Noctua NF-F12 PWM

 

Introduction

Noctua is a company specialized in designing and producing of high end coolers and fans for PC type systems. The company was founded in 2005 by Rascom Computerdistribution and Taiwanese company Kolink International. Today Noctua is present in more than 30 countries, being one of the most known manufacturers of cooling solutions.

Official product link:

http://noctua.at/en/products/fan/nf-f12-pwm

Packaging and accessories

The fans are packaged in a two-tone cardboard box.
On the front side, there is an artistic representation of the fan, on the upper part there is the model of the fan while on the right there is the airflow system. In the middle, there are listed a couple of the product’s features while on the lower side there are the name and logo of the manufacturer.

The front side of the box opens to the side, the fan and its accessories are packaged in a plastic frame. Inside the box the mechanism of the fan is presented alongside the method of focusing the airflow.

On the sides of the packaging there are printed both the manufacturer’s logo and the name of the product. In addition, here there are printed two QR codes.

The back side of the packaging opens to the side, here the features of the fan are presented.

Accessories

The product comes with the following accessories:
–    1x Manual
–    Low-Noise Adapter (L.N.A.)
–    4-Pin Y-Cable
–    30cm Extension Cable
–    4 Vibration dampers
–    4 Fan Screws

 

Specifications

Model: NF-F12 PWM
Size: 120 x 120 x 25 mm
Bearing: SSO (self-stabilising oil-pressure)
Number of blades: 7
Rated Voltage: 12 V
Max Input Power: 0,6 W
Max. Input Current: 0,05 A
Rated Speed (12V): 1500 RPM
Rated Speed with Low Noise Adapter: 1200 RPM
Min. Rotational Speed: 300 RPM
Static Pressure (12V): 2,61 mm H₂O
Static Pressure with Low Noise Adapter: 1,83 mm H₂O
Air Flow: 93,4 m³/h
Airflow with Low Noise Adapter: 74,3 m³/h
Noise level @ 12V: 22,4 dB(A)
Noise level with Adapter: 18,6 dB(A)
Lifetime MTBF: > 150.000 h
Connector: 4-Pin PWM
Warranty: 6 years

Features:

–    SSO2 Bearing: The NF-F12 is the first fan to feature the further optimised second generation of Noctua’s renowned, time-tested SSO bearing. With SSO2, the rear magnet is placed closer to the axis to provide even better stabilisation, precision and durability.
–    Focused Flow™ Frame: Designed for pressure demanding applications such as heatsinks and radiators, the Focused Flow™ frame features eleven stator guide vanes that straighten, channel and focus the airflow, which allows the NF-F12 to rival the performance of conventional fans running at much faster speeds.
–    Varying Angular Distance and Vortex Control Notches: The NF-F12’s stator guide vanes are set out in Varying Angular Distance and feature Vortex-Control Notches. Both measures help to spread the noise emission over a broader frequency spectrum and thus make the fan’s sound pattern more agreeable to the human ear.
–    Heptaperf™ Impeller: Custom designed for the new Focused Flow™ frame and to work in tandem with the eleven stator guide vanes, the NF-F12’s seven blade Heptaperf™ impeller has been carefully optimised to achieve a perfect balance between power and quietness
–    Integrated Anti-Vibration Pads: Integrated Anti-Vibration Pads made from extra-soft silicone minimise the transmission of minute vibrations while maintaining full compatibility with all standard screws and other mounting systems.
–    Custom-designed PWM IC with SCD: Supporting fully automatic PWM speed control, the NF-F12 uses Noctua’s novel, custom-designed NE-FD1 PWM IC that integrates Smooth Commutation Drive (SCD) technology. By providing smoother torque impulses, SCD suppresses PWM switching noises and thus makes the fan quieter at lower speeds.
–    6-year manufacturer’s warranty: Noctua fans are renowned for their impeccable quality and outstanding longevity. Like all Noctua fans, the NF-F12 features an MTTF rating of more than 150.000 hours and comes with a full 6-year manufacturer’s warranty.

 

Visual inspection

The elegant look of the NF-F12 PWM model and of the Noctua fans in general it is largely due to the beige & brown color scheme. This making the fans unmistakable.
The NF-F12 PWM model uses 7 blades made out of plastic, with the Heptaperf™ design, and they are optimized for a perfect balance between power and silence, also these works in tandem with the directional design of the frame of the fan.

 

On the front side, the frame is sculpted around the blades, this stepped design helps reduce the intake sound, in addition it helps with maintaining and directing the airflow.

 

The blades use the Heptaperf™, Noctua proprietary design, they are meant to work together with the shape of the frame, thus increasing the static pressure and airflow.

 

The back side of the fan feature 11 plastic curved beams to focus the airflow. In the middle, there is a label with the name, logo of Noctua, the model number of the fan and the name of the motor used.

 

The shape of the 11 beams of the frame helps directing the exhausted air, also on the upper part each beam has three indentations to better control the flow and minimalize air turbulence.

 

The corners of the frame are rubberized for vibration dampening during use. These corners are detachable and are made out of silicone.

 

For power the fan NF-F12 PWM uses a 4-Pin Molex connector. The cable of the fan is covered entirely by black sleeving. The portion of the cable from the motor to the end of the frame is however exposed.

Testing

The following system was used to test the fans:
–    Processor: Intel i5 4690K @ 3.9 GHz
–    Motherboard: MSI Z97 Gaming 9 ACK
–    RAM: 8GB Crucial Ballistix Tactical
–    GPU: MSI GeForce GTX 970 Armor 2X 4G
–    SSD: Samsung 840 EVO 120GB
–    HDD: Samsung SpinPoint F3 500GB / WD Blue 1TB
–    CPU Cooler: SilverStone Tundra TD02
–    Thermal compound: Arctic MX-4
–    Display: AOC i2769VM
–    Case: Phanteks Enthoo Luxe

 

The 120mm fans has been tested using a 240mm CPU liquid cooler, the SilverStone TD02 at max. RPM.
The 140mm fans has been tested using a 280mm CPU liquid cooler, the NZXT Kraken X61 at max. RPM.

 

CPU Temp. – 120mm fans

 

The noise level was measured at three different distances from the fans (10cm, 20cm, 30cm.) the noise was measured with a margin of error of ± 5 db.

 

Final thoughts

Noctua is known for the performance and silence of the offered fans and coolers, and the NF-F12 PWM model stands out through its performance when used on a radiator or heatsink due to its high static pressure.
The build quality is very good, and the shape of the blades and frame improves the performance of the fan.
In conclusion, the NF-F12 PWM model is created for users who want performance and long term use, the warranty offered by the manufacturer is being 6 years.
The price of the fan is motivated by the performance, design and accessory bundle offered.

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