4th February 2008

Noctua NF-P12 120mm Fan – Review (Page 2 – Testing & Conclusion)

posted by Doomzilla in Cooling, Hardware, Reviews Subpage |

It is obvious that Noctua has put a lot of effort into making the NF-P12 as silent as possible, while providing optimal pressure. You can check out all the detailed information over at Noctua’s website, but here we are going to install the fan and see if it delivers as promised. I don’t have fancy lab equipment to measure pressure or sound levels, but I have dealt with a lot of 120mm fans and this really is the cream of the crop. I installed the NF-P12 in the massive fan mounting bracket in my Cooler Master Stacker 830 SE and readied for some testing.

NF-P12 Installed

I first plugged the fan in with no adapters present to see how it sounded at the full 1300 RPM. The fan was barely audible right near my ear and when compared to the rest of the fans running in my computer, I couldn’t even tell that the NF-P12 was added overall because it runs so much quieter than my other 120mm fans that came with the case. I then hooked up the fan with the L.N.A. At this point the fan seemed to make no noise whatsoever and when the U.L.N.A. was used the only difference I could tell was that the fan was pushing slightly less air. The fan was already so quiet that I could not discern any audible difference. Using SpeedFan, it was verified that the fan was running at the given RPM speeds listed by Noctua (1300RPM, 1100RPM, and 900RPM).

Just for fun I hooked up the fan with both the L.N.A. and the U.L.N.A. daisy-chained together and the fan spun even slower at 750 RPM, but it still pushed a respectable amount of air through for as slow as it was spinning. The fan is already so quiet with the L.N.A. I doubt a majority of users will opt for the U.L.N.A. but those that want absolute quiet may use it, such as those with a home theater PC (HTPC).

The NF-P12 is no doubt at the top of its class as far as silent 120mm fans go. The only drawback of the product is the price. Searching various sites the NF-P12 retails anywhere between $19 and $21 which makes it a bit pricey, but with a 150,000+ hour expected lifetime and a 6 year warranty you won’t have to buy a new fan to replace it for a very long time. If you are looking for a top of the line 120mm fan for your radiator, CPU heatsink, or just plain ol’ cooling in a tight case, you can’t go wrong with the NF-P12 fan from Noctua. If pressure is of no concern to you and you just want some high quality cooling fans than you can choose between either the NF-P12 or the NF-S12 depending on how much airflow you need and just how quiet you want the system to be.

Pros:

  • Extremely quiet
  • Great airflow
  • A lot of included extras for customization
  • 6 year warranty

Cons:

  • A bit expensive
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