Case fans historically tend to fall into one of two categories of performance – air flow/power potential, and noise level/quiet operation potential. One usually has to sacrifice a bit of the quiet operation factor in order to achieve the desired power level needed to do an adequate cooling job. If you need to avoid the noise level, then you may need to sacrifice some air flow to get the decibels down to acceptable levels. A number of case fans have hit the market in recent years claiming voluminous air flow and whisper-quiet operation; or marketing variations of this theme. The examples that can truly make this claim are few and far between.
Today we have for review one of Cougar’s new Dual-X series of case fans. The Dual-X case fans are being marketed as a premium fan with powerful airflow and extreme silence. We will endeavor to see if it fulfills its intended role. Although the Cougar Dual-X case fan is available in both 120mm and 140mm form factors, our review sample is a 120mm blue LED version. First we will see what cougar has to say about the Dual-X’s features and specifications.
INITIAL INSPECTION AND SPECIFICATIONS
The Cougar Dual-X case fans feature a dual-layer rigid blade design. The nine dual-layer rigid blades generate more powerful airflow and air pressure, while decreasing wind shear noise. The Dual-X also utilizes Cougar’s innovative diversion claws to provide focused airflow and reduce noisy air turbulence. The claws can be seen in the image above. Its anti-vibration pad design efficiently reduces vibrations, which helps promote silent operation. The blue LEDs, along with a transparent blue blade, create an energetic visual effect. Cougar’s hydraulic bearing technology allows the Dual-X to run more smoothly, with no friction. This helps make the Dual-X both quiet and durable.
Our model CF-D12HB-B Cougar Dual-X fan measures 120 x 120 x 25mm, and is rated for a maximum speed of 1200 rpm. It pushes air at 64.37 cfm, and creates air pressure (at a full 12 volts) of 1.74 mm/H2O. The Dual-X comes with a standard 3-pin fan connector at the end of its 450 mm long power cable. A molex 4-pin to 3-pin adapter is included, along with 4 X standard fan screws and 4 X tool-less rubber mounting pins.
One of the most interesting aspects of the Cougar Dual-X fan is its unique bearing design. This revolutionary hydraulic bearing features a closed oil retention design that prevents leakage of the special low-wear, high-temperature synthetic lubricant. The closed system is pressurized to assure the constant presence of the lubricant in the bearing and storage tank. The fan shaft is made of specially designed aerospace materials that resist wear and tear. This design is superior to sleeve-type bearings and previous bottom-seal-only hydraulic bearing designs.
The Cougar Dual-X case fan comes in a window package that is eye-catching, and immediately draws your attention to the unique and aggressive blade design. The Dual-X is available in your choice of blue, green, red, and also a black non-LED version. The reverse side of the package describes the Dual-X’s features (in no less than four languages), and shows several airflow depictions.
The specifications are charted at the bottom. The package also includes the standard 4-pin molex to 3-pin fan adapter harness. Also included is a small ziploc bag containing black mounting screws and tool-less push-in style rubber pins.
Here we see the front and rear views of the Cougar Dual-X 120mm. The nine-blade configuration with its ridges and claws definitely looks like it can grab some serious air. Also note the rubber pads on each corner surrounding the mounting screw areas. A quiet mounting goes a long ways towards a quiet-operating fan, but more on that later when we discuss installation. The Dual-X comes with a nicely black-sleeved, generously long (450 mm) connection cable.