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FROSTEC FS-120A REVIEW

FROSTEC FS-120A REVIEW.

15 January 2021

Fans are such an integral part of any computer system that we often overlook how important they are. Now you’re thinking to yourself, “Aren’t all fans the same? Don’t they spin and move air from one place to another?” The basic mechanics of a fan are exactly that, they’re a spinning blade designed to maneuver air. However, the planning of the fan can totally change the dynamics. For instance, blade design can impact noise and efficiency, and therefore the motor can determine how powerful the fan is often.

In this review, we will be looking at Frostec FS-120A ARGB 120 mm fans from a blooming startup here in India. Before we dive into the actual review let me give you a briefing on the brand itself. Frostec might not ring a bell for some of our readers, for them, Frostec is the daughter brand of a massive PC components retailer and Boutique system integrator EZPZ Solutions India Private Limited. The brand is very ambitious and is looking forward to releasing a lot of products in the Indian market. Currently, Frostec has this fan, Frostec ARGB controller, Frostec Pwm splitter available for purchase. They are also planning to bring more models of fans, Cpu Coolers, AIOs, air coolers in the next lot. Frostec also plans to bring cabinets and much more in the near future.

Their very first product is already out and we have a unit on hand today to review FS-120A.

TL;DR:- The fans are good and come with an interesting and somewhat unique design, performs pretty good but there are a few downs with the product too, which we are going to talk about in detail in our review down below.

These fans are part of the FS120 series and feature a variety of different technologies to fit your particular application.

Let’s get started:-

I. Unboxing Experience:-

Fans come inside a cardboard box in black, blue, green colors combination. The front side of the box has a Frostec brand logo on the top left side. There is an image of the fan within the main section and it’s illuminated in multiple colors at a time to suggest the addressable RGB lighting. These fans are compatible with most motherboards with +5V addressable/Digital RGB lighting headers. Just make sure to match the pin format. Salient features and specs are printed at the bottom. The left side of the box has the Frostec FS-120A logo printed on the left side. The Right side of the box displays all the different ARGB ecosystems that the fan is compatible with, namely Asrock Polychrome Sync, MSI Mystic Lighting, Asus Aura Sync, and Gigabyte RGB Fusion 2.0. The backside of the box has a Frostec brand logo printed on the top left side. Followed by specifications of the fan in very fine print, in English, Italian, Russian, German, Ukrainian, and Spanish. Finally, there is the mention of the mother brand that is EZPZ Solutions India. Fans are made in China. The top cover is in the black color background with another repetition of the salient features. Opening the box you will be greeted with a small plastic baggy containing all the mounting screws. Putting the baggie away will give you access to the fan.

II. Closer Look:-

The FS series of the addressable RGB LED fans is the first product from Frostec and was introduced in December last year. As of now, these are available in just 120mm configuration and come in boxes of single units irrespective of how many units you decide to get.

We will be discussing FS-120A here. The front side of the fan shows 7 translucent blades. There is a black color sticker pasted on the hub with the Frostec brand logo printed on it. Looking closely at the blades, we can see that each of the impellers is connected together. In the end. This design doesn’t seem to be aiding in any sort of better airflow in our testing. The overall design is square but looking closely from the front side, it looks like there’s a circular frame in the middle with the assembly, and 4 mounting corners are attached to this circular frame. This is only an impression as the frame is a uni-body design. Each of the mounting corners has black color anti-vibration pads. There is an inward slope on each of the mounting corner side towards the inner circular frame. This comes in handy reducing drag and has better airflow across the sides. The slope area has a black finish. Let’s take a look at the backside of the fan. Each mounting corner has the same anti-vibration pad on it. The fan has a standard 4-arms assembly that is holding the impellers and motor. One of the arms features a latch that’s holding the cables beginning of the hub. Cables are well placed and routed through this latch to the outer frame. There are two cables per fan. One is the 3-pin female RGB LED cable and the other is a 4-pin PWM cable. They are flat cables. There is a sticker pasted on the hub. Frostec brand name is printed on the top. Looking at the highest side of the fan, we will see a mid-plate within the frame that has an angular side on each of the corners.

III. Specifications:-

As for the specs, the FS-120A has a dimension of 120x120x25mm.

 1. Its speed is rated at 1000±10% ~ 2000±10% RPM.

 2. Airflow is rated at 57 CFM.

 3. Noise level is rated at 17.6 ~ 27 dB(A).

 4. Depends on a 4 pin PWM header for power

 5. Its rated voltage is 8-13VDC. The Rated current is 0.23A

 6. Comes with a rated lifetime of 40000 hours.

 7. Max noise 26.3 dBA

 8. Hydraulic Bearing

As mentioned, the USP of these fans is the addressable RGB LED lighting on them. There are 6 individually controllable RGB LEDs per fan housed inside the hub. To control the RGB lighting, Frostec has provided two possible ways. One is the bundled RGB Controller (on 3 or more units and also sold separately as of now) and the second option opens your door to endless possibilities as Frostec has provided an A-RGB Extension cable with universal 3 pin +5V ARGB headers. Bringing it into the equation, the user can connect more fans or other ARGB components to the fan through daisy-chaining. The controller has three buttons. The top button has the word “mode” embossed on it. The bottom button has the word “light” embossed on it whereas the middle button has “speed” embossed on it. The top and bottom buttons are used to cycle through the different pre-programmed animations and various levels of brightness. And if browsing through different modes using buttons seems cumbersome then the user can also connect these fans to the A-RGB enabled headers on the modern motherboards. These are compatible with Asus AURA Sync, Gigabyte Fusion 2.0, MSI Mystic Lighting, ASRock Polychrome, etc. Frostec is using WS2812B ADD-RGB LED with pin formats of 5V/D/G and 5V/D/NC/G. The supplied extension cables are adhering to these pin formats. Be careful not to connect these connectors to the +12V RGB Lighting headers as that would simply fry the LEDs. These LEDs are rated at +5VDC. Their rated current is 0.48A with a rated power of 2.4W. The LED connector is 3-pin. Here I would like to make a point that, the decision of going with just 6 LEDs seems like a bad decision as this essentially increases the distance between each LEDs rendering the ARGB animations snappy and jerky.

Frostec is already looking into this issue and has decided to come out with a 9 led model in its next revision.

IV. Daisy-Chaining capability:-

The Frostec FS-120A comes with a daisy-chaining facility, which implies that you no longer have to worry about the scarcity of headers on your board, be it PWM or ARGB. For most people, there are ample PWM headers on the board to account for but we have come across cases where the user is left wanting more headers. This can be observed especially in the case of ARGB headers because as of now we can see as of now we can only see a maximum of just two ARGB headers onboard. If you arent planning to invest in some sort of dedicated controller, then you would be in trouble in such cases. But to our great pleasure, we found that Frostec provides the daisy-chaining facility, both PWM and ARGB, which means that you will be needing just one of each header for mounting and hooking up multiple ARGB fans or even other ARGB components.

V. Testing:-

We have tested the FS-120A fans on the Cooler Master Hyper 212. It is a standard on our test bench that we check the fans for their thermal performance. The other fans in the graph are Gamdias Aeolus 1204R Cooler Master SickleFlow 120 and Deepcool RF120.

VI. PWM Range:-

Next up, is the PWM range of the fan and the corresponding airflow values. The maximum speed observed on the FS-120A was 1930 RPM which is the validated one. The minimum speed observed was 950 for FS-120A which is again validated we can also consider these as the margin of errors as our hardware is not exactly state of the art.

VII. Thermal Testing:-

The thermal performance of the fan was tested on this test bench:

Our Test Bench:-

Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 3600 @4.0 GHZ overclocked

Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo

Fan Speed: 1500 RPM

Motherboard: Asrock B450 Steel Legend Atx

Graphics card: Asus Rog Strix GTX 1070 08 Gaming

System Disk: Samsung 970 Evo 500GB NVME M.2

Operating system: Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64bit (1909)

Power Supply Unit: Antec HCG 750W GOLD

Testing was performed on the Microsoft Windows 10 x64 Professional edition build version 1909. 

Corsair TM30 thermal paste was used. 

The fans were put on 100% of their speed. 

Cinebench R23 was used to stress test the CPU. 

RealTemp was used to monitor the temperatures. 

Chip is overclocked to 4.0GHz at 1.350V. XMP is loaded as well. 

The values displayed in the graph are an average of 3 consecutive runs.

Here are the results.

VIII. Acoustics:-

This point disappointed me a lot. I am sorry to comment that the fans are LOUD. No matter whatever tunings we make there is no coping with the acoustics of the fan. One of these fans is way louder than 2 units of cooler master sickle flow for comparison or the rf 120. Again, Frostec is also looking into this issue and plan a revised version.

IX. Conclusion:-

The fans come in a very crowded price segment and therefore faces very tough competition from other brands like Cooler Master, Antec, Deepcool to name a few.

At the end of the day if you ask us if it’s worth your hard-earned cash? well, We would say give them a try, we are sure it won’t disappoint you despite its couple of issues.

X. GALLERY:-

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