Review and testing of fans Zalman ZM-DF14BL and Zalman ZM-DF12

Review and testing of fans Zalman ZM-DF14BL and Zalman ZM-DF12

How often in life you wonder how often you see something new and different? I think here we have all the answers will be different, someone who often do not, but in any case it is necessary to be surprised in my life, it’s good for the mind, the main thing is not to overdo it … And now the same thing, but on the other hand, often you like to surprise family, friends, people, do not know about you, but I know one company that likes to surprise, and likes to do it very much, although sometimes the effect of “wow” remains only on the visual aspect.

I think you have already guessed whom will be discussed, but it Zalman. Despite the rumors of bankruptcy, Zalman still in the ranks of the market and do not go away. For me it is quite joyful moment, because the more players, the more fun. And Zalman tries to make the world of unusual, interesting game on the market continuing to innovate and novatorstvovat. Today I will introduce you to a very unusual fan Zalman ZM-DF14BL and Zalman ZM-DF12.


As the technology used in the Zalman ZM-DF14BL and Zalman ZM-DF12 are identical, we will consider them in the first example of 140mm model ZM-DF14BL, and then move on to have a detailed examination of each pair.

Review and testing of fans Zalman ZM-DF14BL and Zalman ZM-DF12

The packaging of each fan goes six circles that represent their individual technologies, with some I quite agree, and some no more than marketing.

Of course, it would be good if the double blades improved the static pressure or the performance level of the air flow. But in reality things are not so lacking tactile sensations to understand everything, if you just put a hand to the back of the fan ZM-DF14 or ZM-DF12 honored weak but focused airflow direction, and only on the edge of the large blades. In other words, the image reflected on the fact that there is blue lines and the flow of air, which shows the carcass is not felt at all. I compared with Noctua NF-A14 which runs on the same speed and NF-A14 is felt decent flow over the entire area of the impeller. So double impeller shown to be ineffective.

EBR bearing used in the ZM-DF14, as claimed by the manufacturer, has 350,000 hours of life, it’s really an impressive figure.

The ZM-DF12 used bearing ANDkotory has even greater service life of 500,000 hours, almost eternal when compared with other fans.

This technology is more of a design decision, I want to pay tribute, looks really cool.

On the packaging there are three magical letters of PWM, but as such PWM control tutu not. Fans have three fixed operating limits, which are regulated by pressing a special button.


Review and testing of fans Zalman ZM-DF14BL and Zalman ZM-DF12


Fans are available in black and blue box with a picture of the fan and a description of the technology used by the manufacturer.Packaging has spread, which details painted aerodynamic and technical characteristics of the fan.

On the reverse side there is more information about the fan, and TX prisoners in the table.

Inside the fan is sandwiched between plastic cover and a cardboard tray.

The package includes only the fan 4 antivibration nail.


As I had to figure out the main advantage of the fans – it’s appearance, but the designers here are worthy of praise. The impeller has blades 18, 9 large pole small 9, on the idea that should favorably affect the aerodynamic characteristics. The fan may operate at speeds of 600-1200 rev / min and the maximum level of the air flow is 63 CFM, the level of the static pressure of 1.1 mm H2O.

The impeller is gray, it lies in reversing frame white. This gives even greater fan unusual. 140mm fan is only available in such colors.

Box fan is the waist, through which creates additional turbulence of the air flow in the body, in other words the air flow which is faced with an obstacle, goes through a recess in the frame. The thickness of the frame is 27mm, and in place of the waist ~ 19mm.

Within the framework of integrated anti-vibration rubber pads.

Review and testing of fans Zalman ZM-DF14BL and Zalman ZM-DF12

The appearance, the front part of the fan has a built-in lighting in the form of a cross and speed regulation button.

Material quality and the quality of parts, as well as their level of processing is high.


Fans are supplied in identical black and blue box with a picture of the fan and the description of technologies used by the manufacturer, only the size of the box less. Packaging has spread, which details painted aerodynamic and technical characteristics of the fan.

Review and testing of fans Zalman ZM-DF14BL and Zalman ZM-DF12

The reverse side also quite informative.

Inside is a plastic frame and a cardboard substrate, and between the fan itself.

The set includes four anti-vibration nail.


120mm fans look a little more interesting because of the dark colors, although there is already a matter of taste. The impeller has a 120mm fan blades as 18, 9 large pole of 9 children. Fan speed is 800-1600Ob / min maximum air flow is equal to 63,7 CFM, and the level of static pressure is equal to 1.2 mm H2O.

Impeller 120mm fan in black, it lies in reversing the black box, this combination looks more brutal.

Stodvadtsatki frame also has a waist, which promotes the creation of additional air streams into the housing.

Also on the box provided rubber anti-vibration pads.

The quality of materials is high, as is the quality of fans in general.


The cross in the middle of the frame lights up blue color slowly pulsing, 120mm fan only has a blue backlight and the 140mm fan found as blue and with red illumination.


Test Stand:

  • Processor: Intel Core i7 4960X 6/12 4.4Ghz 1,25v LGA2011
  • Cooling CPU: Corsair H110 (280mm) DEEPCOOL Maelsrorm 240 (240mm)
  • Motherboard: ASUS Rampage IV Gene X79
  • RAM: Kingston Svage 32Gb
  • Graphics card: GTX 980 4Gb
  • Power supply: Power supply: Seasonic Platinum-1200 SS-1200XP3 Active PFC, 80Plus Platinum, 1200W, 80Plus Platinum;PSU fan running in silent mode while remaining silent most of the time of testing. This power supply has a unequaled high-voltage stabilization is one of the most reliable power supply in its category.
  • Housing: Outdoor Stand (box)

Test Procedure:

Test the noise level of fans will be at 280mm and 240mm radiators LSS. The noise level will be measured with a digital sound level meter, from a distance of ~ 15cm, the minimum limit of the measurement noise is 30 dB, the noise level in the room is equal 30,5-31dB given below 33-34dB can be considered completely silent, the error may be 1.5 2dB. As much testing takes place on the open bench, the results of the noise level at around 35-37dB in the body will be at a distance of more than 50cm are not noticeable.


Zalman ZM-DF14BL

Zalman ZM-DF14BL lost to his opponent Noctua NF-A14 PWM, and the backlog at the same speed is quite large. Parasitic sounds while the engine fan Zalman ZM-DF14BL were found.

Zalman ZM-DF12

Competitor ZM-DF12 was a pair of fairly simple fans DEEPCOOL GF120, and representatives of the Zalman also showed no satisfactory result, moreover, they were quite noisy for a 120mm fan, and the engine of one of them were present in the form of parasitic sounds clicks.


Zalman released fans premium, ZM-DF14 and ZM-DF12, but only encroach on the title fans premium does not give them a couple of important shortcomings. The first, which I would like to say a low level of productivity, which is not admissible in this weight class, very low level of static pressure and airflow. The second drawback: used impeller which creates unnecessary air turbulence, which affects the noise performance of the fans are not the best.

Now switch the speed, course and implementation of the idea quite interesting, but it can be uncomfortable during the operation, which would have looked better use of PWM control, but this manufacturer has decided to move away from it.Because of the obvious advantages is the appearance and very long service life, which we hope will meet the stated numbers.Zalman you had a good attempt to surprise the consumer, but someone these products can surprise in a bad way.

Review and testing of fans Zalman ZM-DF14BL and Zalman ZM-DF12 updated: July 12, 2015 author: Jonathan Davis