Fan performance is extremely important in PC cooling. Eventually, heat has to get transferred to the air, so plenty of air has to be able to move past your heatsink and radiator fins. However, what happens when you realize you want RGB lighting on your great-performing fans after the fact? So further any delay let’s know about SilverStone FG142/122 RGB Fan Frame.
SilverStone is coming to the rescue for those of us who think our fans are a bit on the boring side. The company started with the release of the SilverStone FG141/121 fan frames.
These had the characteristic snowflake design associated with SilverStone’s logo, but the lighting could only handle one RGB color at a time. To give even more lighting customization, the FG142/122 has addressable RGB lighting. Bring on the rainbow of simultaneous colors and customization!
We’ll see how these fan frames measure up, but let’s pause for some info about SilverStone first.
Packaging and Closer Look
The good news is we have a slight change up from the typical boxing that products come in. I wouldn’t recommend putting a delicate component in a plastic sleeve, but fan frames are a perfect fit. The cardboard sleeve looks excellent and even unfolds to show more information and instructions on the inside. It’s a top-notch packaging system for the type of product.
There isn’t much to see on these fan frames in and of themselves. It’s shaped like a fan, and it’s white. We came to see the lighting and we’ll get there soon enough, but I do want to point out that rubber lining on the backside. That’s a perfect touch to help ensure the frames don’t inadvertently cause any vibration noise.
The frames come with 4 fan screws to easily mount them to the side of a case fan. It didn’t take very much force to thread the screws.
The frames are primarily geared toward case fans, but I wanted to see how they would work on a radiator fan as well. It turns out they did just fine, though I did have to be aware of one particular detail. There’s a small out-dented tab that slips inside the mounting hole of the fan.
Closer Look of SilverStone FG142/122 RGB Fan Frame
The NZXT Kraken fans had rubber anti-vibration pads that were eating up the spare space that narrower radiator screws don’t need. I just had to make sure the tab went in and pushed the rubber out of the way slightly. Once that happened, the radiator screws had more than enough thread to catch the bracket threads on the other side.
Let’s deal with these connectors since the fan frames are using addressable RGB LEDs. The huge difference with addressable is that it uses 5V, instead of 12V. You’ll notice that the first connection looks like it would fit on any RGB motherboard header, but one of the connections is blacked out. That’s your clue to not plug into a normal 4-pin RGB header.
If it’s addressable, it should not only mention that from the motherboard information, but you might see the 5V label on the PCB by the correct outer pin as well.
Of course, SilverStone FG142/122 RGB Fan Frame includes the more generic 3-pin connector as well. This is the one you need to be careful about though. I connected one of these connections backward in my Lamptron CL420 controller a long time ago, and the circuit board started smoking after mere seconds.
Miraculously, the controller still works just fine. My recommendation is to plug this in with the power off. Have a hand on that connector while turning the power on, and if the lights don’t turn on immediately, pull the connection as soon as possible. Motherboards and other controllers might have short protections to avoid this, but Lamptron certainly didn’t.
Let’s look at some lights, shall we? For starters, I threw up a gallery showing off a decent range of solid colors. This gives you a good idea of how these frames handle the RGB spectrum. One thing you might notice is that the individual LEDs sort of stand out from each other.
Personally, I’m a fan of more of a smooth lighting effect, but that’s purely preference. Overall, the colors are looking great on these frames already.
Up next is a shot to show off the addressable nature of these frames. This is entirely dependent on the controller, but the Lamptron CL420 has the ability to gradually overlay a new color over the previous one. This is about halfway between the transition from red to green.
Wow! This is really bright!!! I wish I had a newer motherboard to test the frames out on. I’m sure that the CL420 is taking brightness to the max. I couldn’t remember if I had a good way to dim the brightness either. Looking at software control from motherboards, you can easily dim the LEDs to have a softer glow in your build.
On the plus side though, better to be too bright with the ability to tone it down, versus not bright enough.
The Prolimatech Super Mega article may help to get information on CPU Cooler.
Congratulations! If you can read the conclusion, then that means the last shot didn’t blind you. SilverStone has a straightforward product on its hands, but personally, I feel like it did a great job. The addressable feature works perfectly with the proper controller.
While I would prefer a more smooth RGB effect that doesn’t show individual light spots, the company can possibly introduce something like that in say, the FG143/123. Even then, I’m not saying that’s a con since that lies on personal preference. Even details like an anti-vibration strip along the back side are something I wasn’t thinking about until I saw it, which I think is great.
I haven’t found major retailer pricing yet. I felt like as long as these frames came under $30, it would be fine. By the time I came to my written review, I found out a site based in California called AeroCooler has the FG142 and FG122. Both frames are under $20 and I think that’s a great price.
The frames have a ton of versatility and design quality that make them well worth it. That pretty much settles it then. The SilverStone FG142/122 RGB Fan Frame easily earns the Pure Overclock Editor’s Choice Award! This is a great option for lovers of RGB and performance.