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Bluegears b-flexi and b-cools fans

Bluegears b-cool and b-flexi fans are not your boring computer case fans, rather they are “cool” fans that not only deliver the performance but also shows off some interesting light shows. If you are in the market for some cool fan either to help you cool your components or add to your mod case to show off to your friend, then you definitely want to take a look at these fans. Check out our review and see what you can do with these fans and how well they perform.

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Introduction

Despite the shrink in the die size and enhanced technology that allow manufactures to produce cooler components, the internal components in a computer still generates quite a lot of heat, especially if you are looking for the best and fastest parts.  In order to dissipate the amount of heat from the system, most cases today are designed to mount multiple fans in order to effectively and efficiently keep these components cool and enhance their life-span and possibly even help to increase the performance as cooler system allows better overclocking.  However, finding a good fan is never an easy job as it requires a balance of the noise level and efficiency.  A good fan not only have to be quiet but also able to pull enough hot air away from the case.  Today at Bjorn3d, we will take a look at Bluegears’s b-cool and b-flexi fans and see whether or not they will be a good choice for anyone out there seeking a quiet yet efficient fan.

Bluegears are extremely generous as they have send both 80mm and 120mm of their b-cool and b-flexi fans for us to review.  These fans are not your normal boring fans, rather, both b-cool and b-flexi fans have some special cool features incorporated into the fan.  Let’s take a look at them in depth.

B-cool80 and b-cool120

Feature/Specification

 b-cool80

 b-cool120

Dimension 
80mm x 80mm x 25 mm
120mm x 120mm x 25 mm
Air Pressure 
NA
1.6±10% (max)
Air Flow 
23 CFM ±10%(max)
49 CFM ±10% (max)
Speed 
2300 RPM ±200
1700 RPM ±10% (max)
Noise (dBa) 
25 ±10%
29.5 ±10%
Input Current 
0.3A(max)
0.4A(max)
Input Power 
3.6W(max)
4.8W(max)
Rated Voltage 
DC 12V
DC 12V
Operation Voltage 
11.0-13.8 VCD
7.0-13.8 VDC
Insulation Resistance 
NA
10MΩ min. at 500VDC

Dielectric Strenght

NA   5mA Max. at 500V AC 60Hz. for 1 min.

Rotation

 NA CW view from name plate side  

Air Flow direction

 NA Air intake over the struts  

Insulation Rank

 NA UL:Class A  

Life Expectancy

 NA 20000 hours continuous  

Bearing

 Sleeve Sleeve 

Output Signal

 NA Frequency Generator  

 

b-cool80 (left) and b-cool120 (right)

The Bluegears b-cool fans are 25mm depth, sleeve bearing fans that come in two sizes: 80mm and 120mm.  There’s a selection of white or blue background light and the fans come with a bag of screws and a 3 pin to 4 pin molex power adapter.  The cable for both fans are bundled together instead of loose individual lines.  The 80mm b-cool fan comes with a fan grill attached while the 120mm version does not come with a fan grill.  The fan grill on the 80 mm fan is a bit rised and attached to the fan so it is not removable. 

 
 
b-cool80 (left) and b-cool120 (right)

 

B-cool fan has build in temperature sensor on the fan and it can display the temperature on the side of the fan where the fan is sucking the air.  In additino to the fan temperature information, the fans will also light up blue color when it’s in use.  Despite both b-cool80 and b-cool120 will display temperature information, the 80mm fan will only show the word “cool” while the 120mm version will show more dynamic display.

b-cool80 will display rotational speed and the temperature of the fan

 
The 120mm version has more dynamic display that shows the fan speed, temperature, and the word “cool/warm/hot” depend on the temperature.  When the temperature is below 35.9 °C, the display will show “COOL”, when it is at 36°C to 45.9°C, it will show “WARM”, and it will show “HOT” when the temperature is in the range from 46°C to 99°C.   It is not that easy to show off the dynamic of the display with a few pictures so I took a video to capture the display on the 120mm fan which you can download here and see the cool display of the b-cool120 (you can also hear the noise of the in the clip).
 
 
b-cool120 will show the rotational speed, the temperature, and the word cool/warm/hot depend on the temperature.

The 80mm version is rated to run at 2300±200 rpm with the air flow of 23±10% CFM and 25±10% dBA noise level, while the 120mm version is rated at 1700±10% rpm with air flow of 55±10% CFM and 32±10% dBA noise level.

Due to the placement of the fan grill and the LED, the fans are best mounted onto the surface where the fan is blows air to the components rather than pull air away.  If it is mounted in other way around, the information will not show up since the chip is only on one side of the fan.

B-flexi80 and b-flexi120

 

Feature/Specification

 b-flexi80

 b-flexi120

Dimension 
80mm x 80mm x 25 mm
120mm x 120mm x 25 mm
Rated Voltage 
DC 12V
DC 12V
Air Flow 
36.7 CFM ±10%(max)
48.75 CFM ±10%
Speed 
2500 RPM ±10%
1500 RPM ±10%
Noise 
25.6dBA ±10%
30dBA ±10%
Input Current 
0.3A(max)
0.4A(max)
Input Power 
3.6W(max)
4.8W(max)
Bearing 
Sleeve
thing

  

b-flexi80 (left) and b-flexi120 (right)
The b-flexi fans are also 25mm depth, sleeve bearing fan that come two flavors: 80mm and 120mm.  The b-flexi fan’s are coated with titanium chorme and the fan will emit red, blue, or green color light.  The color can be adjusted with a switch that can be mounted to the expansion slot with the included mounting bracket.  The fans come with a bag of screw and the mounting brackets as accessory.

 

b-flexi fans can display 3 different color lights that can be adjusted with a simpole switch.  You can also turn the light off.
 

 

The controller is a simple tab that has 4 settings.  It can be mounted to the back of the case with the included bracket.

 
The b-flexi fans comes with the 3 pin fan connector and a 4 pin molex attached to the fan, the 4 pin molex comes with an adatper that can be connected to other accessories.  In addition, the LED light is being powered by another cord that draws power from another 4 pin molex connector.  Once again, you see the fan cables are bundled together, so no loose rails to worry about  Furthermore, the cables are extremely long so you can place the fan anywhere in the case.

 

The 80mm version is rated to run at 2500±10% rpm with air flow of 36.7±10% CFM and 25.6±10% dBA noise leve, while the 120mm is rated to run at 1500 ±10% rpm with air flow of 48.75±10% CFM, and 30±10% dBA noise level.

Here you can see the 2 of the 4 LED lights that were used to emit the colors for the b-flexi fans.
 
The b-flexi fans comes with 4 little bulbs placed on the four corners of the fan to allow the fans to show off the color as what’s seen above.  The bulb emits the light and the light is reflected from the surface of the fan blades to give the apparent linear look.  Just like the b-cool fans, the b-flexi fans light will show up only if the fans are mounted to blow airs to the components.  Since the b-flexi fans do not come with fan grills, you can mount them the other way around but the LED light will not look like what’s shown on the picture but the light is still somewhat visible.
 

Test Configuration

  • Processor: AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Manchester
  • Memory: 2x G.Skill Extreme Series (F1-3200PHU2-2GBZX)
  • Motherboard: DFI Lanparty nF4 SLI-DR (BIOS NF4LD406)
  • Graphics Card: Gigabyte GeForce 7800 GT (GV-NX78T256V-B)
  • Sound Card: SoundBlaster Audigy 2
  • Power Supply: ZM460B-APS
  • Hard drive: Maxtor DiamondMax Plus10 250GB Hard Drive (Maxtor 6B250S0), 250GB, 7,200 rpm, 16 MB Cache, SATA 150
  • Heat sink: Thermalright SI-128
  • Testing Fans:
    • 120 mm fans: 
      • Scythe’s S-Flex SFF21F
      • b-cool120
      • b-flexi120
    • 80 mm fans:
      • unknown model and spec Vantec 80mm fan
      • bcool80
      • b-flexi80

Results

b-cool120 and b-flexi120

 

 

SFF21F

 b-cool120

b-flexi120
BIOS 
34
33
33
Idle Core 1 
31
28
30
Idle Core 2 
26
24
27
Load Core 1 
46
47
47
Load Core 2 
39
40
40

I mount the fans to my Thermalright SI-128 heat sink and measure the temperature reading when the system is in BIOS, idle in Windows, and Load in Windows.  As you can see when the system is idle, the b-cool120 is more efficient in keeping the CPU cool than the b-flexi120, this could be attributed to the higher RPM and CFM of the b-cool120.  However, under load, the two fans perform equally well.  The higher performance of the b-cool does come in the price of the noise as the noise level of the b-cool is a little louder than the b-flexi.  The noise difference between the two fans is fairly noticeable although neither fans is particularly loud.  Comparing to the Scythe’s S-Flex SFF21F, both b-cool and b-flexi is a tad louder than the quiet and efficient SFF21F, although the noise does not cause too much annoyance.

All three fans are very efficient at cooling the CPU, given to the performance and noise level of the the fans, it probably would be a better choice selecting the quieter b-flexi if you don’t care too much about the flashy display and want a quieter system configuration.

b-cool80 and b-flexi80

 

Vantec 80 mm fan

 b-cool80

b-flexi80
BIOS 
37
38
38

Since I have no place to mount the 80mm fans on either my CPU or case, I decided to test the efficiency of the fan by simply place them on top of my Thermalright SI-128 and measure the BIOS temeprature reading. 

We can see that both fans perform fairly equal in keeping the CPU cool under the BIOS.  Contrary to the 120mm fans, the noise level of the two 80mm fans are fairly equal to each other and they are fairly quiet as well; however, I did notice a little humming sound coming from the b-cool80.  I am not sure if the sound is due to the display on the b-cool or not, but the little humming sound could be a bit annoyance if your wish to have a absolutely quiet system.  Both fans are way quieter than the Vantec 80mm that I have lying around and either fans would be great replacement of the noisy Vantec 80mm while keep the similar cooling efficiency.

Conclusion

The Bluegears b-cool and b-flexi fans are not the quietest fans on the market but they do offer good performance and the cool lightings do offer a little extra “coolness”.  Ultimately, if you are looking to keep the system absolutely quiet, these fans won’t be your top choice.  However if you are a modder with a clear case and wish to show off the cool lighting show with your fans and do not care too much about a little noise these fans make, they would be a great choice, not to mention that they offer good performance.  A quick search online shows that these fans are priced comparable to other fans on the market, so they are not a bad purchase considering the performance and the added bonus of the cool effects.

 

Both b-cools and b-flexi fans will receive 8.5 (very good) out of 10 for their excellent performance and the added bonus of cool light shows. 

B-cool

Pros:

     + Good performance
     + Fairly quiet
     + Comes with 3 pin to 4 pin adapter
     + Displays cool temperature information
     + Cool display

Cons:

     – Sleeve bearing
     – The b-cool120 is noticeable noisy than the b-flexi120
     – The display is only visible in one side 
 


B-flexi

Pros:

     + Good performance
     + Fairly quiet
     + 4 LED lights
     + Lights are djustable
     + Comes with 4 pin moles attached and adatper
     + Long Cable

Cons:

     – Sleeve bearing
     – The color is only visible in one side

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