Jump to content

Welcome to ExtremeHW

Welcome to ExtremeHW, register to take part in our community, don't worry this is a simple FREE process that requires minimal information for you to signup.

 

Registered users can: 

  • Start new topics and reply to others.
  • Show off your PC using our Rig Creator feature.
  • Subscribe to topics and forums to get updates.
  • Get your own profile page to customize.
  • Send personal messages to other members.
  • Take advantage of site exclusive features.
  • Upgrade to Premium to unlock additional sites features.
IGNORED

Revolution in the case fan market: Alphacool Apex Stealth Metal (Power) Fan in an exclusive review


Memmento Mori

Recommended Posts

The king is dead, Long live the king! 

 

Like for real? Beating all the others?

 

WWW.IGORSLAB.DE

With the Apex Stealth Metal Fan and the Alphacool Apex Stealth Metal Power Fan, Alphacool is likely to succeed in jolting its competitors out of their dreamy sl

 

Edited by Andrew
  • Thanks 4
  • Respect 2

NoBodyKnow

Owned

 Share

CPU: Intel i9-10900K @ 4.9 Ghz
MOTHERBOARD: MSI MEG Z490 Godlike
RAM: 32 GB - G Skill Trident GTRS (15-15-15-30 @2050 T2)
SSD/NVME: GIGABYTE GP-AG41TB 1TB
CASE: CaseLabs SM8
GPU: Radeon RX 6900 XT - XFX Merc 319
CPU COOLER: Thermalright Frost Comander 140
Full Rig Info
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Memmento Mori changed the title to MUST READ: Alphacool Apex Stealth Metal (Power) Fan in an exclusive review

Interesting look. I'll wait to see the testing vs Silent Wings 4 Pros or Phanteks T30's.

Showcase

 Share

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900X
GPU: Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti Founders Edition
RAM: G.Skill Trident Z Neo 32GB DDR4-3600 (@ 3733 14-8-14-14-21-35 1T GDM)
MOTHERBOARD: ASUS Crosshair VIII Dark Hero
SSD/NVME: x2 Samsung 970 Evo Plus 2TB
SSD/NVME 2: Crucial MX500 1TB
PSU: Corsair RM1000x
MONITOR: LG 48" C1
Full Rig Info

Owned

 Share

CPU: Intel Core i7-4790K, Core i9-10900K, Core i3-13100, Core i9-13900KS
GPU: various
RAM: Corsair 32GB DDR3-2400 | Oloy Blade 16GB DDR4-3600 | Crucial 16GB DDR5-5600
MOTHERBOARD: ASUS Z97 Deluxe | EVGA Z490 Dark | EVGA Z790 Dark Kingpin
SSD/NVME: Samsung 870 Evo 1TB | Inland 1TB Gen 4
PSU: BeQuiet Straight Power 12 1500W
CASE: Cooler Master MasterFrame 700 - bench mode
OPERATING SYSTEM: Windows 10 LTSC
Full Rig Info

Owned

 Share

CPU: M1 Pro
RAM: 32GB
SSD/NVME: 1TB
OPERATING SYSTEM: MacOS Ventura
CASE: Space Grey
Full Rig Info
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The SW 4 Pros compare is there already... as well as the cooler master Mobius or NF A12x25..

 

WWW.IGORSLAB.DE

With the Apex Stealth Metal Fan and the Alphacool Apex Stealth Metal Power Fan, Alphacool is likely to succeed in jolting its competitors out of their dreamy sl

 

 

End of page is always the "Content table" ....

 

But would be interested in a test by VSG or Gamers nexus...

Edited by Memmento Mori

NoBodyKnow

Owned

 Share

CPU: Intel i9-10900K @ 4.9 Ghz
MOTHERBOARD: MSI MEG Z490 Godlike
RAM: 32 GB - G Skill Trident GTRS (15-15-15-30 @2050 T2)
SSD/NVME: GIGABYTE GP-AG41TB 1TB
CASE: CaseLabs SM8
GPU: Radeon RX 6900 XT - XFX Merc 319
CPU COOLER: Thermalright Frost Comander 140
Full Rig Info
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Memmento Mori said:

The SW 4 Pros compare is there already... as well as the cooler master Mobius or NF A12x25..

 

WWW.IGORSLAB.DE

With the Apex Stealth Metal Fan and the Alphacool Apex Stealth Metal Power Fan, Alphacool is likely to succeed in jolting its competitors out of their dreamy sl

 

 

End of page is always the "Content table" ....

 

But would be interested in a test by VSG or Gamers nexus...

Whoops, I forgot how his site had the multiple pages thing. Thanks.

 

Very interesting results..

 

 

Showcase

 Share

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900X
GPU: Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti Founders Edition
RAM: G.Skill Trident Z Neo 32GB DDR4-3600 (@ 3733 14-8-14-14-21-35 1T GDM)
MOTHERBOARD: ASUS Crosshair VIII Dark Hero
SSD/NVME: x2 Samsung 970 Evo Plus 2TB
SSD/NVME 2: Crucial MX500 1TB
PSU: Corsair RM1000x
MONITOR: LG 48" C1
Full Rig Info

Owned

 Share

CPU: Intel Core i7-4790K, Core i9-10900K, Core i3-13100, Core i9-13900KS
GPU: various
RAM: Corsair 32GB DDR3-2400 | Oloy Blade 16GB DDR4-3600 | Crucial 16GB DDR5-5600
MOTHERBOARD: ASUS Z97 Deluxe | EVGA Z490 Dark | EVGA Z790 Dark Kingpin
SSD/NVME: Samsung 870 Evo 1TB | Inland 1TB Gen 4
PSU: BeQuiet Straight Power 12 1500W
CASE: Cooler Master MasterFrame 700 - bench mode
OPERATING SYSTEM: Windows 10 LTSC
Full Rig Info

Owned

 Share

CPU: M1 Pro
RAM: 32GB
SSD/NVME: 1TB
OPERATING SYSTEM: MacOS Ventura
CASE: Space Grey
Full Rig Info
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow!  I just read the review... very impressive for sure!

 

I love the chrome ones.  My first thought was you could take them apart and paint or powder coat them a custom color, until I read that they cannot be disassembled.

 

Unless you just have to have RGB these will be the new "go to" fan.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looks like I need to add to the OnlyFans collection 

  • Respect 4

Owned

 Share

CPU: 5900X + Optimus block
MOTHERBOARD: MSI X570 Ace
GPU: EVGA RTX 3090 FTW3 Ultra + Optimus block
RAM: 32GB Oloy Blade 3600CL14
SSD/NVME: 1TB SN750 Black
SSD/NVME 2: 1TB SN750 Black
SSD/NVME 3: 2TB Samsung 970 Evo Plus
CASE: LD PC-V7
Full Rig Info

Owned

 Share

CPU: 7800X3D
MOTHERBOARD: B650E-I Strix
RAM: G.Skill Flare X5
GPU: Reference 6950 XT
CASE: InWin D-Frame Mini
WC RADIATOR: MO-RA3 with 4x180mm Silverstone fans
FAN CONTROLLER: Aquaero
Full Rig Info

Owned

 Share

CPU: 12600KF
MOTHERBOARD: Z790I Strix
RAM: G.Skill Trident Z5 Neo
GPU: RTX 2080
CASE: Sliger SM580
WC RESEVOIR: Phanteks R160C
WC RADIATOR: XSPC TX240 Ultrathin
FANS: Phanteks T30
Full Rig Info
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Andrew changed the title to Revolution in the case fan market: Alphacool Apex Stealth Metal (Power) Fan in an exclusive review
On 10/10/2023 at 00:32, Barefooter said:

Wow!  I just read the review... very impressive for sure!

 

I love the chrome ones.  My first thought was you could take them apart and paint or powder coat them a custom color, until I read that they cannot be disassembled.

 

Unless you just have to have RGB these will be the new "go to" fan.

 

Just do not paint the blades, this can have an effect on performance due to differential weight on each blade depending on the paint thickness applied. It would be virtually impossible to get an even coat on each blade. Plus depending on the uneven rotation of blades that have been painted it could shorten the life of the motor. Not trying to be the naysayer but lot's of people forget there is a science that goes into these products. Painting the frame however, less of an issue.

  • Thanks 1

£3000

Owned

 Share

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D
MOTHERBOARD: MSI Meg Ace X670E
RAM: Corsair Dominator Titanium 64GB (6000MT/s)
GPU: EVGA 3090 FTW Ultra Gaming
SSD/NVME: Corsair MP700 Pro Gen 5 2TB
PSU: EVGA Supernova T2 1600Watt
CASE: be quiet Dark Base Pro 900 Rev 2
FANS: Noctua NF-A14 industrialPPC x 6
Full Rig Info

Owned

 Share

CPU: Intel Core i5 8500
RAM: 16GB (2x8GB) Kingston 2666Mhz
SSD/NVME: 256GB Samsung NVMe
NETWORK: HP 561T 10Gbe (Intel X540 T2)
MOTHERBOARD: Proprietry
GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 630
PSU: 90Watt
CASE: HP EliteDesk 800 G4 SFF
Full Rig Info

£3000

Owned

 Share

CPU: 2 x Xeon|E5-2696-V4 (44C/88T)
RAM: 128GB|16 x 8GB - DDR4 2400MHz (2Rx8)
MOTHERBOARD: HP Z840|Intel C612 Chipset
GPU: Nvidia Quadro P2200
HDD: 4x 16TB Toshiba MG08ACA16TE Enterprise
SSD/NVME: Intel 512GB 670p NVMe (Main OS)
SSD/NVME 2: Samsung 1TB 980 NVMe (VM's)
SSD/NVME 3: 2x Seagate FireCuda 1TB SSD's (Apps)
Full Rig Info
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 09/10/2023 at 04:10, Memmento Mori said:

The king is dead, Long live the king! 

 

Like for real? Beating all the others?

 

WWW.IGORSLAB.DE

With the Apex Stealth Metal Fan and the Alphacool Apex Stealth Metal Power Fan, Alphacool is likely to succeed in jolting its competitors out of their dreamy sl

 

 

 I read the original article in German earlier, and apart from may be decibels at full tilt (...may be), these Alphacool fans seem to be the real deal. Then again, my push-pull Arctic P12 pwm pst at ~ 1800 - 1900 rpm cost less in a five-pack than one single one these new Alphacool ones and add together for some serious cfm as a single Arctic P12 is > 56 cfm. Still, for a new build in tight quarters, these Alphacool fans might be a really interesting choice. I still have nine of the original 4.25k rpm GentleTyphoon fans - a.k.a. 'can you hear me now' - but I like less ruckus as I get older 😵

Owned

 Share

CPU: CPU: ><.......7950X3D - Aorus X670E Master - 48GB DDR5 7200 (8000) TridentZ SK Hynix - Giga-G-OC/Galax RTX 4090 670W - LG 48 OLED - 4TB NVMEs >< .......5950X - Asus CH 8 Dark Hero - 32GB CL13 DDR4 4000 - AMD R 6900XT 500W - Philips BDM40 4K VA - 2TB NVME & 3TB SSDs >> - <<.......4.4 TR 2950X - MSI X399 Creation - 32 GB CL 14 3866 - Asus RTX 3090 Strix OC/KPin 520W and 2x RTX 2080 Ti Gigabyte XTR WF WB 380W - LG 55 IPS HDR - 1TB NVME & 4TB SSDs
Full Rig Info
Link to comment
Share on other sites

IDK how to properly convey it but, this fan seems like the 'crosspoint' of many designs across other industries.

-a 'no duh' design; one that no-one'd been willing to 'put together' for the consumer/enthusiast-facing market.

 

Very attractive, both aesthetically, and technically. 

TBQH, this looks like the first 'axial blower' that I'd be willing to pay $20+ for.

 

Any chance EHW might get some review samples?

  • Respect 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, LabRat said:

Any chance EHW might get some review samples?

Good question.  @Avacado, get into your little black book and make it happen cap'n!  🤣

  • Respect 2

Owned

 Share

CPU: Ryzen 7900x
GPU: Sapphire Pulse RX 7900XTX
PSU: Cooler Master 850w Platinum
CPU COOLER: Cooler Master MasterLiquid PL360 Flux
MOTHERBOARD: Gigabyte B650 Aorus AX
SSD/NVME: Solidigm P41 Plus 2TB Gen4 NVME
RAM: G.Skill Flare X DDR5-6000
CASE: HAF700 Berserker
Full Rig Info

Too much

Owned

 Share

CPU: AMD Opteron 180 @ 3.0GHz
MOTHERBOARD: Asus A8N SLI
RAM: 4x1GB Corsair XMS DDR400 @ 2.5-3-3-6
PSU: eVGA 600BQ
GPU: Sapphire HD5870
SOUNDCARD: Asus Xonar DG
OPTICAL: DVDRW with Lightscribe
SSD/NVME: 64GB HP 2.5" SSD
Full Rig Info

Too much

Owned

 Share

CPU: AMD Athlon 1100MHz
MOTHERBOARD: ECS K7S5A
RAM: 2x256MB Corsair XMS DDR400 @ 133MHz / CAS2
PSU: Antec 350w
GPU: ATI Radeon 9800 PRO
SOUNDCARD: Creative Live! 5.1
OPTICAL: LG 16x DVD-ROM
OPTICAL 2: IOMagic 48x16x48 CDRW
Full Rig Info
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

 

 

Hmmmmm now it becomes interesting...

  • Agreed 1

NoBodyKnow

Owned

 Share

CPU: Intel i9-10900K @ 4.9 Ghz
MOTHERBOARD: MSI MEG Z490 Godlike
RAM: 32 GB - G Skill Trident GTRS (15-15-15-30 @2050 T2)
SSD/NVME: GIGABYTE GP-AG41TB 1TB
CASE: CaseLabs SM8
GPU: Radeon RX 6900 XT - XFX Merc 319
CPU COOLER: Thermalright Frost Comander 140
Full Rig Info
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, don't trust Igor...

Owned

 Share

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 - 7950X3D
MOTHERBOARD: Asus X670E Hero (pls EVGA make an AMD mobo)
RAM: G.Skill 64GB @ 6000Mhz
GPU: RTX 4090 Strix OC
SSD/NVME: 2x SN850X 4TB | 1x 970 Pro 0.5TB
MONITOR: Something OLED, 120hz and 42-48"
WC RADIATOR: MO-RA3 420 | HeatKiller 360S
WC CPU BLOCK: Heatkiller IV Pro
Full Rig Info

Owned

 Share

AUDIO: Topping DX7 Pro
AUDIO 2: Sennheiser HD800S
AUDIO 3: Sennheiser HD650
AUDIO 4: Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC
AUDIO 5: Edifier RT1700BT
AUDIO 6: Custom XLR balanced cables
Full Rig Info

CA$40000

Owned

 Share

CPU: F22C | 257hp 251nm
CPU COOLER: K&N FIPK Intake | AEM filter
GPU: Yokohama AD08R 255/40r17
CPU COOLER 2: Titan 7 R-10s 17x9.5+51
AUDIO: Alpine UTE73BT + Modifry DCI
MOTHERBOARD: Öhlins Road & Track DFV Coilovers
OPERATING SYSTEM: Hondata
CASE: Recaro Pole Position
Full Rig Info
Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I read the review I was thinking to myself that this is too good to be true.

 

It looks like the initial test results were flawed and that there is a "weakness" which this article does not state what exactly it is.

 

This was just posted six hours ago on Kit Guru.

The Alphacool Apex Stealth drama, so far

 

Quote

There has recently been a bit of a kerfuffle in the tech reviews scene. Igors Lab, a well-known and respected site appeared to make some errors while testing the new Alphacool Apex Stealth metal fans, something that was made clear when other reviewers tested the same set of fans. What followed is a pretty messy series of events…

While the original Apex Stealth fan review was published by Igor, he said he was not the one to conduct the fan testing. That task was apparently handled by a freelancer, Pascal, who also has his own YouTube channel for tech videos. The review praised Alphacool's new fan design, citing them as revolutionary and better than the competition. It was also an ‘exclusive', going live well ahead of other reviews.

Alphacool-metal-fan-apex-stealth-1024x51

After this, Alphacool asked Igor if they could use the review results for some marketing material and went live with pre-orders, showcasing the Igor's Lab results. In hindsight, this should not have happened but at the time, the errors in the original review were not clear.

Other independent reviewers tested the same fan to find that their results did not line up with those of Igor's Lab at all. Aris over at Hardware Busters, Sweclockers and Roman ‘Der8auer' all reported less impressive performance results, amongst a few other sites. This is particularly interesting to KitGuru as we are still due to get a set of Alphacool Apex Stealth fans for a custom build in the new year. Not a dedicated review, as such, more as part of a build project our modder James Dawson will be creating.

The logical assumption here would be that there was some kind of mistake with the Igor's Lab testing and the follow-up to that would be going back and re-analysing the fans and test conditions.

Instead of doing this, Igor's Lab updated their review, confirming that the testing was done by a freelancer. That same freelancer then uploaded a (now-removed) YouTube video, in which he stood by his testing, despite the evidence that an error had potentially been made. Re-uploads of the video were later copyright claimed and taken down as well – although parts of it are included in Der8auer's lengthy video on this subject.

In our industry, mistakes do happen from time to time but the best approach is to always inform the readers of the error and go back to re-do the testing. It is something that can be fixed and doesn't need to be a blemish on anyone's reputation. If anything, the tech enthusiast audience values integrity and transparency on that level.

In an updated statement on the matter today, Igor confirmed plans to go back to revalidate the test setup and re-test these fans to do right by the readers and correct the situation. Additionally, Alphacool no longer has the marketing material featuring Igor's results live.

This statement does raise a few more questions though. The freelancer who conducted the original testing for Igor was later hired by Alphacool and now has a role at the company but is currently within a probationary period. Additionally, Igor states that he has since learned that the manufacturer was aware of the fan's weaknesses back in October when the original results were published, so we have to wonder why questions weren't raised about the results in the first place, before publishing. We'd also have to question why Alphacool thought it would be okay to use those results for marketing pre-orders.

Igor also asserts that chat logs between Pascal and Alphacool were deleted, alongside documents containing more information about the fans and OEM test results.

There is blame to be placed on all sides in this situation, which appears to keep getting more and more questionable as new information continues to come to light. Alphacool has not yet issued a statement on the matter but it seems pretty clear that one needs to be made.

We aren't just jumping on the bandwagon, we've worked with Alphacool in the past ourselves and as we reported on the announcement of these fans, we think it is important to inform readers of recent developments. I have heard from a source close to a small PC parts store here in the UK that a bunch of pre-orders for these fans have been cancelled over the last couple of weeks, so it is clear that the original review did push a number of customers into pre-ordering. As a result, allowing the original review's results to be used in marketing for pre-orders was certainly a mistake.

KitGuru Says: What do you all make of the situation? We'll be following it closely to bring updates as they come to light. 

 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Premium Platinum - Lifetime
744 1,565
15 hours ago, Barefooter said:

When I read the review I was thinking to myself that this is too good to be true.

 

It looks like the initial test results were flawed and that there is a "weakness" which this article does not state what exactly it is.

 

This was just posted six hours ago on Kit Guru...

 

 

 

15 hours ago, Barefooter said:

KitGuru Says: What do you all make of the situation? We'll be following it closely to bring updates as they come to light. 

 

I think of it as the AlphaCool-Igor-Roman battle of the Youtube Karens;  that said, I miss the sort of testing done by folks like VSG.

 

  • Agreed 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 17/12/2023 at 10:05, Alex said:

Yeah, don't trust Igor...

 

...some of his stuff is quite good, including MPT tools (AMD Navi21 etc) and more. However, this was/is a royal f___-up. The fact that Igor trusted another YouTuber's testing without doing his own (at least) spot-checks and then publish it under his name is a trust-buster and reputation killer. 

 

What is really disturbing and should have been a giant red flag is that Alphacool's own published specs were nowhere near what alter-Igor came to conclude; Alphacool's own specs are within what serios testers are finding within the same test conditions. 

 

There are other 'false' claims which were made when this fan was first tested (not sure if that was on 'Igor's' piece as well or someplace else), specifically the outer ring which connects each blade - my 11-year-old GentleTyphoon have that

 

115b.jpg

  • Agreed 1

Owned

 Share

CPU: CPU: ><.......7950X3D - Aorus X670E Master - 48GB DDR5 7200 (8000) TridentZ SK Hynix - Giga-G-OC/Galax RTX 4090 670W - LG 48 OLED - 4TB NVMEs >< .......5950X - Asus CH 8 Dark Hero - 32GB CL13 DDR4 4000 - AMD R 6900XT 500W - Philips BDM40 4K VA - 2TB NVME & 3TB SSDs >> - <<.......4.4 TR 2950X - MSI X399 Creation - 32 GB CL 14 3866 - Asus RTX 3090 Strix OC/KPin 520W and 2x RTX 2080 Ti Gigabyte XTR WF WB 380W - LG 55 IPS HDR - 1TB NVME & 4TB SSDs
Full Rig Info
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is a statement from Igor himself

Alphacool Apex Stealth Metal Fan – A long search for own faults and personal statement

 

Quote

The reason I’m expressing myself in such detail today is twofold. First, it’s always important to hear all sides of a story and objectively assess and evaluate what you’ve heard. Second, the knowledge gained, as of today, is now completely different. This isn’t to excuse what could have been done earlier but wasn’t. And this isn’t just about crisis management, because if that becomes necessary, something has already gone significantly wrong beforehand. Anger and disappointment (including with oneself) are, in today’s media-saturated age, the worst advisors. Three experts, five opinions. In the end, the lawyer’s advice was the most sensible. Therefore, today’s text is without prior discussion and lengthy correction, but with the necessary distance. And I must also comment on two videos that really shouldn’t have been necessary.

Preliminary Validation

Please read the following paragraph carefully, even though it does not meet the standards of a robust review. I currently lack the nerves for that:

I replicated Roman’s test with a 120mm radiator and a Core i9-13900K on a test system, where I replaced the original radiator with a smaller NexXxos ST 30, and got very similar results to Roman. Using the poorer NF-A12x25 PWM from 2020, both fans are roughly equal at 2000 RPM, and there is even partial thermal throttling. The 2023 model beats the Apex by 2 to 3 degrees at the same RPMs, staying just below the limit depending on power loss and room temperature. Below 150 watts, the results become relative, and one would have to measure more consistently with more water and over a longer period. This isn’t possible right now, but I am following third-party tests with due attention.

Thus, the Alphacool Apex Stealth Metal Fan is still a usable fan, but in practice, it’s far from what was promised. For this test with a few fans and only two runs per fan, I spent half the night to complete this statement with my interim result. Also because I felt spurred by the “sitting out” approach to at least do something at all.

What remains in the end are great looks and feel, as well as good decoupling on an otherwise mediocre product. Nothing more. As a case fan, with a diffuser or shroud, it’s certainly usable, but definitely worlds away from what was hyped up, partly through my own mistakes. I stand by this and must take full responsibility at this point. No ifs or buts. But it was important for me to replicate this on-the-fly to provide a practical basis for what follows.

The Role of Freelancers and Oversight Lapses

The website bears my name, but is now shaped by several people. This is good and due to the versatility, even with niche topics, it’s absolutely beneficial. This means no permanent employees or contractually bound freelancers. Everything is based on a voluntary principle where someone contributes only when they have the time and inclination. Therefore, I avoid too much influence on product selection to allow creativity to flourish, but I make sure no companies unfairly gain a foothold through this back door. I even rotate topics and tasks from time to time.

My first mistake, and I must admit this, was allowing a freelancer to complete tests for third parties on our equipment in his free time without maintaining control myself. This kind of side job is free for everyone here, as long as it’s taxed, but I should have defined the rules much tighter and clearer. This includes being able to access the results obtained at any time. This is also necessary to assess whether the whole thing makes sense in terms of content and expertise. I will and must handle this completely differently in the future, not only with fans. This naturally includes the use of my name and logo. For these reasons, I have strictly outsourced all these things that I personally do for third parties to a second company and never tested on the website products that I actively co-developed or publicly reviewed products from companies with whom I have a consulting contract or other business relationships. This must be strictly enforced, under penalty of one’s own downfall, and it’s also an unconditional obligation to the readers.

The second mistake was not giving the freelancer clear contractual rules about such things and dealing with third parties. However, one needs these to some extent to protect him from himself right from the start. Yes, through such activities one naturally gets closer contact with all sorts of industry representatives and perhaps even builds a more personal relationship with some on a private level. But at this point, one either needs the personal maturity of many years to cleanly separate between different concerns or permanent control to not violate usual transparency rules. I neglected and hardly controlled this important point, unfortunately. That this is now backfiring should have been foreseeable.

Background to the Fan Database

This brings us to the first time to the measuring setup and Pascal’s role. The development of the technology behind it is a long story because Pascal did quite good practical work here, creating an interesting solution under the direction of a cooling device manufacturer, which Pascal then implemented decently according to his possibilities. It was calibrated and tested at the time by the manufacturer, where Pascal also received training. The history and the measuring setup as such are not “secret”, but have been completely documented in the respective articles on the topic up to the fan database. Moreover, the methodology and the desired result were discussed for months in the forum and implemented step by step by us in terms of content. At this point, I made the mistake of relying blindly on the “public joker” forum and the majority of idea contributors regarding content and its interpretation. Unfortunately, without realizing in which direction one might be heading. One can completely over-optimize something and not even notice it. I definitely have to take this shoe on today’s view. As a measuring device freak, one quickly gets infected by this virus.

The combination of theory and practice should have been urgently advised back then, because one could have quickly noticed if measurement results do not correlate with the real values achievable in actual installation. Belief in calibrated technology can also blind, and the ubiquitous race for ever better values can quickly detach one from reality. But I had already written something about this point in the first statement and also announced the corresponding steps regarding future tests. All this really takes time, which we just don’t have right now. Nevertheless, I’m taking it with the support of uninvolved third parties, which definitely has nothing to do with an alleged “sitting out”. I even have to, because the cause research is immensely important. Ideally, a mix of theory and practice. Let’s call it a learning curve, I’m happy to be taught about it. But more on that later.

The Creation of the Article on the Alphacool Apex Stealth Metal Fan

This brings us to the fan test of the Apex and my part. End of September, beginning of October, I’m not going to pin myself down now, the final values of the prototype were in the fan database. Only visible if you were logged in or knew the hidden link. At this time, I was also asked by Alphacool if they could use the measurement values for their own marketing. I found this somewhat strange, considering that the tests of the prototypes were apparently paid for by the freelancer from my perspective. I don’t know either the invoices or the extent, but it probably wasn’t even that much. However, a few things contradict each other now. According to Alphacool, no more invoices were issued for the last tests and the messenger histories after October 4, 2023, were unfortunately almost completely deleted by Pascal.

The fact that my logo later appeared in the partially even erroneously reconstructed chart graphics of the marketing material is all the more annoying because it implies a business relationship with outsiders that never existed. My mistake at the time was not to strictly prevent this or at least to inquire. But once again: There was and is no contract between Alphacool and me about these tests. That I more or less silently tolerated it is also my sole omission and certainly one reason for the damage incurred.

Then came the offer to publish the test exclusively and shortly before everyone else. The circumstances seemed good because the manufacturer assured me that other editorial teams would receive (have received) these pre-series fans and one could read their tests publicly in two to three weeks, which would then have been associated with a market launch. Alphacool also confirmed to me upon request that the Apex in their own tests on a radiator had been significantly quieter than the Noctua at the same performance. That I relied on this and only did a short candle test, where you check the distance to blowing out a candle, was also a leap of faith in hindsight that backfired because it was not justified.

Later, after the article was published and I asked where the other reviews were, I learned for the first time that the manufacturer had recalled all other prototypes from the reviewers. The explanation that the test results could turn out too poor due to misplaced inserts during transport seemed quite plausible to me, because the fiddling with changing the metal shells on my own prototype was excruciating. I almost needed an hour to center it precisely on my copy, for which I even had to build a tool first. I had, at that time (you can also see it in the photos in the article), all possible iterations of the fan, but only with a 4-pin motor. There was actually nothing to counter-test.

The review should have been either taken offline or thoroughly revised by that time, especially in regards to the awards, conclusion, and headline. This is something I can be rightly criticized for. Particularly in light of the pre-order that was launched because the manufacturer realized that the screw idea was not practical. Changing the production obviously took more time, but I should have been consistent from that point on. I only retroactively marked the database entries, which are displayed in the article via a shortcut, as prototypes, which was definitely not sufficient. The article was published under my name simply because I wrote it finally and also did all the material analyses. One might think that without this, I would have been off the hook, but unfortunately, it’s much more complex.

To counter suspicions that it was a paid “fake,” Pascal made a live cell phone video for me, which showed the measurement without cuts, from the settings to the measurement and the values of around 189 m²/h. This saved me a 12-hour drive back and forth. This video can be viewed again in the forum thread. However, if I had been aware of all the trouble about his job and the still existing uncertainties in this form, the review would certainly not have happened. At least not without big question marks. Because it actually gets much worse.

Today I know, both from Alphacool and from third parties, that the manufacturer might have already been aware of the fan’s weaknesses at that time. And with that, we come to the next statements, where Pascal and Alphacool contradict each other. According to Alphacool, which I also believe, Pascal received measurements from the OEM and also other material. I have not seen any of this from him to this day. It can no longer be verified, because this communication, unfortunately, no longer exists.

The fact that customers were misinformed and lured into pre-orders is the result of a pre-order marketing that Alphacool approached far too enthusiastically and is certainly to blame for at first. But my article was still online and contributed to this. I could have even ended it with a bang at that point, even should have, but for that, I would have needed a final fan or the last prototype for testing, which I didn’t have. And various documents, which Alphacool probably assumed I had. That doesn’t make it better, but when in doubt, it’s better not to test anything than to do something like this.

Yes, I should have just done it, I know, even if it’s by listing all the question marks as an official reason. But even there, I still trusted the statements made to me, saying that they had achieved very similar results themselves. Maybe Alphacool will write something about it, because it’s not up to me to write about things I can’t verify. I was promised something like a separate statement for the first response on Saturday, but then it didn’t happen.

When the final samples finally arrived in December, I should have at least tested them under practical conditions for a short time. Roman did that, and we had more than one long phone conversation. There’s nothing to criticize about his tests (except maybe the sound level measurement), which is why I didn’t test anything big myself. A test to the test would be pointless if it yields the same result, where everything has already been said, and also, due to important private reasons, I simply couldn’t do it until New Year’s. I have to politely insist on this, because there are much more important things in private life than something like fans. I ask for understanding for this.

However, I have, as already stated in the first statement, immediately arranged for the measuring setup to be picked up from Pascal by an uninvolved third party and transparently checked elsewhere. After that, plausible and reliable retests with the inclusion of practical counter-tests are planned. More will be written about this. But even yesterday I was still of the opinion that this has to be implemented by uninvolved third parties with the necessary care and without counterproductive haste. Neither Pascal nor I may be actively involved here. That would be like sending a stork to a pond to count frogs. Transparency starts with me when you completely take yourself out of the equation. Therefore, the term “sitting it out” is a formulation with which I do not conform. Especially since Fritz, the appointed examiner, has also spoken with Roman for a long time. To now qualify these efforts with a single, rather negatively connoted word is at least not very collegial. Not even for the colleague who will accompany this error analysis and reprocessing qualified and later also conduct the tests.

Pascal’s Role and Crisis Management

This is the part where I needed the most distance. However, I must also be careful not to let too many personal feelings flow into it, because it was also a kind of self-help project over the entire time. It’s not the first case where I try to help people get back on their feet with my reach and technical possibilities, who, in my opinion, deserve it but can’t do it alone. This is lived community for me, and I would do it again anytime. Just completely differently now.

Without going into detail, but some (also personal) incidents with Pascal last week completely threw me off track. That must suffice. And so, in my statement on Saturday, I initially formulated some things very emotionally and then let myself be carried away to statements in the forum, which I better should not have made. After comments and PMs came from several sides that one shouldn’t do it like this and it would be better to remove everything, instead of discussing it for hours, I did exactly that. Especially since I have completely lacked the strength to think somewhat freely for almost a week, let alone work productively at all. By the way, the forum thread on the statement has not been deleted, but was only set to private. I have now reactivated this thread after a very long conversation with Pascal.

This also applies to the news about Pascal’s personnel change to Alphacool, which was temporarily set to private on Saturday after multiple advisements, to first find out all the backgrounds. Because be it as it may, I am very reluctant to make myself available for such things.

Pascal, who worked here as a contractually unbound freelancer (i.e., without an exclusive commitment), communicated to me at the beginning of October that he finally got a permanent job at Alphacool or had already accepted it, which will occupy him all day. This means a “full-time job” in my understanding. At first, I was even a bit disappointed, because I see something like this also as a kind of “poaching”. However, after some reflection, I was also fair enough to admit to him that a real full-time job is more valuable than a freelancer story, where you top up your social benefits and pursue your hobby.

Regarding what he was supposed to do there exactly, however, there are two very contrasting opinions. Pascal’s statements are in the room, which can also be read in the job descriptions on social networks (and the reactivated transparency article). He assured me that he would make practical videos and otherwise support Alphacool in PR work with influencers and creators in day-to-day business, but not directly in marketing.

Last week, Alphacool told me a completely different view of things and also mentioned a probationary period until the end of the year, but it’s not up to me to judge personnel matters of a foreign company. I shouldn’t even do that. But I always assume that what my counterpart tells me is correct. My dilemma: suddenly there are two supposed truths. But since there seems to be no written contract, the problem is not solvable for me without loss.

In my statement on Saturday, I wrote very clearly that I completely released Pascal from this task. I was already accused of antisocial behavior and shifting my guilt onto suffering third parties. I also told Roman several times on the phone that I don’t kick people who are already down and that everyone should get a second or even third chance. But I also told him that Pascal will no longer do any evaluative reviews or fan tests. But there are enough crafty things that he can certainly and problem-free and under control contribute. So much for social. I even swallow private resentment and various toads because I didn’t like some things. This was before Pascal’s first and Roman’s second video.

Yes, I am very disappointed by many circumstances and can fully understand the reactions of readers and pre-orderers in this regard. But maybe one or the other will now put themselves in my shoes regarding Pascal. Completely executing someone or letting him work heavily supervised in the background is not something you can put to a poll in the forum or an article for voting. I will have to seek advice on this for a long time. As long as the tone is right, we can also do this in the thread of this article.

However, Pascal’s last video and the contradictory statements along with the deletion of threads with Alphacool don’t make the decision any easier. But you just can’t do something like that nowadays. To lump all critics together like that is not possible at all, just as well as removing chat histories. Even if it is a private statement that explicitly only reflects his own point of view, the use of the logos of Alphacool and igor’sLAB is also not excusable. I didn’t even realize it immediately, but I later strongly urged him to put this video on private immediately. I only briefly looked over it and made the mistake of not dissuading him from this idea right away. I completely misjudged that.

It’s his private opinion, which I don’t need to cover up, because it’s his video channel, we don’t have an employment relationship in the traditional sense, and he is fully responsible for himself and his life. However, no matter how emotionally charged one is, one must approach things with more critical ability than he does, and above all, avoid personal attacks. A well-intentioned statement simply must not turn into a shitshow just because one can’t control their adrenaline. Especially not on YouTube. Not because of the possible consequences, but simply out of respect for those who have to watch it (or have to).

This brings us to the third deletion, namely the test of the Core 1. Last week I looked at all the values again in detail and after a long deliberation decided to commission one of the trustworthy freelancers with a new test. This will also take some time, because no one does it as a main job. And so that no false advertising is made with the review until then, the article is also set to private. I generally don’t delete anything, which would also not make any sense. But it was simply the fastest way and was also briefly mentioned in the statement on Saturday. This can be put together later.

What will happen now in detail?

We already discussed this on Saturday, but I will summarize it now. In perspective, we plan to reduce the scope of the flow measurement a bit and instead measure the real cooling performance of a fan on a suitable radiator and maybe even realize this for an air cooler. But first, the backgrounds of the false measurements must be analyzed and especially eliminated. Since there are colleagues who have measured even higher values for the airflow in an open setup, this must also be fully documented and communicated.

The inspection will be taken over by Fritz Hunter. First, new fans of the tested models will be procured, from different manufacturers that are already in the database. Of course not all at once, but some important ones of them. With one of these fans, the reference will be set. Not with respect to the fan, but to the entire measurement system. In other words, Fritz will perform an MSA 1. MSA stands for Measurement System Analysis (MSA). This will first demonstrate the basic measurement system capability. Then two additional fans of the same type and thus a total of three identical fans will be measured 10 times each, thus creating an MSA 3. Which also has to be positive, since otherwise we would not have a valid measurement setup.

As of today, Fritz assumes that the measurement setup will then be valid. Nevertheless, this effort must be made for safety. After the measurement system capability has been demonstrated, there will also be a first article on this. In the sense of an FMEA, Fritz will then not only record all possible errors theoretically, but actually try them out. What this exactly means is stated in the first statement, which is too extensive to lead here.

One of the APEX pre-series fans from Alphacool has also been secured by Fritz at his home, which exactly it is, we have to find out first. At least it has already been newly mounted and thus repaired by Fritz. Since it is beyond our knowledge under what circumstances the fan was exactly measured, a correct retest is not possible in direct form for the time being. Therefore, I have to ask for understanding that we will only measure this again when the measurement setup is validated. Whether we are forced to retest all fans already tested will only emerge through the reprocessing. Since we will use another measurement setup for temperature and plausibility tests in the future, this might also come to us. The measurement setup already outlined must then also first undergo an MSA 1 and MSA 3 at Fritz’s.

Personal Conclusion

This was now a large amount of text, but it was necessary to do justice to all those involved and the problems. Of course, as the operator of the site, I bear the main responsibility for this article and the circumstances why it was not taken offline immediately. I don’t need to sugarcoat that, it’s just the way it is. Hindsight is always wiser. At least I will draw important conclusions from this debacle for myself personally, it can’t be otherwise. It would also bring nothing to look for blame elsewhere. Because you never get to the point. What is appropriate, however, is a request for an apology, which of course does not have to be accepted.

As far as Alphacool is concerned, it is not my job to judge the whole thing, because there they surely know well enough what they should have done differently. Also in dealing with the media and such data. There is certainly still some development potential upwards. That a company is now obviously getting into trouble unnecessarily because of such measurements is completely unnecessary, had the whole thing been marketed better and more thoughtfully. Which brings us back to the euphoria and also my negligence. The marketing slides did not come from me and were not distributed. The dog had already fallen into the ditch. One should have started with damage control earlier. In this respect, I hope for the best for Alphacool, that this will still succeed.

Pascal is a completely different matter. I will not kick him again in this statement, even though especially in some forums and on YouTube a kind of public execution was demanded and some things seem very suspicious to me today. Let me put it this way, he is punished enough by now and certainly needs professional help and good advice, which none of the participants can give him here. In this case, it’s about a person and not an inanimate fan. Please always keep that in mind.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Premium Platinum - Lifetime
744 1,565
On 21/12/2023 at 10:27, iamjanco said:

I think of it as the AlphaCool-Igor-Roman battle of the Youtube Karens;  that said, I miss the sort of testing done by folks like VSG.

 

While I realize the Germans can still make really good stuff, kinda makes me wonder just how many things aren't what we think they might be these days...

 

real-vs-fake.thumb.jpg.ff67956993fe910459345456275eaf7f.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by iamjanco
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

This Website may place and access certain Cookies on your computer. ExtremeHW uses Cookies to improve your experience of using the Website and to improve our range of products and services. ExtremeHW has carefully chosen these Cookies and has taken steps to ensure that your privacy is protected and respected at all times. All Cookies used by this Website are used in accordance with current UK and EU Cookie Law. For more information please see our Privacy Policy