What’s goin on guys, Jerry here and I’m back with another video. Today I’m taking a look at the Ferrari of case fans, these are the Noctua NF-S12A. Big thanks to Noctua for allowing me to review these 120mm fans as I’ve always been curious of the hype surrounding their products.
Now this particular model is designed for basically case ventilation where minimum noise is a priority. So these aren’t for attaching to your heatsink or your radiator. I could see someone using these in an HTPC where you don’t want loud fans drowning our your TV. And it comes in 3 versions, the FLX, the PWM and ULN. The main difference between the 3 being the RPM at which they operate and how you control the fans.
For example, the FLX verison normally operates at 1200RPM but includes low noise adapters to drop that down to 900 or 700 RPM. The PWM version actually has a 4-pin connector and can spin up to 1200RPM or up to 900RPM with a low noise adapter and the ULN version can run at 800RPM or 600 with an adapter.
Now each of these fans feature crazy technology in terms of their overall design. I’ll put a link in the description to the Noctua page where you can read about it more in depth but basically you can things like anti-stall knobs, an AAO frame and a stepped inlet design and many other things.
One thing I like about these fans is you get a healthy dose of accessories. This alone makes these fans worth it IMO but each fan came with a low noise adapter, an extension cable, a 3-pin to molex adapter, screws and anti-vibration mounts. The PWM version even came with a fan splitter.
Also to keep down on the noise, each fan comes with anti-vibration pads. You can’t claim to have silent fans if they don’t have these or the anti-vibration mounts. I don’t care how quiet your fan design is if you don’t include something to combat vibration.
So after I was done gawking at the fancy packaging, the 6 year warranty and overall awesome construction of these fans I decided to finally install them into my rig. Since I don’t have the biggest case, I decided to just install two of them. I went with the FLX version for my rear exhaust fan so I could have some options if it was too loud for my tastes and then the ULN version for my intake fan just to add a little airflow to my case.
So the install was pretty straight forward but those anti-vibration mounts were a pain to install in tight spaces because you basically have to mount the fan first and then pull them through the holes. So if there’s not a lot of pulling room it can get frustrating fast.
I was really looking forward to throwing a Noctua fan on my Hyper 212 EVO and seeing what kind of temperature drops I would get but there’s actually different models for that, the NF-P12 and the NF-F12. Those are the two that you want if you are looking to install Noctua fans on your radiator or heatsink. Hopefully one day I’ll get to play with one of those or even one of Noctua’s massive CPU coolers so that I have something to compare against my current CPU cooler.
So for now the PWM version will have to hang out in the box until I can find another use for it or I may throw it in my HTPC at a later date.
So now that I’ve finally got these installed, lets just listen to how quiet the system is altogether.
Overall not bad at all, especially considering the 290 and the 212 EVO fans are spinning at the same time.
So now that I’ve got these installed and running, what do I think about these fans and Noctua in general? Well I think overall these fans have a solid build quality, I could definitely see them lasting someone 2 or 3 builds easily. I like the amount of accessories that come with each fan including the anti-vibration pads and mounts. Also Noctua’s presentation and packaging is crazy good. Now obviously I’m not expecting any crazy temp drops with just adding two case fans which is why I really didn’t go over that but from a performance perspective they are moving a lot of air without driving me crazy and that in itself is a plus for me.
The downside is that these fans are expensive and a lot of people think they’re ugly and they ruin color schemes. But are they worth it? IMO if you want a high quality product to go into your high-end build then yes. These fans are well built and provide a ton of options so if it can fit into your budget there’s really no reason NOT to go Noctua.
That’s about all I have to say guys. Thanks for watching and don’t forget to like, comment, subscribe and until next time..see ya!
More info on the Noctua NF-S12A http://bit.ly/1ERIqTf
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