which is even better in a windowed case. With a fan in the middle of a window panel it's just about impossible to hide cords from view. With the Excalibur, the cable is largely unnoticable because of the black braiding. A 3-to-4 pin adapter is also included if needed.

Performance
The Excalibur is actually three pieces built into a metal frame. The metal frame provides some extra strength in the structure. It also features a 'honey comb' ventilation design that helps increase airflow and reduce noise.

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The shape of the fan blades are definitely unique as well. Aside from looking very kick-ass, the sword-shaped design generates even more air pressure and thus better cooling. The tips of the blades help to reduce noise without sacrificing performance. The Excalibur also features removable blades allowing for a quick and easy clean.

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The Excalibur features a range of about 600-2000RPM, which when tested using SpeedFan 4.40 showed a result of 2027 at max. The fan is designed to still be effective even with airflow and pressure at low levels, which is going to be a bit quieter than running the fan at max. It is also one of the quieter high RPM fans available. With a maximum dB of 30, compared to competitors' that range well into the 30's and even 40's.

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Overall
The Excalibur is a bit more expensive than your run-of-the-mill 120mm case fan but it's also not your run-of-the-mill 120 mm case fan. With several unique features, such as the unique blade design, ventilation system, and easy to clean removable blades this fan definitely stands out. The Excalibur is one of the quieter 2000RPM solutions and you'll see plenty of airflow without as much noise at all. And finally this baby simply looks good.


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