4th February 2008

Noctua NF-P12 120mm Fan – Review

posted by Doomzilla in Cooling, Hardware, Reviews |

Well, Noctua is back with a new product for us to review here at Aberrantech. If you don’t remember from our review of their chipset cooler, Noctua is a company based in Austria that specializes in “sound-optimized” (quiet) cooling products such as heatsinks and fans. Today we will be looking at the NF-P12 120mm fan. Before I even take a look at the fan, I want to compliment Noctua for the amount of care they take with every detail of their products. Even the box that the fan comes in is high quality and explains all of the technology behind the fan itself. It is obvious they couldn’t fit everything on just a regular box, so there is a flap that opens up on the back that goes into even greater detail of the technology. The amount of detail will truly be appreciated by those that take their system cooling seriously.

NF-P12 Box NF-P12 Box Flap NF-P12 Box Back


Once opened you can find that Noctua provided everything you would ever need to get this fan mounted and installed to your liking. The NF-P12 comes with a pack of four normal fan mounting screws, a set of four vibration compensators, a Low-Noise Adapter (L.N.A), an Ultra Low-Noise Adapter (U.L.N.A.), and a 4-pin molex to 3-pin adapter.

NF-P12 Accessories1 NF-P12 Accessories2 NF-P12 Accessories3

The L.N.A. and U.L.N.A are basically 3-pin extension cables with a resistor in the middle of the positive (power) wire to lower the amount of power going to the fan, their for lowering the max speed and making the fan even quieter. They are color coded to make it easier to tell which adapter you are installing. The black adapter is the L.N.A. and the blue adapter is the U.L.N.A. They are approximately 4 inches long and the power cable on the fan itself is approximately 15 inches in length with a normal 3-pin plug on the end.

NF-P121 NF-P122

Noctua NF-P12 Specs:

Size: 120mm x 120mm x 25mm
Blades: Nine Blade Design with VCN
Motor: Smooth Commutation Drive
Bearing: Self-stabilizing oil pressure bearing

Rotational Speed: 1300 RPM
Rotational Speed w/ L.N.A.: 1100 RPM
Rotational Speed w/ U.L.N.A.: 900 RPM

Noise: 19.8 dB(A)
Noise w/ L.N.A.: 16.9 db(A)
Noise w/ U.L.N.A.: 12.6 db(A)

Airflow: Approximately 54 CFM (FrozenCPU)

Input Power: 1.08 W
Operating Voltage: 12 V
MTBF: > 150,000 Hours

The NF-P12 is meant to be the ultimate silent fan, but is designed with optimum pressure in mind to perform better in situations where you have a restrictive environment such as a water cooling radiator or a CPU cooler with tight fin spacing. Noctua’s other 120mm fan, the NF-S12 is slightly quieter, but does not provide the pressure levels necessary for those restrictive areas. This pressure optimization comes from the Nine-Blade Design.

nf_s12_p12_comp_atn.jpg nf_s12_p12_comp_triangle.jpg

The fan’s long-term stability and quietness can be contributed to the SC-Drive and SSO-Bearing which greatly reduce the vibrations and variations that you would find in fans of lower quality. The most obvious new feature to be added to the NF-P12 are the notches built into the blades. These Vortex-Control Notches are implemented to lower the amount of noise you hear from the fan due to the sound being spread over a range of frequencies, thus making it less perceptible to the human ear. The box explains these technologies to some degree with images showing you just how they work.

NF-P12 Notches nf_p12_joining1.jpg nf_p12_trailing_edge1.jpg

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