Corsair ML Series Magnetic Levitation Fan Review

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Article Page 1 - Magnetic Levitation

Quick test: Corsair ML Magnetic Levitation Fan
Tonight's forecast... a breeze is coming! 

Yeah so, pretty much anyone of you guys know my stance on fan reviews. I just do not like testing them at all as hey, it's a fan you know. IMHO basically you have quality fans and the cheaper models that come with compromises. Spend more = better, spend less often is means more noise or lower airflow. That pretty much sums up any review right ? Corsair however has a bit of an exclusive in their hands with the new maglev based fans and they want to get the word out hence this quick 'n short article. No more ball bearings or bearings whatsoever, magnetic levitation is what it is about my man, this puppy nearly floats. As an end-result Corsair now outs a fan series that has very little wear, can be really silent and at low RPM offer really impressive airflow.


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The reason that that Corsair wanted some articled out is is that they put a lot of R&D in this news ML fan series, and we have to acknowledge, there's an awful lot of science behind fans these days. Next to design they even took these puppies of the dev grid and included wind tunnel testing. Now there's a bunch of science behind these fans that personally I am not that interested in, not even the slightest bit. But do they perform really well at silent levels as I have learned, and that is the answer to the much asked question .. do they perform well ? Yep!

So what is the ML fan series all about ?

So basically Corsair just announced and released 120 and 140mm fans with Magnetic Levitation Bearing and a custom rotor design, the ML Series is designed to deliver higher airflow, lower noise and better cooling and does so by doing that with almost friction-less operation. And all that can be achieved at fairly low RPM levels.

For those who do not know what Magnetic levitation is, it is short for maglev, or magnetic suspension and is a method by which an object is suspended with no support other than magnetic fields. Magnetic force is used to counteract the effects of the gravitational acceleration and any other accelerations. That means no more ball bearings and thus less friction. That reduction in friction in comparison to all conventional physical bearings allows the ML Series to offer lower noise at higher RPMs. Corsair is now offering these fans in a whopping ten models based on colors and sizes. The ML, ML PRO and ML PRO LED models will be available in both 120mm and 140mm sizes. All ML fans offer a huge PWM range, giving users total control over how their fans perform.  If you treasure silence above anything (that would be me) then at 400 RPM, the ML Series will push more airflow at near silent 16 dBA (decibel A-weighting).If you want to levitate that PC of yours you could push up to 97 CFM (cubic feet per minute) of air. The ML Series also allows for some customization as the PRO models feature removable color corners fitted to the fan’s vibration dampening rubber grommets, allowing you to match your PC colors towards the fans and thus the overall build. The ML PRO LED SKUs have four LEDs mounted into the central fan hub.

Specs

  • Magnetic Levitation Bearing: Harnesses Magnetic Levitation technology to provide lower noise, higher performance, and a longer lifespan.
  • Custom Rotor Design: Delivers the perfect balance between high static pressure and high airflow, operating flawlessly in the most challenging environments.
  • Extensive Control Range: A 2,000 RPM control range gives you total control between low noise and absolute performance. At 400 RPM ML Series 120mm fans provide 12 CFM of airflow at just 16 dBA for near silent running. At 2,400 RPM, the same fans offer a huge 75 CFM of airflow, at a proclaimed 37dBa. You choose the balance between silence and performance, and the ML Series delivers.
  • Color Customization: Replaceable corners mounted to anti-vibration rubber dampers allow you to match your fans with the rest of your build while delivering quiet operation at higher speeds.
  • Bold LED’s: ML120 PRO LED and ML140 PRO LED are available in Red, White or Blue, with ultra-bright LEDs mounted to the center rotor, outputting a vivid blast of light and color.

All ML Series fans are backed by a five year warranty and are available immediately from the CORSAIR worldwide network of authorized retailers. ML Series fans are available in ten different variants in both 120mm and 140mm sizes. Please refer to the below grid for MSRP. Prices are Exc. Tax.
  

 

ML120

ML120 PRO

ML120 PRO LED White

ML120 PRO LED Red

ML120 PRO LED Blue

Pack Quantity

2

1

1

1

1

Rubber Corners

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Corner Color

None

Black

White

Red

Blue

LED Lit

No

No

Yes - White

Yes - Red

Yes – Blue

RPM

400 – 2400

400 – 2400

400 – 2400

400 – 2400

400 – 2400

CFM

12 – 75

12 – 75

12 – 75

12 – 75

12 – 75

Static Pressure

0.2 – 4.2

0.2 – 4.2

0.2 – 4.2

0.2 – 4.2

0.2 – 4.2

Noise (dBA)

16 – 37

16 – 37

16 – 37

16 – 37

16 – 37

MSRP ($)

$34.99

$24.99

$27.99

$27.99

$27.99


 

ML140

ML140 PRO

ML140 PRO LED White

ML140 PRO LED Red

ML140 PRO LED Blue

Pack Quantity

2

1

1

1

1

Rubber Corners

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Corner Color

None

Black

White

Red

Blue

LED Lit

No

No

Yes - White

Yes - Red

Yes – Blue

RPM

400 – 2000

400 – 2000

400 – 2000

400 – 2000

400 – 2000

CFM

17 – 97

17 – 97

17 – 97

17 – 97

17 – 97

Static Pressure

0.2 – 3.0

0.2 – 3.0

0.2 – 3.0

0.2 – 3.0

0.2 – 3.0

Noise (dBA)

16 – 37

16 – 37

16 – 37

16 – 37

16 – 37

MSRP ($)

$39.99

$28.99

$30.99

30.99

$30.99

 
And yes, if you decide to purchase them be prepared to pay a premium price as these fans aren't cheap, no Sir. Honestly if you can drop the LED and don't care about the custom rubber corners, may I hint you to have a peek at the non PRO model, a 2-pack offers a lot more value. But let's have a peek at some photos first.

Some photos


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So we received two sets of each of the 120 and 140mm versions with a variation in LED colors, mostly all PRO versions with the customizable corners, so yeah basically you can swap out the corners for ones with another color. The LED versions have 4 LEDs in the base of the fan. 

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The packaged contain the ML fan  of your choice, you'll receive four screws and two tie wraps. If you want to customize or change these corners, you'll need to purchase them separately. 
 

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Here I simply connected them towards our graphics card testing rig and loaded the fans with varying RPM levels to quickly test them out and find an RPM level that I find silent, yet optimal enough in airflow. The photo is for aesthetic purposes only as it shows the LEDs a bit better.  We do hope to see some sort of RGB LED functionality in the future as color configuration on fans would be terrific. On the next page we'll do some quick testing. Next page please.

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