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Let’s start this review with almost a cliché, let’s compare the new ML120 pro to the original SP120 high performance editions.
In this case let assume they are the ones fitted to the AIO 105h which is a few years old. I tested the original fans and found them to be way too loud and prone to further vibrations. I soon replaced them with the SP120 quiet additions which are not the best performers on the market, but they do look good.
So the original SP120 HP spin at up to 2340rpm but the ones that are included with the 105h AIO water cooler are the basic model with grey fan blades and no rubber anti vibration ends.
So how have things improved with the new ML120 Pro versions?
1) At 1200rpm they are still pretty quiet - not something the SP120 HP or QE can achieve due to bearing rumble and at 1200rpm the QEs are nearly at the top end of their range. My ears say it is more than a gimmick.
2) At 2400rpm, yes the new MLs are loudish but that is the noise of the air only, being forced through the radiator. With the SP120 HP edition you have that same noise plus bearing rumble plus vibration.
3) The range of the ML120 pro is much better - spinning at a low 400 up to the 2400rpm limit.
4) The design of the cage has been changed for a squarer, more efficient one, and the corners can be changed. Ever broken that rubber grommet in the SP120 HP or QE ones? I have and it is a pain.
The downside to these improvements is the increased cost, the new ML120 pros do cost more but in this case it is justified.
They are also recommended for PWM only because they need a constant 12v to maintain the magnetic levitating, so if you use a fan controller that uses a 3pin volt control method then it takes away the whole point of the maglev as you will have bearing rumble. Haven’t tested this as I have PWM fan control on my motherboard.