Gelid seeks holes in the market with fans for mining rigs

Speed up to 3000 rpm not enough? Gelid Gale and Gale Extreme

In addition to “gaming” and “silent” fans, Gelid has a category for fans for cryptocurrency mining rigs. With a bit of gloating, we can note that they came perhaps a bit late. Still, high-speed fans with tremendously high airflow and static pressure are relatively few and thus will find a use. Both of the new fans are from the Gale range and are 120 mm in size while maintaining the standard height of 25 mm.

Gale fans are primarily intended for mining setups where graphics card memories get into critical temperatures. This happens due to a combination of high workloads and overall harsh environments without system cooling. After all, mining rigs aren’t usually in cases with fans, but without them, where many components rely on cooling by natural heat rises.

Graphics card fans do have an impact on the memory (VRAM) heatsinks, but often quite small and they are therefore continuously subjected to excessive temperatures. This can be reduced, for example, with additional fans such as the new ones from Gelid. These differ from the fans we normally test in particular by their higher speed. In a mining rig environment, however, noise is not so important since the user is not exposed to it; cooling intensity, stability and durability are more important. Not only of fans, but especially graphics cards.

The new Gale fans come in two versions. The slower variant tops out at 3500 rpm and has a static pressures listed as high as 12 mm H2O. The maximum airflow in a no-obstacle environment is to be 186.89 m3/hr, which is approximately 27 % more than the BeQuiet! Silent Wings Pro 4 achieves at 3000 rpm. Well, we’ll see… The Gelid Gale is also capable of running at low speeds if needed, the lower limit in the specs is 500 rpm. Gelid doesn’t just talk about Gale fans in the context of mining rigs, but also mentions use in gaming PCs.

A circular grille in front of the rotor is also supplied with the fans. This is mainly protective for high speeds and prevents unwanted intrusion of objects from the surroundings. However, it doesn’t detract much from performance due to its aerodynamic shape with large openings (and thanks to the rounded edges, minimal microturbulence) and relatively small closed area.

Gelid does not provide information on MTBF, but the double ball bearings should guarantee long service life even at very high speeds.

Ball bearings (also double) are also found in the faster Gale Extreme model with up to 6000 rpm. The lower speed limit is maintained at 500 rpm, according to Gelid. The operating range is therefore extremely wide. The blades here are shorter and smaller overall, so the spacing is also greater with the same number of blades (7) and with larger gaps between them. Such a measure is probably due to the compatibility of the material used (PBT?) with the extremely high speeds. For these, the geometry of a slower rotor might be unsuitable (the blades would undulate too much and transmit excessive vibrations to the skeleton/frame).

The declared airflow of the Gale Extreme is up to 331.31 m3/h at a static pressure of 24 mm H2O, which puts it ahead of the 4000-rpm Alphacool ES 120 mm fan. Extreme is also the reported power draw of the faster of the pair of Gelid fans, up to 33.6 W. However, this is most certainly not normal operating power draw, but maximum motor power. This is also indicated by the information about the maximum current (2.8 A) at 12 V. Thus, the power draw of the new fan will be one-third to one-fourth, with the caveat that there is probably a large headroom for degraded conditions in which the motor will have to “work harder”. This will come in handy in the dirtier environments that mining rigs often operate in.

Higher friction due to lubricant degradation (typically from dust intrusion) will not immediately stop the fan. And it will also be capable of operating in high resistance application environments. These predispositions seem to be good for industrial conditions as well, except that these fans are lacking any IP ratings. With the Gale Extreme, it is still good to point out that it may already be at the edge of the capabilities of conventional fan connectors that are up to 1 A. Therefore, it will be better to use a 3-amp connector. This is usually included with some motherboards.

The Gelid Gale fan is on sale for 19.90 USD in the official store and the Gale Extreme for 24,90 USD. Inventory is quite limited, but a few pieces are available.

English translation and edit by Jozef Dudáš

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