Asus TUF Gaming TF120: Cheap, lighted and efficient fan

Asus TUF Gaming TF120 in detail

Asus’s efforts in the field of standalone PC fans are on the rise. After the premiere in the form of the ROG XF120, there is now the half-price TUF TF120, which also gives more attractive results in some applications. And that’s even compared to other, similar fans with ARGB LEDs. The geometry of the TF120 is quite sensible, which is why it often beats its competitors in its price range.

With the TF120 fan, Asus is targeting a slightly different customer than with the XF120. The latter is a bit of a controversial fan, especially considering the high price. But the TF120 is half the price, plus it has lighting that has the potential to appeal to the user who chooses components based on looks as well.

The shape of the blades is between “traditional” and “modern”. From the traditional world they have the greater width and from the modern world, the more pronounced curvature. The latter does not push as hard on the fan frame, where it causes higher noise due to higher turbulence in traditional designs, but on the other hand maximizes airflow in the axial direction.

The blade spacing is average and in combination with the softer blade material (PBT) with average thickness, static pressure can be expected to be somewhere around average.

There are rubber pads on both sides of the frame to dampen vibrations. Their hardness could be described as medium (estimated around 50 Shore). Softer ones would better dampen vibration in that most critical range around 1250 rpm. At higher or lower speeds, however, the vibration is so low that there is no point in discussing the effect of the pads at all and they even don’t have to be there.

It is worth praising the very good support of non-reinforced nylon filters, against which rotors of many fans do rub. However, this is not the case here and despite the protruding TUF logo, the distance from the filter mesh is still sufficient. We emphasize this because this is not the case for half of the ARGB fans tested so far, and this includes more expensive models such as the BeQuiet! Light Wings, the DeepCool FC120 or the Gigabyte Aorus 120 ARGB.

   

Remarkably, while the front of the rotor has a slightly roughened, sandblasted finish, the back is perfectly smooth, with a mirror effect. Usually the surface of fans has the same texture on both sides, but here it’s different. Don’t look for any functional improvement behind it though.

One of the advantages of the TF120 are also the liquid bearings, which, in addition to their low noise level, are also characterized by a very long service life. Asus refers to them as an “advanced” design, to which it ascribes an extreme value (250,000 hours) for the mean time between failures. However, the technical materials do not go into detail, so we take this with a grain of salt. In any case, all liquid bearings are supposed to last a really long time due to, for example, minimal friction.

* When reading performance values, a certain amount of tolerance must always be taken into account. For maximum speeds, ±10 % is usually quoted, minimum speeds can vary considerably more from piece to piece, sometimes manufacturers will overlap by as much as ±50 %. This must then also be adequately taken into account for air flow, static pressure and noise levels. If only one value is given in a table entry, this means that it always refers to the situation at maximum speed, which is achieved at 12 V or 100 % PWM intensity. The manufacturer does not disclose the lower limit of the performance specifications in its materials in that case. The price in the last column is always approximate.


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