Spire is a smaller component manufacturer based out of the Netherlands. Most of you probably haven’t heard of them, but I assure you that after this review, you will want to know more.
Being a company so far away from the shores of the U.S., Spire and I decided it best to start with a pair of X2 120N BLD fans as a test-run, since shipping from the Netherlands is not cheap!
So, let’s find out if the price of shipping was worth it.
Taking a simplistic approach, the front of the box is done in red and black, with a few choice keywords utilized on the front to help lure in prospective buyers. You can also see the middle of the fan via the plastic window.
The back of box starts off with a product description by Spire, and is followed by the product specifications. Note that the fans are available in three models: 3 Pin, 4P PWM, (Which this is) and 3P + 4P Molex. The fans are also available with Blue LED, Red LED, 4 Color LED, or no LED’s.
Product Specifications (We’re the 4 Pin Specs on the right)
- Fan Dimensions – 120*120*25
- Bearing – Nano Precision Bearing
- Fan Speed – 600 – 1500 RPM
- Air Flow - 62.53 CFM MAX.
- Current - 0.12A
- Noise Level – 10-22dBA
- Voltage – 12V
What is included with the X2 fans is a 4-pin extension cable and four mounting screws. I like the idea behind their mounting screws. Not only will they work perfectly if you wanted to mount a fan on an HDD cage, which requires long screws, but also allows them to be tool-less, thanks to the nut that screws onto the end of the screw.
X2 120N BLD
Not your average shaped fan, the X2 120N BLD has a round frame, with the mounting holes being surrounded in thick rubber that juts out from the ‘corners’. The frame is a smoky see-through black, with the blades being blue.
Noticed that there was no cable? That’s because X2 is using an innovative idea of making these fans basically wireless. Obviously you have to attach a 4 Pin to power this fan, but the fact that there is no cable dangling off at any given time when they’re not installed is really cool.
Running, the fans are a really nice shade of blue. The image below doesn’t do the LED’s justice, they make a really solid, vibrant blue.
First Impressions / Testing
I was instantly intrigued by these fans when the initially arrived because of the design choices made by X2. The shape and cable are definitely not common choices made by other fan manufacturer’s, and I was curious to see how that would work for them.
For installation, the included screws work extremely well, so well that I almost prefer them more than the rubber nubs that Noctua includes on their fans — almost. Once the fans were mounted on top of the case, I proceeded to plug in the extension cable. This turned out to be a bit of a hassle, mainly because it’s easier to access the 4 Pin plug on the fan when they’re not installed already.
I definitely recommend you plug in the fan before you install it inside your case. Once the cable had been installed, I didn’t have any other issues with these fans.
Testing was done with the same basic suite I use for all heat tests. Since they were utilized on top of the SilverStone RL04, I decided to compare the results to the SilverStone FN121-P fans, because the testing was identical.
From a noise stand point, these fans are not quiet. Yes, they are 4 Pin PWM, which means you can control the speed of them via the BIOS if you have them plugged into your motherboard (or via software in Windows) But at full-speed they produce a decent bit of noise. It’s not an obnoxious type of noise, but rather the sound of a LOT of air rushing through the fan blades.
At idle the X2 120N BLD fans are identical to the SilverStone FN121-P fans. It’s only once you hit full load that you notice a slight increase in performance from the FN121-P. From a noise perspective, the X2 120N BLD is a bit quieter than the FN121-P at full load. (Note the graphic for the SilverStone fans is incorrect, they are not Penetrator fans, but rather FN121-P fans)
The X2 120N BLD fans are quality fans when it comes to build quality and cooling performance. The issue with them is that they are quite expensive ($17.95) when compared to a fan such as the SilverStone FN121-P. ($6.99)
What you’re paying more for is the ability to control the speed through the BIOS or Windows.. Let’s face it, PWM fans will always cost more than a good old-fashioned 3 Pin fan.
Would I recommend these fans to you? Depends on what your criteria is for a fan. If you’re criteria is Blue LED’s, 4 Pin PWM connector, and a gorgeous design than I definitely recommend you give this fan your attention. But if you don’t care about any of the above features than I probably wouldn’t recommend this fan to you.
There are fans out there that perform just as well at half the price. In the end, the choice will come down to more money for more control or less money for less control over your fan.
if you’re afraid to purchase these fans because they’re a brand you don’t know, don’t be.. After spending plenty of hands-on time with them, I can say that they are really high-quality fans that will cool your PC extremely well.
Just remember that these fans are 4 Pin PWM, and therefore will require a direct connection to your motherboard for full-control.
A quick explanation of the award system. We have the main award category with three awards; Bronze (Good Overall Product), Silver (Great Overall Product), and Gold (Excellent/Near Perfect Overall Product) as the highest. Then we have two different Sub-Categories, Internal Hardware Awards for performance; Yellow (Low-End Performer), Orange (Mid-Range Performer), and Red (High-End Performer) as the highest. The third and final Sub-Category is for both Internal Hardware and External Peripherals; Black (Enthusiast/Gamer Qualities), Blue (Exceptional Build and Design), Green (Terrific Dollar To Performance Ratio), White (Innovative But Flawed)
- Great Cooling Performance
- Gorgeous Blue LED’s
- Solid Build Quality
- 4 Pin PWM
- Expensive For A 120mm Fan ($17.95)
- Not Overly Quiet (Not Extremely Loud Either)
You can purchase the X2 120N BLD Fans here!